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CHRIST CHURCH                                                ADVENT 2017

Rochester, NY                     The SONG                      vol. 2 issue  7

 

Ruth and Cora (a parishioner)

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art below: Val Jutsum & Tim Jutsum@2003 acrylic on canvas

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editors letter


An open letter to Go Bags

 

Dear Go Bags,

 

I hope you won’t think me impertinent, referring to you by your new name. But, in fact I only learned of your name last week while listening to a news report about the fires in California. We had been companions on other adventures a few years ago. Perhaps you remember? You would be  ready with various things in anticipation of the arrival of a new member of our family. I admit that I mostly neglected you on those outings. As it turned out, I never stayed long enough to need your services. I commend your faithfulness, though. You were always at the ready and always on the job.

 

I understand that your new work is much more stressful. I heard that you wait by the door, as you did for me. But, now, instead of a baby, a dangerous undertaking in itself as I’m sure you’ll agree, you wait for notice of evacuation to flee an inferno. I admit I had not considered, at all, the dark side of your purpose. Yet, now that it has come to my attention I realize you have always done such work. You are the bag to take when people need to go. You are the bag that carries their choices of what is really important.  

 

Oh Go Bag, I realize now, that you are just the thing to consider when thinking about Advent.  Be ready. Be vigilant. Know what is important. It is Go or No Go. Be ready to GO.

 

I realize you were with Them. You made the trip from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem. That time you were waiting for a baby. So many envy you that trip, although, at the time, I’m sure it didn’t appear to be what it actually was, the WORD made flesh, come among us. Although, a few figured it out. We aren’t waiting for a baby anymore. We do wait in joyful hope of the personal appearance of God again, but, not a baby this time. This time will be the change of everything. Yes, we wait in joyful hope. 

 

It turns out that hope is what you’re all about, isn’t it? People flee with you in hope of a salvation from war, horror, oppression, famine, fire. You represent our hope as you force us to decide what we care about, what we can go on with. You are bigger than your physical identity. You, Go Bag, by representing Advent, will always be with us, now. You inspire us to be ready to choose to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light now…that at the last day we may rise with Him to Life immortal. I once heard God’s Grace defined as His Love active. We chose to have you hold Grace for us and in that way we will be ready for our dearest longings. Thank you, dear Go Bags, thank you.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Val Jutsum

 

 

editors letter


An open letter to Go Bags

 

Dear Go Bags,

 

I hope you won’t think me impertinent, referring to you by your new name. But, in fact I only learned of your name last week while listening to a news report about the fires in California. We had been companions on other adventures a few years ago. Perhaps you remember? You would be  ready with various things in anticipation of the arrival of a new member of our family. I admit that I mostly neglected you on those outings. As it turned out, I never stayed long enough to need your services. I commend your faithfulness, though. You were always at the ready and always on the job.

 

I understand that your new work is much more stressful. I heard that you wait by the door, as you did for me. But, now, instead of a baby, a dangerous undertaking in itself as I’m sure you’ll agree, you wait for notice of evacuation to flee an inferno. I admit I had not considered, at all, the dark side of your purpose. Yet, now that it has come to my attention I realize you have always done such work. You are the bag to take when people need to go. You are the bag that carries their choices of what is really important.  

 

Oh Go Bag, I realize now, that you are just the thing to consider when thinking about Advent.  Be ready. Be vigilant. Know what is important. It is Go or No Go. Be ready to GO.

 

I realize you were with Them. You made the trip from Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to the city of David called Bethlehem. That time you were waiting for a baby. So many envy you that trip, although, at the time, I’m sure it didn’t appear to be what it actually was, the WORD made flesh, come among us. Although, a few figured it out. We aren’t waiting for a baby anymore. We do wait in joyful hope of the personal appearance of God again, but, not a baby this time. This time will be the change of everything. Yes, we wait in joyful hope. 

 

It turns out that hope is what you’re all about, isn’t it? People flee with you in hope of a salvation from war, horror, oppression, famine, fire. You represent our hope as you force us to decide what we care about, what we can go on with. You are bigger than your physical identity. You, Go Bag, by representing Advent, will always be with us, now. You inspire us to be ready to choose to cast away the works of darkness and put on the armor of light now…that at the last day we may rise with Him to Life immortal. I once heard God’s Grace defined as His Love active. We chose to have you hold Grace for us and in that way we will be ready for our dearest longings. Thank you, dear Go Bags, thank you.

