Advent & Christmas 2018 – For the sake of the world

Advent Letter 2018

I invite you to observe a holy season of Advent.

The world needs people who see a vision of how our world can be and who are willing to act to help make it so.

The world needs people who have received love and are able to share love in even the most difficult of circumstances.

The world needs people who are willing to discern the truth of God in humility – apart from our personal agendas and egos.

The world needs people who encourage the weak, who build communities through creative initiatives, who serve the poor, who care for their friends and neighbours, and who reach out globally to needs that require a global response.

This ancient church season of Advent calls us to turn our eyes and hearts towards the image of God that we find in Jesus – new-born and lying in a feeding tough.  In this image we come face to face with a God who is not distant from the world but present in the midst of our real life.  Many have come to think of the Incarnation (the belief that God has truly become human in the person of Jesus) as a sign of “God’s solidarity with the world.”  And so, the church, the followers of Jesus, seek to exist in solidarity with the world as well.  We seek to act in love.  We seek to care for those who, like Jesus’ parents, were cast off and turned aside.  We seek to be aware of our own limitations and frailties, so that we do not compensate with pride and domination.  We study the life of Jesus, eat together in his name, and spur one another on to do works befitting his modern-day disciples.

Thank you for being part of this small corner of the Church at St. Augustine’s, and for all the ways you already express love in your life.  You are a gift to the world.  I invite you to join once again this year in the practice and sharing of Advent in the following ways as you are able:

  1. Attendance at our 8am or 10am community celebrations Sunday mornings. (…don’t miss especially the Kid’s pageant on December 23rd 10am)
  2. Bringing donations to the food bank. Apparently, they are in a real need.  And also, socks and gift cards (Wal Mart, Save-On Foods, or Superstore recommended) for our local Youth Empowerment and Support S  **Please only bring these donations up until the 3rd Sunday of Advent, December 16th, so we can get all donations to the organizations before Christmas.  (We will need two people to help do this)
  3. Taking up a focused practice of prayer through the season. (Optional booklets available at the church.)
  4. Taking care to guard against the lures of consumerism and focusing instead on thoughtful gifts, home-making where possible, supporting local, fair-trade, and sustainable, and the simple gift of being together in good relationship.
  5. Sharing in worship come the feast of Christmas:

4pm Christmas Eve, simple Holy Communion

9pm Christmas Eve Carol Sing

9:30pm Christmas Eve Candlelight Holy Communion

8am Christmas Day, simple Holy Communion

 

Peace in Christ,

Rev. Jonathan Crane,

Advent 2018

 

source: https://thejesusquestion.org/2011/12/25/nativity-paintings-from-around-the-world/