This Week’s Announcements, September 30-October 6, 2018

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Vance Hosford. 

The flowers in the All Saints Chapel are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for God’s many blessings. 

The flowers at the screen and throughout the Church are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the ministry of the Rev’d Allan Bevier Warren III, XV Rector of the Church of the Advent.


If you are visiting or new  to the Advent, we hope that you will feel welcome and at home.  Please fill out a visitor’s/newcomer’s card so that we will have a record of your visit here and can keep in touch.


All persons baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit are invited to the Altar to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you wish to receive a blessing, come to the Altar and cross your arms over your chest.


Childcare is provided for infants and toddlers during both the 9 am and 11:15 am Masses. 

9:00 am—Infant nursery is located on the first floor in the room beyond the Parish Office.  The Toddler nursery is located downstairs in Moseley Hall.

11:15 am—Infants and Toddlers are cared for on the first floor in the room beyond the office.

If you have questions or special needs we want to hear them.  Contact Meg Nelson 856-217-0847 or megwnelson@gmail.com.


9:00 Coffee Hour. Alister & Abigail Lewis-Bowen and Tom & Carolyn McDermott host the Coffee Hour this morning!  Next week the hosts will be Melissa Fox and Nola Sheffer. New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email bbolesster@gmail.com or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour.  Ciarán DellaFera, Mark Aparace and John Ross Campbell host the Coffee Hour today. host the Coffee Hour today. We are always in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour.  To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).   


THIS WEEK


The Wednesday morning Bible Study will meet in the library this Wednesday at 10:00 am.  We are beginning the study of First and Second Thessalonians.  Please come, bring your Bible, and someone you know.  These two letters Saint Paul wrote to the Church in Thessalonica are two of the earliest letters written by him and give specific descriptions of his work and helpful teachings on love, prayer, work, the departed, and how to prepare for Jesus’ Second Coming.  These are great instructions even for the present time.  


The Beacon Hill Community Group will meet this week on Thursday, October 4, at 7:00 pm at 43 South Russell Street. Please bring your Bibles.  


COMING UP


BLESSING OF ANIMALS—Next Sunday, October 7!!  There will be a blessing of the animals at 3 PM that afternoon in the chancel. Questions? See Fr James.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Mission Sunday & Canned Food Drive—All are encouraged to bring canned food items to Church.  Betsy James will be setting up a purchase table during coffee hours at which parishioners can purchase food stuffs to donate.  All the items will be donated to the Boston Rescue Mission by the end of the month.


MISSION & OUTREACH MEETING on October 7—There will be a meeting for Mission and Outreach after the 11:15 AM Mass in the Library. All are welcome to attend! We will be discussing upcoming events and ministries.


Pets In Need DriveStarting Next Sunday, October 7, the Parish is collecting pet supplies for the Animal Rescue League of Boston.  Towels, and dog and cat food and toys are kindly welcomed.  Look for the collection boxes at the back of the Church. 


Merrimack Valley Assistance:  In the aftermath of the natural gas disaster in the Merrimack Valley on Thursday, September 13, all three Episcopal churches and one Episcopal school in the affected communities—Christ Church in Andover, St Paul’s Church in North Andover and Grace Church and Esperanza Academy in Lawrence—reported no property damage and no known personal injuries but at least two church families in Lawrence and one in Andover with homes damaged by fires.  Many in all three communities continue to deal with the effects of the emergency evacuations and power outages that followed Thursday’s explosions and fires. 

How to help:  To that end, the bishops have urged all congregations in the diocese to consider collecting or designating an offering for a diocesan relief response.  Contributions, made payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and marked “Merrimack Valley Disaster Relief,” may be sent to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, Attn: Lauren Zook, 138 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02111.


ODDS & ENDS


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne or Nola Sheffer. You can find them between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? email: nsheffer@newview.org.


Advent Beer Brewing:  For the last year some of our parishioners have taken up brewing our own beers for coffee hour and special events.  With the start of the program year we are aiming to reinvigorate the Brewing group.  Anyone interested in learning how to brew beer and lending a hand in the process should contact Fr Hanson in person or at frhanson@theadventboston.org. Brewing normally happens in the parish kitchen on Saturdays and takes three or four hours.  It’s a relaxing and creative way to fellowship with one another, and it yields superb results!


