May God bless you and keep you, may God’s face shine upon you in this season of harvest, of Thanksgiving. May we find moments of stillness and of peace – in the midst of it all – to ponder God’s gifts to us, and our many blessings. Yes, there is much that is hard, this Thanksgiving. But we are invited, always, in all things, to listen for the still, small voice of God, and to be drawn into gratitude.
Poet Wendell Berry writes:
The incarnate Word is with us,
is still speaking, is present
always, yet leaves no sign
but everything that is. (p. 78; Given, 2005)
Please, find a moment to pause – even with turkey and baking and Zoom calls and missing those who are not with us, even in sadness and worry and loss – a moment to breathe, and realize that God is with us, all around us, in us, among us, in the space between us. Let us be thankful. May God be gracious to us; may God give us peace.
Blessed Ones, just after Thanksgiving, we stand on the threshold of Advent, a time of mystery and promise. I want to let you know about some offerings this Advent from Trinity Church as we anticipate a season unlike any other in our lifetimes.
First, this first Sunday of Advent, November 29th, we will commission Patrick DeBrock as our new Verger! Patrick has been preparing and training for this liturgical role for some time. Rather than wait until we are all back in the Sanctuary, we want to recognize his new role now – at the beginning of a new liturgical year – as a sign of commitment to our future together. Please, join us virtually, and reach out to Patrick to celebrate his offering of himself.
On three Friday Evenings during December, at 6:30 PM, I am offering an ‘Advent Conversation and Compline’ gathering on Zoom. We will gather virtually, but face-to-face, in an informal way on December 4th, 11th and 18th. Bring a cup of tea, and join us for an informal time of checking in with each household, and praying together the service of Compline from the Book of Common Prayer. It will be important to stay connected in this season. You will need to sign up through our Church Office to receive the secure Zoom link.
Also, on the second Sunday of Advent, in addition to our 9:30 AM service, we will also offer an Advent Service of Lessons and Carols, live-streaming from our Sanctuary at 5:00 PM on December 6th. May we dwell in the richness and beauty of the scriptural texts and songs proclaiming our hope of new life to come.
Finally, we will offer an Advent Healing Service on Monday, December 21st at 6:30 PM, live-streaming from our Sanctuary. As we approach the solstice in creation around us, we will acknowledge the ‘longest night’ and the truth that for many this will be a difficult season of darkness, waiting for light. Some churches call it a ‘Blue Christmas’ service, recognizing those who are grieving during the holiday season. But we will call it a Healing Service, drawing on a tradition already present at Trinity. This Advent we will create space for those who are not feeling ‘jolly,’ and listen for God’s voice in the deep richness of the season.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to walk with you; we are all held in God’s hands.
The Rev. andrea castner wyatt
The Rev. Andrea Castner Wyatt is honored to accept the call of Trinity Episcopal Church to serve and lead as Rector. She looks forward with joy to walking with the people of Trinity Church, and to discovering with you what Jesus is up to in Newtown, CT. Contact Rev. Andrea at email@example.com or by calling 203-426-9070.