Open Letter from Rev. Clarence, 12/4/22

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Dear Members and Friends of St. James,

It is my duty, but also my great honor and pleasure, to remind you of the visitation on Sunday next, the 3rd Sunday in Advent, of our Bishop – diocesan, the Rt. Rev. Alan Gates.  Bishop Gates will be our celebrant and preacher at our 10 a.m. Eucharist.  During these years of transition and my tenure among you, Bishop Gates has been a strong advocate for our renewal.  I am particularly appreciative of his wisdom and compassion during the shuttering of our doors due to COVID – 19.  He has informed me that he looks forward to informal conversation in St. Francis Hall following Eucharist.  I do hope that you will be able to be present, in order to express your own thoughts directly to him.  Bring a friend or two, as this would be a superb occasion to introduce them to Anglican liturgical tradition.

You should all have received the announcement from our Bishop that, with consent of the Standing Committee of the Diocese, he has appointed the Rt. Rev. Carol Gallagher as Assistant Bishop.  Bishop Gallagher is no stranger to the diocese, and most certainly not to us, as she has been the Canon for our Alewife Deanery and has visited us previously.  She will replace Bishop – Suffragan Gayle Harris whose last day in our diocese is 31 December 2022, when she transitions into a sabbatical and retirement on 31 March 2022.  You may read more about Bishop Gallagher at

I repeat my appeal, on behalf of our unstaffed Altar Guild.  Donations for Christmas flowers which enhance the beauty of our sanctuary are very much desired and are appropriate means of remembering those in our lives who are no longer with us.  Of equal importance is the need for hands-on participation on Sunday, 18 December, when the Greening of the Church will take place.  I cannot promise that my meditation on that day will be shorter than usual.  However, I can promise you a period of great communal fun following our formal liturgy.  Come appropriately dressed, and bring a friend or two, to remain after Eucharist.   The more hands, the more we can attest to the biblical statement: “his yoke is easy and his burden light.”

Even as we prepare for the joyous celebration of the birth of Christ, the Prince of Peace, of your charity I bid your fervent prayers for those in our world who suffer the pangs of hunger and the ravages of war.  Pray for peace.  We summarize our petitions in the Collect of the Day:
Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Give us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.  Amen.

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you, and those whom you love, for ever.  Amen.

Your fellow traveler in The Way,