This Week’s Announcements, May 28-June 3, 2017

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Daniel James Macmillan.


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


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


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

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

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

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


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Mary & Paul Roberts and Abigail & Alister Lewis-Bowen host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Rachael & Joe Ringenberg and Melissa & Eric Baldwin. 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. Julius Krein, Christopher Laconi and Kyle Pilares host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Eric Aho, Michael Oliveri, Karen Chaney, Thatcher Gearhart and Ginnie Pierce.  We are in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour.  To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Volunteers are needed to organize the Reception following the Mass and Procession on Corpus Christi, Thursday, June 15.  This is our last big celebration before the summer and one at which we have many visitors and guests.  The Reception should match the event—plentiful and fun!  And we will need folks to organize and help.  Please speak to Fr Warren or Fr Wood if you are willing to be a part of this.


The Walk for Hunger isn’t over quite yet!  Team Advent’s goal for this year was to raise $10,000, and thanks to many gracious folks at the Advent and elsewhere we’ve raised $8000 to date!  But if you haven’t donated yet, you still can—and a generous donor has offered to match any more donations up to the $1,000 that will put us at our goal!  To donate, just place a check in the offering plate or mail it to the church—and remember to put “Walk for Hunger” in the memo line.


It is about time . . . that something was said about the Vidi aquam which takes place at the beginning of Mass during Eastertide.  During this preparatory rite, Holy Water is sprinkled on those present to remind us all of our own Baptisms, for as Baptism is our individual entry into the Body of Christ and the life of the Church, it is called to mind by this action at the beginning of the celebration of the Eucharist, which is itself the full and nourishing expression of the life of the Church.  During the sprinkling or aspersion the following verse from the Prophet Ezekiel is sung.  It is the account of a vision had by the Prophet (Ez. 47:1) and alludes also to the water and blood which flowed from Christ’s pierced side (John 19:34), as well as to a similar vision recorded in the Revelation to John (22:1).

I beheld water proceeding from the temple, on the right side thereof alleluia; and all they to whom that water came were healed, every one, and they say alleluia, alleluia.  O give thanks unto the Lord for he is gracious:  and his mercy endureth forever.

A similar action takes place at the beginning of the Mass in some Churches.  It is more somber and penitential in tone than the Vidi aquam, but serves the same purpose—to remind those present of their baptisms as they prepare to worship at Mass.  During this rite, which is known as the Asperges, Psalm 51:7 followed by verse 1, is sung:

Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be clean; though shalt wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.  Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to thy great goodness.

At both the West and South entrances of the church there are small receptacles for Holy Water.  These are called stoups (from the Middle English for “cup”).  They are simply an everyday extension of the Asperges and the Vidi aquam and are a good thing to make use of.  Whenever we enter a church physically, we may, by blessing ourselves with Holy Water from the stoup, remind ourselves of Baptism, which is our spiritual entrance into the whole of the Holy Catholic Church.

You may notice that, on Sundays outside of Eastertide when there is no Vidi aquam, members of the Altar party bless themselves with Holy Water from the stoup as they go by it in procession.  One of the responsibilities of the Deacon of the Mass, as assistant to the Celebrant, is to pass off water to the Celebrant.  Others simply take water for themselves.  Also, at the end of the Mass, having received the Blessed Sacrament, there is no need to bless oneself.  It’s done already.


THIS WEEK!


Tomorrow is Memorial Day and the Parish Office will be closed. Morning Prayer is at 9:00 and the 12:15 Mass will be at the regular time; 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.


The next meeting of the Wednesday Night Reading Group will be this Wednesday, May 31, at 7 pm in the Church Library.  We will be discussing Chapter 6, “The Challenge of Easter,” of N. T Wright’s The Challenge of Jesus. 


COMING UP!


More Processiontide!  The High Mass for Pentecost will be an orchestral mass, with the Mozart Missa Brevis in D Major, KV 194 being sung by the Advent Choir and Orchestra.  Included will be the much-loved Ave verum corpus KV 618, and Tallis’s stunning Loquebantur variis linguis.

Trinity Sunday’s Solemn Mass with Te Deum will feature English music of all-Tudor composers, including the beloved Taverner Missa “Small Devotion,” and the new (to us!) Te Deum “for trebles” by William Mundy.

