The Meaning of Advent
The word “Advent” comes from the Latin adventus, which means “coming” or “arrival.” As a season of the church year, Advent is the four weeks before Christmas that prepares us to celebrate the Nativity, the birth of Christ, on December 25th. Christmas is a big mystery. We do not understand how exactly God comes to be among us in human form. Taking time to prepare to celebrate Christmas allows us to enter more fully into the mystery. It is said, if we don’t take time to get ready for Christmas, we could “walk right by this mystery” without ever really experiencing it. And so, we spend the four weeks before Christmas anticipating and preparing for the coming of Christ. Advent has a double spiritual meaning. While anticipating the arrival of the birth of Jesus, we are also anticipating the arrival of the second coming, when Jesus will return to us. Churches using the Revised Common Lectionary will find both themes present in the Sunday lessons during the season of Advent.
Advent Series: Embodying Faith Led by Kristen Leigh Mitchell, M.Div.
Wednesday, November 29 – 5:00pm
In this season of “hustle and bustle,” our tradition calls us into a time of quiet reflection and contemplation. How are we supposed to embody our Christian faith in the midst of so many contradictory expectations and demands on our time and energy? This week we’ll look at the origins of some of our most beloved Christmas traditions, as a lens through which to begin to think about the relationship between our Christian religion and the holiday rituals of a supposedly “secular” capitalist culture.
Adult Formation Holy Land Pilgrimage Presentation by Chris Baker
Sunday, December 3 at 12:30pm-Parkside & Sunday, December 10 at 12:30pm Parish Hall
Presentation from the Holy Land Pilgrims. First presentation will be focused on the artwork created by St. James’ own Chris Baker inspired by the trip. Chris Baker has created an art exhibit in the Parkside room featuring breathtaking drawings and paintings of the sites of the Holy Land.
Dec. 10-Come listen to the St. James’ Pilgrims who spent 2 weeks this past April in the Holy Land. See the amazing images and feel the spiritual inspiration that took hold of each of them.
Music & Meditation with Organist Justin Oei
Sunday, December 17 at 2pm
In the build-up to Christmas, sometimes the busy-ness of our lives obscures our experience of the wonder and mystery of the Incarnation. Join us in the main church at 4pm on December 17th for an hour of contemplative music and readings as we enter the final week before the wonderful celebration of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. This program will feature both traditional and new interpretations of familiar carols and hymns as well as readings and prayers to focus our hearts and minds providing space for stillness in a time and culture that so often passes us by. Free and open to the public, donations gratefully received to support future musical offerings at St. James’.