Message from our Rector


From the Rector—the Season of Advent, December 2016


         The origins of Advent are obscure, but the season was observed in some form by the 400s.  The word means "coming," or more specifically, "coming to."  In Advent we prepare for the coming of Christ--by the fourth Sunday looking forward to the baby born to Mary, but on the first Sunday at Christ's Second Coming in glorious majesty at the end of the age.  On the second and third Sundays, John the Baptist announces (one might say warns people about) the earthly ministry of the adult Jesus. 

A blessing from The Book of Occasional Services reflects the dual nature of this holy season: "May you, who rejoice in the first Advent of our Redeemer, at his second Advent be rewarded with unending life."

As a season of preparation, Advent shares some things with Lent, but it also differs significantly.  While Lent is focused on penitence, Advent is a season of joyful expectation. "Alleluia," omitted during Lent, continues to be sung and said in the season of Advent.  Advent vestments may be purple (as may Lent vestments) or they may be blue, and on the third Sunday (known as "Gaudete Sunday"), rose vestments  may be used.  Altar decorations are more muted, but still present, during the season.

The Advent wreath symbolizes our growing hope with additional light as a candle is added each week, even as darkness grows in the natural world by the days getting shorter and shorter.  This, we pray each year, will lead us to the blaze of glory that is the true Light of the World


Please note as indicated on the schedule that the late Christmas Eve service will take place at 10:00pm with musical prelude at 9:30 this year!


From the Rector--Worshipping Together December 2017


         When the body of Christ gathers for worship, questions often arise about engaging all ages during the service. In other words: how to incorporate children? Options range from nursery care, to activity bags, to children’s chapel, to quiet play space – or a combination of the above.  . . .  Children grow – in love of God and love of other – when they feel truly affirmed as members of the worshipping community. Statements like, “I am so glad to see you today,” or, “It was wonderful to worship with you,” affirm the child's personhood.  

--Center for the Ministry of Teaching, Virginia Theological Seminary

Since September we have been carrying out a trial of an area near the front of the church adapted for young children.  As with trying anything new, some things have gone as planned while there have also been some surprises.  The easiest thing to do is what happens in most of the world around us: address different age groups separately with a message tailored particularly to them.  Thus multiplex cinemas and hundreds of TV channels.  Yet the Body of Christ is an intergenerational reality, where baptism confers full membership and intellectual understanding is part--not all--of the life of faith.

The image of God is found as fully in preschoolers and the frail elderly as it is in healthy adults.  Thus the Body of Christ finds its fullest expression when we are all together.  We have learned a good bit from experience and the questionnaires distributed two Sundays in November.  This information will help us continue to work toward the goal where every person experiences the reality of God to be enhanced by the presence and participation of fellow-worshippers.  In so doing, each of us can lift our unique voice together to the Glory of God and for the building up of the Body of Christ.

Annual Parish Meeting

Parishioners gathered at 9:30am on Sunday, November 12 in St. Mark's Hall for prayer and to say the Otey mission statement. Outgoing Junior Warden Dorothy Gates presented the report of the Nominating Committee. Rob thanked vestry, staff, committee chairs, and other volunteers. He reviewed that Custodian Brandy Garner began work this past year on an employee (rather than contract) basis, that Barbara Simpson has begun work as Nursery Coordinator. He reviewed the ways Otey shares its facilities with other entities, recapped some highlights from the past year, including the re-starting of Stephen Ministry, concluded his report with some thoughts for the coming year. Treasurer Kathy Solomon went over the financial information provided and invited questions. Deacon Betty Carpenter spoke briefly about CAC and Curate Regan Schutz gave thanks for her time serving at Otey Parish. Rob announced that Diocesan Convention would be January 19-20 at St. Paul's, Murfreesboro, and asked those interested in being nominated for delegate or alternate to contact him. David Burnett, Lisa Howick, and Lee Stapleton were announced as elected to 3-year terms on the Vestry. Thee meeting concluded with the reading of the Otey mission statement followed by prayer for the parish.

Rob Lamborn


Rob Lamborn