From Messiah's Messenger Advent edition 2015
What is Advent?

When it comes to Advent and Christmas in the world around us, things are somewhat skewed. Advent is essentially non-existent and Christmas now begins sometime in the afternoon on October 31st. There are a number of reasons why this is so, two of the biggest ones being
the consumerist culture that we live in and our ever-increasing need for instant gratification. Unfortunately because of the world’s influence on the Church this mentality has tended to permeate the Church and to cause Christians to lose focus on the Advent season at the expense of gearing up for Christmas early. Thus we see many churches today singing Christ- mas hymns during the season of Advent or preaching sermon series on Christmas in the weeks leading up to Christmas. Advent, which is such an important season on the Liturgical calendar gets buried and/or pushed to the side.
So, what is Advent and why is it so important? Is it just Christmas-lite or is there a deeper
meaning to it? It of course bears saying at this point that Advent is not Christmas-lite. The
Christmas season on the Liturgical Calendar does not begin until December 24th and then it
runs for 12 days up to January 6th (Remember “The 12 Days of Christmas?”). Advent is a
season of expectation and hope that drives to Christmas but it is not Christmas. Advent is a
time of looking forward to God’s fulfillment of His promises in Jesus Christ; it is a season of looking forward to the comings of Jesus. The word “Advent” itself means “a coming.” Now, we do this in two ways. One, we join with our faithful ancestors of the past and look forward to the joyful promise of the First Coming of the Messiah, the Christ, the fulfillment of which takes place on Christmas Day. This is why we hear about the ministry of John the Baptist so heavily during the season of Advent and why our Old Testament lessons tend to be the clearer prophecies of Christ. But during Advent we also join with all faithful believers across time to look with expectation and hope to the Second Coming of Christ as well. So, during Advent we also have readings that proclaim Christ’s second coming in the mix. That said, this is a joyful season of preparation. Our Lord has fulfilled the promises of God and come in the first instance to be born among us that He might die and rise for us. But we also look with great joy and hope and expectation to the fact that He is coming again when the Father wills for Him to come again. In both cases though this means that there is some patience to be had. Much like you can’t open your Christmas presents until Christmas Eve or Christmas Day, so we must wait to celebrate the birth of the Christ Child on Christmas Eve. And we must wait with patience for our Lord’s Second Coming; He will come when it is right for Him to come and not a moment sooner.
So think on this as you celebrate Advent this year. Let the season be what it is, namely a time for preparing to hear again the Good News of Christmas Day and also a time of preparing to hear the Good News that He has re- turned. And then let your joy and praises ring out on Christmas Eve when we all gather to praise our Savior who is born for us.
Your spiritual father in Christ, Kyle+

Holy Week Services

Holy Week Services at Church of the Messiah, Fredericksburg - April 9-16, 2017

Palm Sunday

April 9, 2017
8:30 AM (Rite I) & 11 AM (Rite II) The Blessing of the Palms
(in Narthex)
Procession into the Church
The Reading of the Passion Holy Communion

This day begins as a triumphant day of public devotion to Jesus. In heart and mind we join the great crowd that gathered at Jerusalem to honor Jesus as King. We do this by carrying and waving Palm branches, a sign of victory and triumph. At the same time, as we welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, we are confronted with the truth that Jesus, our Messiah and King, is something different and something more than we ever expected Him to be. This gets fleshed out as we hear the Passion narrative (the account of His betrayal, trial, suffering and death), the mood changes, and we begin to look forward to the events of Good Friday.

Maundy Thursday

April 13, 2017
7:30 PM
The Lord
ʼs Supper Stripping of the Altar Prayer Watch

Why do we have Holy Communion, or the Lordʼs Supper, as the main service of worship each week? Because Jesus, on the Thursday of Holy Week, called the disciples together and shared one last meal with them in which He left them His last will and testament in the bread and wine, namely His Body and Blood for the forgiveness of sins. He then instructed

His disciples to continue to observe this Sacrament in which He promises to be present to us to freely and unconditionally forgive us our sins. After Communion, there will be a dramatic stripping of the Altar to remind us of the violent manner in which Jesus was “betrayed into the hands of sinful men.” Before we leave this service in silence, there will be a period of time available to sit in silence in the Lordʼs presence, to “keep watch” with Him, praying silently or reading the Scriptures. The church will remain open until 9 AM on Friday for those who wish to stay and keep watch.

