Some weeks when I sit down to write a note to you all, I really struggle with finding something of interest to focus on. However, today is not one of those days, as today Christians around the world are celebrating the feast of St. Nicholas!
In the 3rd century, in the village of Patara in Turkey (part of Greece in those days), a wealthy couple gave birth to a boy they named Nicholas. Tragically, while Nicholas was young, an epidemic took the lives of both of his parents. However, Nicholas was raised as a Christian and as he grew up he dedicated his life to service, sold his belongings, and used his inheritance to help the poor and infirm. Eventually, Nicholas became a bishop, and his reputation for helping children, sailors, and all those in need spread far and wide. While legends of this generous man spread through the centuries, it took a while for Nicholas to be officially recognized as a saint, which happened in the 800’s and later in the 1200’s beginning in France, Christians began celebrating St. Nicholas' day on December 6th, the anniversary of his death.
In North America, St. Nicholas has morphed over the centuries into one of the most iconic symbols of Christmas, Santa Claus. However, in parts of Europe, St. Nicholas is known as Sinterklaas and still seen as a Bishop! In these parts of the world, St. Nicholas' Day is often marked by the tradition of giving small gifts, treats or candies to children. In some cultures, children place their shoes by the door or window, and the saint is said to fill them with presents during the night. And of course, there are many communities who mark the day with festive meals and special foods, as it is a time for families to come together and celebrate the season.
So as we see images of Jolly ol’ St. Nick with his cherry nose and bright-red suit this season, I invite you to say a prayer of thanks for the historical St. Nicholas – the one who taught us to be gentle and generous with those in need, thoughtful and kind to all we meet – because these actions too are based in the joy of the Christmas Season.
The 2024 Church giving envelopes are ready for pickup at the back of the church.
We are finding quite a few sets of envelopes left over every year and they are not cheap! If you no longer require them, please let Malcolm know. Just a regular envelope can be used with your offering number. If you don’t know it, call KAT!! You can always sign up for the electronic plate PAR program too. We must order a whole year in advance, so if not picked up this year, they will not be reordered. If you have any questions, please call Kirsten or KAT.
Everyone is WELCOME!
Patricia Plumley and her students will be performing.
Elaine Cowan needs a few helpers for the refreshments after. Please let her know if you can help.
Wednesday December 13, noonish
Will be discussing the PWRDF World of Gifts choices from the Birthday Box yearly offerings.
Spouses are most welcome. There will be a $10 Christmas gift exchange too!
Amidst the dark days of December, it can be hard to feel the joy of the Christmas Season. This service is one of comfort and light where together we can give our burdens over to the Holy One so we can enter into the Christmas Season bearing the light that is to come. During the service we will pray through the lighting of the Advent Wreath and engage with acts of remembrance, including a time of blessing with the priest.
All are welcome to come, just as they are, as together we move through the weariness in the world and prepare to rejoice in the coming of Jesus.
FROM THE DIOCESE
Faith Tides is the official publication of the Anglican diocese of Islands and Inlets.
It is a space where people of faith and doubt can share their stories, challenge their perceptions, and grow together.
In this issue: Be present and celebrate by Bishop Anna; A child's Christmas; “Falling in love with God” — monasticism in the 21st century; and more!
Click HERE to enjoy it!