Sunday, December 27, 2009


From THE LOG, The Church Newsletter of St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Seattle - The Reverend Dr. Peter Strimer, Rector -

December 15, 2009



The essence of Christianity that separates it from the other world faiths is what we celebrate at Christmas time. Our belief that God dwells incarnate among us, that the Word became flesh, is our gift of faith to the world.

What does that mean for you? As a German mystic wrote, "What does it profit me if Gabriel hails the Virgin unless he brings to me the very selfsame tidings?"

What the Incarnation demands of us is that our faith is found in the flesh. WE are the body of Christ given for the world. We are God's indwelling spirit born anew. Christ is born in us today, not just in Bethlehem long ago.

Go tell it on the mountain; Jesus Christ is born: in you, in me, for all.

Peter Strimer



Thursday, December 24, 2009

Christmas 2009

There in their little corner, there were
no angels, no kings, no sign—
as yet…

There was only—
a baby.

They had wrapped him in bands of cloth, as any baby would be, and then they did something unusual, something that would stand out in a crowd: they laid him in a manger, a feeding-trough.

There was no room for a woman with a newborn child up in the house where the guests gathered, so there they were in the quiet place, the hidden place.

Maybe the animals were gone, and it had been cleared out and cleaned. They were in the only space left – cave or stable – for this little family on this special night.

And so it was there that the shepherds found them.

Shepherds, men or women and children, crowded into the room,
not high society,
not fancy people,
ordinary folk,
who kept watch over a flock by night,
who came with an extraordinary story

what they had heard

that they would find in the City of David

a baby
wrapped in swaddling clothes
lying in a manger

what they had heard
they now saw

and so they believed
and told
what else they had heard

that this baby
born to this girl and her chosen husband
was to inherit the throne of David his ancestor

to become

all the things promised by the prophet Isaiah – wonderful counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, prince of peace—

and more

to become Savior, Messiah, Lord.

he was born

and Caesar Augustus and Quirinius the governor of Syria
and Herod and all his children
…their day was passing, was spent, was gone…

a new—the real—power in the world
Son of God, Savior, Prince of Peace
anointed One, Lord and Father

was neither the emperor nor his servant,
not the king or his minion

but this

little family

bore in its midst a power
greater than all the powers that the world knows

Among these people was born a king not like the ones the world knew but one who would bring God’s own kingdom into being

beginning here, in a manger,
in a little town,
among people unknown to the greater world

a man
his bride
their child


Shepherds— who had brought them for the first time from outside their kin some confirmation of the promises, the extraordinary news, that they had been hearing – and cherishing in their hearts –

Zechariah in the Temple, struck dumb as he stammered out his momentary disbelief, –

Elizabeth greeting her cousin Mary: “Blessed are you!” –

Elizabeth’s son in the womb greeting Mary’s newly conceived child with a leap for joy, –

Mary receiving an angel’s visit: “Let it be to me according to your word”, –

Joseph in a dream, hearing God’s command and God’s assurance –

and so they believed
something else would be coming true—

the extraordinary series of promises sung in the Christmas Canticles,

the Song of Zechariah, the Benedictus,

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.

the Song of Mary, the Magnificat,

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

the song of the Heavenly Host, the Gloria in excelsis,

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

(as when he was old enough to be presented in the Temple they would receive the greetings of Anna the prophetess, and Simeon, with his Song, the Nunc Dimittis, “... these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see: …”)

they began to know the light
that was coming into the world

they began to know the peace
that was coming into the world

announced in these songs
as sure
so sure
that it is reported as a done deal—

God has done these things; you can count on it.

Into this world has come its light, its salvation, its redeemer,
the one who will bring the creation to completion,
who will bring all travail to its close,
who will bear in himself, on the cross, the sins of the world,
the one whose resurrection and ascension is the vindication of the world,
the one who establishes righteousness, who brings peace,
who calls us
out of error into truth,
out of sin into righteousness, out of death into life,

who calls us into a new relationship with God,
who proclaims a new hope for the world,
borne with him on Christmas,
and renewed tonight, this Christmastide,
as together we sing his praise.

