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Letter from Liz: Nov 30, 2021

Ghent Alterpiece, Van Eyck 1432

Dear friends

Advent is here - and what a lovely Advent 1 service we had on Sunday. If you missed it catch up on YouTube - sing along with the songs, listen to Michelle's testimony and Amy's sermon*, be wrapped in the colours, scents, sounds and textures of this start to the liturgical year. Be filled with anticipation as we look for the coming of Christ both as a baby and then when he comes again at the second Advent. As you listen to Amy's sermon think about this apocalyptic truth: Christ WILL come again - and when he does so we will see the redemption of all things. We will no longer need to hope: all hopes will be fulfilled. What a thought!

Advent is traditionally a penitential season; but, it is also one of expectation. The promise that God has fully experienced what it means to be human in Christ- and can, therefore, fully identify with us in our daily experiences. The promise, as Amy reminded us so eloquently on Sunday, that Christ will return. And so, it's good to take stock - to evaluate and adjust our habits, to pause in the busyness and wonder. In Lent we often either give something up to take note of our hungers, and to help us to turn to Christ. Advent is another great season to do the same. Do you have a seasonal habit you could adopt or change to help you to be mindful of Christ's reign in your life?

Advent music and decor

Fleming Rutledge says this, "As we prepare to enter the Advent season, the Church hunkers down. The [Anglican] Church in America has been known for being really scrupulous about observing Advent; it’s one of the best things about us. We don’t decorate the church during Advent [well, at Incarnation we do gradually decorate in a way which draws our attention to the season, delighting in our growing anticipation - thanks to our beauty team!]; we don’t sing carols [normally!]; we don’t move to Christmas until the eve itself. Advent is a time for making a fearless inventory of the darkness. This is a call for character and courage...At no time is there a greater contrast between what the church teaches and what is going on all around us.”**

Largely this is true for us at Incarnation, but we also read 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe' and sometimes we see Christmas breaking into winter. And this Sunday, as Anna and our kids choir lead us we have chosen a few carols to sing that the children know well to sprinkle into the mix of our worship. Carols which give a foretaste of what is to come. Your next opportunity for carol singing before Christmas will be on Dec 18 as we head out into the neighborhood to sing - and then Christmas Eve.... so enjoy this little appetizer before the feast to come!

“There must be always remaining in every life, some place for the singing of angels, some place for that which in itself is breathless and beautiful.”― Howard Thurman

Advent resources for wonder-making:

- Our Incarnation website has Advent pictures, prompts for prayer, liturgy and even a Spotify playlist....

- Praying for our community: do you log on to the Monday prayer list? or Tuesday or Thursday noonday prayer? Perhaps you could take up a new prayer habit for Advent!

- Did you collect Advent wreath materials on Sunday and instructions to make your own wreath? Ask Josie or Amy if you missed out - we still have more candles!

- This Sunday (Advent 2, Dec 5) we will make pomanders and FEAST on your favorite Advent-y dishes after the service. What will you bring to share?

And a few Advent-y dates looking forward:

Dec 9 - West Asia Story telling @Kim's @7.30pm

Dec 18 - carols @5pm Grant has the details

Dec 19 - Messiah Singalong St Lukes McLean- 4 PM. Buy your own ticket but let the Sungs know you are coming

Dec 24 - 3pm Christmas Eve in the parking lot :)

Dec 25 - 9am on Zoom

Dec 26 - 10am Amy's ordination

As always - let me know if you'd like to talk or walk or drink some coffee!

Your pastor,

~ Liz

*Loved this quote from Amy's sermon: The French playwright Gabriel Marcel wrote that “there can be no hope except when the temptation to despair exists. Hope is the act by which this temptation is actively or victoriously overcome.”

** Rutledge, F. (2018). Advent: The Once and Future Coming of Jesus Christ. Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company.


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