The Advent’s Sixteenth Rector

Announcement from the Wardens

Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Advent:

We write with great joy and pleasure to announce that the Vestry, acting on the recommendation of the Search Committee, has called the Rev’d Douglas Anderson to be the next Rector of the Church of the Advent.  Our Bishop has blessed this call, and Father Anderson has accepted.  He will join us on Candlemas, February 2, 2020, along with his wife, Traci.  The Andersons have three daughters:  Celeste, who attends Loyola University, and twins Maddie and Emma, who are completing high school in Canada. 

The Rev Douglas Anderson
The Rev’d Douglas Anderson

Father Anderson is a native of Ontario.  He did his undergraduate degree at Trinity College, University of Toronto, and sang in the Chapel Choir there and the in the Gallery Choir of St. Mary Magdalene, Toronto.  He then studied at Nashotah House, graduating and receiving priestly ordination in 1994.  Father Anderson has spent his entire ministry in Anglo-Catholic Parishes, including an internship at St. Clement’s, Philadelphia, a curacy at St. Matthias’, Dallas, and his first rectorate at Christ Church, Woodbury, New Jersey, beginning in 1997.  In 2004, Father Anderson moved to Texarkana, Texas, to take up his current post as Rector of St. James’ Church.  In addition to leading a growing congregation in a rich liturgical and educational life at St. James’, Father Anderson has also been deeply involved in the parish’s day school (where Traci serves as Assistant Head of School) and its large homeless shelter and outreach ministry.

We are thankful to the Search Committee, led by Lynda Blair, for their enormous commitment of time and energy to the search process.  At the Annual Meeting we will invite members of the Search Committee to speak to the congregation about their work.

The arrival of Father Anderson as Rector means that our interim period is coming to a close.  It is hard to imagine the Advent would have passed through this time of transition so successfully without the graceful and calm leadership of Father Truman Welch.  In his year with us, Father Welch has not only earned the respect and affection of the whole congregation, but also secured his place as a lifelong member of the Advent family.  His last Sunday with us will be Sunday, January 12, 2020.  We will celebrate and thank Father Welch at both coffee hours that day, and wish him well as he resumes his retirement in Maine.

Please pray for our Rector-Elect and his family as they prepare to move to Boston, and for the people and parish of St. James’, Texarkana, as they begin their own time of transition.

May God continue to bless the Church of the Advent.

Faithfully your brothers in Christ,

Thomas Brown, Senior Warden
Paul J. Roberts, Junior Warden

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Dr Sarah Coakley at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, December 8, 2019, the Second Sunday of Advent

Dr. Coakley is Norris-Hulse Professor Emerita at Cambridge University and Assisting Priest and Theologian-in-Residence at the Parish of the Ascension and St Agnes, Washington, DC.

‘He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire’
(Matt 3. 11)

In nomine …

I have not come here today to offer you sweet thoughts for Advent, even though I rejoice in your 175th anniversary and its happy ongoing celebrations.  On the contrary, I want to think with you this morning about the more discomforting topic of fire, and about that scary figure, John the Baptist, whose teaching seems to have been largely concerned with it. This is truly Advent ‘stuff’, and we need to muse on it.

Look closely at today’s gospel text from Matthew, then, and you will see that what John the Baptist offers us, in announcing Jesus’s imminent arrival, is first, of course, his own central call to the ‘baptism of repentance’ for the sake of the coming kingdom; and then a double threat of fire to come.  It’s important to distinguish the two references to fire going on here, and easy to conflate them too quickly. Peruse the text more precisely. First, there is the ‘unquenchable fire’ of judgement for those who merely feign repentance, but are unaware of its seriousness: they, the ‘brood of vipers’ go out to the Jordan and get their baptism, all right – they go through the motions of repentance – but their hearts are not in it, and it’s obvious because there are no spiritual ‘fruits’ to show for it. For them, there is to be a terrifyingly final, judgemental fire. Secondly, however, there is the more mysterious fire promised in virtue of the superior baptism that John predicts that his successor, Jesus, will bring:  he will baptize, says John, not with the water of John’s own baptism (which of course the Christian church actually still uses) but ‘with the Holy Spirit and fire’.

So what are we to make of this? And what is at stake for us this Advent?  Let me offer three, succinct, points to unravel the puzzle.

Baptism of Jesus, from the Rabbula Gospels

First, this very distinctive teaching about ‘baptism by fire’ almost certainly goes back to John the Baptist himself, as mediated by a very early ‘source’ that only Matthew and Luke share in common – termed by the NT scholars ‘Q’ (for Quelle, or ‘source’, in German). Whether there actually was a ‘Q’ text (and thus a ‘Mr Q’, so to speak) or simply an oral tradition with some rather particular theological interests, is perhaps neither here nor there; but what’s interesting is that it preserves this very striking dimension of John’s teaching on judgement, the Holy Spirit, baptism, and fire. Moreover, we find in later Christian tradition that only certain, quite spiritually demanding, writers and circles particularly take up this fiery theme seriously in relation to baptism and the Holy Spirit:  slightly outré monastic groups associated with fiery ecstatic prayer on the edges of the Greek Empire in the fifth century (represented in the so-called ‘Macarian Homilies’); or the wonderfully creative Syriac-speaking monk in the early 6th century who illustrated the so-called ‘Rabbula gospels’ with a picture of Jesus’s baptism by John with a sheet of flame descending on Christ alongside the dove; or – supremely and much later in the Western tradition – the teaching of St John of the Cross, that to aspire to ‘union’ with Christ, as all Christians should, in his view – is to be thrown into a crucible of purifying flames, to be burnt up in order for our sins to be spat out, just as imperfections in a log are gradually ejected in the fire, so that our one, imperfect chunk of wood may finally be fused into the consuming fire of God’s love.

