Father Jim’s Reflection

by Father Jim Warnock

We’re into Christmas season now, a time when we give gifts to the people we love. We do it in part to remind ourselves that our friends and family are important. We also do it to remind ourselves why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.

Christmas reminds us of the gift we received from God—the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Imagine the notion that the creator of the universe and of all life on this planet, came here and lived among us as a man, subject to our temptations and fears. That is what happened in the person of Jesus, who eventually died so that we may live.

As Paul says in Philippians, “Christ Jesus … though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.” In Advent, we remembered his first coming and anticipated his return. As we bought gifts for those who are important to us, these were good thoughts to keep in mind. Let’s remember also that through Jesus God has demonstrated once and for all just how important all of us are to Him.

I’m very pleased that we were able once again to do a Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve. Midnight of course was generously interpreted, as I know people here don’t want to be out late at night. Our celebration was liturgically appropriate because, at All Saints’, we are members of the worldwide Anglican communion. It is appropriate then to note that at 5:00 p.m. Pacific Standard Time, Midnight Mass was being celebrated at Hallgrímskirkja Reykjavík in Iceland. We celebrated along with our brothers and sisters in the Diocese of Europe, a statement of our common faith and the worldwide nature of our communion.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through him, and without him not one thing came into being. What has come into being in him was life, and the life was the light of all people. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it. — John 1:1-5

Of course, we also had a Eucharist on Sunday, Christmas Day. I’ve seen several articles talking about churches canceling the Sunday service this year because it falls on Christmas. In the Episcopal Church, we do not do this. There will always be a Eucharist on the Lord’s Day. It’s an ancient spiritual tradition and a basic requirement in our Book of Common Prayer.

There are a couple of other things to share. Our pledges increased for 2023 by about $10,000. Thanks to all of you for your continued commitment and generosity. Financially we’re doing well. Also, we have funds from the Church Insurance Company to repair the Parish Hall. The electrician starts work on the 20th. We should be finished well in time for the annual parish meeting which will take place on January 22nd following the Eucharist. If you’re interested in serving on the Bishop’s Committee or as a representative to Diocesan Convention, please tell me or one of the members of the B.C.

Finally, we have made a counteroffer to the Episcopal Retirement Communities for the sale of the north portion of the property. Please see me for details if you’re interested.

It has been a good year, and Kresha and I are very happy to serve here at All Saints’.