What a joyful weekend we just had. I wanted to thank everyone who made it possible. It was wonderful to see everyone come together to worship our Lord, and to welcome community members and diocesan officials into our lovely church. Thank you all for making this possible.
It is exciting for me to be able to sign this newsletter as your rector. As I look forward to this new season of life here at All Saints, I am both optimistic and eager to see what the Lord will do. I think we have much to be excited about.
Don't forget that Friday, 12/15 at 6 pm is our Annual Christmas Party here at the church. Please bring an appetizer type dish to share, a white elephant gift, that costs less than 10 dollars, and a joyful heart. We will be singing carols, playing games, and I trust having a good time.
Vestry meeting this Sunday
If you are on the vestry, please remember that the December meeting is this Sunday, 12/17, following Holy Communion. We have a good deal of business to cover in preparation for the new year.
Lessons and Carols
Next Wednesday, 12/20 at 6 pm, will be our annual Festival of Lesson and Carols. I am looking for two more readers, so please email or let me know Sunday if you are planning to attend and are willing to read.
You won't want to miss this beautiful service of worship and hearing the story of Christ coming into the world for our salvation.
Remember this Christmas will be a little different as Christmas Eve falls on Advent IV.
We will have our regular Sunday morning service, which will be Morning Prayer at 10 am. Immediately following the liturgy, we will be greening the church and making it beautiful for the Feast of the Nativity.
12/24 at 6 PM we will have our Christmas Eve service including a quiet candlelit vigil at the end.
12/25 at 10 AM is our Christmas day service.
These will all be beautiful times of worship, celebrating the coming of our Lord into the world to be the light of men.
Holiday office hours
I will be taking a couple of days to recuperate from the craziness of Christmas. There will be no Morning Prayer, and the office will be closed on 12/26 and 1/1-3. We will have Evensong on Wednesday 1/3. I plan to be out of town on the 1st and 2nd of January.
A thought at the midpoint of Advent
In a time and culture that loves be constantly on the move, Advent can be a good reminder to slow down and refocus on the important things in life, especially our walk with God. So often our prayer and devotional life gets put on the back burner because of the numerous, urgent seeming distractions that rush at us throughout the day. So this time challenges us to examine how we are doing with loving God with our hearts, souls, and minds.
As Christmas draws nearer and we remember how our incarnate Lord humbly came into the world, showing us his incredible love for humanity. In this challenge, we may notice weaknesses in our walk with Him. Do we need to read the scriptures more? Do we need to pray more? Are we easily frustrated? Do we have a hard time loving our neighbor?
Advent offers us a perfect time to slow down, to take a little longer at dinner, to practice more patience with those that frustrate us, or perhaps most importantly, to revisit our devotional and prayer life.
If you find yourself struggling this season, try intentionally setting aside extra time each day for prayer and delving into the Word of God. The small steps we take to walking closer with our Lord helps to prepare our hearts and minds for the Feast of the Nativity. It reminds us that Christ came into the world 2000 years ago to save sinners, that he comes into our lives to draw to walking with our Lord, and that He will come again in the great last day.
It has been my prayer that each of us has been having a good, blessed, and thoughtful Advent and I trust that it will continue to be so.
Be well, be blessed, and I look forward to seeing you all on Friday and Sunday.
Fr. Ian Emile Dunn
All Saints Anglican Church