Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ:
I hope that this finds you all well, and abounding always in the grace and love of God in Christ.
Sunday the 27th November is Advent Sunday, the First Sunday in the season of Advent. Advent is the time of preparation for the coming of Christmas, and a time to remind us of our need always for solemn preparation for the Second Coming of Christ and the establishment of His Kingdom.
For us at Saint Saviour’s, this Sunday will also be a special Sunday. God willing, I will have the happy duty and privilege to administer the Sacrament of Confirmation by hearing the vows of and ministering the Apostolic Rite of Laying on of Hands to four of our young people: Miss Julia Pitsiaeli; Miss Julia Torrance; Master Kendall Dantu-Woods; and Master Alejandro Montoto-Francesena.
Confirmation is the completion of Baptism; and it marks the transition of young people from being catechumens to being regular communicants and fuller participants in the life of their own Christian community and of the wider Catholic Church.
As you all know, there has been a pretty drastic falling off both in attendance at Mass on Sundays and in support of our Parish. As sad as this is, it need not be a permanent state of affairs. Even though of late we have lost many of our dear friends through infirmity and death, and moving away due to the great changes affecting Richmond and Vancouver, there are still enough of us here to keep the home-fires burning, and to answer Christ’s call to be His presence and witness in this part of the world.
Perhaps this Advent can be seen as a time of renewal and recommitment to our faith and life in Christ, and to active participation in the life of our Christian community? And the Confirmation this Advent Sunday might be just as good an opportunity as any to recommit ourselves to our own Baptismal promises and Confirmation vows as we witness and support the Confirmands who will be renewing their promises and making their vows before God as we all did ourselves.
In this spirit, I invite all of you to try, if you can, to be at Church on the 27th November, and to join with our Confirmands, their families, and friends, in worshipping God in His House, and to witness young Christians dedicate their lives to the religion and service of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.
With every good wish, please believe me to be
Yours faithfully in Christ,
+ Robert David: Richmond.
The Right Reverend Robert D. Redmile,
Bishop and Rector.
Saint Hilda of Whitby, 2016.