St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri

Saturday, December 11, 2022

Advent 3 Gaudete Rejoice! Rejoice! Sunday
It was another good day of worship on this third Sunday in Advent. Joy is the theme, from the Isaiah reading, and from Jesus’ answer to the disciples of John the Baptist.
And yet, there is also sorrow, anxiety and fear among us, even as there was for those who first heard Isaiah’s prophesy. It was not exactly the historical situation into which such a prophesy might seem believable. Israel was in trouble. Once again, Israel was in a sort of wilderness where only danger, hunger and thirst lurk…where she might expect to die.
And so, often, are we. Right now within or own congregation we have people whose family member is recently diagnosed with cancer, one newly on dialysis, one young person suicidal, one in ICU after a drug overdose, at least one really exhausted mom of teenagers – and one who recently lost her best friend to death. And a beloved friend of our congregation who is overwhelmed by confusion and fear.
Advent is not always joyous in any natural sense. But joy isn’t “natural.”Joy comes from God – and joy comes IN the wilderness, when we recall what God has done for us in the past, and what God promises for us all in God’s own future. Joy comes from trust.And it is in the wilderness that we learn that.Sorrow spends the night, but joy comes in the morning – Yes.
That’s a short synopsis of today’s sermon, which will be on our facebook page and on our website later this week.

Rose Sunday
The beautiful rose vestments made for me by the Rev. Virginia Brown..with two little heads peeking up beside me!

A great Christmas Gift
If you are still looking for a terrific present for someone who reads, or thinks, or prays, or who knew and loved the depth, the wit and wisdom of Father Steven WiIson, here is your gift. I received one today, and can hardly put it down. It’s supposed to provide a reflection for every day of the year, but you might find it as delicious as I did. And maybe whoever you give it to will as well.

Musings of a Simple Country Priest.
Steve saw himself that way – but he was anything but simple. He was brilliant, complex, even complicated in his thinking. But he was simple where it mattered. He had a single heart, tuned to God and to the people of God. You will find both here…Amazon has it.

Share Your Christmas prep today after Eucharist
With Debra Beal still recovering after surgery it was especially great to have so much help setting up bags, labeling them, filling them with hygiene items and as many gifts as had already been delivered. Tomorrow the rest of the angel tree gifts will be added, and then we will try to fill some with unlabeled items that were donated by shoppers without a particular child in mind. On Tuesday we will have a last minute shopping expedition to get whatever is still needed to fill the bags. Tuesday about noon we will need to start taking all 112 bags over to the church. ANY help would be appreciated – whether you have a car or truck or van! Distribution days are Wednesday and Thursday – If you have not signed up but would like to help, just show up at the First Assembly of God any time after 8 am and find our table.



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