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
October 1-7, 2018

Monday, October 1
Remigius of Reims
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, October 2
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, October 3
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, October 4
Francis of Assisi
12:15 pm: Requiem for E. Richard Rothmund
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal
7:00 pm: Beacon Hill Community Group

Friday, October 5
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, October 6
William Tyndale
10:00 am: Flower Guild

Sunday, October 7
The Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
3:00 pm: Blessing of the Animals

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Allan B. Warren III at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, September 23, 2018, the Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Too many years ago when I was a student in college, the Episcopal chaplain there was a very with-it fellow – concerned and involved and very in-the-know with all the issues of the day.  He was a friend of mine, and I liked him a great deal.  I was even his daughter’s babysitter from time to time.  But, like all of us, he made his mistakes.  One of the greatest of these involved a series of sermons he planned and delivered for the Sunday evening chapel services.  Actually, it was not so much a series of sermons as it was a gimmick which he had cooked up to prove to us – as if it needed proving – how relevant Christianity was to life in the world of today.  In those days relevance was, as you may remember, the chief criterion.  Relevant or irrelevant? – that was the question put to all kinds of things – even to things to which the terms didn’t apply at all.

His method was to be this: in place of the sermon he would simply page through the New York Times, pick out headlines and comment on what was going on from a Christian perspective.

Now, in principle such a thing is not a bad idea – if Christianity is worth its salt, then it is indeed relevant – that is, has something important to say to what is going on around us.  The trouble, though, was that, again, this was a gimmick, and like all gimmicks it should be tried once and then discarded.  The first time the novelty engaged us; by the third time the sermon – or whatever it was – was greeted by a yawn before it had even begun.  After the fourth of these preachments, even my friend began to see the light, and returned to the tried and tested technique of writing something down and delivering it.

But, you know, looking back on that, I find something interesting and something quite significant about my friend’s failure.  What he was doing became boring and gave rise to yawns and glazed eyes, because it was always about the same old thingAlways about the same old thing

Reading the newspaper or listening to the news on the radio or watching CNN, don’t you find? – I do – that day by day, night by night, we are presented with the same sorry spectacle of human affairs in the world around us? 

Oh yes – thank God! – there are bright spots and glimmers of hope – a new discovery in medicine, an account of heroism or self-sacrifice in the midst of some calamity, the downfall of a sleazy politician – but even so, doesn’t it seem as if the same patterns repeat themselves over and over – hatred, greed, dishonesty, mistrust, arrogance; nation against nation, group against group, individual against individual, betrayal, denial, stupidity stirred on by self-interest.  Don’t we see these same things repeated again and again in human life?

I’ve been watching a series of lectures on the Old Testament.  I just got through First and Second Kings this week, and it occurred to me how very like what was going on then is to what is going on now.  Change the names, transpose the cultural context, add some bells and whistles – and you have the world of the twenty-first century.  Again, greed, lust for power and wealth and possession, arrogance; nation, group, individuals opposed to one another, and lies everywhere.  It’s the same old thing.  It seems to be the way of the world.

In the epistle this morning we heard from the letter of James.  Part of what you heard may have surprised you.  Do you remember?  Let me repeat.  James writes and he asks those to whom he writes: “Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?  Therefore, whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God.”  Some of you, when you heard that, may have been startled or confused; it’s pretty strong-sounding stuff.  Some may have been downright offended.  Certainly, there are many people in today’s secular world who, hearing such a thing, would simply dismiss it – just another example of religious pessimism, nasty old life-denying Christianity ready to make everybody neurotic and miserable.

Well, I am happy to say that’s not what it is about.  When St James talks to us about the world he means what I’ve been calling the same old thing.  The same old thing that made my friend’s sermon series so boring.  The “same old thing” that makes the daily paper or the news on the radio so remarkably like the Book of Kings.  The same old thing that is the way of the world.  And what James says when he addresses his fellow Christians is this: Your way is not the same old thing.  Your way is not the way of the world.  Your way is the way of God.  And that is something new – something always new and unexpected.  Something astonishing in a world tired, burdened and bored and hurt by the same old thing.

Our Lord, of course, says this as well, and we heard it in the Gospel this morning.  It is a passage typical of St Mark, full of misunderstanding by the disciples and Jesus’ gentle, but telling, correction.  They are all on the road to the city of Capernaum, and Jesus tries to teach them about his mission.  “The Son of Man,” he says, “will be delivered into the hands of men and they will kill him; and when he is killed, after three days, he will rise.”  But the disciples, frankly, don’t get it.  They don’t understand what he tells them about his destiny and how the plan of God is to be realized through his death.  What he has said makes no impression at all. 

Later, he overhears them, and they are discussing who will be first, who among them will have the power, who among them will achieve success, who will be the one on top .   .   .  with all the rest below.  The disciples, you see, are still talking in terms of the world.  That is, in terms of the same old thing, But Jesus came to bring the new thing, and he tells them what that new thing is – “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.”

