Thursday, December 20, 2018

Padre's Post - Anticipating Christmas II

This year, the fourth Sunday of Advent is squeezed in one day before Christmas Eve, but its message is too important to be neglected. The church's focus remains upon Mary, the Christ bearer. Mary is the ideal image of all humanity, willing to receive and give birth to the divine through her life. In Mary's story the image is that of actual childbirth, but in our story what does recognizing and giving birth to the divine look like?

I think it looks like times of quiet and stillness when we sense a vibrant communion with all of life around us.

I think it looks like what Christi Brewer Allen is doing through the Church of Goodness, or what Jeff Newton, Ruth Lawson, and others are doing through the compassionate work helping the under-resourced and struggling in our city.

I think it looks like what the St. Andrew kitchen looked like last night filled with joyful people preparing a Christmas meal for others.

I think it looks like forgiveness winning over a grudge, compassion winning over apathy, acceptance and understanding winning over judgment, creativity over mockery.

I think giving birth to the divine in any life looks like a life as it was intended to be kind co-habitation with all who share their little piece of the planet.

So whether its Nazareth, Bethlehem, or Kokomo, may the divine in our life be given birth through our lives, just as it was in Mary's.

Fr. Richard

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Padre's Post - Anticipating Christmas

Christmas at St. Andrew has always been magical. I can still remember my first, having arrived in 2000 at the beginning of Advent. The beautiful church becomes radiant with lights amidst the greenery and the glow of candles adorning the pews. The air is filled with the smell of heaven being wafted by the thurifer, together with the singing of carols being led by the pipe organ and Christmas Choir.

This year, perhaps more than ever, the anticipation of Christmas has been intense. Well before Advent, Rick has brought together voices from throughout our city to prepare for late night Mass on Christmas Eve. Listening to the interviews posted from various choir members, I believe they have already experienced the gift of Christmas. The music and community they have shared is filled with beauty and wonder.

The days of Advent are coming to a close. This Sunday we observe the 4th Sunday of Advent with ONE service at 10am. Following the service we will hang the lights and greenery that has adorned the church for decades.

Make Christmas a holy season. Join us this Sunday at 10am to sing the Magnificat with Mary. And then, return on Monday Night at 6pm or 10:30pm for the glorious Christ mass.

A quiet, intimate Mass will be offered on Christmas day at 10am.
Christmas Lessons & Carols will be offered on Sunday, Dec. 30th, at 10am.

May God's peace and beauty be with you, and welcome home to St. Andrew for Christmas.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Gift Of Joy

Father Richard's sermon for December 16, 2018

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Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Padre's Post - In Advent

The third Sunday in Advent features the pink or rose colored candle. Its light represents the gifts of joy amidst the long journey in darkness. We need the little doses of hope and joy when bearing difficult times. We need the reprieves from bad and worst news. We need the splashes of light amidst dark and heavy times.

We need gifts of joy in the form of clear pet-scans, generous and unexpected aid from friends and strangers, appreciation for quiet and faithful presence, being part of a Christmas choir, receiving a poinsettia and delivering the same, hearing that others want to help your child go to a life-changing trip to Chile, celebrating the anniversary of the day you met your daughter, a day of sunshine after two weeks without, joining others in common prayer, celebrating the ordination of a dear friend and sister, lighting the Advent candles at the end of a long day just to bask in its gentle light.

We do not need a lot. We can bear much. All we need along the way are the little gifts of surprising joy. This is the message of the third candle in Advent.
Rejoice and exult with all your heart!...even for the little things.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Angels Can Fly Because They Are Light

Father Richard's sermon for December 9, 2018

[No audio available]

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Saturday, December 8, 2018

Padre's Post - Advent Reflections

The season of Advent is about long awaited hopes and dreams coming to fruition before our very eyes. Events once only imagined and dreamed find their way into reality. This makes the season of Advent an appropriate time for Mindy Hancock's ordination into holy orders of the Episcopal Church.

Since the day she and Josh and their two daughters, Maleah and Maidie (Ethan would come later), became members of our church as ordained Nazarene ministers, I have imagined and hoped for this day to arrive. Mindy has been engaged in the process of discernment, study, and examination for a lifetime...Ethan's lifetime to be exact, and in November, Mindy completed, with excellence, all requirements and preparation for ordained ministry. She will be ordained as a Transitional Deacon of the Church at St. Andrew, with the intention to be ordained to the priesthood later in 2019.

Congratulations Mindy! Your gifts and wisdom and experience will be a blessing to the church and the world we serve.

Fr. Richard

Sunday, December 2, 2018

What Is Advent?

Father Richard's sermon for December 2, 2018

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