2024, Jan 4: From our Future New Minister

From Our New Minister, January 4, 2024

Dear Parish Family,

Happy Feast of the Epiphany! This Saturday we remember the Magi, who traveled a great distance to worship the baby Jesus. I look forward to traveling from Wisconsin, a much cooler environment than the Magi experienced, to worship our Lord and Savior with the Nativity congregation. This has been a warm winter for Wisconsin, but I guarantee that I am looking forward to trading the low of 18 degrees here for the 50/60’s in Sarasota!

As was announced at Sunday services on December 31, Nativity has called me to be it’s Deacon-in-Charge. And I enthusiastically accepted that call. I will be starting in that role in June 2024 upon graduation from Nashotah House Theological Seminary. I feel incredibly blessed and honored by this calling.

I feel blessed for so many reasons. First, I will be serving God with you soon. Between the Diocesan Convention, Zoom, phone calls, and the interview process, I have gotten to know several of you already. To my family and friends, I described my interview with the Search Committee as a conversation with old friends that I had just met. I came away from my interview with the Vestry feeling the same way. Your love of God was palpable in those meetings, and you extended that love to me; I feel as though I am already one with you. I can think of no better sign of a true calling than that.

The leadership, both clergy and laity, at Nativity are also a blessing to me. A search process can strain a congregation, but especially a prolonged search immediately after coming out of a pandemic. Despite that challenge, Nativity still showed the love of God and has grown the Body of Christ, his church. Both you and I have been blessed to have had Fr. Michael overseeing Nativity during this search process; I have known, loved, and respected him for many years and look forward to a continued productive relationship. And Deacon Ros and I go back longer than either of us would care to admit. She and I have know each other since my first Cursillo. I cannot count the number of times that our paths have crossed when I most needed her support and friendship. I look forward to continuing to work with her.

I also feel blessed because I will be returning to the Manatee/Sarasota area which has been my home for over 25 years. I am fortunate to be returning to people and places that I know and love already. Seminarians frequently find themselves geographically removed from friends and even family by the calling process, but I am landing back into an area that I have considered my mission field for decades!

I can guarantee that we will face challenges; the movement of the Holy Spirit rarely goes forth without resistance. I look forward, however, to facing those challenges with you and continuing to grow Christ’s Church with all of you.

God Bless you all and I look forward to meeting everyone soon,
Tim MacDonald


Our Church administrator, Gloria will be taking a well deserved vacation next week. Fr. Michael will catch any phone calls that are absolutely necessary. Gloria will be back to work on Jan. 15.

Calling All Singers

Martha would like to invite you to sing in the 2024 English Tea & Flower Festival Concert at the Church of the Nativity! Music and study parts will be available shortly for self-study ahead of rehearsals. Rehearsal dates: Thursday, Feb. 15 and 22, 6:30pm-8:00pm. The performance will be on Saturday, February 24 at noon with a warm up time at 11:15am. To RSVP Martha call/text 941-284-7409. Many thanks!

M.O.N. (Men of Nativity)

The next meeting of Men of Nativity (M.O.N.) will be held on Saturday, January 13, at 9:00am in the Parish Hall. The speaker at the meeting will be Ron Hurley. Also on the agenda will be planning for the Pot Luck Luncheon on Sunday, Jan. 28, for our Annual Meeting.A

Adult Education

Adult Ed classes will resume with confirmation classes on Sunday, January 7, at 9:00am, in the Library. Then starting on February 25 there will be a Lenten Program for four weeks titled “With penitent hearts and steadfast faith”.


PROMISE CARDS FOR 2024. Thank you to those who have returned Promise Cards for 2024. If you have not returned your Promise card, please do so at your earliest convenience. Receipt of the Promises will help your Vestry to finalize Nativity’s budget for the new year.   If you need another card, then please see our office staff or Treasurer.

 OFFERING ENVELOPE boxes are being prepared for those who requested envelopes last year based on your giving preference. You may still request envelopes by contacting the Church Office.

Vestry Nominations

The Bylaws of the Parish require that there be a Nominating Committee tasked with proposing candidates for election to be Vestry members. Our Nominating Committee (Nancy Hurley, Debbie Teahan, John Watson) have nominated the following people to be elected to the Vestry Class of 2027: Nicki Coffaro, David Cashbaugh, Howard Papke. Their names will be formally placed into nomination at the January 28 Annual Meeting.

2024 Altar Flowers

The Calendar for the 2024 Altar Flowers is ready for your names and the names of loved ones (past, present, future). It is located in the same place as the 2023 Calendar, just inside the main doors to the church. Reserve your Sunday while they are still available!

Secret Angels

Blank forms for the 2024 Secret Angel Ministry are available in the Parish Hall. Partner drawing will be held this Sunday, January 7.

Friday Bible Study

A new Bible Study will start on Friday, January 12, at 10:00am in the Library. . The new study will be on Psalms using Max Lucado’s Study Guide entitled “Life Lessons from the Psalms”. It is available on Amazon or Christianbook.com. ALL are welcome!