Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Happy New Year!
Well, Christian New Year anyway. Advent 1 marks the beginning of a new Christian year. In Advent we start the period of preparation and of waiting for Jesus to be born. As we start the journey of this season we start the way that we should always begin a journey: with hope. This Sunday we focus on hope and we will light a candle during worship representing this important aspect of the season. And with any luck we will kindle that same flame within ourselves as we begin the walk to Christmas. This is just one of the lights that we will lite as we move through the cold and the dark to the new dawn that comes with the birth of the son.
This Sunday is Hope Sunday, it is also Pantry Sunday! The first Sunday of the month where all are invited to give to the pantry those household needs that we often take for granted. Through our program we not only provide hope for a better tomorrow but tangible relief for hunger and fear. We “hope” you can join us this Sunday as we start on this Advent journey together.
As you know in your own house, December is a busy time! It is no different here at St. Paul’s.
Friday December 1st the Youth Group will meet here at the church. The start time is 6:30 pm, so come and share in the fellowship as we learn and grow together. We will be reviewing the dramatization for Sunday, checking out the tree lighting (depending on weather) and watching a film. Looking ahead into December, the youth group meets next on December 22nd at 5:30 pm for a Christmas gathering with supper, so mark the change on your calendar.
Looking ahead into next week, the Women’s group, Spirit Sisters, will be gathering Monday night, December 4th, but not at the church. They will be meeting at McGinnis Landing at 6 pm. This will be the last meeting of Spirit Sisters until January.
Similarly, the Men’s Conversation Group will be meeting just one more time before Christmas. Just like the women, the men will be meeting outside the church. On December 13th, the Men’s conversation group will meet at 6 pm at Isaac’s Way. This will be the last time this group gathers until January.
December 6th is a big day here at the church. Prayers in the Parlour happen at 10am in Ladies Parlour where we will lift up a prayer for all who face violence as it is the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women. Need a little lift mid-day? On your lunch break you are also invited to come to the sanctuary to take in some holiday music as we have our 1st of 2 Advent Recitals. Still hungry for the sounds of the season? Join us at 7:30 pm for our Annual Advent Carol Festival, where we will have our second course of amazing music as Choirs from around the city come together to sing in the season. A special offering will be taken during the service for CBC Feed a Family.
If you are starting to plan your Christmas eve, we invite you to have a look at our bulletin where you will find information on all of our scheduled services for Sunday December 24th. Each of these will be different, yet none will disappoint. In particular we want to highlight our 3 pm service for families with young children, where we will be hearing the story of Jesus birth and having a birthday party for Jesus. Last year was the first time that we had an afternoon service and we are looking forward to making it a tradition for families who want to get out to a service, but find the 7 pm and 11 pm options a little too late for their little ones.
Finally, as we start this season, let us do so with prayer: God of Hope, the road before us often seems to be getting darker and colder. Remind us of the light, the warmth, and the love that is coming. Work in and through us, that we may be bearers of that light, that with arms spread open to the warmth, and that our hearts might grow to welcome more fully the limitless love you give. This we pray in the name of Christ born in and among us. AMEN
For this week’s bulletin, click here.
Yours in Christ,
Rev. Michelle & Rev. Richard