The first Sunday of Advent, November 27, marks the beginning of our “count down” to the Feast of the Nativity (also known as Christmas). Many of us already have “visions of sugar plums dancing our heads,” as we anticipate the holiday season with the requisite menu planning, shopping lists, family feuds, and airport lines. But I hope we might also find some quiet each day to ask ourselves: “How am I preparing to receive Jesus?”
St. Peter’s invites each of us to slow down and ponder this question over the next four weeks. Be sure to pick up a copy of our Advent Devotional with entries thoughtfully written by 29 different parishioners or access it online. You’ll find the assigned readings from our Daily Lectionary (Scripture appointed by the Church to be read each day), as well as some fodder for prayer and reflection written by people you worship with week after week.
Consider joining us for “Advent Evenings” each Sunday of Advent at 5:00 p.m. These services, which include Holy Eucharist, will feature homilies from a variety of parishioners and will explore the “O Antiphons,” ancient antiphons that have been part of our Christian tradition since the eighth century.
Of course, joy is a central element in our preparation. We have opportunities to gather as a Parish Family during our Festive Potluck on December 4. Families and young children may join together in the Parish Hall for food and to make holiday cards for homebound parishioners on December 11; and all are invited for a Panthers Tailgate Party on the rooftop terrace to benefit the youth on December 11.
Finally, serving the poor among us is perhaps the most poignant way to prepare to receive Jesus. Our Room in the Inn teams are gearing up to provide a warm bed and two hot meals to homeless guests each Wednesday night beginning the December 7. You can also purchase needed toiletries to support those transitioning into homes who live at McCreech Place by taking an ornament with the needed “gifts” that will bless those who receive them. Information about both of these opportunities are in the announcements.
The Reverend Joslyn Ogden Schaefer, Associate Rector