Monday, December 21, 2015

Sunday Advent 4


  • 8am Eucharist - hard to believe it's the last Sunday before Christmas. Preached on Mary the Mother of Jesus "When God Draws Near...The Lowly Are Lifted Up." How she was one of the "lowliest" in society and when found in an impossible situation and said one of the most faith-filled Yes's to God ever:  "Here am I, the servant of the Lord. May it be just as you have said."
  • 9am Adult Ed Hour - nice big group today. Looked at the Prayer of St. Benedict as one example of the Sermon on the Mount in miniature. Created book-marks for my folks of it. Great discussion. Our Music Team Leader Susanne shared how we may see God's commandments as restrictive "rules" but in actually it's in keeping them that we find freedom. Amen. Amen. Amen.
  • 10am Eucharist - Third Sunday. Our kids all serve on Third Sundays and it's a blast! They have such great pride and a sense of ownership of their ministries. And it's fun liturgically because with so many servers we have the full menu of "smells and bells".  We're starting to have such a big group I think we need to go to two Sundays a month.
  • 11:15am - Red Door Coffee Meet n' Greet. Fair Trade, organic, Wisconsin-roasted, Haitian coffee and the people of God in fellowship. Love it.
  • Greening of the Church - "all hands on deck" to help prepare our Sanctuary for Christmastide. It looks beautiful.
  • During said Greening I rehearsed Silent Night with our Music Team as we need a guitar and Ron, our usual guitarist, just had rotator-cuff surgery.
  • Up to Whitewater with the Missus and the Mancub for our Convocation's first-ever joint Advent Lessons and Carols. Such a beautiful worship service. The choir sounded wonderful:  nothing like a robust choir singing live. The bell choir was hauntingly beautiful. Great time of fellowship afterwards among Episcopalians from across our tri-county area. 
  • Up to Madison to visit parishioner Jo Schulten in-hospital. Prayers for her are appreciated. She's having great difficulty breathing and longing to be home for Christmas.
  • Late night dinner with the family at Ella's Deli in Madison.  Great food (pastrami reuben sizzler...just trust me) and incredibly eclectic decor such as games built into the tables, animated displays from floor-to-ceiling ranging from Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band to Popeye to Spiderman. They also have full-sized Carousel outside.
    • We recalled my second trip home of three when we lived in Texas from 2009 to 2014. We loved and missed Wisconsin deeply and being in Texas on a Church-planting salary & schedule, Wisconsin felt like a million miles away, simply because it was so difficult to make the trip. On that trip we were sitting in Ella's Deli, such an other-worldly place, which felt like a pilgrimage...and wondering out-loud as a family if we'd ever move back...then back to Texas where that moment felt like a dream for three years. So to be sitting there last night on what was a normal trip, one hour from home, simply felt like the Lord's generosity in granting the desires of our hearts.
  • It was a long day. Drove home. Watched The Office with the Missus and konked out.

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