November 28 marks the beginning of our liturgical year in the Episcopal Church and it’s the beginning of the season of Advent, a time of preparation for the coming of Christ at Christmas. We shift our Sunday liturgy to include more silence and we intentionally slow down in the midst of the busyness of life.
One of the most beautiful traditions that many Christians engage in during the season of Advent is the Advent Wreath. We have this as a part of our Sunday Eucharistic service at St. John’s. The Advent Wreath serves as one way of preparing for the Light of Christ at Christmas. During the darkest time of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, as the days get shorter, we purposefully create more light as an act of Hope and a demonstration of our faith in God. Each week on Sunday. as the sun goes down, we light another candle on our Advent Wreath until all 4 are lighted. We burn the candles down and await the lighting of the Christ candle on Christmas. The Christ candle stays lit for the 12 days of Christmas.
There are many ways to create an Advent Wreath at home. Most people use greenery of some kind to form the “wreath’ itself. But many people also use a round plate or mirror, or even set aside an area of a table. For the four weekly candles, you can use whatever color you’d like. Since it’s a season of preparation, it’s most common to use blue or purple, which are colors that anticipate the coming of royalty. It’s also very common to use 3 purple and 1 pink (the pink is for “Mary’s Sunday,” which is the third Sunday of Advent). These candles form a circle around the white Christ Candle. Decorate with whatever you’d like – more greenery, glass baubles, etc.
Lighting the Advent Wreath is a prayerful activity. Here’s a liturgy from the Rev. Matthew Kozlowski that is simple and lovely. Advent-Wreath-Liturgy
A Prayer from the St. John’s Pastoral Care Team
May we, this Thanksgiving as we sit down at our table, remember to be thankful for our food, the farmers who grew it, and all who brought it to our table. May we also think of those who have no feast with family, and try to find a way to assist those in need, so they will have something to be thankful for also. May we be thankful for our family and friends, all those whom we love and care about, and all those who love and care about us. May we be thankful to God for his Love and for all the blessings of this Life. May we be thankful to each of you in our Community of St John’s for being our spiritual inspiration and foundation.
November 20, 2021
People’s Place Project Santa! Every year we are asked by People’s Place to help collect items for their Project Santa. Once again, we’ve been asked to collect games and puzzles. Please bring them to church and place them in the basket near the font. Or write a check, making sure to put “Project Santa” in the note and we’ll do the shopping for you. Everything must be collected by Sunday, December 12! So, let’s do what we can to help our neighbors in need have a wonderful holiday.
UPCOMING HOLIDAY SALES
St. John’s Harvest Sale! “Feeding people is our jam!” AND
Organ Fundraiser Sale! “Child support for Terry’s Baby”
The St. John’s Harvest Team has been hard at work creating things for you to give as gifts or to enjoy yourselves. Jams, soups, chutneys, soaps, apple butter… and more! Meanwhile, a team of parishioners have been working on crafts and artistic works to help raise funds in support of organ repair.
The members of St. John’s are invited to a special pre-sale on Sunday, December 5 after worship.
Bring your checkbook, credit card, or cash and come to social hour. All proceeds from the Harvest Team go to fund the general operating expenses for St. John’s. And all the proceeds from the craft sale go to support the organ repair fund.
The official public sale will be Saturday, December 11 from 10 – 2, in front of the church. So, tell your friends! After that, if we have anything left, we’ll bring it on Sunday, December 12 to sell at social hour.
Longest Night Healing Service is a time of quiet and prayer set aside on the darkest night of the year to offer space for the difficulties we face during the holidays – memories, grief, loneliness. Monday, December 20 at 7:00 pm.
Fellowship Hour Sign up! – The Hospitality Committee invites you to sign up for St John’s Social Hour. A sign-up sheet is posted on the bulletin board in the Vestibule. All are welcome to offer their generosity to others & share some good conversation as well. Questions? See Barbara Johnston.
St. John’s Pledge Campaign continues! If you haven’t made a financial pledge for 2022 yet, the Stewardship Committee is still receiving pledges. Send your form in with a selfie or, if you’re new to pledging, you’ll find blank forms on the bookcase near the lectern.
The Ulster Immigrant Defense Network (UIDN) will soon be in need of volunteer tutors, to work with motivated students to improve their reading skills. If interested, please let Jeanette Baggot know. An initial prerequisite is completing a Volunteer form located on the Kingston City School District website. More details will soon be on the way!
Page Turners Book Club: For December 7th the book is ‘The Searcher’, by Tana French. For January 4th the book is, ‘The Lincoln Highway,’ by Amor Towles. Speak with Lynn Dennison for more information.
Have an announcement?
Please send by Wednesday at noon to firstname.lastname@example.org.
St. John’s Upcoming Schedule
Nov 28: Advent begins
Dec. 5: St. John’s Holiday Sales: Harvest Team and Organ Fundraiser
St. John’s Pre-sale, parish hall after worship
Dec. 11 (Sat): St. John’s Holiday Sales Tent (public sale)
Harvest Team and Organ Fundraiser, 10-2 in front of church
Dec. 20 (Mon): Longest Night Healing Service, 7:00 pm
Dec. 24 (Fri): Christmas Eve Family Service, 5:30 pm AND Candlelit Christmas Eve Service, 8:00 pm, caroling begins at 7:30 pm
Dec. 25 (Sat): Christmas Day Morning Prayer (online), 9:00 am