News from the Pews November, 2021
Rector’s Reflection
 "God of hope, I look to you with an open heart and yearning spirit. During this Advent season, I will keep alert and awake, listening for your word and keeping to your precepts. My hope is in you." ~ prayer by Matthew Kelly
Advent is upon us as the season in which we observe a time of expectant waiting and preparation for both the celebration of the Nativity of Christ at Christmas and the return of Christ at the Second Coming.
This Advent we will gather on Wednesday Evenings for an informative series of discussions about “Abraham and Sarah” presented from four experts:
   
1)  Rabbi Marc Sack on Wednesday, Dec 1st, 6 -8 PM in the Browning Hall
 
 2) Imam Mohammed on Wednesday, Dec 8th, 6 – 8 PM in Browning Hall
 
 3) Bruce George on Wednesday, Dec 15th (from St. Hilary’s), 6-8 PM in Browning Hall
 
4) Chai Voris on Wednesday, Dec 22nd (from St Hilary’s), 6-8 PM in Browning Hall
 
We will have evening prayer, a shared soup and salad meal, and an informative discussion.

What Is Advent? History & Meaning

For many Christians there may be some confusion surrounding the meaning of the Advent season. Some people may know that the Advent season focuses on expectation and think that it serves as an anticipation of Christ’s birth in the season leading up to Christmas. This is part of the story, but there’s more to Advent.

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. During the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians on Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1).

During the season of preparation, Christians spend 40 days in penance, prayer, study, and fasting to prepare for this celebration. Originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas. By the 6th century, however, Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the Middle Ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas.

Advent, looks back upon Christ’s coming in celebration while at the same time looking forward in anticipation to the coming of Christ’s kingdom when he returns for his people. In this light, the Advent hymn “O Come, O Come, Emmanuel” perfectly represents the church’s cry during the Advent season:

Advent Wreath and Candles

The Advent wreath first appeared in Germany in 1839. A Lutheran minister working at a mission for children created a wreath out of the wheel of a cart. He placed twenty small red candles and four large white candles inside the ring. The red candles were lit on weekdays and the four white candles were lit on Sundays.

These days the Advent wreath was created out of evergreens, symbolizing everlasting life in the midst of winter and death. The circle reminds us of God’s unending love and the eternal life He makes possible. Advent candles are often nestled in the evergreen wreath. Additional decorations, like holly and berries, are sometimes added. Their red color points ahead to Jesus’ sacrifice and death. Pine cones can symbolize the new life that Jesus brings through His resurrection.

The most common Advent candle tradition, however, involves four candles. A new candle is lit on each of the four Sundays before Christmas. Each candle represents something different, although traditions vary. The four candles traditionally represent hope, faith, joy, and peace. Often, the first, second, and fourth candles are purple; the third candle is rose-colored. A fifth white candle is placed in the middle and is lit on Christmas Day to celebrate Jesus’ birth.

Advent readings are themed Scripture readings for each Sunday of Advent. The four weeks of Advent are broken down into the themes:
  1. Hope (or promise)
  2. Preparation (waiting or prophecy)
  3. Joy (peace)
  4. Love (adoration)

 Fr. Charles Cannon, Rector
 November: A Time For
Thankfulness and Gratitude

 This November, we invite and encourage you to place an emphasis on gratitude and thankfulness in your personal lives and communities. Every day is a day of thanksgiving. It’s easy to get busy and miss the simple things for which we can give thanks. We are also living in a time when it sometimes feels hard to find things to be thankful for. There is always something to be thankful for. Stop for a moment, notice and reflect on the good things that God is doing in your personal life, inside of you , and sometimes, in spite of you. This is a time for us to commit to deepening our spiritual discipline of gratitude. Gratitude acknowledges that we need each other, family, church family, co-workers, neighbors and friends, and even strangers. Notice and give thanks for all of the good things that are happening around you and your community of family.
   "Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you." Luke 6:38
   This Thanksgiving we would like to keep the Thanksgiving tradition at St Hilary's Church to gather for prayer and dinner. Once again, we find ourselves facing a challenge that is out of our hands. With God's guidance, we will continue to keep the tradition.
   Wednesday, November 24th, 2021, Thanksgiving dinner will be made for those who would like to continue the tradition. This will be a takeout dinner. Please call the office at 239-936-1000 between 9 am-3:30 pm and place your order by November 17th, 2021. We are looking for volunteers to help cook and prepare the takeout meals. Donations gratefully accepted.
   "And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:19

God Bless you and may the peace of our Lord always be with you.


