If you are visiting or new to the Advent, we hope that you will feel welcome and at home. Please, if you will, fill out a visitor’s/newcomer’s card so that we 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 – Infant 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 Sarah Connor at 617-480-3017 or by email.

 


TODAY

 9:00 Coffee Hour. Melissa Fox and Will Joyner & Linda Jones host the Coffee Hour this morning. The hosts next week will be Hal Langell and Barbara Boles. New coffee hour hosts are always needed; please contact Barbara Boles by phone, 617-501-7572, or email bbolesster@gmail.com if you’re interested or have questions about what is entailed.

11:15 Coffee Hour. Annlinnea Terranova and David Lapin host the Coffee Hour this morning. There are no hosts for next Sunday, December 27.  We are in need of more volunteers to do the coffee hour. Please contact the Coffee Team to volunteer. To sign up or if you have any questions, please contact Marcos or Daniel German-Domingues (mrbgd@hotmail.com or DGDomingues@outlook.com, or Frederick Ou (frederick.ou@gmail.com).

 

Church School: The Advent’s Church School program is a busy and exciting environment for Christian formation for the youngest members of our parish family.  Nobody is too young—we even have a class for infants and their parents!—and class offerings run all the way through high school age.  Classes happen every week after the 9:00 Mass. After your child goes forward to receive communion or a blessing, all children aged 3 and up head up to class on the 3rd floor of the parish house.  Children meet at the doorway to the hall leading upstairs, and they go up to their classrooms as a group.  Infants and toddlers (up to age 3) go with their parents to “Beulah Land” in the All Purpose Room just off the Parish Office.  Children ages 3 – 6 go up to the 3rd floor and ages 6 – 9 go to the 4th floor for Godly Play, where they’re led in song, story and play as they learn to speak the vocabulary of our church’s rich heritage.  Junior High students meet in Moseley Hall to help set up coffee hour, then head up to the Frisby room for class, and High School students meet with Fr Wood.  For more information or to sign your child up, contact our Church School Coordinator Sarah Connor at sarahwconnor@gmail.com or 617-480-3017.

 

Gingerbread House Building—TODAY after the Christmas Pageant—Moseley Hall!  All are welcome, and the event is free!
Flower Guild Help—today!  After the 11:15 Coffee Hour (around 1:00) we need help carrying all the Christmas material out of the storage and up into the Church.  Making one or two trips before you leave is a big help, but if you can stay one hour to help put up all the candles and assemble the crèche enclosure that would be even better!

Community Dinner. This year, instead of sweaters, guests at the Tuesday Evening Community Dinner will be given Gift Cards to Dunkin’ Donuts as their Christmas gift from the Advent. This will allow them to go to a warm place and get hot coffee and something to eat during the cold months of winter. If you wish to make a donation – and we hope you do – send it in marked Donuts.

 

Deacon Noyes will leave on sabbatical right after Christmas.  After traveling by train to Palo Alto, California, arriving on January 1, 2016, she will spend the winter term at Stanford University, where she has a visiting clergy appointment in the Office for Religious Life.  In addition to studying at the University and assisting at worship services at Stanford Memorial Church, she will spend time with chaplain colleagues in Stanford Medical Center’s spiritual care department.  She will return—also by train—in mid-March, in order to be home for Holy Week and Easter.

 

Votive Candle Stand & Prie-dieu. The icon of Our Lady of Yaroslavl in the All Saints’ Chapel was a gift to the Parish from our late bishop, the Right Rev’d M. Thomas Shaw, SSJE.  It was presented to the Advent, as he said, “for your faithful witness.” We now have a votive candle stand and a prie-dieu in front of the icon, so that, if you wish, you may pray there. The stand came to us from the Congregation of the former Church of St John the Evangelist on Bowdoin Street, and we are very grateful for the gift.  

 

Gift Opportunities:  Several weeks ago I preached a sermon on gifts—how everything we enjoy  at the Advent is a gift to us individually and corporately from someone else.  Often, from someone who lived some time ago, and yet their gift is a benefit to members of the Parish today.  Examples:  the Great Rood which rules over the interior of the church, our magnificent organ, the sacred vessels and vestments, the stunning renovation of gilding, of paintings in the Sanctuary, and of the Library.

At the Property Committee last month we discussed possible gifts to the Parish community.  Here are three which the Property Committee and I propose.  Vance Hosford, chairman of the committee and I will be happy to discuss these with anyone who is interested.

1)  The renovation of the West Doors.  These are formidable doors, indeed, and one might also well say that they are works of art.  Over the years the weather has treated them badly, and last winter was particularly hard on them.  The wonderful hinges on the exterior are badly rusted.  The wood very much needs treatment and restoration.  We do not yet have an up-to-date estimate for this work, but will publish it as soon as we do.

