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.


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.


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.  


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.


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.


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.


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,


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.”

September 30 – October 6, 2019

Monday, September 30

Tuesday, October 1
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

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