THE DOVE December 2010

The Season of Advent

by Heath Howe
Advent is not a time to declare, but to listen, to listen to whatever God might want to tell us through the singing of the stars, the quickening of a baby, the gallantry of a dying man.        -Madeleine L’Engle

The season of Advent begins four weeks before Christmas Day, December 25.  It is a time of quiet and preparation, a time when we make ourselves ready to receive Jesus into our homes, hearts and lives at Christmas.  More and more Christians are finding the intentional celebration of Advent a way of minimizing the stress and commercialism of our culture during the weeks prior to Christmas.  Each of the four weeks of Advent has a particular theme represented by the four candles.  As we move through these days of preparation we will be invited to reflect on each of these themes.

Celebrating Advent is not only something we do together in a sanctuary on Sunday morning.  We can also engage in the wonder of Advent daily in our homes.  Our "Season of Advent Family Handbook" is a devotional tool to be used along with your Advent wreath that may be prayed alone or with a family.  The scripture passages suggested for each week are very familiar to us.  We hear them yearly on Christmas.  We invite you to listen again to the story.  Each week a new piece of the familiar story will be read; however, the theme of each of Advent will provide the lens for your hearing.  There are no right or wrong answers for the questions provided.  All of us will have our own answers as we hear the story of our Lord’s birth.  It will come alive for each of us just where we are.  All we need do is listen!

We encourage you to set aside a time each day for you and your family together.  This may be at a meal time or you may find that bedtime is best.  Gather together, turn off the computer, phone, and television and do whatever you wish to set the tone as you listen to whatever God wants to tell you.

icon Advent Family Handbook

In the Vineyard

We joyfully announce the birth of . . .
• 4lb3oz Nora and 4lb2oz Shea to Aimee and Jake Whipple on November 19.  Although arriving six weeks, early the girls are doing fine.
• 9lb10oz Augustus to Alexandra Relias and Jonathan Cifonelli on November 23. Linda and John Relias are Gus's grandparents.

We express our sympathy to . . .
• The family and friends of long-time parishioner Molly Sale on November 2.
• Terri and Don Dowd on the death of her brother, Tom Petersen.  A memorial service will be held at CHC in mid-December.

We celebrate . . .
• Margaret Prince's 106th birthday! Margaret is Carol Lisle's mother. 

News from Our Directors

Reflections on Community Life: 'Twas the eve before Christmas...
by Patti Pateros, Community Building

Formation Principles: Somewhere Out There
by Mary Johnson, Children's & Youth Ministries

Music Notes: Advent Lessons and Carols
by Derek Nickels, Music

Rector's Message >>>

Special Liturgies & Events

Sun, Dec 5 ~ Advent Lessons & Carols at 11:15am
A special Liturgy with readings and hymns of the Season.
Sun, Dec 12 ~ Living Creche at 10am
A reenactment of the Nativity by our church school children includes live animals and caroling.  A reception with hot cocoa and cookies follows in the Great Hall. (If you can bake cookies, please deliver to the kitchen by 9am that morning or anytime the week prior.)
Sun, Dec 19 ~ Christmas Sing-Along at 10am
This annual tradition for adults takes place during the Adult Forum in the Great Hall.
Fri, Dec 24 ~ Christmas Eve Liturgies
Children's Christmas Pageant at 4pm
Choral Eucharist at 8pm and 11pm 
Sat, Dec 25 ~ Christmas Day Liturgy at 9am
Sun, Dec 26 ~ 1st Sunday after Christmas: 9am Liturgy ONLY

Mon, Dec 27 ~ Offices closed

Christmas Outreach

Jesse Tree
Gifts for Connections for the Homeless and Holy Family/St. Gregory School are generously donated by our parish families.  Be sure to attach your ornament as a gift tag so that your gift goes to the right person/family. In order to have gifts delivered on time, Holy Family gifts must be received by Dec 12; Connections gifts by Dec 16.
Christmas Offering
Monetary donations given to our Christmas offering go towards our outreach giving to selected local and global organizations who provide assistance to those with the greatest needs.  Thank you for your generosity.
Christmas Flower Offering
Flower donations may be given in memory or celebration of loved ones.  To have your donation included in the Christmas bulletins, your flower offering envelopes must be received by Dec. 19.

Serving our Community 

On November 13th, 27 parishioners gave up their Saturday to participate in the annual parish service project at Good News Partners in Chicago's Rogers Park neighborhood. Although Good News Partners has its own maintenance crew, there are many projects that need special attention due to the amount of labor entailed or lack of funding for supplies. Our parish assists with these projects, providing financial support, all materials and supplies, and most importantly the gift of our time and talents.

Equally important are the fellowship and friendships that are built among parishioners and members of the Good News Community throughout the day. Working together to make a difference in the lives of those who need it the most is rewarding for everyone involved.

As we were leaving the site after a very long, hard day, a Good News staff member asked, "Do we have to wait a whole year until Holy Comforter comes back?" If the parish is willing, and we certainly know we are able, we can plan a second project in the spring.  Thank you John Baccich, Lisa Baccich, Pru Burke, Bob Burke, Kevin Carlson, Stephen Citari, Sid Condit, John Dell, Alec Dike, Dick Dodson, Charlie Fargo, Ian Fargo, Stephanie Fargo, Beth Kemp, Jody Lapp, Bob Lapp, Mike Murphy, Charlie Quigley, John Quigley, Henry Shaw, Holly Shaw, Tim Stutzman, Char Washburn, Teresa West, Charlie Wise, Ginny Wise and Dick Wood for a job well done!

We would also like to extend our gratitude to those who prepare and serve meals at A Just Harvest Soup Kitchen and work with children at Good News Saturday Morning program every month. In these difficult economic times, offering our hearts and hands whenever we can is more important than ever.