So, secondly, why is this distinctive teaching about transformative, purgative, baptismal, fire-in-the-Spirit so hard for us to take on, even now? Let me suggest that it is because we have over the years concocted an idolatry which American Episcopalians are perhaps particularly subject to (though we are by no means alone); and that is the very subtle idolatry of enunciating God’s (so-called) ‘unconditional love’ as an easy and ‘cheap grace’ answer to all problematic theological questions relating to the profundity of our own sin; in short we cannot stand to acknowledge our overwhelming need for repentance and ‘fiery’ transformation-in-the-Spirit. So perhaps we should now code-name this subterfuge the theory not of ‘unconditional love’, but of ‘unconditional lurve’; and I think you know what I mean:  the idea has become a sentimental and self-deluding mantra, a refusal to face precisely what John the Baptist meant when he preached that the Holy Spirit of Jesus’s baptism is fire. ‘It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God’; and that is precisely because it cannot leave us unchanged, but burnt, moulded, chastened, reformulated, and purified … if, that is, we will cooperate with the fiery power of the Spirit in our lives. We need repentance, we need sacramental confession, we need deepened prayer, we need to be changed. William Temple, later Archbishop of Canterbury in the WWII years, put it thus, in his celebrated and fearless book, Christus Veritas (1924), chastising those who, even in those days, underplayed the reality and destructiveness of sin: ‘there is a real antagonism of God’, he writes, ‘against the sinner so long as he continues in his sin. It is true, of course, that God loves the sinner while He hates the sin. But that is a shallow psychology which regards the sin as something merely separate from the sinner, which he can lay aside like a suit of clothes. My sin is the wrong direction of my will; and my will is just myself so far as I am active. If God hates the sin, what He hates is not an accretion attached to my real self; it is myself, as that self now exists. He knows I am capable of conversion … He loves me even while I sin … but it cannot be said too strongly that there is a wrath of God against me as sinning …. And therefore, though he longs to forgive, He cannot do so unless my will is turned from its sinful direction into conformity with His, or else there is at work some power which is capable of effecting that change in me’ (p. 258). Yet that power, of course, as we now see, is precisely the inexorably fiery power of the Holy Spirit, already given to us in our baptism.

Thirdly and finally, then. A thought now presses inexorably (or I hope it does for you too):  I started by making a rhetorical distinction, based precisely on today’s gospel text, between the final, judgemental fire against the ‘brood of vipers’ who were the Sadducees and Pharisees, and the baptismal fire promised to all Jesus’s followers in the Holy Spirit.  But now we begin to see that they are perhaps but two sides of the same coin.   Recall T. S. Eliot’s ‘Dove Descending Breaks the Air’, a poetic meditation precisely on John of the Cross’s teaching on mystical union, which ends: ‘We only live, only suspire, consumed by either fire or fire’ – that is, consumed either by the fire of divine judgement, or by the purifying fire of the Spirit. Both are the impress of the inexorable and eternal presence of God’s love, always on offer. But in the way of our response or lack of it this is experienced either as final divine judgement or as equally divine, transformative, grace. The Spirit is always there to lead and allure and enable us; but ultimately the choice is ours:  God does not bludgeon us, because our freedom is too precious to Him. Step once more freely this year, then, into this purifying fire, with courage, steadfastness and hope, for – if John the Baptist is right – it is your baptismal birthright.

My dear Advent friends, Advent is no time for sleep, as St Paul reminds us, no time for evasion from the extraordinarily demanding pressure of divine love that once again this season asks of us nothing less than everything.  Unconditional ‘lurve’?  No, not ‘lurve, actually’, in the sentimental ‘Christimas’-film mode; but ‘actually love’ – the consuming fire of divine love which beckons us this Advent once more into its purifying flames. The founders of this church 175 years ago were serious Christians, who wanted to be changed-in-God, and for society to change with them; and you are their inheritors in that quest for holiness that God ever holds out to us in all the particular vicissitudes, agonies and joys of our lives. For ‘he [has] baptize[d] you with the Holy Spirit and fire’. Amen.

Collect for the Second Sunday of Advent

Merciful God, who didst send thy messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


Collect for the season:

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This Week at the Advent, December 8-14, 2019

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.


The Advent wreath is given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Norman MacGregor Post, priest, and Jane Irene Post.


TODAY!


Ingathering of Pledges: at both the 9:00 am and 11:15 am Masses Stewardship pledge cards for 2020 will be presented and blessed. This will take place just before the Great Thanksgiving (Consecratory Prayer) of the Liturgy.


Today’s guest preacher, the Rev’d Prof. Sarah Coakley, has retired from the Norris-Hulse Professorship at Cambridge University, in which role she served from 2007 to 2018. From 2018 to 2020 she is an Honorary Professor at the Logos Institute, St Andrews University, and from 2019 she is Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Australian Catholic University (Melbourne and Rome). She is also Assisting Priest and Theologian-in-Residence at the parish of Ascension and St Agnes, Washington, DC.


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are John Boyd, Darcy Mondaldi & Tony Pulsone. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are Nicholas Dials & Dustin Henderson, and Jeff & Roxy Hanson. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule and select a date to co-host, visit www.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 Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


Longtime member David Lapin has recently authored an autobiography entitled The Education of Brainiac: A New Yorker’s Quest for the Good Life in the Hub of the Universe. Vignettes about the Advent abound! Here is a review from former parishioner Nathan Cleveland: “One of my favorite reads of 2019. Seriously. [A] witty, at times piercingly self-aware and entirely delightful reminiscence. Filled as it is with friendship and loss and all the stuff that make [living] worth it, The Education of Brainiac is but a portion of the gift David is. You’ll be edified by journeying with him.” Copies of Brainiac will be available for $20 in Moseley Hall at the coffee hours after the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses today and David will be on hand to autograph them. Consider adding one to your Christmas stocking!

Advent Coat Drive concludes today

We have extended the coat drive to today, but if you did not have a chance to donate a coat, consider a financial contribution. Checks should be made payable to the Church of the Advent, but please put “One Warm Coat” in the memo line and either drop in the collection plate or mail to One Warm Coat Drive, 30 Brimmer Street, Boston 02108. If you have questions or would like to help out, please contact Chris Doty (christopher.doty@pm.me) or Harmony Witte (harmony.witte@gmail.com). All collected coats will be donated to Boston Health Care for the Homeless.


Compline at the Advent: Join us at 8:00 pm this evening for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline, the service of prayer before bedtime in the custom of early Christian monasticism, on the second Sunday of every month.


NEWS!


Welcome, Penelope May! We give praise and thanksgiving for the birth of Penelope May Link. Penelope — daughter of Montgomery and Kelly Link — arrived November 29. Heavenly Father, Thou hast sent Thine own Son into the world. We thank you for the life of Penelope May entrusted to Montgomery and Kelly. Help us to remember that we are all Thy children, and so to love and nurture her, that she may attain to that full stature intended for her in Thine eternal Kingdom; for the sake of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


THIS WEEK


Saturday, December 14 at 9 am — Christmas Pageant Rehearsal. We will gather in Moseley Hall to sort out costumes and we will rehearse in the Sanctuary. The Pageant will take place during the 9:00 Mass on December 15. If you are interested in having your child participate, please email Meg Nelson for more information.


