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Dear St. Luke’s Community,

Let me begin by thanking you all for your prayers and support as we have been traveling the journey of letting go and grief with the passing of Mary’s mother from this life to the next. There were many challenges and graces along the way and the support of a faith community is the difference between despair and a commitment to hope for me. I think I can speak for Mary in that as well.

One thing I can say for certain is that this Advent season has been a poignant one for me in preparing for new life and the reign of hope in the midst of grief and sorrow. That brings to mind a special event that I want to bring to your attention. This Sunday at St. John’s in Worcester (166 Holden St.) will be having a “Blue Christmas” service at 6 pm. The reality is that for many it is hard to embrace and feel the joy that is so much a part of the holiday and Christmas season. For those who grieve, on whatever level, the images of family, home and hearth are not comforting as much as they are a reminder of happier times. I want to invite you to be attentive to the folks around you during this season. It’s not incumbent upon us to entreat folks to ‘cheer up’ but rather to simply be present with people wherever their life circumstances have led them. What we can do, simply by our presence in most cases, is be with folks. We as the Church, The Body of Christ in the world, are given an opportunity to be with folks just as we prepare and celebrate the coming of Emmanuel, God with us, in the season.

In whatever circumstance you find yourself in this season, be present to the movement of God and to the position of others on their journey. Hold each of the folks in your lives in God’s presence and seek to be that presence for them in whatever way you can.

On the Advent journey, I bid you..

Peace and Good,

The Rev. Warren Earl Hicks, Rector
St. Luke’s Episcopal Church
921 Pleasant St.
Worcester, MA 01602
508-756-1990 (Office)

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December 2007

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