This Week at the Advent, October 13-19, 2019

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

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

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


The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for Advent intercessory prayers answered for Stephen Goranson.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosts this morning are Bette Boughton and Jonnet Holladay. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are David Fisher, David Lapin, and Frank Olney. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


Entr’acte Series: Christ and Culture Today continues today. Frs. Welch and Hanson, along with Advent parishioner and PhD candidate in philosophy Nicholas Westberg, discuss and debate Richard Niebuhr’s classic work, Christ and Culture, as well as the issues that the text still raises for us today. These Entr’acte presentations are intended to be a conversation between the three leaders but with ample opportunities for others to join in. It should be fun and illuminating, so please join us. Copies of Christ and Culture are available in the Advent Bookstore; it is not required reading for these sessions, but some might find it helpful.


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


COMING UP


Evensong Resumes! Next Sunday, October 20, there will be an organ recital at 4:30 pm by Mitchell Crawford, followed at 5:00 by a service of Solemn Evensong and Benediction. Music will include works by Radcliffe, Walton, Mundy, and Purcell. Following this one-hour service, a light supper will be offered at 6:00 pm and we begin a series of talks focusing on our Anglo-Catholic heritage in conjunction with the Advent 175 celebration. This first talk will be “Manton Eastburn: Man of Sorrows” by Deacon Noyes.


NEWS


We were sad to learn of the death last month of long-time parishioner Nancy Santeusanio Nickolds at her retirement home in Florida. A memorial service will be held at the Advent at a date to be announced.


A Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated for Jeanette Wood, wife of our former parish administrator Jim Wood, on October 19 at 10:00 am at Trinity Church, 81 Elm Street, Concord, MA.


Two of our faithful parishioners will be Received into The Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 26 at 10:30 am at The Cathedral Church of Saint Paul. Ellen Swendrowdki-Evett and Ginny McMackin will be presented by Father Welch on that day so they can receive the laying-on-of-hands by the Bishop and be welcomed into full communion of The Episcopal Church. Please keep them in your prayers as they prepare for the deanery-wide celebration and know that you are welcomed and encouraged to support them by your presence.  


VOLUNTEER(S) NEEDED:

Volunteer Opportunity: Coat Drive. We would like to host a coat drive here at the Advent as we did last year, but we need someone to take the lead and organize it. One Warm Coat is a national non-profit that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need, supporting individuals and organizations by providing tools and resources to hold successful drives. If you’re able and willing to take on this good work, please call the parish office or speak to one of the clergy. To learn more, please go to OneWarmCoat.org.


ODDS & ENDS


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. There is opening for flower memorials or thanksgivings on Sunday, November 17. If you are interested, please contact the parish administrator (office@theadventboston.org).

Floral arrangements at the Advent have been provided by devoted volunteers in the parish Flower Arranging Guild since 1992, providing all of the arrangements in the church. In addition to an enthusiastic, eclectic team of dedicated amateur designers working under the direction of Tom Sopko, drivers who pick up the flowers at the wholesale market and bring them to the church and helpers who unpack and process the material are essential to the functioning of the flower ministry. Several designers and drivers have moved away in the last year, so the Guild is seeking volunteers for these and other tasks. For more information on what is involved, look for a brochure at the back of the church or talk to any of the following Guild members: Tom Sopko, Betsy James, Cassie Gurnon, or Betsy Madsen.


Music Notes: Live recordings of the Advent Choir’s most recent work may always be found at https://soundcloud.com/mark-dwyer-2/tracks. Likewise, repertoire lists are available at https://www.theadventboston.org/1115-music-schedule/, or in the choral music brochures, found in the rear of the church.


