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.