Florida is now under a
statewide stay-at-home order.
PALM SUNDAY: PASCHAL JOURNEY WITH CHRIST?
Florida is now under a statewide stay-at-home order.
PALM SUNDAY: PASCHAL JOURNEY WITH CHRIST?
Dear Friends and
Family of Advent,
Greetings to you from the Church of the Advent!
The Holy Season of Lent is coming to an end, and we are all set to step into the holiest days of the year. This Sunday, April 5, is Palm Sunday, the beginning of Holy Week. Palm Sunday celebrates the Zion’s King Jesus, who triumphantly entered into the city of Jerusalem, the very religious and political power center of the world.
The Prophet Zechariah, several hundred years before Matthew, saw this was coming and had prophesied about this day and said,
Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter Jerusalem!
Lo, your King comes to you;
triumphant and victorious is he,
humble and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
A vast crowd, according to Luke, the “whole multitude of disciples,” joined in the procession, and they began to praise God joyfully with a loud voice for all the deeds of power that they had seen. Crowds spread clothes and tree branches across the road to show their adoration:
“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
At that moment, it
looked for all the world, as if the King had arrived in force to claim his
rightful throne. Matthew puts it, “When he entered Jerusalem, the whole city
was in turmoil, asking, “Who is this?” (21:10). Pharisees, the so-called
guardians of the Jewish status-quo, exclaimed in alarm, “Look, the whole world
has gone after him!” It is evident, the modern world today asks, why was he
riding on a donkey instead of a horse?
Unlike the Presidential motorcade with the flashing lights, the all-black-convoy, and the emergency vehicles, the King of Zion led the entrance procession on a donkey with no earthly splendor. Christ chose to ride on a donkey, a symbol of humility and service.
Also, the Gospels recount how the followers covered Jesus’ path, spreading their cloaks on the road. Others cut palm branches from the trees, spread them on the road, and went ahead of Jesus shouting, “Hosanna.” A cry for help – Save us, Lord, we are perishing!”
However, what one cannot understand is how with such a crowd throwing themselves at his feet one week, how did Jesus get arrested and killed the next?
Yes, there was a smell of triumph on Palm Sunday, but not the kind of victory that might impress Rome and not the type that impressed crowds in Jerusalem for long, either. What manner of King was this, we wonder! Jesus is the King with a difference. He is the savior of the world and compassionate Christ. Wherever you are in life, there is a place for you in Christ and His kingdom. God loves you, no exception!
Holy Week is a paschal journey in its significance, a journey to Easter. It is possible, in this hard and most difficult times, we might have drifted away from our trust in God, relied on our strength, broke down, and failed miserably. Here is a call to return and rejoin the paschal journey with Christ to a new life.
Holy Week helps us to find our way back to God. God does not require a pure heart to join His passion. Henri Nouwen says,
"God does not require a pure heart before embracing us. Even if we return to God because following our desires has failed to bring happiness, God will take us back. God’s love does not require any explanations about why we are returning. God is glad to see us home and wants to give us all we desire, just for being back."
To mark our return to God let us join virtually in the following services which will be live-streamed as follows:
Palm Sunday, April 5 at 10 am
Maundy Thursday, April 9 at 7:00 pm
Good Friday, April 10, 12 noon).
Let us join in the paschal journey with Christ and follow Him from the very beginning to the very end. Then we will celebrate Jesus’ resurrection on Easter Sunday (April 12 at 10 am). We will celebrate the new life, which the resurrection of Christ brings to all of us. New times demand new expectations, even as new hope is on the horizon!
Wishing you all a blessed and holy season of the Passion and the Paschal Journey with Christ,
Affectionately in Christ,
Father Paul Collins
April 3, 2020
TEARS OF JOY AMIDST THE PAIN OF SORROW
Anita and I share the pain and sorrow of the millions. It is heartbreaking and mind blogging, to see
humanity in millions staggering and struggling all around the world—coronavirus
taking a toll on humanity—189,500 cases in the U.S., with 4,076
Coronavirus triggers fear among young and old. Today, almost everyone in the world is experiencing life as more stressful, more disconnected, socially distanced. On top of it all, economic hardship, today, paralyzing the morale of families and individuals alike. According to CNBC, "Coronavirus job losses could total 47 million, the unemployment rate may hit 32%." These are by far unimaginably large numbers in the history of the United States.