Birthday Wish List: As the 175th birthday of the Advent rapidly approaches, we are grateful to all who have given or pledged to the Birthday Wish List. Collectively, they have funded:

  • Restoration of the original Parish Register (1844)
  • Restoration of the original Certificate of Consecration (1894)
  • Framing of the Certificate of Consecration
  • Restoration of the Easter Collect calligraphy (1922)
  • Framing of three watercolors by Robert Turner Walker (1920s)
  • Re-gilding of the original cross in All Saints Chapel (1840)

Our thanks to John Dooley, David Lapin, Daphne B. Noyes, Julianne Ture, Francesco Piscatelli and Judy Bell, and individual members of the Vestry for their combined gift. Additional thanks to all who have supported our Advent 175 commemorative items — and please see the fresh new stock, including postcards, bookmarks, and aprons. Notecards and porcelain ornaments are coming soon.

For those interested in helping support Advent 175 conservation efforts, please consider making a gift towards conservation and restoration of our critically important parish record books, especially those from the 1800s. All gifts — large, small, in-between — help us achieve our goal of preserving these important pieces of the Advent’s past.

— Maria Denslow and Thatcher Gearhart, Co-chairs, Advent 175 Committee

And Speaking of Advent 175:

  • New merchandise: A limited number of votives handcrafted from remnants of candles used at the Church of the Advent are now available. Each votive includes some wax from a Paschal Candle. Suggested donation, to benefit the Conservation Fund, is $2 each.
  • Entr’acte series November 10, 17, 24. More info to come.

FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


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

One of the best-known origin stories about The Church of the Advent concerns the gilded wooden cross that was used in the parish’s Green Street location. It was this very cross that, together with other ornaments, so infuriated Bishop Manton Eastburn that after his initial visit to the Advent in 1845, he vowed not to return until the chancel arrangement met with his approval. And so he stayed away for 11 years.

But there is another controversy, this one internal, that is less well known. This one concerns William Croswell, the first Rector, and the altar now in All Saints Chapel beneath the infamous cross. British-born architect Frank Wills designed the altar, which was crafted in England. On arrival in December 1850, the altar stones were found to be significantly damaged, “being split through from the face backwards.” Could the altar be accepted as is? After “expressing their own views, and comparing opinions in an informal manner,” the Vestry reached an impasse. Senior Warden Theron Metcalf stated his opposition to “both the reception and the erection of the stone Altar” and left the meeting.

After further discussion, the clerk, Henry Parker, submitted attempt at compromise, moving that the altar be accepted but not installed until repaired. In response, Richard Henry Dana (the notes do not indicate Sr. or Jr.) moved an adjournment to give the group “further time for reflection”; the motion was lost and Dana left the meeting. Parker’s amendment passed.

The altar was again the subject of discussion at the next meeting; no motion was made and the meeting adjourned. In early January 1851 a meeting was called “to consider farther the question of at once erecting the stone altar” which again sparked “a long and informal discussion.” Fitch Edward Oliver’s motion “That we do concur with the views of the Rector, and are of opinion that the Stone Altar should be immediately erected in this building” sparked more discussion; the motion was rejected.

Finally, in mid-February, Croswell called the Vestry together and offered a resolution that was adopted without debate: “That on the Rector’s request the Wardens & Vestry consent that the question of the erection of the stone altar be left entirely to his discretion.”

As part of the Advent 175 restoration efforts, the cross above the stone altar will be re-gilded thanks to a gift to the Conservation Fund. Also in need of regilding are the lettering on the altar and on the carved wooden saints, presenting another opportunity for a gift to the Conservation Fund.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
October 14-20, 2019

Monday, October 14
Samuel Isaac Joseph Schereschewsky
Holiday: Parish office closed; no morning prayer.

