"Is it time for us to have a full Dinner Church, when we all cook together as well as eat and worship?” That was the question that St. Andrew’s congregation in St. Johnsbury set out to answer on the first Sunday of Advent.
A smaller-sized congregation that has experimented with various liturgical innovations for a few years, St. Andrew’s has experience with an Epiphany Brunch Church, an Annual Meeting Brunch Church, and an Ordination Dinner Church. But all these were done with the cooking “in advance” or as potluck, not as the community coming together to prepare the meal. Was it time to take that next step in offering a fuller experience of Dinner Church?
"Come Explore Advent" Video from The Cathedral Church of St. Paul
A wonderful introduction to Advent
"My First Advent"
"To celebrate the church year is to be sewn into the story of Jesus in a way that allows the fabric of our lives and our world to take on a holy texture." A reflection from Nadia Bolz-Weber on her first Advent experience.
Economic Justice Advent Calendar and Other Resources
During Advent we look toward Christ's coming and seek signs of his presence. Indeed, we dare to believe that we share in his incarnation. During this Advent season, the Economic Justice Coalition of the Diocese of Vermont invites you observe the season with a heart turned toward God's justice. We offer a sampling of resources.
2014 Advent Devotional Calendar
The Advent calendar from Thomas Mousin and Merry Watters begins on the First Sunday of Advent, November 30, and offers a scripture reading and suggested devotion for each day of the season until December 24th.
Anglican Communion: "Celebrate Advent using your camera phones"
Members of Anglican Communion Churches worldwide are being invited to celebrate Advent through prayer, meditation and by contributing to a global Advent calendar on Instagram.
Foundation Cristosal began in Vermont 15 years ago as a project between two friends: the Bishop of El Salvador Martín Barahona and the Very Reverend Richard Bower. I became a member of the Cristosal Board in 2001 and began making annual pilgrimages in 2002 to see Cristosal’s work first hand. As part of my sabbatical in 2007, Ann and I spent a month living in El Salvador.
Cristosal was my first exposure as Bishop to how truly interconnected we are in this globalized world. Experiencing the plight of Latin Americans through the eyes of El Salvador awakened me to the complexities and struggles of combatting structural poverty.
On Monday, Nov 17th, and Thurs, November 20th, eight regional events were held, bringing together clergy, lay people of faith, and legislators to enter into a dialogue about how Vermont's budgeting process and other legislation can be more aligned with the group's shared faith values of justice and compassion. The Clergy Caucus of VIA has come to a consensus on policy recommendations on Collection and Allocation of Resources and Wages and Benefits. Click here to download the document. These events served to unveil this document in every region of the state. The AP story on the events was picked up by multiple newspapers, including The Boston Globe, The Burlington Free Press, The Barre Montpelier Times Argus, The Rutland Herald, The Valley News (Lebanon, NH), The Caledonia Record, The Brattleboro Reformer and a story titled "Clergy promoting a moral economy" ran in the Waterbury Record.
Legislative Breakfast at Christ Church Montpelier - November 20th:
The United Thank Offering board has created a special grant for young adults in celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the United Thank Offering’s ministry. Click below to download information on how to participate in this special grant application process. Click here to find out more.
During Convention and right after, we grew our database. We now have 54 people, including folks as far from our Rock Point home base as Brattleboro, Bennington, Enosberg Falls and Wolcott (not to mention Middletown Springs, Arlington, Middlebury, Montpelier, Randolph…) And we have brochures!!
At our October 18th meeting we officially named ourselves Rock Point Intentional Community. (And we might as well get this part over with right at the beginning. We have already become RPIC.) Not officially, of course – it has just come into being, and as we all know, these things – intended or not - have a way of becoming instantly real. (Acronyms do have one distinct advantage - much easier to type!)
Also at this meeting we agreed to meet every two months for the foreseeable future. Because the Advent and Lenten Retreats fell at those same two month intervals, we decided to combine things, and save those of our Community attending the retreats from having to make a second trip. So our next meeting will follow the Advent Retreat, Sunday, December 7th, from 1:45 – 4 pm at the Bishop Booth Conference Center. That’s a much shorter meeting time than we’ve had so far, so the agenda will be correspondingly tighter. Checking/reporting in since our October meeting will be first on the agenda. And we will be determining the next two steps in our development – our categories of membership, and what responsibilities/commitments/benefits will go with each.
The Rev. Jackie Arbuckle
Rick Swanson, Rector of St. John's in The Mountains, Stowe, snapped a priceless "selfie" during Bishop Ely's visit November 23rd. Pictured are those who were confirmed, received and reaffirmed, along with one of the acolytes. Bishop Ely wrote, "We had a great day at St. John's. Rachael, next to me, wrote the prayers of the people and Nathaniel, her brother, shared the pulpit with me. What a joy!" Perhaps the "Bishop's Visit Selfie" should become a parish tradition across the Episcopal Church in Vermont!
On November 9th, families, alums, volunteers, donors and founders of the Vermont chapter (including The Rev. Lisa Ransom, The Rev. Nicholas Porter, and Bishop Ely) celebrated seven years of peacebuilding during a gala celebration held at Shelburne Farms Coach Barn. Guest speakers included Yakir Englander and Montaser Amro from Jerusalem. Click here to watch the video of the Kids4Peace Convention presentation. Click here to see more photos from the event.
Plan to join the conversation!
TRINITY INSTITUTE 2015: CREATING COMMON GOOD: a practical conference for economic equality
As Christians, we care deeply about social justice and know that the church can create change. But on a practical level, how do we take on the pervasive, overwhelming issue of economic inequality? This year’s Trinity Institute (TI2015) speakers have real-world experience making change happen. They will provide you with hopeful, practical tools you can use in your community to make a positive economic impact.
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