Parish Articles

Category: Advent/Christmas

Welcome to Advent!

Seven Reasons to Celebrate Advent by Ryan Shelton  I grew up in one of the branches of the church that did not celebrate Advent. Before the leftover turkey disappeared from the refrigerator, we were in full-blown Christmastide through December 25. I was in my twenties before I was introduced to

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A Hollywood Christmas Eve

by John C. Odean / Director of Media and Communications I count one of my blessings in Hollywood in the 1970s was to get to know Katherine DeMille Quinn and be involved in several ministries with her. I have always admired her father Cecil B. DeMille because he demonstrated his

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ADVENT, CHRISTMAS, AND THE SEASON OF BIBLICAL JOY

by Fr. Billy Swan This season of Advent is known as one of “Joyful expectation.” In the Church we name the third Sunday of Advent as Gaudete Sunday or “Joyful Sunday” as our waiting for the Saviour is almost at an end. Then, we wish each other a “Merry Christmas” as we share meals, exchange gifts and treasure loved

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2020 Has Felt Like Advent All Year

by CAROLINE COBB For many, 2020 has felt like one long groan. Between the pandemic, a struggling economy, the isolation of quarantine and online school, civil unrest, racial injustice, wildfires, hurricanes, a noisy election, and divisive public discourse, this year has reminded us again and again of our mortality, lack

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Words of Encouragement During This Season

“Do not be afraid” was the message brought by angels to four people while telling them life-altering news. Anxiety would be any human’s response to protecting themselves from hopes being dashed again, a dramatic change of plans, dreams being crushed, or feeling exposed – no longer able to hide the truth.  The lives of

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But What About The Llama?

by Eric Clayton I had waited far too long. Advent was turning into Christmas. This was my last chance, and I could only find one souvenir shop still open. It was Sunday, and there was only one nativity set left that fit into my post-graduate volunteer budget. All these weeks

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An Advent Reflection for 2020

By John C. Odean And so, we continue on through Advent, overwhelmed in the remembrance that God entered the world in a new way to reach out to humankind with encompassing love. Angels heralded the birth of the Messiah and kings came from the east to worship and marvel at

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Second Sunday of Lent

People utilize Lent for all sorts of mixed motives. Lent may be the season to jump start New Year’s Resolutions. It may be that time of year to reignite prayer, to revitalize relationships, to lose weight, to avoid chocolate, give up whiskey, end the salty language, and get away from

First Sunday of Lent

Pope Francis published his Lenten message this year 2024. He insists on our need to counter a “globalization of indifference.” He writes our Lenten journey will be concrete if… we realize that, even today, we remain under the rule of Pharoah, who is the ruler of whatever makes us weary

Second Sunday of Lent

People utilize Lent for all sorts of mixed motives. Lent may be the season to jump start New Year’s Resolutions. It may be that time of year to reignite prayer, to revitalize relationships, to lose weight, to avoid chocolate, give up whiskey, end the salty language, and get away from

First Sunday of Lent

Pope Francis published his Lenten message this year 2024. He insists on our need to counter a “globalization of indifference.” He writes our Lenten journey will be concrete if… we realize that, even today, we remain under the rule of Pharoah, who is the ruler of whatever makes us weary

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