Tuesday, October 15
Teresa of Avila
6:00 pm: Community Supper
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Wednesday, October 16
Hugh Latimer & Nicholas Ridley
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, October 17
Ignatius of Antioch
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, October 18
St Luke
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, October 19
Henry Martyn

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

Sunday, October 20
Nineteenth 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
4:30 pm: Organ Recital
5:00 pm: Solemn Evensong & Benediction; Supper & Talk follow

Collect for the Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost (Proper 22)

Almighty and everlasting God, who art always more ready to hear than we to pray, and art wont to give more than either we desire or deserve: Pour down upon us the abundance of thy mercy, forgiving us those things whereof our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things which we are not worthy to ask, but through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ thy Son our Lord; who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Week at the Advent, October 6-12, 2019

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

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

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


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

The flowers in the crossing are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Paul Van Ocken.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosts this morning are Abigail & Alister Lewis-Bowen and David Russo & Matt McNeff. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Hosting this morning are Jason Grant, Jeff & Roxy Hanson, and Tyson Miller. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


From 10:15 to 11:15 this morning, children can enjoy a petting zoo in the garden off Moseley Hall. Just as Saint Francis gave thanks for all God’s creatures and truly appreciated how creation returns thanksgiving to God, so we will have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy many of God’s creatures.


Entr’acte Series: Christ and Culture Today continues today. Frs. Welch and Hanson, along with Advent parishioner and PhD candidate in philosophy Nicholas Westberg, discuss and debate Richard Niebuhr’s classic work, Christ and Culture, as well as the issues that the text still raises for us today. These Entr’acte presentations are intended to be a conversation between the three leaders but with ample opportunities for others to join in. It should be fun and illuminating, so please join us. Copies of Christ and Culture are available in the Advent Bookstore; it is not required reading for these sessions, but some might find it helpful.


The Blessing of the Animals in honor of St Francis of Assisi will take place today at 3:00 pm. Bring your fine-feathered, -furred, or -finned; two-, four- or more-footed friends to the Church for a short service and blessing. 


COMING UP


Compline at the Advent: Join us next Sunday, October 13, for the ancient liturgy of Compline, preceded by Lucernarium, an evening service of lamp-lighting. We pray Compline, the service of prayer before bedtime in the custom of early Christian monasticism, on the second Sunday of every month at 8:00 pm in the nave.


Evensong Resumes! On Sunday, October 20 there will be an organ recital at 4:30 pm by Mitchell Crawford, followed at 5:00 with a service of Solemn Evensong and Benediction. Music will include works by Radcliffe, Walton, Mundy, and Purcell. Following this one-hour service, a light supper will be offered at 6:00 pm and we begin a series of talks focusing on our Anglo-Catholic heritage in conjunction with the Advent 175 celebration. This first talk will be “Manton Eastburn: Man of Sorrows.”


ODDS & ENDS


It brings us great sadness to report that Jeanette Wood, wife of our former parish administrator Jim Wood, died October 3 after a long illness. Funeral arrangements at their parish in Concord are pending and will be announced.


The Rev. Dr. Ben King, who was a curate at the Advent from 2000 to 2005, will be participating in events associated with the canonization of John Henry Newman in Rome next weekend. Fr King is now on the faculty at the School of Theology of the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.


VOLUNTEER(S) NEEDED:

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need, supporting individuals, groups, companies, and organizations across the country by providing tools and resources to hold successful coat drives. Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, and since its inception in 1992 the organization has given away more than six million coats. We would like to host a coat drive here at the Advent as we did last year, but we need someone to take the lead and organize and direct our drive. If you’re able and willing to take on this good work, please call the parish office or speak to one of the clergy. To learn more about One Warm Coat, please go to OneWarmCoat.org.


 


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


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

Sometimes a few hours spent in the archives leads to stories one never could have imagined. Such is this week’s installment, which began with the aim of focusing on Robert Turner Walker, but changed direction.

Robert Turner Walker (1867-1931), an MIT-trained architect and faithful parishioner, instituted the Order of St Vincent in the parish. As head of the St Vincent Guild, he trained servers and made assignments for each liturgy, a daunting task that could involve more than 20 servers for three Sunday Masses. A meticulous record-keeper, he recorded the names of 48 members of the Guild and 35 candidates in a log book that covers 1909 to 1913.

Turner also served as the Guild’s treasurer for many years, dutifully recording expenses: 50 postcards for a penny each; St Vincent pins for $2.75; train fare for meetings. Income came from members’ dues, mite boxes, and minstrel shows, which were held intermittently from 1897 to 1915. During this time, the shows were one of the most significant sources of income, yielding as much as $96.50 for one show held in May 1908.

