This Week’s Announcements, September 24-30, 2017

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.


TODAY!


Note:  this morning’s coffee hours are in the Library.

9:00 Coffee Hour. Robb Scholten and Angie Corbet host the Coffee Hour this morning.  The hosts next week are Rob Braman & Rachel Johnson and Jack & Cassie Gurnon.  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 and Ellie Dixon host the Coffee Hour this morning.  We are 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) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Attention singers! The Advent is always looking for good avocational singers for our Parish Choir. This ensemble provides music for the 9:00 Sung Mass on a regular basis during the academic year. There is a regular Sunday warm-up rehearsal an hour before the Mass, plus three week-night full choir rehearsals spread over the year. If you wish to join us to sing masterworks of the Renaissance and Anglican traditions, please contact Katelyn Emerson (emerson@theadventboston.org) or Mark Dwyer (dwyer@theadventboston.org) by email or in person after Mass. A love of choral music, a pleasant voice, some music-reading skills and the ability to make a regular commitment are the requirements.


The annual Beacon Hill Block Party, sponsored by the Beacon Hill Civic Association, is today.  Do come and enjoy the festivities, which include the popular beer garden in the Advent garden.


Neighborhood Groups Start in October!  Old and new small groups are starting in October in neighborhoods across Greater Boston.  

  • Green Line Group—Home of Jeff and Roxy Hanson—311 Tappan Street in Brookline—Date TBA
  • Beacon Hill Group—Home of Sammy and Renee Wood—43 South Russell Street in Boston—Wednesday, October 4
  • Metro-West Group—Home of Liz Hunter—492 Lincoln Road in Walpole—Sunday, October 8
  • North Shore Group—Location and time in Salem—TBA
  • The Advent Book Group and a new Luther Reading Group also start in October.

Which of these fits your schedule and lifestyle?  If none does, why not consider hosting or facilitating a group in your own neighborhood?  For more information, speak to one of the hosts listed above or contact Fr Sammy  (frwood@theadventboston.org). 


THIS WEEK!


Michaelmas This Friday!!!!   We will celebrate The Feast of St Michael & All Angels (Michaelmas) on Friday, September 29, with a Procession & Solemn Mass at 6:30 pm.  The Advent Choir will sing the Truro Eucharist of David Briggs and anthems by del Monte and Handl.  A reception will follow the Mass. 


Bible Study takes place on Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Library.  We are currently reading the Epistle to the Romans.


Wednesday Evening Book Group: In anticipation of the conference and meeting being held in November focusing on Anglo-Catholicism, the Advent Book Group invites you to join us this fall in reading The Sacramental Church: The Story of Anglo-Catholicism, by John F. Nash, founder of The Esoteric Quarterly. We began discussions of this book on Wednesday, September 13. For more information, please see Alfred Duhamel or email Robb Scholten (robb.scholten@gmail.com).


COMING UP!


Mission Sunday:  October 1 will be a Sunday devoted to Mission here at The Church of the Advent.  Eric Fialho, our former seminarian, is returning this year as Pastoral Assistant and focusing part of his ministry on mission and outreach. Eric will lead the first Entr’acte of the season on October 1:  “Anglo-Catholicism and Mission:  Its History and our Roots”.

Mission has always been a part of the life of the Advent.  In fact, mission was a part of its founding:  “To secure to a portion of the city of Boston the ministrations of the Holy Catholic Church: and more especially to secure the same to the poor and needy in a manner free from ungracious circumstances.”  Accordingly, it was a “free” church (no pew rents) and everyone without distinction—high and low, rich and poor, of any nationality and race—was encouraged to attend and become a part of the Parish family.  Among mission projects in the past, have been a role in the founding of the Floating Hospital for Children in 1884, now part of the Tufts Medical Center, and the work of the Sisters of St Margaret among the poor and disenfranchised of the former West End.

Today, the Advent houses and supports the Tuesday Evening Community Dinner for the homeless and needy, which has been a part of our life for over thirty-eight years.  Last year, though the Diocese and by direct contribution the Advent devoted over $85,000 of its budget to mission.

On Sunday, October 1, there will be envelopes in the pews marked “For Mission.”  Parishioners are encouraged to give towards projects which are coming up.  One of these will be a trip to provide assistance in Houston, just as we took post-Katrina to Mississippi several years ago.  Please be generous.


Blessing of Animals – next Sunday, October 1.  There will be a blessing of the animals at 3pm that afternoon in the chancel. Questions? See Deacon Daphne or Fr. Wood.


The Church of the Advent’s Theology on Tap returns Tuesday, October 3, with the Rev’d Mrs Fleming Rutledge–now at our new location!  Fleming Rutledge inaugurates the 2017 season of Theology on Tap with a highly appropriate topic:  The Once and Future Season: Advent:  Why is the Advent season so uniquely important, yet so misunderstood?  Mrs Rutledge will talk about the cultural conflict between the “holiday season” and the unique themes of Advent.  It is our delight to welcome Mrs Rutledge to speak on this subject, which is timely and fitting for our parish, named as it is for this imminent and significant season in the church calendar.

One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, Mrs Rutledge has a book on Advent coming out next year.  She is the author of many other important books, including The Crucifixion:  Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ; Not Ashamed of the Gospel:  Sermons from Paul’s Letter to the Romans; And God Spoke to Abraham:  Preaching from the Old Testament; and The Battle for Middle-Earth:  Tolkien’s Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings.

Join us at 7 pm on October 3 at our new location:  Carrie Nation Cocktail Club
The Beacon Room—11 Beacon Street, near the State House

Evening Prayer will be said at the Church at 5:30 pm.  All are welcome to say the daily office together and then process from the parish church to Carrie Nation.


Reformation at 500—Luther Reading Group Begins in October—Five hundred years ago this Halloween, an intense, scholarly Augustinian friar named Martin Luther posted a series of theses about the sale of indulgences on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.  Within a few years, the world in which he had come of age was utterly transformed. Ever wanted to know what was going on in his mind, one of the great minds of the universal Church?  For several years before this momentous event, Dr Luther diligently walked into his classroom at six o’clock in the morning to lecture on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and we can now read along with him as he grappled with the foundations of the Catholic faith.  To mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a group gathers every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 7 pm in Fr. Wood’s office (second floor of the Parish House) to learn about Luther’s world and to study the Bible as he and his students did by reading and discussing his Lectures on Romans, one of the treasures of Christian thought.  For information, contact Ben Crowe (bcrowe@bu.edu) or Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


Mark your calendars now for a special event at the Church of the Advent in advance of the American Academy of Religion Meeting in Boston: “Anglo-Catholicism: Uncovering Roots”, November 15-16, 2017.