 

Best Wishes,

 

Val Jutsum

 

 

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A sense of something deep, of something more: don’t stop being ready: a few short musings on Advent; SPOILER ALERT: there is no strong conclusion.

by- David Jutsum

Advent is my favorite season in the church year (which is probably true about every season. But, right now, it’s Advent, so Advent wins, right now.) In Advent we are given a sense of something deep, something more, something in the form of a longing. There’s a feeling in your spirit that there is something on the outside that is reaching out to you, on the inside. There is something coming, there’s more, it’s going to happen. It is like a giant storm, full of beauty, majesty, awe. Advent is about deep things, things too deep for words. things of the spirit. In all probability, the most important things, because, what could be more important than that which the whole Christian world has looked forward to since the first coming? This message comes through words, through hymns, through images, hints and deeply personal experiences.

Advent is a cliffhanger. The Lord is coming again, at a time when we least expect him. When will that be? Nobody knows. Will it happen? Yes, definitely. In the old Saturday morning movie serials, the cliffhanger from last week would be resolved in mere moments: the barrel of dynamite which was about to explode bounced out of the wagon when it rolled over a bump, and exploded harmlessly in some sagebrush. Now, onto this week’s plot. The Advent cliffhanger is a two way street: he is coming in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye: will we be ready?  The five foolish virgins who did not have enough oil stopped being ready. Will I? We are perpetually left waiting for the beginning of the next episode. As of yet, it remains unresolved.

Advent is also like reading science fiction. There is all kinds of wildness, weirdness, creatures, warning, foreboding. You know, end of the world stuff.

Advent is about death. In my way of looking, the Second Coming happens every time someone dies, at least for that person. That which is mortal is swallowed up by Life. “Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding: Christ is nigh, it seems to say!”

Advent is also the time of many important life events for me, personally. My mother died in Advent, when I was sixteen years old. Six  years later, I entered into a deep personal relationship with God, during Advent. two years later, our first son was born, seven weeks premature, on the second Sunday of Advent. 

Advent is a time when God has frequently spoken to me. (I do not hear voices when God speaks to me. Usually, there is a scripture passage which pierces into some place deep inside what I call my spirit. Other times it could happen when someone says something. “Give it to the Lord” is such an example from our lives. We would bring our laundry list of complex problems to our parish priest, and his answer was often, “Well, just give it to the Lord”.  At first it was infuriating, but it stood the test of time, and has achieved mantra status.)

Do you believe in the Holy Spirit? I do. I believe in the Holy Spirit. Let’s talk about the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God, but we hardly ever talk about him. Sometimes I do. But I kind of put Him on a shelf, if I had to be honest about it. Maybe it’s possible that the Holy Spirit is the home of the mysterious, the brooding, the wonderful, the communication to your spirit from God. You get these inklings, these hints, this super sense of Otherness; Otherness which is there, but not in any hurry to reveal itself, yet it’s there for the taking. You can’t just like manhandle it. You can’t just grab it. I don’t know how you get it. I don’t know how you get it. I guess, you mostly just receive it. Back in the old days, it could come in vague feelings. Those WOW moments when it was like, “Wow! I just experienced something intense! I wonder what it was?” I remember some large foundation stones on a church on St. Paul Street, on the way to work. They were marked with moisture stains in melancholy patterns,  which evoked this sense of grandeur and sadness. I believe that was one way the Holy Spirit was informing me that I was actually involved in the midst of drama of the highest degree.

I want to end this mishmash by giving an example from when our first child, David Charles Frederick Cook Jutsum, was born way too soon. After several days, while he was still in intensive care, we sat in the hospital cafeteria, at our wits’ end. A bible verse came to mind: “I go to prepare a place for you. Let not your heart be troubled. For I shall return and dwell with you. Neither be afraid.” It was like magic. We realized that our job was to go home and prepare Davey’s place. It was implied, God would take care of the rest. He was home, under the tree, before Christmas. 

Oftentimes, the Book of Common Prayer has the knack of translating an intensely personal experience into beautiful words: We beseech thee, Almighty God, to purify our consciences by thy daily visitation , that when thy Son Jesus Christ cometh he may find in us a mansion prepared for himself; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

 

 

 

 

 

art below: Hannah Sommers ©2011 watercolor

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Ruth's Page


Ruth's Page


Ruth's column

The Second Sunday of Advent in the Early Morning

When I entered the sacristy early last Sunday morning,  the colors in the windows were  beginning to emerge in the early morning light - light from the dark. When a rich yellow morning beam shone a path across the floor, I stepped into it and declared to Norm and Paddy, our faithful 8:00 am sacristan and deacon, “Look at that light! The Kingom of God has come!”

