This is the first Sunday of Advent for the Roman Catholic Church, including St. Stephen in East Grand Rapids, Mich., a 96-year-old parish experiencing the same steady decline in the number of worshippers being felt by congregations across the nation. This is also the first Sunday since its pastor, 33-year-old Rev. Scott Nolan,, called one of his prominent, long-time parishioners, and advised her she should no longer come forward for the sacrament of Holy Communion. The reason, according to that parishioner, is that she is married to another woman. Most likely, this wouldn’t be a news story had the woman Father Nolan denied communion not been Sara Smolenski, the 62-year-old chief judge of Kent County, Michigan’s 63rd district court, and the epitome of a lifelong parishioner.