Advent Through Christmas

Today marks the first Sunday in Advent. We at St. Philip’s will be marking this season and the following Christmas season with a variety of services and events. We wish to invite any who do not already have a place to gather in community over this time to join us for any or all of these events. Advent is a time for waiting. For many people this is an increasingly difficult thing to do, particularly as they feel challenged by the fast pace that accompanies the approach to Christmas. At St. Philip’s we intend to honour this waiting time.

Advent is also a time of preparation. While we prepare for Christmas, we also prepare for the coming of Christ’s kingdom in it’s fullness. The themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love are also characteristics of the coming kingdom that we can practice now. Come join us at St. Philip’s during Advent as we strive to together understand what these themes mean for our lives today.

St. Philips Advent wreath
Advent wreath at St. Philips.

Sunday, November 29, Advent 1

11:00 am Holy Eucharist. Reverend Donald is Preaching. The theme is hope.

Sunday, December 6, Advent 2

11:00 am Morning Prayer. Reverend Donald is at St. Mark’s so there will be a guest preacher. The theme is peace. Continue reading

Joy

http://erb.kingdomnow.org/stanley-hauerwas-the-virtues-practices-of-slow-church-video/7/

To view this video you are going to need to click on the link at the top of the post.

The video starts off with Hauerwas stating that joy is found in the existence of others, and that in the existence of the others we realize and recognize God’s existence. “Joy names the sheer presence of God.” How when we gather do we look for the joy that is an indicator of God’s existence. These gatherings don’t have to be the Sunday morning service, or in a church at all, although we certainly hope that we will be aware of God’s existence at those times. Yet, if we want people to encounter the living God revealed in Jesus Christ, we must be able to make that existence visible in the joy that people encounter when they meet us.

Hauerwas describes worship as the enjoyment of God. Is the enjoyment of God the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of worship? How does the presence of others in your community affect how you worship and the enjoyment of God you find in worship?

Finally Hauerwas states that “joy is the great enemy of narcissism.” When worshipping, do we find that it is easy to get distracted from the enjoyment of God and rather think about ourselves?

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