What is Anglo-Catholicism? This brief conference, on the eve of the annual meeting of the AAR, will delve into our broad tradition in a bid to remember and retrieve the best of the past for a faithful future. Inspired by the Anglo-Catholic congresses of the 20th century, young scholars will deliver papers on the holy, catholic, apostolic pattern of Scripture, sacraments, prayer, and the Church herself, formed by God in Christ. For more information, contact Fr Hanson (frhanson@theadventboston.org).


Pilgrimage to Greece next April.  A group from the Advent has been to the Holy Land together.  A group has also been to Turkey.  We will now round out the New Testament sites by going together next spring to Greece where St Paul preached extensively and where some of the earliest and most influential Christian communities came into being.

The pilgrimage will depart Boston on Monday, April 16, 2018, and return on Saturday, April 29, 2018.  Among the places we will visit will be:  Thessaloniki, Philippi, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, Naphlion, Athens, Patmos (by overnight ferry), and others. A more detailed brochure and itinerary prepared by the travel agency, Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries, is available at the rear of the Church.

The cost will be $3,129, if we have 20 -24 pilgrims; $2,979, if we have 25 – 29 pilgrims, and, except for a few meals on one’s own, is all inclusive.  If you are interested, speak to Father Warren.


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.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 25-October 1, 2017

Monday, September 25
Sergius of Moscow

Tuesday, September 26
Lancelot Andrewes
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, September 27
10:00 am: Bible Study
2:00 pm: Youth Homelessness Task Force
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, September 28
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, September 29
St Michael & All Angels (Michaelmas)
6:30pm: Procession & Solemn Mass; Reception

Saturday, September 30
Jerome

Sunday, October 1
The Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School / Entr’acte
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 17, the Solemnity of the Feast of the Holy Cross

From St. Paul the Apostle:  “Far be it from me to glory save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”  Galatians 6:14

It’s hard to know what to make of Jesus.  If our Lord has been – and still is – one of the most influential figures in human history, it is also quite true that he is one of the most mysterious.  The Gospels give us accounts of certain periods in his life, but the accounts are scattered and differ one from another and leave all kinds of questions unanswered.  Indeed, I doubt that there has ever been a soul who read through Matthew or Mark or Luke or John or all four together and came away from the reading satisfied, if not somewhat puzzled.  You might come away converted.  That happens.  But I’m sure that you would still be puzzled.

One is certainly aware from the Gospels that you are dealing with a forceful personality – someone to be reckoned with – someone attractive who draws people to himself – yet even so, Jesus remains a mysterious figure.  In the Gospels his personality eludes us, and questions remain.

There have been those who tried to answer these questions for us.  In the last few centuries people have written biographies of Jesus which claimed to fill in the blanks and make Jesus understandable and approachable in a this worldly way.  One book written by a man named Santini in the 19th century is very, very long – seven times as long as the New Testament as a whole.  It’s not surprising that the book is more imagination than it is biography.  Another, which was very popular on the east coast of the United States in the twenties, portrays Jesus as the most brilliant public relations man in history.  Another made Jesus into a Jewish revolutionary who plotted against the Romans.  Another claimed that there was no Jesus at all, but rather his name was code for a psychedelic mushroom cult.  These books sold lots of copies and people read them avidly, which shows us – again – that people are fascinated by Jesus, but  they are not at all at ease with the mysterious and complicated person presented by the Gospels.  They want Jesus to make sense in a worldly way, and will buy and read all kinds of nonsense in order to squeeze him into a mold that they can understand.

But Jesus doesn’t make sense in a worldly way.  He never did and he never will.  And there is one point, one episode in the story of Jesus where it all seems most senseless.  What is that?  His death.  The Cross.  It’s hard to know how a brilliant advertising man could have come to such an end.  A strange fate for someone skilled in public relations.  And if he was a revolutionary plotter, the plot got pretty well fouled up at that point.  His death.  It was a tragedy, an embarrassment.  It must have been a terrible mistake.

And so, isn’t it odd ?  Isn’t it strange ?  For that – his death – is what the New Testament claims to be the most important thing about him.  Not what he did, not what he said, not what he taught, though those things are important in themselves, but the most important thing, as far as Scripture is concerned, is that he died.

The earliest writings in the New Testament hardly mention his life, say almost nothing about his teaching.  What they talk about is his death. “We preach Christ and him crucified.  Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.” ( I Cor.1:23, 24 )  That’s from St. Paul, of course, written around twenty years before the first of the Gospels. “Christ crucified, the power of  God and the wisdom of God.”

Jesus doesn’t make sense in a worldly way.  By worldly standards, the story of Jesus is just another tragedy, just another crime – an innocent man put to death unjustly.  Happens all the time.  Nothing new about that.  The New Testament, though, is not about a tragedy or a crime.  No, it proclaims “gospel”, and as you know, gospel means Good News.  And the Good News which the New Testament announces has something to do with Jesus and his death.  And what it claims is that the death of Jesus is the revelation, the showing forth, the good news of what God is all about.  If you wish to know about God, then there is one place in particular to look  – at Jesus dying on the Cross.  There is revealed the eternal nature of God.  God is like that – says the New Testament – like a man willingly giving up his life, expending, exhausting his life, a man willingly letting go of himself out of love.  By this violent act of earthly self-giving is revealed the nature of divine love.  For isn’t that what love is ?  Letting go of oneself, giving up oneself for another.  God is like that.  God’s love is like that.

But Scripture goes even further.  God is like that, but also God is that.  The Cross, the death of Jesus is not only the likeness of divine love, it is also the action of the divine love.  God was in Christ – pouring out his life, expending himself to give his own divine life to humankind.  God entered into our life in Jesus to make his life available to you and to me.

And so the Good News is this: that in the Cross of Jesus, we know what God is like – and that through the Cross of Jesus and his resurrection, you and I may live in the power of the very life of God.  Again, “Christ crucified.  Christ the Wisdom of God and Christ the Power of God.”

*     *     *     *     *

But how can this be ?  Paul tells us that “God’s power is made perfect in weakness.”  ( II Cor. 12:9 )  That is the ultimate mystery Christian life, and it is the ultimate mystery of Jesus and of the Cross.  All those things which opposed God and nailed Jesus, God’s Son, to the Cross are overcome precisely by God’s “weakness.”  God went to battle against those things that destroy human life and God’s creation – sin, death, hatred, enmity, evil.  But God did not meet them on their own terms.  He did not meet them with an opposing power of destruction.  That would have been to be like them.  No.  In Jesus God submitted himself to their parody of power, and in submitting, overwhelmed them by his life and his love.  For their power is indeed a parody.  God’s weakness unmasks it and overthrows it.  Death is no more, for God in his weakness is greater than death.  Sin, evil, hatred enmity are vanquished for God in his weakness shows himself stronger than them all.  Love stamps them out.  Love stamps them out.  God’s power is revealed in weakness.