Good Friday

April 14, 2017
12 PM - Good Friday Liturgy
The Reading of the Passion
The Veneration of the Cross
Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament
7:30 PM - Evening Prayer, Rite II

This is the day that Jesus dies for us. He offers, in great pain and suffering, the one “full, perfect and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.” Come hear how in this most loving act of Jesus, He gives His all that the powers of evil are conquered and we receive salvation. This service includes the reading of the Passion according to John, the Solemn Collects, The Veneration of the Cross, and Holy Communion from the Reserved Sacrament.

As the Good Friday Liturgy is only to be celebrated once, at 7:30 PM we will be having an Evening Prayer service complete with Good Friday readings, sermon, and prayers specific to the day.

The Great Vigil of Easter

April 15, 2017
Holy Saturday - 8 PM
The Lighting of the Paschal Candle Reading of the Prophecies
Renewal of Baptismal Vows
The First Holy Communion of Easter

This dramatic service begins with the church in
darkness. Seemingly, the powers of sin and
death have won. But then the New Fire is
lighted, symbolizing the overcoming of sin and
death by Christ, who is the Light of the World. Then the Paschal Candle is lighted, and a procession is formed to go to the sanctuary. There the Paschal Candle is blessed, and God
ʼs victory over evil is celebrated in the reading of the Exsultet and the reading of the Prophecies of Christʼs victory over sin and death. We all renew our Baptismal vows and the joy of Christʼs resurrection is reflected in the First Holy Communion of Easter.

Easter - The Day of Resurrection

April 16, 2017
8:30 AM (Rite I) & 11AM (Rite II) Festival Celebration of Holy Communion

The enemies of God are defeated. The dark powers of the spiritual underworld are overcome. Jesus is alive and in being raised makes the promise to His followers, “Because I live, you will live also.” He is raised, not with a word of vengeance and retaliation for a world that wasted Him, but simply with a word of forgiveness and salvation for the whole world. So Easter is a time for great rejoicing! Come out and join us as we praise our Lord Jesus Christ whom God raised from the dead!

1928 and 1662 Eucharist service

During these weeks, Fr. Kyle led us through the 1928/1662 Eucharist Service.  Following the service, we had a time for question and answer.

Our Lenten Series will conclude this Sunday, Apr. 2th with the 1552 Eucharist Service and time for Q&A. 

1928 Eucharist

1662 Eucharist

Lenten Study Part 2- Liturgy of the Table

Here Fr. Kyle discusses why he moves a certain way on the Altar, why certain colors are used during the Liturgical Calendar, and the delves into the Liturgy of the Table (pp. 361-366 BCP)

I apologize for the cut off at the end- the battery ran out.  I got the last few minutes after I attached the camera to a power outlet.

Lenten Services and Study

How will the Eucharist Service change?

The season of Lent is a time for confessing who we are as sinners before our holy and righteous God and for calling on Him to forgive us and save us through the Cross and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. This being the case, our Sunday morning services leading up to Easter will be slightly different than normal. Each Sunday in Lent, we will be using "A Penitential Order: Rite I/II" from the Book of Common Prayer in which we will start the service with a hearing of the Ten Commandments, Confession, and Absolution. In addition, many of our commonly sung parts of the service will be said. That said, when you come into church during this season, please take some time to prepare yourselves for worship with some quiet prayer.

Should I give something up for Lent?

It is a common practice to give up something for lent. But, have you ever considered adding something? Additional prayer time, service to others, coming back to church, or more Bible study time are just a few examples of how you can add something during Lent. Fr. Kyle will be offering an additional study during the week. Please consider joining us on Sunday evenings.

Lenten Teaching Series-
Have you ever wondered:
Why we do what we do on Sunday mornings?

Why do we pray the same prayers every Sunday?

Why do we follow the same order of service?

If so, then join us for our Lenten teaching series which will be held each of the Sunday nights in Lent (March 5, 12, 19, 26 and April 2) at 6:30pm.

For the first two Sundays, we will examine our current 1979 Rite II
Eucharist in two parts, The Liturgy of the Word and the Holy Communion.

On the following three Sundays, in honor of the 500
the anniversary of the Reformation, we will be examining prior
Anglican/Episcopal liturgies, particularly looking at the Eucharistic liturgies of the 1928, 1662, and 1552 Books of Common Prayer.

Please join us for this wonderful opportunity to explore the
rich history of our worship services and to learn more about what it is to worship as a Christian in the Anglican/Episcopal tradition.

And, prior to the service at 5:30pm, please join us for a
potluck dinner – a great time to fellowship and enjoy some good food!