Soon, we would enter the chapel where the second candle of Advent would be lit to signal our preparation for the Master of this House. I was reminded of the old adage, “It is better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.” We do find ourselves cursing the darkness, cursing change, cursing the economy, cynical about the prospects of peace for Jerusalem or anywhere on earth, frenetic  and frustrated in our complicity with the commercialization of Christmas and getting our shopping done.

Then, I thought, we will soon light the third candle of Advent, and then the fourth , they will burn quietly at our altar, another sign in this season of new life to come. It is such a simple act, to light a candle, yet how incredible profound! Just as God acted out our salvation in the simple act of giving a child to a peasant woman – a strange prescription, was it not, for the sickness of humanity? St. Paul said it so well when he wrote of the “foolishness of God” being wiser than the “wisdom of men.”

These tiny flames, lit by the parishoners of Christ Church each week of Advent, signal a hope burning in the midst of our turbulent times – a hope whose fulfillment is beyond the understanding of economists, world leaders, philosophers and theologians.  Who can understand or explain this event we are awaiting? Words fail us. But when I rang the bell for the early morning service, I wasn’t thinking about what words I could use. I was thinking about the light that had shone in the sacristy, and the light that would be burning on two purple candles in the chapel.

See you in church,

Ruth+

 

The Feast of All Saints

“O blest communion, fellowship divine!

We feebly struggle, they in glory shine;

Yet all are one in thee in thee,

For all are thine.

Alleluia, alleluia!”

 

  • Hymn #287, “For all the saints, who from their labors rest”

 

As many of you know, I fully engage in that hallmark of our Anglican identity, which is openness to ambiguity! My faith is as much about the love of questions as the certainties. When it comes to All Saints Day, I am blessed with certainty.  For as long as I can remember, it has never occurred to me that the people I love who have died don’t hear me when I pray for them.  In fact, before I was taught anything different, I used to pray TO my grandmother. She was the first person I loved and lost. We called her “Angel.” 

For a time after Angel died, she became a regular fixture in my bed time prayer routine. After the Lord’s Prayer, I would give my attention to Angel. I went through God, of course.  I asked God to quiet the streets of heaven so that a message could get through and be heard by my grandmother. It never occurred to me that God didn’t quiet everyone in Heaven briefly to sound my message through the streets by broadcasting my own voice saying the words to Him: “Hi, Angel, it’s Ruth. How are you doing? I am doing fine. I miss you. I love you.”

All of these years later, it still does not occur to me that the ones I love and see no longer do not receive my prayers and join me there. It never occurs to me that we have not been knit together into one communion and fellowship in the mystical body of Christ.

I no longer picture cobbled, Heavenly streets with people bustling about but pausing when prayers and other announcements are given over the celestial intercom. When I am in that space where wordless, contemplative prayer delivers me, I am one with the God who is all in all. All who came before, all who are now, all who will come after; all of time, before time, and beyond time; all of what we can see, know, or believe and all of what we can’t see, know or believe.  The mystics call this “unitive seeing,” but it’s not reserved for mystics only. In this seeing, or “space,” I know beyond any doubt that I am communing with God in whom we live, move and have our being, and communing with all being that lives, moves, and has itself in God! 

Baptisms, Eucharists, music, prayer, liturgies – these guide us to the crossroads, the touch stone,  of the Saints in Heaven and on Earth. But Heaven and earth are also joined together within us when we give ourselves fully over to the presence of God. I no longer envision a veil between Heaven and earth that is temporarily lifted from time to time. I imagine that the great cloud of witnesses surrounding us is as near and present as Lawn Street is outside my office window. As are the saints of God, the souls of our loved ones died to this life, we ourselves and every other living thing that fills the overflowing cup who is God.

See you in church,

Ruth+

 

Did you know that Ruth has a blog? It's beautiful and you can find it here-

https://christchurchrochester.tumblr.com/

 

 

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Stephen Kennedy


Stephen Kennedy


Notes from Stephen Kennedy

MUSIC NOTES FROM STEPHEN

 

The season of Advent is rich with music expressing longing, waiting, impending joy, and celebration. Below are a few examples of anthems and motets that will be performed within Sunday Eucharists by the Christ Church Choir and at Compline by the Schola Cantorum.  

 

Oculi omniuharles Wood (1866-1926)

 

Translation: The eyes of all wait upon thee, [O Lord]; and thou givest them their meat in due season.

Thou openest thine hand, and satisfiest the desire of every living thing. Alleluia.

For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.Alleluia.

