Thursday, December 22, 2016

Christmas Eve
9:00 PM Holy Eucharist Rite II with The St. John’s Festival Choir
Christmas Day
10:00 AM Holy Eucharist Rite II with music

Collect for Christmas Eve
O God, you have caused this holy night to shine with the
brightness of the true Light: Grant that we, who have known
the mystery of that Light on earth, may also enjoy him
perfectly in heaven; where with you and the Holy Spirit he
lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

The Fourth Week of Advent 2016
Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

December 21 at 5:44 a.m. EST is the official beginning of Winter.  The winter solstice is the shortest day of the year with the least amount of sunlight.  During this fourth week of Advent, we await with great anticipation and joy the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Savior’s birth.  The Christian theology surrounding the Incarnation in which God was made man is at the core of our faith.  God came down to us as a helpless and vulnerable child, and it is in humility that our God most powerfully proclaims his love for us and that we can most powerfully love others.  Not an easy task, and yet that compassion and love that is of God will heal the world.

Thanks to all who helped with the Christmas Pageant, especially Debbie DeBride and the wonderful cast, Alicia, Elijah, Jane, Denise, Devon, Zoe, Brad, Tara, Judith, Brad among others! The costumes were beautifully made over 40 years ago.  How wonderful to have the Christmas Story told in such a vivid way.  Thanks also to everyone who contributed to the superb Christmas Dinner and everyone who joined us to partake of it on Sunday.  What a splendid feast and a joyous celebration!

This week Wednesday we have the weekday Mass in honor of Saint Thomas at 12:05 p.m., followed by a light lunch and Bible Class in the Library studying the Christmas Lectionary.  On Thursday night, Dec. 22, the Saint John’s Festival Choir will be rehearsing in the Church from 6:30-7:15 p.m.  Our final Christmas Eve Rehearsal will be in the choir loft from 8 – 8:30 p.m.

Some of you will be travelling this week.  Our prayers are with you for safe travel.  For those who will be with us on Christmas Eve for the 9 p.m. Festival Service of Holy Eucharist or the 10 a.m. Service of Holy Eucharist on Christmas Day, we hope you will bring your family and friends as we celebrate the joy of Our Savior’s Birth.  And everyone is invited into the Rectory following the Mass on Christmas Eve for refreshments!

Prayers continue for The Sharing Community who will be using our Parish Hall and Guild Room on Christmas Day as a staging area for their Annual Christmas Dinner next door. 

The schedule of services for Sunday, January 1, New Year’s Day is our usual schedule, 8 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite I and 10:15 a.m. Holy Eucharist Rite II.  Our preacher will be The Reverend Canon Claudia Wilson and I will be the Celebrant.

I cannot tell you how moved I am to be your priest.  I am touched by your generosity and joy, your faithfulness and courage, your presence and love.  We are on a new journey together, one that none of us could have imagined a year ago.  We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us, praying that God will continue to use Saint John’s Getty Square powerfully in Christ’s ministry of love.   In our prayers, we remember those who are homeless, those who are mourning, those struggling with financial burdens, and those who have physical, mental and spiritual handicaps in this difficult time of year.  Why is it difficult?  Because the weather has turned cold, the darkness seems to have won, and our memories and experiences of our families of choice have not always been places for healing and love.  And so we turn to our family of choice.  May Saint John’s Getty Square be a place where the Incarnate is made visible, where the Love of God in Christ Jesus is always present.

Christmas blessings and love,

The Rev. Dr. Victoria R. Sirota

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