Christ the King Sunday; Gearing Up for Tree-Lighting Chili, Cookies, Wreaths; UTO & Helping Wildfire Victims
24 November 2018
The Prayer Book purists among you will notice that the Book of Common Prayer calls this Sunday, the Last Sunday after Pentecost, and so it is. This is our last Sunday in Year B, during which most of our Gospel readings have come from St. Mark's account. Be that as it may, the Collect and the readings point squarely to this Sunday's subtitles -- "The Reign of Christ" or "Christ the King" -- in the New Revised Common Lectionary which we share with most of English-speaking Christianity.
Our readings and prayers also provide us with favorite "kingly" hymns: "... crown [Jesus] Lord of all," "... his the scepter, his the throne," "King of kings, yet born of Mary," and "Christ the Lord returns to reign." From first to last, this Sunday concludes a year in the life of the Church by proclaiming that the reign of Christ has begun.
For us at Christ Church, after we've sung our hymns and prayed our prayers, our attention will turn to gearing up for our events in support of the Tree-lighting on the Green. There are cookies to bake for the Cookie Sale, corn bread to prepare for the Chili Supper, our young people have wreaths to decorate on Thursday and to sell on Friday, and then there's helping with the Chili Supper itself -- setting up, serving and cleaning up. Chair Jennifer Huebner would love to hear from you about how you'd like to help!
Be sure that your friends and neighbors know about the Chili Supper as a great way to come in from the cold, enjoy a hot and hearty meal, and have a chance to rest (and warm!) their feet between 5 and 7p.m., on Friday, November 30.
As the Sunday after Thanksgiving Day, Christ the King Sunday also concludes our fall in-gathering for the United Thank Offering (UTO). The Offertory at both services will include the UTO prayer, "... keep each of us ever thankful for all the
blessings of joy and challenge that come our way." Begunby the Episcopal Church's "Women's Auxiliary," in the days before the Episcopal Church Women (ECW), the UTO has long-funded the Church's cutting-edge ministries. And all this by encouraging a discipline of depositing a coin into a "blue box" in thanksgivings for each day's blessings, St. Luke's School & Church in Matel, Haiti -- the recent recipient of our Sunday School's "Helping Hands for Haiti" projects, has also received a construction grant from the United Thank Offering.
As the parishes and institutions of the Church in California seek to care for those whose lives are now routinely threatened by wildfires, I am sure we will see the United Thank Offering coming along side local efforts to assist with funding. In the meantime, Episcopal Relief & Development (ERD) has been assisting with "emergency housing and shelter, food, masks, gasoline, and other basic supplies for those in need." The Episcopal Relief & Development press releases about the wildfires are available here. If you would like to make a gift directly to ERD's US Disaster Fund, you may do so here,
Thanks so much to all of you, for your very generous response to our Thanksgiving Food Drive. The bounty you provided around the Children's Altar, and down the window sills, was impressive indeed. Many thanks to Rebecca Evans & Sheward Hagerty who volunteered to deliver this bounty to the Guilford Food Bank's staging area in the Bishops' Orchard Farm Market Red Barn.
I hope this finds you all safe and warm, and send traveling mercies to those who were and are away for the Thanksgiving holiday!.
In faith, hope and love,
p.s. During her Episcopal Visitation last month, Bishop Laura Ahrens mentioned an upcoming Holy Land Pilgrimage, June 9-19. The Pilgrimage will focus on the Palestine of Jesus with both Bishop Ahrens and Bishop Ian Douglas under the professional guidance of Canon Iyad Qumri -- a Palestinian Anglican. Information and forms are all now available on the ECCT website. I recommend the video to everyone -- even if you aren't interested in the Pilgrimage! I'm planning to participate, have been involved in the planning, and would be happy to respond to questions.
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