December 14, 2018: Finding Rest in the Holiday Season

From Fr. Steven


We are 11 days from Christmas, and if you are anything like me, it's about now that you start to weary of the holiday season. There are too many things to do--buying gifts; sending Christmas cards; planning menus; attending parties; visiting relatives; and on and on and on--and so little time to do them.  

If all the enforced holiday cheer and the endless URGENT tasks are making you feel weary, or maybe even a little hateful, I would remind you to focus your anger on the guilty party, that is, upon Santa Claus.

Don't be fooled by the jolly exterior. Santa Claus represents the worst of our unrelenting, anxiety-producing, must-be-improving-myself-at-every-moment, judgmental, high-performance culture.

He's making a list,
And checking it twice,
Gonna find out
Who's naughty and nice...
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.


Ugh.

I would remind you that Jesus promises something far different.

Jesus promises that when we drop the mask of competence or goodness or high performance parenting or virtue signaling morality or superlative career achievement, we can finally feel free to admit who we really are underneath our shiny exteriors: imperfect and flawed and yes, naughty Christians.

But the Gospel is that Jesus, unlike Santa, does not judge the naughty and condemn us for our failures, putting us on a list that he checks twice. Rather, Jesus sees our flaws, and he forgives them with a love so powerful that not even our death can separate us from it.

So let us lay down our holiday burdens, and allow the love of Jesus to embrace us: "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."

The Rev. Steven Lee
Vicar

From Marsha and Tim


Ushers needed for Christmas Services!!!!


If you have thought about wanting to get more involved in our communal life, one rewarding way is by helping to welcome the many thousands of visitors from all over the world who will join us for services on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. We need ushers for all three services: Christmas Eve Lessons and Carols at 4 PM, the Christmas Eve Festal Eucharist at 10:30 PM, and the Christmas Day service at 10:30 AM. Please contact Tim at TimothyDDwyer9@yahoo.com if you would like to volunteer.   

The Two Tonys

You see them every Sunday—the two Tonys. Tony Dancy sets up the tables, lights the candles, provides the coffee, rolls out the carpet for the little kids at the nine and eleven a.m. services, puts up ropes, moves furniture, all with a clear knowledge of what goes where and what is needed for the worship service. He brings in delicious cakes, sometimes because we ask him to and sometimes he just surprises us.  Do get to know Tony Dancy and thank him for his quiet support of the congregation. 

Then there is Tony Rodriguez.  Tony has two speeds—jet and supersonic jet.  He moves about cleaning and polishing, making sure the front glass doors are spotless.  For many years he worked in Synod Hall.    The Congregation’s Crafts at the Cathedral took place in that building for 20 years.  Tony Rodriquez was assigned as the facilities person.  He was amazing.  Everything was kept clean, problems solved before we knew there were problems.  If it started to rain he provided buckets for wet umbrellas.  If the signage didn’t quite work, Tony made extra signs with arrows so people could find the fair.  Were we locked out? Tony kept everyone calm.  He was a great crafts fair team member for all those years. Tony Rodriguez is retiring at the end of the year.  We will miss him very much.  Take a moment to stop and thank him for his time with us and wish him the best. 

Thanks for a great Christmas Party

Just one week after running a café at the Crafts Fair, Lisa Chin, Susan and Will Baldwin, Phyllis Murray and their minions put on a great Christmas party.  The place was jammed, the food delicious, drinks and great conversation abounded.  We saw many former members who showed up to celebrate with us.  Watch for opportunities to assist in these events by helping to prepare food or bring a dessert. 

Toys, Coats, Holiday meal for CCC

This Sunday is the last Sunday that we are collecting unused, unwrapped toys for children (infant to 16 years).  Thank you to those who have already brought in gifts for children.  We will again place a container next to the Welcome Table.  Let’s fill it to overflowing.  Thomas Perry, manager of CCC says that gifts will be distributed on December20.  CCC is also asking for coats which may be brought to the close during the week and left in the CCC clothing closet.  The Holiday Meal will be served on Sunday, December 23.  We are asked to bring fully cooked turkeys, chickens, hams and desserts. 

Vestry Elections 

Have you thought about serving on the vestry?  Elections are held first Sunday in February. Nominations are due this week.  To serve you must have been a “member in good standing” of the congregation for one full year. “Good Standing” means actively donating to the Congregation of Saint Saviour.  For details, check the Congregation website or clink this link

Have a blessed Advent,
Marsha and Tim
Wardens