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.
Thank you to everyone who helped with our fall clean up day last Sunday. We made a lot of progress, but still have work to do. Fall clean up day part 2 is this Sunday, November 21 following both services. The primary task is to finish cleaning up the gardens and raking up under the pine and spruce trees.
Stewardship Update I’m grateful to all of you who have turned in your pledge cards and fall leaves. As of today we’ve received 48 pledges, for a total of $139,775. We are still short of our goal of $155,000 and the number of pledges received. Please turn in your pledge card and your fall leaf on Sunday at the latest. Thank you!
I will be 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 II, from the SALT Project
Becoming More Grateful
OK, so gratitude is powerful — but how to make more of it in our lives? It turns out that some of the most effective tools for increasing gratitude are also some of the simplest and most familiar. First, the basic act of not just counting our blessings but also recording them in a form we can revisit later — say, in a journal or notebook — has been shown to significantly enhance feelings of thankfulness over time.
Second, another simple action has been shown to be even more effective: writing a letter of thanks to a friend, family member, acquaintance, or even a stranger. That’s right — thank-you notes can change your life! Indeed, we should reconceive the humble thank-you note not merely as a way to inform others about how grateful we are, but also as a way to help strengthen how grateful we are in the first place.
And a third practice isn’t only effective, it’s downright fun, even and especially in a time of pandemic: connecting with a friend once a week for coffee (or tea, or lunch - by phone, online, or on a physically-distanced walk), and intentionally devoting at least part of the conversation to sharing what we’re thankful for these days. When it comes to gratitude, just “saying it out loud” to someone we like and respect, not to mention hearing what they’re thankful for, is a powerful step toward noticing — and more deeply experiencing — the blessings in our lives.
The remaining Sundays at 8:00 and 10:00 AM
This Sunday-November 21
The Last Sunday after Pentecost
at 8:00 and 10:00 a.m.
Almighty and everlasting God, whose will it is to restore all things in your well-beloved Son, the King of kings and Lord of lords: Mercifully grant that the peoples of the earth, divided and enslaved by sin, may be freed and brought together under his most gracious rule; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
First Lesson 2 Samuel 23:1-7
From the Hebrew scriptures we hear a lyric poem that celebrates the Davidic monarchy. God has established David’s throne. David is in turn to make himself a blessing to the people, ruling justly and in the fear of the Lord. The godless will be overturned, and the faithful ruler, it is implied, will be the tool for their unseating. God’s covenant with the just ruler, David, is an everlasting covenant.
A petition to the Lord to remember the promise to David of a son to reign after him and for a lasting kingdom.
The Second Lesson Revelation 1:4b-8
In this lesson the revelation made known to a disciple named John begins with a greeting from the everlasting God, from the seven spirits which worship God, and from Jesus Christ, the firstborn from the dead. Jesus, who continues to love his disciples, is praised as the faithful witness whose sacrifice has formed a royal household, a new priestly people to serve God. Soon he will come, like the one foreseen by the prophet Daniel, on the clouds of heaven. He now rules over all earthly kings, and God, the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, is sovereign over all.
The Gospel John 18:33-37
In the gospel, as his passion draws near, Jesus comes face to face with the Roman governor, and seeks to explain the nature of his kingship. It has been suggested to Pilate that Jesus pretends to be some form of political ruler. But Jesus’ kingship does not use the force of this world’s weapons. Pilate then realizes that Jesus’ kingship must be of a different order. The sovereignty of Jesus is found in his witness to divine truth. He reveals God’s purpose and character, and those who share in this truth hear his voice.
Updating the Prayer List
Please let Deb know if you would like to add someone to the prayer list. Thank you.
We seek your presence, O God,
not because we have managed to see clearly
or been true in all things this day,
not because we have succeeded in loving
or in reverencing those around us,
but because we want to see with clarity,
because we long to be true,
because we desire to love as we have been loved.
Renew our inner sight,
make fresh our longings to be true
and grant us the grace of loving this night
that we may end this day as we had hoped to live it,
that we may end this day restored
to our deepest yearnings,
that we may end this day as we intend
as we intend to live tomorrow.
~ John Philip Newell,
Sounds of the Eternal; Morning and Night Prayer
25 John & Joan Marshall