Dear People of the Advocate,
This Sunday we will celebrate the Baptism of Our Lord, one of the major feast days of the Church. On this day we remember Jesus' baptism at the Jordan River, the Holy Spirit's descent like a dove and a voice from heaven saying, "You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased." At the 10:30 zoom worship service we will take the opportunity to renew our own baptismal vows and remember our own belovedness as children of God.
We will also commission 14 people (!) who will make up the first Sacred Ground circle at The Advocate and who will be spending the spring with this important curriculum. Read more about it here.
Finally, after hearing from you and in conversation with the vestry, worship will be moving to a non-Eucharistic service on January 16th until we are able to safely gather in person again. There are several ways to worship in the Episcopal Church including Morning Prayer and also a way to utilize our familiar Eucharistic liturgy but without communion. Regardless of how we worship, your presence, your spirit, your whole self in the liturgy - the work of the people - is how we as a body come together to worship God.
I have also heard about the wonderful and formative Screenside Chats that took place early in the pandemic about the variety of approaches to Holy Eucharist (communion) during Covid while we were fully in the digital sphere. Some churches never stopped celebrating the Eucharist while others moved to Morning Prayer. It has been a great debate within the Episcopal Church and other liturgical churches over the past almost two years. My hope is that we can continue in our learning and wrestling with this topic with a reboot of Screenside Chats (coming soon!) (If you are new to Screenside Chats, they follow the worship on Sunday morning after a brief break for coffee, tea, or water with a time for fellowship followed by a topic up for discussion.)
Peace to you all, and see you soon!