Thanks to everyone who helped with last Sunday's de-greening of the Church and our Epiphany lunch. Thanks also to all our Christmas Cake bakers, and to our runner-up Bonnie Stocker, and our winner, Barbara Barbeau. We do indeed have some great cooks!
Please look at the announcements below, particularly:
- Pilgrim Course starting (Christian Formation)
- Mah Jongg Lessons (Fun & Friendship)
- Sunday School (Christian Formation)
- The Lord’s Prayer (Christian Practices)
Sunday School classes start this Sunday, January 14. Nursery Care and PreK-Grade 5 meet in the Undercroft of the Church. Grades 6-8 meet in the Living Room of the Rath House at 10 am. All classes join their families in worship at the Peace (about 10:40). Children are welcome to join in any time.
Bible Study, Wed., Jan. 17 at 10:15 am in the Rath House. In this session we’ll read and discuss the second half of 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. Start the New Year off right by learning and growing in faith with others. We’ll be glad to have you.
Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey begins again Monday, Jan. 15 at 7 pm in the Rath House. The new 6-week book is The Bible: “What is it, how was it given to us, and how should we read it? These six sessions combine simple prayer, Bible reflection in the lectio divina style, an article by a modern writer, and time for questions and reflection. By the end of the six sessions, it is hoped that participants will have learned how to make reading the Bible a part of everyday life, with the ability to read, pray, and listen to what God might be saying, allowing the words to change each participant.” This group is for anyone who wants to know more about following the Christian Way of Jesus. This will be a good way to start the New Year! RSVP to Mother Vicki email@example.com, or speak to her on Sunday so we know to expect you and save you a book (cost is $9).
Chalk Blessings for Home – there are still packets of chalk and prayers of blessing (and instructions) for you to take home and bless your house for this new year. The basket is in the Narthex, near the guest book. Pick one up on Sunday!
FUN & FRIENDSHIP
All Saints’ Church is offering beginning Mah Jongg lessons – a series of three lessons, for a small fee benefitting the church. The dates are Saturdays 1/6, 1/13, and 1/20 from 1:00-2:30 pm at Kathy Pfeil’s house in Millington (call or email for the address). No need to bring anything, except your sense of fun! Eight people have signed up already and there is room for more. Mah jongg is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance. Please RSVP to Kathy before Saturday to let her know you are coming: 908-350-8012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks to all who served at the Family Promise Homeless Shelter this week. If you are interested in participating the next time (cooking, serving, being a greeter, staying overnight, please e-mail Kathy Pfeil email@example.com or Afsaneh Thursfield firstname.lastname@example.org about ways to get involved.
From the Finance Committee: If you would like to make a gift to All Saints’ of appreciated stock or mutual funds as your 2018 pledge contribution – we are able to receive such a gift. For information about how to do this, please contact David Thursfield, email@example.com. Thank you.
And a reminder: pledges are the largest and most reliable portion of our parish funding. If you have not yet done so, you may make a pledge via e-mail, or by sending in your card. Your financial and prayer support enable All Saints’ to do God’s work in our community, and are a blessing to your fellow parishioners and to all those All Saints’ ministers to. Thank you!
Advent Season Survey – for the last two years we have experimented a bit with our Advent worship practices, and we would love to have your reflections, responses, and reasons. The survey was included in the weekly parish e-mail, and is also pasted at the bottom of this post. Please take time to read the survey, and then send your answers back via e-mail, or speak to Alison or Mother Vicki. Thank you!
ANNUAL MEETING – SAVE THE DATE
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held Sunday, February 4 at 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. Please plan to attend.
1/16 Vestry Rath House, 7:30 pm
1/17 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
1/18 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Junior Choir Choir Room, 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room, 7:30 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
The Lord’s Prayer
This is the most basic Christian prayer. We pray it at every public service, and in our daily prayers. It is the one Jesus gave the disciples when they asked him to teach them to pray. It is found in Matthew 6:9-13, and the oldest manuscripts have the prayer in Aramaic, the daily language Jesus spoke. Every generation has translated it into their own language, and in the history of English there are many versions. And we hear different emphases in each translation. Here are examples (with an audio link) from three different centuries, as well as a short video about the prayer in Aramaic as it is used today in certain Middle Eastern churches.
Old English – c. 900
Fæder ure þu þe eart on heofonum,
si þin nama gehalgod.
to becume þin rice,
gewurþe ðin willa,
on eorðan swa swa on heofonum.
urne gedæghwamlican hlaf syle us todæg,
and forgyf us ure gyltas,
swa swa we forgyfað urum gyltendum.
and ne gelæd þu us on costnunge,
ac alys us of yfele soþlice. https://youtu.be/tJA3bEt5Ojg
Middle English – c. 1350
Oure fadir þat art in heuenes
halwid be þi name;
þi reume or kyngdom come to be.