A separate page lists “Memorial Censer Fund”; donations range from $35 (for an incense boat) to several of $1. The censer referred to is the silver thurible which is used at special liturgies from time to time. A close examination of the thurible shows a faint inscription: Cecil Moreton Barlow. The boat carries the personal colophon of Robert Turner Walker, who designed it. The set is in fact a memorial to a young member of the Guild of St Vincent.

Who was this Cecil Barlow? He was born in 1890, lived in Somerville, and served regularly at the altar. However a stark notation by his name on the membership roll states in uppercase letters, “Died.” The City of Boston death certificate tells the story: in 1912, he was employed as a “meter tester,” and on August 7 was killed by an “accidental shock of electricity.” Guild funds were used for a “Cross of Asters in Memoriam Cecil M. Barlow” at his funeral. His gravestone at Woodlawn Cemetery is an elaborately carved Celtic cross.

Both Robert Turner Walker and Cecil Moreton Barlow rest from their labors now, and through faith have left us with treasures seen and unseen: a gleaming thurible whence “prayers arise like incense” and fragile record books containing infinite stories. In the words of St. John, “if every one of them were written down, I suppose the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.”


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
October 7-13, 2019

Monday, October 7
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, October 8
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, October 9
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, October 10
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, October 11
St Philip
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, October 12
10:00 am: Flower Guild

Sunday, October 13
Eighteenth 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
8:00 pm: Compline

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Dr Victor Lee Austin at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, September 29, 2019, Michaelmas

Dr. Austin is Theologian-in-Residence for the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas.

Angels’ Role(s)

The feast of Saint Michael and All Angels brings much joy to many of us, for all sorts of reasons. May I begin with a personal reason? Susan, my late wife, and I deliberately chose this feast as the date for our marriage, some 41 years ago in Santa Fe. It fell on a Friday that year. Many people asked us, Why don’t you get married on Saturday? We replied, But that wouldn’t be the feast of St Michael! People named Michael, not to mention angels, were important to us.

I suppose we were putting our marriage under the protection of St Michael. Protection is an important role that angels play—Jesus refers to guardian angels—and the protection provided by angels is nothing to sneeze at. Sneeze at the devil if you wish; indeed, the devil has a smell that should bring to all healthy nostrils a violent sneeze. But don’t sneeze at angels. There are spiritual forces for good in this vast universe of God’s creating.

Our first child was named Michael. We often told him that his name, Mi-cha-el, means the question “Who is like God?” The name Michael thus points to the defending role that angels play, in particular, their protection against any who would claim to displace God. Who claims to be like God?—that’s Michael’s challenge, for no one can be like God. My wife and I would often remind our son about that question mark on his name. A “Michael” is not someone who is like God; a “Michael” is rather one who takes up God’s cause against anyone who would claim to be like God!

It is near impossible to understand why anyone would want to go against God, to usurp God’s place, to want to be like God, to be in the place of God, to be God—and yet it is the case, some people—and some angels—have opposed God from the beginning. Opposition to God goes back as far as we can see. The serpent, the snake in the garden, tempted our first parents with the thought that they could be “like God.” Some have suggested that he, the serpent, was upset by God’s infatuation with this bungling human being that he had made. He, the serpent, was the subtlest creature of God, he was the one who ought to be God’s favorite. And so to prove his importance, he insinuated to Eve (and through her, Adam) that they had in themselves the autonomy to declare what’s good and what’s evil. This is the usurpation of God: to take upon oneself to decide the meaning of things, to say: I can declare what’s good and what’s evil, I can define what’s right and wrong. This, of course, remains a live temptation today, for groups as well as for individuals. Many social practices and trends of thought presume to take God’s place, to define for themselves what’s good and evil.

But whenever we would try to push God aside and define for ourselves what’s right and wrong, we end up hurting people, ourselves and others. It is the job of angels to oppose all this; when angels battle God’s enemies they at the same time defend the goodness and dignity of every human being.