Alone among religions, in Christ God comes to us in this person, committed to this actuality, in this place at this time, incarnate, particular, involved – made real in a real place.

Here and here only, in this little one we welcome tonight, the fullness of God is pleased to dwell.

God is really present in Jesus, realized in this person at this time, and so committed to human salvation, that the word becomes flesh, and dwelling among us, redeems the time, and renews the creation.

The incarnation – the Nativity – is a fresh creative act of God himself.

So we are called into being in a new way, as new people,
refreshed, renewed, and ready
to embody
and to carry forth in ourselves,
the holy mission of Christ, the one who is alive and active,
creating, redeeming, making holy,
the son of God,
firstborn of Mary,
the source of our salvation,
the foundation of our righteousness,
the fount of all grace,
the home-source of our peace, and the future of our hope.

As Lesslie Newbigin writes,

This, then, the ‘flesh’ of Jesus, the concrete humanity of a man of a certain time and place, is the actual presence of the Word through whom all things were made, who was from the beginning with God, who was and is God.

this is the one

the one

we have seen and heard and touched and held in our arms, as John the evangelist says,

and so we have seen what could not be seen,
heard what could not be imagined, and
become acquainted with the secret beyond the skies –

the presence of God among us, Christ with us,
the hope of glory and the assurance of peace.

Come, Lord Jesus,
come to us as you came of old,
into this world bring your light,
into our future bring your hope,
into our lives bring your call –
that we may be your people and know you,
Our God.



The Song of Mary Magnificat

Luke 1:46-55

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
my spirit rejoices in God my Savior; *
for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

From this day all generations will call me blessed: *
the Almighty has done great things for me,
and holy is his Name.
He has mercy on those who fear him *
in every generation.
He has shown the strength of his arm, *
he has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, *
and has lifted up the lowly.
He has filled the hungry with good things, *
and the rich he has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of his servant Israel, *
for he has remembered his promise of mercy,
The promise he made to our fathers, *
to Abraham and his children for ever.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Song of Zechariah Benedictus Dominus Deus

Luke 1: 68-79

Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel; *
he has come to his people and set them free.
He has raised up for us a mighty savior, *
born of the house of his servant David.
Through his holy prophets he promised of old,
that he would save us from our enemies, *
from the hands of all who hate us.
He promised to show mercy to our fathers *
and to remember his holy covenant.
This was the oath he swore to our father Abraham, *
to set us free from the hands of our enemies,
Free to worship him without fear, *
holy and righteous in his sight
all the days of our life.

You, my child, shall be called the prophet of the Most High, *
for you will go before the Lord to prepare his way,
To give his people knowledge of salvation *
by the forgiveness of their sins.
In the tender compassion of our God *
the dawn from on high shall break upon us,
To shine on those who dwell in darkness
and the shadow of death, *
and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

The Song of Simeon Nunc dimittis

Luke 2:29-32

Lord, you now have set your servant free *
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, *
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations, *
and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.


Lesslie Newbigin, The Light Has Come (Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1982) 10.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

seen from a mountain-top

Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

Collect for the xxv Sondaye after Trinity (1549, 1552, 1559)

STIERE [Stir] up we beseche thee, O Lord, the wylles of thy faythfull people, that they, plenteously bringing furth the fruite of good workes; may of thee, be plenteously rewarded; through Jesus Christe our Lorde. Amen.

Zephaniah 3:14-20

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion;
shout, O Israel!
Rejoice and exult with all your heart,
O daughter Jerusalem!
The LORD has taken away the judgments against you,
he has turned away your enemies.
The king of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst;
you shall fear disaster no more.
On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem:
Do not fear, O Zion;
do not let your hands grow weak.
The LORD, your God, is in your midst,
a warrior who gives victory;
he will rejoice over you with gladness,
he will renew you in his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing
as on a day of festival.
I will remove disaster from you,
so that you will not bear reproach for it.
I will deal with all your oppressors
at that time.
And I will save the lame
and gather the outcast,
and I will change their shame into praise
and renown in all the earth.
At that time I will bring you home,
at the time when I gather you;
for I will make you renowned and praised
among all the peoples of the earth,
when I restore your fortunes
before your eyes, says the LORD.

