Father Manny: Faith, The First Sunday in Advent, And Confirming and Receiving The Faithful

Here we are: the first weekend of Advent. The Liturgical calendar has turned from the “Sundays after Pentecost” to this short, yet powerful and sacred, four week season of Advent. The church is bathed in shades of blue, putting aside the green vestments we have seen for the past few months. We await the coming of the Savior; the arrival of the King of Kings, the Lord of lords. We anticipate the arrival of the child-king, the infant boy who is the defender of all that is good and holy. We rejoice, because we celebrate, soon and very soon, the arrival of Jesus, our most Holy Redeemer.

Faith: the people of St Nicholas gathering near the font, which reflects the stained glass windows

As the community of St. Nicholas, as Christians, as Episcopalians, we share in that which is offered to us; the simple gifts of bread and wine, through God’s divine intervention become for us the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ. What we are sharing, my dear sisters and brothers is Faith. Our Faith was born through the labors, struggles and perseverance of our Hebrew ancestors who endured in order to survive. In time, God sent us Jesus; the only Son of God; born of a woman in the human condition and made to understand and experience the nature of being human. Jesus encountered and lived out His life just as we do; that is, only Jesus did so without sin. His death unchained human-kind from the slavery of sin. And we, Jesus’ sisters and brothers, all of us children of the God of Abraham, Sarah, Isaiah, David, Mary, Elizabeth, the off spring of Mary and Joseph’s little boy, we all are blessed because Jesus’ death has given us Eternal Life. Jesus shared Faith with us, in a divine manner as well as in His fully human nature.

This first week of Advent we will call Faith. We will rejoice in the gifts of the teachings of the Church, in the laws that have been handed down to us from our ancient ancestors to our more recent leaders and spiritual guides and teachers. We, in turn, share our Faith with those around us, extending our beliefs as freely, and as lovingly as we share a smile with one another.

This week, members of our community of St. Nicholas will share their Faith with us, as we will extend our Faith and the Faith of the Church with them. What a pleasure and honor it is to be part of such a wonderful and sacred experience: to be part of the spiritual journey of our dear friends and to know, that we all, together, venture forward as we draw closer, every closer, to the Creator and embrace Jesus in a much tighter and loving hold. Welcome to the Episcopal Church to these, our sisters and bothers in Faith and may we all, together, continue to open our hearts and minds to the wonders that are beheld in Jesus the Christ:

Confirmed in Christ:
Martha Lynette Hamon

Brandon Garcia

Jillian Patricia Setchell

John Christian McCreary

Received in Christ:

Valerie Ann Gruenwald

John Charles Knepper

George Earl Davy III

Colleen Marie Davy

Joan Francis Hoffman

Kirsten Andraya Gidd-Hoffman

Lisette Rodriguez-Narang

Special Blessing in Christ:

Ruth Lillian Davy

Yazmeen Narang

Jadeyn Narang

Jack Liam Zimo

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