This Week at Christ Church
Shhhhh slow down, it is Advent: In the early church (and still in the Orthodox Church) Advent was observed as a time of solemn preparation for those who were going to be baptized during the Epiphany season. From there, it became a time for penitence and fasting in preparation for Christmas. If you listen to the collects (prayers) for the seasons and the lessons we hear this Sunday, it will be clear we haven't moved away from this understanding of the season. However, I invite you to look on it as a time of hope and preparation to make space in your hearts, homes and lives for the coming of Jesus. Observing Advent is a counter-cultural response to the chaotic craziness of the commercial and secular forms of preparation for Christmas and gives the church, you and me, an opportunity to be beacons of hope to a hurting world as we practice ways of stillness which radiate God's love for us.
Children, families and others are invited to gather in the hallway between the Sanctuary and the parish hall at 9:45 each of the first three Sundays of Advent to hear a reflection on the word associated with each week of the season. We'll go from there into the Sanctuary to light the Advent wreath so the candlelight will be seen as worshipers enter the church and have a moment to reflect on the ways Christ's light breaks into the darkness of the world so we can proclaim with Isaiah:
Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will appear over you. Nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn. (Isaiah 60: 1- 3)
Blessings and peace,
The Dove Tree: The doves have arrived and can be found on the tree in the Parish hall. Gift ideas, requests for gift cards and instructions are on the doves. Please take one (or more) and return (gift-wrapped) by December 16th. For more information, contact Ann Crocker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you once again for your generosity and for the time it takes during this busy time of year.
Join us: on Wednesday, December 19, at 5:30 pm for a worship service of light, contemplation and healing for those who find this time of year particularly difficult. Our worship will be followed by a soup and salad supper. Please RSVP if you are planning to join us for the meal: email@example.com All are welcome to attend both (or either).
Advent Lessons and Carols with Eucharist: on Sunday, December 23, at 10 am. Join us for worship followed by greening of the church and decorating a Christmas tree in the parish hall. Young people are invited to serve as lectors. To sign-up, contact The Rev. Alon White, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pick-up Choir for Christmas: All are invited to sign-up to sing at the 5 pm service on Christmas Eve. Let's match or exceed the impressive number of singers we had last year. The ability to read music is not required -- just a willing heart and the ability to read words. Sign up soon so Music Minister Martha Meyer can make up binders email@example.com.
Rehearsal will be at 3:45 on Christmas Eve.
Calling all photographers: We're looking for pictures of Christ Church Parish as well as people involved in many of our different activities to chronicle our life together for the web-site and the parish profile. If you have any, please send them to:
http://christchurchredding.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stewardship: If you have already made your pledge for the coming year, Thank You! If you haven't yet done so, please remember to send in your pledge card or place it in an envelope (marked Pledge) in the collection plate on Sunday. Your generosity makes our ministry possible.
A Prayer from our Discernment Committee: Almighty God, you know the needs of your Church in every place: look graciously upon us, the people of Christ Church Redding, and grant us the guidance of your Holy Spirit as we seek a new Rector for this parish.
Give us discernment, wisdom, and confidence in your timing.
Guide the members of our committee, as they labor to be faithful in seeking your will.
We pray for the life of our parish, that we may continue to be strengthened in our mission to be Jesus Christ’s heart, hands and feet to our neighbors no matter where they are on their journey of faith.
Bless us with mutual trust and respect, courage, and foresight as you shepherd our community through its journey.
Grace us with continuous direction and inspire us toward genuine self-reflection.
All this we ask as we walk in your ways to the glory of your name. Amen.