December 6, 2015
We are living in darkening times: As we lose almost a minute of light each day, darkened hours outnumber daylight by almost three hours. And then there is the darkness of a world plagued by warfare, gun violence and injustice. In the face of that darkness, and with the rest of Guilford, Christ Church threw a party on Friday evening. You welcomed folks with hot chocolate, a delightful chili supper, the ECW's tasty cookies, and Santa's tempting Gift Shoppe. Beautiful wreaths were displayed, but they had all been pre-sold! Then you invited the community into the church for fun with "sFOURzando's" many hands at the piano!
As the days continue to grow shorter, we light the second Advent wreath candle this Sunday. The children will begin their pageant preparations during Sunday School. And Sunday evening at 6p.m., our Choir will lead us in an Advent Festival of Song and Sacred Story. In less than an hour, we will travel through the weeks of Advent to the coming of the One who is the Light of the World. With special guests joining the Choir, we will be inspired by beauty as well as faith and hope.
The Advent themes of Faith and Hope take on special importance through the world's gathering darkness. As we are assaulted by news of shootings in California, Colorado, France, Oregon, Tennessee and South Carolina -- to name just seven of this year's many more such tragedies, our Faith helps us keep our "shape," by recalling who and whose we are, and that we are called to work for justice and peace, not revenge. Our Hope helps us keep our eyes focused on the future to which God calls us and all of God's children -- reconciled to God and restored to relationship with one another.
Our Bishops, +Ian Douglas and +Laura Ahrens, responded to the shootings in San Bernadino by renewing their invitation for all parishes to participate in next weekend's Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath. You can read their message here. Your Vestry had already given me the go-ahead to include Christ Church of parishes participating in prayer and remembrance. On Monday, December 14, the third anniversary of the tragic shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, our tower bell will toll 28 times at noon.
"...give us grace to cast away the works of darkness,
and to put on the armor of light..."
In faith and hope,
P.S. A December/January issue of "Glad Tidings Online," is now available. In it you'll find information about our Daytime and Evening ECWs, Reports on our diocesan convention from our delegates Jean Valentine and Caroline Herrick, and terrific photos of acolytes at "work.".
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