Canticle 9 (Page 86, BCP) The First Song of Isaiah, Ecce Deus (Isaiah 12:2-6)

Surely, it is God who saves me; *
I will trust in him and not be afraid.
For the Lord is my stronghold and my sure defense, *
and he will be my Savior.
Therefore you shall draw water with rejoicing *
from the springs of salvation.
And on that day you shall say, *
Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his Name;
Make his deeds known among the peoples; *
see that they remember that his Name is exalted.
Sing the praises of the Lord, for he has done great things, *
and this is known in all the world.
Cry aloud, inhabitants of Zion, ring out your joy, *
for the great one in the midst of you is the Holy One of Israel.
Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit: *
as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

Philippians 4:4-7

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Luke 3:7-18

John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, "You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, 'We have Abraham as our ancestor'; for I tell you, God is able from these stones to raise up children to Abraham. Even now the ax is lying at the root of the trees; every tree therefore that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire."

And the crowds asked him, "What then should we do?" In reply he said to them, "Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none; and whoever has food must do likewise." Even tax collectors came to be baptized, and they asked him, "Teacher, what should we do?" He said to them, "Collect no more than the amount prescribed for you." Soldiers also asked him, "And we, what should we do?" He said to them, "Do not extort money from anyone by threats or false accusation, and be satisfied with your wages."

As the people were filled with expectation, and all were questioning in their hearts concerning John, whether he might be the Messiah, John answered all of them by saying, "I baptize you with water; but one who is more powerful than I is coming; I am not worthy to untie the thong of his sandals. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his granary; but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire."

So, with many other exhortations, he proclaimed the good news to the people.

* * * * *

Robert Louis Stevenson, “The Sea Fogs”, The Silverado Squatters, (London: Chattus & Windus, 1883)

One Sunday morning, about five, the first brightness called me… The sun was still concealed below the opposite hilltops, though it was shining already, not twenty feet above my head, on our own mountain slope. But the scene, beyond a few near features, was entirely changed. Napa valley was gone; gone were all the lower slopes and woody foothills of the range; and in their place, not a thousand feet below me, rolled a great level ocean. It was as though I had gone to bed the night before, safe in a nook of inland mountains, and had awakened in a bay upon the coast… Far away were hilltops like little islands. Nearer, a smoky surf beat about the foot of precipices and poured into all the coves of these rough mountains. The colour of that fog ocean was a thing never to be forgotten. For an instant, among the Hebrides and just about sundown, I have seen something like it on the sea itself. But the white was not so opaline; nor was there, what surprisingly increased the effect, that breathless, crystal stillness over all. Even in its gentlest moods the salt sea travails, moaning among the weeds or lisping on the sand; but that vast fog ocean lay in a trance of silence, nor did the sweet air of the morning tremble with a sound… An eagle, or some other very great bird of the mountain, came wheeling over the nearer pine-tops, and hung, poised and something sideways, as if to look abroad on that unwonted desolation, spying, perhaps with terror, for the eyries of her comrades. Then, with a long cry, she disappeared again towards Lake County and the clearer air.

John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath (1939)

All night they bored through the hot darkness, and jackrabbits scuttled into the lights and dashed away in long jolting leaps. And the dawn came up behind them when the lights of Mojave were ahead. And the dawn showed high mountains to the west. They filled with water and oil at Mojave and crawled into the mountains, and the dawn was about them.

Tom said, "Jesus, the desert's past! Pa, Al, for Christ sakes! The desert's past!"

"I'm too goddamn tired to care," said Al.

"Want me to drive?"

"No, wait awhile."

They drove through Tehachapi in the morning glow, and the sun came up behind them, and then suddenly they saw the great valley below them. Al jammed on the brake and stopped in the middle of the road, and, "Jesus Christ! Look!" he said. The vineyards, the orchards, the great flat valley, green and beautiful, the trees set in rows, and the farmhouses.

