Happy New Year 2018! Our first Sunday of the year will be a dual celebration – the Feast of the Epiphany and the Baptism of our Lord (always the first Sunday after the Epiphany). At both 8 & 10 am we’ll have an Epiphany Procession: short passages of Scripture interspersed with verses of the hymn “We Three Kings of Orient are” until the procession finally arrives at the Crèche, symbolic of the Magi’s arrival in Bethlehem (yes, Alison will come and play for the 8 am service this week, also). Then we’ll hear the Gospel for the Feast of the Baptism and renew our baptismal vows… a great way to start the New Year!
Please look at the announcements below, particularly:
- Epiphany Soup & Sandwich Lunch (Christian Formation)
- Mah Jongg Lessons (Fun & Friendship)
- Homeless Shelter (Helping Hands)
- Chalk Blessings for Homes (Christian Practices)
THIS SUNDAY: Epiphany Soup and Sandwich Lunch & Fruitcake Bake-off, Sunday, January 7 at 11:15 in the Parish Hall. Come share a relaxed meal with your fellow parishioners, pull a Christmas party “cracker,” and take part in judging the Christmas fruitcake bake-off. The cost of the event is $5 per person; $20 maximum per household. Kids under age 3 are free. This is a fun way to close out the holiday season and start the New Year!
De-Green the Church, Jan. 7 after the 10 am service. We’ll take down the greens, pew candles and decorations and we need your help. Many hands make light work. Thanks!
Sunday School classes begin again Sunday, January 14. January 7 will be a Family Service at 10 am, with an Epiphany Procession (including the Three Kings) and renewal of baptismal vows for the Feast of the Baptism of our Lord.
Bible Study, Wed., Jan. 3 at 10:15 am in the Rath House. In this session we’ll read and discuss 1 Corinthians, chapter 15. Start the New Year off right by learning and growing in faith with others. We’ll be glad to have you.
The Pilgrim study group has finished for 2017. We will pick up again on Monday, Jan. 15 at 7 pm in the Rath House. The new six-week topic is The Bible. Pilgrim: A Course for the Christian Journey is for anyone who wants to know more about following the Christian Way of Jesus. This will be a good way to start the New Year! Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex so we know to expect you and save you a book (cost is $10).
FUN & FRIENDSHIP
All Saints’ Church will offer beginning Mah Jongg lessons – a series of three lessons, for a small fee benefitting the church. The dates are Saturdays 1/6, 1/13, and 1/20 from 1:00-2:30 pm at Kathy Pfeil’s house in Millington (call or email for the address). No need to bring anything, except your sense of fun! Eight people have signed up already and there is room for more. Mah jongg is a game of skill, strategy, and calculation and involves a degree of chance. Please RSVP to Kathy before Saturday to let her know you are coming: 908-350-8012 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Family Promise Homeless Shelter Our next night to serve at Trinity House/Shrine of St. Joseph is Friday, January 12th. Please pray for this ministry, and for the families who are in this program. If you are interested in participating, please e-mail Kathy Pfeil email@example.com or Afsaneh Thursfield firstname.lastname@example.org about ways to get involved.
From the Finance Committee: If you would like to make a gift to All Saints’ of appreciated stock or mutual funds as your 2018 pledge contribution – we are able to receive such a gift. For information about how to do this, please contact David Thursfield, email@example.com. Thank you.
And a reminder: pledges are the largest and most reliable portion of our parish funding. You may make a pledge via e-mail, or by sending in your card. Your financial and prayer support enable All Saints’ to do God’s work in our community, and are a blessing to your fellow parishioners and to all those All Saints’ ministers to. Thank you!
Thank you to Altar Guild, Choirs, Ushers, Office Volunteers, Staff, and all who helped to make our worship of God so beautiful this Christmas season.
General Announcement about Saturday night/Sunday Snow – during the winter, if we have to cancel one or both Sunday services because of snow or ice, an e-mail will be sent out by 6:30 am and a message will be left on the parish voice mail. If we have a Sunday like that, it is a great time to pick up your Prayer Book at home and read through the service of Morning Prayer y yourself or with your loved ones. You can always find the Sunday Scripture readings at the Lectionary Page http://www.lectionarypage.net/ or you can use Forward Day by Day’s Daily Prayer page http://prayer.forwardmovement.org/daily_prayer.php?d=3&m=1&y=2018&office=CP; or on Facebook download the Daily Office app from the Brotherhood of St. Gregory https://gregorians.org/office/ . You could also pick a Psalm at random and a chapter from one of the four Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
ANNUAL MEETING – SAVE THE DATE
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held Sunday, February 4 at 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. Please plan to attend.
1/9 Finance Committee Rath House, 7:30 pm
1/10 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
1/11 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Junior Choir Choir Room, 5:15 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room, 7:30 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
Chalk Blessing for Homes - Since the Middle Ages there has been a tradition that on (or near) the feast of the Epiphany we pray for God’s blessing on our homes, marking the entrance with chalk (an incarnational image reminding us of the dust of the earth from which we were made). We mark the main door of our home with the initials of the Magi and the numerals of the new year, connected with crosses: 20 + C + M + B + 18.
The initials remind us of the legendary names of the Magi – Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar – and also stand for the Latin motto: Christus mansionem benedicat, “May Christ bless this house.” In the Book of Exodus, the Israelites marked their doors with blood so that the Lord would pass over their homes; but in this ritual, we mark our doors with chalk as a sign that we have invited God’s presence and blessing into our homes.
At the end of today’s 10 am service we will bless small bags with chalk (and instructions) for you to take home and bless your house. The bags will be available on the table in the Narthex. A blessed 2018!
Here is a recording of an Epiphany Hymn, #118, “Brightest and best of the stars of the morning”. It’s one of those hymns that has two tunes in our Hymnal. This tune is an Early American shape note/Sacred Harp tune. The text is by Reginald Heber, an Anglican bishop who served in India in the early 19th century. He is also the author of the hymn “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty.” Enjoy! https://youtu.be/8iuqOOL49Mo
Christmas blessings, Vicki+