Happenings@ St. Gabriel's
St. Gabe’s 25th Anniversary Picnic at Success!
On Sunday, May 21st, both old and new friends of St. Gabriel’s gathered to celebrate the church’s 25th Anniversary with a picnic at the church following the 10:30am Rite II Service. Marycelis Otero, who began her journey to the priesthood at St. Gabe’s, preached at our combined worship service. Great food was on hand as was a birthday cake for our church. Here are a few photos from the gathering:
St. Gabriel’s 25th Anniversary Celebration!
Celebrating and Sharing the Love of God with EVERYONE! (1998-2023)
We hope you’ll make plans to attend the 25th Anniversary Celebration Picnic at St. Gabe’s on Sunday, May 21, 2023, following the 10:30am Rite II Service of Holy Eucharist. The picnic will start at noon and is being held on the church grounds with plenty of outdoor seating and cover so that we can enjoy the event rain or shine. The church will provide fried chicken, drinks, paper goods, etc. with members providing favorite side dishes and desserts. There will be a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall to indicate what you would like to bring, or you can email the church office at email@example.com.
During our 10:30am Rite II service, Marycelis Otero will be our guest preacher. As you may know, Marycelis started her journey to the priesthood at Saint Gabriel’s when she and her family were members. During the picnic we will set aside some time for storytelling. We received a letter from Father Bill Combs that will be read along with messages from Fr. Peter Wallace, Fr. Rich Sanders and Fr. Mike Freeman. If you have stayed in touch with any former parishioners in the area, please reach out to them and extend a personal invitation. We would love to have a big turnout to celebrate the 25th anniversary of our beloved church!
Note: In light of our picnic, we are cancelling the 8:00am service for this week. The 8:00am Rite 1 services will resume Sunday, May 28th.
Sheena Lawrence – Memorial Service
The Memorial Service for Sheena Lawrence will be held at Saint Gabriel’s on Saturday, September 9th at 11:00 a.m. This is a change from the original posted date of May 13th. Father Mike Freeman will officiate and will be assisted by Father Bill Combs, Father Bob Fessler and Mother Linda Pineo. Following the service, a reception will be held in the Parish Hall. Refreshments will be provided. Sheena loved Saint Gabriel’s and was an active member until her health deteriorated. We hope you will be able to attend and celebrate Sheena’s life and the contributions she made when she was active.
“Day by Day” Devotions Available
The Day by Day daily devotions for May, June, and July 2023 are available at the church. Be sure to pick up your free copies in the Narthex or Parish Hall. And pick up one for a friend who might benefit from a daily encouragement sometime.
A Note About Holy Week
Palm Sunday is the beginning of Holy Week. We hope you will be able to attend as many services as possible during this special week.
On Maundy Thursday at 6:30pm, we will have a potluck supper followed by Eucharist. Fr. Bob will talk about the Seder meal and what the various foods represent. Please sign-up to bring your favorite dish or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Easter Sunday, we will have a Rite II service at 10:30am followed by a potluck lunch. (Please note that this is a combined service. We will not be having the Rite I service at 8:00am on Easter Sunday.) Bob Condon will be providing his famous ham, so please bring a side dish or dessert and enjoy the time of fellowship as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus! A sign-up sheet is in the Parish Hall, or you may email email@example.com.
Regina Grisham, our Senior Warden, reminds us in this week’s Parish Blast about a poem written by Charles William Everest. The first stanza is particularly appropriate for Holy Week:
“Take up your cross, the Savior said, If you would my disciple be; take up your cross with willing heart, and humbly follow after me.”
We hope you will make plans to join us throughout this Holy Week, but especially on Easter Sunday!
Eucharist & Soup Supper
We had a good turnout for our Wednesday, Lent Service/Eucharist and Soup Supper this week. We enjoyed homemade soup, salad, bread and dessert and it was delicious! Please make plans to attend next Wednesday at 6:00pm. If you would like to volunteer to bring something for the meal, there is a sign-up sheet in the Parish Hall.
Food Pantry Volunteers Needed
St. Gabriel’s served 29 families during our day at the South Hall Community Food Pantry on Saturday, April 15th. Our next scheduled day to serve is Saturday, May 27, 2023 from 10am – noon. Each time we serve, we provide food to approximately 30 families. We welcome regular volunteers and folks who can only serve occasionally. If you’d like more information or would like to sign up to help on May 27th, please contact Debbie Roszel through the church office at 770-503-7555.
Also, the pantry is having problems getting jelly from their suppliers. They are asking for more donations to supplement the current inventory. Please donate either grape or strawberry jelly and leave in the Parish Hall. Debbie Roszel and/or Jean Waller will take our donation to the pantry. Thank you in advance for your generosity and supporting the pantry!
