This Week at the Advent

January 7-13, 2018




In This Issue
Solemnity of the Epiphany
Ghost Stories for a Winter's Evening
"A Hopeful Path Forward" with Robert Bordone
Coming Up: The Annual Parish Meeting
Stewardship Update
Solemnity of the Epiphany
This Sunday we will observe the Feast of the Epiphany.

Our celebration will include the Blessing of Chalk:
St Matthew tells us that when the wise men arrived in Bethlehem to visit Jesus, they found him and his mother in a house, not the stable where they had found their first temporary shelter. This is a cue that our Epiphany celebration should focus on our own houses, and it is a very old custom to bless houses on Epiphany. In the East, in particular, it is the custom for the parish priest to go through the parish blessing houses-not the elaborate blessing of a new home, but a special blessing that is also often given at Easter, a renewal of the homes in which the people of God dwell and live out the mystery of faith day by day. In recent years, this custom has been revived in some places in the West, and The Book of Occasional Services of the Episcopal Church provides forms for this blessing. However, there is another way of blessing homes at Epiphany that begins in church, but does not require the priest to go from house to house-something that would be quite impossible in many non-geographical parishes in the modern world. This custom involves chalk that is blessed by the priest and taken home by families to mark the doors of their homes.

On this Sunday, we will bless chalk during the 9:00 Mass to be used to hallow all our homes throughout our parish and our city. The chalk will be available at the back of the Church, so please take some home with you. The initials of the legendary names of the wise men are written with blessed chalk on the lintel above the front door of the house, framed by the numbers of the new year, in this way:

20 + G + M + B + 18

After making the inscription, the following prayer is offered:

Leader: The Lord be with you.
People: And with thy spirit.
Leader: Let us pray. O Lord, holy Father, Almighty, everlasting God, we beseech you to hear us and vouchsafe to send your holy Angel from heaven to guard and cherish, protect and visit, and evermore defend all that dwell in this home. I call upon your Saints Gaspar, Melchior and Balthasar, to protect my family, friends and all who enter here from every harm and danger, and I place this mark over my door to remain as a reminder to us that my home is truly the house of the Lord. O God, make the door of my house the gateway to your eternal Kingdom. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All: Amen.

Ghost Stories for a Winter's Evening
Please come to the Library on Friday, January 19 at 7:30 pm for a most convivial evening full of most pleasing terror. Two ghost stories written by master writer M. R. James will be told. Several medieval and baroque songs will be sung by soprano Elise Groves. Tickets are $15.00 per person, and the profits will go towards the mission and outreach endeavors here at Advent. Tickets can be purchased through Eventbrite or at the door. If you want to help out at the event please contact Pastoral Assistant, Eric Fialho, at
"A Hopeful Path Forward"
A Hopeful Path Forward:   A Christian Approach to Challenging Conversations, with Robert Bordone - Saturday, January 20, 10 am to 2 pm A renowned professional facilitator and conflict resolution consultant, Bordone specializes in assisting individuals and groups seeking to manage conflicts in highly sensitive, emotional, or difficult situations in corporate, nonprofit, educational, governmental, and cultural institutions.  His clients have included Fidelity Investments, NestlĂ©, Coca-Cola, Delta Air Lines, Microsoft, the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Massachusetts General Hospital, Dartmouth College, the US Department of Justice, the United Way, the International Criminal Court at The Hague, and the Vienna School of Economics and Business Administration.

Bob has served as faculty adviser to the Harvard Mediation Program, the Harvard Negotiation Law Review, Harvard Negotiators, HLS LAMBDA and the Harvard Catholic Student Organization.  He serves on the Board of Visitors for the Center for Social Impact at Dartmouth College, on the Board of Advisors for the Center for Empathy in International Affairs, and on the Board of Advisors for The Systemic Justice Project at Harvard Law School.  His writings and commentary have appeared in The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune, The Washington Post, CNN's The Situation Room, WBUR's Congnoscenti, and BBC Radio.

