FIRST SUNDAY IN ADVENT – November 28, 2021.
GLORY BE TO JESUS CHRIST! GLORY BE TO HIM FOREVER!
TODAY AT ST. MARY’S
LIVE AUDIO STREAMING during today’s service is available on the Order of Service page. Recorded audio will be added following worship.
We are beginning the season of Advent. Advent marks the beginning of the Church year. It is an exciting time of year with its promises of hope, love, peace and joy. It is a time of waiting and expectation. Advent gives us time to take a step back from the busy-ness that surrounds our lives and reflect on our journey with God. During the season of Advent we are invited to pause and reflect on the fulfillment of the long awaited promise of a Messiah, one who will save us from our sins. We await the advent or coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
Advent is a season within the life of the church, when Christians are intentional about remembering something that happened a long time ago; the birth of a little baby, the Son of God. Advent is about a memory of someone who entered history as one of us and changed the course of our lives forever. Jesus, through his life, death and resurrection, gave us a future with God.
During this brief Advent season, we are invited to focus on the coming of Jesus into our world in human form. During its four Sundays we journey with scriptures which reveal vivid images of trust, promise, and obedience. We hear the prophetic words of Isaiah announcing righteous judgment and restoration for those who follow the way of the Lord. The chaos we have created through our disobedience will be restored to the perfect harmony which God intended for creation. “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them.” (Isaiah 11:6)
During Advent, we also hear the voice of John the Baptist, calling us from the wilderness of our lives, to repentance . We are invited to examine our lives, repent our sins and return to God. As the people of God, we are invited into a new way of living life….expectantly waiting, believing, and hoping for what we cannot yet see. John the Baptist points us towards Jesus, the Christ Child, the Son of the Most High God and invites us to open our hearts and minds and embrace Him as our Saviour. Jesus, too, awaits our response to his call.
What does all this mean for us? On one level, expecting the Christ child means offering ourselves as the place of Christ’s new birth. We offer ourselves as the place in which He can live. We can nurture our lives as his followers, confident in his guidance through the Holy Spirit. As we encounter Him in all we do, we can help bring about His will for not only our lives, but for the world. In so doing, we can shine as light in the midst of the darkness that surrounds us.
Unto us a child is born, unto us a Son is given…..his name shall be Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us. May the coming of the Christ Child illuminate your mind, bless your soul and fill your hearts with the love of God.
PARISH LIFE NOTES.
Condolences. Please pray for Barb and Glenn as Glenn’s brother died this week.
THE MITTEN TREE ON THE LANDING will be ready from December 5th to January 9th to be dressed with adults and children’s mittens, toques and socks. Please help keep out the cold. All donations go to Soul’s Harbour Mission.
CANDLELIGHT SERVICES AT LUTHER COLLEGE HIGHSCHOOL are in person on Sunday, December 5 at 2:00 p.m and 7:00 p.m in the Merlis Belsher Heritage Center. We are offering 250 seats at each performance to safely and adequately meet the needs of our community. For seat reservation please check the website www.luthercollege.edu/high-school
GRAPE VINE. Do you have a personal story of experiencing God’s grace? Would you share it in the Grape Vine? Deadline for The Advent edition is Dec 14. You may send them to Lorna or to firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information you may speak to Lorna.
2022 PLEDGES. To help Vestry make an accurate budget for next year, please fill out your 2022 Pledge Form on the church website before Sunday December 12th.
Right now, we are looking at a deficit budget of -$30,000 for 2022. At our Vestry meeting on Nov. 23rd, we discussed ways and means for addressing this shortfall. We will need to look at fundraising options. We are also asking each family to consider: might you be able to increase your giving in 2022 by 5-10%?
We are already so grateful for the generosity of this parish. You’ve been there for Ayen, so that she can get medical treatment. You’ve been there for our ministry partners in this city. And you already generously support St. Mary’s. Thank you. It takes all of us working together to keep St. Mary’s alive and thriving.
Anyone on Vestry would be happy to talk to you if you have questions about the budget or ideas about what we can do to help balance next year’s income and expenses.
PASTORAL EMERGENCY CONTACT. Revd. Paula Foster
WEEKDAY WORSHIP THIS WEEK
Tuesday to Friday
Morning Prayer at 8.30 a.m. and
Evening Prayer at 5.30 p.m.