It is indeed a very tough passage. We are bound up with so much uncertainty, despair, dismay, and fear of death all around us. How can anyone be hopeful about life?
Amidst the harsh realities all around us today, we are entering a new month. It is the first day of April. The world may say, "it is a fool's day." But we say it is a suitable day to dream big dreams and intercede for the world. Here is the promise that comes from God who made heaven and earth:
I hereby command you:
Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed,
for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."
Let us in one spirit and accord wish and pray that this deadliest virus goes away, and life returns to normal to the millions. It is exciting, "Once the virus goes away, and if we play our cards right and keep everything intact, then everyone will go back to work, and everything will be fine." It is a good thing!
In the spirit of optimism, I invite you to adhere to the directives put out to stop the spread of the virus: "Avoid social gatherings in groups more than ten people. Avoid eating and drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts - use drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options. Avoid discretionary travels. Wash your hands, especially after touching any frequently used item or surface. Avoid touching your face. Sneeze or cough into a tissue or the inside of your elbow. "
As parents, today, we are in tears; it is tears of joy amidst the pain of sorrow for our son Andrew who left us this morning around 6:00 a.m. to become a Software Engineer at Boeing, St. Louis, Missouri. Please join us in giving thanks to God for this beautiful opportunity for Andrew. Please keep him in your prayers that things will go well for him all the way.
With every blessing, we remain,
Yours in Christ's Love,
Father Paul and Anita Collins
Good morning and blessings to each one of you!
I trust you’re well and doing good. At this time of anxiety and uncertainty, I hold you all, the members of our parish in my love and prayers.
I never anticipated that the Coronavirus Pandemic would ever happen and affect life, disrupting the rhythm of the millions of people around the world. I deeply regret not being able to meet with you and perform my pastoral visits and celebrate corporate worship. Nevertheless, it is out of love for one another, for our fellow human beings, our neighbors, our parishioners, that we forego the blessing of being physically together for worship, and other face to face meetings.
As of today, we don’t have a clear-cut answer concerning the reopening of our businesses and churches for worship. Even though President Trump hopes to have, the country reopened in just over two weeks (Easter Sunday), a timeline that is dramatically sooner than what many public-health experts have recommended to help contain the coronavirus pandemic.
In our clergy conference today, Bishop Peter Eaton had indicated this could go on till the end of May 2020. The Episcopal Church Bishops will be meeting for their weekly meeting online, next Monday. The Bishop is hopeful of this subject coming up in their discussion. We will know the mind of the church on this vital subject, whether we will be able to have the Easter Service or not. He will let us know!
In the interim, I am glad to let you know that we are fully complying with both the directives received from the Bishop and the Government.
We are grateful to our leaders - Sue, Al, Craig, Elaine, and Melissa, for their foresight and hard work in keeping things moving as healthy as possible. Sue has been so good at maintaining and analyzing the cash flow, paying the bills, and taking care of all other financial concerns. You might have heard from Sue, our Treasurer, where she suggests some useful ways for us to keep up with our pledges and support to the church at this very stressful time. Thank you all for thinking about your church.
Al and Craig are excellent in their responsibilities as wardens. I am thankful to them for their assistance and insightful guidance at this extraordinary time. God has given us some incredible and hard-working leaders. Let us support them.
Through reflections, weekly messages, and personal phone calls, and emails, I am so delighted to be able to touch with our parishioners and communicating with you as much as possible. I have requested that Melissa forward all the reflections and messages that we receive from the Bishop to you. He has some good things to say at this terrible time to keep our morale up and put our trust in God.
Concerning the health of our parishioners, this is such a difficult time for everyone. However, I am glad that no one in our congregation is affected by the Coronavirus. Nevertheless, Father Malcolm is admitted again in the hospital with other complications. He is in Tradition. I talked to Lydia, and she is concerned about his health. Bill and Nancy are always in my prayer. Glad to hear from Nancy that Bill had no hospital visits since I saw him three weeks ago.