What seemed to be a defeat, the end of God’s plan – Jesus is killed – is by Jesus’ resurrection declared to be the triumphant victory of God and the redemption of all mankind.  “Now is the judgement of this world.  Now is the ruler of this world cast out.  And I, if I be lifted up, will draw all men to me.” ( John 12:31 )

And so today, good people, we celebrate the Feast of the Holy Cross.  Paradoxical, isn’t it ?  Something so brutal now called holy.  And instrument of pain and cruel death now made to be the way of life and peace.  But the Cross is that – holy – because it is where Christians come to know God.  And is that – holy – because through it our enemies were defeated, and in it God has given us his life, his power, and his love.  It is the sign of our salvation and the emblem of the grace and glory and majesty of God.

“Far be it from me to glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Amen.

Collect for the Feast of the Holy Cross

Almighty God, whose Son our Savior Jesus Christ was lifted high upon the cross that he might draw the whole world unto himself: Mercifully grant that we, who glory in the mystery of our redemption, may have grace to take up our cross and follow him; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

This Week’s Announcements, September 17-23, 2017

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 Daniel F. Gray.


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.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Tony Pulsone & Darcy Montaldi and Nola Sheffer host the Coffee Hour this morning.  The hosts next week are Robb Scholten and Angie Corbet.  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. Daniel & Marcos German-Domingues host the Coffee Hour this morning.  We are 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) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Attention singers! The regular choir season will begin shortly, and the Advent is always looking for good avocational singers for our Parish Choir. This ensemble provides music for the 9:00 Sung Mass on a regular basis during the academic year. There is a regular Sunday warm-up rehearsal an hour before the Mass, plus three week-night full choir rehearsals spread over the year. If you wish to join us to sing masterworks of the Renaissance and Anglican traditions, please contact Katelyn Emerson (emerson@theadventboston.org) or Mark Dwyer (dwyer@theadventboston.org) by email or in person after Mass. A love of choral music, a pleasant voice, some music-reading skills and the ability to make a regular commitment are the requirements.


Advent “Neighborhood Groups”: The Advent urges every one of her members to be part of a small group to form deep friendships, do in-depth study, worship and pray, encourage each other, and serve together. Existing groups meet near the church, but we’re expanding to other neighborhoods in the greater Boston area.

  • Are you part of an existing group?
  • Would you like to join a group?
  • Would you be interested in hosting a group?

Whether you’ve been in small groups for decades or you’re inquiring for the first time, please be part of this aspect of community life at the Advent. If you are interested, speak to Fr. Sammy.


THIS WEEK!


Bible Study takes place on Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Library.  We are currently reading the Epistle to the Romans.


Wednesday Evening Book Group: In anticipation of the conference and meeting being held in November focusing on Anglo-Catholicism, the Advent Book Group invites you to join us this fall in reading The Sacramental Church: The Story of Anglo-Catholicism, by John F. Nash, founder of The Esoteric Quarterly. We will begin discussions of this book starting Wednesday, September 13, after the healing mass. For more information, please see Alfred Duhamel or email Robb Scholten (robb.scholten@gmail.com).


COMING UP!


The annual Beacon Hill Block Party, sponsored by the Beacon Hill Civic Association, is next Sunday, September 24.  Parking around the neighborhood will be even more limited than usual, so allow extra time, but do come and enjoy the festivities, which include the popular beer garden in the Advent garden.


Michaelmas draweth nigh! We will celebrate the Feast of St Michael & All Angels (Michaelmas) on Friday, September 29, with a Procession & Solemn Mass at 6:30pm. The Advent Choir will sing the Truro Eucharist of David Briggs and anthems by del Monte and Handl. A reception will follow the Mass.


Mission Sunday:  October 1 will be a Sunday devoted to Mission here at The Church of the Advent.  Eric Fialho, our former seminarian, is returning this year as Pastoral Assistant and focusing part of his ministry on mission and outreach. Eric will lead the first Entr’acte of the season on October 1:  “Anglo-Catholicism and Mission:  Its History and our Roots”.

Mission has always been a part of the life of the Advent.  In fact, mission was a part of its founding:  “To secure to a portion of the city of Boston the ministrations of the Holy Catholic Church: and more especially to secure the same to the poor and needy in a manner free from ungracious circumstances.”  Accordingly, it was a “free” church (no pew rents) and everyone without distinction—high and low, rich and poor, of any nationality and race—was encouraged to attend and become a part of the Parish family.  Among mission projects in the past, have been a role in the founding of the Floating Hospital for Children in 1884, now part of the Tufts Medical Center, and the work of the Sisters of St Margaret among the poor and disenfranchised of the former West End.

Today, the Advent houses and supports the Tuesday Evening Community Dinner for the homeless and needy, which has been a part of our life for over thirty-eight years.  Last year, though the Diocese and by direct contribution the Advent devoted over $85,000 of its budget to mission.

On Sunday, October 1, there will be envelopes in the pews marked “For Mission.”  Parishioners are encouraged to give towards projects which are coming up.  One of these will be a trip to provide assistance in Houston, just as we took post-Katrina to Mississippi several years ago.  Please be generous.


Blessing of Animals – Sunday, October 1.  There will be a blessing of the animals at 3pm that afternoon in the chancel. Questions? See Deacon Daphne or Fr. Wood.


The Church of the Advent’s Theology on Tap returns Tuesday, October 3, with the Rev’d Mrs Fleming Rutledge–now at our new location!  Fleming Rutledge inaugurates the 2017 season of Theology on Tap with a highly appropriate topic:  The Once and Future Season: Advent:  Why is the Advent season so uniquely important, yet so misunderstood?  Mrs Rutledge will talk about the cultural conflict between the “holiday season” and the unique themes of Advent.  It is our delight to welcome Mrs Rutledge to speak on this subject, which is timely and fitting for our parish, named as it is for this imminent and significant season in the church calendar.

One of the first women to be ordained to the priesthood in the Episcopal Church, Mrs Rutledge has a book on Advent coming out next year.  She is the author of many other important books, including The Crucifixion:  Understanding the Death of Jesus Christ; Not Ashamed of the Gospel:  Sermons from Paul’s Letter to the Romans; And God Spoke to Abraham:  Preaching from the Old Testament; and The Battle for Middle-Earth:  Tolkien’s Divine Design in The Lord of the Rings.

Join us at 7 pm on October 3 at our new location:  Carrie Nation Cocktail Club
The Beacon Room—11 Beacon Street, near the State House

Evening Prayer will be said at the Church at 5:30 pm.  All are welcome to say the daily office together and then process from the parish church to Carrie Nation.


