The first Sunday in Advent for the start of the Christian year is Sunday November 27, 2022. Here are some of the activities planned:
Our seasonal choir meets for a practice session at 9:00 am.
The pre-service music begins at 9:50 am with the Mass starting at 10:00 am.
After the service, during coffee hour, we begin a new Christian Education series:
Advent Class: Prophets in Israel
Some of the most puzzling parts of the Old Testament are the books of the prophets. Isaiah and Jeremiah may be familiar, but what about Amos, Hosea, Micah, and Nahum? The books of the prophets spoke to the people of Israel in a particular historical context. They were treasured and quoted in the New Testament. The Advent class this year will explore the prophets, what they meant to their times and what they mean to us. The class will meet during the coffee hour period after the 10:00 service, starting on November 27. Join us for this study, refreshments will be served.
Join us for a service of Thanksgiving on the morning of Thursday November 24, 2022 at 10:00 am. There will be a selection of pre-service hymns starting at 9:50 am. Take time from a busy National Day for prayer, music, the Eucharist and an expression of gratitude.
Paul of Tarsus (Saint Paul), an early Christian leader, wrote letters giving advice and encouragement to young churches. One was sent to the church in Corinth, a Greek port city. You may have heard part of this letter quoted at a wedding: “Now these remain, faith, hope, and love, but the greatest of these is love.” When you are lonely or anxious or depressed, think about these words.
Faith is trust in something you cannot prove. Everyone has faith in lots of things. We have faith that our car will not fall apart as we drive on the freeway, we have faith that our doctor is well trained and skillful, we may even have faith that the Mariners will win the playoffs this year. Some kinds of faith are indispensable. Science would be impossible without faith that our observations are meaningful and that the laws of nature do not change. Sometimes our faith can let us down, as the case of the Mariners shows (and sometimes cars do fall apart). Paul would say that Christians have faith in something that will never let us down, the all-powerful and loving God who made the universe and wants us to live with him forever. God’s purposes are revealed most clearly in the life of Jesus, who is some mysterious way was both human and God. The more we learn about Jesus the more we understand what we are to have faith in.
Hope, like faith, involves an attitude about something we cannot prove, but it adds a positive spin: hope tells us that everything will end up all right. This may seem an unrealistic expectation in a world filled with war, disease, and cruelty. Paul knew about these things. In his missionary career he was falsely accused, beaten, and imprisoned, and in the end he was executed. Similar fates awaited other early church leaders. Why then would Paul tell us to be hopeful? He knew that Jesus also suffered and was crucified, and yet Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33. This is not only an assurance of eternal life after death, it is an assurance that in this life, despite its troubles, we can know God and see how the light of God’s love shines even into our darkest times.
Love (or “charity” in some older translations) needs explanation. It translates the Greek word agape (ah-gah-pay) and refers not to exclusive romantic love (despite the use of this passage at many weddings) or donating to worthy causes (which is what the term “charity” has come to mean) but rather to a bond where you work for their welfare of another without expecting anything in return. Jesus illustrated this kind of love in stories like that of the Good Samaritan, where religious officials passed by an injured man but a social outcast took the time to care for him. In the story of the Prodigal Son, the father welcomed his son home with rejoicing, even though the son had wasted half of the family property. This is the kind of love Christians are to have for one another and, mysteriously, the kind of love God wants to have with us. That is why “the greatest of these is love.”
We will recognize the feast of St. Francis on Sunday October 2, 2022. We will offer pet blessings after the Sunday service at Noon. Rain or shine, meet us at the red doors. All pets and creatures are welcome!
Summer days are long in Seattle, providing a good time to sit on the porch, or in a park and read. What should we read? Today’s best-seller that will be forgotten next year, or something of perennial interest, like the Bible? The Bible is not one book, it is a whole library of books written by many people over many centuries. There is something for everyone: good news in the Gospels of Mark and Luke (“gospel” means good news), adventures around the Mediterranean world in the Acts of the Apostles, practical messages followed by mystical imagery in the book of Revelation. Don’t forget the familiar Bible stories from the books of Genesis and Exodus, the philosophical musings in the books of Job and Jonah, the political history in the books of Samuel and Kings, and the inspiring (and sometimes angry) poetry of the Psalms. Christians believe that the books of the Bible are not ordinary books, that God the creator of the universe guided the authors to produce information that God wants us to hear. The point of the exercise is to offer a personal relationship between individual believers and a God who loves us, just as friends ask each other, “Where do you come from, what do you do, what do you think about the world?”
You can read the books of the Bible for the rest of your life with increasing understanding and wonder. Get started now! Not sure where to begin? Come and join us at St. Barnabas on Sunday mornings. Our liturgy begins shortly before 10 am with hymns (many of which echo Bible texts). One of the glories of the Anglican tradition is that every Sunday liturgy includes Bible readings. The sermon usually focuses on exploring one of that day’s Bible passages.
Thou hast given me the heritage of those that fear thy name.1
No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.2 The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. O taste and see that the Lord is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him. O fear the Lord, ye his saints: for there is no want to them that fear him. The young lions do lack, and suffer hunger: but they that seek the Lord shall not want any good thing.3 The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage.4
Unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings: and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.5 He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?6
Summer is a season of learning and a good time to come to church. Our readings track through books of the Bible in a sequential way, and summer is a good time to learn about our prayers and ceremonies. Most importantly, any time is a good time to learn more about Jesus, who came to live and die to save us from our sins. This is the greatest story ever told, and we look forward to sharing it with you. Our liturgy starts officially at 10:00 am on Sundays, though we start singing hymns about 10 minutes earlier. All are welcome.
Many of the summer sermons will explore Luke’s Gospel as it appears in our assigned (lectionary) readings:
Blessings for the summer, wherever your travels take you!
On Thursday May 26, 2022 we commemorate the Ascension of Jesus Christ. We will observe Masses at Noon and 7:00 p.m. Join us as we conclude the 40 days of Easter tide with Christ’s return to the Father in heaven.
On Sunday June 5, 2022 we celebrate the birthday of the Christian church on the Day of Pentecost. Sunday services are at 10:00 a.m. The Day of Pentecost concludes the period of the Great 50 days from Easter to Pentecost. A new season of the church year begins on the following Sunday with Trinity Sunday, celebrated on Sunday June 12, 2022.