Dear Sisters and Brothers in Christ,
We begin our new liturgical year this Sunday, the First Sunday of Advent, by lighting one candle on our Advent Wreath. To plunge into the darkness again is to remember our limitations as mortals and our deep longing for God’s saving grace. It is also to remember that we must put on the armor of light as we face the forces of evil in this world, and rejoice that Jesus Christ, who first came as a lowly infant, has not forgotten us and will come again.
I am hopeful that by the time you read this, our Saint John’s Fundraising Concert on Saturday evening, Dec. 2 will have been a great success! More about this next week.
This Sunday is Stewardship Sunday. Thank you to those who have already sent in pledge cards for 2018! We urge everyone to place your cards in the Offering Plate to be blessed today and include the ways in which you would like to volunteer your time, talent and treasure this coming year. We are dependent on your creativity, good hearts, energy, service and donations. You matter! Please prayerfully consider the surprising gifts that God has given you this year and be generous in your offer of continuing or new volunteer service and monetary pledge. If you do not have a pledge card with you, there are more pledge cards available in the narthex.
Our Christmas Pageant will take place on Sunday, December 17 during the 10:15 a.m. Service. If you would like to take part (adults and children!), we will be giving out parts this Sunday, Dec. 3 at 11:45 a.m. in the Church. Please join us!
This Sunday, December 3rd, is also our Penny Social beginning at 12:30 p.m. Bring your pocket change and have some fun. Hot dogs and soda are also available. This is another delightful way to support Saint John’s Church AND meet our neighbors!
Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help at the Farmer’s Market and Rummage Sale from July – through November 16th. What a wonderful job you did, and how happy everyone was who visited Saint John’s during that time. This is not only a fund-raising event for this Church, but also wonderful outreach to the community. Thank you!
One last chance to join the Saint John’s Festival Choir to sing at the Christmas Eve Service at 9 p.m.! Our next rehearsal is on Wednesday, 6 December from 5:45-6:30 p.m. in the Church, two following Wednesdays (Dec. 13 and 20), with a final rehearsal on Saturday morning, Dec. 23 from 10 – 11 a.m. For more information, please contact Bob Sirota (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please continue to pray for our Renewal Works Team as we brainstorm about the ways in which the Holy Spirit is moving all of us at Saint John’s Church in Getty Square to grow spiritually. Our last of four meetings is this Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 6:30 p.m. This is an exciting time!
On this First Sunday of Advent we begin both services with The Great Litany. This general supplication was first published in English in 1544 as prepared by Archbishop Thomas Cranmer, a prior form having been used as early as the fifth century in Rome. This prayer is the most inclusive prayer we say. At the 8 a.m. Mass, we will kneel as each petition is read with congregational responses. At the 10:15 a.m. Mass we will chant it in procession.
Our new liturgical year begins with prayer. We pray for everyone! May God bless us and this fragile earth, our island home.
Advent blessings and love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota