Collect for the Seventh Sunday after the Epiphany

O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth; Send thy Holy Ghost and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtue, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. Grant this for thine only Son Jesus Christ, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

This Week’s Announcements, February 19-25, 2017

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Dr. Frederick L. Haupert.


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.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Tom & Carolyn McDermott and Robb Scholten host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Melissa & Eric Baldwin and Mary & Paul Roberts.  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.  Hour.  The Choir host this morning’s Coffee Hour.  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 Marcos or Daniel German-Domingues (mrbgd@hotmail.com or DGDomingues@outlook.com), Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Entr’acte: Today and next Sunday, Fr Warren will continue his discussion of the teaching and practice of Islam.  Thereafter, during Lent Jim Wood, our Parish Administrator and scholar of the Bible to boot, will lead a presentation of the Passion Narratives in the four Gospels.


Advent Tour:  This morning our Verger, Raymond Porter, will give a tour of the church building.  Ours is a fascinating, complicated, and historic building.  Mr Porter will provide a ten to fifteen minute overview of its many facets.  Meet him in the Baptistry.  The tour will begin immediately after the Postlude.


This afternoon — Organ Recital, Solemn Evensong & Benediction, and E & B Talk:  Our monthly service of Evensong & Benediction at the Advent resumes this afternoon.  The evening begins with a 4:30 organ recital by Barbara Bruns performing works by Mendelssohn and Franck.  Evensong & Solemn Benediction follows at 5:00, featuring the music of Murray, Neary, Brewer and Byrd.

After Evensong, Advent’s seminarian, Eric Fialho, will give an E & B Talk on popular Catholicism in pre-reformation England.  Find out how the early 16th century English got a good crop harvest or escaped death for the day; for in England the line dividing the sacred from the superstitious was thin at best!


At the meeting of the Vestry this past Tuesday, the Rector named C. Thomas Brown as Rector’s Warden, and the Vestry elected Paul Roberts as People’s Warden.


Today is the Sunday known as Sexagesima, which, with its companion Sundays, Septuagesima and Quinquagesima, make up the season formerly known as pre-Lent.  In the current Prayer Book these Sundays were dropped and became just additional Sundays after the Epiphany.  The logic for this was simple:  since Lent is itself a season of preparation, to observe an additional time of preparation before Lent was unnecessary.  Why prepare to prepare?

This may look good on paper, but it’s not quite true psychologically or spiritually, because, in fact, we often need to prepare to prepare.  In this instance that is especially the case.  You and I  need to begin now thinking about what we will do during Lent.  How will we use the season to our souls’ benefit?  How will we exercise ourselves so that we grow spiritually during Lent?  Let Sexagesima — and Septuagesima and Quinquagesima—be a warning that that holy and intentional season is coming up, and it’s time to give it some thought.  Prepare to prepare!

A note on names.  Septuagesima:  in context the word means seventy days before Easter.  There is a problem here, however, for it’s not seventy days before Easter.  It’s sixty-four.  And yet, exactitude in this would have us saying sexagesima quarta and quinquagsima septimus, rather than septuagesima and sexagesima.  And so in her wisdom and in order to avoid the long and cumbersome tags, the Church decided to number by tens rather than sevens.  Who cares if it’s accurate?  It’s easier to say.


Palms for Ashes: There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday.  They will be burned to make the ashes for the liturgies of Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 1 this year.


Can You Help?  Morning and Evening Prayer is scheduled to be prayed every day at 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Because pastoral responsibilities, it is becoming more and more difficult for the Clergy alone to maintain these Monday through Friday services, and so we badly need volunteers to conduct services if the present schedule is to continue.  Think about this, and if you are able to take on one of these evening services, please speak to Fr Warren or Fr Wood.


THIS WEEK!


Monday, February 20, is Presidents’ Day.  The Parish Office is closed; Morning Prayer will be at the regular time of 9:00 am, Low Mass will be at 12:15 pm.  Evening Prayer is cancelled. 


Bible Study Continues—Wednesdays at 10 am—Parish Library—Interested in studying the Bible with others from our parish?  Join us in the Library on Wednesday mornings at 10 am. This week we continue our study of the Book of Revelation with Chapter 3.   


COMING UP!


Save the Date!  Lundi Gras Talent Show—Monday, February 27, 6 pm.  Mardi Gras is the traditional day of overindulgence and merriment before the fast of Lent.  But, because of the Advent’s Community Supper, we must move the occasion one day back.  So, Mardi (Tuesday) becomes Lundi (Monday).  This year the Advent will celebrate Lundi Gras with a judge-free and non-judgmental Talent Show.  We’d love to have wide participation from all three services: families, young ones, old ones, and individuals.  Share your harmonica, guitar solo, whistling, recitation, tap dance, or favorite impersonations with us.  This is a wonderful chance to enjoy the hidden talents of our Advent parish.

Dinner is potluck:  Break out your favorite deviled eggs recipe, best hot dish, or store-bought loaf of sourdough!  Please bring something to share: food or drink, or both.  Need more information?  Contact Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org) or Rachael Ringenberg (Rachael.Ringenberg@gmail.com).


Confirmation Classes Set to Begin:  The Advent offers confirmation classes every year for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Communion. The next Confirmation service will be Saturday, April 29, and we are planning classes for Lent.  Adults and teens who are interested should email frwood@theadventboston.org for more information.


Spirituality & Aging — Lenten Quiet Day — Saturday, March 11, 10 am to 2 pm:  The Advent is pleased to offer a Lenten Quiet Day on Spirituality and Aging, led by Father Richard Loring and the Rev’d Christine Whitaker.  A light lunch will be served.

Father Loring is a longtime friend of the Advent and a familiar face at 9 am Sunday Mass, when he is not serving as an interim — his most recent stint being at St Andrew’s Church in Hanover, where he was appointed bridge priest in January.

The Rev’d Christine Whitaker, a native of Edinburgh, served as rector of St. Michael’s Church in Hopkinton for 15 years, retiring from that position in 2013.  She previously served as an assistant at Trinity Church, Copley Square . Before ordination, she was an attorney.

To reserve a space, please contact Deacon Daphne B. Noyes, deaconnoyes@theadvent.org, 617-523-2377 x 135.


Women’s Bible Study—Four Sessions Start Saturday, March 18—10 am-11:30 am in the Library:  Women have unique voices in scripture and in today’s church.  This bible study highlights their voices—and ours—by exploring how ancient prayers and stories inform us during this time of contemplation and reflection. Like the traditional Anglo-Catholic liturgy, these sessions will engage participants on many levels.  The facilitator, Advent parishioner Lurie Armandt, will guide participants in using interactive theatrical and artistic storytelling as we prepare to celebrate the Feast of the Resurrection.  Lurie is a graduate student at Emerson College studying Theatre and Community.  Her specific interest is around building community among women in the church.  Meetings will be on Saturdays March 18, March 25, April 1, and April 8, from 10:00 am—11:30 am in the Library.  Women interested in participating or who have any questions should contact Lurie at LuraineArmandt@gmail.com or Deacon Daphne B. Noyes at dbnoyes@gmail.com.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Advent 20/30s Service Opportunity—Cradles to Crayons—Saturday, March 11,  1:30 – 3:30 pm—The Advent 20/30s group is volunteering at Cradles to Crayons in Brighton on Saturday March 11 from 1:30 – 3:30 pm.  Visit https://www.cradlestocrayons.org/ for more information, and email Janell Saur (janellsims@gmail.com) to volunteer to be part of the team!  Volunteers are welcome to bring donations, as well.  For a list of items to donate, go to www.cradlestocrayons.org/boston/donate-goods/items-we-accept/.


ODDS & ENDS


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish.  There is an opening for flower memorials or thanksgivings for the High Altar on Sunday,  February 26.  If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 (flowers.advent@gmail.com).


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.


STEWARDSHIP 2017


Pledge Envelopes:  There are still a few unclaimed boxes of pledge envelopes at the back of the Church.  If you asked for them and they are not there, please call the Parish Office (617-523-2377 ext 122, email: office@theadventboston.org.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
February 20-26, 2017

Monday, February 20
Presidents’ Day (Parish Office Closed)

Tuesday, February 21
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, February 22
10:00 am: Bible Study
11:00 am: Staff Meeting
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, February 23
Polycarp of Smyrna
10:00 am: Play Group
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 24
St Matthias the Apostle
10:00 am: Play Group

Saturday, February 25
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, February 26
The Last Sunday after Epiphany (Septuagesima)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte / Burying the Alleluias
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Collect for the Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany

O God, the strength of all who put their trust in thee: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, give us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Week’s Announcements, February 12-18, 2017

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.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Tony Pulsone & Darcy Montaldi and Nola Sheffer host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Tom & Carolyn McDermott and Robb Scholten. 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.  Hour.  Janell & Michael Sauer, Meg Mill and David Fisher host this morning’s Coffee Hour.  Next week the Coffee Hour will be hosted by the Choir.  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 Marcos or Daniel German-Domingues (mrbgd@hotmail.com or DGDomingues@outlook.com), Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Entr’acte: Today and for the next two Sundays, Fr Warren will continue his discussion of the teaching and practice of Islam.  Thereafter, during Lent Jim Wood, our Parish Administrator and scholar of the Bible to boot, will lead a presentation of the Passion Narratives in the four Gospels.


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 is 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).


Today is the Sunday known as Septuagesima, which, with its companion Sundays, Sexagesima and Quinquagesima, make up the season formerly known as pre-Lent.  In the current Prayer Book these Sundays were dropped and became just additional Sundays after the Epiphany.  The logic for this was simple:  since Lent is itself a season of preparation, to observe an additional time of preparation before Lent was unnecessary.  Why prepare to prepare?

This may look good on paper, but it’s not quite true psychologically or spiritually, because, in fact, we often need to prepare to prepare.  In this instance that is especially the case.  You and I  need to begin now thinking about what we will do during Lent.  How will we use the season to our souls’ benefit?  How will we exercise ourselves so that we grow spiritually during Lent?  Let Septuagesima—and Sexagesima and Quinquagesima—be a warning that that holy and intentional season is coming up, and it’s time to give it some thought.  Prepare to prepare!

A note on names.  Septuagesima:  in context the word means seventy days before Easter.  There is a problem here, however, for it’s not seventy days before Easter.  It’s sixty-four.  And yet, exactitude in this would have us saying sexagesima quarta and quinquagsima septimus, rather than septuagesima and sexagesima.  And so in her wisdom and in order to avoid the long and cumbersome tags, the Church decided to number by tens rather than sevens.  Who cares if it’s accurate?  It’s easier to say.


Palms for Ashes: There is a basket in the All Saints’ Chapel to receive last year’s palms from Palm Sunday.  They will be burned to make the ashes for the liturgies of Ash Wednesday, which falls on March 1 this year.


Can You Help?  Morning and Evening Prayer is scheduled to be prayed every day at 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Because pastoral responsibilities, it is becoming more and more difficult for the Clergy alone to maintain these Monday through Friday services, and so we badly need volunteers to conduct services if the present schedule is to continue.  Think about this, and if you are able to take on one of these evening services, please speak to Fr Warren or Fr Wood.


THIS WEEK!


Bible Study Continues—Wednesdays at 10 am—Parish Library—Interested in studying the Bible with others from our parish?  Join us in the Library on Wednesday mornings at 10 am. This week we continue our study of the Book of Revelation with Chapter 3.   


COMING UP!


Confirmation Classes Set to Begin:  The Advent offers confirmation classes every year for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Communion. The next Confirmation service will be Saturday, April 29, and we are planning classes for Lent.  Adults and teens who are interested should email frwood@theadventboston.org for more information.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


How many Episcopalians does it take to pack 10,200 Meals?  On January 28, the Church of the Advent hosted a Boston Harbor Deanery event in which a total of 10,200 meals were made and packaged within two hours!  Over fifty volunteers from about eight churches within the deanery were here to help this highly enjoyable, spirit filled, and surprisingly easy task.  All of the meals go to help those throughout the world facing hunger.  Eric Fialho, the seminarian here at the Advent, organized this event and was pleased with the turnout and the work from all who helped in this ministry.  It was truly an inspirational time for all who took part.  Pictures from the event can be seen on Advent’s Facebook page.


Volunteer Opportunity—Serve at Common Cathedral next Sunday, February, 19 from Noon to 2:30 pm.  Amanda Grant-Rose preached at the Advent in November, then shared with our Mission & Outreach Team ways our parish could partner to serve Boston’s un-housed community.  A team from the Advent will serve lunch at their Boston Common worship service on Sunday, February 19, from noon until 2:30 pm.  We need a team of eight volunteers—would you please be one of them?  For information or to volunteer, contact Ali White at alinebwhite@gmail.com or 802-323-6652, or Father Wood at cubswn@gmail.com.


ODDS & ENDS


Children’s Hands-On Arts Festival—Friday and Saturday, February 17 & 18 at Park Street Church.  Our friends across Boston Common at Park Street Church have invited Advent children and families to their fifth Children’s Hands-On Arts Festival on February 17 and 18.  Workshops on everything from drama to dance, classical music to culinary creation will encourage children ages 3 – 11 to explore new areas of interest as they grow.  Each workshop is a 20-minute presentation by leaders with training in their areas of expertise, then 35 minutes of hands-on experience for kids!  Families can attend an opening concert Friday night by Randall Goodgame regardless of whether they attend the Arts Festival workshops on Saturday.  The event is free and open to all (a free-will offering will be taken).  For more information or to register for the Arts Festival: http://www.parkstreet.org/artsfestival.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish.  There are openings for flower memorials or thanksgivings for the High Altar on Sunday,  February 26.  If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 (flowers.advent@gmail.com).


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: deaconnoyes@theadventboston.org.


STEWARDSHIP 2017


Pledges for 2017 continue to arrive.  It is never too late to make a pledge.  Remember, you can pledge on line by going to the parish website www.theadventboston.org and clicking the “Pledge Online” button. 

As of this past Thursday we have received 201 pledges, pledging a total of $484,767.  66 have increased their pledges by 18%, and there are 18 new pledges.  We have still to hear from 37 parishioners who pledged a total of $58,580 last year.

The Stewardship Committee thanks all who have made a pledge so far.  If you have not yet pledged, please do so soon.

If you requested pledge envelopes on your pledge card, they can be found at the back of the Church in (it is devoutly to be hoped) alphabetical order. If you asked for envelopes and they are not there, please call the Parish Office (617-523-2377 ext 122, email: office@theadventboston.org.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
February 13-19, 2017

Monday, February 13
Absalom Jones
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, February 14
Cyril & Methodius
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, February 15
Thomas Bray
9:00 am: Advent School Community Share
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, February 16
10:00 am: Play Group
5:15 pm: Property Committee
6:15 pm: Vestry
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 17
Janani Luwum
10:00 am: Play Group
7:00 pm: Birthday Party

Saturday, February 18
Martin Luther
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, February 19
The Seventh Sunday after Epiphany (Sexagesima)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte / Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
4:30 pm: Organ Recital
5:00 pm: Solemn Evensong & Benediction; Lecture

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Allan B. Warren III at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, February 5, 2017, The Solemnity of the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple

And the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his Temple.—Malachi 3:1

It was, I think, a mixed blessing which God bestowed upon us when He gave us dreams and taught us to hope. A mixed blessing, and for the dreamer a dream can be a dangerous thing, for we can be injured by our dreams and hope often ends in heartbreak. I look back on myself as a child or as a younger man. How many dreams I had then, how much I was going to do in my life, how much I would accomplish, and how well I would do it. The whole world and all of life was mine for the taking  .  .  .   or so it seemed. But time passed, and I came to realize, as we all come to realize, that the world was not mine, and most of the dreams I had as a child would never come to be. We put them aside then and try to forget them. Perhaps, even, we dream less as adults in order to protect ourselves from dreaming, for maturity acquaints us with the reality of life, and reality introduces us to disappointment, and disappointment hurts.

And yet, we continue to dream, and we continue to hope. This surely is part of what it is to be human. Without dreams or hopes – for ourselves, our families, and those we love, for the world around us – without dreams and hopes we would be emotionally and spiritually dead. Indeed, without the dreams and dreamers all human accomplishment would come to a standstill. And so, again, a mixed blessing. Our ability to dream comes to us as a gift from God, even though it sometimes seems and feels like a curse.

And there are times when dreaming seems, again, to be a very cruel gift – this particularly when one is old. It is often a painful thing to dream and hope when most of your life is behind you, and you know there is little time left. As long as years lie ahead, the dreams seem real and hope has a possibility of fulfillment. But when age overtakes us and our end is near enough to think about, then the bright promise of a dream will dull and disappear, and our hopes are there only to mock us. How often do we hear of people who, at the end of life, sink into disappointment and bitterness, because the dreams never came true and hopes remained unfulfilled. It is dangerous, as I said, to dream and hope is a risky business.

*   *   *   *   *

This morning we heard the story of two dreamers, and they were old, very old. Simeon, the devout and righteous man, and Anna, the prophetess. Simeon dreamed and he hoped for the “consolation of Israel” – the time, as he thought, when God would restore Israel to her former glory, overthrow her conquerors and make her once again and most obviously His chosen and favored people. And Simeon hoped that death would come soon, for it had been revealed to him, we are told, by the Holy Spirit that he would see these things before he died. But even so, there must have been a certain bitterness and disappointment for the old man – something perhaps bordering on despair – for all around him were the obvious signs that this was not to be. The Roman soldiers in the streets, his own people split up into castes and parties who fought among themselves, and on the hills outside the city the crucified bodies of those who dared to stand up to the power of imperial Rome. The “consolation of Israel” must have seemed very far off, and he was old. Was it the Holy Spirit?  .  .  . or was it only a dream?

And Anna? She was eighty-four now. For sixty-five years she had lived as a widow alone, and it seems she had made the Temple her virtual home. Day and night she worshipped and prayed there where sacrifice was offered, there where the God of Israel was said to be present in an empty room. Anna, too, had her dreams, because, you see, she lived in a dream. (For what, after all, is a temple or a church but the particular locus of certain of our dreams?) God was present there in  that temple, but in a symbolic way – like a dream. And what is the purpose of a temple, but to lead us on and to make us yearn and hope for the fullness of the reality to which it points? Anna lived in the blessed dream world of her religion. Make no mistake, it was a real world – yes – grounded in nothing less than the reality of God, but it was a world which pointed beyond itself to something greater still – to a future reality known only to hope and to dreams. Anna worshipped her God there, but because it was a temple, she looked and she hoped for more.

And Anna .  .  .  and Simeon .  .  .  were not disappointed. Though old, though at the end of their lives when their yearnings may have become bitter and cold, they were not disappointed.

Behold, I send my messenger to prepare the way before me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to his temple.

That was what the prophet Malachi, another dreamer, had predicted, and for Anna and Simeon it came true.

It was not what they expected, of course. At first, it must have seemed less; in fact, it was much more than they had hoped for, because, of course, God’s dreams and God’s promises are always larger than our dreams and our hopes. It was a child, the son of a girl from the country.

This was the consolation of Israel ? A child ? This was the fulfillment of her destiny as the people of God? This was the meaning – a child ? – of the great Temple in Jerusalem and all its sacrifices and all its prayers ? How could it be?

But it was. For the child Jesus was the coming-to-be of another dream, for – don’t you remember? – Israel was born in a dream. That’s how she began. Remember, Jacob the patriarch had two dreams – as Scripture tells us. In one he wrestled with an angel of God, and for his perseverance he was given a new name – Israel – the name passed on to all his descendants and to the nation.  And in the other dream, he saw a ladder to heaven – an image of what Israel was called to be – the means by which all humanity might ascend to God – a light to the Gentiles. And so aged Simeon’s dream for his people was realized, and he took up and held in his arms that for which he had hoped – the one who was indeed the “consolation of Israel” and, more than that, the “consolation” of the whole world. That child was the light of God who would rescue the Gentiles from their darkness and gather them into his body, a new Israel. That child – son of David, son of Man, son of Mary, son of God – was the ladder by which man might ascend to Heaven.

And to widowed Anna, who prayed continually in the Temple, to her came the One who was Himself the true Temple – the new focus of the worship and the presence of God. She stood by daily as the priests offered sacrifice and made propitiation for sin. She had for all those years bowed low before the Holy of Holies, that inner, empty room where God was present in His absence. And now before her was the One who would be the perfect sacrifice, the ending of sin, and the presence of God – not in absence or in symbol, but, now alive, in human flesh. What the Temple stood for was fulfilled, and the fulfillment was a child – this child – Jesus. How strange! But then, dreams are strange, and – more than that – God is strange.

*   *   *   *   *

There are, dear brothers and sisters, there are two essential things to be learned in the story we heard for the Gospel today. The first is this: that our dreams must be grounded in God. Without that it is indeed dangerous to dream, for we open ourselves to disappointment. But if our dreams, our hopes are grounded in God – as were those of Simeon and Anna – then their fulfillment is certain. For He who gives us our dreams and plants in us the desire and yearning for Himself is faithful and sure – a rock, a cornerstone, an anchor of our hope.

And the other lesson is this: the realization of our dreams and the fulfillment of our hope will not always be what we expect it to be; it will, however, always be more. God’s dreams are larger than ours. We are not to dictate to God how He shall realize our dreams; we must only dream on and accept His realization. It may not be what we expect, nor may it be even what we want – but it will be more – always infinitely more. It will be God Himself!

Some of us are old now. Most of us will grow old, and come to that time when we know that death is near, and that will be a time when our hopes and dreams may be disappointed – but not, as I said, if they are grounded in God. For if our trust is in God, if our hopes are in God, if our dreams are in God, then we may join with aged Simeon and sing out with joy and confidence that hymn for the evening of the day which is a prayer for the evening of our lives:

Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy Word.
For mine eyes have seen thy salvation
which thou hast prepared before the face of all peoples,
a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

Amen.

Collect for the Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple *

Almighty and everliving God, we humbly beseech thee that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple, so we may be presented to you with pure and clean hearts by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

 

* Also known as the Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary or Candlemas.
“The Presentation of Our Lord” and “The Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary” refer to events recounted in the Gospel for the day (Luke 2:22-40). “Candlemas” refers to a ceremony, peculiar to the day, which has been part of the practice of the Church since the seventh century, when candles were blessed at the Masses of the day and then carried in procession to commemorate the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple at Jerusalem. 

This Week’s Announcements, February 5-11, 2017

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Frank Leighton. The flowers at the Crossing are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Polly Warren.


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.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Ray Porter, Suzi Briggs & Bruce Kiernan host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Tony Pulsone & Darcy Montaldi and Nola Scheffer.  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.  Hour.  Stephen Teichgraeber, Michael Gnozzio & Marcos German-Domingues host this morning’s Coffee Hour.  Next week the Coffee Hour will be hosted by Janell & Michael Sauer, Meg Mill and David Fisher.  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 Marcos or Daniel German-Domingues (mrbgd@hotmail.com or DGDomingues@outlook.com), Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Entr’acte:  Today and on subsequent Sundays, February 12, 19, and 26, Fr Warren will lead a discussion of the teaching and practice of Islam.  Thereafter, during Lent Jim Wood, our Parish Administrator and scholar of the Bible to boot, will lead a presentation of the Passion Narratives in the four Gospels.


Blessing of Throats:  The feast of St Blaise was February 3, and from the eighth century he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those afflicted with illnesses of the throat.  This morning Fr Wood will offer traditional throat blessings in the Lady Chapel.  St Blaise (also spelled Blase and Blasius) was a 3rd century physician who became Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, during a time of great persecution under the Emperor Licinius.  St Blaise hid out in a cave on Mt Argeus, and his cult spread throughout the entire Church in the Middle Ages because he was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died when a fishbone stuck in his throat.


Today’s Feast:  The Feast which we celebrate this morning goes by three names:  The Feast of the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary, The Feast of the Presentation of Our Lord in the Temple, and Candlemas.  The first two refer to events recounted in today’s Gospel reading.  The last refers to a ceremony, peculiar to the day, which has been part of the practice of the Church since the seventh century.  At the Masses this morning candles will be blessed and then carried in procession to commemorate the entry of Christ, the Light of the World, into the Temple at Jerusalem.  Jesus came, as the prophet Simeon said, in the words of the Nunc Dimittis which the choir will sing during the lighting of the candles, “to be a light to lighten the Gentiles, and to be the glory of thy people Israel.”

This afternoon!  at 4:00 pm—The Presentation of Our Lord (Candlemas)—Choral Evensong at All Saints Church, Ashmont.  Parishioners of the Advent are invited most cordially to attend.


Election Results.  At last Sunday’s Annual Meeting the following persons were elected to serve on the Parish Vestry:  C. Thomas Brown, Philip Le Quesne, Christopher Laconi and Eric Baldwin were elected to three-year terms.  Rachael Ringenberg was elected to a one-year term.

Frederic Ou was elected to a one-year term as Clerk of the Vestry.  Adam Rutledge was elected to a one-year term as Treasurer

Betsy Madsen and Julianne Turé were elected Delegates to Diocesan Convention and the Deanery; Robb Scholten was elected Alternate Delegate.

Congratulations to the above persons and our gratitude, as well, for their willingness to serve the Parish.


New Parish Directories:  Copies of the new Parish Directory and the 2016 Annual Report are available on the tables at the rear of the Church.


Today is Scout Sunday, a day when we recognize scouts and scout supporters around the globe.  The goals of scouting are outlined in the Scout Promises.  Girl Scout Promise:  On my honor, I will try, To serve God and my country, To help people at all times, And to live by the Girl Scout Law.  Boy Scout Promise:  On my honor I will do my best, To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law:  To help other people at all times, To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.  Scouts from the Parish are:  Francesca Baker, Joshua A. Bickford, Michael S. Bickford, Jr., Quinn Cousineau, AnneLise Drouin, Xavier Drouin, Ellie Kiernan, Emma Kiernan, Mariella Mataliano, Mark Mataliano and Emily Zadig.


Can You Help?  Morning and Evening Prayer is scheduled to be prayed every day at 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Because pastoral responsibilities, it is becoming more and more difficult for the Clergy alone to maintain these Monday through Friday services, and so we badly need volunteers to conduct services if the present schedule is to continue.  Think about this, and if you are able to take on one of these evening services, please speak to Fr Warren or Fr Wood.


THIS WEEK!


Bible Study Continues—Wednesdays at 10 am—Parish Library—Interested in studying the Bible with others from our parish?  Join us in the Library on Wednesday mornings at 10 am. This week we take up chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation. 


COMING UP!


Compline at the Advent—Next Sunday, February 12, at 8 pm—On Sunday, February 12, at 8:00 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 is 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).


Confirmation Classes Set to Begin:  The Advent offers confirmation classes every year for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Communion. The next Confirmation service will be Saturday, April 29, and we are planning classes for Lent.  Adults and teens who are interested should email frwood@theadventboston.org for more information.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Volunteer Opportunity—Serve at Common Cathedral Sunday, February, 19 from Noon to 2:30 pm.  Amanda Grant-Rose preached at the Advent in November, then shared with our Mission & Outreach Team ways our parish could partner to serve Boston’s un-housed community.  A team from the Advent will serve lunch at their Boston Common worship service on Sunday, February 19, from noon until 2:30 pm.  We need a team of eight volunteers—would you please be one of them?  For information or to volunteer, contact Ali White at alinebwhite@gmail.com or 802-323-6652, or Father Wood at cubswn@gmail.com.


ODDS & ENDS


Children’s Hands-On Arts Festival—Friday and Saturday, February 17 & 18 at Park Street Church.  Our friends across Boston Common at Park Street Church have invited Advent children and families to their fifth Children’s Hands-On Arts Festival on February 17 and 18.  Workshops on everything from drama to dance, classical music to culinary creation will encourage children ages 3 – 11 to explore new areas of interest as they grow.  Each workshop is a 20-minute presentation by leaders with training in their areas of expertise, then 35 minutes of hands-on experience for kids!  Families can attend an opening concert Friday night by Randall Goodgame regardless of whether they attend the Arts Festival workshops on Saturday.  The event is free and open to all (a free-will offering will be taken).  For more information or to register for the Arts Festival: http://www.parkstreet.org/artsfestival.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish.  There are openings for flower memorials or thanksgivings for the High Altar on Sundays,  February 12 and 26.  If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 (flowers.advent@gmail.com).


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne. You can find her 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: deaconnoyes@theadventboston.org.


STEWARDSHIP 2017


If you requested pledge envelopes on your pledge card, they can be found at the back of the Church in (it is devoutly to be hoped) alphabetical order. If you asked for envelopes and they are not there, please call the Parish Office (617-523-2377 ext 122, email: office@theadventboston.org.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
February 6-12, 2017

Monday, February 6
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, February 7
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, February 8
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
6:30 pm: Parish Choir Rehearsal
7:00 pm: Bell Ringing

Thursday, February 9
10:00 am: Play Group
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, February 10
Scholastica
10:00 am: Play Group
7:00 pm : Girl Scouts Dance

Saturday, February 11
4:00 pm: Prayer & Care Meeting

Sunday, February 12
The Sixth Sunday after Epiphany
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte / Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Daphne B. Noyes at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, January 29, 2017, the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

Today is our annual parish meeting, so it seems a good time to share this anecdote. A priest of my acquaintance, rector of a prestigious urban parish for only a few months, was preparing for the parish’s annual meeting (and that’s a lot of work, as my colleagues can attest). In the midst of this, the priest’s two young children simultaneously came down with the kind of nasty bug that seems to appear regularly, all too frequently, in families with small kids. Usually at the worst possible time.

The beleaguered cleric took a moment out from preparing the obligatory annual report and tending to ailing offspring, to make this journal entry:
“Hey – it’s sick, screaming kids weekend – just in time for the Annual Meeting. Well played, Satan.”

Well played, Satan. Could there be a more appropriate, or accurate, summing up of many of the goings-on in our nation, in the world?

Well played, Satan. How else are we to understand the rancor and rudeness, the disrespect and division that surround us, that have turned public discourse into public discord?

You may wonder what Satan is doing in the midst of this reflection, this liturgy, our lives. Well, the short answer is: the usual. Wreaking havoc, leading us astray, sowing doubt and fear, encouraging us to put ourselves at the center of power and privilege and abandon others to the outskirts. Urging us to hear only our own voices, and to stifle or silence the voices of others. Even, or especially, the voice of God. Offering prosperity to a few of us, at the price of poverty for many of us. Distracting us with seductive visions of safety and security — as long as we turn a blind eye to artificial walls of division and the needs of others. Calling our attention away from the persecuted who turn to us seeking shelter, that we may focus only on our own material comfort and well being. Make no mistake: Satan will let us rule — as long as we play by Satan’s rules.

The contentious, conflicted milieu in which we find ourselves may be unfamiliar, but it is nothing new to God. The prophet Micah preached to the wayward people of Israel, reminding them of God’s steadfast love, generated not by a rota of ritual sacrifice or public display of self-righteousness, but in justice, mercy, and humility.

Paul wrote to the church in Corinth, reminding the fledgling Christians of the then-novel, topsy-turvy theology of God’s kingdom: what is foolish will shame what is wise; what is weak will shame what is strong; what is low and despised will bring to nothing worldly things and thoughts. This is Christ, and him crucified: foolish, weak, low, despised, and the hope of the world.

Perhaps in writing this Paul had in mind the familiar teaching of Jesus in the portion of Matthew’s Gospel we know as the Beatitudes. Jesus lays out a vision of the world which dwells in (straddles) two places: the present and the future.

In the present, we have those who are blessed — the poor, the mourners, the meek; in the future, they shall be comforted, shall inherit the earth.

In the present, we have those who seek righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers; in the future, they shall be satisfied, shall obtain mercy, shall see God; shall be called children of God.

In the present, we have those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake…who are reviled and have “evil uttered against them on my account”, says Jesus, reminding his listeners that the prophets, too, were so persecuted.

There are some who would inherit the earth through fear and domination. There are some who would inherit the earth through hoarding their riches like the man who came up with a plan to preserve his burgeoning treasure by tearing down his barns, and building ever-larger ones.

But Jesus assigns this inheritance of the earth not to those with earthly authority or unimaginable wealth, but to the meek.

I would like to suggest that the meek have gotten a bad rap. I once worked with a high-powered executive who scornfully spoke of the potential promotion of a less-aggressive colleague: It’ll happen, he said, when the meek inherit the earth.

Yet the coupling of the meek and the inheritance of the earth, or the land, is well grounded in scripture— for example, Psalm 37. (And let’s remember that the Psalms are essentially Jesus’ prayer book.) In this psalm, the Hebrew words used for “possess” or “dwell” or “inherit” translate more accurately, if less gracefully, as “tenant” (think of it as a verb) and “tabernacle” (same thing). Those who will tenant the land and tabernacle the earth are the godly; who are generous in giving; whose steps are directed by God; who are faithful; who keep God’s law in their heart. Those are the meek. The meek, we might say, are people who keep the two great commandments: who love God with all their heart, soul, and mind, and who love their neighbors as themselves.

This is heady stuff to lead us into, or out of, a parish annual meeting. But never was there a better time to call to remembrance why we are here, what we are doing, and for whom.

Amen.

This Week’s Announcements, January 29-February 4, 2017

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.


TODAY!


The Annual Parish Meeting is at 10:00 am this morning.  Please go to the Library and sign in, get your ballot, a copy of the 2015 Annual Report and a new edition of the Parish Directory.  You may vote after you sign in, or during the meeting.

If you can help count votes, please come to the Library at the conclusion of the 11:15 Mass.


