PRAYING SHAPES BELIEVING
A Meditation for You
Tidings of Comfort & Joy
 
The holidays are a time for traditions, such as family, friends and familiar liturgies and hymns at church. Our circumstances throughout much of 2020 and now this Christmas have required us to do things differently. How do we prepare the way of the Lord when we remain in a wilderness of pandemic? 

In our Christian tradition, advent is a time of expectant waiting. It can also be a penitent time for examining where life has brought us up short. Where do we need the light of Christ to shine more brightly in our lives, and what changes can we make to invite more light? 

Franciscan Richard Rohr says, “Whenever the material and the spiritual coincide, there is the Christ.” He points out that “matter reveals Spirit, and Spirit needs matter to show itself.”

Let us Christians be the ones this holiday season who shine light on a dark world. Let’s add some extra sparkle to our traditions of Christmases long, long ago.  

December 18.  Call a nursing home and determine how to send beautiful cards to residents who don’t often receive mail. Sign them “from Santa.” 

December 19.  Ask a child, “What are you giving for Christmas?” instead of “What are you getting for Christmas?”

December 20. Tip someone who doesn’t expect it. Or buy a drink for the car behind you in the drive-through.

December 21. Watch, without distraction A Christmas Carol on television or your favorite holiday show. Look for the intersection of Spirit and matter, to see if you can find Jesus there. 

December 22.  If you have friends who have lost a family member since last Christmas, make a special effort to offer them some holiday cheer, with a phone call or a card.  

December 23.  Fill your house with the holiday fragrance of cloves, orange peel and cinnamon sticks simmering on the kitchen stove. 

December 24  Send thank-you notes or texts for any gifts you receive and include a description or picture of the gift being enjoying. 

May you have the gladness of Christmas which is hope; The spirit of Christmas, which is peace; The heart of Christmas which is love.   — Ada V. Hendricks

Some ideas borrowed and embellished from Life’s Little Treasure Book of Christmas Traditions. H. Jackson Brown, Jr. 1994.
Christmas For Families of Hanover ARC
You all are AMAZING!!! What kindness! Thank you for signing up and providing such joy to families here in Ashland. Together you have fulfilled 82 wishlist items for families that will deeply feel the love of God through your hands. Your generosity is unparalleled. 

All items are to be turned in this weekend here at the church, wrapped and labeled with the child's name on it. We will have boxes in the hallway with each child's name on it. Place the wrapped present in the corresponding child's box. There will be a box outside the door if the door is locked. Items will be brought in daily.

We will be delivering the gifts on Monday, 12/21 to the Hanover ARC. Don't worry- we will have pictures! Thank you for your beautiful thoughtfulness!
Hanover Habitat for Humanity
How wonderful! Habitat was able to complete another home for a deserving family. Please join us in a car parade as we welcome the Roman family into their new home on Friday, December 18th at 3:30pm. Just in time for the holidays! Meet in the parking lot of SJtL. You can decorate your car, make signs or just get that hand ready to beep and wave to spread some love. Please make sure we are showing communal love by staying in your car.
Celebrating Christmas
Thursday
On Thursday, we will have a Christmas Eve Eucharist:Rite II Service at 4:30pm. It will be held outdoors and in person at the front of the church. We will have the loop blocked off. You are welcome to bring a chair to sit socially distanced. Please make sure to wear a mask.

Also on Christmas Eve please join us online at 10pm for the first ever SJtL Christmas Special: Christmas Eve on Beverly & Lee. Take a stroll through our grounds with some of our own. Take a journey through the Advent Stations of the Cross. It will deepen your experience and may also be fun to see familiar faces as we welcome the Christ Child into the world and into our hearts.
Friday
Please join us online Friday for a Christmas Day Morning Prayer at 9am. Christ is Born! Let's celebrate that together in Spirit!
Staying Connected
Friday, December 18, 2020
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online)

Sunday, December 20, 2020
  • 9am- Children's Sunday School (online) 
  • Link to join
  • 10am- Morning Prayer Worship (online)
  • Link to watch service
  • Link for bulletin

Monday, December 21, 2020
  • 10:30am- Grief Group (Memorial Garden)
  • 12pm- Noonday prayers (online)
  • 5pm- Prayers for Unity (Memorial Garden)

Join us daily for Noonday Prayer online here. You can follow along with the service on page 103 of the Book of Common Prayer or visit BCPonline.org (Click on "Daily Office" and then "An Order of Service at Noonday")

If you can't join us live-time, no worries. All of these services can be viewed at your convenience afterward on Facebook. All our Sunday morning and Contemplative services will be posted on our YouTube Channel, "St. James the Less Ashland VA." You can access that here.
Helpful Links
St. James the Less
125 Beverly Rd. | Ashland VA 23005 | (804) 798.6336