And that is indeed a new thing, absolutely new.  It is so new that most of us today don’t get it any more than did the disciples themselves two thousand years ago.  Most of us – and I definitely include myself – most of us are so mired, so trapped in the way of the world, that we find the new way, the way of God and the way of Jesus, unimaginable, ridiculous, impractical, doomed to failure.  And you know in terms of the world it is all these things.  In the reckoning of the world we shall never be first by being a servant, by making ourselves last of all.  But, in the reckoning of God (And does anything else count?  Will anything else make us happy?  Make us alive?  We know the way of the world, that same old thing, and we know where it leads.) – but in the reckoning of God being last, being a servant, even being delivered up and killed – that is what it is to be first, that is the new thing in the world which is real power and authority, that – to be last, to be a servant, even to be killed – that is to rise up again and to live.  And, of course, in spite of ourselves we know this, for God in Jesus followed that way himself, to show us and to lead us and to free us from the hold which the world’s way had upon us. And God vindicated him.  God set his stamp on Jesus’ way by raising him from the dead!

What is the way of God and the way of Jesus?  It is, again, the way of the servant.  It is the way of humility, of gentleness, of love.  It is to put oneself last in order …  and what real strength this is ! …  to put oneself last in order to make others first.  Our Lord spoke about this in detail.  I can do no better than to leave you with His words.

Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account!  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward shall be great in heaven, for so men persecuted the prophets who were before you!

Amen.

This Week’s Announcements, September 23-29, 2018

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Joseph Hudak.


If you are visiting or new  to the Advent, we hope that you will feel welcome and at home.  Please fill out a visitor’s/newcomer’s card so that we will have a record of your visit here and can keep in touch.


All persons baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit are invited to the Altar to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you wish to receive a blessing, come to the Altar and cross your arms over your chest.


Childcare is provided for infants and toddlers during both the 9 am and 11:15 am Masses. 

9:00 am—Infant nursery is located on the first floor in the room beyond the Parish Office.  The Toddler nursery is located downstairs in Moseley Hall.

11:15 am—Infants and Toddlers are cared for on the first floor in the room beyond the office.

If you have questions or special needs we want to hear them.  Contact Meg Nelson 856-217-0847 or megwnelson@gmail.com.


9:00 Coffee Hour. Rob Braman & Rachel Johnson and Megan & Michael Zadig host the Coffee Hour this morning! Next week the hosts will be Alister & Abigail Lewis-Bowen and Tom & Carolyn McDermott.New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email bbolesster@gmail.com or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour.  Gabriel Ellsworth, Xander Mojarrab, Philip Sawyer and D.J. Hatfield host the Coffee Hour today. We are always in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour.  To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


THIS WEEK


The Advent will celebrate the Feast of St Michael & All Angels this coming Friday, September 28, with a Procession and Solemn Mass at 6:30 PM. The Bishop of Massachusetts, the Right Rev’d Alan M. Gates, will preside and preach. Childcare will be provided.

A very special gala reception will follow.

All parishioners and friends of the Advent are cordially invited to attend.


Because of the celebration of Michaelmas this Friday evening, there will be no Low Mass at 12:15 that day.  The Rosary will be said in the Lady Chapel at 11:30 am.


The Wednesday morning Bible study group is currently reading the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians. That’s at 10 a.m. in the Library.


This Saturday, September 29, the diocesan community will celebrate the new ministry and installation of the Very Rev’d Amy E. McCreath as the ninth dean of the Cathedral Church of St Paul in Boston.

Bishop Alan M. Gates will preach at the special 10:30 AM service and co-preside with Bishop Barbara C. Harris. All are invited, in person and in prayer. McCreath was appointed in February and began her new ministry as cathedral dean in April. She is the first woman to serve as cathedral dean in the Diocese of Massachusetts.

She served for eight years as the rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd in Watertown and, for nine years prior to that, was co-chaplain of the Lutheran Episcopal Ministry at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge


COMING UP


BLESSING OF ANIMALS—in Two Weeks—Sunday, October 7!! There will be a blessing of the animals at 3 PM that afternoon in the chancel. Questions? See Deacon Daphne or Fr James.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Mission Sunday & Canned Food DriveBeginning today, all are encouraged to bring canned food items to Church. Betsy James will be setting up a purchase table during coffee hours at which parishioners can purchase food stuffs to donate.  All the items will be donated to the Boston Rescue Mission by the end of the month. 


MISSION & OUTREACH MEETING on October 7—There will be a meeting for Mission and Outreach after the 11:15 AM Mass in the Library. All are welcome to attend! We will be discussing upcoming events and ministries.


Merrimack Valley Assistance:  In the aftermath of the natural gas disaster in the Merrimack Valley on Thursday, September 13, all three Episcopal churches and one Episcopal school in the affected communities—Christ Church in Andover, St Paul’s Church in North Andover and Grace Church and Esperanza Academy in Lawrence—reported no property damage and no known personal injuries but at least two church families in Lawrence and one in Andover with homes damaged by fires.  Many in all three communities continue to deal with the effects of the emergency evacuations and power outages that followed Thursday’s explosions and fires. 

