Father David Ousley writes in his December newsletter:
Preparations for the move to Bridgeport are proceeding apace. Sunday Mass will move to the former Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, 500 Ford Street, for the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 20th. The new Sunday Mass time will be 10 a.m., a change for both congregations. After Mass, there will be coffee hour as usual, now in the lower level of the school building next to the church. To get the church and coffee hour room ready, there will be a work day at the church beginning at 9 on Saturday, December 19th. Please plan to come and lend a hand. Having our own place also means that we have to take care of it. Between our first Sunday and Christmas, we will also need to decorate for Christmas, set up the creche, etc. Ideas for Christmas greens and flowers in the church are welcome, as the space is new to us and we have no set routine to work from. I know this is a busy time of year for everyone, but I trust you will make the time to help out.
It is now clear that not all of the interior work on the church will be completed before we start services. The altar will be moved back to its original position on the east wall, but this will not be done until January. While it would be nice to have everything done before we arrive, this will give us the chance to see the progress from week to week.
Our Christmas services will be in Bridgeport:
Mass with Carols, 5 p.m.
Carols, 10 p.m.
Sung Mass (with choir), 10:30 p.m.
Mass with Carols, 10 a.m.
Confessions, Christmas Eve, 4:30 & 9-9:45 p.m.
If you need directions or transportation help in getting to Bridgeport, please let me know. It will be further for many St Michael’s people, and we don’t want to lose anyone for lack of transportation. Until the rectory moves (February?), weekday Masses, youth group, and Bible study will continue in Mount Airy; all Sunday (and Christmas) Masses in Bridgeport.
There will be expenses involved with the move: some work on the church, the moving expenses, and of course, the cost of the church itself. To help with these we have set up a Building Fund, and will be soliciting pledges and contributions for this specific purpose. You will be receiving details shortly. The Fund is set up at St Michael’s, though obviously it is for the benefit of the merged congregation. …
Since there are a few liturgical differences between Newman and St Michael’s, some adjustments will be necessary when we begin worshiping together on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. I will be going over the details with each congregation before the merger. Anglicans in general, and Anglo-Catholics In particular, can be passionate about liturgy. I hope that passions will not be aroused in this instance! None of the variant practices have anything to do with dogma, or even ascetics, and are variations permitted by the Missal. My hope is that all will be ruled by charity. …
I look forward to our merged parish being a veritable hotbed of charity. This will assure a happy and smooth combination, with all the strengths of each congregation being carried over into the new.
The Newman choir comes along to the merged congregation. Bill Gatens would be happy for additional voices from St Michael’s after the merger. There are four professional section leaders, but the rest of the choir is volunteer. Please speak with Bill to volunteer. Don’t wait to be asked.
In connection with the merger, a new Pastoral Council has been formed: Susan Biswanger, Wendy Ewing, Bill Gatens, Joshua Nunziato, David Rawson, Leslie Altena, Bruno Dantas, Anne Hummel, Chris Jordan, and Gina Paladinetti. My thanks for your willingness to serve! A merged Finance Council will be formed in January.