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.


9:00 Coffee Hour: Hosting today are Barbara Boles with Mary & Paul Roberts. 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 Maggie Eggert & Nick Westberg with Olivia James. We are always in need of more volunteers; to view the schedule and select a date to co-host, visit www.theadventboston.org/1115-coffee-hour-signup/. If you have any questions, please contact Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com), Roxy Hanson (roxenewu@yahoo.com) or Betsy James (ejames4@nc.rr.com).

For those who have requested them, pledge envelopes are available for pick-up in the back of the church.

Today marks the opening of our 36-hour Twelfth Night Silent Auction, to benefit the Advent 175 Conservation Fund. Books and artworks are on display in Moseley Hall; bidding takes place during coffee hours. Here’s how: each item has a bid sheet with an opening bid listed. Simply write your name, contact information, and the amount you are bidding on the sheet. There are lots of treasures from which to choose — as well as a Free Table, and a Low-Fixed-Price table for $5 and $10 items. Additional bidding takes place after the Epiphany service on Monday; the auction will close Monday evening, during the reception following the service. Questions? See Deacon Daphne or Robb Scholten.


The Feast of the Epiphany Procession & Solemn Mass. Monday, January 6, 6:30 pm. A light reception will follow in Moseley Hall and includes the conclusion of our Twelfth Night Silent Auction (see above for details).

Theology on Tap meets this Tuesday, January 7, 2020, at 7pm at Silvertone Bar & Grill, 69 Bromfield Street, Boston, Sr. Maria Theotokos Adams will discuss “Sanctified Time: Myth or Reality?”
Sr. Maria Theotókos

The Scottish mystic George MacDonald (1824 – 1905) famously noted: “Every day is Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter.” Yet, Christians have liturgical calendars and universally acknowledge Sunday as the sacred dies Domini. Early Christian laity and various ascetic movements invested heavily in structured times for prayer according to the natural rhythms of the earth.
Today the advent of uninterrupted electricity and expansive cyberspace has expanded the time for work, leisure, and human activity beyond the limits of the rising and setting of the sun. So does it matter when we pray? Is the flow of time really marked by the sacred? How might we participate in the sanctification of time – personal and ecclesial? What new insights could we gain from ancient and medieval Christian understandings of sacred time?

Sr. Maria Theotókos Adams, SSVM, a native of Washington, grew up near Charlottesville, Virginia, before attending Columbia University in New York. While pursuing her BA in Ancient Studies, she spent a semester at Hebrew University in Jerusalem also attending courses at the École Biblique. Sr. Theotókos entered religious life in 2001, and professed her perpetual vows in 2008. She is a member of the Catholic missionary community the Servants of the Lord and the Virgin of Matará (SSVM) – female branch of the Religious Family of the Incarnate Word (IVE).
Sr. Theotókos completed her Master’s in Church History at The Catholic University of America in 2016 with a focus on Bede’s reception of The City of God and his role in transmitting the legacy of Augustine. Venturing back to the earliest systematic Christian historiography, she is now pursuing her doctorate in Church History on Eusebius of Caesarea and liturgical time.
Her father, Rev. Thomas E. Adams, can be found at Church of the Advent as presider of the Tuesday midday liturgies and chaplain to the Tuesday-night suppers for the homeless.


Thank you, Father Welch. Next Sunday, January 12, will be Fr. Truman Welch’s last Sunday with us as our Interim Rector. We will celebrate and thank Father Welch at both coffee hours that day, and wish him well as he resumes his retirement in Maine. As the Wardens have said, in his year with us Father Welch has not only earned the respect and affection of the whole congregation, but also secured his place as a lifelong member of the Advent family. Please join us next Sunday to thank Fr. Welch for his ministry among us.

Compline at the Advent: Join us next Sunday, January 12, 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.


Parish Office Nominations: At the Annual Meeting on January 26, there will be elections for four Vestry seats, Clerk, Treasurer, and two Diocesan Convention Delegates. This year’s nominating committee includes the Wardens (Tom Brown and Paul Roberts), Maria Denslow, and Dustin Henderson. Please submit any proposed names to one of them before Epiphany.