How to help:  To that end, the bishops have urged all congregations in the diocese to consider collecting or designating an offering for a diocesan relief response.  Contributions, made payable to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts and marked “Merrimack Valley Disaster Relief,” may be sent to the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, Attn: Lauren Zook, 138 Tremont Street, Boston MA 02111.


ODDS & ENDS


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne or Nola Sheffer. You can find them between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? email: nsheffer@newview.org.


Advent Beer Brewing:  For the last year some of our parishioners have taken up brewing our own beers for coffee hour and special events.  With the start of the program year we are aiming to reinvigorate the Brewing group.  Anyone interested in learning how to brew beer and lending a hand in the process should contact Fr Hanson in person or at frhanson@theadventboston.org. Brewing normally happens in the parish kitchen on Saturdays and takes three or four hours.  It’s a relaxing and creative way to fellowship with one another, and it yields superb results!


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 24-30, 2018

Monday, September 24

Tuesday, September 25
Sergius of Moscow
5:30 pm: Community Supper
6:00 pm: Boston Harbor Deanery Meeting

Wednesday, September 26
Lancelot Andrewes
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, September 27
John Coleridge Patteson
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, September 28
The Vigil of the Feast of St Michael & All Angels
11:30 am: Rosary
12:15 pm: Low Mass-CANCELLED
6:30 pm: Procession & Solemn Mass; Reception

Saturday, September 29
Philander Chase
10:00 am: Flower Guild

Sunday, September 30
The Nineteenth Sunday after Pentecost
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Dr Jeffrey A. Hanson at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, September 16, 2018, the Solemnity of the Feast of the Holy Cross

The church calls us this day to set our minds on the Holy Cross of Jesus Christ, and I believe there is a practical point in doing so, a point that is summed up in the opening words of our passage from Philippians:

“Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus.”

I want you to hang on to this thought, throughout everything to come in what I have to say today about this brilliant, beautiful, and justly celebrated passage from Saint Paul’s letter.

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus. It turns out this is a difficult and confusing passage to translate, but it contains a good philosophical Greek word, so I can’t resist saying something about it. What we are translating here as “have this mind” is actually a sound choice, because the word Paul is using is a form of the word phronesis in Greek; and phronesis is indeed a kind of thinking or use of the mind, but it is a special use of the mind.

Phronesis is the kind of thinking that leads to moral action. It is not speculative theory, which is what the philosopher does, and it’s not the sort of thinking that a skilled craftsperson uses to make a work of art. Phronesis is the kind of thinking that a morally skillful person uses to know what the right thing to do in any given situation is, and it produces the doing of the right thing.

So essentially what Paul is saying here is that he wants his audience, the Philippian church, to have a certain kind of mind—that mind is none other than the mind of Jesus Christ, and the mind of Christ is not a pattern of thinking that simply sits and stews but a pattern of thinking that results in action, that issues in righteous deeds.

Hold that in your minds, because the next thing that Paul then goes on to say here is descriptive of what Christ’s mind is like. What was the mental attitude of Christ that issued in good works?

Paul reminds us that Jesus Christ was God, and though he was God he willingly set aside the privileges and power of divinity by emptying himself, or more literally pouring himself out, in the Incarnation. And in the Incarnation he took upon himself the life of a servant. Or just as accurate but perhaps even more forcefully, the life of a slave. And what is a slave according to the ancient world?

Most commonly in the ancient world a slave was someone who had suffered loss in battle. Your tribe attacks my tribe, but we defeat you, and therefore we get to own the surrendering enemies. Your tribe killed some of our men, but back home there are crops to be taken in, chores to be done, and now we are short-handed because of our casualties, so we take you captive because we beat you, and there’s work to be done, so now you are my slave. That’s the price you pay.

To be a slave then was almost always to be a captive, a humiliation that no one would choose willingly.

Except Jesus. Though he is God he chooses to be a slave. He chooses to serve all. It has been said that the Incarnation is a kind of humiliation, one that Jesus willingly accepts even up to death.

As the Biblical scholar Ernst Lohmeyer pointed out about this passage, only a God can choose to die out of obedience. Mortal men and women don’t choose to die. We just do. It is unavoidable. Because of sin it is part of our nature to die. It is not in the nature of God to die.

But in Jesus God dies anyway. Because this is what a slave has to do. A slave has to submit to the necessities of his master. And the world Jesus enters is under the mastery of evil. This world is tyrannized by sin, by the devil, and yes, by the power of death. So Jesus obeyed. He obeyed, even unto death, or rather no, even unto death on a cross.

And why must it be the cross? Because the cross is extremity of total humiliation. It is the worst way that cruel people could devise to dispatch a human life. It is the death of a criminal, an outcast, of someone unloved, undefended, abandoned, with no rights at all. Crucifixion is the death of someone who is being thrown away.

