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Musings On the journey of Advent: November 22, 2021

Updated: Nov 22, 2021

Advent is my favourite season of the Church year - there is something deeply appealing to the me in the waiting, the sombre blue colours, the candles and the building anticipation toward the joy and excitement of Christmas. I also deeply appreciate all the opportunities that are before us to build community and explore our faith that invites us on this journey.

Please take a moment and visit our Christmas and Advent 2021 page of events and activities. We hope that you will join us on the homecoming journey toward Christmas and Epiphany.

This year I am using a resource prepared by Sanctified Art to assist us in our preparations. In addition to prayers, litanies and homiletical tips, the resource includes graphic resources, an Advent Calendar and an Advent devotional. If you would like a copy of either of these please contact the office and we will see that a copy is printed for you. Copies of the Advent Calendar have already been distributed to the Sunday School families.

Our first event of the season will be on Thursday when we will gather to decorate the sanctuary for the season. As you are able, please bring an ornament to hang on our tree that reminds you of home. You are invited to come around 4PM and assist in the decorating and a simple supper will be shared at 5PM.

With the sanctuary decorated in varied shades of blue and the candles ready to light, we'll gather each Tuesday (beginning Nov 30) at 2PM for Advent Promises in Song and Word, a gathering to mark World AIDS Day on Dec 1st at 7PM and A Christmas Carol and A Cocktail on Thursdays at 7PM (beginning Dec 2). And then there is the Cooke Walk!

The Cookie Walk (aka a Christmas Cooke Sale) will take place on Dec 3rd as part of Moonlight Madness, in the sanctuary from 5 o’clock until 8 o’clock (or as long as the cookies last)!

In order to comply with COVID-19 guidelines, proof of vaccination will be required to be shown upon entry, as will the wearing of a mask and physical distancing.

Cookies will be prepackaged and labelled in various sized packages of two, four, six cookies etc., and displayed on tables as in past years. It promises to be a mouth-watering feast for the eyes!

Bakers are needed! Would you be willing to bake two or three dozen Christmas cookies to contribute to the Cookie Walk? If so, please called Chrystal Schipper Everill (902-664-8578), Shirley Hopkins (506-536-0626) or Elsie MacDonald at (506-364-8912) and let one of them know. They'll let you know when you can drop off your cookies before the event!

We also need some helpers to on Thursday and Friday to pack cookies and label the bags and some volunteers to staff the tables on the night of the Cooke Walk. Many hands make for fun and light work! If you can help in any way, please contact Chrystal, Shirley or Elsie.

Thank you to all who will contribute to making our Advent and Christmas events and activities meaningful and engaging!



Looking Ahead

I am in Moncton for meetings this morning and back in town this afternoon, hoping to visit at the Drew and the Sackville Memorial Hospital. Please keep Kathy Carr in your prayers as she recovers from a fall.

On Tuesday morning I will sit with the Preacher's Help Group and we'll begin our exploration of the first of our texts for Advent: Luke 21:25-36 & 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13. After a lunch meeting with Chair of the Executive I'll meet with about 20 colleagues from across North America who are also using the resource from Sanctified Art, and will ponder again, what these texts might be saying to us in this time and place. I'll end Tuesday by giving the Gift of Life at the the mobile blood clinic in Amherst.

Wednesday is fully booked with five pastoral visits and my Spiritual Journey Group. Please note, we have suspended the Wednesday Virtual Community Suppers for the Advent and Christmas Season. Join us instead on Thursdays at 7PM during Advent (beginning December 2nd) for A Christmas Carol and A Cocktail via Zoom. Bring some Christmas Cheer and Jennie will share an obscure Christmas Carol or Song for our edification and entertainment.

Thursday I'll be working from home until about 3PM whereupon I'll make my way to the Church for A Hometown Christmas Tree Trimming from 4PM-6PM. The Worship and Sanctuary Committee invites you to join them in decorating the Christmas tree and the sanctuary for the season. A simple meal will be served at 5PM. Come early or come a little later –come and share in community. You are invited to bring one or more ornaments to place on the Christmas tree that remind you of home – wherever that may be.

Friday and Saturday will be days off (likely spending some time finishing the sermon) and on Sunday I will be so excited to gather with you in the presence of all that reminds of the journey that is Advent - a journey home to Love.

The theme for this first Sunday of Advent, as we light the candle of Hope, is Homesick.The gospel text is what some call the “Little Apocalypse”. These words can serve to remind us how far from home we are. The world is not as it should be. Many have lost their physical homes, many feel alone, and many are isolated. Many of us feel as if we are wandering with no clear way forward. This first week speaks to our deep longing—for our home to be made whole, made right, and made well. With deep longing, we watch for God - and as we watch this Sunday, we will share the simple meal of communion, of bread and juice that reminds of the home we find in God's love. If you will be joining via Facebook Live please have bread and juice available so you can share in communion.

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