Christmas is 12 days.

Tonight we begin the celebration of Christ’s birth. If you are looking for a way to pause for prayer, click the video below and join Brother Juniper and me for Compline for Christmas Eve.

Then join us on Zoom on Sunday, December 27, at 6 p.m. for Evening Prayers (bulletin) as we continue to celebrate Christmas. This will be my final worship service, so I would love to see as many folks as can join us. 

I hope wherever you are, you have a safe and happy Christmas!


Click here to download the bulletin.

This Sunday – 4th Sunday of Advent

This Sunday.

O come, thou Dayspring from on high
and cheer us by they drawing nigh;
disperse the gloomy clouds of night, 
and death’s dark shadow put to flight.
O come, Desire of nations, 
bind in one the hearts of all mankind; 
bid thou our sad divisions cease,
and be thyself our King of Peace.
O come, O come, Emmanuel,
and ransom captive Israel,
that mourns in lonely exile here
until the Son of God appear.
Rejoice! Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to thee, O Israel.

Hymn 56, Verses 6-8

For me, the hymn “O Come O Come Emmanuel” is the Advent hymn. In fact, it might be one of my favorite hymns from our hymnal. The minor key and simple melody is one that sticks in my head.

One of my favorite memories of this hymn is singing it with a group of pilgrims in the Church of St. Anne in Jerusalem. This church is located near the Pools of Bethesda, where Jesus healed a sick man (Jn. 5:2-9) The church is dedicated to Mary the mother of Jesus, and tradition holds that it marks her birthplace. The church is known for its acoustics, and I remember how our group’s voices echoed in the space as we sang the words “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

The antiphons that make up this hymn are often used at the beginning and end of the Magnificat when it is prayed during evening prayers leading up to Christmas. Using the antiphons in this way, allows the powerful words of justice of Mary’s song to expound on the names and attributes of God.

This year the final verses of Hymn 56 seem particularly appropriate– “death’s dark shadow put to flight” and “our sad divisions cease.” These lines sum up my prayers for most of 2020.

While I love the traditional version of the hymn, I have included below a contemporary version that someone shared on Facebook that I enjoyed.

This Sunday we will hear the story of the Annunciation, and listen to Mary’s song of justice. I hope you will join us for Evening Worship this Sunday at 6 pm on Zoom (bulletin).

– Kelley

This Sunday – 3rd Sunday of Advent

This Sunday.

Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise the words of prophets, but test everything; hold fast to what is good; abstain from every form of evil.         
1 Thessalonians 5:16-22

The third Sunday of Advent is often referred to as Gaudete (Rejoice) Sunday. This is a reference to the opening line of the reading from 1 Thessalonians: “Rejoice always…” It serves as a reprieve from the penitential aspect of Advent. Under more normal circumstances, it is also the Sunday when I give in and bring out the Christmas decorations.

As you can guess 2020 is not a normal year. I must confess that the Christmas decorations made their way into my home right after Thanksgiving. In all that has happened this year, I needed the joy of a Christmas tree and lights on the front of the house sooner rather than later.

Now as we are nearing the darkest part of the winter, and as the COVID-19 numbers increase every day, we need the reminder from scripture that we are called to rejoice, to pray, and to give thanks.

We also are called to hold fast to what is good.

At this moment, the good that we need to remember most is the love of our neighbor. At this moment, this love is not abstract. We need to love our neighbor through concrete actions: wearing masks, remaining physically distant, washing our hands, staying home, and avoiding gatherings (especially inside). By practicing these acts of love, more of our neighbors will be able to rejoice in the future. The end is in sight, but we need to hold fast to what is good, to love.

We will gather on Zoom for worship (bulletin) at 6 p.m. Sunday. There will be no in-person worship at Trinity Commons. I hope you will join us as we rejoice, say our prayers, and give thanks.

– Kelley

This Sunday – 2nd Sunday of Advent

This Sunday.