But that is what sinful fallen people wanted. Jesus came to serve all, and we wanted him to die this way. Jesus went to his death on the cross because he was bound and determined to serve us, and he submitted to the necessities of human life and death right until the end. We looked at the life he embodied perfectly, the life of humility and service to all, and we said: We don’t want it. We don’t want you, and we want you dead and gone. It’s unpleasant but important to remember that the answer to the question “Who nailed Christ to the cross?” is “I did.”

An ordinary slave is a slave because he has lost his battle; he is a captive to a master he can’t overpower. Jesus though has won, and he has turned the very emblem of shame and defeat into a victory banner.

How is that possible? The only way that God could want His Son to die the death he did was if it actually worked; the only way that the crucifixion of Christ makes any sense at all is if it really does save the world that he entered into in order to perfectly serve.

I said that the Incarnation was a humiliation. But it is also a mission: And Jesus’s mission is a slave rebellion. His mission is one of infiltration and overthrow. Jesus comes into a depraved and fallen world as a slave, obedient to the end, submissive to the wicked powers that be, because that’s the only way to overthrow those powers. He is leading a rebellion from within, from behind enemy lines, and the cross is his great triumph, a triumph that looks to all the sick and warped world like the worst possible defeat.

That is why the cross is the turning point.

The cross is the turning point of this passage from Paul, and it is quite literally the turning point of all human history.

It is because of his victory on the cross that God has “greatly exalted” Jesus and bestowed upon him the name which is above every name.

Now when Paul says God greatly exalted Jesus I kid you not he actually uses the word “hyper,” he literally says God “hyper-exalted” Jesus. This occurs nowhere else in the Bible, and what Paul is trying to stress here is that to the extent that Jesus went to the very bottom of human experience, to the extent that he accepted going as low as people can—to that same extent did God raise him up to the heights, to the greatest possible supremacy over all things.

God the Father does not do this to reward Jesus the Son—this is not a quid pro quo thing—but to vindicate him. For by elevating Christ to the heights God the Father is simply putting the divine seal of approval on what Jesus himself consistently taught throughout his ministry: “He who humbles himself will be exalted.” “The last shall be first.” “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant.”

All of it is true. Jesus said things like that all the time, and better yet he lived them.

And that is why he receives the name which is above every name. Remember that for the ancient world a name is not an accidental word unrelated to the person who bears it. A name is for the ancients meant to disclose the character of the person who is so named. Caesar Augustus gives himself the name “Augustus,” which means “Great,” because he thinks he really is great. It’s not just a title, it’s meant to be a revelation of who you are. So God gives Jesus the name above all names to make manifest who he is, and who is he, verse 11, he is the Lord.

So that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue confess that he is in fact Lord. The name above all names is not just the name Jesus, Yeshua son of Mary of Nazareth, but Jesus the Lord, and you bow to your lord.

The one who obeyed to the end, to the bitterest end on the cross, the one who obeyed is now the one who must be obeyed. The slave is the master.

Because a slave rebellion throws out the master. That’s why in John’s Gospel Jesus says, “Now shall the ruler of this world be cast out.” The ruler of this world is finished. On the cross. And when the ruler of this world is cast out, when the tyranny of evil and death is broken, what then? Then the way to God is open. That’s why Jesus says “when I am lifted up on the cross I will draw the whole world to myself.”

Do you feel that draw? Is it what drew you to church this morning? Did you bow your knee when you came into this church and filed into your pew? Do you confess that Jesus is Lord as the church has confessed from its first days? I do too. So there is one thing more we must do.

Have this mind among ourselves.

This passage from Paul is for us. I say this in part because this magnificent passage is one that Paul is almost certainly not composing entirely from scratch but that is based on a hymn that the early church sang in acknowledgement of their understanding of who Jesus was and is. Philippians 2 is a liturgical text, something that the church probably knew well and chanted as part of their routine worship, like we do with the Gloria in Excelsis or Agnus Dei.

Paul is adapting this material for his own purposes. And his purpose is practical. He is in effect saying to the Philippians, and saying to us, “You sing this in church? Then do it. Act on it.”

Paul is saying we know and celebrate in our liturgy the incredible majesty and world-shattering importance of Christ and his humility, obedience, and service to all.

But now we must imitate his example. He is the servant who became the master, and he is our master. The mind that was in Christ Jesus, the mind that knows and does the right thing, that is ready for humility, for service, for obedience, that must be our mind. To have the mind of Christ is to be ready to act like Christ.

We cannot look away from the shame and ignominy and horror of the cross, because the cross is to be our pattern and example. It is the victory banner we march behind.

If we claim today to honor the cross of Christ, then we must have the mind of the one who hung upon it. We must look upon his cross, and make it our own.

