Advent 2

Advent 2

Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

CYCLE OF PRAYER:
Christ Church, Bethany; St. Thomas’, Bethel; Christ Church, Bethlehem; Old St. Andrew’s, Bloomfield
For the children of the world, the Bishops’ Fund for Children, and all ECCT ministries for children at risk

MEMORIALS:
The flowers near the Altar are in thanksgiving for the hard work of all the members of the Parish who are helping to make the Holiday Fair a memorable event.

LIVING NATIVITY:
Last Sunday was Christ Church’s annual Living Nativity, timed to coincide with the lighting of the East Norwalk Christmas tree. The people of the parish and those passing by on their way to the tree lighting enjoyed the petting zoo and the tableau of the Holy Family. The sanctuary was open for prayer (and warmth) and the Minister of Music filled the evening with organ music. Candy canes and flyers listing Christ Church’s coming events were distributed to all. We had many visitors, especially children, who enjoyed petting the sheep, goats, rabbits and especially the shaggy Shetland pony!

THE GIVING TREE:
The giving tree has been set up in the Guild Room. We have collected enough lap robes for Autumn Lake; however, we need gifts of toys and clothes (especially warm jammies) for the Children’s Connection. Please place gifts on or under the giving tree. Thanks for your generosity! Deadline for donations is December 17.

CHRISTMAS FAIR:
The Holiday Fair will be held at Christ Church on December 9, from 9:00am to 4:00pm. In addition to an extensive holiday-themed tag sale, Barbara has hand-picked and organized at least 17 vendors to participate in the fair. She has also put together a Chinese Auction. There are many auction items to bid on at $1 per ticket. Also there are four extra special auction items. They are 1) a set of Wusthof knives, 2) gift certificate for auto detailing package at Splash, 3) $200 gift certificate at Aitoro, 4) a beautiful Dooney and Bourke bag. Tickets for these items are $5.00 each.

The fair will also include a bake sale. Your home-baked goods can be delivered Friday night 6 & 7 pm Friday or Saturday morning before 9 am. You are invited to participate! Barbara will especially need help cleaning up on Saturday afternoon. Please see Barbara or call her at 203-847-5237 to volunteer for one or more 2-hour blocks of time. Be sure to get yourself on the schedule soon!

BOOK BUNCH:
The next book club meeting is December 12, at 7:30. The book selection is The Martian by Andy Weir. Please contact Debbie Ross at DRoss56@aol.com for more details.

FAMILY FUN NIGHT:
December 15, starts at 6:00 pm. The Polar Express movie will be featured. Also there will be pizza, hot chocolate, cookie decorating and a pajama party. Contact Jackie Muha for more information.

ALTAR GUILD:
On December 17, during the coffee hour, the Altar Guild is inviting all available church members to participate in decorating the church for the Christmas Season. Also forms for your flower memorial requests are available in the Gathering Place. You can email your memorial message to Sarah French at sqifella@gmail.com if you prefer. Help us make the church more beautiful than ever this Christmas Season!

WOMEN’S GROUP–RAFFLE TICKETS!!:
The Women’s Group is selling tickets for the Christmas Cheer Basket which is on display in the Guild Room. The basket will be raffled off on December 17, after the 10 AM service during Coffee Hour. See Bunny Zamm for more information.

CHRISTMAS CAROLING:
We will meet December 18, 5:00 pm at the church for refreshments, then caroling at Ludlow Commons. Then we will walk down Gregory Boulevard caroling all the way to the Marvin at 6:30! Contact Paul Mordoff for more information.

DECEMBER 24 SERVICES:
We will celebrate Holy Eucharist for Advent 4, December 24 at 9:00 am. Christmas Eve Holy Eucharist will be December 24 at 6:00 pm.

BACKPACK CLUBS: You too may join the CT Food Bank in its regular support of Backpack Clubs in the Norwalk Public Schools. Barbara Felter as the point person. Barbara wants everyone to know how much Wolfpit School appreciates your generosity. Most of the items you have donated provide breakfast for needy children. Items may be left in the basket near the pulpit.

Items needed:
Juice Boxes
Milk Boxes (same style, like Parmalat, etc.)
Single Serve Cereals
Fruit Snacks
Fruit Cups
Instant Oatmeal Packets (not cardboard cans)
Granola Bars
Chef Boyardee Ravioli Cups w/pull tops
Macaroni and Cheese Cups w/pull tops
Single Serve Chips/Popcorn

AUTUMN LAKE: Christ Church will sing Christmas Carols at Autumn Lake December 27. Everyone is encouraged to join us for this special event. Please meet at 10:20 in the Lobby.

THIS WEEK AT WORSHIP:
Organist: Betty Belcher
Altar Guild: Sarah French
Ushers: Anita Hughes and Lou Lovallo
Lector: Paul Mordoff
Intercessor: Ginny Deering
Presider: The Reverend Laura Queen

Old Testament Reading
Isaiah 40:1-11
Comfort, O comfort my people,
says your God.

Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,
and cry to her

that she has served her term,
that her penalty is paid,

that she has received from the Lord’s hand
double for all her sins.

A voice cries out:

“In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
make straight in the desert a highway for our God.

Every valley shall be lifted up,
and every mountain and hill be made low;

the uneven ground shall become level,
and the rough places a plain.

Then the glory of the Lord shall be revealed,
and all people shall see it together,
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

A voice says, “Cry out!”
And I said, “What shall I cry?”

All people are grass,
their constancy is like the flower of the field.

The grass withers, the flower fades,
when the breath of the Lord blows upon it;
surely the people are grass.

The grass withers, the flower fades;
but the word of our God will stand for ever.

Get you up to a high mountain,
O Zion, herald of good tidings;

lift up your voice with strength,
O Jerusalem, herald of good tidings,
lift it up, do not fear;

say to the cities of Judah,
“Here is your God!”

See, the Lord God comes with might,
and his arm rules for him;

his reward is with him,
and his recompense before him.

He will feed his flock like a shepherd;
he will gather the lambs in his arms,

and carry them in his bosom,
and gently lead the mother sheep.

Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13
Benedixisti, Domine

1 You have been gracious to your land, O Lord, *
you have restored the good fortune of Jacob.

2 You have forgiven the iniquity of your people *
and blotted out all their sins.

8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.

9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.

10 Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.

11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.

12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.

13 Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet

The Epistle

2 Peter 3:8-15a
Do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day. The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire? But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish; and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation.

Gospel

Mark 1:1-8
The beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

As it is written in the prophet Isaiah,

“See, I am sending my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way;

the voice of one crying out in the wilderness:
‘Prepare the way of the Lord,
make his paths straight,’”

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”

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Ordinary People, Extraordinary Spirit
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