Good morning and welcome to St. Mary’s Church

Christmas Schedule;

December 23, Advent IV at our 10am service                                                                                      of lessons and carols, 8am service as usual.

December 24, Christmas Eve at 7pm, Festival Service                                                                       with Carols and special music,

December 30, Christmas I at 10am Eucharist                                                                          with a Kwanza celebration.

In recent years St. Mary’s  has had a Blue Christmas Service; If you have any interest in continuing this service please let Fr. Tom know!

IN THE BEGINNING, Fr. Tom will be hosting a three part Advent Bible study at his home, 2186 Fifth Ave. (135th St.), Apt#7D. On three Wednesday nights in Advent.   The evening will begin at 7:30PM with supper (please bring soft drinks, and desserts. Main course, salad and wine all supplied by Fr. Tom) and at 8:15pm we will begin a study of the three Gospels which deal with the Incarnation, -The birth of Jesus. Please let Fr. Tom know if you are interested in attending one or all three of these meetings!

December19, The Gospel of John Chapter 1

Spirit and Strife Peer Trauma Support Group. If you are a trauma survivor, please join St. Mary’s in a new ministry to co-create a safe, loving, faith-inspired space in which to develop strategies for resilience and recovery. Meeting date is Wednesday Nov.28 and every other Wednesday after that. See Lysander Puccio for more information.

Bulletin announcements: If you need an announcement listed in the bulletin for the next Sunday, email Ms. Gwen by 5: pm at allowances1@gmail.comon Wednesdays.

Father Tom’s days off are Monday and Tuesday, he is available those days by phone in cases of emergencies only… Thank you for your co-operation!


Commentary on the Readings by Arthur Cash

First Reading: Baruch 5: 1 – 9

The word “bible” means “book”. Before the invention of the printing press, what we call the “Bible” was called the Library” because each of the books was separate from the others, either as a codex, that is hand-scripted pages bound like a book, or a scroll. There must have been many synagogues and churches that could not afford or could not house such a large collection. So it would have been handy to have choice items from the Library collected in one book. Baruch is such a collection, a pastiche of stories and laws and prayers from here and there. Not having the standing of the originals, Baruch got relegated to the Apocrypha.

 Second Reading: Philippians 1: 3 – 11

Paul wrote his letter to the Christians of Philippi while in prison. Scholars have shown through a close analysis of these words that he has already been tried and made his defense.  He is waiting for the decision of the judges. I don’t always like what Paul says, but it speaks worlds for his character and sincerity that in a time of great anxiety he should write so loving a letter.

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