Reformation at 500—Luther Reading Group Begins in October—Five hundred years ago this Halloween, an intense, scholarly Augustinian friar named Martin Luther posted a series of theses about the sale of indulgences on the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg.  Within a few years, the world in which he had come of age was utterly transformed. Ever wanted to know what was going on in his mind, one of the great minds of the universal Church?  For several years before this momentous event, Dr Luther diligently walked into his classroom at six o’clock in the morning to lecture on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, and we can now read along with him as he grappled with the foundations of the Catholic faith.  To mark the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, a group gathers every 2nd and 4th Wednesday at 7 pm in Fr. Wood’s office (second floor of the Parish House) to learn about Luther’s world and to study the Bible as he and his students did by reading and discussing his Lectures on Romans, one of the treasures of Christian thought.  For information, contact Ben Crowe (bcrowe@bu.edu) or Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


Mark your calendars now for a special event at the Church of the Advent in advance of the American Academy of Religion Meeting in Boston: “Anglo-Catholicism: Uncovering Roots”, November 15-16, 2017.

What is Anglo-Catholicism? This brief conference, on the eve of the annual meeting of the AAR, will delve into our broad tradition in a bid to remember and retrieve the best of the past for a faithful future. Inspired by the Anglo-Catholic congresses of the 20th century, young scholars will deliver papers on the holy, catholic, apostolic pattern of Scripture, sacraments, prayer, and the Church herself, formed by God in Christ. For more information, contact Fr Hanson (frhanson@theadventboston.org).


Pilgrimage to Greece next April.  A group from the Advent has been to the Holy Land together.  A group has also been to Turkey.  We will now round out the New Testament sites by going together next spring to Greece where St Paul preached extensively and where some of the earliest and most influential Christian communities came into being.

The pilgrimage will depart Boston on Monday, April 16, 2018, and return on Saturday, April 29, 2018.  Among the places we will visit will be:  Thessaloniki, Philippi, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, Naphlion, Athens, Patmos (by overnight ferry), and others. A more detailed brochure and itinerary prepared by the travel agency, Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries, is available at the rear of the Church.

The cost will be $3,129, if we have 20 -24 pilgrims; $2,979, if we have 25 – 29 pilgrims, and, except for a few meals on one’s own, is all inclusive.  If you are interested, speak to Father Warren.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Hurricane Harvey & Irma Recovery—Two ways to Help:  As Texas continues the work to recover from Hurricane Harvey and Florida and the Caribbean islands from Hurricane Irma, the Advent continues to pray for all those who were affected by the storm.  If you would like to give money to the relief effort, our Presiding Bishop issued this call:  “Our support of Episcopal Relief and Development is a tangible, practical, effective and reliable way to do that, not just in the short term, but for the long haul.”  You may contribute online at https://support.episcopalrelief.org/hurricane-harvey-response.

We also have a parishioner whose home church, St Mark’s Episcopal in Beaumont, has set up a fund for parishioners and others in their community recovering from Harvey. If you’d prefer to contribute to this local effort, check may be made out to “St Mark’s for Hurricane Relief” and mailed to:

St Mark’s Episcopal Church
680 Calder Street
Beaumont, TX 77702

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in Jesus’ mission to heal a hurting world.


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.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 18-24, 2017

Monday, September 18
Edward Bouverie Pusey
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, September 19
Theodore of Tarsus
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, September 20
John Coleridge Patteson & Companions
10:00 am: Bible Study
2:00 pm: Youth Homelessness Task Force
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing
7:00 pm: Parish Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, September 21
St Matthew, Apostle & Evangelist
5:15 pm: Property Committee
6:15 pm: Vestry
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, September 22
Philander Chase, Bishop

Saturday, September 23
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, September 24
The Sixteenth 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
12:00 noon: Beacon Hill Block Party

This Week’s Announcements, September 10-16, 2017

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Ellen Leighton. The flowers at the Crossing are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Jerome Anderson.


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.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour.  Ray Porter and Barbara Boles host the Coffee Hour this morning. 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. Dustin Henderson and Nicholas Dials host the Coffee Hour this morning. Next week the hosts will be Daniel & Marcos German-Domingues. We are 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) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Attention singers! The regular choir season will begin shortly, and the Advent is always looking for good avocational singers for our Parish Choir. This ensemble provides music for the 9:00 Sung Mass on a regular basis during the academic year. There is a regular Sunday warm-up rehearsal an hour before the Mass, plus three week-night full choir rehearsals spread over the year. If you wish to join us to sing masterworks of the Renaissance and Anglican traditions, please contact Katelyn Emerson (emerson@theadventboston.org) or Mark Dwyer (dwyer@theadventboston.org) by email or in person after Mass. A love of choral music, a pleasant voice, some music-reading skills and the ability to make a regular commitment are the requirements.


Blessing of the Backpacks – TODAY at the 9:00 AM Mass. We start by Commissioning the Church School Teachers and Caregivers as a parish family at the 9 o’clock Mass, which is also the service for the eighth annual Blessing of the Backpacks. Students of all ages – from pre-school to grad school – come forward with their backpacks during the 9 o’clock Mass to be blessed by a priest.

Also today: After Mass, register for Church School downstairs in Moseley Hall. Why not join us and invite a family that doesn’t yet have a church home? Come out for refreshments, to meet the Church School staff, get a blessing for your backpack, and celebrate as a parish the beginning of another great school year!


Compline at the Advent – This evening at 8 pm – Join us for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline on the second Sunday of every month at 8:00 pm in the nave.

There will be special music at the Compline service this evening and a reception will follow. 

There is a particular need for parishioners familiar with liturgical practice at the Advent to participate, so if you are interested in helping celebrate this service of prayer before bedtime in the custom of early Christian monasticism, please contact Fr. Hanson (frhanson@theadventboston.org) or Fr. Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


Advent “Neighborhood Groups”: The Advent urges every one of her members to be part of a small group to form deep friendships, do in-depth study, worship and pray, encourage each other, and serve together. Existing groups meet near the church, but we’re expanding to other neighborhoods in the greater Boston area.

  • Are you part of an existing group?
  • Would you like to join a group?
  • Would you be interested in hosting a group?

Whether you’ve been in small groups for decades or you’re inquiring for the first time, please be part of this aspect of community life at the Advent. If you are interested, speak to Fr. Sammy.


THIS WEEK!


Bible Study takes place on Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Library.  We are currently reading the Epistle to the Romans.


Wednesday Evening Book Group: In anticipation of the conference and meeting being held in November focusing on Anglo-Catholicism, the Advent Book Group invites you to join us this fall in reading The Sacramental Church: The Story of Anglo-Catholicism, by John F. Nash, founder of The Esoteric Quarterly. We will begin discussions of this book starting Wednesday, September 13, after the healing mass. For more information, please see Alfred Duhamel or email Robb Scholten (robb.scholten@gmail.com).