9:00 Coffee Hour. The Annual Meeting will take place immediately following the 9:00 Mass this morning. The regular 9:00 coffee hour resumes next Sunday, when the hosts will be Ray Porter, Suzi Briggs & Bruce Kiernan. 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.  Hour.  Michael Gnozzio, Kara Rodgers, and Annlinea Terranova host this morning’s Coffee Hour. 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 Marcos or Daniel German-Domingues (mrbgd@hotmail.com or DGDomingues@outlook.com), Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Entr’acteThere is no Entr’acte this morning.  Next Sunday, February 5, and on subsequent Sundays, February 12, 19, and 26, Fr Warren will lead a discussion of the teaching and practice of Islam.  Thereafter, during Lent Jim Wood, our Parish Administrator and scholar of the Bible to boot, will lead a presentation of the Passion Narratives in the four Gospels.


Can You Help?  Morning and Evening Prayer is scheduled to be prayed every day at 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Monday through Friday.  Because pastoral responsibilities, it is becoming more and more difficult for the Clergy alone to maintain these Monday through Friday services, and so we badly need volunteers to conduct services if the present schedule is to continue.  Think about this, and if you are able to take on one of these evening services, please speak to Fr Warren or Fr Wood.


THIS WEEK!


Bible Study Continues—Wednesdays at 10 am—Parish Library—Interested in studying the Bible with others from our parish?  Join us in the Library on Wednesday mornings at 10 am. This week we take up chapter 1 of the Book of Revelation. 


COMING UP!


Blessing of Throats:  The feast of St Blaise is February 3, and from the eighth century he has been invoked on behalf of the sick, especially those afflicted with illnesses of the throat.  Next Sunday, February 5, Fr Wood will offer traditional throat blessings in the Lady Chapel.  St Blaise (also spelled Blase and Blasius) was a 3rd century physician who became Bishop of Sebaste, Armenia, during a time of great persecution under the Emperor Licinius.  St Blaise hid out in a cave on Mt Argeus, and his cult spread throughout the entire Church in the Middle Ages because he was reputed to have miraculously cured a little boy who nearly died when a fishbone stuck in his throat.


Compline at the Advent—Sunday, February 12, at 8 pm—On Sunday, February 12, at 8:00 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 is 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).


Confirmation Classes Set to Begin:  The Advent offers confirmation classes every year for those who wish to be confirmed or received into the Anglican Communion. The next Confirmation service will be Saturday, April 29, and we are planning classes for Lent.  Adults and teens who are interested should email frwood@theadventboston.org for more information.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Volunteer Opportunity—Serve at Common Cathedral Sunday, February, 19 from Noon to 2:30 pm.  Amanda Grant-Rose preached at the Advent in November, then shared with our Mission & Outreach Team ways our parish could partner to serve Boston’s un-housed community.  A team from the Advent will serve lunch at their Boston Common worship service on Sunday, February 19, from noon until 2:30 pm.  We need a team of eight volunteers—would you please be one of them?  For information or to volunteer, contact Ali White at alinebwhite@gmail.com or 802-323-6652, or Father Wood at cubswn@gmail.com.


ODDS & ENDS


Children’s Hands-On Arts Festival—Friday and Saturday, February 17 & 18 at Park Street Church.  Our friends across Boston Common at Park Street Church have invited Advent children and families to their fifth Children’s Hands-On Arts Festival on February 17 and 18.  Workshops on everything from drama to dance, classical music to culinary creation will encourage children ages 3 – 11 to explore new areas of interest as they grow.  Each workshop is a 20-minute presentation by leaders with training in their areas of expertise, then 35 minutes of hands-on experience for kids!  Families can attend an opening concert Friday night by Randall Goodgame regardless of whether they attend the Arts Festival workshops on Saturday.  The event is free and open to all (a free-will offering will be taken).  For more information or to register for the Arts Festival: http://www.parkstreet.org/artsfestival.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish.  There are openings for flower memorials or thanksgivings for the High Altar on Sundays,  February 12 and 26.  If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 (flowers.advent@gmail.com).


Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Deacon Daphne. You can find her 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: deaconnoyes@theadventboston.org.


STEWARDSHIP 2017


If you requested pledge envelopes on your pledge card, they can be found at the back of the Church in (it is devoutly to be hoped) alphabetical order. If you asked for envelopes and they are not there, please call the Parish Office (617-523-2377 ext 122, email: office@theadventboston.org.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
January 30 – February 5, 2017

Monday, January 30
7:00 pm: Girl Scout Leaders
7:00 pm: Recording Session

Tuesday, January 31
5:30 pm: Community Supper
7:00 pm: Recording Session

Wednesday, February 1
Brigid of Kildare
10:00 am: Bible Study
4:00 pm: Porcellians
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Recording Session

Thursday, February 2
8:30 am: Safe Church Training (all day)

Friday, February 3
Anskar of Hamburg
10:00 am: Play Group
11:00 am : Holy Hour

Saturday, February 4
Cornelius the Centurion

Sunday, February 5
The Solemnity of the Presentation of Our Lord (Candlemas)
Healing Services after all Masses
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Entr’acte / Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass