The Archangel December 2014

Embed Size (px)


Saint Michael and All Angels' monthly publication

Text of The Archangel December 2014

  • Celebrations of ChristmasChristmas Eve, Wednesday, December 24 7:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Bishop Moore Chapel

    11:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Saint Michael Chapel Rite I Christmas liturgy with traditional hymns and carols

    1:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Church Rite I Christmas liturgy with traditional hymns and carols

    *3:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Church Rite II Incense

    Christmas liturgy with Orchestra, organ and choir

    3:00 p.m. Discovery Mass Saint Michael Chapel Rite II

    Christmas liturgy with the Discovery Mass Band

    3:00 p.m. Joy Mass Parish HallChristmas liturgy appropriate for young children

    *5:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Church Rite II Incense

    Christmas liturgy with Orchestra, organ and choir

    5:00 p.m. Discovery Mass Saint Michael Chapel Rite II

    Christmas liturgy with the Discovery Mass Band

    5:00 p.m. Joy Mass Parish HallChristmas liturgy appropriate for young children

    7:00 p.m. Holy Eucharist Church Rite II Christmas liturgy with traditional hymns and carols. Silent Night sung by candlelight concludes the service.

    *10:30 p.m. Holy Eucharist Church Rite I Incense

    Festal Eucharist with Orchestra, organ and choir. Silent Night sung by candlelight concludes the service.

    *Live streamed at

    Christmas Day, Thursday, December 2510:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist Church Rite IChristmas liturgy with traditional hymns and carolsVolume 25, No. 11

    cont. on page 19

    The Newsletter for Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church

    December 2014

    This Advent and Christmas: Love People, Not Stuff

    Its an age-old equation: Love God and Gods people, and you and I will be grateful and generous. Love stuff -- material possessions,

    pleasure, achievement, and power -- and you and I will be fearful and disappointed.

    Jesus knew this about us when he regularly called attention to the benefits of loving people more than stuff: ...Do not worry

    about your life, what you will eat or what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing... can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?... But seek first the kingdom of God and all the things you need will be yours as well.

    Well, you might be saying: Easier said than done, or, Tell me something I dont know! Instinctively, we DO know this in our heads, our forebears taught us this over and over again; especially this time of year. So why is it that we keep loving things more than people? Could it be that its easier? This is my educated guess: Many of the Christmas gifts that will be carefully bought, wrapped, and given to beloved this season will be at some level a substitute for real encounter, significant relationship, deeply expressed love.

    This reality is like social media. Today each of us can build a personal fan base, thanks to Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and the like. We can broadcast the details of our lives to friends and strangers



    10 13






    Advent Retreat

    Advent Family Fair

    Lessonsand Carols

    Reindeer Race

    Liturgy of Remembrance

    Nativity Pageant

    Cookie Swap

    Christmas EveServices

    7, 11, 1, 3, 5, 7, 10:30

    Christmas Day10:00 Service

    Church Offices Closed

    Christmas Holiday Church

    Offices Closed

    Church Business

    Office Open until Noon




    Volume 26, No. 12

  • 2Advent at Saint Michael

    Thoughts from the VicarThe Now and Not Yet of Advent

    We know that the whole creation has been groaning in labor pains until now; and not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly while we wait for adoption. Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs [groans] too deep for words.

    - Romans 8: 22-23, 26

    Every family observes and maintains certain holiday traditions, a quirk that adds to a long list of already odd

    events like kissing under mistletoe or cutting down a perfectly nice tree in order to place lights and small objects on it. Some of those traditions have deep emotional and symbolic meaning like lighting the Advent wreath or the Christmas homecoming. Other times, we have traditions that are maintained

