First Sunday of Advent
Week Commencing 30th November 2014
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The Advent Wreath has three purple candles, reflecting the liturgical colour for Advent, with a pink candle for the Third Sunday, in a ring around a white candle. The first candle is lit on Advent Sunday; additional ones are lit, one on each Sunday, and the white one on Christmas Day.
There are several traditions about the meaning or theme of each candle. The scheme that accords best with the Principal Service Lectionary is:
Advent 1 The Patriarchs
Advent 2 The Prophets
Advent 3 John the Baptist
Advent 4 The Virgin Mary
Christmas Day The Christ
Each of the four Sundays then reminds us of those who prepared for the coming of Christ. ‘The Patriarchs’ can naturally focus on Abraham, our father in faith, and David, the ancestor in whose city Jesus was born. ‘The Prophets’ gives an opportunity to reflect on the way the birth of the Messiah was ‘foretold’. John, who proclaimed the Saviour, and Mary, who bore him in her womb, complete the picture.
Chaplaincy at Vancouver General Hospital
Two years ago our church committee generously decided to fund the Anglican Chaplaincy at Vancouver General Hospital, even though we were not really able to afford it! This is a valuable service to patients in hospital. Our very, very good friend, the Reverend Trudi Shaw, has devotedly undertaken this task for a number of years and is one of the finest hospital chaplains I have encountered. Trudi is stepping down from this position as of today. I have been invited and have accepted the position of Anglican Chaplain to the hospital until a permanent appointment is made.
Since our previous youth minister, Kate Newman, left us we have been without anyone to develop a young people’s programme as part of our Sunday worship. I am pleased to announce that Matthew Bradsher will take on this role part time as of Advent Sunday until further notice. It is hoped that Matthew will develop this and we will build up a defined youth programme for St John's. Matthew will need assistance and it behoves each one of us to consider how we might help him in this task. Do you think you could do something to help, even if it is being with him and the young people during their time together? This is one of the most important ministries of our church. please may I ask you to be serious as you consider how you may assist? Or perhaps you know an energetic young person planning a career working with children who you could inform about this volunteer position? Excellent experience for a future teacher!
Whilst on the subject youth ministry your attention is drawn to the fact that the area to the south aisle is designated the children's worship area and not the children's play area. Children are very much part of what we do here and to consign them to an area where they can play unheeded is to do them a disservice.
All Change at St John’s
Please don't panic: it’s good news!! I am pleased to announce that after a considerable period of negotiation it has been agreed that the Diocese of New Westminster offices will move to our administration building almost immediately. This is a great opportunity for St. John's in times of reuniting with the diocese. I am most grateful to the subcommittee made up of the wardens, Robyn Woodward and Louise Hadley, our new treasurer Donald Wood, and the indomitable Peter Kidd for their due diligence in this negotiation. I'm also grateful to Philip Owen as trustee and the rest of the church committee for the care that they have exercised during this sometimes difficult negotiation.
The impact upon our daily life has yet to be assessed, but it does mean that we will not have to be preoccupied with the day-to-day management of the building. We will be able to concentrate on the mission of our church and ensuring that we have a church building which is fit for purpose for the long term. My special thanks to Janet, Paul and Michael, our staff for their patience during this time.
To be a Light!
I wonder if you have been able to notice that the cross on the tower at St. John's is now illuminated thanks to the efforts of Peter Kidd. It looks marvelous. The next task is to illumine the front of the church and at the same time we are investigating a new illuminated noticed board for the front of the church.
The next bible study will be on Tuesday, December 9th. Please contact Fr Michael Fuller for more information about this group.
The fourteenth-century Irish carol Angelus ad virginem is set in a cheerful arrangement by Sir David Willcocks (b1919). The bright organ introduction is answered by the choir who sing the Latin hymn and tell the story of the Angel Gabriel’s visit to Mary, found in the first Chapter of the Gospel according to Luke. In the third verse the second choir provides the accompaniment whilst the first choir sings the melody before all join together for the final verse.
Anglicanism 101: The Shape of the Liturgy
This week we will look at the second part of the four fold action Took, Blessed, Broke and Gave.
After the consecration of the Bread and Wine and the Lord’s Prayer, the priest breaks the large host into many pieces. This act is not simply functional, but a sign that in the sharing of the one Bread of Life which is Christ, we who are many are made one body (see Cor 10-14).
After this the priest places a piece of the Bread in the Chalice. This gesture symbolizes the union of the Body and Blood of Christ and the act of Resurrection - a prayer is said in a low voice by the priest - May this mingling of the body and blood of our Lord Jesus Christ bring eternal life to us who receive it.
The Gifts of God for the People of God is an apt way to describe the receiving of Holy Communion - a foretaste of the Heavenly Banquet. When you are given bread you respond Amen. Like wise when you are given the cup. I have heard various replies: thank you, praise be to God, and so on. The correct reply is Amen. In saying this you are saying so be it.
St Augustine, when giving out Holy Communion, use to say, ‘Become what you are.’ It is not the Bread and Wine that leave the church, it is you fortified by the Body and Blood of Jesus so that you can be Christ in the world for others.
Next week some final thoughts on the Eucharist.
Fr Michael Forshaw
St Andrews Day Eucharist on Monday
There will be a Eucharist for the mission work of the church this Monday, December 1st, at 7pm.
There will be a collecting box in the narthex, outer foyer, to receive your gift of dry food, toiletries and other useful goods that we can donate to the Food Bank to help the homeless and the needy. The most-needed items are: Protein meat/fish/beans; natural peanut butter; whole wheat pasta/rice; pasta sauce; canned fruit & vegetables; 100% fruit juice; low-sugar cereal; and infant food & formula. Of your charity please give generously.
St John’s Shaughnessy Christmas Newsletter
Please send in your photos and stories: new deadline Dec 8th
We are planning an exciting newsletter, to be published just before Christmas, and want you to be a part of it. The theme is Welcome to St John’s! We invite everyone to submit stories about their time attending SJS. It will be an uplifting, inspiring newsletter about the rebirth of our parish. The deadline for this special, extended newsletter is December 1st; please keep your stories under 800 words. Feel free to contact the office if you have any questions. Parishioners who do not have a long history with St John’s are also welcome to participate. Please also let us know if you would like your story signed with your full name, first name, initials, or as anonymous.
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