Good day, everyone!
Wednesday, December 5th is an Advent Bible Study at the Hilton Beach Library beginning at 7:00p.m. We’ll be doing the “Heartbeat of the Church” initiative to get things started. I encourage all of you to form a group of 4-5 people and talk and pray through this exercise regarding your experience in the Church. Information was previously sent out plus your incumbents know all about this so try it out! 🙂
Also on Wednesday, December 5th – the eve of St. Nicholas – there will be a simple soup supper and Worship at Zion Lutheran, SSM (189 Upton Road); 6pm with Holden Evening Prayer to follow at about 6:30 pm.
Thursday, December 6th is the White Elephant at Holy Trinity, SSM (352 Northern Ave.); 10:30-1:00.
Saturday, December 8th is St. Luke’s Junior Girls’ and Boys’ Auxilliary (160 Brock Street); 12:00-1:30.
Wednesday, December 12th is the Advent Lunch at Zion Lutheran, SSM (189 Upton Road); 12:00-1:00.
Looking Even Further Ahead:
“The Coldest Night” walk to raise money to help solve the issue of homelessness in our community is in February – and that’ll be here before you know it. Please start talking it up with other members of your parish and consider entering a team or offering support through your time or money. The Anglican and Lutheran youth across Canada (and in our Diocese, of course) are focusing their efforts on the issue of homelessness and this would be a great way to support them.
For Your Devotions:
Monday, December 3rd is the commemoration of Francis Xavier, Missionary to the Far East, died in 1552. He was born into nobility and went to France to study at the University of Paris. In 1529, a student by the name of Ignatius of Loyola was assigned to room with Francis and the rest is history, as they say. Ignatius recruited Francis to be one of the seven original Jesuits and his call led him to both India and Japan. He reportedly baptized about 30 000 people in his short career. The zealous missionary succumbed to a fever, at just 46 years of age, on his way to attempt entry into China. More info: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Francis-Xavier
Tuesday, December 4th is the commemoration of Nicholas Ferrar, a deacon who died in 1637. He was the founder of a religious community near Little Gidding in Huntingdon, England. He died at the young age of 45 and, just 9 years later, the community was forcibly disbanded by the Puritans of Cromwell’s army. However, the community’s devotion to living the Gospel lived on. The Gregorian website notes: “The community became an important symbol for many Anglicans when religious orders began to revive. Its life inspired T.S. Eliot, and he gave the title, “Little Gidding,” to the last of his Four Quartets, one of the great religious poems of the twentieth century.” More info: http://justus.anglican.org/resources/bio/295.html
Wednesday, December 5th is the commemoration of Clement of Alexandria, died about 210. Clement was born to pagan parents but became the well-known Christian intellectual leader of Alexandrian. He combatted Gnostic heresy in his writings but used Greek ideas that caused others to question his orthodoxy. His “Christian Gnostic” sounded a little too close to actual Gnosticism for some but his ideas actually set the stage for the blossoming of monasticism in the Egyptian desert not long after his death. For more info: https://www.britannica.com/biography/Saint-Clement-of-Alexandria
Thursday, December 6th is the commemoration of Nicholas, Bishop of Myra, died about 342. Hey, it’s Santa! Well, sort of… Nicholas was born into wealth and was well-known for his generosity. He was also known for his defence of orthodox Christianity against Arianism (the denial that Jesus was God incarnate. Arians believed Jesus was simply another creature created by God.) For more info, check this out: https://orthodoxwiki.org/Nicholas_of_Myra
Friday, December 7th is the memorial of Ambrose, Bishop of Milan, who died in 397. He was born into a powerful Roman family and was well into a great career in politics when life abruptly changed – the people wanted him to be their next bishop and he wasn’t even baptized yet! Ambrose was an influential figure in the Church during a time of rampant political finagling and intrigue. Fascinating to read about! It is thanks to Ambrose that the Church gained Augustine of Hippo among its ranks. For more info: https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/ambrose-of-milan.html
Saturday, December 8th is the memorial of The Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary. On this day we acknowledge the conception of Mary, Jesus’ mother. Why do we place so much importance on her conception? Here is what the Roman Catholic diocese of Wichita writes on their website: “We do not believe that Mary is a goddess, or even super-human. The Blessed Virgin Mary is simply human. She is what each human person is called to be: ‘holy and blameless in God’s sight, full of love.’ That’s how St. Gabriel salutes Mary in the Gospel: ‘Hail, Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with you!’ God’s grace is a share in His divine love.” If you want to read more about what Anglicans think about Mary, you can go here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Marian_theology