COMING UP!


Michaelmas approacheth! We will celebrate the Feast of St Michael & All Angels (Michaelmas) on Friday, September 29, with a Procession & Solemn Mass at 6:30pm. The Advent Choir will sing the Truro Eucharist of David Briggs and anthems by del Monte and Handl. A reception will follow the Mass.


Blessing of Animals – Sunday, October 1.  There will be a blessing of the animals at 3pm that afternoon in the chancel. Questions? See Deacon Daphne or Fr. Wood.


Mark your calendars now for a special event at the Church of the Advent in advance of the American Academy of Religion Meeting in Boston: “Anglo-Catholicism: Uncovering Roots”, November 15-16, 2017.

What is Anglo-Catholicism? This brief conference, on the eve of the annual meeting of the AAR, will delve into our broad tradition in a bid to remember and retrieve the best of the past for a faithful future. Inspired by the Anglo-Catholic congresses of the 20th century, young scholars will deliver papers on the holy, catholic, apostolic pattern of Scripture, sacraments, prayer, and the Church herself, formed by God in Christ. For more information, contact Fr Hanson (frhanson@theadventboston.org).


Pilgrimage to Greece next April.  A group from the Advent has been to the Holy Land together.  A group has also been to Turkey.  We will now round out the New Testament sites by going together next spring to Greece where St Paul preached extensively and where some of the earliest and most influential Christian communities came into being.

The pilgrimage will depart Boston on Monday, April 16, 2018, and return on Saturday, April 29, 2018.  Among the places we will visit will be:  Thessaloniki, Philippi, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, Naphlion, Athens, Patmos (by overnight ferry), and others. A more detailed brochure and itinerary prepared by the travel agency, Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries, is available at the rear of the Church.

The cost will be $3,129, if we have 20 -24 pilgrims; $2,979, if we have 25 – 29 pilgrims, and, except for a few meals on one’s own, is all inclusive.  If you are interested, speak to Father Warren.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Hurricane Harvey Recovery: Two Ways to Help – As Texas continues the work to recover from Hurricane Harvey, the Advent continues to pray for all those who were affected by the storm. If you would like to give money to the relief effort, our Presiding Bishop issued this call: “Our support of Episcopal Relief and Development is a tangible, practical, effective and reliable way to do that, not just in the short term, but for the long haul.” You may contribute online at https://support.episcopalrelief.org/hurricane-harvey-response.

We also have a parishioner whose home church, St Mark’s Episcopal in Beaumont, has set up a fund for parishioners and others in their community recovering from Harvey. If you’d prefer to contribute to this local effort, check may be made out to “St Mark’s for Hurricane Relief” and mailed to:

St Mark’s Episcopal Church
680 Calder Street
Beaumont, TX 77702

Thank you for your prayers and partnership in Jesus’ mission to heal a hurting world.


The Advent in Mission: “This Space Available” – Noticed the empty Serving Our City bulletin board downstairs? We’ve designated it “This Space Available” because we want your ideas about how you would like to see your parish use its resources to serve Boston, the region, and the world. Have an idea for a mission project? Contact Eric Fialho, our Pastoral Assistant for Mission, at efialho@eds.edu. Want to be part of a small group of parishioners who shape our vision for mission? Come be part of our Mission & Outreach Team – our first meeting of the fall is on October 8 following the 11:15 Mass.


Drivers Needed: Rides to Mass – Some of our parishioners need assistance getting to and from Sunday Mass. If you have a car, and are willing to occasionally pick up or drop home a parishioner, please email Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


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.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. There is an opening for a flower memorial or thanksgiving for the High Altar on Sunday, October 8. If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 (flowers.advent@gmail.com).


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 11-17, 2017

Monday, September 11
4:00 pm: Beacon Hill Seminars Reception
7:00 pm: Girl Scout Leaders

Tuesday, September 12
John Henry Hobart
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, September 13
Cyprian of Carthage
10:00 am: Bible Study
2:00 pm: Youth Homelessness Task Force
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing
7:00 pm: Parish Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, September 14
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, September 15

Saturday, September 16
Ninian of Galloway

Sunday, September 17
The Solemnity of the Feast of the Holy Cross
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 Canon Alistair Macdonald-Radcliff at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, September 3, 2017, the Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost

Canon Macdonald-Radcliff is the Executive Director of the World Dialogue Council and formerly the Dean of All Saints’ Cathedral in Cairo, Egypt.

In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Today’s specific Gospel verse poses some rather interesting challenges not only in the passage we heard, but also because of the wider complexities presented by Chapter 16 as a whole.

While on top of that,  I am faced with a problem that calls to mind the curious story of  Sophia Rawlins, who became the wife of the celebrated nineteenth century Swiss painter, adoptive Englishman and member of the Royal Academy,  Henry Fusile or Johann Heinrich Füssli as he was originally known.

As many of you will recall,  the Royal Academy in London houses the famous Taddei Tondo by Michelangelo,  portraying The Virgin and Child with the Infant St John. It is however famously incomplete   and the story I am reminded of is that the said Mrs. Fusile, considering herself something of a sculptor, is reported to have proposed that she would like to “finish it” and thus complete the work of Michelangelo.  An awkward proposal which one has to say reflected a certain forwardness on her part that was manifestly ill advised.

I bring this up, since, in a manner of speaking, I am left to propose something of a like rashness this morning since Fr Wood addressed the most famous part of today’s chapter in his Sermon last week and I now get the second part of the Gospel this week, so I am thus in a sense obliged to try and “finish” the sculpture he crafted for us so elegantly last week.

So with that said, while others might fear to tread I have no choice but to rush in.

Now one of the foremost problems in the Gospel is the portrayal of Peter by St Matthew in this chapter 16 where as we heard last week Christ utters the famous words so beloved of the mediaeval Papacy:

thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

But this week and a mere few lines later, Christ says to Peter something rather terrifyingly negative

Get thee behind me, Satan: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.

At the very least,  there could hardly be a sharper reminder that deriving large scale theology from single texts is simply impossible and neglects the nature of the Bible itself.[1]

But such niceties aside, the mere juxtaposition of these words points to the complexity of Matthew’s understanding and portrayal of Peter which is of great historical moment given the legacy with which the image of the Petrine rock has had down the centuries.

And that very legacy has had a dramatic impact on how the texts themselves have been read and understood with at least three broad approaches to Matthew’s presentation of Peter emerging.

In the first – for the very reason I have just pointed to —  the external context of systematic theology dominates, with a clear focus on ecclesiological concerns (the impact on our understanding of the Church) to the fore,  even though it was remote from the context of  St Matthew himself.

And with the Reformation something of a battle set in either to dismantle the view of Peter as the rock of the church or to reinforce it.

