A very happy Epiphany to you! This is the season of light, the time we celebrate Christ being shown forth to the Gentile world – represented by the arrival of the Magi (Three Kings) in Bethlehem. It’s a time when we particularly watch for, and reflect on, seeing Christ is new and different ways. You might say it’s more about looking at Jesus, than listening, as we watch in Scripture what Jesus is doing; and also as we watch what Jesus is doing in our lives and in the world.
Just a reminder that Sunday’s 10 am service will be a Family Service, since the first Sunday of the month was New Year’s Day.
I hope you all had a good Christmas season, and that we can look forward to a healthy 2017 – physically, spiritually, emotionally, relationally. ~ VGM+
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Epiphany & Baptism of Our Lord, January 8th
8:00 am Holy Eucharist & Renewal of Vows
10:00 am Family Service – Procession of the Three Kings, Holy Eucharist, & Renewal of Baptismal Vows
Children attend worship with their families. Children’s homily; birthday, anniversary, and baptismal prayers.
Followed by Soup and Sandwich Lunch and a Piñata for the children. $5 per person/$20 per family maximum (children under age 3 - free)
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 + 17.
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 Sunday’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 2017!
January 8 –Epiphany Soup and Sandwich Lunch after the 10 am service in the Lower Room of the Parish House, with a piñata for the kids. Coffee Hour is downstairs, too…in case you can’t stay for lunch. Cost of the lunch is $5 per person/$20 per family max. Kids age 3 and under are free.
Annual Parish Meeting – Sunday, February 5, 11:15 am in the Parish Hall. Save the date and plan to attend.
Offering Envelopes – if you asked for offering envelopes for 2017 (via your pledge card) they are available to be picked up in the Narthex this Sunday. Please remember to take the box that has your name on it! Thanks.
Pilgrim – a new study series is starting Monday, January 9. The topic for the 6-week session is the Lord’s Prayer. One of the treasures of the Christian faith, this prayer that Jesus gave us has been described as containing the whole of the Christian Gospel/Good News if we truly understand it. We’ll meet Mondays from 7-8:30 pm in the Rath House. Evening Prayer (6 pm) and a soup supper (6:30 pm) are available before hand. Sign up on the sheet in the Narthex to reserve a book ($10), and let us know you are coming.
Christian Formation/Sunday School meeting for parents of all children PreK-Grade 8, Sunday, January 22 at 11:30 am (meeting room TBD – childcare provided if needed). This is a time to come and talk with one another and the parish clergy and staff about your hopes and needs for your children’s formation as Christians, and your family’s spiritual well-being in a changing world. We’ll explore a variety of options and resources that can help you in your vocation and ministry as parents. Questions? Speak to Mother Vicki or Alison Siener Brown.
Bible Study meets Wednesdays at 10:15 am, in the Rath House. We are reading through the Book of Acts; next week, 1/11 we’ll discuss Chapter 16. Come and try us out!
Sleeping Mats for Homeless – Bridges, the outreach feeding program in Summit that ministers to homeless people in Newark and Manhattan, has let us know that there is a need for crocheted sleeping mats made out of plarn (plastic bag yarn). These mats are insulating, waterproof, and lightweight. A group will be gathering to learn how to make the mats and the plarn on Wed., Jan 18 at 7:30 pm in the Parish Hall. Bring a crochet hook size 15 or N; we’ll also have some available. We can use grocery bags and newspaper bags. Bring a friend; help a homeless person be more comfortable; re-use your plastic bags and reduce the plastic that ends up in our oceans! Here’s a link that describes how it’s done: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BiUC0iDQtkA Questions? Speak to Susie Harris.
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1/9 Evening Prayer Church, 6:00 pm
Yoga Parish House, 6:15 pm
Pilgrim Study Group Rath House, 7:00 pm
1/10 Finance Committee Rath House, 7:30 pm
1/11 Bible Study Rath House, 10:15 am
1/12 Holy Eucharist Church, 7:00 am
Small Saints’& Jr Choirs Choir Room, 5:15 pm
Wedding Rehearsal Church, 6:00 pm
Adult Choir Choir Room, 7:30 pm
1/13 Wedding Church, 4:00 pm
For a full schedule of our buildings check the website calendar www.allsaintsmillington.org.
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Christian Spiritual Practices
We usually think of New Year’s resolutions for ourselves as individuals. But what about resolutions for churches and parish communities? Rebekah Simon-Peter has written a great short article: 7 Resolutions for Growing Churches. Everything she mentions is practical, simple, and important – but that doesn’t mean they are always easy! They can, however, help us as a community of Jesus’ followers carry out our mission and ministry more effectively. Here's the link: http://www.ministrymatters.com/all/entry/7918/7-counterintuitive-resolutions-for-growing-churches Enjoy!
The Collect for Epiphany
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son
to the Peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by
faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to
face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns
with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. ~ BCP
*The Magi, by Henry Siddons Mowbry