Advent Meditations

AdventCoverEach year, for the past seven years, St. Philip’s has offered an Advent Book of daily meditations. These daily offerings are meant to be an extension of your own reflections as you proceed through this seminal period in the church year. Many different themes have been highlighted in the past, ranging from personal reflections, to pilgrimages, inspirational music, and
spiritual callings.

This year, St. Philip’s youth groups are sharing their thoughts about Advent. As active members and the eventual inheritors of St. Philip’s, it is important to hear their thoughts as they assume leadership roles in this parish. Their lives are increasingly based on worldviews, not only in politics, governance, and the environment, but also in multi religious faiths.

Travel on this journey day by day through the twenty-five days of Advent. It is important to remember that each year you have the opportunity to begin again, to examine and to confirm your faith. Take a brief moment each day to reflect on and to renew your personal faith journey.

Sunday, November 30

Monday, December 1

Tuesday, December 2

Wednesday, December 3

Thursday, December 4

Friday, December 5

Saturday, December 6

Sunday, December 7

Monday, December 8

Tuesday, December 9

Wednesday, December 10

Thursday, December 11

Friday, December 12

Saturday, December 13

Sunday, December 14

Monday, December 15

Tuesday, December 16

Wednesday, December 17

Thursday, December 18

Friday, December 19

Saturday, December 20

Sunday, December 21

Monday, December 22

Tuesday, December 23

Wednesday, December 24

Thursday, December 25



Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services

St. Philip’s In The Hills is a large Episcopal church on the northeast corner of River Road and Campbell Avenue, with a beautiful Joesler-designed structure and lovely grounds. We offer special services and other events throughout the Advent season (for a full listing click here).

church with wreath

A large number of people attend services on Christmas Eve. We offer five services on Christmas Eve and one on Christmas Day. Services are approximately one hour in length except for the Children’s Service, which is about a half-hour.

live nativity 2The 4 p.m. service on Christmas Eve is a communion service especially designed for toddlers and preschoolers and their families. Music will feature the Cherub Choir (young children’s choir) and the Choir Chimes. Attendees are invited to bring Baby Jesus from their home crèche (Nativity Set) to be blessed. The service is followed by a live Nativity scene in the church plaza, reenacted by children and a young family from St. Philip’s.

At 5:20 p.m., music begins, which leads into an All-Generations Eucharist at 5:30 p.m. This is a Holy Eucharist service for school-aged children and their families. Music is provided by the St. Nicholas Choir (children and youth choir), with trumpet, handbells, and organ, as well as congregational carol singing. The Chalice Players, a group of youth, will dramatize the Christmas story.


The 7 p.m. Candlelit Eucharist with Carols is preceded by music beginning at 6:50. This quiet, reflective Choral Eucharist service is rooted in our ancient Anglican tradition. It includes carols sung by the Schola Cantorum; also the St. Philip’s ringers, harp, and popular carols for congregational singing.


The 9 and 11 p.m. Festival Eucharist services begin with music 10 minutes before the hour. The service music is Haydn’s St. Nicholai Mass, scored for choir, soloists, and chamber orchestra. There will also be handbells and popular carols for congregational singing. The 11 p.m. service includes incense.

from back

On Christmas Day, congregational carol singing preceding the 11 a.m. service begins at 10:50, followed by the Feast of the Nativity, which is a Holy Eucharist Rite II service with choir and well-loved congregational carols.

xmas day

The public is cordially invited to attend. Worshippers on Christmas Eve should be aware that they will be waiting in line outdoors and should dress accordingly. Those who want to minimize waiting in line may wish to consider attending the less crowded services, at 4, 5:30, or 11 p.m. or on Christmas Day. We welcome everyone seeking to celebrate the birth of Jesus by worshipping with us.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. The main parking lot is to the north of the Church. Although there will be security on site, it is advisable not to leave belongings in vehicles. For more information about St. Philip’s, please click here.

Advent at St. Philip’s

Advent is often described as a season of waiting. Advent waiting is not passive, because this is a time of year pregnant with anticipation!

St. Philip’s has many special services and other events during Advent! Click here for a schedule in pdf form. The Advent Festival of Lights Service on December 2 and the Advent Quiet Day on December 6 are described below.

candles 1Advent kicks off with the annual Advent Festival of Lights Service, on Tuesday, December 2, at 6:30 p.m. This annual candlelit service seeks to illuminate the feminine face of God, with a theme this year of “Expecting Joy” and a focus on anticipating the joy of God’s works in us. The service will feature readings, prayers, instrumental music, and congregational singing. Prior to the service, beginning at 5:30 p.m., a light-fare potluck dinner will take place in the Murphey Gallery at St. Philip’s. A freewill offering will benefit Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse.  Emerge! provides domestic abuse crisis intervention and housing, prevention and education, and support and advocacy services to women and children.  Emerge! is the largest domestic abuse shelter and provider of domestic abuse prevention programs in Southern Arizona. The service ends with a candlelit procession into the garden.

teresaOn Saturday, December 6, St. Philip’s will host an Advent Quiet Day entitled “Teresa of Avila: Mentor for the Ages.” The retreat begins at 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and includes lunch. This spacious and renewing day will include talks, prayer, music and time for reflection and contemplation.