A Mass of the Resurrection for Nancy Santeusanio Nickolds will be offered on Saturday, December 14, at 3:00 pm in the church, with interment in the Columbarium to follow. 


COMING UP


The parish Flower Guild needs your help! Decorating the church for Christmas is a lot of work, and the Flower Guild can’t do it alone. We need volunteers on the following days; floral design skills are not required ‑ if you can carry a bucket, climb a stepladder, or fill a trash bag, we can use you! And if you can spare an hour or two, but not come for the entire block, that’s perfectly OK.

  • Sunday December 22, around 1:00 pm. After the 11:15 coffee hour we need help carrying all the Christmas material out of storage and up into the church.  Making one or two trips before you leave is a big help.
  • Monday December 23, 10:00 am to noon and/or 1:00 to 3:30 pm
  • Tuesday, Christmas Eve, 10:00 am to 3:00 pm

Christmas Service Schedule


STEWARDSHIP


Dear Fellow Advent Parishioners:

This is a short update on Stewardship as we approach some key dates for our Campaign 2020. We know there are many events either just concluded or ongoing which demand everyone’s time and attention during the beginning of this Advent Season and the important time for our pledging commitments.

First, we hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving enjoyed with family, friends and all loved ones. We also want to extend our thanks for all who participated in last Sunday’s 175th Anniversary Celebration, joining our Bishop Alan M. Gates whose time and energy, plus spiritual presence, was appreciated throughout the day. And with all of that, our first major snowstorm welcomed in the winter season and beginning of the busy holidays with a reminder of New England weather. Needless to say, a busy time!

Our Campaign 2020 is off to a good start. Thank you to all parishioners who have already sent in their monetary and “Time & Talent” pledges. Your early responses represent 111 fellow parishioners, which is slightly more than 50% of the total number of pledges we received in 2019. Of this year’s pledges so far received, we have 47 increases, which is an excellent increase of 15.4% over last year; plus, a continuing same-level commitment from 52 pledges, which gives us a strong base to maintain the high contribution level established in 2019. We have seen a decrease in pledge commitments from 12 parishioners, which so far is being offset by the increases mentioned earlier.

Overall not a bad start to the Campaign 2020, but we still need to hear from 100 parishioners who pledged over $220,000 in 2019. This represents a significant contribution level that we have yet to hear from, so please give some thoughtful consideration in the next days to both your monetary and “Time & Talent” pledge commitments, especially during this blessed Advent Season and all that is represented by our worship and spiritual life here at the Advent. Every pledge is important and we know our fellow parishioners have always given what they are able/willing to contribute to sustain this sacred place.

This Sunday we will celebrate the In-Gathering of Pledges. Please be reminded to send in your pledge cards and “Time & Talent” selections either by mail or by going online to our pledge section, which is easy to use, or simply place your pledge card in Sunday’s offering plate. Thanks again for your thoughtful consideration as we prepare for the important Budget 2020 meeting in mid-December with the Wardens and Vestry. Our campaign will continue through this Advent Season, and the earlier we receive your pledge commitments the better able we are to assist the Wardens and Vestry with the important preparation and planning for 2020.

Thank you in advance.

We are yours in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Francesco Piscitelli & Thatcher Gearhart
Stewardship Campaign 2020, Co-Chairmen

As of this past Thursday we have received 118 pledges, pledging a total of $383,097. 50 have increased their pledges by an average of over 14%, and there are 3 new pledges. We have still to hear from 95 parishioners who pledged a total of $195,646.94 last year. You can pledge online by going to the parish website www.theadventboston.org and clicking the “Pledge Online” button.


OUTREACH


Community Outreach Opportunity. As we have done the past few years, guests at the Tuesday Evening Community Dinner on December 17, will be given Gift Cards to Dunkin’ Donuts as their Christmas gift from the Advent. This will allow them to go to a warm place and get hot coffee and something to eat during the cold months of winter.  If you wish to make a donation—and we hope you do—send it in marked “Donuts.”


ODDS & ENDS


Book Store News. Advent Calendars, Christmas cards and music, 2020 “Churchman’s Ordo Kalendars” and Christian Pocket Diaries are now available at our Parish Book Store, which is open after each Mass on Sundays in Moseley Hall.


Christmas Flower Memorials & Thanksgivings: The greens and flowers that adorn the Church at Christmas are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. All memorials and thanksgivings will be listed in the service leaflets during the twelve days of Christmas. A form for donations is found on the back page of Sunday’s service leaflet. Completed forms and payment must be received in the Parish Office no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, December 20. Make checks payable to the Church of the Advent and write “Christmas Flowers” on the check. 


Advent Compline at SSJE: On Thursdays during Advent (December 5, 12, and 19), the monks of the Society of St John the Evangelist will offer a contemplative Compline service that is open to all. The service begins at 8:00 pm and is preceded and followed by 30 minutes of quiet meditation by candlelight. The monastery is located at 980 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, a short walk from the Harvard Square T stop.


Discount parking 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.


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


What goes into the Advent archives? Some documents, books, and artifacts may languish for decades or longer before being uncovered, or discovered, and added to the historical files of the parish. Then there are documents on which the ink is barely dry before they are duly catalogued to be treasured by future parishioners, historians, or researchers. For example, the certificate of congratulations from our bishop, the Right Rev. Alan M. Gates, on the occasion of the parish’s 175th anniversary, which was proclaimed on December 1, 2019, and is reproduced here (click image to enlarge):


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
December 9-15, 2019

Monday, December 9
6:00 pm: Beacon Hill Village Holiday Party
7:00 pm: Boston Cecilia Rehearsal

Tuesday, December 10
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, December 11
10:00 am: Bible Study
1:00 pm: Advent School Rehearsal
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, December 12
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, December 13
Lucia
8:15 am: Advent School Share Event
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, December 14
John of the Cross

9:00 am: Pageant Rehearsal
10:00 am: Flower Guild
11:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
3:00 pm: Funeral for Nancy Santeusanio Nickolds

Sunday, December 15
The Third Sunday of Advent
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Christmas Pageant & Sung Mass
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Sermon Preached by the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, December 1, 2019, the First Sunday of Advent

A sermon given at The Church of the Advent, Boston,
by the Rt. Rev. Alan M. Gates, Bishop of Massachusetts,
on Sunday, December 1, 2019, being the First Sunday of Advent
and the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Parish

Looking Back.  Looking Forward.