Please submit all annual reports to the parish office by Friday, January 10. Electronic submissions are preferred and using MS Word is greatly appreciated.

What Is Saint Michael’s Conference?: On Sunday, January 19, we will have the opportunity to find out. At 10:15 Father James will lead a presentation about the Conference with the help of parishioners who have attended the Conference, served as counselors, or are senior staff members. Every young person who is between the ages of fourteen and twenty-one ought to attend this presentation, but more importantly, the parents ought to attend too. This week-long conference for teaching, learning, worship, and recreation has been offered each year since 1960 and has been a force in the spiritual lives of thousands of high school and college-aged students. Come and find out why.


Thanks to those from whom we have recently received pledges. As of Friday we have received 176 pledges, pledging a total of $480,627. 60 have increased their pledges by an average of over 15.5%, and there are 24 from those who did not pledge in 2019. We have yet to hear from 57 parishioners who pledged a total of approximately $109,895 last year. You can pledge online by going to the parish website, www.theadventboston.org, and clicking the “Pledge Online” button, or pick up a pledge packet in the church.


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


Mystery leads to history leads to mystery: Part I

Mystery: Why does the Advent have a petite, slender 18th century journal, accompanied by a letter dated May 12, 1925, tucked into its pages, addressed to a Mr. Foote, from Albert Thorndike? He writes:

I have a little blank book signed, twice, by Mary Wilder with date May 2, 1799 & also signed by Hannah F. Gould. It is partially filled by notes, & copies of bits of literature. First entries by Mary, probably. Later ones, from the handwriting, by Hannah. A fair guess is that the young ladies – Hannah was about nine years the younger – related and quite likely already knowing each other, became very close friends in Newburyport. That after Mary’s death, Mr. White gave the book to Hannah to treasure. Its interest is only one of family memento [sic], & it seems closer to your family than to mine. So I am taking it to my office (Room 658, 10, P. O. Square) that you may, if you wish, call at convenience – no hurry – to see it. If you care to carry it away, do so.

History: To tackle the mystery, some history was needed. First, who were the two young ladies? Mary Wilder was elusive (at least initially) but Hannah Flagg Gould (1786-1865) was quickly identified as a nineteenth-century poet of some renown; she never married and lived in Newburyport. Additional genealogical research revealed Hannah’s lineage: Her father was Captain Benjamin Gould (1751-1841), a veteran of the Revolutionary War battles at Lexington, Bunker Hill, and West Point, among others. At Lexington, it is reported, “he received a bullet wound, the scar of which was conspicuous on his cheek throughout his long life, and formed the subject of a poem by his daughter…” Hannah’s mother was Griselda Apthorp Flagg (1753-1827), whose sister, Mary (Polly) Flagg (1750-1811), married Josiah Wilder (1744-1788). So the Flagg connection links Mary and Hannah as cousins. Yet even after establishing this, a mystery remains: what are the relationships between Hannah, Mary, Mr. Foote, Mr. Thorndike, and Mr. White? Will they explain how the journal came to be at the Church of the Advent, and why?

More to come in Part II.

January 6-12, 2020

Monday, January 6
The Epiphany
6:30 pm: Procession & Solemn Mass; Reception follows

Tuesday, January 7
6:00 pm: Community Supper
7:00 pm: Theology on Tap @ Silvertone Bar & Grill, 69 Bromfield Street

Wednesday, January 8
10:00 am: Bible Study
6:00 pm: Healing Mass
7:00 pm: Bellringing

Thursday, January 9
Julia Chester Emery

Friday, January 10
William Laud of Canterbury
11:30 am: Rosary

Saturday, January 11

Sunday, January 12
The First Sunday after the Epiphany
7:30 am: Morning Prayer
8:00 am: Low Mass
9:00 am: Sung Mass
11:15 am: Solemn Mass
8:00 pm: Compline

Print Friendly, PDF & Email