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In the midst of this week’s lectionary passage from Isaiah, 11:1-10, things get a little strange. The carnivores have all become vegetarian and a child wanders among the big cats and the big prey and the reptile dens in a way that no conscientious parent would approve: “The wolf shall live with the lamb, the leopard shall lie down with the kid, the calf and the lion and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them” (Isaiah 11:6). The peaceable kingdom is all well and good for a folk art painting, but imagining it happening in the real world—with real animals that have real teeth, fangs, and hooves—just makes me anxious. “This is not going to end well,” I think to myself. “This isn’t possible in the world as we know it.” Which, of course, is the point. This peace, God’s peace, the peace we prepare for, long for, or at least try to envision during Advent, isn’t peace as the world typically gives. It isn’t an uneasy truce. It isn’t the silencing of dissent. This peace doesn’t arise from the helpless acceptance of the terms mandated by the victor over the conquered. God’s peace comes from radical transformation, an utter reordering of what we’ve come to see as the normal course of things. What we’re preparing for during Advent is to have our world turned upside down. It’s unsettling, this peace. But also profoundly hopeful: A stump—for the prophet, the dead and disappointing legacy of past rulers—sends out a green shoot, as slender and delicate as a newborn infant’s pinky finger, yet promising great things...
A group of St. Margaret's folks held a very interesting half day meeting to discuss how to coordinate the very big job of offering every adult parishioner food for their faith journey. We will be hosting an event and sending a survey in January in order to obtain your input to this process. Please get in touch with Janice Hicks (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Teresa Terry (email@example.com) or our clergy if you have any questions or comments.
LOVED -- FED -- SENT FORTH. Join fellow parishioners in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware Friday Dec. 13 to Sunday Dec.15 for our annual Advent Retreat. This year's theme will draw us to explore the gift of Eucharist and the ways in which this holy meal nourishes our souls and strengthens us for the work of discipleship. How does this ancient sacred ritual still transform us in the 21st century, both as individuals and as a community? With prayer, creative worship, reflection and discussion we hope to deepen our understanding of what Eucharist means in our lives. We will gather in the spacious and comfortable retreat center of the Episcopal Diocese of Delaware for a weekend that will also include free time for walks to the nearby beach and nature trails. Cost for this lay-led weekend is $218 per person for two nights and five meals, or $180 per person for one night and four meals. All rooms have private bath. To reserve a place or to learn more, please contact David Griswold at firstname.lastname@example.org.
7 p.m. on two more Tuesdays in Advent (December 10, 17). Take a break from the craziness of the holiday season and join us for a time of meditation and deep listening. The services will be in the side chapel and will loosely follow a Taize format, meaning that there will be chants, silence, prayer, and Holy Communion. Candles, incense, and contemplation abound! If you have any questions, please contact the church office at email@example.com or call 202-232-2995.
This Sunday, December 8, a wide range of all-natural jams, jellies, marmalades and mincemeats homemade by Anne Chase will be for sale after the 9 a.m. and 11:15 a.m. services. Great for Christmas presents or as a treat for yourself. All proceeds go to Charlie's Place.
Many, Many Thanks! Filipino Relief Effort. With your collective generosity, we raised $901 to donate for the relief efforts in the Philippines. $441 in coins! We will be sending a check to Episcopal Relief & Development with prayers for the on-going recovery efforts and healing. To follow their work, go to www.episcopalrelief.org.
by Farar Elliott My iphone case looks like a leather book. There is even a red grosgrain bookmark. It so resembles a little bible, and I spend so much time peering at is, that people on the subway think I’mabout to proclaim the gospel to them, right there on the Red Line. And here’s what surprises me this advent – with the apps I have on my phone, I actually could do that. This advent, a few St. Margaret's folks and I have been testing prayer apps on our phones. This is what we've gleaned. Most prayer apps are based on one of three aspects of prayer: first, scripture; second, the Book of Common Prayer’s cycle of daily prayer; or third, reflections on the first two. We’ve looked at a lot of them, and here are the ones we think you might want to try: Bible Gateway There are a lot of Bible apps, but the amount contained on this one kind of blows my mind. There are 90 different translations of the Bible and a way to share verses via Facebook and Twitter, in case you really do want to proclaim the gospel on the go. Commentaries, reading guides, and an incredible search function make this the best one. Lectionary This one is just what it says – the lectionary. It has the collect, readings and psalms for each Sunday and for the daily office, in contemporary or traditional language. Plus, for added zip, the background is in the appropriate liturgical color. Insight Timer If meditation is your gig, you might want to get the Insight Timer. It has nice Tibetan bells that ringwhen you start and finish, and it will keep track of your total meditation time, for the quantitative contemplaters out there...
Advent, our season of preparation leading up to the birth of the Christ Child, is celebrated at St. Margaret's with Taize Services, educational offerings, and a whole PAGE OF ADVENT RESOURCES FOR YOUR USE. Tuesdays in Advent: 6:30 pm Prayers on the Run (out in front of church); 7:00 pm Taize Prayers with Eucharist The service will be in the side chapel and will loosely follow a Taize format, meaning that there will be chants, silence, prayer, and Communion. Candles, incense, and contemplation abound! If you have any questions, please contact Lindy Bunch. (firstname.lastname@example.org) Thursdays in Advent 8:30 am Morning Meditations Sundays in Advent 10:25 am (in the parish parlor) What shall we do while we wait? A class for adults of all ages. Home Heart Work There will be resources available on our parish web site for daily Advent Meditations for individuals and families (children's devotions click here).
We invite your thoughts as we look at enriching our many ministries. We hope you will take time to fill out the assessment form for any ministries you are interest in. The ministries and outreach programs of St. Margaret’s are an important part of the make-up of our parish and our commitment to our faith. We are assessing the impact and effectiveness of the various ministries St. Margaret’s is engaged in to make sure that we are using our time and resources wisely and that we are truly serving our parishioners, the church and our community. All ministry leaders and participants are encouraged to fill out a Ministry Assessment Survey for each ministry in which they participate. We would like to have your thoughts no later than Dec 31st so we can begin to consider all your input. Please contact Dan Sealy if you have questions.
Photos from our St. Margaret's Day celebration are available here. Check back soon as more photos are likely to be posted! --- In celebration of St. Margaret's Day this Sunday, November 17, the whole congregation will gather together for One Service at 10 a.m. followed by a festive celebration in the Parish Hall. We'll be piped into and out of church by a Scottish Highland Piper. So dust off your tartans and join us for this Feast Day. For this special event, we invite any and all to bring a sweet or savory treat for the celebration following worship. Lou Steadwell and Polly Donaldson will be taking care of bringing a ham, rolls, and condiments and Walker’s Shortbread ... they need the usual assortment of St. M’s specialties, including, of course, an assortment of deviled eggs!