Anniversary blessings, Church of the Advent.  A Blessed Feast of Title, and Happy 175th Anniversary to you!

One hundred seventy-five years is a long time.  The world of 1844 is barely imaginable to us.  Long before automobiles, or light bulbs, or telephones.  Before slavery was ended in this country.  Before women had the vote. 1844 was the year the University of Notre Dame was founded in Indiana, the year the YMCA was founded in London.  Samuel Morse sent his first telegram all the way from DC to Baltimore in 1844. Charles Goodyear patented his vulcanized rubber.  And James K. Polk was President. (Now, there’s a household name!)

When the fledging Church of the Advent held its first services in 1844, it was a different world.

A milestone anniversary is a time to look back, and you have been doing that.  At various events, and in Deacon Daphne’s weekly blog with treasures from the archives, you have been delving into your heritage.

By now we all know the famous (or infamous) tale of my predecessor-by-twelve Bishop Manton Eastburn – how on his first visit to the new Church in 1845 he was scandalized by the sight of such “offensive innovations” as an altar (in place of a communion table), and the golden candlesticks and large cross with which it was adorned.  So offended was he by such idolatrous and “superstitious puerilities” that he refused to return for over a decade.

Your look back has also uncovered some lesser known tales from the (archival) crypt – such as the Great Fake Gems Controversy of 1911.  The Associated Press reported on a Pentecost sermon in which the Rector revealed that “fashionable women” of the Back Bay had contributed towards a splendid new chalice certain ornaments that were gold plate only, not solid, and sham gems.  The Rector later objected that the press report was misleading, that his point had been misconstrued: not a scolding, but a parable of the many sorts of offerings made in good faith.  What is remarkable to me is that the Associated Press was reporting on Sunday Sermons at all!

Most delightful in Deacon Daphne’s archival blogs have been the stories behind so many of your beautiful architectural and liturgical appointments:

  • the silver thurible given in honor of Cecil Barlow, a 22-year-old Somerville resident and altar server, who in his job as tester of electric meters was killed by an electric shock in 1912;
  • the Madonna overlooking the Lady Chapel altar, given in honor of Robert Turner Walker, who for decades oversaw faithfully the liturgical servers of this place;
  • the bust of Charles Grafton, a sometime rector of this parish, and later Bishop of Fond du Lac, where members of his diocese petitioned for his removal on account of his excessive use of incense;
  • and numerous gifts memorializing the architect of this church, John Hubbard Sturgis, and members of his family, woven into the fabric of this place.  How much more poignant is our gaze upon the Nativity/Epiphany window at the west end of the north aisle, when we know that it memorializes Gertrude Sturgis Hunnewell who died at age 28 in “premature labor” – the grief of a tragic childbirth commended in glass to the Mother of God, the Mother of Us All.

We look back at all of this history, sometimes with sorrow, sometimes with delight, always with gratitude.  You know about the Church’s claim to “Apostolic Succession” – how the Church’s witness to the faith of Christ is manifested by the lineage of her bishops in ecclesial apostolicity.  As a Bishop in the Church – number 1084 in the American Succession – I am humbled to be in such lineage.  But I want to suggest that you have your own lineage of ecclesial apostolicity right here at The Church of the Advent.  Cecil Barlow, Robert Turner Walker, Charles Grafton, Gertrude Hunnewell – this is your very own “apostolic succession” – the lineage of faith and devotion of which you are a part. 

Now you bear the responsibility to care for and hand on this legacy.  That is why, at an anniversary, we cannot look back only.  We must also look forward – forward to a future which we cannot precisely foresee, and yet for which we must prepare.

That, as it happens, is the task of the season of Advent which begins this day.  Advent.  A season of gazing forward, looking to a future which we cannot precisely foresee, yet one for which we hope, and for which we must prepare and wait.

So much of our waiting is impatient or frustrated.  We wait for a traffic light to change; we wait for our turn at the cash register; we wait for the Red Line train to arrive.   Sometimes, such as in the secular run-up to Christmas, we fill our waiting with a checklist of frantic preparation.  Advent waiting, of course, is different – neither frustrated impatience nor self-imposed frenzy is what Scripture intends when it invites us to “Wait for the Lord.”  Advent preparation is patient, and it is open-ended. 

In our Scripture lessons today we are reminded that such waiting and yearning has always characterized the people of God.  The prophet Isaiah [2:1-5] invites the people to wait for God’s reign – a reign to be characterized by beauty and peace.  The people yearn for that day, they yearn for that peace – though they do not know how or when it will come.  They can but wait.

Jesus likewise tells his friends that the day of the Lord will finally come. [Mt 24:36-44] It will come suddenly, unexpectedly, cataclysmically even.  The task of the people is to wait – ‘til they know not when – for the coming of Christ.

Here’s how Henri Nouwen describes such waiting, open to unexpected turns and unforeseen possibilities. Nouwen says:

“Open-ended waiting is hard for us because we tend to wait for something very concrete, for something that we wish to have.  Much of our waiting is filled with wishes: ‘I wish that I would have a job.  I wish that the weather would be better. I wish that the pain would go away.’  We are full of wishes, and our waiting easily gets entangled in those wishes…. But [the biblical exemplars of waiting, Elizabeth and Mary and Simeon] were not filled with wishes.  They were filled with hope.  Hope is something very different. Hope is trusting that something will be fulfilled, but fulfilled according to the promises and not just to our wishes.  Therefore, hope is always open-ended. “ [Watch for the Light (NYC: Orbis Books, 2001), pp. 32-33]

Waiting is the first discipline of Advent.  It’s the discipline of our lives. So many things for which we wait most deeply are simply beyond our ken.  That is why we give voice to them so achingly in Advent prayers and hymnody. 

Advent Sunday, then, is the perfect feast for an anniversary celebration: a time to look back with gratitude, and forward with hope.  Perhaps that is even more true in a parish drawing towards the end of a transitional, interim year.  “Come, thou long-expected rector!” sings the congregation, without a hint of blasphemy.  At such a moment it bears recollecting that looking forward with hope also entails being open to some element of change.  For that, too, is part of a posture of expectation.

Let me tell you a story.  In 2001 I was part of a contingent from the Anglican Study Centre in Rome paying a formal visit to the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. That’s the department of the Curia known before Vatican II as the Congregation of the Inquisition.  (In full: Supreme Sacred Congregation of the Roman and Universal Inquisition.)   In 2001 the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith was headed by Cardinal Ratzinger – later Pope Benedict XVI.  Our group was not senior enough to warrant the presence of Cardinal Ratzinger, so it fell to one of his archdeacons to explain to us the department’s work of defending the church against heresy.

