December 2, 2020
The Hand that Made the Hands
For the hands that tilled,
for the hands that harvested,
for the hands that processed,
for the hands that transported,
for the hands that stocked,
for the hands that sold,
for the hands that bought,
for the hands that prepared,
for the hands that will hold,
for the hand that made the hands,
our hearts are forever grateful. Amen.
Ewan Aitken, printed in Blessed be Our Table, Wild Goose 2003
This is the prayer that I used to conclude the Litany of Thanksgiving on Thanksgiving Day. Bishop Laura Ahrens used it in last Wednesday morning's Zoom call with clergy and lay leaders of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. Am grateful to her for it, and glad to share it with you. I hope you all had a safe and gracious Thanksgiving Day. After our 10a.m. service, I was alone, but not lonely, and ate too much, but what else is new?
Our prayers are asked for all who are commended to the parish's prayers:
All who are ill, including
Margaret S, Pastor Bryan Meyers, Daniel E,
Andrew E, and Dale;
for Michael, Brad T and all who are contending
with Covid-19 disease;
for the medical caregivers who minister of God's healing gifts;
and for all facing financial hardship because of the pandemic.
May they all know the healing power of
Christ's presence and love.
For all who have died,
including the over 270,000 of our fellow citizens
claimed by the coronavirus.
Rest eternal grant to them, O Lord;
may light perpetual shine upon them.
We give thanks for the birthday of
Grant that she may grow in wisdom and grace,
in good health and stamina as she begins another year.
Please continue to hold in prayer:
Sheward, Bob C, Carol U, Sue S, George H, Alex & John H, Jeremy H, Shelly, Philippe, Margaret S, Kate, Frank, Jack, Judy & Ed S, Michael M, Richard D, Dave K, Brian A, Jim & Annie, John, Joan G., Lois C., Winnie Z, Bernie and family, Susie & Paul, Pam McG, Julie H, Murray E., Brooke & family, Kate S., Tracy M., Carl,
Michael S, Joanne N-R, Madeline H, and Kelly G,
Also: Paul D, Susan S, Linda B, June C, Charlie K, Anne C, Mark S, Angela G, Maria, Bob, Olivia, Lois T, and Jo B.
Please also remember: St. Luke’s School & Church in Martel (Haiti)
To add names and concerns for Wednesday's and Sunday's intercessions, and this "Let Us Pray" letter, please send them to YFNR at firstname.lastname@example.org with any details you care to share. Names will move to the "continuing" list, and the longer term list upon request.
Wednesday Evening Prayers, this evening will give thanks for the life and witness of late 19th century saint, Channing Moore Williams, Missionary Bishop to China and Japan. We'll sing a couple great Mission hymns and hear Jesus say, "Peace to this house," and "'The Kingdom of God has come near to you.'" Those are reason enough for me to participate! You'll find the bulletin here. You can join the 7p.m. livestream via www.facebook.com/cecguilford
Thursday Bible Study returns this Thursday, December 3 at 9:30a.m. to pick up with Joseph resettling his extended family, including his father Jacob, in Egypt even as a famine rages throughout the land. Here's a new link for the Zoom discussion. In case you're asked, the Meeting ID is 880 5992 7326 and the Passcode is 039924.
ChristKindl Market cancelled. Our Tag Sale Team leadership has decided, with regret, that this is not the year to initiate this offering, writing: "We take this opportunity to thank you all for the donations we received, and the words of encouragement. If you donated an item, we will be able to use it for a future sale to benefit the church. Of course, if you'd like it returned we can do that too.
We look forward to 2021 and the many opportunities it will offer (watch out for our Facebook page!).
Questions? Contact the team at email@example.com"
Advent means Hope and Active Waiting. I hope you have Advent disciplines that encourage hope in you during these increasingly dark days -- that "darkness" is both a metaphor and just the plain truth. On Sunday, I encouraged you to join me preparing an Advent Wreath; it doesn't have to be fancy, green or have the traditional purple or blue or single pink candles. To find some great music to enjoy: I'm looking forward to the Virtual Version of the University of the South's Annual Festival of Advent Lessons & Carols this Sunday. I'll provide the link when it becomes available. And, to remember our parish traditions of the Mitten Tree and Angels Under the Balcony. They will be available for you to stop in the Parish Hall beginning this weekend.
Also in the Parish Hall, as long as they last, are Advent Devotions for Children and Youth courtesy of our Faith Formation Team: Advent wreath forms and candles, an AdventWord Devotion, On Our Way to Bethlehem: A Child's Activity Booklet, and a variety of Advent calendars. The Parish Hall door is open during Office Hours, 10a.m.-3p.m.
I was introduced just this morning to House of Bread: A Guided Advent Journey for Families. The Bible scholars among you will immediately recognize "House of Bread" as the meaning of" Bethlehem." The devotion is full of quick insights about Bethlehem then and now, with a very brief reading, a short prayer and a simple activity for each day. I heartily recommend it. It's available at no charge here. This prayer is part of the devotions for the First Sunday of Advent:
A Prayer for Hope when feeling despair:
Dear God, please give me strength when I am weak,
love when I feel forsaken,
courage when I am afraid,
wisdom when I feel foolish,
comfort when I am alone,
hope when I feel rejected,
and peace when I am in turmoil. Amen.
May the Hope of Advent be with you and yours,
Your Friendly Neighborhood Rector
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!