Christmas Services

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Christmas Eve

Sunday, December 24 – 7:00 p.m.
Christmas Eucharist
followed by “Happy Birthday Jesus” party in the parish hall. Father Ray will preside and preach.

5th Day of Christmas

Sunday, December 29 – 10:00 a.m.
Festival of Lessons and Carols
A Sunday worship service with many Bible readings and Christmas Carols.

12th Day of Christmas

Sunday, January 5 – 9:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Christmas Eucharist
A Sunday worship service celebrating the season of Christmas. 

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Lessons and Carols – 4th Day of Christmas

On Sunday, December 28th (the 4th Day of #Christmas), we will have only one Sunday service at St. George’s.  We will celebrate at 10:00 am with the service of Christmas Lessons and Carols.  We hope you will join us.

StAngel star. George’s Episcopal Church
5600 Winding Way
Carmichael, CA 95608
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(916) 487-5600
website www.stgeorgeca.org

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Hurry Up and Wait: Advent reflections by Father Ray

Here we are in Advent, and I have mixed feelings. There is always so much to do this time of year. Deb and I have gifts to buy and mail, cards to get out with this year’s Christmas letter, decorations to put up in our home. And finding time to purchase a tree, put it up in our living room, and decorate it. In our household, Deb has usually done most of this, but this year I hope to do at least a bit better in our Christmas preparations. For me, Advent always seems to go by so quickly! Hurry up and get all these things done!

A conflicting message for me in Advent comes from the church season.   This is meant to be a season for reflection and preparation for the celebration of the incarnation at Christmas.

Advent is a time for waiting and pondering the meaning of God’s coming into our lives through Jesus. Time for reflection and quiet can be very scarce if I am hurrying around doing things for the holidays.

So how can I resolve these mixed Advent feelings? How can any of us do this? It helps me to be as purposeful as I can about the way I go through this season. It’s important for me to step up and help out around our home in doing Christmas traditions. It helps if I set aside time for this, and not just hope that I’ll find the time. Likewise, it helps if I carve outadvent candles some quiet time for reflection and waiting. The quiet time definitely will not happen if I don’t plan for it. I like to go to Christ the King Retreat Center in Citrus Heights occasionally for a quiet day, and I definitely will do this during Advent. I think that I have done a better job this year of not filling my schedule with too many activities or commitments.

How does Advent work for you with its “hurry up and wait” push and pull? I hope that you will be able to plan for your Christmas preparations so that it’s not too hectic. I also hope that you will make the time for reflection and quiet – through Sunday worship, personal prayer and Bible reading, enjoying the natural world around you, or being with friends and family just to enjoy their presence.

I wish us all a wonderful Advent Season of rushing and hurrying, of waiting and pondering! May the peace of our Lord be with us all this season.

In Jesus’ love, Father Ray

Christmas Message from Father Ray

by the Rev. Ray Hess

Right after Thanksgiving, people in my neighborhood starting putting up their house lights for Christmas.  Each year, I love watching the lights go up and then admiring the lights as I drive around in the evenings.  Christmas Season is a time of darkness – with the shortest days of the year – and of light.  We have the wonderful physical lights in our neighborhoods, and the spiritual light of God’s love in the birth of Jesus.Image

 

The Gospel According to John says, “the light shines in the darkness.”  Christmas is about the light of God’s love demonstrated to us in the human life of Jesus.  Christians believe that God has come to live among us in the birth and life of Jesus.  This is a mystery, in the sense that we will never fully understand this.  It’s also great news for all of us, that God cares enough for us humans to become one of us.

 

Christmas is a time of year to let the light of God’s love shine in our hearts – to receive again this love offered to us.  It’s also a season to share this light through acts of kindness to people around us and to those who are in need.  At St. George’s Church, the women’s knitting group has been making knit helmet liners for soldiers deployed overseas, a simple act of caring.  We also will be making donations of food and money for River City Food Bank and to St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church, to help those in need in our own area.

 

We will celebrate the Light of Christ at our Christmas Eve worship service at 7 p.m.  The service will begin with the church in darkness, then have the lighting of candles and readings about the light of God’s love.  Afterwards, we will begin the communion Christmas Eve service and join in singing many Christmas carols.  Visitors are welcome and expected for this celebration!

 

As we enjoy the lights displayed on many homes this season, let us also rejoice in the light of Jesus Christ shining from the stable in Bethlehem!

Are you ready for Christmas?

by Deacon Bob Olsen

Are you ready for Christmas?

advent wreath dark            Over the next couple of weeks how often will someone ask you that question?  For the most part they are asking have you done your Christmas Shopping.  Have you made preparations for holiday parties?  Or plans for a vacation in Hawaii, Disney Land or Skiing?  No theological questions are asked.  Even if you are planning to attend a Christmas Eve service, is it to sing hymns about Christ’s birth in a manger and enjoy children’s pageants with shepherds dressed in their dad’s bathrobes, or is there more?

Have you thought about the other part of the Christmas season, looking towards Christ’s return?  Are you ready for that?  The Advent Season, the four Sunday’s leading up to Christmas is time of anticipation – anticipating Christ’s coming to us as the child in the manger and ultimately as our Lord and Savior.  A lot of the Old Testament readings and Gospels for this season talk about preparation for that unknown time when Christ returns and that we need to get our lives in order.  But what does that mean, getting our lives in order?  What is it we are supposed to repent from and turn our lives towards?

The Gospel of Saint Matthew gives us a hint at how to do that:  “But when the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on His glorious throne.  All the nations will be gathered before Him; and He will separate them from one another, as the shepherd separates the sheep from the goats; and He will put the sheep on His right, and the goats on the left.   Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.   ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink?  ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You?  ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’  “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’ “Then He will also say to those on His left, ‘Depart from Me, accursed ones, into the eternal fire which has been prepared for the devil and his angels;  for I was hungry, and you gave Me nothing to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me nothing to drink;  I was a stranger, and you did not invite Me in; naked, and you did not clothe Me; sick, and in prison, and you did not visit Me.’  “Then they themselves also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or naked, or sick, or in prison, and did not take care of You?’  “Then He will answer them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me.’  “These will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.” (Matt 25:31-46)

When the day and hour comes, that we know not when, will we be sheep or goats?  Are we ready for Christmas?