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December 21, 2016, 6:43 AM

A word at mid-week, 12/20

We are at mid-week and looking straight-on at the Yuletide Season!!!

All throughout Advent, we have been preparing our hearts and minds and souls to receive Christ into our lives in new and, perhaps, unexpected ways through the visions of the Prophet Isaiah. Like a plow that tills the ground making it ready to receive the seed, Isaiah has opened us up to see God's vision for what life and all creation is to be. And, this is not a static vision or God's holy wish for us. It is the reality that God continues to usher in through Jesus and through us.

God's purpose for us is to transform instruments of death and judgment and voices of hatred and bigotry and acts of destruction into implements of nourishment and subsistence and voices of advocacy and tolerance and acts of kindness and love. God's purpose for us is to live with hopeful abandon that new life and new energy can grow and flourish in places that appear dead or in circumstances that seem grim and bleak. God's purpose for us is to receive the promise of a child who's Spirit dwells in us and who is God-with-us - a God that we see within ourselves, a God who looks at us through the eyes of our souls, and a God who speaks wisdom in our hearts and minds. Let us continue to prepare ourselves to embrace such a wonderful gift! Please see my sermon, below.

It has been terrific to see such great participation this Advent when we, as a parish, joined together for "Go Blue for Advent" and "Go Rose for Rose Sunday." Events like these create such joy and energy in our worship and in our community!

The Adult Sunday School, "The Waiting" film series, evoked some powerful sharing and discussions among those in attendance. I am looking forward to resuming these Forums after the holidays. It would be great to see some more folks both from those who attend the 8am and 10:30am services to come together for these sessions. It is a good way to build fellowship together. So, grab your coffee, tea, water, or soda and join us at 9:15! 

Please invite friends, co-workers, family members, and neighbors to join us this Christmastide:

Christmas Eve: 8:00pm

This service will feature an extended prelude with the Choir, Hand Bell Choir, Hymn singing, and a violin solo! We will bless the Creche, have a special Children's Sermon, a Candlelight singing of Silent Night, and much more!

Christmas Day: 11:00am

This will be a joyous Christmas service and also include something special if the holidays are hard for you or someone you know. This service will feature a special litany for those struggling, grieving, or who are in any kind of pain for any reason.

The most important thing that Episcopalians do is worship together

I hope you will consider attending and participating in both of these services!

A special Thank You! to the Worship Committee and all who decorated the sanctuary weekly during Advent to create the themes of waiting and expecting. Seeing the streamers "grow" and the decorations become "more full" each week was beautiful. And, Thank You! also to those who stayed last Sunday to Green the Church and make it beautiful and inviting for Christmas. Please know of my gratitude for your loving service.

Finally, some have asked why I lay hands on people from time to time during Holy Communion. This is a practice that I have done since I've been ordained. I almost always do this with small children, however, there are instances when I am aware of something going on in a person's life and this is a way to offer a special prayer for them. On other occasions, I just have a pastoral "hunch" that someone could use an extra prayer or a touch of support. I am certain that there are many times when I do not know "what is going on inside a person" or don't have a "hunch" and so have not offered to lay hands on them. 

Please, if you would desire a special prayer or a bit of support with something you are going through, I am most happy to offer a prayer with you at the Communion Rail (or anytime, anywhere). I invite you to simply say "pray with me" and I will be glad to do so. It is one of the great honors and privileges to pray with you at anytime for any reason and especially at the "holy rail!"

God's love to you all!

Fr. Frank

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