+++

So angels protect; we could call that the guardian function, indeed, the “Michael” function. But they do much more. They also reveal things, and this is the “Gabriel” function. Gabriel appears to the virgin Mary and reveals to her that utterly unexpected thing God was prepared to do—to take human flesh in her womb. And more than that: he reveals to her that she can freely participate in that unexpected thing.

This revelatory role for angels, like everything about angels, goes back long before the New Testament. Here’s a case from the year, oh, about 1800 B.C., a story told in the book of Genesis.

A man is escaping from a messy situation; his brother has reason to take his life and the brute force to do so. The man comes to a certain place for the night, and in his sleep he dreams. In his dream the sky opens, and there’s a ladder, propped up from the earth into that opening in the sky. A connection exists, in this place, in his dream, between his life on this earth and the place where God dwells (which is what “heaven” means: heaven is a created “place” that God has made so that he can be close to his creation). In this dream God is up there in his place, heaven, but the communication between God and man is made visible: there is that ladder with the angels of God going up and down upon it. God speaks to this man in his dream, and confirms that he has a future. God will be “with” him and “keep” him into that future; despite the messiness and danger and forthcoming troubles and struggles, his life will never be cut off from the life of God.

It is an angelic revelation, and it shows how God is always close to us. There is that ladder, there are those angels: no matter where we go, no matter what happens to us, we have access to communication with God. We will never be cut off.

This is true for us—it’s not merely an ancient picture that might make us feel a little better—because Jesus is that ladder. This we know from the New Testament, from Saint John’s gospel. There is a man named Nathaniel sitting under a fig tree. His friend Philip finds him there, and urges him to come meet Jesus. When Nathaniel arrives, Jesus recognizes him, and calls him a man without guile. Nathaniel is perhaps flattered (who wouldn’t be?), but he doesn’t know how Jesus knows him. Jesus tells him: “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” And Nathaniel believes. He calls Jesus the son of God and the king of Israel.

This, however, is not the end of it. Jesus then says, Thou shalt see greater things than these. . . . Ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of man.

Jesus deliberately references Jacob’s dream. And the “you” in what he says—“ye shall see . . . angels . . . ascending and descending”—that “you” is plural. It starts out singular—thou, Nathaniel—then it turns plural. In Texas we say “y’all.” It means all the disciples. It means all those who hear this Gospel read through the centuries. It means you who are sitting here in pews on Beacon Hill in the city of Boston. For you to see: angels ascend and descend upon Jesus, who is Jacob’s ladder but not confined to that place where Jacob had his dream but is wherever the Holy Spirit is. Since Jesus’ gift to all who would receive him is the Holy Spirit, wherever you are there is this ladder, there is this communication; wherever you are, you are not cut off from God.

But don’t forget the preamble: “Thou shalt see greater things than these.”

This is the final role of angels that I will speak about today. Beyond protection (guardian, Michael), beyond revelation and communication with God (Gabriel, ladder), angels are God’s assurance to us our future is in his hands. I’m referring to things like this: We often look to the past with regret and to the present with fear of losing what we have. People we have loved dearly have died, and those we love dearly right now may be slipping away. The leaves here in Boston (and how glad I am to visit your fair city at this fine time!)—the leaves are just on the edge of turning; next month they will become brilliant colors, then they will fall, and after that, the darkness. You may be a baby with your whole life ahead of you: but what will that life be? You may be young and in the fullness of your life, but times are difficult and you wonder if you’ll get opportunities. Or you’re like me, a widower who with good health might still have a productive decade or two or even three. Or your own summer is coming to an end, and winter is closing in.

