The choirs of Grace Church and St. Mary, Star of the Sea Roman Catholic Church will join together to offer a traditional Lessons and Carols service. A Wassail Reception will follow.
St. John the Evangelist invites you to an Afternoon of Advent Lessons and Carols presented by The Voices Unlimited Choir followed by refreshments in the Parish Hall.
The Voices Unlimited is a choir serving adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Voices Unlimited was founded in October 2011, by Carol Stady and Benjamin Landsverk, with the mission of providing an excellent choral experience for adults with special needs while also offering opportunities to socialize and develop friendships in a safe, positive setting.
Darkness increases the sadness many feel amid the excitement of the holidays. People missing loved ones or burdened by illness or disappointment or anxiety can come together for comfort and strength. A time of remembrance and the liturgy of candle lighting and sharing, singing and silence can be very healing.
Everyone in the community is welcome. Rev. Melodie Kimball will celebrate Holy Communion, open to all.
People can light candles for those they miss and show photographs or memorabilia.
Fellowship and coffee / cider will be provided afterwards.
St. Martin’s Episcopal Church is at the corner of Milton and Williams Streets, Lebanon, with easy access and parking in the lot.
Bishop Michael wishes you all a Blessed Advent and a Merry Christmas in his 2019 Advent video.
Everyone is invited for a traditional Mexican celebration commemorating Mary and Joseph’s search for a room in Bethlehem.
By the Rev. Tom Sramek, Jr., rector of St. Mark’s, Medford
In those days John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness of Judea, proclaiming, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” – Matthew 3:1-2
Repent. It is not a word we are used to hearing or using in everyday life. We don’t commonly ask ourselves or others “Have you repented today?”
But repentance itself hopefully isn’t unusual. To repent (Greek: metanoia) means simply to turn around, to change one’s mind, to go in a different direction. Since we are all imperfect people, we hopefully do this all the time.
We say something, do something, or go somewhere and we find out that is not God’s will for us, hurts someone else, or simply is wrong and we turn back from that, perhaps apologize, and move on to hopefully do better next time.
It is sad and unfortunate that our contemporary culture seems to see repentance as either a weakness or a marketing stunt. There is a sense that once committed to a course of action, the idea of acknowledging it to be a mistake, perhaps apologizing for it, learning from it, and moving in a different direction is somehow a sign of weakness, wishy-washyness, or “flip-flopping.”
As a culture, we seem to penalize people for admitting that they were wrong. This obviously results in people being extremely reluctant to admit mistakes and take corrective actions.
On the flip side, if someone DOES admit to an error, there is the temptation to crucify them for it and not to “let them get away with it.” In such a culture, repentance either becomes or can be taken as a marketing technique or a political ploy rather than a genuine change of mind.
But repentance is something we should get used to doing frequently and intentionally, whether it is a thoughtless remark, a bad habit, or even a poor life choice. We should welcome it in ourselves, our friends, and our political leaders.
Indeed, true repentance and amendment of life requires that we regularly listen for and heed the prophetic voice inside and/or around us that calls us to examine our lives, “clean out” the things that keep us from living the full life that God intends, and chart a new path in accordance with God’s will. Grace is meaningless if we do not avail ourselves of it frequently.
Preparing for the anniversary of the first coming of the Christ child and Jesus’ second coming in the future reminds us of this need for God’s grace.
Come and treat yourself to a gift in Advent. We will explore the realm of angels, those holy messengers of God in our lives.
Led by The Rev. Betty McWhorter