Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday and Giving Tuesday are now all behind us. Whew – that’s a lot. But it isn’t over… This coming Sunday is the First Sunday ofAdvent, and the first Sunday of the Church Year. As one meme put it:

The Beginning is Near!

But before that,
Saturday, December 1, is World AIDS Day. There were years early in the epidemic when the numbers of those ill or dying were before us every day, and often very close to home. AIDS continues to infect thousands of men, women and children each year, and to wreak havoc on the lives of thousands more every day.

Though AIDS is now often described as ‘controllable with medication,’ the reality is that in many parts of the world the medications are not available, or are hard to get for one reason or another.

Episcopal Relief and Development continues to provide help to those dealing with AIDS as patients, family members, survivors or caregivers. Check outwww.episcopalrelief.org For information about the work of the Episcopal Church throughout the world in dealing with AIDS and so many other needs.

And while you are there, check out their Gifts For Life program, where your donations make a huge difference in the lives of people – and some of thesemake perfect gifts in honor of those folks on your shopping list who really don’tneed yet one more sweater or kitchen gadget.

In the second reading for this coming Sunday, Paul writes to the Thessalonians,

“How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy that we feel before ourGod because of you? Night and day we pray most earnestly that we may see you face to face and restore whatever is lacking in your faith.

Now may our God and Father himself and our Lord Jesus direct our way to you. And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love

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for you. And may he so strengthen your hearts in holiness that you may be blameless before ourGod and Father at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

1 Thessalonians 3:9-13

“Abound in love for one another and for all…”
One of the ways we can abound in love is to help others whenever and wherever we can.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, give us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Peace and blessing,

Carol+