Corpus Christi’s Mass with Procession-Around-the-Neighborhood and Benediction includes music for Brass Quartet and music by Renaissance Spaniards Lobo and Guerrero.  The guest preacher will be the Rev’d Jay Weldon, Rector of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Waban.


Picnic!  Picnic!  Picnic!  On Sunday June 21, we will have a summertime picnic in the Garden following the 9 am and 11:15 am Masses.  The Advent will provide hot dogs with all the trimmings and drinks of various kinds.  We ask members of the Parish to bring hors d’oeuvres, salads, desserts.  Pray for good weather and feel free to dress appropriately.


Advance notice of something mentioned by Fr Wood last Sunday . . . a Pilgrimage to Greece.  A trip is being organized to take place next Spring, sometime after Easter.  This will complement our first two pilgrimages: to the Holy Land, to the Pauline sites in Turkey.  Now we will go to the New Testament sites in Greece.  Among the places visited will be Thessaloniki, Philippi, Meteora, Delphi, Olympia, Corinth, Mycenae, Nauplion, and, of course, Athens.  As soon as the details are certain, they will be announced.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Upcoming Mission Opportunities with the Advent:

  • B-SAFE (July 31-August 3)
  • Common Cathedral (August 20)

Help the Advent love our city to life—Watch this space for details about how you can get involved with these and other projects.


ODDS & ENDS


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 for Sundays, June 25, July 2, July 16 and July 23.  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.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
May 29-June 4, 2017

Monday, May 29 (Memorial Day – Parish Office Closed)

Tuesday, May 30
Joan of Arc
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, May 31
Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary
8:30 am: Fire Extinguisher Testing
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Compline Rehearsal
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, June 1
Justin Martyr
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, June 2
The Martyrs of Lyon
11:00 am: Holy Hour

Saturday, June 3
The Martyrs of Uganda
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, June 4
Pentecost (Whitsunday)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Procession & Sung Mass
11:15 am: Procession & Solemn Mass

Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter

O God, who hast prepared for those who love thee such good things as pass man’s understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards thee, that we, loving thee in all things and above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; 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, May 21-27, 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.


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

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

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

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


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Tony Pulsone & Darcy Montaldi and Nola Sheffer host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Mary & Paul Roberts and Abigail & Alister Lewis-Bowen.  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. Michael & Janell Sauer and Michael Gnozzio host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Julius Krein, Frank Olney, Christopher Laconi and Kyle Pilares. We are in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour.  To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


It is about time . . . that something was said about the Vidi aquam which takes place at the beginning of Mass during Eastertide.  During this preparatory rite, Holy Water is sprinkled on those present to remind us all of our own Baptisms, for as Baptism is our individual entry into the Body of Christ and the life of the Church, it is called to mind by this action at the beginning of the celebration of the Eucharist, which is itself the full and nourishing expression of the life of the Church.  During the sprinkling or aspersion the following verse from the Prophet Ezekiel is sung.  It is the account of a vision had by the Prophet (Ez. 47:1) and alludes also to the water and blood which flowed from Christ’s pierced side (John 19:34), as well as to a similar vision recorded in the Revelation to John (22:1).

I beheld water proceeding from the temple, on the right side thereof alleluia; and all they to whom that water came were healed, every one, and they say alleluia, alleluia.  O give thanks unto the Lord for he is gracious:  and his mercy endureth forever.

A similar action takes place at the beginning of the Mass in some Churches.  It is more somber and penitential in tone than the Vidi aquam, but serves the same purpose—to remind those present of their baptisms as they prepare to worship at Mass.  During this rite, which is known as the Asperges, Psalm 51:7 followed by verse 1, is sung:

Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, O Lord, and I shall be clean; though shalt wash me and I shall be whiter than snow.  Have mercy upon me, O Lord, according to thy great goodness.

At both the West and South entrances of the church there are small receptacles for Holy Water.  These are called stoups (from the Middle English for “cup”).  They are simply an everyday extension of the Asperges and the Vidi aquam and are a good thing to make use of.  Whenever we enter a church physically, we may, by blessing ourselves with Holy Water from the stoup, remind ourselves of Baptism, which is our spiritual entrance into the whole of the Holy Catholic Church.