    after a lesson has been learned. My wife Jessies family chooses to never label their presents. This tradition is not born from some deep egalitarian purpose where all the gifts are the same or a quirky desire to simplify the process with wrapping paper themes. The goal rests in thwarting inquisitive minds and impish hands. As the family story goes, Jessie loved and still loves all of the build up to Christmas. However, she has never received the gift of patience. Many years ago, as Christmas day in Birmingham crept closer and filled a certain little girl with expectations of a hundred fabulous gifts, fascination and day-dreams were overtaken by action. The myriad wrapped boxes under the tree were a target far too tempting to resist. In a moment when parents were sleeping, she carefully opened all of her presents, took inventory of the surprises set for Christmas day, and then wrapped them all back up. She will openly confess that she ruined her own Christmas that year. The building expectation and joyful surprises were replaced with regret and faux elation over gifts already known. I suspect that a combination of Jessies bad acting and of gifts not quite perfectly re-wrapped led to the enduring tradition of never labeling Christmas presents. The tradition is meant to preserve expectation, surprise and hope.

    Advent rests comfortably at the opening of the Church calendar, filled with longing. Most of us believe the season is an antiquated liturgical method designed to help us count down the days to Christmas. The reality of Advent dwells closer to opening presents and hoping desperately for more. The four-week season exists as a liturgical pun. We are

    indeed preparing ourselves for the coming of Christmas, to revel in the wonder and majesty of God in a manger, to recall the gift of incarnation to the world. In the same breath, we are preparing for the return of Jesus in glory, for Christs second coming, for a future moment technically named the eschaton. In Romans, Paul theologically connects this time of both the presence of Christ and the future return of Christ to pregnancy. The prophet from Tarsus sees the whole of creation groaning in expectation even as we groan in the hope of a better world as children of God. Even the Spirit of God groans with us in prayer as we recall the gift of the Incarnation and inexorably yearn for Christs return to set all things to right. In seminary, professors call this the Now and the Not Yet of our faith.

    As Christmas creeps closer and fills us with expectations, we are placed in a wonderful tension. We know one gift that has been opened and enjoyed for two millennia. We will celebrate again the joy of the nativity with family and friends gathered. We must also wait, hope, and pray, with sighs and groaning too deep for words, for a second gift that will come one day soon that has no label but will surprise and redeem us all.

  • 3Advent at Saint Michael

    Advent Meditation Booklets AvailableDaily devotions written by parishioners, staff, and clergy are available in the just published Advent Meditation booklet. The booklet is available at several locations in the church and is online at

    #Radvent, daily inspirational images for Advent from our Children, Youth, and Family team These thoughts for the day are delivered via text, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Visit more information.

    Attend one of these wonderful celebrations of our life together which begin at 6:00. Following is the complete list of dates and locations which are also online at Notify the host that you will attend.

    Tuesday, December 2Terry and Mark Demler8302 Ridgelea 75209 214-366-7811

    Thursday, December 4Shelly Vescovo3442 Asbury75205

    Monday, December 8Good Shepherd MinistryMary and Zach Dorflinger5527 Farquhar 75209214-350-1582

    Tuesday, December 9Nell Ann Hunt3704 Hidalgo Irving, 75062972-650-1820

    Thursday, December 11Singles n SaintsHolly and Phil Huffines4415 S. Versailles 75205214-363-5422

    Wednesday, December 17Pam Watkins4158 Walnut Meadow 75229214-415-7917

    Thursday, December 18Joyce and Blake Hull4112 PurdueDallas,

    Christmas Flower and Adornment OfferingRemember a loved one by filling out a Flower Memorial envelope with those you want to honor. Envelopes are available throughout the church. Return it with your check by Sunday, December 14.

    Advent Retreat Saturday, December 6, 9:00 Spend a quiet morning focusing on finding your deepest self during Advent. The Rev. Laurie Brock from Lexington, Kentucky will lead us on an exploration of the God of Abundant Reduction. Retreat in the Coke Activities Room. Cost is $10.

    Advent Family Fair Sunday, December 7, 10:00 Join us for a fun and lively way to kick off the Advent Season. Full breakfast by Celebration along with a number of engaging activities for families of all ages. $10/person. Children under three are free. Volunteer help needed. For more information, please contact Emily Given - Register online

  • 4Advent at Saint Michael