It was a hot day in July, the sultry air in the room relieved only by a slight breeze blowing through an open window.  During the discussion, one member of our group inquired as to how the department assured that, in addition to guarding against new teachings which might threaten the church, we might also be open to genuine movement of the Holy Spirit towards change, such as that which led the Apostle Peter to recognize the inclusion of Gentiles in God’s plan of salvation, as reflected in the Book of Acts.

The archdeacon got up, closed the open window, and announced that no such further changes were to be anticipated in God’s plan.  That closed window said it all!  Window closed; discussion closed; revelation closed.

The challenge for those of us who cherish tradition and the reassurance of God’s eternal changelessness is that we must never become a sealed-off room into which the wind of the Holy Spirit cannot blow, never become a historical shrine only, and not the living Body of Christ.

At the centennial celebration of this parish in 1944, then-Rector Whitney Hale said this:  “The Anglican branch of the Catholic Church has preserved a providential balance between authority and freedom which the democratic peoples of the West instinctively value.”

Seventy-five years later I charge you, dear people of The Church of the Advent, to preserve just such a “providential balance” – the providential balance between authority and freedom, the providential balance between “things grown old” and “things made new,” the providential balance between looking back and looking ahead.

Some would look to the past with romanticized nostalgia.  Others would look at the past with a patronizing air of superiority.  Do you neither! But look to the past with humility and gratitude.

Some would look to the future with dread.  Others would look to the future with a grimly determined defensiveness.  Do you neither!  But look to the future with anticipation and hope.  A church bearing the name of “Advent” can do nothing less.

This parish has been richly blessed by God.  This parish has been in like measure a blessing to its people, to its diocese, to its city, and beyond.  So, anniversary joy to you, dear friends.  Make your Advent cry:  Come, thou long-expected Jesus! And then wait.  Hopefully.  Patiently.  Expectantly.  Go on about your lives, but even as you do, place yourselves in a posture of faithful expectation.  And wait.

This Week at the Advent, December 1-7, 2019

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.

The Advent wreath is given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Norman MacGregor Post, priest, and Jane Irene Post.


TODAY!


Serving as chaplain to Bishop Gates at the 9 o’clock service today is Valerie Cowart, a candidate for ordination to the diaconate in the Diocese of Massachusetts.

175th ANNIVERSARY

9:00 am: Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Bette Boughton and Jonnet Holladay.

10:15 am: Advent wreath-making in the Hunnewell Room (Library). Wreath-making kicks off with Father Welch offering comments on the tradition before the Bishop begins the first wreath. The Bishop will also bless the Advent 175 Time Capsule being assembled by the Church School. Special thanks to Tony Pulsone for handmaking the Christ candles.

1:00–3:00 pm (following 11:15 Mass): Gala Anniversary Reception in Moseley Hall. 

The Advent Bellringers will ring a celebratory quarter peal in the afternoon.

4:30 pm: Organ Recital by David Baskeyfield.

5:00 pm: Lessons & Carols for Advent. Childcare is offered.

6:00–8:00 pm: Please join us for a gala reception in Moseley Hall.


THIS WEEK


Thursday December 5 & Friday, December 6: CONFERENCE – Anglo-Catholic Roots III: Oxford Comes to Boston: 175 years of Anglo-Catholicism in America. Find details or register here.


NEXT SUNDAY!


The Rev’d Sarah Coakley, Assisting Priest and Theologian-in-Residence at the Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes in Washington, will preach at 9:00 am and 11:15 am on December 8.


Stewardship 2020: Our annual Ingathering of pledges will take place next Sunday, December 8. All parishioners are asked to submit their pledge cards and “Time & Talent” selections by then. Pledges can be received by mail, email, or in the offering plate. (See below for this week’s pledging report.)


Common Cathedral. We are looking for two or three more volunteers on December 8 for Common Cathedral, the outdoor worship service and meal for our homeless neighbors on Boston Common. We meet during coffee hour around 10:30 am to pack the lunches, then head over to the Common together around 11:45 to prepare for the service and meal. Everything wraps up around 2:30. If you are able to help with all or a portion of this event, please email Carolyn Lewis at carolynshadid@gmail.com.


Longtime parishioner David Lapin has recently authored an autobiography entitled The Education of Brainiac: A New Yorker’s Quest for the Good Life in the Hub of the Universe. Vignettes about the Advent abound! A kind of pilgrim’s progress for the twenty-first century, The Education of Brainiac is ultimately about discovering a pluralistic world where institutions of all kinds afford us common ground to express and respect difference in all its prisms. Copies of Brainiac will be available for $20 in Moseley Hall at the coffee hours after the 9 and 11:15 Masses on Sunday, December 8, and David will be on hand to autograph them. Consider adding one to your Christmas stocking!


Compline at the Advent: Join us next Sunday at 8:00 pm, for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline, the service of prayer before bedtime in the custom of early Christian monasticism, on the second Sunday of every month.


COMING UP


A Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Nancy Santeusanio Nickolds will be offered on Saturday, December 14, at 3:00 pm in the church, with interment in the Columbarium to follow.


STEWARDSHIP


Thanks to those who submitted pledges this week. As of this past Thursday we have received 104 pledges, pledging a total of $334,407. 40 have increased their pledges by over 15% average, and there are 8 new pledges. We have still to hear from 116 parishioners who pledged a total of $252,200 last year. You can pledge online by going to the parish website, https://www.theadventboston.org/pledging.


OUTREACH


Advent Coat Drive extended to December 8. If you have been meaning to donate a coat for the coat drive, you still have an opportunity. Bring clean, functional coats (no broken zippers, ripped pockets, etc.) that will help keep people warm during the winter (think ski jackets, not dress-up jackets) to the church. Coats for children, women, and men all accepted. This year, all collected coats will be donated to Boston Health Care for the Homeless. If you don’t have an appropriate coat to donate, consider a financial contribution. Checks should be made payable to the Church of the Advent, but please put “One Warm Coat” in the memo line and either drop in the collection plate or mail to One Warm Coat Drive, 30 Brimmer Street, Boston 02108. If you have questions or would like to help out, please contact Chris Doty (christopher.doty@pm.me) or Harmony Witte (harmony.witte@gmail.com).


