Algoma Deanery Week of December 5, 2022

Good day! It is another beautifully sunny Monday (where I am, anyway). 🙂  

Coming Soon:

Saturday, December 10: Emmaus’ Meat Pie Luncheon and Bake Table. $14. Two sittings – 11:30am or 12:30pm. For tickets please call either Edie Leblanc at 705 759 2850 or Emmaus Church at 705 759 2545.

Christmas Dainties (30 pieces) from Christ Church. $25. Order by Dec.11. Pick up Dec.16 at the church. Contact Bonnie Lyons at 705-779-2858 or email lyons.bonnie@gmail.com or Laura Avery at 705-254-2477 or email lau.ave88@hotmail.com.

I know that Christmas goodies are also being sold by The Church of the Redeemer in Thessalon for $25 as well. Perhaps someone out that way could provide us with the contact person for these orders? I don’t want to presume…

A Liturgical Note For You:

Orthodoxy: Early Christians whom we now acknowledge with gratitude through our calendar observances, are often the ones who fought for Christian orthodoxy. Such is the case with this week’s observances. This is a great opportunity to point out that “orthodoxy” is a highly misinterpreted word. We usually think that orthodoxy means “correct beliefs” when, actually, it means “correct worship”.  Why is this distinction so important? Because, as I’ve mentioned before, our liturgies for worship contain all of the foundational theological beliefs we hold as Christians. Our liturgies are saturated with references to Scripture and to God’s saving acts throughout history.  The concluding doxology (praise of God) for our Holy Eucharist in the BAS is a very close paraphrase of Ephesians 3:20 for example. Just to detour for a moment, speaking of the Doxology – since a doxology is “worship (or praise) of God”, this is not really the time we should be looking around and nodding at each other. Our focus during the Doxology is rightly given to God.  Knowing such things as this allows the transformational power of our liturgies to be effective. “Correct worship” is crucial in forming who we are and what we think and do as Christians in the world.  In the case of our liturgies, knowledge truly is power – the power to be transformed. 

For Your Devotions:It is a busy week of calendar observances…

Monday, 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 Alexandria. 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

Tuesday, 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

 Wednesday, 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. Because of his amazing work as bishop, we celebrate Ambrose today – on the anniversary of his ordination – rather than on the day he died, which is a highly unusual move in terms of calendar observances.  For more info:    https://www.christianitytoday.com/history/people/pastorsandpreachers/ambrose-of-milan.html

Thursday, 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.”  This day is important to us because it is a day when God acted with humanity to work towards the fulfillment of God’s purpose.  If you want to read more about what Anglicans think about Mary, you can go here:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anglican_Marian_theology

Friday, December 9th is the memorial of the Prophets of the Old Testament. These men and women were called by God and filled with the Holy Spirit to speak the message of God to the people. Many were persecuted and killed because that message wasn’t always welcome. Jeremiah, for example, was kept as a prisoner at the bottom of a well. The author of the Letter to the Hebrews provides more detail (speaking of the heroes and prophets of Israel): “…who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground” (Heb.11:33-38). For us, Christ is the final and complete Word of God…”In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son” (Hebrews 1:1-2a).  If you’d like to read more about the prophets, check this out…   https://catholicexchange.com/crazy-prophets-old-testament

In the hope of the coming Christ,

Susan

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