Today is the last Sunday at the Advent for our Seminarian, Eric Fialho.  Please take the opportunity to thank him for his contributions to the Advent this past year.  Eric returns in September as Pastoral Assistant.


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.


“Procession-Tide” Beginneth!  This coming Thursday, May 25, is the Feast of the Ascension.  A Procession & Solemn Mass will be sung at 6:30 pm, followed by a festive reception.

The preacher will be the Rev’d J. Matthew Tucker, Rector of Christ Church, Bordentown, New Jersey, since 2008, the same year he graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary.  He is an active firefighter and Chaplain of the City, and is the Chaplain of the Burlington County Firefighters Association; he serves the diocese on the Congregational Development Committee, the Committee on Deceased Members, the Youth Ministry Task Force, and the Disciplinary Board. Fr Matt is married to Doan Huynh Tucker, and they have a locally famous cat, Griffin P. Buttersnaps Tucker.


COMING UP!


More Processiontide!  The High Mass for Pentecost will be an orchestral mass, with the Mozart Missa Brevis in D Major, K V 194 being sung by the Advent Choir and Orchestra.  Included will be the much-loved Ave verum corpus KV 618, and Tallis’s stunning Loquebantur variis linguis.

Trinity Sunday’s Solemn Mass with Te Deum will feature English music of all-Tudor composers, including the beloved Taverner Missa “Small Devotion,” and the new (to us!) Te Deum “for trebles” by William Mundy.

Corpus Christi’s Mass with Procession-Around-the-Neighborhood and Benediction includes music for Brass Quartet and music by Renaissance Spaniards Lobo and Guerrero.


First Communion Class—The next class to prepare young people in the parish to make their First Communion will be Saturdays, June 3, from 10:30 am to noon in the Church.  At least one parent should plan to attend the class alongside the child.  First Communions will be on Pentecost, June 4, this year.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


The Mission and Outreach team meets today in the Library following the 11:15 Mass.


Is your money a discipleship issue?  Are you curious about what the Bible has to say about wealth?  Maybe you’re uneasy with American consumer culture and its emphasis on immediate gratification, tolerance of vast inequalities, and promotion of anxiety.  What if there was an alternate vision of real prosperity?  If you’d be interested in a conversation about how to live more simply, gratefully, justly, and generously, contact Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).  And watch the Mission Corner in the months to come for details about a parish conversation on financial discipleship.


Upcoming Mission Opportunities with the Advent:

  • B-SAFE (July 31-August 3)
  • Common Cathedral (August 20)

Help the Advent love our city to life—Watch this space for details about how you can get involved with these and other projects.


ODDS & ENDS


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


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
May 22-28, 2017

Monday, May 22
5:30 pm: Beacon Hill Village Party
6:30 pm: AGO Meeting

Tuesday, May 23
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, May 24
Jackson Kemper
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, May 25
Ascension Day
6:30 pm: Procession & Solemn Mass; Reception

Friday, May 26
Augustine of Canterbury

Saturday, May 27
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, May 28
The Seventh Sunday of Easter
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
11:15 am: Solemn Mass

Sermon preached by the Rev’d Dr. Jeffrey A. Hanson at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, May 14, 2017, the Fifth Sunday of Easter

Several years ago I went to Copenhagen, Denmark, to give a paper on my favorite philosopher, the 19th-century Danish Christian thinker Søren Kierkegaard. At the conference dedicated to his writings there were old friends of mine who work in the same area of philosophy, and as usually happens at these things, I met some new friends.

One of the latter was a rather dramatic young woman, a local Danish student pursuing a degree in theology. She had her hair cut in an extremely impressive Mohawk and multiple piercings and tattoos, and when the conference was in its last day she dragged me and some of the other attendees to a dingy bar around the corner from the university where she insisted we try shots of Gammeldansk. Gammeldansk is an old-fashioned Danish liqueur, kind of a national aperitif. If you read the label, it says that it is good for consumption not only while hunting or fishing but also “in the morning.” It tasted a bit like herbal kerosene.

It was in this setting that one of my old friends noticed one of our new Danish drinking buddy’s tattoos, on the inside of her wrist. It said, in Greek, “hodos/aletheia/zoe.” He asked her what it meant. Mellowed by the drinking of Gammeldansk, I gently reproved him for his curiosity and said something like, “Oh come on, man, you can’t read a simple Greek phrase?” Feeling very proud of myself I triumphantly announced, “It says ‘the way, the truth, the life.’”