I am so sorry to let you all know that Melissa has not recovered fully, and she is still struggling with some issues. Despite her health, she is assisting us in many ways. Please text and assure her of our good wishes.
Finally, we are glad that we were able to live stream our Sunday Service last Sunday. Of course, this was the first time for all of us involved. There were lots of errors, and please be assured we will address those errors and will live stream our worship this Sunday again. Bishop has given his directives asking us to be strict. According to him, the participant should be three or a maximum of four people, including the priest. Sure, it would exclude some of our excellent regular worship leaders.
Again, we are living in a desolate moment that I am hopeful not necessarily leading us to the desolation of our spirituality. Trust in the Lord and don’t despair. He is a friend so true! No matter what your troubles are, Jesus will see you through.
I am so pleased to pass on to you one more beautiful and reassuring scripture from the writings of Paul, the apostle (Romans 8:35-39):
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors ( not losers) through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We love you (1,3,4,6,10….), Anita and I are holding all of you in our daily prayers.
With every blessing
Father Paul Collins
COVID-19: MAY YOUR JOURNEY BE GENTLE AND
THE DESTINY FULL OF PROMISE.
THE DESTINY FULL OF PROMISE.
FOURTH SUNDAY IN LENT
COVID – 19: May your journey be gentle and the destiny full of promise.
Sermon preached by Father Paul Collins
It is a new day! It is a new journey! Life itself is a journey. Yes, it is! Life is beautiful but not always easy. The road of life is bumpy, rough, and treacherous. At times, countless challenges have encountered us along the way. Today, we are on the road, less traveled. For millions, life is increasingly becoming darker, and the spreading of COVID 19 is dangerous. The world is facing new challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic.
The challenge lies in facing them with courage. Someone has said, “A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for.” Life is beautiful, but it is not always easy. And the challenges around us are real; we need the courage to encounter them.
Look at our Old Testament. God said to Samuel, “set out,” and go! For Samuel, it is a new journey! It is a road less traveled, unfamiliar to the Northerner. Nevertheless, it is a journey towards a destiny full of promise. It is a journey with a mission of creating a new future for the land of Israel with a new king. Samuel’s journey, though, was rough, and destiny was full of promise. A mission accomplished. God said to Samuel, as the last son of Jesse, a shepherd boy David is brought before him, “Rise and anoint him, for this is the one.” With the increasing threat of Saul, for Samuel, that journey was risky. But Samuel took a risk and arrived at a destiny full of promise!
In our Gospel, we read, Jesus saw a man who had been blind from birth. For that nameless blind man, life was dark and increasingly challenging. Jesus, amid body politics over the blind man’s unfortunate infirmity and impediment with a small gesture of kindness, took pity on him.
What Jesus did next may be unhygienic, “he spat on the ground and made a sort of clay with the salvia,” which he applied to the man’s eyes and said, “Go and wash in the pool of Siloam.” The man went!
Imagine, it was the most challenging journey for this blind man, not sure how far and how long it took for him to reach that pool. Yet, that journey’s destiny was full of promise – a new sight. John says, “He came home with his sight restored!”
Life is beautiful, but not always easy; it has problems, too. Trusting Jesus’ words, the blind man risked his life, reached the pool, washed his eyes, and got his sight!
The Apostle, Paul, in our Epistle to the church in Ephesus, first, in Chapter 2, acknowledges that young Christians who were struggling to live out their faith amid life challenges under Roman subjugation and religious oppositions of their day, tells them that they are the workmanship of God.
Here in the passage assigned to our reading today, Paul calls them to live like children of Light! Being light to the world is not an easy task! Life never gets easier! The road of life can get rough, but be confident, and we are the workmanship of God, God made our lives that God is behind the wheel of our lives!
Finally, let us turn to that most famous, comforting, consoling and beautiful Psalm 23 by David, a new king that was anointed by Samuel as we have seen above, in our Old Testament reading. David was a shepherd king, more successful than any other king in all of the history of Israel. His Kingdom was considered as a Golden era! Life was good, but not always easy.
