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Advent Observances: Eucharistic Prayer

The Eucharistic Prayer we will use on Sundays and Tuesdays in Advent is one of the new Eucharistic Prayers of the Episcopal Church. The language of the prayer is rooted in the wisdom language of Scripture, and while the identification of Jesus as the eternal Word and Wisdom of God is perhaps unfamiliar to us, it is evident in the New Testament and the writings of the Early Church. Note that the Memorial Acclamation (Dying, you destroyed our death…)and the concluding congregational sung doxology (Blessed are you now and forever. Amen.) are different than what we are used to. The words and music for them can be found in the service part of the bulletin.

Saturday Evensong

Evening Prayer has been described as one of the glories of Anglicanism. On Saturday evenings, the community sings Evening Prayer at 6:00 PM. During Advent, there are special hymns, and antiphons for the psalms and the Magnificat (Song of Mary), which reflect the season. Why not make attending Saturday Evening Prayer one of the ways in which you prepare for Christmas?

Congratulations Brother David

Our Brother David Allen celebrates two significant anniversaries next week. On Wednesday, 19 December he celebrates his 89th birthday and on Friday, 21 December (the Feast of St. Thomas the Apostle) he celebrates the 60th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood. Following the Eucharist on Sunday, 16 December there will be a reception in his honor. Please help to celebrate these milestones in Brother David’s life.

SSJE in The Way of Love

Presiding Bishop Curry recently invited the whole Church to take up what he calls “The Way of Love,” a series of practices that will help people to live Jesus-centered lives. “How can we together grow more deeply with Jesus Christ at the center of our lives,” Bishop Curry asks, “so we can bear witness to his way of love in and for the world?” His answer might not surprise Friends of SSJE. The answer is no less than keeping a Rule of Life!

“The deep roots of our Christian tradition may offer just such a path. For centuries, monastic communities have shaped their lives around rhythms and disciplines for following Jesus together. Such a pattern is known as a “Rule of Life.” . . .  The Way of Love: Practices for Jesus-Centered Life outlines a Rule for the Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement.”

Turn. Learn. Pray. Worship. Bless. Go. Rest.

SSJE is delighted to make an appearance in the promotional video for “The Way of Love,” which you can watch below. We hope you’ll check out this wonderful program.

Upcoming Programs at the Monastery and Emery House

There is still time to register for the following programs being offered at the Monastery at Emery House:

  • Saturday, February 10: “Centering Prayer Workshop” with Br. Keith Nelson (9:00 am to 3:00 pm)
  • Saturday, April 21: “Completing God’s Work” (a workshop on Creativity) with Br. Mark Brown (9:00 am to 12:00 pm)
  • Tues-Sun, March 27-April 1: “Holy Week at the Monastery” (stay for part or all of the week)
  • Fri-Sun, March 23-25: “Palm Sunday Weekend at Emery House”
  • Tues-Sun, March 27-April 1: “Holy Week at Emery House”

Learn more and register for these programs here.

Peace

God’s peace is not achieved by the strong dominating the weak; such domination may bring a temporary end to conflict and war, but it will not bring about true peace. The kingdom of God is a peaceable kingdom, a transformed society in which each member is valued and treated with dignity. The weak and the strong live together in harmony, each caring for the other. There is no true peace without justice.

-Br. David Vryhof, SSJE

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The Gift of Peace

This offer and promise of Christ’s peace is here for the having. Receive it. Take it in as regularly and necessarily as you breathe. Breathe out fear; breathe in peace. Breathe out anger; breathe in peace. Breathe out sadness; breathe in peace.

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Guest Preacher: The Reverend Gregory Basker

On Tuesday, 21 November we will welcome The Reverend Gregory Basker as our guest preacher at the 5:30 PM celebration of the Eucharist. Dr. Basker is a presbyter of the Church of South India and teaches theology and Scripture from a Tamil point of view at Tamilnadu Theological College, the Church of South India’s theological college in Madurai, India.

Thank God – Simeon Bruce

Reflections on a year with SSJE at Emery House

When I try to think of a phrase that sums up my year with SSJE, the words that come to mind are thank God.

I came to this internship year with the expectation that I would show up, meet the Holy Spirit, be filled with a sense of destiny regarding my career choice, and finally walk off into the sunset with the whole rest of my life figured out. Needless to say, this somewhat absurd image was done away with shortly after I arrived. Thank God I not only met the Holy Spirit, I also met Jesus, and the Father. I met some wonderful SSJE brothers. Brothers who have made me laugh, called my bluffs, and listened to me with open hearts. I met my fellow interns, who have inspired me by their example. It has been so life-giving to meet other young people who are also so dedicated to the life of the Church. I met my beautiful and beloved hospice patients, for whom it has been a privilege to volunteer. I met myself. I found, to my surprise, that I could like myself.

The year has brought its fair share of challenges. Finding a rhythm in a new context with unfamiliar words and a new schedule while surrounded by strangers was a difficult process. Thank God I did so, because I came to experience such a depth of well-being here. It was discovered that I needed months of physical therapy to overcome the remaining symptoms of a brain injury I sustained years ago. That was challenging, but thank God I had the time and support necessary to do that here.

I am most grateful, I think, for a new attitude to silence. When I first arrived, I confessed rather frankly that I didn’t get it. “Why would anyone want to just sit there and be silent, when they could be doing something?” I could not then conceive of silent contemplation as at all worthwhile. It has since transformed my life. In those moments of waiting upon God, and especially the few times I have experienced God directly in indescribable ways, my whole life has been flipped right side up. Knowing more about who God is has allowed me to claim with confidence the truth about who I am, who I truly am: God’s beloved child. Thank God.

I do not mean to say that I have the whole rest of my life figured out. The sunset does not yet beckon, no end credits are imminent. I only know what the next step or two will be. With my life flipped right side up and centered around God, that’s all I need.

I’ll end this reflection with a direct message to the community that has so loved and supported me this past year – thank you, brothers of SSJE. Thank you for creating this program, for accepting me and my fellow interns into it, and thank you for loving us through it. You have changed our lives by your welcome, your teaching, and your example. Thanks especially to Brs. John, Curtis, and Nicholas for the many ways you made living at Emery House a joy. Most of all, though, thanks be to God!

This Saturday (10/14): Sacraments of Healing Workshop

Join Br. Jonathan Maury this Saturday (October 14), from 9:00 am -12:15 pm, for a special workshop on celebrating the Sacraments of Healing. “The rite of anointing the sick with oil, or the laying on of hands, by which God’s grace is given for the healing of spirit, mind and body” (BCP, 861) is increasingly being incorporated into Sunday and weekday liturgies. This practicum is for parish clergy and for lay persons ministering under their supervision. Register here.