We are used to hearing this phrase of our Lord’s, often in an evangelistic context. It has the feel of a slogan almost, a sort of compact proclamation of the Gospel message. That potent quality makes it the most famous passage in today’s reading from John.

And I think we can appreciate this famous passage in the way so many people obviously have, so much so that they might choose it as a tattoo and have it permanently inked on their body.

But I also think we should take a moment today to appreciate the context in which this phrase occurs. The beginning of chapter 14 is also the beginning of what we call our Lord’s Farewell Discourse, a long passage in John where Jesus speaks to his disciples about his imminent departure, reminding them of who he is and what he has taught them, and comforting them with the promise that the mission they have shared together will continue even though Jesus is about to be betrayed to the Romans and crucified by them.

And so the tone Jesus sets as he begins his last conversation with his disciples is one of loving reassurance and consolation. “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.”

This sets the tone for everything we read here, and again it’s an encouraging one. Particularly because Jesus knows what is about to happen to him, and the disciples do not quite seem to understand even at this late stage. So there is something strange about the timing of our reading.

We are in Easter season, and Jesus said all these words in John before he was executed. So why are we reading this now? I think we are reading this now because while Jesus’s words were spoken before Easter, they are about what happens after Easter. After his resurrection. Jesus is teaching his disciples about what is to come on the other side of his passion and death. Indeed I think he is teaching us all about what it is like to be the church. There are three famous parts of this passage I want to concentrate on this morning, each of which I think speaks to our situation today, to the Easter life of the church.

First, “In my Father’s house there are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And when I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am, you may be there also.”

This is another justly famous part of this chapter. We hear it often at funerals, and that is understandable, but again I would encourage some attention to context. The word for “rooms” is the same word in Greek that in John’s gospel normally gets translated as “abide.” That’s an important word for John. He cites Jesus saying “Abide in me as I abide in you” and “Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing.” It would sound odd though for us to say, “In my Father’s house there are many abiding places,” so we say “rooms.” Again this gets used a lot at funerals because it sounds as if Jesus is talking about what awaits his disciples after their death.

I am not so convinced this is primarily what is going on. In John’s gospel Jesus is encouraging his disciples to abide with him now and to abide with him after his resurrection and ascension so that they will bear much fruit. They are not going to bear fruit in death—no one does; they are going to bear fruit in life. In the new life that they will enjoy when Jesus has returned to his Father and the Holy Spirit will come to inspire the universal church. There are many places to abide in our heavenly Father’s house, and that is something you and I can do now. The clue to this is that Jesus ends this part of his teaching by saying “And you know the way where I am going.” You know this already. This is not just about the life of the world to come but about our Easter life here and now.

Thomas’s question on this point proves though that the disciples have not yet figured this out. “How can we know the way” to where Jesus is going if we don’t know where is going? Thomas seems to think he can be provided with a map that will aid his journey.

But no such map is needed, because everyone in the room already knows the way. If you know Jesus, you know the way, because Jesus is the way.

Jesus himself is the way to God;

Jesus is the truth about God;

and Jesus is the life of God.

This is the second famous passage, and what it shows is that in every way, it is Jesus who makes possible our relationship with God the Father.

Jesus opens up the way to God by his death and resurrection and ascension.

Jesus reveals the truth about God through the wondrous signs he has performed and his teaching of the commandments to love one another.

And Jesus lives the life of God; Jesus repeatedly says he does nothing, he teaches nothing, on his own; rather he speaks and acts only for one purpose, and that is to make the Father’s life known among human beings.

And that is why he says, “No one comes to the Father but by me. If you had known me, you would have known my Father also. Henceforth you know him and have seen him.”

When we hear Jesus say, “No one comes to the Father but by me,” I expect our first thought is that this is somehow meant to be restrictive. This sounds like a statement about who gets in and gets left out. Once more though, I want us to pay attention to context and enlarge our view of this, the third fairly famous sentence from this passage.

Jesus has had plenty to say to an unbelieving public about the dangers of their unbelief. He has warned his listeners about the reality of judgment and about the need to hear and obey his commandments, which are nothing other than the word of God itself.

