My dear friends,
In all my searching for paintings of angels, perhaps the painting above was my most unexpected find. Simberg refused to explain the painting, but it is known that when he painted it he was recently recovered from meningitis (which the angel could perhaps be feeling?) and the snowdrops symbolise healing. I leave it with you for your contemplation! Apparently it is a very popular painting in Finland.... I find it quite compelling.
Perhaps more to your taste might be this beautiful angel by Giotto in the Scroveni Chapel in Padua, another glorious image.
This coming Sunday, we invite you to bring your favorite angel - or picture of an angel - to our weekly 'Advent' table: pick your fav. to 'show and tell'!
One of my favorite lines from the liturgy each week is "Therefore with angels, archangels, faithful ancestors, and all in heaven, we proclaim your great and glorious name, forever praising you and saying/singing:
Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord, God Almighty
Worthy, worthy, worthy is the Lamb, the King of Glory
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord
The only One who was and is and will come
Do you ever find yourself looking around for the angels? I am confident they are worshipping with us, one day we will see them around the throne - but I'd love to see them as we worship!
When you head home after church on a Sunday, I wonder if you chat or muse about the moments in the service which impacted you. Every week there is some place where God has spoken most profoundly to me though the songs, or scriptures, casual conversations or the sermon. A moment where I am challenged to grow in my understanding of who God is and what he is doing in the world. This past Sunday I was struck by a phrase in the sermon when Tuck talked about finding 'peace in judgement' - what a powerful idea that God's judgement does bring peace.* It was delightful having Tuck and his wife Stacy with us on Sunday - I hope you got to say hello!
Moving to Randolph
Week by week we are gradually packing up our belongs and getting ready to move. Our office spaces are returning to our homes, and the Sunday supplies are being packed to move in our new-to-us van. This coming Sunday, Dec 12, aim to stay after church for a brief Q&A about the move; when and how we will finish packing up; when and how we will manage the first Sunday; when and how we will be training volunteers in the new set-up... and how YOU can be involved. The van is going to be our moveable storage facility, so EVERYTHING will be carefully packed away in clearly (we hope!) labelled boxes. We would LOVE you to be involved!
*** Have you bought a coat for the coat drive? There are a few left! Sign up now as we seek to start our relationship with Randolph as we mean to go on - with love and a desire to foster community.
*** Sunday, Jan 2, plan to get to Randolph as close to 8.30am as possible, learn the new space, help our first set-up, and then do some prayer walking in the neighborhood before the service.
The Christmas weekend is going to be PACKED with joyful worship...
Christmas Eve @ 3pm we invite you to come to church with some level of dress-up...perhaps a shepherd or a sage? Bring your well-behaved sheep, or sheepdogs. Bring your children with curiosity in their hearts.
Christmas Day @ 9am grab a cup of coffee and switch on zoom. Pyjama church to delight in the birth of Christ. This is a short service (about 30 minutes) reminding us of THE story with some carols and good news!
Sunday, Dec 26 @10am - back to the church for our final AUMC service - Amy's ordination! WOOOHOOOO!!!!! You can leave your costumes at home this time but come in your thermals and wrapped in blankets as we store up a final #canopychurch memory. Then stay for a GRAND all-hands-on-deck reception afterward when we will move our belongings from the chapel into our new church storage van...we KNOW how to party! Many hands make light work, and we hope to get it all loaded up so Jan 2 can be as smooth as smooth can be!
As always, so grateful to be one of your pastors. Let me know how I can walk with you through this season,
*(Unfortunately the sermon recording didn't make it this week - so I hope you listened carefully!).