2)  Decorating the Frisby Room upstairs in the Parish House.  This room is used for quite a few meeting and classes.  It’s a bit of a catch-all right now, but with a few changes could become an attractive and much more comfortable space.  The sofa, which is an old piece and, I’m told, a good one, badly needs repair and upholstering.  Matching end tables for the sofa would provide balance, and lamps to go on them would provide much needed light.  Panel curtains on the windows would dress up the dark wood walls, which are a bit gloomy.

Some painting is needed, but we hope to enlist volunteers to do this.  This project should cost between five and six thousand dollars.

3)  A new High Mass Set and Frontal for Advent.   This is something we need badly.  A minor emergency, one might say.  Recently, our Sacristan showed me that the Advent frontal is deteriorating from the inside, and that the top panel is connected to the frontal itself by torn and rotting cloth.  It is quite beyond repairing.

The High Mass vestments, which in fact do not match the present frontal, have been repaired so many times that we are not going to be able to do this much longer.  Clearly, we need a new set of vestments to go with a new frontal.

And .  .  .  we are, after all, the Church OF the Advent.  We ought to have a High Mass Set and frontal which befits our title and our tradition.

This past Advent Sunday two donors made generous donations, and there has been the promise of other gifts to the project.  At present the cost is uncertain.  We will have a better idea when there have been enough donations to know that we have ample money to begin the project and have a specific design created for the set and frontal.               —Father Warren  

 

THIS WEEK

A Memorial Service for Richard Gurnon, long time resident of Beacon Hill and proprietor of Charles Street Supply, will take place on Monday, December 21 at 2:00 pm. Cassie and Jack Gurnon invite all to join them afterwards for a reception in Moseley Hall.

May his Soul and the Souls of all the Faithful Departed, by the mercy of God, rest in Peace. Amen.

 

The Parish Flower Guild needs your help!  Decorating the church for Christmas is a lot of work, and the Flower Guild can’t do it alone.  We need volunteers on the following days; you don’t have to come for the entire session; any time you can spare is greatly appreciated.  Floral design skills are not required—if you can carry a bucket, climb a stepladder, or fill a trash bag, we can use you!
  • Sunday December 20 After the 11:15 Coffee Hour (around 1:00) we need help carrying all the Christmas material out of the storage and up into the Church.  Making one or two trips before you leave is a big help, but if you can stay one hour to help put up all the candles and assemble the crèche enclosure that would be even better!
  • Tuesday, December 22 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm
  • Wednesday, December 23 10:00 am to Noon and/or 1:30 to 3:30 pm.
  • Thursday, December 24 (Christmas Eve), 10:00 am to 3:00 You don’t have to come for the entire day, any time you can spare is greatly appreciated.
Advent 20s & 30s–Caroling & Cocktails–Monday, December 21 at 6:30 pm. Meet at church at 6.30 pm, and walk together to sing beneath the tree at Mt Vernon & Brimmer Streets. Afterward, make your way to Maria’s (33 Hancock Street, Apartment 4, Boston) for cocktails and mulled cider! Contact Maria (617-671-9239) for information. Just bring your voice . . . and a friend!

 

Each year stuffed animals and infants’ clothing are presented at the crèche during the 4:30 pm Mass on Christmas Eve.  This year these donations will be given to the Fragment Society, who, since their inception in 1812, have been distributing clothes to Boston’s poor and needy.  They are especially in need of infant clothing and small stuffed animals to include in the more than 400 layettes that volunteer ladies involved in the organization assemble each year.
The Parish Office will close at 12 Noon this Thursday, and will be closed on Friday, December 25.

COMING UP!

 Theology on Tap returns on Tuesday, January 12, 2016 with a visit from an old friend, Leah Libresco, whose topic will be:  “Accidental Stylites?:  The Benedict Option and the American Church”  Lots of people are talking about “the Benedict Option” these days—from the man who coined the phrase (Rod Dreher), to the guys at Mockingbird, to an Anglican who launched a BenOp community in London—but other folks aren’t as familiar with the idea or haven’t considered its consequences.  Leah Libresco has thought about the BenOp, and she thinks it’s easy for Christians today to wind up as “accidental stylites”—living their faith in isolation, going to Church with others, but otherwise finding their spiritual life restricted to private, solitary moments.  She joined us last year to promote her first book, Arriving at Amen:  Seven Catholic Prayers that Even I Can Offer, and we’re delighted she’s agreed to come back!  Come out to the Rattlesnake Bar and bring a friend (or 4) to welcome her back to Boston on January 12 at 7:00 pm.

MISSION & OUTREACH

Mission & Outreach Team Meeting—Sunday, January 3, 2016—The Mission & Outreach Team will meet on Sunday, January 3, after the 11:15 Mass (we usually convene around 1:15) in Fr Wood’s office in the parish house.  Anyone is welcome to attend, so join us if you have ideas for mission, a heart for mission, or would like to get personally involved in the mission of the Advent to Boston and the world!