Psalm 23 comes from a place of pain and frustration. For David, the comfort of the palace, possessions, and the royal throne, are merely flying over his head. He failed, failed miserably. He fell from grace. Life is beautiful, but not easy always!
David is the sheep; the Lord is the shepherd. David and the Lord are intimately connected in love. David embarked on a journey with the Lord. He passed through pastures of green grass and by the waters of rest. David writes, “He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters.”
Together with the Good Shepherd, Life is beautiful and comfortable, but what now! It is a valley. With no warning ahead of him, David passed from the relaxing fields into the threatening valley of deep darkness. It seems the very shadow of the valley of death enveloped Him.
For millions, today, the world is increasingly becoming darker, and the threat is dangerous, it is the valley of the shadow of death. The world is facing new challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. If predictions are right, the Coronavirus will Change the World Permanently.
We know now that touching things, being with other people, and breathing the air in an enclosed space can be risky. A higher comfort might replace the convenience of being in the presence of others with absence. Life has come almost standstill, and people are asked to stay behind closed doors!
Here is a question that is echoing all around the Globe, how to face the daily challenges posed by the COVID 19 Pandemic? I believe, though, there is a life-threatening challenge. It is not time to be panicking!
We need to rediscover the joy of tenderness by loving our family, friends, and our neighbor, maintaining proper hygiene – hand washing. Observe social distancing. The best way of protecting us from the spread is for everyone to takes the directives seriously and use universal hygiene and wash our hands frequently! Stay at home to save!
As a church, we forfeit the blessing of being physically together for worship. We, as a parish, limit events and meetings that require close contact.
We agree, life is beautiful, but not easy always! We also trust as David articulates in Psalm 23, God’s overflowing love, and His mercy follow us all the days of our lives, and we will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
Therefore, wherever we are in life, whatever gifts and talents we may possess, let us make the Light of Christ shine through us wherever we go and whatever we do.
We are inspired to do this by living out our faith by putting into action, especially by loving one another as Christ loved us. The challenges around us are real, and we need the courage to encounter them. Life is a journey with many problems and difficulties. But, remember that God is behind the wheel of our lives!
Jesus Christ is the Light of the world. In our life and our life’s journey, let us shine His Light for the world. Amen.
"The COVID–19 pandemic" is affecting much of our individual and corporate lives, posing a threat to the health of so many. At this juncture, following the directives received both from the National Church (Presiding Bishop) and our Diocesan Bishop, after this Sunday, March 15, all our church activities will remain canceled through March 31.
Coronavirus is a real deal, and it is getting serious. I prayerfully request you to please take a comprehensive approach tailored to your circumstances with the public and well-being as the central pillar.
As of always, Anita and I will be ready to be at your side in case of a medical emergency or any other physical or emotional breakdown. Here is our cell phone: 772-708-0229. You can either call or text us.
Nevertheless, I am pleased to send this "piece of biblical reflection," assuring us of God's comfort and care at this time of chaos and uncertainty:
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
Psalm 91 is one of my favorite passages in the Bible. While I was growing up, my poor mother made us, her children, memorize this Psalm in our language.
I often recite and read this Psalm with tears in my eyes. Not only this Psalm reminds me of God's care, but it also virtually takes me into the bosom of my mother, where I feel the warmth of her touch and care of her love.
Here are just three points of reflection on verse four:
- "He will cover you with his feathers:" a mother bird does this to their young, who cannot cover themselves, to keep them warm, and protect them from those that would hurt them.
- In our helpless state, like young birds, weak and unable to defend ourselves, the tender care of God does protect us.
- God protects us by his powerful and gracious presence. He protects us under our troubles and difficulties, as well as heals from all our sicknesses.
May we be God's blessings, and instruments of God's love. May the words of Psalm 91 ring loudly and true in our hearts: He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings, you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart
Father Paul and Anita Collins
Trust your journey of Lent is off to a great start, and going well for you. As of always, you all are in our thoughts and prayers, especially during this Holy Season of Lent.