Amen.

St Michael’s Conference: Reflection from a Conferee

At first, when Father James told me about Saint Michael’s Conference, I was a little bit skeptical. “A religious camp?” I thought, “That’s going to be so boring!” I hesitantly agreed to attend the Conference at the end of July, not thinking much of it. When the Saturday before the week of the camp rolled around I was not looking forward to it. I thought that I was going to be bored out of my mind! When my family arrived at The Holy Family Retreat Center in West Hartford, Connecticut, the home of the Conference, we were instantly welcomed at the registration desk by Olivia James, Father James’s daughter. We were led upstairs and I was settled in for the week with the other Junior Girls.  High school-aged conferees are called “Juniors” and college-aged conferees are called “Seniors”.

Within the week I began making many new friends, young and old. I enjoyed my classes, and had many interesting conversations with the staff members. My Big Sister, Catherine Warner, a conferee from Saint John’s Church in Savannah, Georgia, told me what to expect in the five days I would be at the Conference, and made sure I had everything I needed. Each night we had an evening activity, usually consisting of    Father McKinnon dressing up as something strange, or making us laugh.

Everything was going smoothly until I learned there was confessions would be heard on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday night. I knew I wasn’t required to go to Confession, but I knew I would regret it if I failed to attend. I soon learned that many other of my fellow first-year conferees were going to go to Confession, which made it even harder not to go. Finally, after a conversation in the hallway with Olivia and Catherine, I decided to go Thursday night.  And afterward I felt refreshed, almost like a weight had been lifted off my chest.

By the end of the week I was sad to be leaving all the new friends I had made at the Conference. I couldn’t believe that the week had gone by so fast. I had learned so many knew things at the Conference that I knew would be valuable life lessons, but most of all I had learned to never judge something without knowing what it is like. 

Sincerely,
Harriet Lewis-Bowen
Upcoming Second-year Conferee

Saint Michael’s Conference is an annual week-long event for young people ages 14-21. For more information about the Conference, see Fr. James or visit the website: https://www.saintmichaelsconference.com/.

2018 St Michael’s Conference Attendees

This Week’s Announcements, September 16-22, 2018

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Louise Olney Baker.  The flowers at the Crossing are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of the Rev’d Thomas H. Lehman. 


If you are visiting or new  to the Advent, we hope that you will feel welcome and at home.  Please fill out a visitor’s/newcomer’s card so that we will have a record of your visit here and can keep in touch.


All persons baptized in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit are invited to the Altar to receive the Body and Blood of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you wish to receive a blessing, come to the Altar and cross your arms over your chest.


Childcare is provided for infants and toddlers during both the 9 am and 11:15 am Masses. 

9:00 am—Infant nursery is located on the first floor in the room beyond the Parish Office.  The Toddler nursery is located downstairs in Moseley Hall.

11:15 am—Infants and Toddlers are cared for on the first floor in the room beyond the office.

If you have questions or special needs we want to hear them.  Contact Meg Nelson 856-217-0847 or megwnelson@gmail.com.


9:00 Coffee Hour. Darcy Montaldi & Tony Pulsone and Melissa & Eric Baldwin host the Coffee Hour this morning! Next week the hosts will be Rob Braman & Rachel Johnson and Megan & Michael Zadig. New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email bbolesster@gmail.com or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour.  Maria Denslow, Maggie Eggert, Nick Westberg, and Roxy Hanson host the Coffee Hour today. We are always in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour.  To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


This morning we are celebrating the Solemnity of the Feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, the feast day itself having been last Friday.  This is a very ancient celebration which is popular and widespread in both the Western and Eastern Churches.  Its origin, however, is obscure.  The commonly accepted explanation is that it was a day set aside to commemorate the completion of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem by the Emperor Constantine in the year AD 335.  His mother Helena is said to have found the Cross of Jesus nine years earlier, and her son built the church on the spot where she discovered it.  Time and distance have erased the memory of the building as the reason for the feast.  Today it is observed as an occasion a to recall the Passion and Death of the Lord, a Feast of the Holy Cross.

The Advent is privileged to possess a relic of the Cross, and it is displayed this morning on the All Saints’ Altar.  Devotion focused on relics is also very ancient in the Church and the history and theology of the practice is complicated.  Suffice it only to say that relics point to the temporal, earthly, and incarnate reality of the Christian religion, that is to say in this instance, that a relic of the Cross points to the fact that the Passion and Death of Jesus is not just a story or a mythic pattern, but was a real death, suffered by a real man, on a real wooden cross at a certain place and at a certain time.  Through that death on the Cross the world was changed and saved. 

Behold the wood of the Cross!
O come let us worship!

The re-made red Frontal and the new Red High Mass Set, which are being used for the first time this morning, are given to the Glory of Almighty God and in thanksgiving for the support and devotion of the people of the Church of the Advent during twenty years of priestly ministry among them.


