In some ways it is hard to believe but we are fast approaching Advent, the start of the liturgical year and the season of preparation for the Incarnation. In the Church writ large and in St. Stephen's in particular, it's a busy time. What follows is the preliminary list of the special activities we have planned. (Beginning next week you will find these listed in the "News" and "Events" sections of the weekly newsletter.)
Winter Walk Parade and Lighting at Taylor Park - November 30th
We will be hosting a caroling party to add some cheerful music to this annual event. We are finalizing the details but do plan to join us in the late afternoon (probably 4:00 pm) to celebrate with song, hot cocoa, and cookies. Invite your friends. Invite their friends. The more the merrier!
Advent Festival of Lessons and Music - December 1st at the 10:00 am service
To mark the transition from the Season after the Pentecost, a.k.a. Ordinary Time, to Advent, we will gather for readings and music that remind us of the story of God at work in creation and the grace that is ours because God is God and so chose to live among us.
Adult Formation Advent Series - December 1st, 8th, 15th, and 22nd
Join us after church (11:30 am to 12:45 pm) as we explore the nativity stories in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke with Dr. Amy-Jill Levine. As we did for our Lenten Series, we will read her book,
The Light of the World: A Beginner's Guide to Advent and view a short video as the basis for our discussion. Don't let the book title fool you - there is much wisdom to be gleaned even for those of us familiar with the stories. (Note: we may adjust the time of the gathering on the 22nd to avoid a conflict with another Advent activity.)
Advent Quiet Day at the Community of St. John the Baptist - December 7th
Learn more about this day by scrolling down to the flyer below. Let us know ASAP if you are planning to join us because we must give the final numbers to Sister Monica Clare next week. You can call Doreen in the parish office. If you need financial assistance, please let Rev. Paula know.
Blue Christmas - date to be finalized
We will be acknowledging the reality that, for many people, the coming of the holidays brings with it the reminder of grief and sadness. As we have in years past, we will gather for prayer, music, and the lighting of candles.
The Greening of the Church - December 22nd
We will be "greening the church" after the service on the Fourth Sunday of Advent. Preparing our beautiful space for Christmas is fun and exciting. Though traditionally the work of the Altar Guild, we invite all to join us.