Then, rather later, it was the quest for biographical data on Peter and for tracing the history of the tradition itself that became dominant, with the result that the gospel text was seen as a quarry  from which to extract information relative to the task of reconstructing the historical Peter and the development of textual tradition.

While in a third option, the rise of redaction-critical concerns has resulted in the attempt, on the part of exegetes, to determine Matthew’s own portrait of Peter by examining those strands of texts which seemed pertinent to this goal — a somewhat analytical method which — as in each of the other cases —  runs some risk of self-referential circularity.

But the end result is that we surely do have to look at the Petrine texts by analyzing them in relation first, to the wider whole of Matthew’s theology in his Gospel and secondly to  that of the Canon of the New Testament beyond it — not simply as stand-alone proofs for this or that position.

Yet it has to be recognised that this is not a simple task –as the elements are all in some degree of mutual relation.

Indeed,  if I had to single out one lesson that emerges here, it is that the task of understanding the heritage that is ours, in our Christian faith in general, is always with us. Aside from the creeds, which merely set essential boundaries, there is no short circuit to this task and we are obliged to grapple with the various strands that come down to us in our formularies and our Prayer Book liturgy itself,  as we seek to grapple with the fullness of what it means to believe our faith. (Something I would see as entailed by thinking of this life as a vale of soul making.)

Perhaps in illustration of this, it is striking at the moment,  that among those Roman Catholics who had, in the wake of John Paul II and Pope Benedict,  been most drawn to a strong model of Papal powers, as a bastion against revisionism,  there is now a process of reflection underway in response to the rather different reign of the  current Pope Francis. Indeed,  the noted Dominican theologian, Aidan Nichols has occasioned a flurry of  articles by observing that in the wake of the Papal text Amoris Laetitia there is now a crisis that may be “providentially intended to call attention to the limits of primacy” in regard to the Papacy.

Such things are for the Roman Catholic church to consider and it is not my place or intention to intrude.

However,  insofar as a there has been a case made for a universal and juridical Roman primacy that is de fide and of itself in some (hard to define way) infallible,  then there is entailed some need to reflect upon the territory to which today’s gospel invites us.

Yet I say that with caution, for we have to be aware of the wider cultural context which is all too willing here – to borrow a phrase —to throw the baby out with the bathwater. And by that I mean the context in which casting off religious boundaries can be a prelude to taking leave of our cultural heritage more generally and even of the possibility of access to truth and meaning itself — for those tempted to be truly post-modern.

Perhaps I can illustrate by citing a famous if rather controversial Bostonian from history and one of his typically inflammatory speeches during the time of what I might call the Anglo-American disruption:

By way of incitement he shouted out to his fellow Bostonians

Our forefathers threw off the yoke of Popery in religion, for you is reserved the honor of leveling the popery of politics. They opened the Bible to all and maintained the capacity of every man to judge for himself in religion. Are we sufficient for the comprehension of the sublimest spiritual truths and unequal to material and temporal ones?

The words are those of Samuel Adams  and they throw into sharp relief a powerful relationship between what is usually seen as a quintessentially religious idea, often understood as central to the Reformation, and the world of public affairs and politics, namely private judgement.  Indeed, the late Dr. David Samuel of the Church Society in Britain and redoubtable defender of the Reformation heritage in Anglicanism, helpfully set out to exhibit in his writings the centrality of this belief to Protestantism, starting with Martin Luther’s famous declaration at the Diet of Worms in 1521:

Unless I am convinced by testimonies of the Scripture, or by evident reason [ratione evidente]—for I neither believe the Pope nor the Councils alone, since it is clear that they have often erred and contradicted one another—I am overcome by the Scriptures I have quoted, and my conscience is taken captive by the words of God [capta conscientia in verbis dei] , and I neither can nor will retract anything, since it is neither safe nor right to act against conscience. (Quoted from Henry Wace, Principles of The Reformation, London, 1910, p. 17. (certain original Latin phrases here added) [2]

Dr. Samuel goes on to argue that the nub of the Reformers’ position was that;

‘They did not believe that they were opposing their private interpretation of Scripture to that of the church; they believed that they were opposing the testimony of Scripture itself to the erroneous teaching of the church. In other words, this was not the private view of Luther or Melancthon to which they appealed….It was the teaching of the Bible itself… They believed that there was an objective truth in Scripture independent of themselves, that Scripture had its own doctrines and faith to which they had been granted access by faith, and it was that truth and teaching which they were opposing to the teaching of the Church of Rome, not anything of their own. (‘The Place of Private Judgment’, Churchman, 1994, 108,1. Emphasis added here.)

And Samuel goes on to quote Tyndale’s approving invocation of 2nd Peter, 1:20, 21 stating that ‘no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation. For Prophecy came not of old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost’ even though this suggests that private judgement is, in the end, not so private after all.[3]

But what then of Samuel Adams?

Clearly,  he stands at some remove from the actual Reformation theology which he invokes to his aid out of mere seeming expediency

For him the value of the Reformation was, as we would say now, the privatization of religious insight. No longer is it something to be accepted as truth institutionally mediated through priests and the church, or somehow by the Scriptures themselves. Rather, truth is something each person can sort out individually.

Concomitant with this is the absence of a sense that Christianity contains an objective content that stands over, and potentially even challenges the individual believer, and there is no mechanism implied by which to resist an ultimate conclusion –so redolent of today, that ‘anything goes’ and that all interpretations are equally valid.

Contemporary society suggests that the fruits of this truly revolutionary type of thinking have been in marked tension and are ultimately even mutually opposed.

On the one hand, there is the characteristically post-modern idea that there are no authorities and that all opinions are equally valid.

Yet on the other hand, there is something completely different unfolding through the role in society of civil law and the language of rights.

What is manifestly emerging –despite the seeming chaos of post-modern epistemology and philosophy– is an entirely new edifice through which institutionally mediated truth is to be dispensed and whose authority is increasingly creative and impatient of dispute.

–As they would have cried out in ancient Rome, we are invited now to ‘Make way! Make way! For the Noble Judge’ as it is through the engine of the Judiciary that it seems we are now to suppose we can gain access to ultimate truths and an ultimate objective reality.

But now you must be wondering how all this connects to Peter in today’s Gospel?

There are a number of stereotypical approaches to the task of unpacking the role ascribed to Peter by Matthew.

One[4] portrays Peter, in analogy to developments within contemporary pharisaic Judaism, as the “supreme Rabbi” whom Jesus has invested with the “office of the keys,” or the authority of teaching, and on whom Jesus has therefore built his church.