We are delighted to welcome our new Associate Organist & Choirmaster, Jeremy Bruns, and his wife Kathy to the Parish of the Advent.  Mr Bruns is well known to many of us as sometime Organist & Choirmaster at our sister parish, All Saints, Ashmont; he comes to us now from the position of Assistant Director of Music at St Paul’s Church and Choir School in Harvard Square.

His accomplishments are impressive.  He has held positions in Buffalo, Boston, and Pittsburgh, among other locations, including three years as Associate Organist of St Thomas Church Fifth Avenue in Manhattan, where he worked daily with John Scott and the renowned St Thomas Choir of Men and Boys.  Mr Bruns studied with David Higgs at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY, earning his MMus in performance and literature and the Performer’s Certificate.  He has won prizes in major international competitions, and has been heard regularly on the nationally syndicated radio show Pipe Dreams, on broadcasts on BBC Radio, and in recordings on the Pro Organo label.  Bruns has been featured at the Piccolo Spoleto Festival in Charleston, and has performed numerous recitals in such esteemed venues as St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey in London, Canterbury Cathedral, Washington National Cathedral, St James’ Cathedral in Toronto, Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, Methuen Memorial Music Hall, St Paul’s Cathedral and Heinz Memorial Chapel in Pittsburgh, and other venues throughout the United States and England.

Please greet Jeremy and Kathy and welcome them to the Advent!  


THIS WEEK


The Wednesday morning Bible study group is currently reading the Epistles to the Philippians and Colossians. That’s at 10 a.m. in the Library.


COMING UP


Mission Sunday & Canned Food DriveOn September 23 (Next Sunday!) all are encouraged to start bringing canned food items to Church.  Betsy James will be setting up a purchase table during coffee hours at which parishioners can purchase food stuffs to donate.  All the items will be donated to the Boston Rescue Mission by the end of September. 


Save the Date!  The Advent will celebrate the Feast of St Michael & All Angels on Friday, September 28, with a Procession and Solemn Mass at 6:30 pm.  The Bishop of Massachusetts, the Right Rev’d Alan M. Gates, will be the preacher.  A very special gala reception honoring the Bishop and the Rector will follow.  Everyone is encouraged to attend.


ODDS & ENDS


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne or Nola Sheffer. You can find them between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? email: nsheffer@newview.org.


On Saturday, September 22, at 7:30 pm, In Stile Moderno, the ensemble founded by Advent choir member Agnes Coakley Cox, performs at Cambridge Friends Meeting House in its first concert of the 2018–2019 season.  The concert is titled  “Curious and Modern Inventions:  Novelties, Oddities, and the Birth of the Baroque” and features Agnes Coakley Cox (soprano), Nathaniel Cox (cornetto and theorbo), Karina Schmitz (violin), and Simon Martyn-Ellis (theorbo and Baroque guitar) performing early 17th-century music by Biagio Marini, Sigismondo D’India, Carlo Farina, Bellerofonte Castaldi, and others.  Expect to hear unusual, quirky, and virtuosic music, with In Stile Moderno’s signature historical, yet accessible style.  

Members of the Church of the Advent are very warmly invited!  Tickets are $25/$10 (concessions) and are available online (see www.instilemoderno.com) or at the door.  As a special offer, enter BRINGAFRIEND at the ticketing website and get 2 tickets at half price.  Thank you for supporting the Advent’s professional musicians! 


Advent Beer Brewing:  For the last year some of our parishioners have taken up brewing our own beers for coffee hour and special events.  With the start of the program year we are aiming to reinvigorate the Brewing group.  Anyone interested in learning how to brew beer and lending a hand in the process should contact Fr Hanson in person or at frhanson@theadventboston.org. Brewing normally happens in the parish kitchen on Saturdays and takes three or four hours.  It’s a relaxing and creative way to fellowship with one another, and it yields superb results!


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 17-23, 2018

Monday, September 17
Hildegard of Bingen
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, September 18
Edward Bouverie Pusey
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, September 19
Theodore of Tarsus
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, September 20
John Coleridge Patteson
5:15 pm: Property Committee
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, September 21
St Matthew the Apostle

Saturday, September 22
Philander Chase
9:30 am: Vestry Retreat (Glastonbury Abbey)
10:00 am: Flower Guild
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, September 23
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Daphne Noyes at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, September 9, 2018, the Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost

What do you do when you are in pain? I suspect that for most of us the inclination is to isolate, to withdraw. This is, of course, understandable but dangerous. Understandable because we really don’t like others to see us when we’re not at our best — feeling weak, vulnerable, or even ashamed. Dangerous because in this solitude we often can’t hear anything but the voices in our head which may be perpetuating our withdrawal, or telling us we are somehow to blame for our troubles, or signaling that there is no hope. There’s a medical term, “guarding” — an involuntary reaction to protect an area of pain. It’s counterintuitive to allow someone to touch the spot that is hurting. It’s natural to retreat.