And Pa said, "God Almighty!" The distant cities, the little towns in the orchard land, and the morning sun, golden on the valley. A car honked behind them. Al pulled to the side of the road and parked.

"I want ta look at her." The grain fields golden in the morning, and the willow lines, the eucalyptus trees in rows.

Pa sighed, "I never knowed they was anything like her."

The peach trees and the walnut groves, and the dark green patches of oranges. And red roofs among the trees, and barns rich barns. Al got out and stretched his legs.

He called, "Ma-come look. We're there!"

Ruthie and Winfield scrambled down from the car, and then they stood, silent and awestruck, embarrassed before the great valley. The distance was thinned with haze, and the land grew softer and softer in the distance. A windmill flashed in the sun, and its turning blades were like a little heliograph, far away. Ruthie and Winfield looked at it, and Ruthie whispered, "It's California."

Winfield moved his lips silently over the syllables. "There's fruit," he said aloud.

Casy and Uncle John, Connie and Rose of Sharon climbed down. And they stood silently. Rose of Sharon had started to brush her hair back, when she caught sight of the valley and her hand dropped slowly to her side.

Tom said, "Where's Ma? I want Ma to see it. Look, Ma! Come here, Ma." Ma was climbing slowly, stiffly, down the backboard. Tom looked at her. "My God, Ma, you sick?"

Her face was stiff and putty-like, and her eyes seemed to have sunk deep into her head, and the rims were red with weariness. Her feet touched the ground and she braced herself by holding the truck-side.

Her voice was a croak. "Ya say we're acrost?"

Tom pointed to the great valley. "Look!"

She turned her head, and her mouth opened a little. Her fingers went to her throat and gathered a little pinch of skin and twisted gently. "Thank God!" she said. "The fambly's here." Her knees buckled and she sat down on the running board.

The Third Sunday of Advent, Year C, RCL

Zephaniah 3:14-20, Canticle 9, Ecce Deus, Isaiah 12:2-6, Philippians 4:4-7, Luke 3:7-18.


Sunday, December 6, 2009

Happy Holidays from Eliza and Zecko

Before Bing Crosby sang “White Christmas,” before Gene Autry sang “Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer,” there was… the Holiday Letter.

* * *

Hi folks! Happy Holidays!

Dear friends and family,

Well, it’s been quite a year, full of surprises.

In our little household, the biggest of course was one we’ve been anticipating since, oh, end of September last year.

This summer Eliza gave birth – yes! – to a son, and let me tell you, young Jackie is one hell-raising little boy.

The desert fascinates him. We go out for a picnic down by the Jordan and there he is, playing in the sand by the river, and making all sorts of sounds.

At six months, he is beginning to produce an immense variety of sounds in increasingly complex combinations.

He seems to be saying something, over and over, that sounds like “repent, repent!” –Whatever it means, he’s very insistent about it.

Sometimes you’d think he’s practicing public speaking – and it’s just some cactus, a picnic basket, and us two old folks. Some day he may be speaking into pricklier ears than the cactus have.

He loves animals too. Some funny old guys and little folk wearing false beards passed through here just the other day, going somewhere, looking for somebody, and he kept stroking their camels’ itchy hair like it was the best thing you could have on your skin.

He has an itch for little things too – bees and such. Or maybe it’s just a sweet tooth.

Those strangers – said they were looking for someone. Not our Jackie…

Hey! a tip for Eliza’s cousin Molly and her husband Joe, who are expecting their first: don’t let anybody tell you what name to give your kid. You two decide – and may be you’ll get some inspiration, like we did. Though, by the way, some name like Josh or Jess strikes me as pretty good. We’ll look forward to getting the little cousins together when we hear the glad tidings from you.

Well, better close – love from us all – Eliza & Zecko.

* * * * *

Of course that was a long time ago… the child grew into a man and became the ‘voice crying in the wilderness’ that was foretold; he became the fore-runner of the Messiah, the one who prepared the way for the good news of God, and the coming of salvation for all people.