But that is not what he is doing now. He has nothing more to say to the public at large. He is talking only to his followers and friends. “No one comes to the Father but by me,” isn’t Jesus’s warning about judgment; it’s his reminder that he is making possible something that we cannot do for ourselves. This s not discouraging; this is encouraging. We do not have a way back to the Father. Jesus does. He is going back to the Father because he and the Father are one; they are distinct persons but united in perfect love.

The disciples too are going back to the Father but not because their love for God and for each other is perfect. It is not. They are going back to the Father because Jesus is about to open the way to the Father, the way that is his own crucified, resurrected, and ascended body.

And those who go through Jesus, who go through what he went through, those who walk in his way, those who go through Jesus get to God.

“No one comes to the Father but by me” does not mean the way is closed. It means the way is open.

And in case we missed this, Jesus tells it plainly to his disciples: “henceforth you know him and have seen him.” Jesus again wants to be reassuring and comforting, so he makes it plain: You, my friends, you my followers, already know God—you have already seen God. You have everything you need.

And that is why Jesus can begin his reassurances with the exhortation to “believe also in me.” These words are for us as much as they are for the disciples. Jesus says to you now, “No matter what happens, no matter how grim things become, don’t worry, my friends. Let not your hearts be troubled. There are many places to abide in the Father. I have lived a life that fully reveals the Father. I have made all truth known to you. I have held nothing back. I am the way, and the way is open.”

Amen.

Collect for the Fifth Sunday of Easter

O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the  way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

This Week’s Announcements, May 14-20, 2017

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in celebration of the wedding of Austin Anschultz & Graham Jamison last Friday in Birmingham, Alabama.


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


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


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

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

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

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


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. Melissa Fox and Angie Corbet host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Tony Pulsone & Darcy Montaldi and Nola Sheffer.  New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email bbolesster@gmail.com, or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour. Bud Scheffy and Frederick Ou host the Coffee Hour this morning.  Next week the hosts will be Michael & Janell Sauer and Michael Gnozzio.  We are in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour.  To view the schedule of available dates and select a date to co-host, please go to http://theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/.  If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), or Kyle Pilares (kpilares.uk@gmail.com).


Compline at the Advent—Tonight 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).


Louise Barnes, longtime—indeed, very longtime—member of the Church of the Advent died last Sunday. She had received the Blessed Sacrament and the Last Rites of the Church and was at peace.  The date and time of her Requiem here will be announced.

May her soul and the souls of all the Faithful Departed,
By the mercy of God,  rest in peace and rise in glory. Amen.


Dear Team Advent and all our Church of the Advent Parishioners!

Sunday’s Walk for Hunger was AMAZING!  There was a great group of families and parishioners who left the steps of the Advent after a wonderful blessing from Fr Warren.  Thank you to those walkers—for the Advent Mile and those that walked on further!  Everyone made it a very fun and joyous occasion for us all.  Thanks to Barbara Boles for making the breakfast and all who helped.

Congratulations to Ellie (10 years old ) and Emma Kiernan (8 years old ) who walked almost all day (from 8:30 to 5 pm) and completed the 20 miles challenge.  A great first effort and all with smiles and humor albeit with sore feet and aching legs by the end.  Family, friends and parishioner’s donations were critical to motivating them (and their weary parents Suzi and Bruce ) through the last 10 miles.

If you have not already donated please consider doing it now.  The Kiernan girls and family have helped raised almost $2K of the $7K raised to date.  We would love to see Church of the Advent meet its $10K goal and know the aching feet and sore legs was really worthwhile !

Donations are still appreciated, so go to www.projectbread.org/walk to “Donate to a Participant” and search for “Church of the Advent.”

Many thanks from All  – Team Advent! 


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.


First Communion Class—The next classes to prepare young people in the parish to make their First Communion will be Saturdays, May 20 and June 3, from 10:30 am to noon:  in the Rectory on May 20, in the Church on June 3.  At least one parent should plan to attend the class alongside the child.  First Communions will be on Pentecost, June 4, this year.


This Saturday May 20—Parish Workday.  Interested?  Please contact Fr Wood or Deacon Noyes. 