Friends! All these thoughts, these pictures, these worries—they are deceptions. They are wrong and delusional because they leave angels out of the picture! Remember Jesus’ words: Thou shalt see greater things than these. “Thou”—you individually, you Nathaniel, you, whatever your name is, you individually will see greater things. Each of us shall see—all of us shall see. Of course, cities pass away. We know empires fall. We’ve seen buildings crumble. And while we have time, we do our best to shore them up and perhaps improve them a bit. But when Boston (or Dallas) is as much an ancient memory as the Roman Empire, you, a creature of God made for eternity, you will still be alive; and if you are God’s friend, you will still be a creative, communicative creature, in love with God, in love with all those who love God, in that place of true communications, the angels continually ascending and descending.

Angels: they bring God’s protection to us, they are God’s communication with us, and they assure us that, for each one of us, there are still greater things to come.

 

 

Collect for Michaelmas

O everlasting God, who hast ordained and constituted the ministries of angels and men in a wonderful order: Mercifully grant that, as thy holy angels always serve and worship thee in heaven, so by thy appointment they may help and defend us on earth; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Week at the Advent, September 29-October 5, 2019

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

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

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


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

The flowers in the Chapel of All Saints are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Maj. Loren K. and Leora Smith.

The flowers in the Baptistry are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the baptism of Michael Allen Constantine Wiederschain Brown.


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosts this morning are Will Joyner & Linda Jones, and Darcy Montaldi and Tony Pulsone. Next Sunday’s hosts are Mary & Paul Roberts, and David Russo & Matt McNeff. If you would like to sign up to host coffee hour, please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email, bbolesster@gmail.com, if you’re interested or have questions.

11:15 Coffee Hour: Today’s hosts are Fred Mazyck and Jean & Marie Rateau. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).


 Today we welcome the Rev’d Canon Dr. Victor Austin. Canon Austin is a priest and scholar with experience in parish ministry as a rector in upstate New York, and in the academic world teaching in various colleges and General Theological Seminary, in New York. He is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM, General Theological Seminary and earned a PhD in theology from Fordham University. He became canon theologian-in-residence in the Episcopal Diocese of Dallas in September 2016, and previously held a similar post at St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue.

With a theological focus on Christian ethics, he has written Up with Authority: Why We Need Authority to Flourish as Human Beings, which was short-listed for the Michael Ramsey Prize in 2013. His recent writing exists at the intersection of theology and everyday life. His memoir Losing Susan: Brain Disease, the Priest’s Wife, and the God Who Gives and Takes Away has received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly: Nonfiction Book Review. It tells of his 34-year marriage to Susan, who had brain cancer in the midst of their marriage that was successfully treated, but who then suffered mental decline for almost 20 years. His other books include Priest in New York City: Church, Street, and Theology; A Priest’s Journal; and Christian Ethics: A Guide for the Perplexed.


The Entr’acte series of adult courses resumes today with the four-part series, Christ and Culture Today. Frs. Welch and Hanson, along with Advent parishioner and PhD candidate in philosophy Nicholas Westberg, discuss and debate Richard Niebuhr’s classic work, Christ and Culture, as well as the issues that the text still raises for us today. Christ and Culture is a clear, careful, and even-handed study of the ways Christians have related to the culture around them, ranging from total rejection to uncritical acceptance and various perspectives in between. Frs. Welch and Hanson and Mr. Westberg will present Neibuhr’s taxonomy and update his findings for our current situation in the Anglo-Catholic tradition.

Our history as American Episcopalians has been shaped by the most extreme ends of the Christ and culture spectrum, all the way from Episcopalian pacifists who were imprisoned for not taking up arms, to the more familiar (and numerous!) “Country Club Episcopalians” who, fairly or unfairly, have been judged for making a comfortable accommodation to their surrounding culture. It is important to understand these polarities as the culture war still rages around us and to imagine the distinctive contribution we can make as Anglo-Catholics, who interpret the question of Christ and culture as a subset of faith’s relationship to reason, and can therefore chart a middle course. For there is certainly truth and goodness found in human culture, but there is also distinct truth and goodness revealed to us in Jesus and the Scriptures that witness to him. And there is also the powerful and attractive alternative view articulated by Anglican theologian Frederick Denison Maurice of how Christ does not just reject or accept culture but transforms it in his own image.

