From the Pastor

Celebrating Epiphany

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Epiphany, from the Greek word epiphaneia, means an appearance or manifestation. Christians celebrate this festival each year on January 6, the 12th day after Christmas. Epiphany ends on Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins.

Epiphany marks the coming of the Magi, or wise men, to worship the baby Jesus. Because the Magi were Gentiles, Epiphany symbolizes the first recognition of Christ by non-Jews. It’s a reminder that Christ came as the light — and Savior — of the whole world.

The traditional color for Epiphany is green, indicating life, growth, hope and eternity. Symbols for the season include a light, candle or star; a crown or three crowns; three gifts; and a globe. In the modern church, Epiphany has become a time to focus on reaching out and “showing” Jesus as the Savior of all people. It’s also a reminder to engage in Christian community and to heal divisions among God’s children.

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with

Tonight's the Night!

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Dear Friends,

Tonight’s the night!  I look forward to seeing you and your friends and neighbors in worship for the Birthday of Jesus!  Beautiful music, candles and carols – what could be better than that!?!  The children and youth have a fun musical to share, the sanctuary is already gorgeous, and now we need your voices added to make it a blessed and holy night.  Please remember to make those last-minute invitations to your friends and neighbors who don’t have a church family to support and love them.

Young Adults, 18-23:  I’ve reserved 2 lanes at Greenmount Bowl for Tuesday night, December 30, 7:30 to 9:30 pm for a “Reconnect” evening for all of you!  Please let me know if you can come.  The lanes will allow for 16 of us to bowl, and I really look forward to seeing all of you.  (I neglected to ask for the prices, but bowling is usually about $5 a game plus shoe rental and food.  I’ll buy pitchers of soda to share.)  Parents, if your young adult didn’t receive an invitation from me, please pass this along.  I didn’t have everyone’s email or cell phone. Thanks!

Coming in January:  After Spiritual Gifts, the most-requested topic for sermons that I have received from you all was “current events.”  Beginning January 11, our next worship series will be on issues that separate us and even bring us to hate each other.  The first two weeks will focus on international issues that threaten world peace, and the second two weeks will focus on homosexuality and same-sex marriage (a specifically requested topic).  These are topics that people are talking about in the community, in the media, and in the deli.  Remember to invite your friends who may be wondering how the Christian community deals with such complicated issues and still speak to each other.  The two weeks on world peace will be capped off by an afternoon service of Prayer for Peace on January 18 at 5 pm, with both musical and spoken prayers and witness to peace-making.  Hope to see you there!

In the next ten days, I pray that you all have a deeply spiritual time of celebrating with your family and loved ones with laughter, good food, and some relaxation thrown in for good measure.  I plan to do all of the above.  With our new phone system, I have several ways to retrieve messages – the system even sends your voice mail messages to my email!  If there is an emergency, please don’t hesitate to call me at home (410-489-4344).

Blessings on you,

Vivian

Posted by Vivian McCarthy with

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