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ (Mark 1:4-8)

John the Baptist called the people of Israel, the people of God, to return to their home in the favor of God. He called the beloved children of God back into right relationship with God and with one another. He said, this is what it means to begin to live into the kingdom of God – this is how you prepare your hearts and homes for the coming King.

John called the people to prepare, for the call to gather – and that call came, in Christ.

The community then gathered around the one foretold: the one we are waiting for now, this Advent, God’s anointed – the son of Man, the son of God, Christ our savior … as we anticipate the celebration of his birth, as we await with expectation, and with hope, the coming of the Kingdom of God on earth as it is in heaven.

And we continue to pray, for the coming of the kingdom of God among us, the kingdom that is the will of God - as it is in heaven, to be so on earth as well, to emerge among us.

As Christ embodied – bore forth – the Word of God into the world, the love and compassion and forgiveness and mercy of the Father, so we are to embody him, bearing forth hope in the world, bringing that hope to completion in love, bringing the message of faith, of peace and reconciliation, and testifying to it - not only with our lips but in our lives, to a hurting world, a seeking world, a world that needs as never before, and as it always has, the healing touch of its Savior, its Lord.

Maranatha! we pray: come Lord Jesus! Be among us — and dwell within us, that we may be your voice and your hands, bringing your grace and glory into the world.

How does our community live out that love, that faith, that hope, and that mission?

I thank my God every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you.

Your hospitality, the warmth of your welcome, your love for one another, your faithful perseverance, your delight in children, your desire to seek and serve new people; your care for kids in need, children and families, single people, young adults, and neighbors; your ability to roll up your sleeves and get things done – the sense that now you can get down to work – these are all things I am thankful for.

The people who greet us on Sunday morning, the folks that are there early (or the day before) making coffee or bringing sandwiches, the people at the door handing out the bulletins, the folks who take up the offering and carry it to the altar, the altar guild working behind the scenes to give us a lovely worship setting, the musicians – singers and organist – who lead us in songs of praise and devotion, the readers and leaders of prayer and Eucharistic ministers, and the acolytes and ‘the sound guy’ – all help in making this a good place to worship, warm to welcome and welcome back. These are all people I’m thankful for.

The people who quietly pray in preparation for worship, the kids that run around the back, the teachers that show the Sunday School children the joy of being together in the good news, the youth and youth leaders working for a better tomorrow – not only for themselves but for those around us, for the adult class studying the vision of this parish and the teachings of Scripture.

The folks who give each other a ride to church – and those who come along with them. Those that must stay home, and pray for us, all of us – some of them through the night watches.

The people who work in the office, staff and volunteers, on the administration and finances of the parish, on its records, on its books, on its programs. The people who turn out for grounds work days – and those who come alone even in the rain to prune a tree or trim a hedge or clean a gutter or clear a roof. Those who mow the lawn, those who mow the paths of the green labyrinth and those who mow circles around it. Those who quietly keep the good place running.

The children – with their joy, the youth and young adults, the single people, the young married folks, the people with families and those who are on their own – all part of our parish family.

I’m thankful for Boy Scouts, Hands-on, Prayer Shawls, Episcopal Church Women, and Inner Healing; for all the groups who minister and all who share hospitality. Men’s lunch group, Cursillo, Hem of his Garment, Prayer Chain and prayer beads and those who pray on their own. I’m thankful for all these people – and for all of you.

These are all people I am thankful for. And I am thankful for how we try to reach out to each other and beyond these walls to the community around us. For how we try to treat each other, in respect and graciousness, in gratitude and caring, and how we show that even in quiet ways.

