St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Saturday, November 20, 2021
Christ the King celebration
Sunday, November 21And some Birthdays!
|Why do we celebrate Christ the King Sunday any way?|
I hope by now you have read all five of the newsletters from earlier this week. If you have, you know that this feast is a subversive one – as Jesus himself was a subversive figure – as the Gospels themselves are – as the community of believers is intended to be.
Pope Pius XI established this feast in 1925 specifically to counter the growing secularism of the West, nationalism across Europe, Communism in Russia, fascism in Italy and Spain, and nascent Nazi ideology in Germany. Even Christians were drawn in to these movements and ideologies. But Pius saw all of these powerful and sometimes alluring “kingdoms” as dangerous and destructive to peace and to the well-being of every society, simply because they do not reflect the truth. Now he had his own agenda too, of course. He was concerned about losing the papal states in Italy. But he was right about the corrosive power of those nationalist ideologies.
Today the feast has spread to many parts of the Church. And we celebrate the reality and the authority and the primacy of the coming kingdom of God, and of Christ the King over all other powers and authorities – both secular and religious – including our own. The Church is not immune to the lure of power, as we have seen all too often.
Only the kingdom of God, the kingdom that Christ taught us to pray to come on earth, will last. And it is the only one that merits our loyalty. Only Christ the King can be the source of our joy, our hope, our obedience. It was important then. But it is important right now, too.
The liturgical color for us this Sunday is white, as it was on All Saints Day. We have left the white banners up since then, to mark these weeks before Advent apart as “kingdom-tide.” We have continued to remember those saints, known and unknown, who dwell already and eternally in God’s kingdom, and to focus on the coming, but already in-breaking, kingdom of God on earth. Tomorrow, with the feast of Christ the King we arrive at the final Sunday of the Church year. It is definitely a festive day!
Other News Please pick up a copy of the current St Alban’s Directory this Sunday.
Monday, November 22, at 9AM
A morning of work to put down the large, heavy tarps as preparation for the first stage of the prairie project. Gale Roberts and Ryan Williams along with Stephen Grainger will be at St Albans. Anyone else who is free to assist with this is invited and welcome. The tarps are huge and heavy, and we will need to place them and weigh them down with sandbags and flat hay bales. (We will use the bales again next winter as mulch and ground cover to keep birds from eating the prairie plant seed.)
Next Sunday, November 28, is the first Sunday of Advent. As always, we have new materials for you to help you keep the season at home. If you are not be at church tomorrow, one of us will deliver the things to you before Advent begins.
If you have not yet signed up for a time to help with Share Your Christmas, please do so in the parish hall. All of the “angels” the Debra Beal brought to the church have been claimed. Please purchase the item requested and return the gift to the church on or before December 12. There is a box just inside the door where you may leave it unwrapped, but with the “angel” taped or tied to the bag! If you did not get an “angel” at church, you can find one at Wal-Mart. Remember that St Albans is responsible for children 10-12 year olds. If you are willing to read one of the lessons or to lead the prayers on Sunday morning, do sign up on the sheet in the parish hall for a day you’ll be available. That way we can send you the readings in advance. Children are also welcome to take a turn reading.
Anyone who is baking bread for Eucharist, please sign up also – or just let Mother Cathy know so that we don’t either have a too-abundant feast or famine on any given Sunday.
On November 13, Dodie Parkhurst celebrated her birthday, and John Mark Williams turned six. On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Will Grainger turned two, and on Thursday, Nov. 17, Joy Cook turned nine.
John Mark vaccinated!
And celebrated! Will and his cake!
And wearing the glasses from his Mr. Potato Head toy!
Joy turned nine!