St Timothy's e-Tidings + Blessed be God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
The Mission of St. Timothy's Episcopal Church We gather to experience the Holy Trinity through Scripture, worship, study, and fellowship. Receiving and reflecting God’s love and grace, we are sent out to love and serve our neighbor, see the Christ in others, and share the Gospel by the example of our everyday lives.
This week and into next + All events at St. Timothy's parish church, unless otherwise stated
Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday of this week from the Winter Embertide--days set aside to pray for the Church and its ministry. You may desire to use resources from this section of Fr. Brandon's blog if you keep this observance.
Wednesday: Ember Day
- Craft Group, 10 AM
Friday: Katharina von Bora, Church Reformer, 1552, Ember Day Commemoration of the Crucifixion: day of discipline and self-denial. A note on our Friday Devotion practice in the Episcopal Church may be found here.
- Angel Tree gifts due at Church
- Greening of the Church and Pub Night, 6:30 PM
Saturday: Saint Thomas the Apostle, Ember Day
- Pre-Christmas Confessions, noon - 3 PM.
A simple prayer for Embertide:
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
8:00 AM: Holy Eucharist (said), 9:00 AM: Adult Study begins 9:50 AM: Godly Play and nursery opens 10:00 AM: Holy Eucharist (sung) Coffee hour following the 10 AM Eucharist
Monday, December 23:
- The parish office is closed on Mondays. Messages may be left via telephone or e-mail.
Note: Tuesday 10 AM Holy Eucharist is cancelled for this week only.
We will resume on the 31st.
Tuesday, December 24: Christmas Eve
- Choir Rehearsal, 9 PM
- Carols in the Church, 10:30 PM
- Midnight Mass, 11 PM
[Parish Office closed]
A Word from the Rector
"O marvelous exchange! Our Creator has become human, born of a virgin. We have been made sharers in the divinity of Christ who humbled himself to share in our humanity." -- A Christmastide Antiphon
Christmas Day is one week from now. The world will be immersed in a glut of, well, gluttony, along with all the other quickly-consumed trappings of the Commercial Christmas, which ends at sundown that day and is hurriedly pushed off the stage for New Year.
We will have just begun celebrating Christ's Nativity that day, savoring the beauty and joy of what it means for God to share in our nature (in Jesus's humanity) while drawing us (through his divinity) to share in God's nature. This 'marvelous exchange' is the basis for all that follows in the Church Year and makes possible all our hope for reconciliation.
For us, Christmas is not a passing day but an eternal reality. Our celebration of the Nativity highlights something we speak of again and again when we pray the Creed:
"...For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man."
The Twelve Days of Christmas celebrate the supreme gift: For us and for our salvation, God did this. The Eternal One entered time. The One who knows no death took on a mortal body. The Author of the story became part of the story.
In our era, when divisions seem unbridgeable, we need to be renewed in this message and mission. If heaven and earth can be bridged, then so may the divides between people. If we let Emmanuel--God with us--be the bridge, healing and reconciliation is possible in personal life, communities, races, nations, and the myriad other ways the sons of Adam and daughters of Eve are separated and estranged in this broken world.
This is part of what we celebrate at Christmastide, and one of the supreme gifts we bear into the world long after the feast is over, the tree has been recycled, and the decorations are put away. It is this gift I bid you consider amidst the celebrations, and in this spirit I send you my Christmas greetings.
Faithfully in the Word-made-flesh,
+ Coming Up
Carols & Midnight Mass
Tuesday December 24th
Carols in the Church, 10:30 PM
Midnight Mass, 11 PM
Christmas Day Eucharist
Wednesday December 25th, 11 AM
And looking into early January...
Epiphany Eve: Sunday, January 5
5 PM Evensong (in the Church) followed by
Epiphany Pageant and end-of-Christmastide Reception (in the Parish Hall)
The Epiphany: Monday, January 6th
Holy Eucharist (said), 7 PM in the chapel
Greening of the Church will be on Friday December 20th beginning at 6:30 PM. Pub Night and fellowship following. Bring warm clothes and your work gloves!
Pre-Christmas confessions will be heard on Saturday, December 21st from noon to 3 pm in the chapel. You may also make your confession by appointment.
Angel Tree Update: The due date for gifts to be at church is on Friday, December 20th. Please make sure that all the children we have been given receive loving gifts as a sign they are remembered at Christmas.
