Rev Dr Sharne Rolfe
And, just like that, another twelve months have sped by, and Christmas is almost here! Like me, you may be amazed at how quickly the year has gone! Coming into December, and the approach of the Christmas season, heralds a time of great busyness in a parish such as ours. We have many services and community events planned. And, of course, we also have our Patronal Festival (St Nicholas’ Day) that we are celebrating this year on Sunday 8th December. Bp Paul Barker will be visiting us on this day and we look forward to welcoming him and worshipping together at this special time. Several parishioners will be received by the Bishop into communicant membership of the Anglican Church at this service. If you have been baptised in another Christian denomination and would now like to be a communicant member of the Anglican church, please let me know immediately as it is still possible for this to happen on 8th December when Bishop Paul visits. Bp Paul is also seeking anyone who wishes to be confirmed - again let me know immediately if you would like to be confirmed on this day.
Other upcoming events/services in December include:
Sunday 1st December at 5.00pm - Carols in the Church Grounds - bring along your picnic rug or chairs, buy a sausage from the sausage sizzle (gold coin donation), and sing some well-known Christmas Carols along with the choirs of Cornish Christian College and Mordialloc Beach Primary School. And don’t forget - there will be a surprise visit from St Nicholas!
Friday 6th December at 6.30pm - Annual Parish Dinner and raffle - $20 per ticket for a delicious roast chicken dinner, fun and fellowship - do join in and bring your friends!
Sunday 8th December at 9.15 am - St Nicholas’ Day Patronal Festival - Bp Paul Barker presiding and preaching at our Holy Communion service Thursday 19th December at 10.30 am - Aged Care service and festive morning tea - come along and join all our friends from local aged care residences for a special Carols service to be followed by fellowship at a Christmas-themed morning tea
Christmas Eve at 5.00 pm* - Children and Families service - *note earlier start time to past years - a special service for children and young families with carols, nativity play and dress-ups and craft activities
Christmas Eve at 11.00pm* - Midnight Mass - *note earlier start time to past years Christmas Day at 9.15 am - Holy Communion service
I hope you will join in with as many of these services and events as you can, and encourage your family and friends to join in too! All welcome!
December begins with that great church season of Advent. Advent, from the Latin, means “coming”. Advent is actually about three comings: first, the remembrance of the birth of Jesus Christ; second, the remembrance of the coming of the presence of God in Scripture, in the Eucharist and in our gathered Christian community, the Body of Christ; and third, the remembrance of the Parousia, or Second Coming, when the reign of God for which we wait will come into all its fullness. Over the centuries, and out of many traditions, Advent as we know it - a four-week period of concentrated waiting - has emerged to centre us in these multiple layers of awareness, a period of preparation for Christmas. It is a period that focuses us on joy - the joy of anticipation, the joy of delighting in a sense of the presence of God all around us, the joy of looking for the second coming of Christ, the joy of living in the surety of life eternal.
The Lord has proclaimed to the end of the earth: “See, your salvation comes; his reward is with him, and his recompense before him.” The shall be called, “the Holy People, The Redeemed of the Lord”; And you shall be called, “Sought Out, A City not forsaken.” (Isaiah 62:11-12)