Today we meet a man who doubtless has spent much time in isolation, both voluntary (as he was hurting) and involuntary (as his disability would cause many to shun him).

Even when in the company of others, he is unable to hear what they are saying, or to articulate his own thoughts or needs. Moreover, there are many who believe that his inability to hear, or to speak, is caused by sin — perhaps his, perhaps his parents. It’s a grim situation, and one that appears to be insolvable.

But somehow word of Jesus, word of hope, has reached the folks where this man lives, and they take it upon themselves to bring the poor soul to the healing teacher. This is perhaps one of the most critical themes of this story: It’s the community that presents the man to Jesus; yet the healing takes place privately, person-to-person: eye to eye, heart to heart.

We know the outcome: Jesus touches the man — touches him right where he likely feels the most vulnerable, in his unhearing ears; on his seemingly useless tongue. And he is healed.

This intimate encounter would not have happened without the courage and compassion of the community: compassion for one of their members, and the courage to acknowledge that his need for healing had an effect on each member of the community.

It is both the initial role of the community, and the one-on-oneness of the story, that offer a way for us to address the suffering and injustice that surrounds us. A way for our ears to be opened to God’s desire that we should hear “the implanted word” as the Letter of James calls it; we must be not a “hearer that forgets but a doer that acts.”

James further declares that a central role of “religion that is pure and undefiled before God … is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction…”

The orphans and widows that surround us, at every level of society, are not simply children without parents and women whose spouse has died. No. They are children separated from migrant parents and held in crowded, makeshift camps; they are students in schools with tattered textbooks and exhausted teachers; they are children are in families who don’t know where the next meal is coming from; they are children who are exploited by adults to fulfill base desires. The widows are women who have been betrayed by inequities in the workplace, in the economy, in relationships. The orphans and widows are displaced men and women of all ages driven from their homelands by famine or fear; who are hard-pressed to protect themselves against the “filthiness and rank growth of wickedness” that affect us as individuals and sully our most precious institutions — the church, the government, academia, cultural establishments.

It’s understandable that these myriad injustices (and you know this is just a partial list) may lead to an overwhelming desire to hunker down, stop reading the news, unplug from social media, and wait for it all to get better. To deafen ourselves to the clamor; to be mute when we feel impotent to bring about change. 

But we’re better than that: we must be better than that. We must confront, we must engage, we must actively seek out those hurting and vulnerable places, those rancid pools of injustice and cruelty, that mar God’s creation and endanger our very souls. The television personality Dr. Phil states it in simple terms: “You can’t change what you don’t acknowledge.”

The intersection of courage and compassion is where hope can be found. It is political, and it is personal. It is internal, it is external. So here are a few more words about courage and compassion.

Nelson Mandela reminds us that “courage [is] not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.” And the actress Dorothy Bernard (1890-1955) defines courage as “fear that has said its prayers.”

Then there’s lawyer Bryan Stevenson, who has based his work on compassion — he has spent decades fighting poverty and challenging discrimination. In 1994, he founded the Equal Justice Initiative, dedicated to defending the poor, the wrongly condemned, and those trapped in the furthest reaches of our criminal justice system.

To address some of the ills that beset society, Stevenson says, we must get “proximate” to suffering and understand the nuanced experiences of those who suffer from and experience inequality. Stevenson believes that “if you are willing to get closer to people who are suffering, you will find the power to change the world.”

And that’s exactly what Jesus did — what Jesus does, isn’t it? He is not a spectator; he gets close to those who are suffering, in order to change the world. He is not a long-distance healer; he reaches out and touches. Looking to heaven he takes a deep breath, receives into his body our suffering, and intercedes to God the Father with sighs too deep for words. Then, he looks in the tear-filled eye and says, “Ephphatha, be opened,” and touches the unhearing ear and the silent tongue with his hands. He does this so we may fight our own internal demons, those insistent voices of inferiority or superiority, of guilt or blamelessness, of desire or denial. So that we have the courage and the compassion to get proximate to the places the world needs to be opened, to be healed. So that we can seek out the outcast, the neglected, the scorned and bring them to the healing teacher.

Where does the root of your hurt or sorrow lie? Where do you long to be touched and restored to wholeness? What pain or shame separates you from the people around you?

When you open your hands to receive the body and blood, think of those other, wounded hands reaching out to you. When you hear the words “…my body…my blood…” listen also for the invitation “Ephphatha — be opened.” Be opened to vulnerability. Be opened to compassion. Be opened to courage. Be opened to hope. Be opened to God’s deepest desire for you, and for the world. Amen.