You may be glad to know, the first Wednesday of our Lenten Study Series went very well, and we had around 40 people attending the study. The study was well-received, and the soup and salad supper was delicious and sumptuous. Thank you for all those who contributed towards the supper.
The next one on "Hinduism" will be on Wednesday, March 11 @ 6 pm. We will have the Hindu Priest from West Palm Beach, Swami Vishnu Sharma, making the presentation. Please make it a point to attend this study and also invite your friends and neighbors.
This Sunday, March 8, we will have the joy of baptizing Baby Malia Marie Natiello. Your presence will be a great blessing to the child as well as her parents, grandparents, and her extended family and friends.
Finally, you will have heard of the death of George Beckwith, who died a few weeks ago on February 17. The funeral mass (celebration of Life) will take place, April 4, at 1 pm at Church of the Advent. The family of George invites us all to the reception following the service at the Parish Hall.
Anita and I ever remain in love for you, the very loving people of Advent, and looking forward to seeing in church Sunday!
With love and blessings,
Father Paul and Anita Collins
IT IS INDEED, THE REAL DEAL!
Dear People of Advent,
The Annual Parish Meeting on Sunday, February 19, 2020, was remarkable. For those who were there, you know how actively we all participated in the business of the church. For those who missed it, we missed you. Amidst the presentation of reports from various parish committees and officers, a lot of good-will thoughts and appreciations were expressed for a job well done.
One of the highlights of the Annual Meeting was the election of new members to the vestry. We are pleased to inform you that Michael Higgins, Jim Lammie, Elaine Lavallee, and Victor Lugo were elected to serve on the vestry.
Last Saturday, February 15th, the newly constituted vestry met and elected the following officers for 2020:
- Al Ragl, Senior Warden
- Craig Bauzenberger, Junior Warden
- Sue Harrington, Treasurer
- Elaine Lavallee, Clerk
- Kathryn Bass, Chancellor
We are confident that the vestry will model Christ, demonstrating the Servant Leadership, and will serve our Parish well. I encourage all of us to hold our spirit high and let us place our faith in the one who called us and made us a church in this place. Of course, with the new leadership in place, we see new energy and enthusiasm emerging in the life of our parish. It is indeed a real deal!
Again, please note that the newly elected members and the leaders of the vestry will be Installed and Commissioned this Sunday, February 23rd. Please hold them in your prayers. Also, this Sunday is one of the very significant feasts in our tradition. We will have Lorrianna Colozzo sing that awesome and beautiful confidence in the darkness song, “The Servant King” by Graham Kendrick. Trust, it will be a blessing to listen to this song.
Finally, since Ash Wednesday is right around the corner, I wanted to make sure you saw our recent email about the Pancake Supper on Tuesday, February 25th at 6:00 p.m., and Holy Eucharist and Imposition of Ashes on Wednesday, February 26th at 12:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.
We are looking forward to seeing you at church Sunday!
Father Paul Collins
HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY
Dear People of God,
Tomorrow, February 14, is Valentine’s Day. It is that time of the year when we celebrate LOVE in its different manifestations and manners. As a matter of fact, ‘being deeply loved by someone gives you strength while loving someone deeply gives you courage.’ A church family is a garden of loving relationships.
As we celebrate the love and friendship in our lives, let us be reminded of God’s love. His love goes far beyond all manners of earthly Love. It is His love that gives and gives with no expectation of return.
Of course, God knows all our brokenness. He knows all our hurts, denials, rejections, and sorrows in life. God has a loving heart for all of us, for God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son. God gave his Son so that we may have abundance of grace and life.
The Apostle Paul celebrates this self-giving life (love) of God and writes to a church that is divided and in need of unity and love:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous, it does not brag, and it is not proud. Love is not rude, is not selfish, and does not become angry easily. Love does not remember wrong done against it. Love is not happy with evil but is happy with the truth.
Such is the love of God, which never fails! As we recognize and celebrate love in our loved ones on this Valentine’s Day, let us open our hearts and open them up anew to the love of God. Happy Valentine’s Day!
