Advent: preparing your heart for the coming of Christ!
The first Sunday of Advent marks the beginning of a new year in the life of the church. The colors in the church change from green to purple, which was the color of kings in Jesus's time. In our life of corporate worship, Advent marks the entrance into a new season in our three-year lectionary cycle upon which our Sunday readings are chosen. This year we are entering Year A, and the gospel shifts from Luke to Matthew. The word advent literally means "to come," and in this season, we are preparing for the one who is to come. We know the one who the prophets proclaim is coming, has indeed come, in the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, but we are also preparing for the second coming of Christ. We live in the in-between times, between the already and the not yet, the Kingdom of God that burst into the world with Jesus' birth but yet will not be fulfilled until Jesus returns.
Christmas is a wonderfully complex mystery that might be missed or rushed right through, caught up in the distractions of shopping, cooking, decorating, and wrapping. That is why the church gives us Advent. Take some time to set aside and think about what the gift of the coming of Jesus means in your life. Think about how you respond to God’s generosity. What needs to be cleaned out of your heart so that the love of God and the mercy of Jesus might more fully reside there and be poured out? How can you more fully receive and share God’s love which is manifested through Jesus’ birth?
May this Advent be one of preparing our hearts and our lives to receive Christ, both as the Christ child lying in a manger, and as a king returning in clouds of glory. May we be rededicated to being God bearers in a world yearning to hear good news.
Peace, Rev. Lisa+
I am thankful.
There, I said it. You probably weren’t expecting the treasurer to open his stewardship update letter with those words.
Yes, I am thankful for all of you who have responded to our invitation to support the mission of St. John’s and, through St. John’s, make a difference in our own lives and that of others. Many of you heard and were moved by the stories from fellow parishioners about how St. John’s made a difference in their lives. I’m sure you all have your own equally moving stories. I certainly have mine. I think that’s why so many of you responded so generously.
The good news is that 88 parishioners have returned pledge cards totaling nearly $500,000. That’s nearly the total for all of 2019 (a real good start to getting back to the levels in prior years).
The better news is that 50% increased their commitment to St. John’s by nearly 18%. In addition, another 20% renewed at the same level as 2019.
And even better news is that we had 16 pledges that didn’t pledge in 2019, five of whom had never pledged before.
That all being said, we still need to hear from more of you. There are still 40 pledges from 2019 that have not been returned. There are an additional 60 pledges from 2017 and 2018 that didn’t pledge in 2019 and haven’t pledged yet for 2020. If you are one of these 100 or so prior pledgers or are new to St. John’s and haven’t pledged before, I ask you to think about your relationship with St. John’s and how it has made a difference or could make one with your support. I also ask that if you’re going to pledge, please do so in the next week or two.
As the vestry moves forward with planning for 2020, we want to keep the momentum that began with the calling of our new Rector, Lisa Mason. We want to continue building on the solid foundation of prior stewardship to live out our mission to be a family called by Christ to grow spiritually, to share our life with others and to make His love known through word and deed.
Frank Pierson, Treasurer
Sunday, November 3rd was a truly joyous day at St. John's. Reverends Lisa, Alissa and Dorothy together baptized five candidates, the pledges for Commitment Sunday were blessed, and the closing hymn to our All Saints’ Sunday was “I Sing a Song of the Saints of God”! Alleluia! The gathering Rev. Lisa and Kirk hosted at the Rectory after the 10:00 service was a most joyous and lovely occasion enjoyed by many, many parishioners - old and new!
2019 ECW Christmas Bazaar RECAP
Many thanks to everyone who helped make this year's ECW Christmas Bazaar a huge success. Through dedication and positive volunteer spirit, we continue to keep this long standing tradition alive and vibrant at St. John's. The bazaar was not only a success in terms of funds raised, but also for the incredible fellowship and fun the week fosters.We are pleased to share that this year's bazaar raised approximately $30,000 for local charities. Great job everyone! With our gratitude, Jill and Linnet
Time to Order Your Beautiful Christmas Wreaths!
The ECW's much-loved Christmas wreaths will be delivered right to your door, on or about Saturday, December 7th. The wreaths are sourced from the Connecticut Audubon Society. Your order will benefit their work, as well as the ECW's outreach efforts.
Order online by clicking on the button below, or complete an order form at the parish office.
Order deadline is Monday, December 2nd so we can tie the beautiful bows and get the wreaths ready to be dropped off at your doorstep!
Questions? Contact Becky Kirkham
The Rev. Dorothy Greene & The Rev. Hilary Greene in The Episcopal New Yorker
Our very own Rev. Dorothy Greene submitted an article to The Episcopal New Yorker "Women's Issue" about the ordination of her daughter, The Rev. Hilary Greene. Read all about the journey with Christ shared by this amazing mother-daughter pair, which was nurtured right here at St. John's. Congratulations!