Fr. Christopher Leighton - November 27th

Let the Church Help

My favorite church bulletin blooper is, “Don’t let worry kill you, let the church help.”  After a laugh you realize that it is an offer not to go it alone.

The holidays are coming – let the church help.  For many of us, this time of year is a mixture of blessing and hardship.  Let the church help.  I find God when I am with the people of God – we are the church.  The church has helped me overcome past wounds and disappointments.  The church has helped me have realistic expectations.  The church has provided me with opportunities to worship Jesus Christ, and to serve others, which helps me get out of myself.  Here are some ways the church will be available for you in this Advent season:

•• Regular Sunday worship and fellowship

8:45    Holy Eucharist

10:00   Fellowship

10:30   Holy Eucharist & Sunday School

• Tuesday Healing Service and Agape Meal

(Next Tuesday, November 29, a special seminar:

“Turn Your Holiday Blues into Red & Green” -

Christopher & Janet Leighton

• Friday, December 2, 6:30 p.m. “Transformation:  A Service Of Hope and Recovery”, 20 Concord Ave., South Norwalk

• Sunday, December 4, 12:00 p.m. – St. Nicholas celebration for all ages

• Sunday, December 18, following the second service – Caroling in downtown Darien

• Saturday, December 24

4:30 p.m. – Pageant and Holy Eucharist

10:30 p.m. – Festival Eucharist

• Sunday, December 25, 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist and  Outreach meal

• Saturday, December 31 – time to be determined – New Year’s Eve celebration

• Sunday, January 1, 2012 – 10:00 a.m. – Holy Eucharist

These are all opportunities offered for worship, fellowship, and service.  In addition there will be the Dove outreach to help local families in need through Person-to-Person.

If you need prayer, counsel or even the opportunity for confession, the clergy and trained lay leaders are available for an appointment;  just contact us through the church office.

Our hope is that Christmas will be a greater blessing for you;  let the church help.

Your brother in Christ,


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark November 27th

Gratitude is Good For You

By , November 20, 2011

You can almost expect it around Thanksgiving.  Pastors pull out passages from the Bible like “Give thanks in all circumstances” [I Thessalonians 5:18] or “Enter His gates with thanksgiving” [Psalm 100:4].  And for those of us who so easily get caught up in the cares and worries of life (pastors included), the reminder to “be more thankful” can often make us feel more guilty instead of more grateful.  Why does God put such a premium on Giving thanks anyway?

Being grateful is simultaneously hard and easy.  More than that, it has both spiritual and physical benefits.  For myself, I find that when I come to God in prayer, I need to spend about 75% of my time thanking him before I get to my requests.  It’s easy to say the words “Thank You, Jesus”, but it is not always easy to mean them.  For the majority of that 75%, I may just be “saying the words”, but somewhere along the way, the Lord Holy Spirit inevitably comes in and actually gives me gratitude, even if I wasn’t “feeling it” most of the time.  But once the true gratitude breaks in, I find that I can actually bring my requests to God with certainty that He will answer them as a good father (and not just as the “Answer Man”).

Also, it turns out that God doesn’t just care about our spiritual health when He commands us to be grateful:

“Psychologists Robert Emmons and Michael McCullough point out that gratitude is the “Forgotten factor” in happiness research.  They point out the benefits of expressing gratitude as ranging from better physical health to improved mental alertness.  People who express gratitude also are more likely to offer emotional support to others.  Expressing gratitude in your daily life might even have a protective effect on staving off certain forms of psychological disorders.  In a recent review…researchers found that habitually focusing on and appreciating the positive aspects of life is related to a generally higher level of psychological wellbeing and a lower risk of certain forms of psychopathology” [Psychology Today, May 10, 2010].

So, the next time you hear the Lord’s invitation to “give thanks in all circumstances,” don’t be ashamed to say “Thank you, Jesus” even if you don’t feel like it.  I promise, if you give him the opportunity, the true gratitude will follow…in spirit, emotions, mind, and body.

Your brother,


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark November 20

Rev. Novella Lawrence - November 20th

By , November 20, 2011

November and Giving Thanks

“Give thanks to the Lord for He is good.  His love endures forever.” Psalm 136:1

One of the reasons I love the month of November is that it climaxes with the national holiday of Thanksgiving.  There is the food, the cooking, the company of family and friends, even football!  I especially appreciate the fact that our nation stops to give thanks – many even include giving thanks to God!

I  encourage you to make this act of giving thanks something you do each day this month – it just may  become a habit!

Lastly, ask the Lord to bring to your mind the person He is leading you to contact and to offer your thanks to them for sharing their faith with you.  Several years back, Reg Jones took this advice and contacted Renny Scott, a former St. Paul’s clergyman.  Renny and Reg renewed an old friendship as a result.

Let’s give thanks together!


The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton


On the Mark November 13th

Fr. Christopher Leighton – November 13th

Fr. Jordan Easley – November 6th

By , November 6, 2011

Come to the Feasting House

By , November 5, 2011

When the Anglican Church was officially established in the 1500’s, one of its first great books was the Book of Homilies, written in 1547 and 1562.  The first generation of Anglican leaders were fully committed to preaching the Word of God, but since many of their pastors had not been trained to do this, they created this two volume book of thirty-three sermons, so that lay people could (at least) have a Bible-based sermon read to them.  The selection below is from one of these sermons, and I believe it is just as timely for Anglicans today as it was 500 years ago.

“Now come therefore dearly beloved, without delay, and cheerfully enter into God’s feasting house, and become partakers of the benefits provided and prepared for you.  But see that you come here with your holy-day garment, not like hypocrites, not for a custom and for manners sake, not with loathsomeness…come to the church on the holy-day, and come in your holy-day garment.

“That is to say, come with a cheerful and a godly mind; come to seek God’s glory and to be thankful unto him.  Come to be at one with your neighbor, and to enter in friendship and charity with him.  Consider that all your doings stink before the face of God, if you be not in charity with your neighbor.  Come with a heart sifted and cleansed from worldly and carnal affections and desires.  Shake off all vain thoughts which may hinder you from God’s true service.

“The bird, when she will flee, shakes her wings.  Shake and prepare yourself to flee higher than all the birds in the air, that after your duty duly done in this earthly temple and church, you may flee up, and be received into the glorious temple of God in heaven, through Christ Jesus our Lord.  To whom with the Father and the Holy Ghost be all glory and honour.  Amen.”


The Rev. Jordan Easley


On the Mark November 6th

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