These Entr’acte presentations are intended to be a conversation between the three leaders but with ample opportunities for others to join in. It should be fun and illuminating, so please join us. Copies of Christ and Culture are available in the Advent Bookstore; it is not required reading for these sessions, but some might find it helpful. This series continues through October 20.


THIS WEEK


There will be a Mass of Remembrance for June Knowles on Wednesday, October 3, at 11:00 am at the Advent. The committal will immediately follow the Mass at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Dorchester Center.  


NEXT SUNDAY


In honor of St. Francis: October 4 is the day the Church has set to honor and give thanks for the life and witness of Saint Francis of Assisi, founder of the Order of Saint Francis, known as a lover of God’s Creation and one of our most well-known and popular saints. So in keeping with the celebration of his life and witness, we will host our annual Blessing of Animals on October 6 at 3:00 pm in the Church’s chancel.

In the morning the children will be able to enjoy a petting zoo in the garden off Moseley Hall beginning after the 9:00 am Mass. Just as Saint Francis gave thanks for all God’s creatures and truly appreciated how creation returns thanksgiving to God, so we will have the opportunity to appreciate and enjoy many of God’s creatures.


COMING UP


Errata: The recent mailing of the fall music brochure included information about the talks following upcoming services of Evensong & Benediction, both of which will be a part of our 175th anniversary celebration. Unfortunately, each was listed with an incorrect date. Here are the correct dates:

October 20:  “Manton Eastburn: Man of Sorrows”

November 17:  “The Holiness of Beauty: Music and the Anglo-Catholic Movement”

Additional talks on Advent history and Anglo-Catholic heritage are scheduled for 2020. More information on those to come.


VOLUNTEER(S) NEEDED:

One Warm Coat is a national non-profit organization that works to provide a free, warm coat to any person in need, supporting individuals, groups, companies, and organizations across the country by providing tools and resources to hold successful coat drives. Coats are distributed in the communities where they were collected, and since its inception in 1992 the organization has given away more than six million coats. We would like to host a coat drive here at the Advent as we did last year, but we need someone to take the lead and organize and direct our drive. If you’re able and willing to take on this good work, please call the parish office or speak to one of the clergy. To learn more about One Warm Coat, please go to OneWarmCoat.org.


MICHAELMAS UPDATE FROM THE WARDENS

Dear Members and Friends of the Church of the Advent:

Each year when we reach late September, the celebration of the great Feast of Saint Michael and All Angels marks a sort of unofficial start to our program year. The Church School has restarted, the Choirs are back, Entr’acte and our other education programs have begun, and programs of service such as the Community Dinner continue full speed ahead. This year we are pleased to welcome the Rev’d Canon Dr. Victor Austin as our preacher for Michaelmas. Fr. Austin presently serves as Canon Theologian to the Bishop of Dallas; many of you may be familiar with him from his previous service at St. Thomas Church in New York City. Fr. Austin will also be leading the annual Vestry Retreat the day before.

You are likely aware that the application period for the Rector Search closed in August. We should all be thankful for the extraordinary response: over thirty priests applied. This is a great reflection on the vibrancy of our Parish. The Search Committee is now carrying out the challenging—and enormously time-consuming—task of reviewing the candidates’ submissions and conducting initial phone interviews. This will be followed by in-person visits and interviews, including with the Vestry and the Bishop. I know that this process is one that is a source of both hope and anxiety in our Parish family. To borrow a line from the Archangel Gabriel: Fear Not! We are blessed with a strong pool of candidates and a committed and prayerful Search Committee that is working together guided by the Spirit. Still, much discernment remains before the process concludes. Please continue to keep the Search Committee and all of the applicants in your prayers. Please also remember that the Committee must keep the names of the applicants and the contents of its deliberations confidential at this stage, and be understanding and respectful of the fact that they cannot discuss their work outside of the Committee.

