The first Sunday in Advent
Dear St. Stephen’s church family,
What I say to you, I say to all: Keep awake! (Mark 13:37).
We have arrived at the first day of the Christian year. Happy New Year! Happy Advent. May we wake from our spiritual slumber and perceive the many ways that Christ comes to us. Because we are unable to meet in person at this time, each week a recorded sermon will be posted and we will film the lighting of the Advent wreath, pray a short prayer and have the opportunity to listen to an Advent hymn. This may be a helpful way for you to make space for God on a Sunday morning, or other time throughout the week. There are numerous opportunities to participate in worship online, including on our Diocesan website. May we observe a holy Advent!
Here is the link for the Video of the Advent wreath lighting and prayer (available at 7 pm, Saturday, November 28th. If you try to look at it earlier, it won’t be available yet): https://business.facebook.com/ststephens.ca/videos/810116049839078/
Some parish family news for the week:
1. Thank you again for all who responded to the call to purchase gifts for children living at Adelle House.
If you have signed up for a gift, please return to church by Friday, December 18th, (wrapped or unwrapped, with age and gender of child clearly marked). There are so many generous and gifted people in the parish who give of their time and talents. Thank you Betty, for donating a pair of handknit mittens for each child.
2. Our next installment of the Jesse tree mail out is ready to go out this week.
The mailout contains 5 additional and beautiful ornaments for children to make, while learning about the characters and events in our faith family tree. I will make a video this week with instructions for this meaningful Advent activity. Thank you Julie!
3. If you would like to receive the booklet of Advent readings
and haven’t had a chance to do so, please be in touch. We have some left and would be happy to mail them out or arrange for pick up. This just in! The Scroll is hot off the press and will be coming to a mailbox or inbox near you very soon!
4. CHRISTMAS-ks and COOKIES
Final orders due December 2nd. Please email your order to firstname.lastname@example.org If you have already ordered, or would like to order a mask, you may pick it up any time, rather than waiting for the 12th. Email or call and we will arrange for this to happen. Otherwise pick up and delivery is set for Saturday, December 12th, with minimal/no contact. Details to come! Thank you to all who have been busy sewing masks! If you have offered to bake cookies (thank you!). Please bring any baking to the church on December 10th, and please use a container that you don’t need returned to you. Finally, if you are baking cookies, please remember to send “baker’s dozens!” We will be assembling an assortment of cookies from those that are donated and wrapping them in a pretty box. Each box will contain a “baker’s dozen!” Order yours today. $10 for a mask or a box of cookies. These will make a lovely homemade gift.
5. There will be no in person worship at this time, for the next 3 Sundays, with more details unfolding.
I will miss this, and miss those who were able to be a part of this, but we will be together again. This will not last forever. Let’s all continue to be caring and careful, keep calm and pray on.
Parish Cycle of Prayer:
Monday: Joanne F
Tuesday: Jeff and Heather with children
Wednesday: Tigist G
Thursday: Gary G
Friday: Jean G
A prayer for Advent (adapted from St. Augustine of Hippo): Lord Jesus our Saviour, the One who is to come, we come to you now. Our hearts are cold; Lord, warm them by your selfless love. Our hearts are sinful; cleanse them with your precious blood. Our hearts are weak; strengthen them with your joyous Spirit. Our hearts are empty; fill them with your divine presence. Come, Emmanuel: enter our lives, possess them always and only for yourself. Amen.
In joyful expection,
The Rev. Amy <><