A voice cries out:
     “In the wilderness prepare the way of the Lord,
     make straight in the desert a highway for our God.
          Isaiah 40:3

It seems like we have been waiting in the wilderness since March. Then we were in the wilderness of Lent and now, in Advent, we find are still in the wilderness on the banks of the Jordan River with John the Baptist. Mark’s gospel has no nativity story. Instead we are introduced to a grown Jesus through John the Baptist. For Mark, the first coming of Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophets, and we are to understand Jesus through the lens of the Prophet Isaiah and through John’s prophetic ministry. 

Isaiah and John both expected immediate fulfillment. That God would come and that God would act. But what about us? We have been waiting 2,000 years for Christ’s second coming. We have been waiting months for God to offer relief in this pandemic. 

What can we learn from prophets, wilderness, and waiting in this time of pandemic and isolation?

I will be at Camp McDowell tomorrow to livestream the virtual celebration of Bishop Sloan. So our worship tomorrow will be a recorded service available on YouTube and Facebook.

If you are eager to jump to Advent 2, you can watch the service now on our YouTube Channel here. If you prefer to wait and say your prayers at our usual time, you can watch the premiere at 6 p.m. on Sunday on our Facebook page here. The bulletin is available here

For the rest of December, our worship will be online only via Zoom. So please enjoy the recorded service for tomorrow, and then join us next week on Zoom

– Kelley

This Sunday – 1st Sunday of Advent

This Sunday.

“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert; for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on the watch. Therefore, keep awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.” Mark 13:32-37

Advent is a season full of prophets: Isaiah, John the Baptist, Mary, Jesus to name a few.

The reading from Mark gives us the apocalyptic vision of the return of the Son of Man. It points to the anxiety of waiting when the day and hour is unknown. The year 2020 has taught us a lot about waiting. We have waited for 10 months for our lives to return to normal, and we continue to wait. Jesus instructs us that while we are waiting we should keep alert and keep awake. 

This Advent, we need to hear the words of the prophets so that we can be alert and awake. Frank A. Thomas describes the work of the prophet as “calling all people to be transformed by the renewal of their minds. Prophetic imagination introduces something beyond the available options…A way out of no way.” It is the prophets that challenge us to look at the world through the lens of hope.

As we begin our year again, as we keep alert and keep awake for the signs of hope around us, join us this Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 6 pm.  Remember to wear a mask. You can join us at Trinity Commons or on Zoom (bulletin).

– Kelley

This Sunday – Christ the King Sunday

This Sunday.

Jesus said, “When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. -Matthew 25:31-33

As the liturgical year comes to an end, our readings point us to the power and authority of Christ. Typically this day is referred to as Christ the King Sunday. Before we turn to the expectant waiting of Advent, we are reminded of the power and judgment of Christ. 

Most of us would rather not be judged. We would rather not take final exams or have job evaluations. But judgment is an important part of life and relationships. It is in those moments of judgment and evaluation that we receive truth about ourselves and our relationships. We see the truth that we have indeed learned and grown, as well as the truth that there is more for us to do. It is these moments of truth that enable us to shape our future.

When Jesus, as King, judges the nations, his judgment is based on their capacity for mercy. Those that looked at the world and offered kindness are judged as righteous, and those that failed to offer kindness are doomed to eternal life. This is a parable that is meant to make us uncomfortable. It comes as a judgment to us while we still have time to change. And perhaps that is the good news of this parable, we can still choose to be kind.

Join us this Sunday as we are reminded that we will be judged by our acts of kindness. We will welcome back the Rev. Emily Collette as our preacher. Join us for Holy Eucharist at 6 pm and supper following. Remember to wear a mask. You can join us at Trinity Commons or on Zoom (bulletin).

– Kelley

This Sunday – 24th Sunday After Pentecost

This Sunday.

Psalm 123
1 To you I lift up my eyes, *
     to you enthroned in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *
     and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3 So our eyes look to the Lord our God, *
     until he show us his mercy.
4 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, *
     for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
     and of the derision of the proud.

