It’s Beginning to Look a lot Like Christmas – Except It Isn't. By the Very Rev. John Burwell, Rector, Church of the Redeemer, Orangeburg (This article was written the first week of Advent)
It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas everywhere you go.
Except it isn’t. In the Church, this is not the Christmas season. This is the Season of Advent.
So, why don't we just go ahead and celebrate Christmas in November like the rest of the world? To be sure, some of us do (Full disclosure: The Burwell Christmas tree has always gone up on the first Sunday in Advent!). But from the beginning the Church divided the calendar year into the segments we call Seasons. Why? Because life has a definite seasonal quality to it and like life each Church Season has its own unique characteristics. Each Church Season aptly reflects the period of the year covered by it.
The following Advent and Christmas events are open to the public. To add an item to the list email it to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols St. Helena’s, Beaufort, December 10
The Parish Church of St. Helena will offer a candlelight Festival of Advent Lessons and Carols at 5 p.m. on Saturday, December 10. In this service, which dates to the late 19th century, we listen to seven Scripture lessons which recount the Fall, the promise of a Messiah, the Incarnation, and the Great Commission to preach the Good News. Each lesson is followed by a carol or other song that reflects on the lesson's message and a brief prayer.
Presence before presents: Can we have a Christmas revival?
Written by Dave Wright, Diocesan Coordinator for Youth Ministry
I slipped into the pew with my wife and two sons. Looking around the church, a dreadful thought crossed my mind: in less than a decade this service will no longer exist. Why? Perhaps 20 people had gathered and few were younger than retirement age. In a matter of years it will only make sense to forego the whole thing. For the rector who has one less service to organize, that might be a relief. The priest who led the service remarked about the incredible numbers of people who had attended services the night before. But I was filled with sadness. Let me tell you why.
It was exactly 20 years ago that I experienced something as a believer and as a young father that changed the way I view and experience Christmas. It was our first Christmas in England and in the Anglican Church. Growing up in a different denomination and in America, I’d never experienced going to church on Christmas morning. We always attended Christmas Eve services. Once I became a believer, they were particularly powerful experiences. The only time after I was married that we attended church on Christmas day was the rarity of it falling on a Sunday. And to be honest, we only did so because I worked for the church and it was expected of me.
Are you called to serve? Convention Nominations Open
Written by The Rev. Canon Jim Lewis
Each year at this time, the Clergy and other leaders of the Diocese are invited to provide suggestions to the Nominating Committee for those positions to be filled at the upcoming Diocesan Convention, which, this year, will be held March 11-12 in Summerville, SC. We have again expanded the invitation to participate in the process this year to include a larger representation of diocesan leaders and hope you will give prayerful consideration to those God may be calling to serve the Diocese.
Join with Bishop Mark Lawrence for a three-day retreat of expectant hope December 4-6, 2016, at St. Christopher Camp and Conference Center for an Advent Spiritual Retreat. Bishop Lawrence will lead three meditations and there will be soaking prayer and personal ministry time for each participant. The event will conclude with a Holy Eucharist Healing Service, Tuesday at 12:30 pm. Participants are welcome to join the cycle of Daily Prayer or be a part of our Tuesday Healing Service at The Prayer Center.