|1st Sunday of Advent|
Advent Study Group: We will use “The Poetry of Advent, an Advent Companion to Mary Oliver’s Devotions” for our Advent study this year. Booklets are available at the church, of if needed, we can mail one to you. It’s also available digitally – email me if you’d like a digital copy. We will meet on Wednesdays at either 1:00 or 7:00 pm. If you plan to join, please let me know which time you prefer.
I am on vacation visiting my sister Tuesday, November 23 – Sunday, November 28. Please contact Patti Rau, our Senior Warden if you have any pastoral needs. The Rev. David (Chip) Robinson will preside at both services on November 28. Chip is the recently retired rector of the Shared Ministry of Trinity Church, Hampton and Christ Church, Portsmouth. I know you will welcome him in my absence.
A Brief Theology of Thanksgiving, Part III, from the SALT Project
A Graceful Life
The power of these practices makes sense: one of our most precious treasures is our time-and-attention, and how we spend that treasure will directly determine the health of our hearts (“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21)). Will we spend it all focusing on “headwinds,” thereby creating the perfect petri dish for growing resentments and narratives of grievance? Or will we spend it focusing on “tailwinds,” thereby nourishing the soil for growing joy and narratives of appreciation? Gratitude journals, thank-you notes, and thankful conversations are simple, powerful, effective tools for investing our time-and-attention wisely.
And so is prayer. Viewed from this angle, prayer is a kind of spoken gratitude journal, an intimate thank-you note or thankful conversation with God. And so is worship. Properly practiced, worship is an elaborate exercise — a whole gymnasium! — for cultivating thanks and praise, and at its best, the result is a swirl of palpable tailwinds, amazement, and joy. And so is the Eucharist (from the Greek for “thanksgiving”), the Lord’s Supper, the Communion meal. Gathered around a table of bounty, remembering an old story, giving thanks to God for safe passage, for life, for peace, and for the strength to continue the pilgrimage anew.
In the end, then, we’re “pilgrims” after all. So start (or revisit) a gratitude journal. Try writing a simple thank-you note once a week. Connect with a friend for coffee and (thankful) conversation. Recommit to a practice of prayer. And let this year’s Thanksgiving be not just a day of gratitude, but a springboard into a new life of gratitude, that most human and humanizing of gestures, the most graceful of all social graces.
The remaining Sundays at 8:00 and 10:00 AM
This Sunday-November 28
The First Sunday of Advent
at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
First Lesson Jeremiah 33:14-16
In this prophetic lesson from the Hebrew scriptures the Lord’s promise to the house of Israel and the house of Judah is reaffirmed, foreseeing the arrival of a messianic figure, a righteous branch who will execute justice and save the people. This passage may have been added to the Book of Jeremiah a century or so later. A sure confidence in God’s deliverance sounds forth, and Christians have interpreted the passage as a prophecy regarding Christ.
A prayer for forgiveness and guidance and an expression of trust in the Lord.
The Second Lesson 1 Thessalonians 3:9-13
In this New Testament reading the apostle Paul expresses gratitude to God for his disciples in Thessalonica and tells these followers of his prayers for them. He has heard a good report of their faith and love and their concern for him. He prays that he will soon see them again, and asks that they may grow in love and be established in holiness, in preparation for the coming of the Lord Jesus.
The Gospel Luke 21:25-36
In our gospel lesson Jesus tells his disciples of the awe-inspiring crisis to come, which they may also recognize as the beginning of the time of their redemption. The heavens and earth will bear fearsome witness before the appearance of the heavenly judge, the Son of Man. As the budding fig tree foretells the advance of summer, so can all this calamity be recognized as a preparation for the drawing near of the kingdom of God. The believer is to be alert, fixed on Christ’s words and teachings and prepared for the coming of the Lord.
Updating the Prayer List
Please let Deb know if you would like to add someone to the prayer list. Thank you.
Collect for Thanksgiving Day
and gracious Father, we give you thanks for the
fruits of the earth in their season and for the labors of those
who harvest them. Make us, we pray, faithful stewards of
your great bounty, for the provision of our necessities and
the relief of all who are in need, to the glory of your Name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with
you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
~ BCP p. 246
25 John & Joan Marshall
November 23, 2021
Dear Rev. Caroline and St. Andrew’s Church Family,
Thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for all your love, prayers, caring, support and kindness given to Josh, Zac and me and other family and friends in the passing of Todd our wonderful son, great brother, special uncle and friend to so many.
Many thanks also to all who participated in Todd’s service at St. Andrew’s Church and at the Chocorua Cemetery on November 13, 2021.
With love, deepest gratitude and many blessings,
Beverley, Joshua and Zachary Hammond and Todd’s extended family and many friends