Lori and Mary,
Parish Nurses

Volunteers are needed!!
On Wednesday, November 24, 2021 we are looking for volunteers to help with the Thanksgiving Dinner take out.  Looking to help with cooking, carving a turkey, peeling potatoes and handing out meals, your help would be very appreciative. Come and join us for fun in the kitchen, lots of laughing and the company of good folks! To volunteer, call Lori Uhrig at 239-841-0357.
Take out dinner pickup between 1:30-3:30 pm. 

Reception for Christine Bielski
 
Our Parish Administrator, Chris Bielski is retiring after nine years at Saint Hilary's. Chris' last day in the office will be Wednesday, November 10th. A reception in her honor will be held on Tuesday, November 9th, from 11:15 to 12:15. Please join us to thank Chris and wish her well in retirement. A basket will be available for you to leave cards and donations.


IT'S STILL HURRICANE SEASON

If a hurricane warning is issued or we have sustained winds of 40 mph or higher, no services will be held. Due to the possible danger to people and/or property, all church facilities will be locked & secured.
HURRICANE SEASON ENDS NOVEMBER 30 
Thank you to:

For his continued spiritual leadership, Fr. Charles.
 
Coffee Hour Hosts for October: Ro Mathews, Robinanne and Alan Wale, Laura and Mike Woodward, and Mary Dolan
 
October’s soloists: Angela Blasi, Chai Voris and Eileen MacDonald
 
The Finance People: Margaret Lane, Ray LaGrange, Debi Hunter, Claire Sloss, Dorothy Marshall, Jay Walters, Rick Wagner, and Al Zirkle
The Altar Guild for preparing the church for worship.
Those who have volunteered to bring communion to those house-bound, as the Eucharistic Visitor ministry is restarted: Ron Danielson, Mary Dolan, Margi Ehle, Jo Lane, Cynthia and Gene Montooth, Nick Ranson, Jim Walter and Lori Uhrig.
The readers for both the 8:00 and 10:00 service for October: Sybil Edgar, Ron Danielson, Margi Ehle, Kristina Hodge, Winston Smith, Bob Eagan, Kelly MacDonald, Sue Moore, Chai Voris, Darleen Knowles, Ro Mathews, Tom Robbins, Jim Walters
The greeters for the 10:00 service for October: Ro Mathews, Sue and John Miller, Iris Mitchell, Claire Sloss, Jim Walter, Sandi and Scott Blume, Laura and Mike Woodward and Petie Radicchi
The guiding the Tuesday Morning Bible Study: David Myers
Betty and Charles Finkbeiner for picking up all the monthly Pantry Sunday food donations and transporting them to the Harry Chapin Food Bank.
Peggy Herbst for her greeting card ministry
Margaret Lane, assisted by Betsey Lunsford, who handles all the streaming needs of the church.
Parish Nurses: Lori Uhrig and Mary Saab-Baker for all that they do.
Sybil Edgar for all her work with Daughters of the King.
Fred Leffingwell and Jim Walter for keeping things running smoothly on our aging campus.
Margi Ehle and Margaret Lane for all their on the upcoming Stewardship campaign
And sincere thanks to anyone who was inadvertently left off this list, and to all those who do a myriad of small tasks that they think no one notices. Believe me, you are noticed and appreciated.

Open seats on the Vestry
 
Saint Hilary's Board of Director's, our Vestry, is comprised of twelve members, each serving a three year term. In January each year, four members roll off the board, and elections are held to add four new members. In January we will be electing five new members because one member has moved out of town permanently.
 
The Vestry meets once a month on Sunday after the 10:00 am service in person and on Zoom. Meeting are open to all. To be eligible for the Vestry, one must be at least 16 years old, a member and a pledger of record, and attend church regularly (at least a few times of year!).
 
We encourage everyone to be on the Vestry at least once during their lifetime. Not only would you be deepening your understanding of our church operations and sharing your perspectives and skills, but your involvement helps create fresh ideas, and working together builds bonds with fellow parishioners. 
 
Please consider joining us. We need your participation. Please let the nominating committee know of your interest in serving on the Vestry by contacting Margi Ehle, Ray LaGrange, Clay Spikes or Jim Walter. In order to publicize the candidates prior to the Christmas holidays, please let us know by Dec 10th. Thank you