A grateful thank you to ALL who helped with our special pre-Christmas Family Promise week. You were angels of God's mercy and compassion.
In Adult Sunday School: Our December Series "Advent for Everyone" by NT Wright: A four-week study of themes from the Gospel according to Matthew about this season and our preparation both for Christmas and the end of the ages. Bp. Wright is one of the greatest biblical scholars of our age.
Dec. 22: A Time to Love
Coming in January:
- A series on selected Minor Prophets Adult Sunday School is not only a class, but a discussion group and a community. Come and share in its hospitality, fellowship, and prayer.
National Book Award winner, former editor of Reader’s Digest and Methodist minister, Charles W Ferguson, wrote “Naked to Mine Enemies: The life of Cardinal Wolsey”; however, this is Advent so let’s consider another book he wrote, “A is for Advent.” The title, “A is for Advent,” is misleading in that it is not a book about Advent. For her pre-Christmas confession the Librarian would like to say that in her exuberance for the Season, she might of [innocently because, after all, she is a librarian] misrepresented the number of books the Library has about Advent, Christmas and Epiphany. We truly have quite a few; however, once they are dispersed among Children’s Literature and also Young Adult Christmas books as well as on the Featured Shelf in Literature, each section has only a few. Which brings us back to “A is for Advent.” It is in this Season’s collection strictly because of the title and because the Librarian wanted you to have a diverse selection to choose from. It is, in fact, a glossary of church and Biblical terms starting alphabetically with Advent and explained in short, entertaining essays. The St Timothy’s Parish Library is fortunate to have two copies; one copy is in Young Adult and the other copy is on the Feature Shelf in Literature. After Epiphany, the copy on the Feature Shelf will be shelved in Reference on the back wall of the library.
A Christmas book that you can find in the Young Adult section is, “One Wintry Night.” An unexpected young visitor becomes the inspiration for the telling of the creation story, the lives of Bible heroes, the prophecy and birth of Jesus, the Crucifixion and eternal life in full page art that looks photographic. It’s on the Young Adult Christmas shelf because the vocabulary is too difficult for Children’s Literature, but the illustrations would make it an excellent selection to read to children.
--Bonnie Bonham--St Timothy’s Parish Librarian--
+ About this Season
+ The liturgical color for Advent is either a deep blue or purple. Christmastide is observed with gold or white, as is St. John's Day (the 27th). St. Stephen's Day (the 26th) and the Feast of the Holy Innocents (the 28th) are red, indicative of martyrs. + The season has a unique character: It has both penitential and joyful aspects. + The Song of Praise is the Kyrie eleison ("Lord, have mercy"), expressive of penitence. In Christmastide, the Gloria in excelsis is sung or said at each Eucharist. + The Advent Wreath hangs to one side of the altar, indicative of the intersection of time (the four candles standing for the four Sundays of preparation) and eternity (the circular shape of the wreath) wherein Christ came to us and whereupon the Christian stands. On Christmas Eve the "Christ Candle" in the wreath's center is lit, and burns at each service through the Feast of the Epiphany. + For most of Advent, evergreens replace the flowers at the altar. On Gaudete Sunday (the 3rd Sunday of Advent), roses adorn the altar as a sign of the joy we are approaching. During Christmastide, flowers return to the altar. + A seasonal blessing is given at the end of the Eucharist each week, emphasizing the Advent and Christmas themes. + There is no closing hymn during Advent. The liturgy ends simply as a further way of expressing our preparation for the Great Feast ahead. With Christmas, use of the hymn after the dismissal resumes until Lent. + It is customary (though not required) to make a confession prior to Christmas. You may do so by appointment, or by coming to church when confessions are heard Dec. 21st, noon-3 pm.
+Fridays (outside of the 12 Days of Christmas) are marked by “acts of self-denial and discipline” in honor of the crucifixion.Here are some posts on this practice from the Rector's blog.
Fr. Brandon's days off are usually Friday and Saturday. You may contact him if you have an emergency at any time. On his days off he tends not to check e-mail frequently.
The Parish Office is normally open Tuesday-Friday, 9-Noon, 1-3 PM, except for major holidays.
+At the prayers of the Blessed Virgin Mary, and all the saints, may you so enter into the season of Advent that you come to Christmas with a deeper joy, a more loving heart, and hands readier to serve those in need. Amen.