Episcopal Diocese of Virginia
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December 2, 2023

Sisters and Brothers,

I invite you to enter Advent, this season of expectation, with a measure of quiet and an abundance of hope. To start, I give you a gift for your contemplation and spiritual nurture. I offer this poem by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. 

Advent Calendar 

He will come like last leaf’s fall.
One night when the November wind
has flayed the trees to bone, and earth
wakes choking on the mould,
the soft shroud’s folding.

He will come like the frost.
One morning when the shrinking earth
opens on mist, to find itself
arrested in the net
of alien, sword-set beauty.

 He will come like dark.
One evening when the bursting red
December sun draws up the sheet
and penny-masks its eye to yield
the snow-starred fields of sky.

He will come, will come,
will come like crying in the night,
like blood, like breathing,
as the earth writhes to toss him free.
He will come like a child.


Second, there are so many folks to thank as the old year passes and the new year dawns. It always dangerous to name names and run the risk of forgetting someone, but… Particularly, I want to thank the Vestry for their leadership, encouragement, and faithful stewardship of St. Bartholomew’s. I need to thank the Pastoral Care Committee for sending birthday, anniversary, and condolence cards in the name of the parish, and for all of their hospitality and care given so generously. I need to thank our liturgical ministers: our musicians, readers, Eucharistic Ministers, Altar Guild and acolytes for their faithful consciousness and dedication. I need to thank the folks who now serve on the Stewardship and Development Committee for their hard work and insight. I need to thank Cindy and every other volunteer who stirred, packed, sold, donated and delivered stew. We all need to give thanks for those whom we love and see no longer, who live on as examples of the faith: Barbara, Mary Lou, Akhira, Elizabeth, Clara, and Helen.

Finally, I want to remind you of what our schedule looks like as we move through the month of December and the seasons of Advent and Christmas.
This Coming Week

Monday, 12/4 - 6:30PM – Online Bible Study

Wednesday, 12/6 – 6:30PM – Stewardship &Development Committee Meeting

Sunday, 12/10 - 9:00 AM - Adult Christian Formation in the James Carr Library

Sunday, 12/10 – 10:00 AM – Second Sunday of Advent – Morning Prayer Rite II with Holy Communion              

On the Horizon

Monday Evening Online Bible Study continues through December. There will be no gathering on December 25th or January 1st.

 Christmas Eve Worship – Sunday, December 24th. Carol singing commences at 8:30 PM and Holy Eucharist Rite II will be celebrated at 9:00 PM

 Christmas Day Worship – Monday, December 25th – Holy Eucharist Rite II will be celebrated at 10:00 AM

 Christmas Lessons and Carols – Sunday, December 31st – A Service of Nine Lessons and Carols for Christmas at 10:00 AM


Merry Advent,