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Is your money a discipleship issue?  Are you curious about what the Bible has to say about wealth?  Maybe you’re uneasy with American consumer culture and its emphasis on immediate gratification, tolerance of vast inequalities, and promotion of anxiety.  What if there was an alternate vision of real prosperity?  If you’d be interested in a conversation about how to live more simply, gratefully, justly, and generously, contact Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).  And watch the Mission Corner in the months to come for details about a parish conversation on financial discipleship.


Upcoming Mission Opportunities with the Advent:

  • B-SAFE (July 31-August 3)
  • Common Cathedral (August 20)

Help the Advent love our city to life—Watch this space for details about how you can get involved with these and other projects.


ODDS & ENDS


Softball this Summer—Interested in playing softball this summer with the Advent Swingers?  We’re looking for someone to manage the team, so please contact Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org) if you’re interested.


The flowers that adorn the Church are funded entirely by donations from members and friends of the Parish. There is an opening for a flower memorial or thanksgiving for the High Altar for next Sunday May 21 (Rogation Sunday).  If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 or email 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.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
May 15-21, 2017

Monday, May 15
5:15 pm: Girl Scouts

Tuesday, May 16
5:30 pm: Community Supper

Wednesday, May 17
10:00 am: Bible Study
11:00 am: Staff Meeting
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, May 18
All day: Beacon Hill Garden Club
5:15 pm: Property Committee
6:15 pm: Vestry
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, May 19
Dunstan of Canterbury
8:30 am: Advent School “Grandfriends” Event

Saturday, May 20
10:00 am: Parish Workday
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal
10:30 am: First Communion Class

Sunday, May 21
The Sixth Sunday of Easter (Rogation Sunday)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass & Procession
10:15 am: Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass & Procession
1:00 pm: Mission & Outreach Meeting

This Week’s Announcements, May 7-13, 2017

The flowers at the High Altar are given to the Glory of God and in loving memory of Olan and Helen Sheffer.


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


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


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

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

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

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


TODAY!


9:00 Coffee Hour. The kitchen hosts the Coffee Hour this morning.  New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by email bbolesster@gmail.com, or telephone (617-501-7572) if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

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


The Walk for Hunger is Today! and Team Advent thanks all those who have supported the walkers, both financially and in spirit. Some of them are off to walk all 20 miles, so please keep them in your prayers today! Donations are still appreciated, so go to www.projectbread.org/ to “Donate to a Participant” and search for “Church of the Advent.”


We congratulate those who were confirmed on April 29:

Thiago de Carvalho Rêgo
Robert Scholten
Jonathan Hart Ortloff
Harriet Evelyn Siân Lewis-Bowen
Reid Fischer Corliss


THIS WEEK!


Theology on Tap continues this Tuesday, May 9, with the next installment of our series After Christendom – now at a new location in Boston’s Back Bay! Our fourth speaker in this series is Peter Beinart, contributing editor at The Atlantic and associate professor of journalism and political science at the City University of New York. Peter will be developing his recent reflections on how the culture war is being replaced by an even more toxic state of affairs in post-Christian America. As he has recently written, “For years, political commentators dreamed that the culture war over religious morality that began in the 1960s and 70s would fade. It has. And the more secular, more ferociously national and racial culture war that has followed is worse.”

Join us at 7 pm on May 9 at a new location – Clery’s Pub, 113 Dartmouth Street, near the Back Bay Station. This is a new location for our meeting, as the Rattlesnake Bar is, sadly, no more.


There will be a Family Small Group meeting this Friday, May 12, at 6:30 pm. We are going to have a Children vs. Adult Scavenger Hunt. Each group will have different things to look for and the goal of the evening will be to learn about some of the great secrets about our parish! Please RSVP to Fr. Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


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.


COMING UP


Compline at the Advent – Next Sunday, May 14, 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 Church monasticism, please contact Fr. Hanson (frhanson@theadventboston.org) or Fr. Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).


Saturday, May 20 – Parish Workday. Interested? Please contact Fr. Wood or Deacon Noyes.


First Communion Class—The next classes to prepare young people in the parish to make their First Communion will be Saturdays, May 20 and June 3, from 10:30 am to noon in the Rectory.  At least one parent should plan to attend the class alongside the child.  First Communions will be on Pentecost, June 4, this year.