ODDS & ENDS


Book Store News. In Celebration of the Parish Anniversary, all Advent Choir CDs will be on sale for $10.00 each throughout the month of December. Also, Advent Calendars, Christmas cards and music, 2020 “Churchman’s Ordo Kalendars” and Christian Pocket Diaries are now available. The Parish Book Store is open after each Mass on Sundays in Moseley Hall.


Christmas Flower Memorials & Thanksgivings: The greens and flowers that adorn the Church at Christmas are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. All memorials and thanksgivings will be listed in the service leaflets during the twelve days of Christmas. A form for donations is found on the back page of Sunday’s service leaflet. Completed forms and payment must be received in the Parish Office no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, December 20. Make checks payable to the Church of the Advent and write “Christmas Flowers” on the check. 


Advent Compline at SSJE: On Thursdays during Advent (December 5, 12, and 19), the monks of the Society of St John the Evangelist will offer a contemplative Compline service that is open to all. The service begins at 8:00 pm and is preceded and followed by 30 minutes of quiet meditation by candlelight. The monastery is located at 980 Memorial Drive in Cambridge, a short walk from the Harvard Square T stop.


Discount parking 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.


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


175 Years in One Liturgy

In honor of the 175th anniversary of the founding of the Church of the Advent, we offer an historic tour of some of the Advent’s treasures used in this service.

Crystal Crucifix. This processional cross is crafted of silver, crystal, and cut glass. It was given by the Sunday School sometime between 1885 and 1902.

Verger’s Staff (Virge). See full description below.

White Vestments. These are worn during the opening procession which celebrates the Parish’s Feast of Title and Dedication. Made for the parish’s 1944 centennial, their design traces the doctrine of the Incarnation from the Creation to the early years of the Church:

  • The tunicle worn by the subdeacon displays the symbols of prophets Isaiah and Malachi, who foretold the birth of the Messiah; and of Adam, Eve, and the Garden of Eden; and the Star of David.
  • The dalmatic and stole worn by the deacon contain symbols associated with the birth of Christ: St. Mary, St. Joseph, Gabriel, and the Star of Bethlehem.
  • The priest’s vestments fulfill the symbolism: the stole bears symbols of the Blessed Virgin (MR, Maria Regina), the front panels of the cope honor four theologians who defended and developed the doctrine of the incarnation at the first four ecumenical councils: St. Athanasius; St Gregory Nazianzus; St Cyril; St Leo the Great. The back shows Jesus reigning in glory.

Blue Vestments. Both blue and the more familiar purple are traditional colors for the season of Advent. Blue is also associated with the Blessed Virgin Mary; the embroidered roses on these vestments and on the frontal refer to Mary as the “Mystic Rose” who was to bear the Babe of Bethlehem. The frontal bears two large red shields mounted on crosses of gold. On one shield is IHS, a Latinized abbreviation of the Greek Iesous, for Jesus. On the other, the Latinized abbreviation, XRS, for the Greek Xristos, which means Christ. The vestments were designed in 2017 by Davis d’Ambly, who supervised their execution.

Silver Thurible. The thurible, with its companion boat and spoon, were given in 1913 by the Guild of St. Vincent in memory of Cecil Moreton Barlow, a “reverent, devoted, and faithful member of the Guild and Acolyte.” He was born in 1890, lived in Somerville, where he graduated from the English High School in 1910, and was employed as an electric meter reader. On August 7, 1912, he was killed by “an accidental shock of electricity.” The pieces were designed by Robert Turner Walker (1867–1931), an MIT-trained architect, faithful parishioner, and Vestry member, who instituted the Guild of St. Vincent in the parish. The silversmith is George Joseph Hunt (1866–1947), an Englishman who immigrated to the United States at age 20, became a member of the Society of Arts and Crafts in 1903, and established the “metalry” department at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts. These are typically used at the Gospel procession and offertory.

Jeweled Silver Tankard. This large tankard is used on major feasts and was a gift from the congregation at large in memory of Fr. Henry A. Metcalf (1845–1911), who served as rector of five parishes in Massachusetts before becoming Curate at the Advent. The tankard was designed by Charles Carden Coveney (1894–1945), a church architect and member of the Advent’s governing Corporation, who was a principal at Brigham, Coveney & Bisbee. The tankard, of sterling silver with a hammered gold wash, was made by Gorham. The inscription reads Caro enim Mea vere est Cibus, et Sanguinis Meus vere est pontus (For my Flesh is meat indeed, and My blood is drink indeed; John 6:55). 

Jeweled Chalice and Ciborium. In 1905 the congregation made this gift in memory of the Rev. George Frederick Daniels (1858–1897), who had served as a curate at this Parish; he died of pneumonia at St. Margaret’s Hospital on West Cedar Street. The vessels were designed by Brother Bernard, O.S.B., of Painsthorpe Abbey, Yorkshire, England, which was established in 1902 by Aelred Carlyle, a friend of Charles Chapman Grafton, rector of the Advent from 1872 to 1888. The chalice is inscribed: Calicem salutaris accopiam, et nomen Domini invocabo (I will receive the cup of salvation and call upon the name of the Lord; Ps. 116:12).

Silver Chalices. From a set of English Communion ware bearing the hallmark of John James Keith, given by an unknown donor at Easter 1849. Keith produced large amounts of Gothic Revival church plate based on designs by William Butterfield, the leading architect/designer of the ecclesiological movement. Both chalices are inscribed, at the base, Calicem salutaris accipitam (I will receive the cup of salvation; Ps 116:2). One carries the legend Vere est potus sanguis meus (My blood is drink indeed; John 6:55); the other, Omnes eundem potum spiritualem biberunt (All did drink the same spiritual drink; I Cor 10:4).

The Anniversary Virge

Our new Anniversary Virge was designed by Tom Sopko and master silversmith and artist Vincent Wil Hawley, who also fabricated and engraved it. Hailing from Newburyport, MA, Vincent received a BFA from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in 2006 and attended the Advent regularly while living in Boston. He went on to study and apprentice in Florence, Italy, and currently resides in Staten Island, NY. His other ecclesiastical commissions include sacred vessels for churches, sculptural elements for the Episcopal Diocese of New York, and numerous wearable liturgical pieces.A virge (< Latin virga, a branch or rod) was originally a bundle of branches used as a switch or riding crop; it later became a symbol of civil office. In modern times it is best known as the ceremonial staff of the lay officers in Anglican churches known as vergers (originally virgers), who once used it as a weapon to make way for outdoor processions, but now use it as a pointer to guide processions and escort people around the sanctuary.