Psalm 123 is one of the fifteen Songs of Ascent. These songs are thought to have been sung by pilgrims making their way to Jerusalem for worship. They tend to be short and therefore easy to memorize. While verses 1-3 of Psalm 123 look to God as the source of mercy, verses 4-5 express the frustration and suffering of the people. This is a people that have had enough. The people have returned from exile, but yet they are still suffering. The complaint of contempt and scorn is so general that we cannot determine the precise historical context, but this ambiguity allows this psalm to be the prayer of the people of God in every generation.

We have made it through the election, but our news and social media are still filled with scorn and contempt. We have gotten good news about a possible COVID vaccine, as the COVID numbers increase dramatically. It feels a bit like we have done what we were supposed to do–vote, wear masks, physically distance–but yet the suffering continues. I find comfort in the words “So our eyes look to the Lord our God, until he show us his mercy.” There is comfort in that I am not alone. There is comfort in saying the words that generations of the people of God have said in times of suffering. 

Join us this Sunday as we gather so our eyes look to the Lord. We will welcome Bishop Kee Sloan and the Venerable Lou Thibodaux. Join us for Holy Eucharist at 6 pm and supper following. Remember to wear a mask. You can join us at Trinity Commons or on Zoom (bulletin).

– Kelley

This Sunday – 23rd Sunday After Pentecost

This Sunday.

Jesus said, “Then the kingdom of heaven will be like this. Ten bridesmaids took their lamps and went to meet the bridegroom. Five of them were foolish, and five were wise. When the foolish took their lamps, they took no oil with them; but the wise took flasks of oil with their lamps. As the bridegroom was delayed, all of them became drowsy and slept.” Matthew 25:1-5

We’ve talked a lot about waiting this year. Waiting for an end to the pandemic. Waiting for an election. For at least the election, the long period of waiting seems to be at an end. 

All of our readings for this Sunday point to the importance of being ready. We are called to not just avoid being caught up in the anxiety of the waiting, but to make provisions, and be ready to take action with the day of the Lord arrives. 

Our worship together is part of our preparation so that we can be ready. Through scripture, sacrament, and community, we keep our lamps trimmed and ready to greet Jesus. Join us for Holy Eucharist at 6 pm and supper following. Remember to wear a mask. You can join us at Trinity Commons or on Zoom (bulletin).

– Kelley

This Sunday – All Saints Day

This Sunday.

This Sunday is All Saints Day, the day that we recall the saints of the faith. It is also the day that most of us remember all the faithful departed. It is one of the big feast days in the church. It is a day for baptisms and white stoles. It is intened as a celebration. 

This year, with all that 2020 has brought, All Saints Day feels a bit heavier. COVID-19 has killed nearly 230,000 people in the US. There are protests and unrest, and a divisive presidential election. But still it is All Saints Day.

Six weeks ago we began a study of the Sermon of the Mount, which begins with the Beatitudes. Now we come full circle, and will hear the Beatitudes this Sunday. We need to hear that we are blessed–we who mourn, who are merciful, who hunger and thirst for righteousness. We need to be reminded of the priorities of the Kingdom of Heaven that Jesus teaches.

This Sunday, we will also renew our Baptismal Covenant. Four weeks ago our bishops called for us to remember who we are during this divisive time. Well for Christians, who we are starts with our baptism.  

Join us this Sunday as we remember those that have gone before us. Come be reminded of who you are and what you are called to do as a Christian. Worship is at 6 pm and supper follows. Remember to wear a mask. You can join us at Trinity Commons or on Zoom (bulletin).

– Kelley

Our bishops offer encouragement to live in hope and unity. For other reflections offered by our bishops in this season of election, click here.

Upcoming Special Events

Tues, Nov. 3 at 6:30 pm
Election Day Evensong
Join us for a special service of prayers for our country.
More info

Sat. Nov. 7 at 11 am
Kelley’s Ordination
to the Priesthood

While in-person attendance will be limited, the service will be live streamed.
More info

Sun. Nov. 15 at 6 pm
Bishop Sloan’s Visitation
We will welcome Bishop Sloan for worship and dinner. To join us in person signup here.
You can also join us on Zoom.

Here are the links to the Sermon on the Mount Series:
The Beatitudes
Taking Torah Seriously
You are salt and light
Pray then in this way
Do not worry
Enter through the narrow gate