Church of Our Saviour

21 Marathon Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | 781-648-5962

Reflections of Your Rector

Advent is when we prepare ourselves for Christ’s arrival: his arrival in the manger, his arrival in our lives now, and for his arrival at the fullness of time.

So how do we prepare ourselves?

We might reflect on what people to do to get ready for the birth or adoption of a child. Parents prepare the child’s bedroom. They buy clothes and toys. But there is also some difficult work to do. For example, they might work on getting their finances in order, and think how they’ll adjust their family budgets and save for college.

At COS, there are a number of families who were formed through adoption. In many cases, prospective adoptive parents have no idea when they will meet their child. Sometimes, an adopting couple hears about a baby who has just been born, and quickly rushes across the country to meet the child. Some adopting couples experience delays and changes in plans. Some couples wait so long that they fall into despair, wondering if their dreams of parenting have been dashed. And then suddenly a call comes at the most unexpected moment and their longing for a child becomes reality.

Scripture tells us that Christ, too, will come again unexpectedly, “like a thief in the night.” No one knows the day or the hour. And so we must get ready. When the Christ child was born, few people on earth knew the Messiah was coming so soon: the angels told the shepherds only after the fact. In today’s world, Christ also shows up in our lives unexpectedly, and sometimes when we feel all hope is lost. And we are told that in the fullness of time, Christ will come again like a thief in the night.

Here at Church of Our Saviour, we’re getting ready to begin a new monthly worship service for toddlers and their families. I can’t wait to welcome new children to Church of Our Saviour! We have been busy preparing for their arrival. Susan Dowds applied for Congregational Development grant money, which will offer $4,500 to fund projects related to welcoming new children and adults. Last month, the vestry recently voted to increase my hours to 60% time, which has enabled me to dedicate most Wednesdays for an additional day of ministry. With this added time, I’ve been able to meet with parents of young children, get ready for an upcoming Toddler Service planning meeting, and more.

In addition, we’ve had the stucco repaired in our nursery, so we can renovate this area. Next year, we hope to start offering nursery care during our 10am service.

This fall, the vestry adopted an updated safe church policy as a proactive measure to strengthen our culture of safety. In keeping with this policy, we’ve had a major effort this fall to help clergy, staff, vestry members, and those who work with children and elders to complete diocesan Safe Church Training and get CORI (criminal record) checked. We are grateful for all those who have taken time out of their busy schedule to join in this effort. Learning to prevent the evil of child exploitation is hard emotional work. But with education, our eyes open and we have better awareness for keeping all children safe.

A copy of the policy is posted in the parish hall. Please take time to read it. Please contact Helen Maxwell, our parish administrator, if you’d like to take the Safe Church Training. It is free and can be completed on-line at your convenience.

Jesus tells us that whatever we do for the least of God’s people, we do for Christ himself. In all your preparations to welcome new children and other newcomers to Church of Our Saviour, I see you preparing to welcome Christ dwelling in them. Thank you.

Yours in Christ,

Malia

P.S. We’re having a Toddler Service planning meeting on Thursday December 13 at 7pm to prepare our first service and work on publicity. All are welcome!

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