Be þi wille don
in herþe as it is dounin heuene.
yeue to us today oure eche dayes bred.
And foryeue to us oure dettis þat is oure synnys
as we foryeuen to oure dettouris þat is to men þat han synned in us.
And lede us not into temptacion
but delyuere us from euyl. https://youtu.be/FM2THezuzlI
First Book of Common Prayer – 1549
Our father, whyche art in heaven,
halowed be thy name.
Thy Kyngdome come.
Thy wyll be doen in yearth, as it is in heaven.
Geve us this daye our dayly breade.
And forgeve us our trespaces,
as wee forgeve them that trespasse agaynst us.
And leade us not into temptacion.
But deliver us from evill. Amen. https://youtu.be/vVpq9WBlDbc
And…in Aramaic: https://youtu.be/36GYBTzJyAU
Epiphany blessings, Vicki+
Advent Survey – Please Read and Respond
For the past two years we experimented a bit with our approach to the season of Advent by designating the two weeks before the official start to Advent as “The Second Sunday before Advent” and “The First Sunday before Advent.” Our intent was to provide a longer time to reflect on the meaning of the season, which is about the coming (“adventus” in Latin) of Christ as the Baby of Bethlehem (which has already happened in history); in our hearts (which we pray happens daily); and the Messiah, the Lord of the New Creation (to which we look forward in the Second Coming – a cosmic event). While our culture’s celebration of Christmas understands Advent (if it does at all!) as the “countdown to Christmas”, the religious and spiritual meaning is preparing ourselves for the One who was, and is, and is to come.
We at All Saints’ have not been alone in experimenting with an “expanded” Advent. Congregations of many denominations (Episcopal, Lutheran, Methodist, Presbyterian, etc.) have all felt the tug for a deeper, more focused preparation. There’s history behind it, too. From the 6th to the 13th centuries, Advent started with St. Martin’s Day – Nov. 11, what in the civic calendar is Veterans Day (previously Armistice Day; Remembrance Day in the UK). This seven-week Advent is still practiced in some areas of Italy (e.g. Milan). The Eastern Orthodox churches have a forty-day period of preparation for Christmas, called the Nativity Fast.
The changes we made were shifts in focus. We did not change the lectionary (the prescribed Scripture readings). The themes of lectionary for much of November are the Coming of Christ as Lord and Judge of the universe, and the fulfillment of God’s Kingdom/New Creation. These are all Advent themes.
So what did we actually do that was different? Here is the list:
- Used the purple hangings for “pre-Advent” Sundays (2016, 2017)
- Used the Trisagion (“Holy Lord, Holy and Mighty, Holy Immortal One…”) in place of the Kyrie at 10 am for all 6 weeks (2016, 2017)
- Used an Advent response for the Prayers of the People at 10 am all 6 weeks (2016, 2017)
- Sang a different verse of “O come, O come Emmanuel” instead of the Doxology at 10 am (2016, 2017)
- Spoke a verse of “O come, O come Emmanuel” as an introit at 8 am (2016, 2017)
- Sang one specific Advent hymn on the two “pre-Advent” Sundays (2016, 2017)
- Used one of the “O Antiphons”* as a choral response to the Gospel reading at 10 am, with accompanying bulletin cover art, and O Antiphon posters on the church walls (2017)
- The 3-year cycle of assigned Sunday Scripture readings on all weeks
- The Advent Wreath started on Advent 1
- The Great Litany
- The Nativity Pageant
- Barbara and Tim Erday renewed their wedding vows on Dec. 3 in the 10 am service (50th!)
- Advent 4 was also Christmas Eve, so we cancelled the 8 am, and had Morning Prayer at 10 am.
- Celtic Worship Service at 5 pm on Dec. 10 (with St. Bernard’s and St. Mark’s, Mendham)
- Bethlehem Peace Light Distribution Ceremony at 4:30 pm on Dec. 17 (2016, 2017)
If you would like to read more in depth about an expanded Advent, here is a book which gives the history, rationale, and practical suggestions: “What Are We Waiting For: Re-Imagining Advent for Time to Come” by William H. Petersen, 128 pages. https://www.amazon.com/What-Are-We-Waiting-Re-imagining/dp/0898690374/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1515641252&sr=1-1&keywords=what+are+we+waiting+for+re-imagining+advent+for+time+to+come
Thank you for you input!
* The “Great O Antiphons” are short verses set to music based on the names and attributes of Christ drawn from the Old Testament (primarily from Isaiah): O Wisdom; O Adonai/Lord; O Root of Jesse; O Key of David; O Morning Star/Dawn; O King of Nations/Gentiles; O Emmanuel/God-with-us. They are traditionally used before and after the singing of the Magnificat at Evening Prayer in the seven weekdays before Christmas. Hymn 56, “O come, O come Emmanuel”, is a rhymed version of the antiphons, and our Hymnal gives the traditional dates for their use next to each verse.