The saturday BEFORE Advent...

It is the Saturday before Advent and this morning I participated in the closing of "Pittsfield 250" with the "Good Neighbor" awards ceremony.  One of my band mates, Brian, was honored - along with 25 others - who quietly and lovingly care for those in need throughout the wider community.  The jazz band played a few closing tunes, too. Then it was off to church to clean the Chancel and join with about 8 others in getting the Sanctuary ready for Sunday:  Advent 1.  We will be doing a "hanging of the green" ceremony tomorrow that not only explains the why of each decoration (Advent wreath, blue paraments, candles, etc.) but also involves adults and children in actually decorating the church during worship.  It should be fun.

I love this season and will be praying the Psalms as part of my commitment to watching and waiting.  Anyone want to join me?  (Check it out @  http://macucc.org/pages/detail/2206)

There are some wonderful resources for Advent on the web and some of my favorites include:

+ Advent, Christmas and Epiphany @ http://macucc.org/pages/detail/2390

+ The good folk at TextWeek @ http://www.textweek.com/advent.htm

+ Pause for a Thought from Iona @ http://www.iona.org.uk/ebulletin_pause0609.php

+ Pray as You Go @ http://www.pray-as-you-go.org/

+ Churches for Middle East Peace @ http://www.cmep.org/content/first-sunday-advent-2011

I also hope to be reading some new poetry during Advent, too.  Here's one by Taha Muhammad Ali:

And so
it has taken me
all of sixty years
to understand
that water is the finest drink,
and bread the most delicious food,
and that art is worthless
unless it plants
a measure of splendor in people's hearts.

The preparations have been made ~ so let the waiting begin...

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