Ch’Angels in May Benefits the Humane Society of Northeast GA
Ch’Angels is the name of the offering collected by the door as you exit the Sanctuary. Each month, this offering goes to different ministries and organizations supported by our congregation. For the month of May, Ch’Angels benefits the Humane Society of Northeast GA. For 110 years, the Humane Society of Northeast GA has been working to help as many animals in our community as possible. None of their amazing lifesaving work would be possible without the amazing community of adopters, donors, volunteers, advocates, and animal lovers that support their ongoing efforts. St. Gabriel’s has long supported these efforts. For more information about the work this organization is doing, go to HumaneSocietyOfNortheastGeorgia.org.
2023 Women’s Retreat at Camp Mikell
February 17 – 19, 15 women gathered at Camp Mikell for the Women’s Retreat. Here is a group picture of those who attended. A special thank you to Lindsay Lemay, Nena Lund, Esther Atkinson and Diana Rosen for their efforts to make the weekend so meaningful and fun! The theme was “How can I keep from Singing?” and words such as “Just what I needed” and “So refreshing” seem to be how most described the weekend.
Repairs are Complete – Praise the Lord!
We’re happy to report that the repairs following our Christmas Eve flood have been completed: We now have full use of the Parish Hall and kitchen! The last task is to have the carpet professionally cleaned. Since the water pipe burst over the offices, classroom and kitchen back on Christmas Eve, we’ve been without a kitchen and largely without a Parish Hall, but over the weekend of Feb 16 and 17, the new cabinets and countertops were put in and all the plumbing was reconnected. The best news for some of us at that time was that the coffee service was, well, back in service! We’re grateful to Ron Petrey, our Junior Warden, for overseeing the repairs and for dealing with the insurance company.
The quilters will be able to resume their work on Wednesday’s, the Terrific Thursday Lunch Bunch will be able to have lunch at the church, and our coffee and fellowship can be enjoyed between and after the Sunday services without feeling like we’re in a storage building. Thanks to those who worked so hard to get things put back in place, and thanks to Rich and Debbie Roszel who hosted the Lunch Group at their home during the restoration.
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper Options
As mentioned at our services on Sunday (Feb 19th), St. Gabriel’s has been invited to join St. Mary and Martha for a Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper this week at their location at 7:00pm. Even though our kitchen has been put back together, there’s still a lot of work ahead for us to regain the space in our Parish Hall. As such, we didn’t feel it reasonable to plan on having the dinner at St. Gabe’s.
The address for St. Mary and Martha Episcopal Church is 4346 Ridge Road, Buford, GA 30519.
Subsequent to this invitation, we also received an invite from St. Anthony’s in Winder. Their dinner will be at 6:00pm. The address is St. Anthony’s Episcopal Church, 174 St. Anthony Drive, Winder, GA 30680.
We hope to see you Tuesday.
The Kitchen is Nearly Complete
Sheetrock work and paining in the offices and Adult Classroom is finished, the molding is being put back in place, and as of Thursday, February 16th, the new cabinets and counter were being installed in the kitchen! That leaves re-installing the kitchen sink and coffee service, and putting toilets and sinks back in one of the bathrooms … oh, and putting all of the books, files, pictures, etc. back in the offices. It sounds like a lot, but we’re almost there. Thanks for your patience during this last overhaul. And if our timing works out, perhaps we can give up further renovations for Lent.
Ch’Angels in February Benefits Gateway
Ch’Angels is the name of the offering collected by the door as you exit the Sanctuary. Each month, this offering goes to different ministries and organizations supported by our congregation. For the month of February, Ch’Angels benefits Gateway Domestic Violence Center, an organization providing safety, shelter and support for those impacted by domestic violence. For more information about this organization go to
We’re pleased to announce that sheetrock work has begun in the church and we should be on our way to getting everything put back together following our water damage from frozen pipes on Christmas Eve 2022. Father Bob moved out of the sanctuary for the recording of his video homily this week due to the work (and noise) that was underway on Wednesday.
We will be meeting in the sanctuary once again this Sunday and we hope to see the rest of the restoration completed in a short amount of time. Thanks for your patience and faithfulness to St. Gabriel’s in spite of this temporary setback.
Have you signed up for our Women’s Retreat 2023?
The Women’s Retreat will be February 17-19, 2023, at Camp Mikell. This is open to all St. Gabriel’s women, past and present, and friends. The cost will be $175/person which covers lodging and meals. Responses can be sent to Nena Lund at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can use the signup sheet in the Parish Hall.
The theme is “How can I keep from Singing?” We will sing the theme song on Sunday during the close of the retreat. Nena Lund, Lindsay Lemay and Esther Atkinson are working hard to prepare for the retreat. They are open to new ideas and reminders of things that have been special at past retreats. They welcome anyone who would like to be part of the planning.
In addition, we have one lady who planned to attend and has paid, but is now unable to go. She has requested that her payment be used as a scholarship to anyone who wants to attend but hasn’t signed up due to financial constraints. Contact Nena Lund at email@example.com.
Remembering Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“I have decided to love. If you are seeking the highest good, I think you can find it through love. And the beautiful thing is that we are moving against wrong when we do it, because John was right, God is love. He who hates does not know God, but he who has love has the key that unlocks the door to the meaning of ultimate reality.”
