Two Visits and an Anniversary
We have two big visits coming up very soon. One you know.
Our Savior comes! In just a week, we celebrate the birth of Christ Jesus. God in a blanket, child of the Holy Spirit, Wonderful Counselor and Prince of Peace. And we could sure use his presence with us in fresh ways this year.
So be sure to register for Christmas services and join us in worship and celebration. There are details and helpful links in this week’s newsletter or on our website.
Our second visit is from the Bishop! The Rt. Reverend Jennifer Reddall has agree to visit us on January 3rd to have confirmations and receptions and worship with us for the second Sunday of Christmas.
We have people waiting since the beginning of the pandemic to be confirmed and received into and adult faith and the Episcopal Church. Confirmations are normally reserved for diocesan gatherings, but Bishop Jennifer agreed to come for a local service for CCA. We have staff members and youth and new members to finally make official.
I feel like Buddy the Elf in the movie, shouting with joy.
I love this season. And yes, it is a weird year. For some it is a year of loss and others a year of reconnecting with important relationships and family members. I know of several families that are far stronger this Christmas than last. I know of others still waiting with unresolved grief.
On the last Sunday of Advent, December 20, we bring all of that to our worship. As we light the final blue/violet candle on our wreath of the season, we will have both a normal service of eucharist at 10:30 am, and a Blue Christmas eucharist service at 6 pm. That service, while normal in its form, will include remembrance and space for grief and those unresolved feelings that often are part of the season every year, but this year especially.
There is a link for the Blue Christmas service here and in the weekly newsletter for those who cannot be present in person.
We do not normally Zoom or broadcast Eucharist services, and so this link will not be on the website or social media. If you want to invite someone to the service or be sure they get this link, I invite you to copy and paste it into a message or email from here.
One last thing. THANK YOU. This week marks five years of our ministry together. I began as your rector on the Fourth Sunday of Advent, 2015. And I am grateful for our ministry together.
The Fourth Sunday of Advent seems like a perfect time to celebrate this anniversary. This is a time of deep worship and identity in Love, and it is also a time of full expectancy about what God may do next.
Happy Anniversary, Christ Church.
The Rev. Daniel Paul Richards
Christ Church of the Ascension
Paradise Valley, Arizona