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Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

On Sunday we will hear the story of Jesus’ Baptism. As he came out of the Jordan River, a voice from heaven was heard to say, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

As we reflect on Jesus’ baptism we take the opportunity to reflect on our own baptisms. John practiced a baptism of repentance. Our Baptism is done in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

There is a similarity between John’s baptism and ours. In baptism we are adopted as God’s sons and daughters. That act of baptism is God’s way of saying, “You are mine. I love you. I am well pleased with you….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Celebration | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

The picture below is a rendering of Exodus 15:20-21. The Israelites have just crossed through the Red Sea, and the Egyptian army has drowned in the water rushing back to its normal depth. In the awe and wonder that follows, the text tells us “Then the prophet Miriam, Aaron’s sister, took a tambourine in her hand; and all the women went out after her with tambourines and with dancing. And Miriam sang to them: ‘Sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; horse and rider he has thrown into the sea.’”….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Meditation for the Eve of Christmas Eve | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

One of the best bumper stickers I ever saw was this: Don’t Postpone Joy!

It might seem like following that exhortation should be easiest to do at this time of year. There are gatherings of friends and family and church communities. There are sparkling lights and festive music. There are sweet smells of cookies and fresh cut trees.

But it is also easy to get caught up in what some have called the “Christmas Machine” – the stress of family tensions, finding perfect gifts, traipsing to gatherings hither and yon, or playing the consummate host. And it is also easy to feel left out – estranged or just far from family, missing friends who are traveling, or beset by worries or grief….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Grateful Preparation | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

With only one week to go until Christmas, we may find ourselves caught up in the final stretch of last-minute preparations. For me that includes some version of the Advent carol People Look East: “Make your house fair as you are able, trim the hearth and set the table. People look east and sing today: Love the guest is on the way.” We are looking forward to having visitors this year. My father and his husband will be celebrating Christmas with us, and I want to make sure all is clean and comfortable for their stay….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

A Benedictine Advent | The Rev. Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

Today in our Episcopal calendar we remember James Otis Sargent Huntington, a priest and monk who died in 1935. He is best known for founding the Order of the Holy Cross, a Benedictine order for men. Huntington began the orders’ ministry in some of the poorest areas of the Lower East Side of Manhattan. After a stint in rural Maryland, Holy Cross found its current home in 1902 in West Park, NY, near Poughkeepsie. The monastery was the first building built for an Anglican monastic order since King Henry VIII! Huntington went on to help found various other institutions, including Kent School in Kent, CT, where Mother Anna was chaplain….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Happy All Hallows’ Eve! | The Rev Susan E. Hill, Associate Rector

As you are no doubt aware, Monday is one of the biggest American holidays – Halloween. But you may not know or remember that Halloween began as All Hallow’s Eve, the vigil that takes place the evening before the church’s celebration of All Saints’ Day on November 1. The All Hallow’s observance itself came out of the pre-Christian Celtic celebration of Samhain (pronounced “Sow-en”, where sow rhymes with cow), which marked the beginning of winter and the first day of the new year. Going into winter must have felt like an apt time to reflect on human mortality, and so on this evening the souls of the dead were said to visit their homes. (This tradition is of course also related to the Day of the Dead celebrations in Mexico and beyond.) Since evil spirits might be out and about as well, bonfires were set on hilltops to scare them away, as well as to remember the light of the sun when the days were the shortest….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Visitation | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

           As you have all heard me announcing endlessly (and are still hearing, in reading this!), Bishop Dietsche will be with us this Sunday to preach, celebrate the Holy Eucharist and confirm two of our congregants. I have wanted to publicize the Bishop’s time at Holy Apostles, of course. And I have been repeating this announcement more than is usual because—just for one Sunday—we are changing the time of our worship to 4:00 pm. There will be no morning services on September 25, as we are hoping that everyone who feels comfortable worshipping in person will gather in community to greet Bishop Dietsche later in the afternoon….

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Entering The Story | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

  A “threshold” is commonly understood as a strip at the bottom of a door, over which one must cross in order to enter a different space. We cross a threshold from room to room, or from indoors to out. But there is a secondary definition to this word: a magnitude or intensity that must be exceeded for a certain reaction, phenomenon, result or condition to occur or be manifested.

           We are at the threshold of Holy Week. We are about to relive the events that steer the momentum of this story toward Jesus’ death. The liturgies of Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday pull us into God’s time and space. Our worship this week is structured differently. It has a unique rhythm. It highlights a unique reality…..

Baptism | The Rev. Robert A. Jacobs, Deacon

Encouragement | The Rev. Dr. Anna S. Pearson, Rector

Of all the events contributing to the powerful and many-faceted legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the speech he gave at the March on Washington in 1963 is probably the most famous. The dream he articulated to and for our nation has echoed among us ever since he described it on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. The challenges posed by the truths he shared that day remain with us, and many acknowledge it as one of the most influential orations of the 20th century….

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