This means that in the eyes of Matthew’s church, Peter has become both the “guarantor” and the “transmitter” of its tradition of teaching. He is the bond assuring that its disciplinary regulations and observances of  the law derive from the earthly Jesus himself and have been faithfully preserved.[5]

A second approach[6] sees the primary significance of Peter in Matthew’s gospel as “typical” in nature: In other words, Peter provides the members of Matthew’s church with an example of what it means, both positively and negatively, to be a Christian.

Thus Peter can be understood[7] as a  “type” for the Christians of Matthew’s community because he occupies the “role of a speaker” and hence receives instructions that are to be observed by all.

However (as Kingsbury has pointed out) while very different, both these approaches actually share the presupposition that the “understanding Matthew’s presentation of Peter is a theological problem.[8]

And using this method of approach, there is reason to suggest that in the church as conceived by St Matthew, it is the entire community, gathered together in the name and consequently in the presence and on the authority of  the exalted Son of God, which “binds and looses,” that is to say on matters of church doctrine and church discipline (18:18-20).

In these  matters, the community strives for one thing, namely, that their decisions made in the name of the exalted Son of God (18:20), are in keeping with the injunction given them by Jesus to “observe all that I have commanded you” (28:20).

And Peter emerges, not as some quasi monarch above the other disciples, but rather as one remaining on the level of his “brothers” for it is always Jesus himself that is “presiding” over them and the eschatological maxim holds also  that “whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted” (23:12).

A strong sign of this is the circumstance that Peter  shares with the other disciples the authority of binding and loosing (16:19; 18:1)  and the church of St Matthew’s Christians, was built on Peter, as the “rock” of Peter who was first among equals (primus inter pares)  by virtue of being (as Matthew repeatedly stresses), simply the first called to follow Christ.

What that points to, is something predictably congenial to the Anglican mind – namely a collegial vocation to discern and to follow – that might be expected to lead in institutional terms to sympathy with Conciliarism.

But while that might sound very congenial – the fact is that Anglicans are finding it very hard indeed to live this out now. Indeed it may well be that the next Lambeth Conference due in 2020 will be our last chance to explore what it means to submit ourselves in each of our Provinces to the mind of the whole.

And yet nothing less is the task to which we are called if we are to be a true church and to grapple successfully with the complex body of resources from the Bible and the creeds,  to our historic formularies and Books of Common Prayer, that collectively capture the substance of our faith.

And that brings me back to where we came in,  and one of the lessons derived from Michelangolo’s Tondo and the seemingly frustrating fact that he never finished it.

According to the nineteenth-century French sculptor and critic Eugène Guillaume, Michelangelo’s “non finite” was in fact  “one of the master’s expressive devices in his quest for infinite suggestiveness.”[9]

Could there be a better image for the work of theology which must of necessity in this life never be finished and always underway?

And in ending thus,  where I began with a reference to the Tondo I am of course indulging in a little spot of Matthean style chiasmus all of my own.

AMEN.


[1]In such a highly rhetorical work as Matthew’s Gospel this particular juxtaposition even calls to mind the Greek rhetorical devices of  of Stichomythia (Στιχομυθία) in which single lines of text can dramatically alternate in antithesis as well as synthesis (as we also find so much in the Psalms a point that underlies our characteristic attention to the caesura in this parish when we say them!) or even the reversal of fortune or peripateia (περιπέτεια) familiar in the discussion of Tragedy by Aristotle and others (and illustrated in the Biblical context by the conversion of St Paul and the road to Damascus).

[2] The practical claim in dispute was, as Melancthon had put it earlier, in a ‘little treatise in 1519’, ‘that the Scripture was not to be expounded according to the Fathers, but that the Fathers were to be understood according to the sense of Scripture’, and that the purpose of Church Councils was therefore simply to ‘…confess and defend the primitive faith against new articles of belief, and not the new to the disparagement of the old’,  (as Luther put it in the Authority of Councils and Churches, translated by C. B. Smyth, London, 1847, p. 165).

[3] But perhaps the key to resolving the tensions here lies in the point argued by Gerhard Ebeling: namely that the idea that we all live coram deo, was ‘…the very basis of Luther’s mode of thought convincing him as it did that all of life is lived (and judged) by the conscience, ‘before God’, ‘in front of God’,  ‘in the presence of God’. (Luther: An Introduction to his Thought, Philadelphia, 1972, 193.) As Luther wrote a few months after the Diet of Worms,

‘…Conscience is not the power to do works, but to judge them.  The proper work of conscience (as Paul says in Romans 2:15), is to accuse or excuse, to make guilty or guiltless, uncertain or certain.  Its purpose is not to do, but to pass judgment on what has been done and what should be done, and this judgment makes us stand accused or saved in God’s sight.’

Martin Luther (On Monastic Vows, 1521, LW 44, 298). Cf., also, Randall Zachman, The Assurance of Faith: Conscience in the Theology of Martin Luther and John Calvin (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 1993), 2.

[4] Cf. Reinhart / Hummel: in Die Auseinandersetzung zwischen Kirche und Judentum im Matthausevangelium, ( BEvT33)  Munich: Kaiser, 1963) 59-64. The rudiments of this position can be found in the earlier  B. H. Streeter on the origins of Matthew’s Gospel (cf. The Four Gospels [London 1924] 515) and in K. Stendahl’s comments on Matt 16:13-23 (cf. Matthew, PCB, 787-88),

[5] Indeed, it can be said (after Kahler), that this approach can end up so singling Peter out as to depict him as being uniquely invested as the bearer of revelation (16:17-19), with   the “Matthew-Gospel” become a “Peter-Gospel.” Instead!

[6] Cf. Strecker, Weg der Gerechtigkeit, 205

[7] C.f.. R. Walker, Die Heilsgeschichte im ersten Evangelium (FRLANT 91) Goettingen Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1967, 118)

[8] C.f. Kingsbury, Peter in Matthew’s Gospel, p.  69.  The very different results of Hummel and Strecker are all consequent upon the manner in which they integrate the textual  data into the overall thought, or theology of Matthew” and Kingsbury duly attempts to do this anew

[9] (Lightbown, Ronald W. (1969). “Michelangelo’s Great Tondo: Its Origins and Setting”. Apollo. 89: 22–31

This Week’s Announcements, September 3-9, 2017

Healing services will be held after all Masses in the Lady Chapel.


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.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour.  Bette Boughton and Jonnet Holladay host the Coffee Hour this morning. The hosts next week are Ray Porter and Barbara Boles. 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. The Coffee Hour next week will be hosted by Dustin Henderson and Nicholas Dials. We are 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) or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Attention singers! The regular choir season will begin shortly, and the Advent is always looking for good avocational singers for our Parish Choir. This ensemble provides music for the 9:00 Sung Mass on a regular basis during the academic year. There is a regular Sunday warm-up rehearsal an hour before the Mass, plus three week-night full choir rehearsals spread over the year. If you wish to join us to sing masterworks of the Renaissance and Anglican traditions, please contact Katelyn Emerson (emerson@theadventboston.org) or Mark Dwyer (dwyer@theadventboston.org) by email or in person after Mass. A love of choral music, a pleasant voice, some music-reading skills and the ability to make a regular commitment are the requirements.