Teresa of Jesus, OCD, known by many as Teresa of Avila, was a prominent 16th century Spanish mystic, saint, Carmelite nun, theologian, and church reformer. Through the past 500 years, the faithful across countless Christian traditions have been inspired by Teresa’s life of prayer and reform. In 2015, a group of St. Philip’s will begin a Pilgrimage to Spain in Avila, exploring her spirituality in the place of her birth. This day will appeal to all who yearn for an intentional day of spirituality in the midst of the Advent Season. Pilgrims planning to travel to Spain in 2015 will also find this day inspiring. (To learn more about the  pilgrimage to Spain, click here.)

  • Morning Retreat Talk: Teresa’s Life: Guideposts for a Whole and Happy Life. This talk will offer a brief history of Teresa’s life and Ministry, explore the universal Christian appeal of her writings and practices, and consider the many titles by which Teresa has come to be known and revered.
  • Afternoon Retreat Talk: Teresa and Prayer: The Call to Carmel Is a Call to Prayer. This talk will explore the centrality of Teresa’s contemplative prayer practice.

This Advent day of prayer and reflection will be led by the Rev. Dr. Ivan Cormac Marsh, O. Carm, a Carmelite priest of the Province of the Most Pure Heart of Mary since 1978 and now residing in Tucson. Over the years, Father Ivan has been involved in parish ministry, Carmelite retreat ministry and as spiritual director. Father Ivan lectures, gives retreats to laity and clergy around the United States, and has taught also in Canada in the area of spiritual direction.

$25.00 retreat fee includes materials and lunch. Contact the Rev. Greg Foraker or call 299-6421 to register.

Thanksgiving Service and Dinner

thanksgiving table 3At 11 a.m. on Thursday, November 24, we will gather to thank God for the blessings of our lives. The Rev’d Robert J. Hendrickson III, St. Philip’s Rector, will preach.

Afterwards, join your St. Philip’s family and friends for our annual Thanksgiving dinner in the Murphey Gallery. The Parish Life Ministry will provide the turkeys and wine. Please come and bring one of the following dishes for 8 to 10 guests, based on your last name: A-G desserts, H-P salads, R-Z vegetables. And, mindful of those less fortunate, please also bring a nonperishable food item for the St. Philip’s Food Pantry.

You can let us know how many are in your party and what you will bring by calling the office at 299-6421 or sending an email to Parish Life.

Bring your friends and come share delicious food and good company!


thanksgiving table tgiving-setup-team

Kirking o’ the Tartans

bagpipes processionThe “Kirking o’ the Tartans” will be celebrated at St. Philip’s In The Hills Episcopal Church on Sunday, November 23, at the 9 and 11:15 a.m. services. The Tucson Highlanders, a pipe band dedicated to the music of the great Highland bagpipes and Scottish-style drumming, will head the procession to and from the church on that day.

Scottish and nae-Scottish parishioners and visitors are encouraged to wear their tartans to this service. They will be invited forward at the conclusion of the service to have their tartans blessed.

tartan blessing

Kirking o’ the Tartans is said to have originated during the 18th century, when the English rulers attempted to subdue rebellious Scottish people by prohibiting them from wearing tartans, symbols of their clans and family solidarity. Some hid wee bits of their tartans under their clothes and had them blessed at church. However apocryphal this tale, St. Philip’s uses this occasion to celebrate the Scottish heritage of the Episcopal Church. The Scottish Episcopal Church is important in our history because it is independent of the Church of England. This allowed the consecration of the first Episcopal bishop in the fledgling United States, Samuel Seabury, in 1784, because it took place in Scotland and thus he did not have to swear allegiance to the British crown. As a result, the Communion rite adopted by the Episcopal Church in 1790 was closely based on the Scottish liturgy, rather than the English. At the services on November 23, the Eucharistic Prayer will come from the Scottish Prayer Book.


The public is cordially invited to attend. A freewill offering will be collected.

St. Philip’s is located at 4440 N. Campbell Avenue at River Road. Ample parking is available in the north parking lot or under our solar parking structure on the east side. The office phone number is 299-6421.