Sunday, November 24 2019
Our gospel call to “social action” as understood 151 years ago, as is today, comes from the center of our worship life, prayer, and study. Our liturgical life cannot be free of the concerns of God’s people. The very liturgy, a work of the people, must be a weekly (if not daily) celebration in which each person is further equipped to live in the world as a member of the Body of Christ. Our liturgical experiences (that is what happens in the church service) must encapsulate a legitimate, sacramental encounter with God, a binding together of God’s people and the offering of prayers representing the genuine needs of the world…A crisis in the ministry of the church today is our inability to clearly and faithfully articulate the impact of Jesus’ message—his life and teaching, his death and resurrection in the midst of a complex and fractured world…The Church must return to being the Church. There is no substitute for real community, actual—not virtual—prayer, conversation and study, liturgical action and sacramental encounter. Sisters and brothers, I am calling upon each of you once again, to return to the basics of our common life and common prayer, our formation and education and our sharing with everyone around us. Literally return to church. Be together more. Teach our children how to be together, work together, pray together. (Bishop Provenzano)
As we transition from Christ the King Sunday to Advent, I ask you to spend time in prayer, study, and worship. Please make an effort to attend church every Sunday in Advent and draw closer to the One that loves us all unconditionally. During our Advent suppers on Tuesday evenings (beginning 12/03), we will study the Gospel of Matthew as we prepare for the coming of Christ. Join us on December 7th from 9-1 for an Advent Quiet Day. Our topic is “Preparation: Matthew’s Journey through Advent” with Rev. Lawrence Womack of St. Augustine’s Brooklyn. Fr. Anthony Jones will also be joining us for breakfast and the program. I ask you to sign up today, so that we can prepare enough food for the event.
At St. John’s our mission is to know Christ and make Him known. Most of us need to build a deeper relationship with Jesus. In both the Sunday Gospel and in our daily prayer, we are studying Matthew. Please read and meditate through Matthew in the coming month. Forward Day by Day daily meditations are also available for those of us on the go. Just take one line of scripture and meditate on it each morning. Please pray each and every day that the Holy Spirit will draw you closer to Jesus Christ through your prayer, study, and worship. Our bible study meets on Tuesdays at 11:00 am and will be finishing the “Path” in the next four weeks. We will study the Acts of the Apostles in January.
Our Youth Group will host HiHi at St. John’s for the homeless on December 13th. Our youth will be selling Christmas wreaths on December 7th and 8th. Please fill out your order form after service today. This is the last Sunday to bring Operation Christmas shoe boxes. Please pick up a tag, wrap a gift, and bring it back to St. John’s by December 8th for the ECW Adopt-A-Family program.
Please mark your calendars for the last Taizé service of the year on Sunday December 1st at 5:30 pm. This is a contemplative prayer service with beautiful music from Alex and friends. Join us tonight at 4:00 pm for “Year’s End” with the Rambling Readers. Last, but not least is our biggest concert of the year. If you are new to St. John’s, please join us for songs, carols, and stories that are sure to put you in the Christmas spirit! Sing Noël! will be held on December 15th at 7:30 pm.
In Christ’s love,