 

Thank you for a generous 2015!  Advent parishioners were more active than ever in giving to support the various campaigns our Mission & Outreach Team ran in 2015—winter clothes for One Warm Coat, items for animals at Angell Memorial, school supplies for the Epiphany School, professional clothing through Solutions at Work, baby clothes and diapers for Vincent Newborn Necessities.  All our campaigns are closed for now, and the office isn’t taking any more donations, but the M&O Team want to thank you for making 2015 our most active giving season in recent memory!

 


STEWARDSHIP 2016

 Pledges for the 2016 Canvass are coming in. Thanks to everyone who pledged so promptly!

As of this past Thursday, we have 176 pledges, pledging a total of $474,357.  72 have increased their pledge by 18%, and there are 17 new pledges.  Thanks be to God!  We have still to hear from 54 parishioners who pledged a total of $74,731 last year.  Last year at this time we had received 173 pledges for a total pledged of $441,740.

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

If you did not receive the 2016 stewardship packet in the mail, there are Stewardship brochures and pledge cards on the tables at the rear of the Church. And you can pledge on line by going to the parish website www.theadventboston.org and clicking the “Pledge Online” button.

Pledge Envelopes for 2016: If you made a pledge for 2016 and requested pledge envelopes, they can be found at the back of the Church on tables in alphabetical order (at least they were in alphabetical order on Friday!). If you requested envelopes and cannot find them, call the Parish Office at 617-523-2377 ext 122.

 


ODDS & ENDS

The Vestry has designated offerings at the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Masses to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund for Ministry of the Parish.  If you use pledge envelopes, be aware that gifts in the special “Christmas Day” envelope will not be applied to your annual pledge unless you indicate “2015 Pledge” on the check.

 

Parishioner Kyle Pilares has designed seriously good-looking neckties and bowties, which will be the official ties and bowties of the Church of the Advent. For the ladies he has designed really gorgeous scarves, which will bear the same imprimatur. These are on sale during Coffee Hour. Bowties – $30. Neckties – $40. Scarves – $50. Buy one for yourself. Buy others for gifts.
Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Nola Sheffer. You can find her between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 PM weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? Email Nola.
The Annual Parish Meeting is Sunday, January 24, 2016.  Contributions to the 2015 Annual Report must be in the Parish Office no later than 12:00 Noon on Tuesday, January 5, 2016.  All heads of committees or groups are expected to write a report.  Electronic submission is preferred. This is the third time of asking.
Vestry Nominations. Please note that several members of the Vestry, a Treasurer and a Clerk will be elected at the Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 24, 2016. It is not too early to think about members of the Parish whom you think would serve effectively on the Vestry. A Nominating Committee consisting of John Higgins, Jack Gurnon, Thatcher Gearhart, Father Warren, and the Wardens, Tom Brown and Kara Rodgers, is ready to receive the names of those whom you wish to nominate. Please speak to them beforehand to make sure that they are willing to run.
Discount Vouchers for the Boston Common Garage are available for $9.00 each from Nola Sheffer. You can find her between the 9:00 and 11:15 Masses at the Coffee Hour or Entr’acte. The vouchers can be used after 4:00 pm weekdays, and all day Saturday and Sunday. Questions? email: nsheffer@newview.org.
At the Advent Book Store!  Advent Calendars, Christmas Cards, Christmas music; 2016 Ordo Kalendars and Pocket Diaries; all available at our Book Store.

 

Fr Mead’s book available on Amazon.com—After last week’s sermon quoted Fr Mead’s newly published sermon compilation, several people inquired whether the book would be available in the bookstall. Copies aren’t currently available here, but Catechesis: A Collection of Sermons for the Christian Year by Andrew C. Mead is available on Amazon for around $14.

 


THIS WEEK AT THE ADVENT

December 21 – December 27

Monday, December 21
St Thomas the Apostle

7:00 am       Organ Tuning
12:00 pm     Deadline for Flower Memorials
2:00 pm      Memorial Service; Reception

Tuesday, December 22
1:30 pm       Flower Prep (to 3:30 pm)
5:30 pm      Community Supper
Wednesday, December 23
10:00 am    Flower Prep
6:00 pm      Healing Mass
7:30 pm      Bell Ringing
Thursday, December 24
The Vigil of Christmas
10:00 am      Flower Prep (to 3:00 pm)
12:00 pm      Parish Office Closes
4:30 pm        Family Mass & Procession to the Crèche
10:15 pm       Musical Prelude
11:00 pm       Procession & Solemn Mass
Friday, December 25
Christmas Day (Parish Office Closed)
11:00 am      Mass
Saturday, December 26
St Stephen, Deacon & Martyr
8:00 pm       AA Meeting
Sunday, December 27
St John, Apostle & Evangelist
7:30 am      Morning Prayer
8:00 am      Low Mass
9:00 am      Sung Mass
10:15 am     No Church School or Entr’acte
11:15 am      Solemn Mass
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