 

Tollite hostiaamille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Translation: Raise the hosts, and worship God in his holy court. 

May the heaven rejoice, and may the earth dance before the face of God, for He comes. 

Hallelujah!

 

Veni redemptor gentiuacob Handl (1550-1591)

Translation: Come, redeemer of the peoples, and show the birth from a Virgin; every age shall acclaim that such a birth befits God.

 

The Lamb ohn Tavener (1944-2013)

Little Lamb who made thee 

Dost thou know who made thee 

Gave thee life & bid thee feed. 

By the stream & o'er the mead; 

Gave thee clothing of delight, 

Softest clothing wooly bright; 

Gave thee such a tender voice, 

Making all the vales rejoice!  

Little Lamb who made thee 

Dost thou know who made thee  

Little Lamb I'll tell thee, 

He is called by thy name, 

For he calls himself a Lamb: 

He is meek & he is mild, 

He became a little child: 

I a child & thou a lamb, 

We are called by his name. 

Little Lamb God bless thee.  

 

Ave Maria amille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)

Translation: Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee.Blessed art thou among women,and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.Holy Mary, Mother of God,pray for us sinners,now and in the hour of our death. Amen.

Stephen Kennedy
Music Director
Christ Church Rochester
Instructor of Sacred Music
Eastman School of Music

Bonus!

This improvisation attempts to reflect the bold themes of the Martin Luther’s text of “Nun comma, der Heiden Heiland” which is based on text of Ambrose of Milan (340-397).  All verses of this hymn are not in our hymnal but are listed here as translated by William M. Reynolds.

 

1 Savior of the nations, come, 
virgin's Son, make here Thy home!
Marvel now, O heav'n and earth,
that the Lord chose such a birth.

2 Not by human flesh and blood,
but the Spirit of our God,
was the Word of God made flesh--
woman's Offspring, pure and fresh.

3 Wondrous birth! O wondrous Child
Of the Virgin undefiled!
Though by all the world disowned,
still to be in heav'n enthroned.

4 From the Father forth He came
and returneth to the same,
captive leading death and hell--
high the song of triumph swell!

5 Thou the Father's only Son,
hast o'er sin the vict'ry won.
Boundless shall Thy kingdom be;
when shall we its glories see?

6 Brightly doth Thy manger shine,
glorious is its light divine.
Let not sin o'ercloud this light;
ever be our faith thus bright.

7 Praise to God the Father sing,
Praise to God the Son, our King,
Praise to God the Spirit be
Ever and eternally. 

 

(I call it Awesome!)


Donate

 

For more information about concerts and music events, please visit the Christ Church website: 

http://www.christchurchrochester.org/

You can also find the billboard of ongoing and special future events by going to the top of this section and clicking on the link "MUSIC GALLERY".

Here are just a few ways in which Christ Church members and friends may participate in our program:

• Becoming an Usher/Candle-lighter for Compline

• Make contributions to our Friends of Music Fund. This fund supports music at Christ Church.  It also enables us to provide musical outreach to the Rochester community through music-training programs, concerts, and enables us to enhance our liturgies with music.  

• Purchase our various CD recordings for friends and family members as gifts.

• Assist in publicizing music at Christ Church by helping sending emails to the local media

Please contact me if you are interested in participating in any aspect of our music program at Christ Church. Stephen Kennedy, Music Director stephenk@rochester.rr.com You may also support our music education and enrichment opportunities for young musicians who are dedicating their lives to the field of sacred music by contributing to Christ Church’s "Friends of Music" fund.

Please continue to follow the musical life of our parish by reading the monthly Music Notes and Calendar that are emailed from my address  via MailChimp. 

-Click on the posters below for a full page view.

The music sound files contained here are from the new CD recordings that have just been released. These recordings are available for purchase by clicking the link below. The music used in this publication is edited.  

http://www.christchurchrochester.org/recordings-cd-shop

Other links of interest are:

https://www.facebook.com/ccscholacantorum/?fref=ts

https://www.facebook.com/ChristChurchRochester/?fref=ts

http://www.christchurchrochester.org

 

Please click on the word "TOP" just below. It will take you back to the top of the opening page. From there please click on the words in the upper right side of the page to explore additional articles, news and events. There is also a photo gallery and many other wonderful things to see. The links are called:

"SONG"   "NEWS & EVENTS"  CHAPEL GALLERY"  MUSIC EVENT GALLERY"  "CONTACT"    "ARCHIVE"

The "CONTACT" page is also a place to leave comments or requests. The "ARCHIVE" page will show you past issues. 

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