St. Francis – Gary Kester

Sunday December 1 was the First Sunday in Advent. This is an important day in the Christian year as it begins not only a new season but also a new year in the Christian calendar, the half of the year which traces Christ’s earthly life. Before the regular service we held the Advent Wreath celebration in which four candles, one for each week of Advent, are placed on the Advent Wreath with a scripture reading and prayer for each one, read by four members of the congregation. Readers for today were Laurie Hartley, Stephanie Connell, Peg Winckelmann and myself.

Bishop Hartley devoted his sermon to explaining the importance of the Advent season, which in the Episcopal/Anglican tradition, is a penitential season meaning a time of reflection and self-examination. The altar and vestment colors are royal blue symbolizing to royalty of Jesus the coming king. The candles represent our welcoming the new light into the world and it is our duty as Christians to be ready to receive Him in our lives. John the Baptist was the precursor to Jesus; his charge was to prepare for the coming Messiah by preaching the necessity of repentance & baptism. The people of that time knew troubles just as every age does, and the oppression of Rome, but their hope and ours was renewed by the coming of Christ. Only God can save us from selfishness and materialism. 

After the service a group of hardy souls braved the cold to set up our outdoor Nativity, lighted and with hand-painted figurines. If you are driving around to see Christmas lights be sure to drive by St. Francis Church on West Highway 76 to see our Nativity. 

Services at St. Francis Anglican (Traditional Episcopal) Church are 10:30 Sunday mornings and 6:30 Wednesday evenings. For more information visit our website at stfrancisavamo.org.