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
New Location for this week’s Thursday Lunch Bunch!
Rich and Debbie Roszel have offered to host the Terrific Thursday Lunch group at their home in Flowery Branch this week on January 12th. The Parish Hall, where we usually hold our lunch gatherings, is still in a bit of disorder as we wrap up our cleanup project, so we thought a nice, relaxing, lunch gathering off-site might be in order. Please let the Roszels know if you’d like to attend by calling the church office at 770-503-7555. We don’t like to post personal addresses on the website so call first and they can give you the directions by phone, text or email. This will also help the Roszels know how many people to expect. We hope you’ll make plans to attend!
Restoration Continues – Services Resume!
Our church office is up and running again and we’ve resumed weekly services in the Sanctuary. Sheetrock still needs to be replaced in several of the rooms off the main hallway and baseboard needs to be replaced. Most likely, the last of the renovation work will involve installing new cabinets in the kitchen and putting the sink back in place. On another positive note, we’re talking with the plumber about moving the supply pipe that caused these issues to a warmer location, most likely about two feet in from the edge of the roof so as to provide much better insulation of the pipe and avoid freezing in the future. We’re grateful that this disruption was relatively brief, and we’re grateful to those in our congregation who stepped in to help during Christmas to dry out the church.
Christmas – Take 2
Please join us Sunday for a special Rite II Service. Since our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services got canceled due to our building flooding, Gregory and the choir will present the full Christmas program they had planned for Christmas Eve this Sunday, January 8th, at 10:30am. In addition to the choir performance, Taylor Spires, an accomplished clarinetist will also perform a couple of special songs. Taylor is the son of Lee-Ann and Billy Spires and grandson of Jean and Jim Waller. Even though Christmas has passed, this will give us an opportunity to celebrate Jesus’s birth.
Restoration Continues – Services Resume!
This week we were able to get the parish offices put back together so that Esther and Nena could do their work. John came in to clean the restrooms, empty the trash and vacuum. Ron is waiting to hear from the contractor and get a quote on the cost to finish the repairs. Hopefully, we will have that information the week of January 9th. We are anxious to get the church repairs completed as soon as possible.
In the meantime. we do plan on resuming services in the church THIS WEEKEND (Jan 8)! Please plan to attend either the Rite I service at 8am or the Rite II service at 10:30, and don’t forget that we resume our study of The Apocryphal Jesus at 9:15 in the Adult Education room.
Restoration Underway Following Burst Pipe
While the interruption of our Christmas Eve and Christmas Day services due to a frozen water pipe that burst was very sad, the timing really couldn’t have been better. The pipe burst in several places due to the extreme cold, but it did so very shortly before members of our church arrived to get ready for the Christmas Eve service. As such, we caught the problem very quickly. Water got into several offices, two of the bathrooms, and the kitchen. Some sheetrock had to be removed as well as some baseboards and some of the kitchen cabinetry. However, we were able to get the water remediation company, Serenity Restoration, out on Christmas Day with industrial fans and dehumidifiers, and we were able to bring a plumber in on Wednesday to repair the broken pipe and make it so that we can turn the water back on as needed. Our hope is that we can be back in the building in very short order.
We will NOT be holding services New Year’s Day, but do plan to be back in the sanctuary by January 8th. Please watch your email and this website for updates.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services Cancelled
We’re sad to report that all services for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day have been canceled due to a burst water pipe at the church. Water remediation crews will be getting us dried out and back to normal as quickly as possible. We’ll post updates here as they become available. Meanwhile, we hope you have a happy, safe and dry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Good Food and Fellowship at our Potluck Lunch
On December 4th, following our Annual Parish Meeting, members of St. Gabriels’s gathered in the Parish Hall for a delicious Pot Luck Lunch. Soups, salads, meatballs, breads, and deserts were all on hand and a “good meal was had by all.” As a congregation, we’d like to do this more often, so be on the lookout for news of upcoming gatherings in the Parish Blast. If you’re not yet subscribed to the Parish Blast, fill out the form at the bottom of the page and you’ll start receiving it in your email inbox each week. Oh, and a big thank you to all who brought those delicious dishes!
Angel Tree Gifts
Please return your Angel Tree gift(s) to the church no later than Sunday, December 18th. The gifts will be delivered during the week leading up to Christmas. If you would like to help deliver the gifts designated for the Prison Fellowship Program, please contact Rich Roszel at 770-503-7555. For the residents at the personal care home, please contact Jean Waller at 770-540-6080.
In addition to the gifts we’re providing to our Angel Tree families, we’ve also had some age-appropriate Children’s Bibles donated, and each child will receive a scholarship to attend a summer camp for free this year, so our chance to bless these families (and especially the children) continues to grow thanks to God’s amazing provision.
So thanks for your generosity to help make Christmas a little brighter for the recipients of these gifts!
Read and Feed – Ways to Serve
If you would like to be a lay reader for one of our services, if you’d like to be a regular lay reader in an on-going basis, or would be willing to provide refreshments on occasion, please let us know. You can email the church office at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!