Founded in 1886, we are an Anglo-Catholic congregation in Woodfin, within the Diocese of Western North Carolina. Our purpose is to worship God in the beauty of holiness, to teach the faith in such a way that we may be empowered to serve our Lord in this world, and bring others into the fellowship of the Body of Christ. We are dedicated to maintaining the Anglican traditions that have formed our worship over the ages.
We welcome all baptized Christians to receive Holy Communion at the altar of God. If you are visiting for the first time, we welcome you to the Episcopal Church. Please make yourself known to Father Hanks.
We are what we are
because of what we have been.
Notes on the Service...
...for November 30, 2014, the First Sunday of Advent, Advent Sunday
RCL Isa 64:1-9a; Ps 80:1-7,16-18; I Cor 1:3-9; Mk 13:24-37
The church year begins with longing for redemption. The words wait and watch appear in the first reading, epistle, and Gospel as they as-sure us that salvation is coming. Coming is in Latin adventus. During the 6th to the 9th centuries, Advent ran for 40 days, like Lent. Advent's sober violet or blue color suits the waiting, not the shopping, season.
Written for the 1549 Prayer Book, today's collect is made of antitheses: cast away darkness/put on light; mortal life/life immortal; great humility/glorious majesty. To cast off darkness, we ask the help of the One who said "Let there be light," and who "works for those who wait."
In a passage we read last Sunday, Ezekiel had promised that God would be a Good Shepherd to bring home exiles. But when the exiles did start returning in the 530's B.C., they found ruins. Two lines past to-day's excerpt say "our holy and beautiful house where our fathers praised thee, has been burned by fire." This lament was written by a returned exile (often called "Third Isaiah") who was disheartened at the desolation. Have we not suffered enough? he asks. "Yet, O Lord, thou art our Father... remember not our iniquity forever," he pleads.
"How long wilt thou be angry?" is asked also by today's psalmist. Psalm 80 is thought to have been written on the occasion of an earlier defeat when in 722 B.C. the northern Kingdom was devastated by Assyria, but one could imagine its being used by the returnees of Third Isaiah's time. Their refrain, "Restore us, O Lord God of hosts...and we shall be saved," appears in vv 3, 7, and 18. "Stir up thy strength and come and help us," v 2, will be Advent's mantra, as in the Advent III collect, "Stir up thy power, O Lord,... and come."
Just as the faithful in the Hebrew Bible were those who waited for God, so the congregation being addressed in this first epistle of the new year is the ones who "wait for the revealing of our Lord Jesus Christ." Notice that in this letter's opening paragraph Paul writes "called" four times: saints are those called by God and those who call upon God.
Like its parallels from Matthew read on previous Sundays, today's Mark passage is from the section in the Gospels just before Jesus' arrest, where he tells his followers to watch like doorkeepers for his, the Messiah's, unscheduled but certain second advent on judgment day. Jesus warns his followers to be alert. His saying that "this generation will not pass away before all these things come to pass" puzzles many who wonder if Jesus were mistaken, or Mark were.
ANNOUNCEMENTSTime to Fleece the Students: We are sponsoring Patti Lyda's class at Bell Elementary for the Christmas holidays. We have 24 fleece throws ready to share with the students. They cost $4.00 each. If you would like to donate, please give your donation to Marilyn Stevens. By the way, to see the joy these throws brought to her class last year, look at the pictures on the bulletin board.
Leather and Lace: An Appalachian Cabin Christmas to be held on December 6 from 8 AM - 2 PM. Rustic handmade items needed for sale along with Holiday backed goods. the winning ticket for the handcrafted figure of "Mythical Nicholas" by Linda Hanks will be drawn at the end of the event. Tickets are available for $2.00.
Bulletin Relief: The arrangements for relief with the bulletin have fallen through. Please let Maryann Presnell know if you feel the call to take over the Bulletin Ministry.
PhoneTree Relief: There has been a suggestion that we use email instead of the PhoneTree for communicating routine events to the congregation. That way the entire load would not fall to only one person. We realize that not everyone has email, but we also realize that at least a dozen members never get the PhoneTree messages for one reason or another. Please let the a Vestry Member know your feelings about this suggestion so that we can discuss it in a future Vestry meeting and make a better informed decision.
Upcoming EventsSunday, November 30 – We will have Advent Lessons and Carols for the first part of the 10:30 service, followed by Holy Eucharist. Come and listen to the words and participate in the singing as we begin the Advent season.
Monday, December 1 – Do you like gingerbread houses? Christmas trees? Rocking chairs? A magnificant fireplace? A spectacular vista? Then we have just the outing for you! Anyone interested in going to the Gingerbread Exhibition at the Grove Park Inn is invited to meet in the parking lot at Grace Episcopal Church on Merrimon Avenue at 4:00 PM. We will car-pool from there to the Grove Park Inn.
Saturday, December 6 – Leather & Lace: an Appalachian Cabin Christmas (Click the link at the start of the 2nd item under Announcements, above).
Saturday, December 13 – Bible Study at 10 AM.
If you would like to become a member of the Prayer Chain please talk to Diane Jackson.
This Week's Schedule:
Choir Practice in the Church
|Monday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Tuesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Wednesday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|
|Thursday||12:00 PM||Noonday Prayer|