We look forward to seeing you and sharing the love of God with you in our corporate worship this Sunday!
We love you all very much!
Fr. Paul and Anita Collins
Dear and Loving People of Advent,
Please join us at our Annual Parish Meeting
this Sunday, February 9, 2020, immediately following the worship service
It is an awesome privilege for your priest to extend a special invitation to the Annual Parish Meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to acknowledge and celebrate the presence and faithfulness of God, not only to discuss business.
The Parish Annual Meeting is a time of celebration and to be grateful in church. We will rejoice with one another and reflect on how God has been at work in our congregation over the past year; identify stories as different church committees present their reports; then celebrate. It allows us to give thanks for the ways that God is moving among us at Advent.
Secondly, it is a time of participation and collaboration where each one of us feels valued and connected to the call and mission of God, which are larger than ourselves — and together engage in formulating a vision for our parish to the year ahead.
Thirdly, it is a time to thank people who served and served us well, including volunteers who have done so much work around the campus, served on committees, and the Vestry, especially members who are rotating off of the vestry. And we have to elect new leaders for the coming year. Click here for the Vestry Nominee biographies.
Finally, we will look at our finances and thank those who graciously gave financially over the past year and made ministry possible through their generosity. We will also hear from the vestry about our budget for this year ahead.
May I, therefore, ask you, please consider making a special effort to be part of the annual meeting. I hope this to be an energizing time to honor the call of God for each one of us in this place.
The Annual Meeting will be followed by a Pot-luck Lunch in the Parish Hall,
creating a unique opportunity for celebration and conversation.
Your presence, indeed, is intrinsic to the life of our parish!
With every blessing, I remain yours,
In His Service
Father Aaron Paul Collins
BISHOP'S VISIT AND CONFIRMATIONS
On Sunday, January 19, there was much rejoicing in heaven and a fair share at Church of the Advent too. Rector Fr. Paul Collins welcomed the Bishop and guests. During a service of Confirmation and Reaffirmation of Baptismal Vows, Bishop Peter Eaton confirmed five and blessed four accomplished adults in our congregation.
In his homily, Bishop noted that the epiphany invites all of us to draw ourselves closer to Jesus and encourages us to make Him known through our lives to the world. Appreciating the emerging new life and energy in our congregation, Bishop said in God all of us could give birth to something new, thus create a new future for the Church of God.
Later reflecting on his visit, Bishop wrote:
"What a lovely weekend we have just had together. Thank you all very much for your warmth and kindness. Thank you, too, for the useful and thoughtful gift, which I shall cherish.
It is wonderful to see you all flourishing together as priest and congregation. With seven baptisms and five confirmations, as well as other newcomers, you must take real encouragement from these signs of new life and energy."
Again, please know how deeply, sincerely, I appreciate all of your partnership in the ministry of Christ at Advent. Thank you so much for blessing us with your presence in our celebration with the Bishop. Each of you is a part of the history that makes the Church we are today. Know you will always remain in our love. We Love you!
IT'S A GIFT, AND IT IS GREAT
Dear People of God at Advent,
Anita and I are ever grateful for the privilege of being your priest. It is a Gift! And it is Great! We love it!
You have impacted our lives in many ways. We thank you for your love and dedication. With you, we continue to be hopeful of Good Days ahead of us bright with sunshine and clear skies!
This Sunday, we will bring our pledges to the Altar of the Lord in support of God’s mission and ministry. Our pledges support what we do at Advent and beyond our doors to the world. Every pledge is essential to living out Christ’s love and mercy. It is a joyful expression of our gratitude to God for all His love toward us. Please remember to bring your completed pledge cards to the “IN GATHERING”!
Also, this Sunday, we will be concluding a liturgical season of “ordinary” (season after Pentecost) and entering the hopeful season of Advent and Christmas. It is exciting! The last Sunday after Pentecost, our worship will appreciate and affirm the Kingship of Christ (Christ the King Sunday). We are the people of God’s Kingdom! Let us celebrate!