For parents considering whether their child is ready for this step in faith development, here are some guidelines to keep in mind:  Your child must wish on his/her own to begin receiving Communion.  You must agree that this is appropriate, and you should feel that on some level your child understands the meaning of Holy Communion.  We’re not talking Thomas Aquinas here; rather that your child, through emotion or intuition or what has been learned in the Church School, has a grasp of the meaning of the mystery of the Sacrament of the Altar.  If you or your child have any questions, please speak to the clergy, who will be very happy to explain.  To sign up for the class, RSVP to frwood@theadventboston.orgEven if you have already expressed interest to Fr Wood, please confirm with him so you will be on the list to receive information when it goes out in the coming weeks.


MISSION & OUTREACH CORNER


Is your money a discipleship issue?  Are you curious about what the Bible has to say about wealth?  Maybe you’re uneasy with American consumer culture and its emphasis on immediate gratification, tolerance of vast inequalities, and promotion of anxiety.  What if there was an alternate vision of real prosperity?  If you’d be interested in a conversation about how to live more simply, gratefully, justly, and generously, contact Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org).  And watch the Mission Corner in the months to come for details about a parish conversation on financial discipleship.


Upcoming Mission Opportunities with the Advent:

  • Parish Work Day (May 20)
  • B-SAFE (July 31-August 3)
  • Common Cathedral (August 20)

Help the Advent love our city to life—Watch this space for details about how you can get involved with these and other projects.


ODDS & ENDS


Softball this Summer—Interested in playing softball this summer with the Advent Swingers?  We’re looking for someone to manage the team, so please contact Fr Wood (frwood@theadventboston.org) if you’re interested.


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 May 21 (Rogation Sunday), June 11 (Trinity Sunday) and June 15 to 18 (Corpus Christi and the following Sunday).   If you are interested, please call Blenda Jeffry at 978-443-3519 or email 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.


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT
May 8-14, 2017

Monday, May 8
Julian of Norwich
6:00 pm: Girl Scout Leaders

Tuesday, May 9
Gregory Nazianzus
5:30 pm: Community Supper
7:00 pm: Theology on Tap

Wednesday, May 10
8:30 am: Advent School Share Event
10:00 am: Bible Study
12:00 pm: Advent School Committee
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, May 11
7:00 pm: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Friday, May 12
6:30 pm: Family Group

Saturday, May 13
10:00 am: Advent Choir Rehearsal

Sunday, May 14
The Fifth Sunday of Easter (Mothers Day)
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
10:15 am: Church School
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
8:00 pm: Compline

Sermon Preached by the Rev’d Allan B. Warren III at the Church of the Advent, Sunday, April 30, 2017, the Third Sunday of Easter

Holy Scripture can be mysterious and downright puzzling.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise to any of us, since Scripture’s theme – broadly speaking – is itself a mystery and a paradox.  It is the mystery and the paradox that the infinite God, Creator of all that is, eternal and omnipotent, enters into a relationship with his creature, a creature who is finite, temporal, and ultimately helpless.  It is the mystery and the paradox that this relation of God and creature is a relationship of yearning, sacrifice, and love on the part of God and all too often it devolves into a relationship of indifference, betrayal, and selfishness on the part of his creature, and yet God keeps loving and yearning.  It is the mystery and the paradox that God uses his creature – a people and their history – to carry out his purposes and finally enters into his creation as a man to perfect his yearning, his sacrifice, and his love.  That God turns evil into good and brings life out of death.  There in broad brushstrokes is the theme and story of Holy Scripture, and certainly mystery and paradox are the very words to characterize it.

Mystery, paradox, but sometimes just plain old puzzles, and here is one of them.  The Gospel of John, as we all know well, is full of references to the Eucharist.  For instance, we begin – Jesus’ first sign – with water turning into wine at a marriage feast.  Later, we hear Jesus telling the crowds who followed him, “I am the bread of life” (6:35).  We hear him telling those who opposed him, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (6:51) And also, “For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him.” (6:55, 56)  Those are some of the most obvious examples, but they are only a few of the many references to the Eucharist in the Gospel of St John.  And yet – and here is the puzzle – unlike Matthew, Mark, and Luke, in John there is no account of the institution of the Eucharist itself.  At the last supper Jesus washes his disciples’ feet.  There is no bread; there is no wine; there is no “Do this in remembrance of me.”  And this is a puzzle.  A puzzle which scholars have never satisfactorily explained.