The virge is hand-crafted, with a sterling silver finial and fittings on a shaft of American walnut. The obverse shows the shield from the parish seal. The trumpet refers to the trumpets that announce the Second Advent, when “the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.” The three coronets allude to the seal of the Diocese of Massachusetts, which in turn took them from the arms of the city of Boston in Lincolnshire, England. In the upper left quadrant is the red cross of St George, symbol of England, surmounted by a circle of wavy blue and white lines, an heraldic device which represents a well or spring. This may allude to our roots in the Church of England, but cross + well is also a rebus for [William] Croswell, our first Rector. The text around the rim reads “Church of the Advent, Boston, 1844–2019.”The virge is given in honor of Kenn Stephens, former member of the Vestry and numerous parish committees, chairman of the 1998 Search Committee that called Fr. Warren, as well as the Liturgical Arts, Gifts & Memorials, and Advent 2000 committees, and founder, director, and mentor of the parish Flower Guild from 1992 until 2007.

The reverse features a plain golden cross and the parish motto “Lo, I come.” Both refer back to the earliest days of the parish in 1845, when the simple gilded wood cross that is now enshrined in the reredos of All Saints’ Chapel hung above the altar, with the motto above it. Author, lawyer, and abolitionist Richard Henry Dana Jr., one of the most prominent founding members, later wrote to his son, “[Dr. Croswell] held the first service on Advent Sunday. That led to its being called the Church of the Advent. I proposed the name, and suggested the cross over the altar, and the words ‘Lo I Come’ for the motto.”

The 1944 parish history states that “In the earlier years the duties of verger – or sexton – were undertaken by no less a personage than one of the wardens; but it is not to be wondered that after a time he found the burden of attending to the opening and closing of the church for services twice daily to be too great. About 1852 Hugh Taylor was appointed Verger, and held the position for nearly 40 years.” Ray Porter’s predecessor Marc Michelini (1927-2014) became verger at the age of 22 and served faithfully for 56 years. Since 1852 the Advent has had 14 rectors, but only 6 vergers!


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
December 2-8, 2019

Monday, December 2
Channing Moore Williams
7:00 pm: Girl Scouts Cookie Jamboree

Tuesday, December 3
Francis Xavier
9:00 am: Beacon Hill Garden Club
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, December 4
John of Damascus
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal
7:00 pm: Brimmer Street Garage Annual Meeting

Thursday, December 5
Clement of Alexandria
3:30 pm: Anglo-Catholic Conference Checkin
4:00 pm: Anglo-Catholic Conference Keynote
6:00 pm: Solemn Evensong & Benediction

Friday, December 6
Nicholas of Myra
10:00 am: Anglo-Catholic Conference Sessions
11:30 am: Rosary
12:15 pm: Low Mass
2:00 pm: Anglo-Catholic Conference Sessions
6:00 pm: Solemn Mass – Banquet

Saturday, December 7
Ambrose of Milan

8:30 am: Morning Prayer
9:00 am: Low Mass

Sunday, December 8
The Second Sunday of Advent
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
8:00 pm: Compline

Collect for Advent Sunday

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This Week at the Advent, November 24-30, 2019

Welcome to the Church of the Advent! If you are new to the area, visiting, or seeking a church home, we are glad you’re here and hope to have a chance to greet you in person. Please join us downstairs following the service for a coffee hour.

Child care is offered during the 9 am and 11:15 am services; an usher can guide you to the nursery.

Welcome cards are located in each pew; please fill one out so we can keep in touch.


The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Frances Lee McCormick and Barbara McCormick.

The flowers in the crossing are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Staff Sgt. Matthew Albert Pucino, U.S. Army Special Forces.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Carolyn Shadid & Jason Lewis, along with David Russo & Matthew McNeff. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are Thatcher Gearhart, Robin Landrith, and Kyriell Paleologue. We are always in need of more volunteers; 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 Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


Entr’acte: Today in the Hunnewell Room (Library), Tom Sopko and Deacon Daphne B. Noyes present “To the Blessed Advent: Treasures from the Vault.” Rare treasures, rarely seen (up close at any rate), each with a tale to tell.


THIS WEEK


For Thanksgiving Day, there will be a celebration of the Mass with hymns at 10:00 am and a Thanksgiving Potluck in Moseley Hall at 3:00 pm. Turkeys will be provided for the meal; to sign up to bring an item (or items) to share, go to www.signupgenius.com/go/30e0d49aca722a4f85-thanksgiving. For questions, please see Meg Nelson or Betsy James. The Parish office will be closed on both Thursday and Friday, and there will be no Morning or Evening Prayer. Also, no midday Mass on Thursday.


NEXT SUNDAY!


ADVENT 175
Schedule of Events

Sunday, Dec 1 175th Anniversary of the Church of the Advent

Please note: Ingathering of pledges will take place Sunday, December 8; healing will be offered that day as well.

9:00 am: Sung Mass with Procession, Bishop Alan M. Gates will celebrate and preach.

10:15 am: Make an Advent wreath in the Hunnewell Room (Library). Wreath-making kicks off with Father Welch offering comments on the tradition and the Bishop begins the first wreath. The Bishop will also bless the Advent 175 Time Capsule being assembled by the Church School. Special thanks to Tony Pulsone for handmaking the Christ candles.
Coffee Hour in Moseley Hall with special treats! Bette Boughton and Jonnet Holladay will pour.

11:15 am: Solemn High Mass with Reception of the Bishop and Procession. Bishop Gates will celebrate and preach.

1:00 – 3:00 pm: Gala Anniversary Reception in Moseley Hall.

The Advent Bellringers will ring a celebratory quarter peal in the afternoon.

4:30 pm: Organ Recital by David Baskeyfield.

5:00 pm: Lessons & Carols for Advent, followed by a gala reception in Moseley Hall. Childcare is offered during this service.

Thursday December 5, and Friday December 6: Third Annual Anglo-Catholic Conference “175 Years of Anglo-Catholic Roots”

Sunday, December 8: The Rev’d Sarah Coakley, Assisting Priest and Theologian-in-Residence at the Church of the Ascension and Saint Agnes in Washington, will preach at 9:00 am and 11:15 am.

Throughout all this activity, the Advent 175 team will continue to offer commemorative items during coffee hours. Just received: matted prints of “Veni, Veni Emmanuel!” watercolor by Robert Turner Walker (original is on display), and notecards with pencil sketch of the Advent by Morris Henry Hobbs.