The four-hour seminar includes lunch; the fee is $10; space is limited so early registration is recommended.  For more information or to register, please email Deacon Daphne (

Coming Up: The Annual Parish Meeting
The Nominating Committee has proposed the following persons to stand for election to the Vestry at the Annual Meeting on January 28, 2018:

Amanda Daley
Francesco Piscitelli
Maria Denslow 
Rachael Ringenberg
Brent Nelson                                                    
Paul Roberts

There are four three-year terms   to be filled .

Also nominated for one-year terms are:

For Clerk:
Frederick Ou

For Treasurer:
Adam Rutledge

Delegate to the Diocesan Convention (and the Boston Harbor Deanery)        (two to be elected):
Betsy Ridge Madsen                          
Julianne Turé

Alternate Delegates (one to be elected):
Robb Scholten

Photographs of the nominees accompanied by statements of their intention to serve will be posted in the lobby of Moseley Hall.

Nominations from the Floor of the Annual Meeting: The Vestry has adopted a process for nominations from the floor after the Nominating Committee has announced the candidates which it proposes.  Any four members of the Parish can nominate a candidate by filling out and signing a nomination form that gives the name of the nominee and the office to which that person is nominated.  This process does not preclude nominations at the Meeting itself; but it does permit the name of the nominee to appear in print on the ballot.  The Nominating Committee may also adopt such nominees from the floor as part of its proposed slate as well.  If you have any questions about this process, please speak with the Clerk (Frederick Ou) or his predecessor (C. Thomas Brown), or call the Parish Office.  A statement describing qualifications for Officers and Members of the Vestry may be found at the rear of the church. 

An Important Message From the Clerk:  

The Vestry has set the next Annual Meeting of the Parish for Sunday, January 28, 2018.  At that meeting there will be elections for Vestry and for Diocesan Convention.   To qualify to vote in a Parish election, you must be a baptized Christian, at least 16 years of age, who makes a regular, recorded contribution to support the Parish for the preceding year.  You must also subscribe to the authority of the Parish By-Laws and the Canons of the Diocese.

Under the By-Laws of the Parish, the Clerk is responsible for maintaining the Electoral Roll.  The Electoral Roll for the upcoming Annual Meeting is now posted outside the Parish Office.  It consists of those who have pledged or made a similarly recorded qualifying contribution to the General Fund of the Parish during the past year.  Your name must be on the Roll in order to vote.  Any changes to the Roll must be made before the Parish Meeting commences.  Please inspect the list and let the Clerk know if you think there is an error.
The Advent needs and values the participation of new parishioners, both in Parish life and Parish governance.  If you are new, please be sure to make a pledge for 2018 so that you can vote in the January, 2019 Annual Meeting.  If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. 

In accordance with Article IV, Section 2, of the By-Laws of the Parish of the Advent, the Clerk has posted the Warrant for the Annual Meeting in the lobby of the Parish Hall,  The Vestry has called the Annual Meeting for Sunday, January 28, 2018, at 10:00 am.

Faithfully yours,
Frederick Ou, Clerk
Stewardship Update
Returns for the 2018 Canvass continue to arrive.  

So far we have received 180 pledges, pledging a total of $476,624.   62 have increased their pledges by 20%, and there are 12 new pledges.  We have still to hear from 47 parishioners who pledged a total of $53,980 last year.
The Stewardship Committee thanks all who have made a pledge so far .  If you have not yet pledged, please do so soon.  

If you did not receive a  2018 stewardship packet in the mail, there are Stewardship brochures and pledge cards on the tables at the rear of the Church.   And you can pledge online by going to the parish website,, and clicking the "Pledge Online" button.

If you requested pledge envelopes on your pledge card, they can be found at the back of the Church in (it is devoutly to be hoped) alphabetical order. 
This email highlights just a few of the items in this week's announcements. For much more, go to

Parish Office
Church of the Advent
Sunday's Collect
O God, who by the leading of a star didst manifest thy only-begotten Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know thee now by faith, to thy presence, where we may behold thy glory face to face; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and for ever. Amen.
Join Our Mailing List
Quick Links