Advent Letter from the Rector

“To enter Advent, we must leave fear for faith.”
Sam Portaro

Dear parishioners and friends,

Have you ever noticed how often in the stories and scriptures of Advent and Christmas we are told not to be afraid? Isaiah brings comfort and courage to a people languishing in exile. Mary hears “don’t be afraid” as she ponders a “yes” to God that will turn her life- and the world- upside down. The angel tells Joseph, worried about betrayal and scandal,not to be afraid to take the pregnant Mary as his wife. And to terrified shepherds, tending their animals on a hillside outside of town,the heavenly host brings good news of great joy, singing God’s glory and earth’s peace.

Letting go of our fear to take up courage and faith is part of the call of this holy season. There is much to be afraid of, then and now. Violence, racism, and corruption; rampant cruelty to God’s children and despoiling of God’s creation. Our private anxieties, addictions and griefs. So many of us are frightened by what is happening in the world and in our souls. To us, God says,”fear not! Take heart!” For us, God risks coming among us as a poor and vulnerable child: Emmanuel, God with us.

What a gift our church is in this season. What a joy it is to hear again the stories of hope and promise, the dreams and visions of the prophets, and most of all the good news of a child born for us, and to ponder their meaning afresh. What a delight it is to hear and sing the music of Advent and Christmas. What a blessing to share this season, with all its wonders and challenges, with a community of faithful,seeking, loving souls here at Ascension.

A schedule of our Advent and Christmas services and special events is posted on the right sidebar or you can save a calendar page with this link Advent Christmas 2019. Please join us as you are able! This is also a wonderful time to invite friends and family members to experience our life and worship at Ascension.

At this time of year, we have special expenses for the greens and flowers we use to make the church especially festive. If you would like to help with these costs, special envelopes are available at the back of the church or you may contact the church office.

Wishing you hope, joy and peace in this holy season,

The Rev. Elizabeth G. Maxwell Rector

P.S. Remember that Christmas lasts for twelve days! Join us for congregational Lessons and Carols on Sunday, December 29, and then for the Twelfth Night revels on Friday, January 3, 2020 (actually Tenth Night!), from 5:00-7:00 pm. Bring your friends!