The apostle Paul wrote to the Colossians, to encourage them:

As God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience. Bear with one another and, if anyone has a complaint against another, forgive each other; just as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (3:12-17)

As Paul said to the Philippians in the letter we listened to this morning, so I say to you:

And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. (Philippians 3:9-11)

Eternal God, you are
the light of the minds that know you,
the joy of the hearts that love you, and
the strength of the wills that serve you:
grant us so to know you
that we may fully serve you,
whom to serve
is perfect freedom,
in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(Collect from Celebrating Common Prayer)

John Leech
St Alban’s Episcopal Church, Edmonds, Wash.,
Sunday, December 6, 2009


Saturday, December 5, 2009


December 6 is the feast day of Saint Nicholas, Bishop of Myra (around the year 300). We know him as St Nick or Santa. This is the collect (or prayer) for St Nicholas Day:

Almighty God, who in your love gave to your servant Nicholas of Myra a perpetual name for deeds of kindness on land and sea: Grant, we pray, that your Church may never cease to work for the happiness of children, the safety of sailors, the relief of the poor, and the help of those tossed by tempests of doubt or grief; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.


On December 9-12 1531, while Saint Juan Diego was on his way to Mass, the Blessed Virgin Mary revealed herself as Guadalupe and spoke to him on Tepeyac Hill in Mexico. On July 31, 2002, in the presence of 12 million people, Pope John Paul II canonized the humble Saint Juan Diego. Guadalupe was given the title "Patroness of the Americas and the Philippine Islands." This what Guadalupe said:

Let nothing frighten or grieve you,
let not your heart be disturbed,
do not fear any sickness or anguish.
Am I not here, who am your Mother?
Are you not under my shadow and protection?
Am I not your fountain of health?
Are you not happily within the folds of my mantle, held safely in my arms?

Her words are reminiscent of the prayer of Teresa of Avila: nada te turbe:

Let nothing disturb thee;
Let nothing dismay thee;
All things pass;
God never changes.
Patience attains all that it strives for.
He who has God lacks nothing.
God alone suffices.


A prayer for Christmas that Jill Hunting found among the papers of her brother, Pete, a civilian IVS volunteer who was killed during the Vietnam War. Jill writes about him in her book, Finding Pete.

By the way of Bethlehem, lead us,
O Lord, to newness of life;
By the innocence of the Christ Child,
renew our simple trust;
By the tenderness of Mary,
deliver us from cruelty and hardness of heart;
By the patience of Joseph,
save us from rash judgment and ill-tempered action;
By the shepherds' watch,
open our eyes to the signs of thy coming;
By the wise men's journey,
keep our searching spirits from fainting;
By the music of the heavenly choir,
put to shame the clamor of the earth;
By the shining of a star,
guide our feet into the way of peace.
--Author unknown

From St Patrick's Grapevine, newsletter of St Patrick's Episcopal Church, Kenwood, Cal., December 2009


Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Joy to the World, the Lord is come!
Let earth receive her King;
Let every heart prepare Him room,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven and nature sing,
And Heaven, and Heaven, and nature sing.
Come celebrate Christmas with us!

Rejoice with us this holy season as we celebrate the birth of Jesus— a new birth of hope for the world.

Come, let’s worship together throughout the holidays, from the festivities of Christmas Eve & Day, through all the twelve days of Christmas, Epiphany pageantry on the first Sunday of the New Year, and beyond. Come and celebrate!

Christmas Eve – Thursday, December 24th at 5:30 pm we herald the birth of the Christ Child, in a family Eucharist service including a children’s pageant (Shepherds! Angels!) (All children are welcome to take part. No prior rehearsals needed: just arrive by 5:00 to choose a costume.) Then stay after the service for hot cider and delicious treats.

Christmas Eve - Thursday, December 24th at 10:30 p.m. We begin by singing Christmas carols, celebrate the Eucharist, and then by candlelight we quietly sing “Silent Night.”

Christmas Day Service – Friday, December 25th at 10:30 am.

Epiphany Pageant and Eucharist – Sunday, January 3rd at 10:30 am. We anticipate a visit from the Magi (wise people) and their friends. All children are welcome to participate.

We worship every Sunday morning at 8:00 and 10:30 – childcare is available at 10:00

Please join us in welcoming the King promised of old, a King not like the world knows, but One who brings among us the very peace and presence of God.

You are always welcome at St. Alban’s Episcopal Church,
21405 82nd Place West, Edmonds, WA 98026 (425) 778-0371