Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
The candle for this Third Sunday of Advent is pink because of the word, “Gaudete” which means, “Rejoice!” Our Epistle reading from 1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 begins, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances….” As Christians, we know that evil never has the last word. As a matter of fact, evil always goes one step too far and reveals itself. When it is clear that an action is not full of God’s light, the darkness in it results in discontent, fear and anger. We Christians strive to stay in that place of Christ’s light and love. In this season of Advent, we look to the light to which John the Baptist witnessed. And knowing that God is with us, we rejoice. It does not matter how dark it gets. We know that good, and the love of God will have the final Word. And the light will not be extinguished.
Come join us for our Christmas Pageant THIS Sunday, December 17 during the 10:15 a.m. Service! Including sections of the story of Christ’s Birth from Matthew and Luke, we will also be singing verses of beloved Christmas hymns. We are grateful to Debbie DeBride and Karen Lorence for their excellent stage direction and encouragement of our fine cast, and to all who are contributing their talent for this grand production. Every year our Christmas Pageant is different! Don’t miss the opportunity to rejoice in this profound story of God’s love for us as presented by the children and adults of this parish in splendid costumes! AND, bring food and yourselves for our lovely Congregation Christmas Potluck Dinner following the service. What a great day this Sunday will be!
I GOT IT WRONG! Our Greening of the Church will NOT take place this Sunday, but on Saturday, December 23 at 11 a.m. Please let us know (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help out. Decorating Saint John’s for Christmas with flowers, greens and our Nativity Set is a beautiful and loving way to share your gifts and talent. Please also remember to send in your envelopes for the Greening of the Church so that we can purchase everything needed, as well as list the names of your loved ones in the Christmas bulletins!
The Saint John’s Festival Choir meets next week on Wednesday, December 20th at 5:45 p.m. in the Church, and on Saturday, December 23rd at 10 a.m. This is a wonderful group excited to be singing on Christmas Eve!
If you have not made a pledge for 2018, it is not too late! You matter! Please prayerfully consider what God is calling you to do and to be this coming year. Pledge cards can be found in the Narthex.
Our Renewal Works Team Facilitators have presented a preliminary report to the Vestry this week. Please continue to hold us all in your prayers as we look for new ideas and fresh inspiration from the Holy Spirit.
Don’t forget to invite your family and friends to our Christmas Services. Everyone is invited to the Rectory after our 9 p.m. Christmas Eve Service for holiday cheer, good food and lots of rejoicing!
Rejoice always! Christ is coming!
Advent blessings and love,
The Reverend Canon Victoria Sirota