COMING UP


Common Cathedral.We are looking for two or three more volunteers on December 8 for Common Cathedral, the outdoor worship service and meal for our homeless neighbors on Boston Common. We meet during coffee hour around 10:30 am to pack the lunches, then head over to the Common together around 11:45 to prepare for the service and meal. Everything wraps up around 2:30. If you are able to help with all or a portion of this event, please email Carolyn Lewis at carolynshadid@gmail.com.


A Requiem Mass for the repose of the soul of Nancy Santeusanio Nickolds will be offered on Saturday, December 14, at 3:00 pm in the church, with interment in the Columbarium to follow.


STEWARDSHIP


Dear Fellow Advent Parishioners:

Our Stewardship Campaign 2020, with this year’s theme “Sustaining a vibrant community of worship” at The Advent, plus extending our outreach to be inclusive of all parishioners through your “Time & Talent” support of selected worship activities, is rapidly approaching a key date of December 1 as we celebrate both the First Sunday of Advent and our milestone 175th Anniversary Celebration. This special occasion marks the beginning of the Advent Season and serves as an opportunity for all Advent parishioners to join in on the planned services and activities for this wonderful Anniversary Event, to include the daylong presence and mass celebration and preaching by our Bishop Alan M. Gates. See Sunday’s bulletin or go online for the “Advent 175 Schedule of Events.”

Our 2020 campaign is off to an excellent start thanks to everyone who has already pledged. We are hopeful to receive the remaining pledge submittals in order to maintain the momentum through this Advent Season. Please remember that for our Campaign 2020 both forms of our pledge contributions are important as a community of worship at this sacred place, our beloved Church of the Advent. Your monetary pledge contributions support the necessary financial well-being as guided by the Wardens and Vestry; your “Time & Talent” pledge contributions fulfill the necessities of a meaningful relationship to worship, which you choose to celebrate in the service of the Lord.

We have scheduled the “Ingathering of pledges” to take place on Sunday, December 8. Please be reminded to get your pledge cards and “Time & Talent” selections in by this date, either by mail, online, or simply by dropping in Sunday’s offering plate. Our campaign will continue through the Advent Season, and the earlier we receive your pledge commitments the better able we are to assist the Wardens and Vestry with their important planning for 2020.

Thank you in advance.

We are yours in the service of our Lord Jesus Christ,

Francesco Piscitelli & Thatcher Gearhart

Stewardship Campaign 2020, Co-Chairmen

Stewardship 2020 Report

As of this past Thursday we have received 78 pledges, pledging a total of $265,952. 32 have increased their pledges by nearly 13%, and there are 2 new pledges. We have still to hear from 136 parishioners who pledged a total of $306,608 last year. You can pledge online by going to the parish website, https://www.theadventboston.org/pledging.


OUTREACH


Advent Coat Drive concludes this Wednesday, November 27. If you have been meaning to donate a coat for the coat drive, time is running out. But you still have an opportunity. Bring clean, functional coats (no broken zippers, ripped pockets, etc.) that will help keep people warm during the winter (think ski jackets, not dress-up jackets) to the church by this Wednesday. Coats for children, women, and men all accepted. This year, all collected coats will be donated to Boston Health Care for the Homeless. If you don’t have an appropriate coat to donate, consider a financial contribution. Checks should be made payable to the Church of the Advent, but please put “One Warm Coat” in the memo line and either drop in the collection plate or mail to One Warm Coat Drive, 30 Brimmer Street, Boston 02108. If you have questions or would like to help out, please contact Chris Doty (christopher.doty@pm.me) or Harmony Witte (harmony.witte@gmail.com).


ODDS & ENDS


Book Store News. Advent Calendars, Christmas cards and music, 2020 “Churchman’s Ordo Kalendars” and Christian Pocket Diaries are now available at our Parish Book Store, which is open after each Mass on Sundays in Moseley Hall.


Christmas Flower Memorials & Thanksgivings: The greens and flowers that adorn the Church at Christmas are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. All memorials and thanksgivings will be listed in the service leaflets during the twelve days of Christmas. A form for donations is found on the back page of Sunday’s service leaflet. Completed forms and payment must be received in the Parish Office no later than 4:00 pm on Friday, December 20. Make checks payable to the Church of the Advent and write “Christmas Flowers” on the check. 


Anglo-Catholic Roots III: “Oxford Comes to Boston: 175 Years of Anglo-Catholicism in America” will take place December 5-6, 2019 at the Advent. Find more information and register here


Discount parking 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.


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


Little-known facts, amusing anecdotes, and miscellaneous wisdom, in honor of the 175th anniversary of this parish.

The 1944 Centennial Celebration of the Church of the Advent commenced on The Feast of Christ the King and ran through Easter. A very partial, extremely impressive list of events includes Solemn Evensong and Benediction; Solemn Evensong and Te Deum; Youth Rally; sermons from The Right Reverend Wallace E. Conckling, Bishop of Chicago; the Right Reverend Henry Knox Sherrill, Bishop of Massachusetts; and the Right Reverend Raymond A. Heron, Bishop Suffragan of Massachusetts; a Parish Banquet at the Copley Plaza; Historical Exhibit and Display of Sacred Vessels and Vestments; Acolyte Festival Commemorating the Thirtieth Anniversary of the Order of St. Vincent; Confirmation; Anglican Choir Festival; Solemn Requiem Mass for those Killed in War; Service Commemorating the One Hundredth Anniversary of the Formal Restoration of the Religious Life in the Anglican Communion; Gregorian Choir Festival; a four-day Parochial Mission — all this in addition to the regular round of daily services. Below is a Foreword from the Centennial Celebration program (click to enlarge).


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
November 25-December 1, 2019

Monday, November 25
James Otis Sargent Huntington

Tuesday, November 26
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, November 27
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, November 28
Office closed; no Morning or Evening Prayer; no 12:15 Mass
10:00 am: Sung Mass with Hymns
3:00 pm: Thanksgiving Potluck

Friday, November 29
Office closed; no Morning or Evening Prayer
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, November 30
Saint Andrew the Apostle

10:00 am: Flower Guild
12:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, December 1
The First Sunday of Advent
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Procession & Sung Mass
10:15 am: Wreath-Making
11:15 am: Solemn Mass with Reception of the Bishop and Procession
1:00 pm: Advent 175 Gala Reception
4:30 pm: Organ Recital by David Baskeyfield
5:00 pm: Lessons & Carols for Advent; Reception follows