We find a related puzzle – related as being the opposite – in the first three gospels, Matthew, Mark, and Luke.  They do very clearly and in detail record the institution of the Eucharist at Jesus’ last supper with his disciples, but other than that, there are no outright references or even vague allusions to bread and wine or body and blood, except the story, found only in Luke, which we heard for the Gospel today.  And in this story – the journey to Emmaus and the meal there – in this story the reference to the Eucharist is so obvious as to jump off the page.

It was three days after the crucifixion, and a follower of Jesus, Cleopas, and another person were walking away from Jerusalem to Emmaus.  They were downhearted and depressed, and also confused by a report of some of the women of a vision of angels at Jesus’ tomb.  A stranger joined them and they discussed these things on the way.  Reaching Emmaus, they invited him to stay the night, and at supper the stranger blessed the bread and broke it, and, as St Luke tells us, they recognized the stranger as Jesus.  He was made “known to them in the breaking of the bread.” (Lk 24:35)  There can be no more obvious reference to the Eucharist than that, and one may well say that this story, coupled with Jesus’ command, “Do this,” has determined the shape of Christian worship from the very beginning and throughout the life of the Church.  That is why you and I are here today: to know him and to be present with him in the breaking of the bread.  It is an essential experience of those who call themselves Christians, knowing him in the breaking of the bread.  It was referred to in the collect we prayed this morning, in some of the hymns we have sung and will sing at this Mass, and ardent sacramentalists like me go on about it again and again: knowing him, being present with him in the breaking of the bread.

But perhaps we have focused on this one phrase a bit too much, for there are other things going on in the story and without them the breaking of the bread is incomplete.

For on that journey, what did Jesus do?  Luke tells us, “beginning with Moses and all the prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself” (Lk 24:27); how it was “necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory” (Lk 24:26).  The stranger, who is the risen Jesus, but whose identity is hidden, explains himself and his death in the terms of Holy Scripture.  And an obvious implication of the Emmaus account is that, only thus instructed, only by understanding the Scriptures, were they prepared to “recognize him in the breaking of the bread.”  And here, good people, is another determining influence, on the future shape of Christian worship and Christian life: word and sacrament.  Knowing him in the word / words of Holy Scripture; knowing him and being present with him in the Sacrament, the breaking of the bread.  The one is incomplete without the other.  And isn’t this what we do today and at every Mass: we hear his Word and we celebrate the Sacrament.  As one scholar tells us, commenting on the Gospel we just heard:

Scripture and sacrament, word and meal, are joined tightly together, here (in this account) as elsewhere.  Take Scripture away, and the sacrament becomes a piece of magic.  Take the sacrament away, and the Scripture becomes an intellectual or emotional exercise, detached from real life.  Put them together, and you have the center of Christian living…” (N. T. Wright, Luke for Everyone, pp. 297, 298)

But there is in fact something else going on in the story we just heard.  Something rather important.  It began with a community which had been destroyed.  Jesus, their master, the One they and many others had followed, had been executed, and Cleopas and his companion were leaving Jerusalem and leaving the other disciples.  It was all over; they were going home.  There was talk among them.  They had been told of a vision of angels seen by women who visited the dead man’s tomb, but Cleopas and his friend did not believe it.  Yet then – on the way – Jesus joined them.  He explained the Scriptures.  They recognized him at supper and, though it was night, the very reason they had stopped at Emmaus – this is the telling detail – though it was night they returned to Jerusalem to rejoin the disciples.  They didn’t wait until morning.  They didn’t tarry.  It was all important that they should rejoin those who had been with Jesus.

We began with a community destroyed.  The story ends with a community being restored and remade.  A community created by the One who rose from the dead.  A community of witness to the Risen Jesus and to the saving power of his Resurrection.

Sacrament, Scripture, Community – there, my brothers and sisters, you have a summary of Christian life.  Sacrament, Scripture, Community – a holy pattern of life created by the One who rose from the dead.  A gift of a new and transformed life to his people by Jesus Christ, their Lord.

Amen.