Annual Parish Meeting- Rector's Report

Rector’s Report 2016

Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  God is so good!  I say it again, God is so good!  Looking back over this past year in preparing for this report, I’m able to see afresh the innumerable ways that He has blessed us, and is blessing us, as a congregation.  For starters, throughout the year He has continued to grow all of us in our love and knowledge of Him through Word and Sacrament.  Many of you have testified to this fact, telling me how you feel that you are growing in your knowledge of Scripture and in your sense of thanksgiving for what God has done for you in Christ. In this, we should thank God for being true to His promises to prune each one of us so that new, good fruit might come forth.  He has done this, and we hope and pray that He continues to do this by His Spirit.
Beyond this, it has been amazing to see how God has cared for us as a congregation over the last year.  Admittedly, we entered 2016 on shaky feet.  Upon the resignation of our Parish Administrator and our Family and Youth Ministries Director, we had large holes in the life of our congregation.  Couple this with our financial uncertainties as we entered the new year and you have a recipe for some level of panic and worry.  But thanks be to God, none of us got overly panicked.  We trusted in the Lord and continued to pray for His provision in these matters. And look how things turned out!  Over the course of the year, we had Charlie Bee step up to help in a volunteer capacity in the Parish Administrator department.  We were directed to a wonderful bookkeeper, Michele Brantley, a member of Trinity Episcopal Church here in Fredericksburg, whom we hired. We have been blessed by her organization and good management of our finances.  In addition to this, at the end of the year, after much prayer and a concerted effort on my part to identify what we truly needed, we hired a new Youth Ministry Director, Samantha Bouchard.  (We certainly look forward to all that Sam will bring to this ministry in 2017!)  And to top it all off, despite the deficit budget that we entered 2016 with, God provided bountifully for us and allowed us to end the year with a larger income than we projected and with some extra cash in our account.  God has certainly taken good care of us!
Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention another way that God has blessed us in 2016.  Upon the resignation of our parish secretary, Theresa Faulkner, in August, after a short search we hired Madeline Johannes, who has proved to be a wonderful addition to the office staff.  Although Madeline is not in the office five days a week like Theresa, she has worked diligently and self-sacrificially to see that the work of the office is carried out smoothly and professionally.  
Even when we had unexpected challenges in 2016, God still came through for us.  In July we discovered that our roof needed to be replaced and Chuck Dettmann and the Vestry did a wonderful job of expediting the process of getting the roof replaced.  Likewise, when in December when it was determined that both the heater and air conditioner in the Parish House had failed, Chuck and the Vestry got the needed repairs made quite quickly.  In both situations, God blessed us with the money to get the projects completed.
 That said, I would like to say a word or two about the Vestry.  The members of the Vestry – Chuck Dettmann, John Ball, Betti Small, Murray Cheston, Darcey Wakeman, and Betty Massey, who was later replaced by Al Creel when she was unable to continue due to health issues – have worked tirelessly for you to see that we are being good stewards of what God has given us here and to see that the congregation continues to live into our mission statement.  Each person on the Vestry has a been a blessing to the life of this congregation in their role as Vestry member whether you have seen it or not.  Decisions are always made with the question, “What is best for the congregation?” in mind.  I thank each member of the Vestry for their willingness to answer this call.  And I am thankful especially for the hard work that Chuck Dettmann has given in his role as Senior Warden.
There are, of course, many other things that I could say about how God has been at work in Church of the Messiah in 2016.  We got a new website nicely designed by Matthew Kroelinger.  Despite the loss of some dearly missed parishioners, we have gained 25 + new attendees, and had a great newcomers luncheon in the Fall.  We had several truly enjoyable parish social events thanks to Darcey Wakeman, Holly Tomlin, and Betti Small.  And we had a really fun Time and Talent event in September, which Chuck Dettmann and Betti Small did a great job of executing.  And on and on the list could go.  (I beg your forgiveness if I’ve forgotten any of you. So many of you do so much that’s often hard to keep track of it all.)
So where do we go in 2017?  Well, we keep going where we’re going.  The Lord is leading this church.  It’s His church not ours.  We must always remember that.  We are called to remain faithful and to follow where He leads.  No doubt we do and will have some challenges as we move forward.  But these only serve to make us rely on the Lord all the more.  The difficulties of life are there to strengthen our faith.  We have seen this this past year.  We must always remember that it is God in Christ who has called us into His Church; it is God who keeps us in the Church by the power of His Holy Spirit; and it is God who will bear fruit in us as the Church.  So my council to you as your Priest and pastor for 2017 is this:  Keep coming to church, keep listening to God in His Word, keep praying, and keep sharing the Good News.  If we do these things we are doing what God has called us to do.  The rest we leave to Him.
Your father in Christ,