Who We Are
The Church of The Advent is a community within the city of Atlanta seeking to love God with all that we have and to love everyone as God loves them. We have joined the world-wide Orthodox Church as a community out of our desire to be obedient to Jesus Christ.
The word "Advent" means a coming or arrival, and this word is used to name Jesus Christ's first coming into the world and his promised second coming. His first coming rescued our human nature from futility and gave us a way to be remade in God's likeness, and his second coming will complete that work of remaking us and the whole cosmos in himself. We all now live between those two advents, and as Christians we are called to implement Christ's first coming while anticipating his second. The season on the calendar leading up to Christmas is actually called Advent, and it is a season marked by prayer, fasting, and a bright hope. It is in this spirit of joyful, sober expectation that we named our parish The Church of The Advent.
The Advent exists to bring the city of Atlanta into the fullness of the transforming love of God revealed in Jesus Christ and made known through the Holy Spirit. We seek to express this love through:
- Our worship of God in Spirit and in Truth which is the most transformative action we as humans can do, and which is open to all to come and see
- Our lives of service and self-giving to others, both as a community and as individuals.
The Presence of God -- We give thanks (Eucharist) that God has not abandoned us in our ancestral and continued rebellion against him, but rather has drawn near to us, first through his Law and tabernacling presence with the Hebrews, and now more perfectly through the Incarnation, the Son and Word of God becoming a man. This man, Jesus, is both 100% God and 100% human, and his intimate union with our nature now opens the door to our intimate communion with his divine nature. Through the deep indwelling of the Holy Spirit whom he sends to us, and through the sacramental life of his Church (the extension of his body), he remains with us and we with him. And through him, we participate in the triune life of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. This is why Orthodox Christians will greet one another saying "Christ is in our midst," and with the response "He is and ever shall be."
Conversion of Life -- As part of our giving thanks to God, we offer our bodies as living sacrifices which is our spiritual act of worship. This giving of ourselves begins in worship and carries over into our daily lives through discipleship. Our life in Christ is a process of continual growth and transformation into the likeness of Christ. Like all other things this takes time and work. However, this is not work that we do alone, but in communion with God and our neighbor (our parish, family, friends, and enemies), empowered by the grace of God through the Presence of the Holy Spirit working within us.
Bearing Witness to Christ -- Through worship and discipleship we become by grace what God is by nature: love. This love which we receive by grace is given freely to all, just as we received the love of God in Christ freely. It is through love that we bear witness to Christ to those around us. This happens through words as we share the good news of Christ's redemption of all creation with those willing to listen and through our good works towards those in need (spiritual, emotional, financial, and physical). In all that we do in this life, if we do it with the love of God, we bear witness to Christ.