Finally, the last Sunday in November (November 24th) is Andrew’s Day. Andrew, one of the disciples of Jesus Christ, is the Patron Saint of Scotland. Our friends Steven and Sandra McCowan will make a special St. Andrew’s Day Presentation. Jack Anderson, will play Bagpipes. Please join us for a Scottish coffee hour in the parish hall.
All roads lead to the Church of the Advent!
Anita and I are Looking forward to seeing you in church on Sunday at 10 am!
Father Paul Collins
VETERANS DAY: CELEBRATION OF SERVICE
November 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
November 10, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH SUNDAY:
TOGETHER WITH CHILDREN IN GOD’S
September 29, 2019
at 10:00 a.m.
CHILDREN AND YOUTH SUNDAY:
TOGETHER WITH CHILDREN IN GOD’S PRESENCE
September 29, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
I am so excited to let you know that, this Sunday, September 29th, at Church of the Advent, will be celebrated as 'Children and Youth Sunday.' Children are the gift and heritage of God. Their participation in worship is supremely important in the life of our church.
We are grateful to our parents who bring their children and youth to church and our dedicated Christian Formation staff who help them to know Jesus and grow in Him. I do firmly believe that our children are not just future church; they are the present church as well. It is just a delight that our teachers and parents help the children to grow in the love of Jesus. Children's presence also assures the hopeful future for the church.
Jesus loves all the children. As we read in the Gospels, he took time to be around them. He blessed them. He applauded their receptivity, capacity to develop, and simple trust. Jesus even presented children to the adults, as the ideal for the kingdom of God:
People were bringing even infants to him that he might touch them;
and when the disciples saw it, they sternly ordered them not to do it.
But Jesus called for them and said:
Let the little children come to me, and do not stop them;
for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God
as a little child will never enter it."
Let us join our children this Sunday. It is going to be very exciting for us to be together with children and to celebrate our togetherness in worship.
We will also be blessing our teachers!
All teachers, active and retired,
all who are connected to the school system,
Sunday School teachers and Nursery Care staff
are invited to join us at 10:00 a.m.
I am looking forward to seeing you all in Church Sunday!
Father Paul Collins
Be Not Worried or Anxious
God will sail us safe!
God will sail us safe!
weeks ago, I quietly commemorated the Anniversary of our mother’s (Mary Aaron) passing.
I never let that day go by without
collecting dust in my eyes. She was the
most affectionate and loving human being that I have ever known in the world. If I ever try to find a meaning for sacrifice,
it was she, the personification of love and sacrifice.
She let her dream job of nursing go away when she married a poor rural area Christian Catechist who was in charge of thirteen rural congregations. She labored with him until separated by her death, empowering the poor, wounded, crushed, exploited, and depressed women who lived on the edge of starvation. She gathered the village children who ran naked with worn-out, skinny bodies as a testament of hunger. She taught them how to read and write and fed them through whatever she had.
She was a victim of my Dad’s wishful greed and desire of having more children; especially sons who he thought would assist him in preaching and teaching in rural India. She bore eight children – five sons and three daughters. Not a surprise, four out of eight have become ordained priests, three school Diocesan Mission School teachers, and one remained as a successful housewife. But the womb, weakened by bearing these many children, gave up and she died of cancer on the walls of her womb thirty years ago, at the age of 65.
Of all that she did and meant to us, her simple and real faith in the Lord stands out. As I grieve and mourn over her death, I am reminded afresh of one of her favorite Psalms - Psalm 91. She knew this psalm in its entirety by heart! Rightly so, this Psalm has been making an impact in my own personal and spiritual journey.
Here is the first half of the Psalm for our reading:
You can go to God Most High to hide.
You can go to God All-Powerful for protection.
I say to the Lord, “You are my place of safety, my fortress.
My God, I trust in you.
God will save you from hidden dangers
and from deadly diseases.
You can go to him for protection.
He will cover you like a bird spreading its wings over its babies.
You can trust him to surround
and protect you like a shield.
You will have nothing to fear at night
and no need to be afraid of enemy arrows during the day.
You will have no fear of diseases that come in the dark
or terrible suffering that comes at noon.