We are pleased to report that the renovation of the Rectory proceeds apace. This project has so far been a remarkable success in terms of both adherence to budget and timely progress. We all owe Tom and Carolyn McDermott, and the members of the Property Committee, enormous thanks for all of the professional skill and personal devotion they have brought to this project. At present we expect the project to be completed in January.

We are also looking forward to the celebration of the Advent’s 175th Anniversary on this coming Advent Sunday, December 1, 2019. On that day, Bishop Gates will conduct a Visitation of the Parish, preaching and celebrating at the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses. He will also meet with the Vestry and attend festive Coffee Hours (with Advent Wreath-making too!). There are many special events planned to commemorate Advent 175, so please take a look at the calendar and plan to participate. In particular note that this year’s Anglo-Catholic Roots conference will take place on December 5th and 6th. Speakers include the Rev’d Andrew McGowan, Dean of Yale’s Berkeley School of Divinity, and the Rev’d Prof. Sarah Coakley, Norris-Hulse Professor of Divinity Emerita at the University of Cambridge. Prof. Coakley will also be our guest preacher for the Second Sunday of Advent.

In connection with this important anniversary of our Parish’s founding, I ask that you each consider a special contribution to support the “Wish List” of Advent 175 gifts, which includes both restoration projects for historical items as well as proposals for new items. The Vestry has collectively committed $3000 to supporting the restoration of Volume One of the Parish Archives. This and other gifts will show our collective commitment to protecting the Advent’s history and providing for its future. You are welcome to contribute any amount you wish, whether or not toward one of the specific projects on the “Wish List.” The wish list can be found on the church website or in a brochure atop the Advent 175 display case outside the office.

We will continue to provide updates to the Parish on the Search and the work of the Wardens and Vestry in the months ahead. Meanwhile, we look forward to seeing everyone at Church.

Faithfully yours,

Thomas Brown & Paul J. Roberts,
Wardens


FROM THE ADVENT ARCHIVES


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

William Croswell (1844-1851)

The first rector of the Church of the Advent, William Croswell (1804-1851), previously served as Minister of Christ Church (Old North). When he arrived in Boston in 1829, he was not yet 25 years old, still in Deacon’s orders, unmarried. He is described as “poet, scholar, and keen observer of life and things about him, …modest and untiring as a priest and pastor, characterized by Phillips Brooks as ‘a man of most attractive character and beautiful purity of life … one of the most interesting men who have ever filled Episcopal pulpits in Boston.’”(Mary Kent Davey Babcock, “William Croswell and Christ Church Boston,” Historical Magazine of the Protestant Episcopal Church, Vol. 2, No. 1 (March 1933).*

After 11 years at Christ Church, Croswell preached his farewell sermon on July 5, 1840; he had accepted a position at St Peter’s in Auburn, New York. Before leaving Boston, however, he married Miss Amanda Mary Tarbell (1808-1880), who had been organist at Christ Church; the officiant was Alexander Viets Griswold, Fifth Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church in the United States and Bishop of the Eastern Diocese, which included all of New England with the exception of Connecticut. Within four years, they would return to Boston.

Croswell was a prolific author; during his lifetime, he composed nearly 35 sonnets and seventy poems. We present today two that are especially appropriate: “Michael” and an excerpt from “Baptism.”

*Also from Babcock:…another biographer with equal truthfulness wrote, “Croswell’s poetry was the crowning expression of a consecrated life,” and one critic likened his poems to “beautiful carvings, the string courses, corbels, pendants, brackets, niches and tabernacle work of a Christian cathedral, adorning and strengthening the solid fabric, while placing the ornamental in due subordination to the useful.”


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
September 30 – October 6, 2019

Monday, September 30
Jerome

Tuesday, October 1
Remigius
6:00 pm: Stewardship Committee
6:00 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, October 2
10:00 am: Bible Study
11:00 am: Funeral of June Knowles
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringers

Thursday, October 3
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, October 4
Francis of Assisi
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, October 5
10:00 am: Flower Guild

Sunday, October 6
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