Dear Friends,

I hope you are having a good Advent. I'm only partially sure what that means, actually; a good Advent. A holy time making new space for God's appearing in your life.

When we're around the Christmas Tree, and while we sing carols, and at the beautiful dinner table...we often practice at allowing God's goodness into those moments. But during tense holiday phone calls, arguments about the Christmas Card, and memories of hurtful holidays past? What does it mean for those to be good? We're less practiced at that.

I've mentioned a couple times now in announcements about the special worship service this Sunday the 17th at 7PM, A Grief Observed: An Advent Service of Healing. This will be a distinct time to together make space for God that in parts of our lives that aren't happy, but might still become good.

Our God is one who desires a full and rich relationship with us, in all parts of our lives. Our God was born, as Bishop Rob wrote recently, "a helpless and poor child in a feed-trough who eventually dies in humiliation to draw all humanity to a life of freedom and purpose." Our God has chosen to be with us in both happiness and hurt. In this Advent service of healing, we're going to respond to that vulnerability with some trust of our own, and I expect to learn more about the fullness of a good Advent along the way.

If Advent healing calls out to you, or you have a friend in need of Advent healing, I hope we'll see you and them this Sunday evening. And God bless you in all the Advent moments.

My great gratitude goes to Dan Andrus and the Rev. Dave Ferner, the pastoral leaders of St. John the Evangelist, Dunbarton, and Holy Cross, Weare, who have put much of this service together. We'll share this time of healing with folks from across our communities.

In the Peace of God, which passes all understanding,