Movie Group Tonight, Advent Wreath Workshop, Please Donate and Help Feed Kids in Muskegon Heights and more in the E-Newsletter for November 24, 2019 – Available in full online here.
From the Rector
The Rev. Dr. Jared C. Cramer, SCP
The long green season is about to end.
This Sunday, the Last Sunday after Pentecost, we will celebrate Christ the King and the end of "Ordinary Time." That means the Season of Advent is almost upon us, a time of preparation for the celebrations of Christmas.
It sometimes feels like when Thanksgiving hits (just a week away!), the pace of life hits high gear and it becomes one rush through the end of November and the month of December. So, I'd encourage you, before the holiday rush begins in earnest, to be intentional about setting aside some time to practice the Advent season. Look for ways to prepare your heart for the coming of Christ in Christmas—but not just in Christmas.
After all, there are two other "advents" or "comings" that we prepare for in this season. We prepare for the truth that Christ will come again at the last day… and we prepare ourselves to let Christ enter our life anew today. In some ways, it is making room for Christ to be present in you anew today that is the most important part of Advent—and also the easiest to overlook.
At St. John's, there are several opportunities for you to deepen your faith and make room for Christ within you during the coming season:
- This Sunday, the 11:30am Faith Formation Hour will feature Cathryn Marshall teaching about ways to practice Advent at home, with Reyna then leading our annual Advent Wreath Workshop.
- Next Sunday, December 1, at 5pm, the First Sunday of Advent, we will be offering a service of Advent Lessons & Carols. The music will feature acclaimed local soprano, Diane Penning, and the readings will be led not only by our readers, but by invited ministers from other area churches. (Find out more online here).
- On Tuesday, December 3, at 7pm, we will host our biannual "Roomful of Episcopalians Who Care." This is an opportunity to get together for some snacks and fellowship and bless a ministry of St. John's or our community. Everyone puts their name in a hat, along with a ministry they want to bless, and brings $50 for St. John's SJE Cares (check, cash, or e-giving). Three names are drawn and each person makes a pitch. Then, the group votes and whoever wins gets the blessing of the total amount donated that night. Click here and Cindi can sign you up to attend!
- Saturday, December 7, I will be leading an Advent Quiet Day, focusing on various visions of Mary experienced in cultures around the world (find out more and register to attend online here).
- Halfway through Advent, on Thursday, December 12, we will celebrate the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. The liturgy is in Spanish (with a bilingual bulletin) and begins in the St. Francis Garden with a procession to the icon of Our Lady in the chapel. We have Eucharist and then a festive dinner in the Guild Room. (Find out more online here).
- Then, on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, December 22, join us at 11:30am for the Greening of the Church and the Christmas Hymn Sing. And that evening, at 5:00pm, join us for our Annual Christmas Pageant in the Timberlake Hall (register your kid to participate online here—and know that this Sunday, after the 10am liturgy, there will be a parents meeting in the Sunday School room to plan!)The goal, of course, is not for you to come to everything we are offering (though you are certainly most welcome). Instead, maybe choose one or two offerings that resonate with you and could be a gift to your Advent journey.
Together, let's walk the path to Bethlehem faithfully, slowly, and intentionally, that we might deeply experience Christ's presence in our own lives in new and enlivening ways.
Read more in the E-Newsletter for Sunday, November 24, 2019 online here.
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