From Deacon George …

An Important Advent Study Group for You!

Hurry up and wait is a phrase used to refer to the situation in which one is forced to hurry to complete a task, or arrive at a destination, only for nothing to happen at that time, often because other required tasks are still awaiting completion. The phrase may have originated in the U.S. military (where) many veterans consider it to be synonymous with military culture.”  — Wikipedia

Or, with tongue-in-cheek your good deacon herein postulates, the phrase may have originated in the first-century Roman empire, as new believers made hasty preparations for the observance of what, in the fifth century, became the liturgical season of Advent, a time for rest, reflection and above all, waiting.

At our All Saints Day Spiritual Eucharist last Sunday morning, during sermon time, Father Fred Narin told us a wonderful story of his two neighboring but dissimilar congregations years ago; Fred taught us that those folks who we may at first blush consider to be the sinners, are actually the saints. Stay with me here – we are going to talk about Advent and saints…

In three short weeks, we will arrive at the doorstep of the Advent season, the beginning of a new church year, and we may indeed find ourselves hurrying up to wait. There is something that you can do now that may ease that burden for you: Join me for a different sort of Advent Study Group, where we will explore together the life and work of a modern saint, Oscar Romero of El Salvador, through reading, contemplating and discussing a series of sermons he preached during Advent 1977, yet so relevant today, each based on the Advent Lectionary. 

Our study will include multi-media material, including music, video and daily devotions, but it will be centered on Romero’s sermons, and on thoughtful reflections and study activities made by contemplative poet, author and blogger Cameron Bellm, which she has compiled in a short work titled Advent With Saint Oscar Romero. (Many thanks to our Adult Christian Formation minister, Patrick Henry, for bringing Cameron’s work to our attention!)

Why Oscar Romero and why now? Romero was a Catholic archbishop in El Salvador where spoke boldly and unrelentingly in defense of the poor, the oppressed, and the victims of El Salvador’s violent regime. On March 24, 1980, he was shot and killed while celebrating Mass. We observe Romero as a saint and martyr on March 24 of each year; he has a place in the Episcopal book of saints, Lesser Feasts and Fasts. Fast-forward to today – our country groans under the weight of centuries of racism and oppression of the powerless. We face a horrific refugee crisis, and wars and genocides rage on around the world, illustrating a resounding theme: injustice and inequality surround us. Yet, Advent draws near. The hope of the gospel is at hand.

If you are interested in participating in this study group, or just learning more about it, and I hope you are, please let me know by email gham47@comcast.net right now, and you will receive details from me. There is no cost involved, but rewards are guaranteed!

Have a Blessed Week!
Deacon George

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