Advent “Neighborhood Groups”: The Advent urges every one of her members to be part of a small group to form deep friendships, do in-depth study, worship and pray, encourage each other, and serve together. Existing groups meet near the church, but we’re expanding to other neighborhoods in the greater Boston area.

  • Are you part of an existing group?
  • Would you like to join a group?
  • Would you be interested in hosting a group?

Whether you’ve been in small groups for decades or you’re inquiring for the first time, please be part of this aspect of community life at the Advent. If you are interested, stop in the Library after Mass today and speak to Fr. Sammy.


THIS WEEK!


The Parish Office will be closed Monday, September 4, for Labor Day. The holiday schedule will be observed – Morning Prayer at 8:30 am; Low Mass at 9:00 am; Evening Prayer is cancelled.


Bible Study takes place on Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Library.  We are currently reading the Epistle to the Romans.


Wednesday Evening Book Group: In anticipation of the conference and meeting being held in November focusing on Anglo-Catholicism, the Advent Book Group invites you to join us this fall in reading The Sacramental Church: The Story of Anglo-Catholicism, by John F. Nash, founder of The Esoteric Quarterly. We will begin discussions of this book starting Wednesday, September 13, after the healing mass. For more information, please see Alfred Duhamel or email Robb Scholten (robb.scholten@gmail.com).


COMING UP!


Blessing of the Backpacks Next Sunday – September 10 at 9:00 AM Mass. Church School at the Advent kicks off September 10! We start by Commissioning the Church School Teachers and Caregivers as a parish family at the 9 o’clock Mass, which is also the service for the eighth annual Blessing of the Backpacks. Students of all ages – from pre-school to grad school – come forward with their backpacks during the 9 o’clock Mass to be blessed by a priest. Don’t worry if you’re not old enough for a backpack yet – just bring a lunchbox, a pencil box, something you’ll carry to school with you every day. Parents are encouraged to bring their children so they may experience the support of the parish as they begin a new school year. After Mass, register for Church School downstairs in Moseley Hall. Why not join us and invite a family that doesn’t yet have a church home? Come out for refreshments, to meet the Church School staff, get a blessing for your backpack, and celebrate as a parish the beginning of another great school year!


Compline at the Advent – Next Sunday, September 10, at 8 pm – Join us for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline on the second Sunday of every month at 8:00 pm in the nave.


Mark your calendars now for a special event at the Church of the Advent in advance of the American Academy of Religion Meeting in Boston: “Anglo-Catholicism: Uncovering Roots”, November 15-16, 2017.

What is Anglo-Catholicism? This brief conference, on the eve of the annual meeting of the AAR, will delve into our broad tradition in a bid to remember and retrieve the best of the past for a faithful future. Inspired by the Anglo-Catholic congresses of the 20th century, young scholars will deliver papers on the holy, catholic, apostolic pattern of Scripture, sacraments, prayer, and the Church herself, formed by God in Christ. For more information, contact Fr Hanson (frhanson@theadventboston.org).


Pilgrimage to Greece next April.  A group from the Advent has been to the Holy Land together.  A group has also been to Turkey.  We will now round out the New Testament sites by going together next spring to Greece where St Paul preached extensively and where some of the earliest and most influential Christian communities came into being.

The pilgrimage will depart Boston on Monday, April 16, 2018, and return on Saturday, April 29, 2018.  Among the places we will visit will be:  Thessaloniki, Philippi, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, Naphlion, Athens, Patmos (by overnight ferry), and others. A more detailed brochure and itinerary prepared by the travel agency, Worldwide Pilgrimage Ministries, is available at the rear of the Church.

The cost will be $3,129, if we have 20 -24 pilgrims; $2,979, if we have 25 – 29 pilgrims, and, except for a few meals on one’s own, is all inclusive.  If you are interested, speak to Father Warren.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


The Advent in Mission: “This Space Available” – Noticed the empty Serving Our City bulletin board downstairs? We’ve designated it “This Space Available” because we want your ideas about how you would like to see your parish use its resources to serve Boston, the region, and the world. Have an idea for a mission project? Contact Eric Fialho, our Pastoral Assistant for Mission, at efialho@eds.edu. Want to be part of a small group of parishioners who shape our vision for mission? Come be part of our Mission & Outreach Team – our first meeting of the fall is on October 8 following the 11:15 Mass.


Drivers Needed: Rides to Mass – Some of our parishioners need assistance getting to and from Sunday Mass. If you have a car, and are willing to occasionally pick up or drop home a parishioner, please email Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


Advent Community Supper:  we have a book table, which our guests really enjoy, but some of the past suppliers have dried up.  If you have paperback books or magazines you’d like to contribute, that would be a big help!  Most of our guests are men, and prefer things like Time, and suspense/mysteries, but all contributions gladly received.  And, if you’ve thought about trying out volunteering, summer is a good time, as we lose our MIT students and regulars to vacation time. Contact Barbara Boles, bbolesster@gmail.com.


Back to School Mission Opportunity:  Our parish is collecting school supplies to be given as care packages to students at the Epiphany School in Dorchester.  Supplies needed include:

  • Pencils (Regular and Pencils with fun designs are often used for rewards)
  • Pencil sharpeners
  • Erasers
  • Markers
  • Colorful Sharpie Markers (fine tip)
  • Glue sticks
  • Highlighters
  • Dry erase markers (NOT BLACK)
  • Dry erase marker erasers
  • Printing paper
  • Notebooks, Binders and Folders
  • College ruled loose leaf paper
  • Pens (blue or black)
  • Bookbags

The supplies will be blessed at the annual Blessing of the Backpacks at the 9:00 Mass on September 10, then delivered to Epiphany School students to start the academic year off right! Please join this project to serve kids in our city in the name of God and of the Advent.  More details?  Contact Eric Fialho (efialho@eds.edu).


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.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 4-10, 2017

Monday, September 4
Paul Jones   Labor Day (Parish Office Closed)
8:30 am: Morning Prayer
9:00 am: Low Mass

Tuesday, September 5
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, September 6
10:00 am: Bible Study
2:00 pm: Youth Homelessness Task Force
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, September 7
4:00 pm: Advent School Event

Friday, September 8
The Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Saturday, September 9
Constance & Companions
3:00 pm: Memorial Service

Sunday, September 10
The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass; Commissioning of Church School Teachers & Caregivers; Blessing of Backpacks
10:15 am: Church School Registration
11:15 am: Solemn Mass