Category: Thursday Thoughts

Thursday Thoughts, March 11, 2021

Thursday Thoughts, March 11, 2021

CLICK HERE to read THursday Thoughts for March 11, 2021

 

March 11, 2021

Dear Congregation:

I remember, as well as you, these days of a year ago.  Ken and I were all packed and ready to fly on a trip to Indonesia and Thailand with Global Ministries.  The trip was canceled on March 1st, the day prior to our flights.

On March 5, the Governor of Maryland declared a state of catastrophic health emergency.  At that time, there were to be no public gatherings of 250 or more.  But it did not pertain to religious gatherings.   So we planned to hold services on the 15th acknowledging the state of emergency our safety protocols.

In my Thursday Thoughts on March 12th, I wrote, “  We know, that the church community is a place of encouragement and refuge.  When there are so many things in the world causing concern and anxiety, the church is the place where many of us come to find meaning and understanding.”  I followed those words and information about our cleaning practices with words we have repeated over and over in this past year, “With all that being said, please use your judgment as to whether you feel comfortable coming to worship.   Remember that you can watch the service online.”

I remember three days of sleepless nights, agonizing over whether we really could be open or not.  Other congregations were closing and it seemed imminent that increased limitations for gatherings would soon be imposed.

March 15th, about 40 of us gathered in the sanctuary for what we knew would be our last in-person service for a while.  Several members were interviewed by the Frederick Newspost that day.  Colleen Baldree commented, “There’s so much chaos and concern and fear that has just bene growing and growing that I needed a grounding experience.  We needed to show support for one another but also just to be able to be reminded to not give in to the fear but to be reminded to rely on God and that we will be taken care of.”  Jenna Duranko commented, “In this time of chaos, honestly, church is definitely one of those places where people find comfort.”

As I look back on the past year, we, as a congregation, made a commitment to be the church.  Being the church did not rest solely on our ability to worship in the sanctuary or being physically present with each other in Bible study, Sunday School, and fellowship times.  We have been reminded over this past year that we are the church, no matter where we are.

Like many of you, I am still processing what we have experienced and learned over the past year.  Not just with the pandemic but also the other forces in our society that have shaped our lives – a volatile political climate and a renewed awareness of how many black people are killed on our streets and too often at the hands of those who have promised to protect us.

Yet, as Colleen and Jenna said, our faith and the church commuhnit6y has provided us with a grounding for dealing with the chaos of these days.  And the church will be there in the days ahead.

 

P.S.  Here’s a great article from The Atlantic that Jacqueline Messner shared with me that captures the essence of the grief we have experienced in the past year.

https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2021/03/we-have-grieve-our-last-good-days/618233/

Worship Notes:               Fourth Sunday in Lent          One Great Hour of Sharing Sunday 

Isaiah 49:8–12 articulates a stunning vision for a world of justice and equity; a world where everyone has enough, and all live in safety and abundance. It is also a vision for a world of interconnectedness. In this vision, what is good for you is also good for your neighbor; what is good for one country is good for the whole world; and what harms any one of us harms us all.

This morning we will be receiving our One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

Food for Thought:   

“As it turns out, lines on a map don’t stop the spread of disease; a pandemic does not recognize human-made boundaries. Whether we like it or not, our lives are deeply intertwined. Our well-being is bound, inextricably, to that of neighbors close to home, and those halfway around the world.”  (From the One Great Hour of Sharing resources material.)

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Thursday Thoughts March 3, 2021

Thursday Thoughts March 3, 2021

CLICK HERE to read the Thursday, March 3, 2021 Thursday THoughts

 

March 4, 2021

Dear Congregation:

This comes to you while I am learning and playing with my clergy support group — Hal, Curran, and Jeff.   Five years ago, we were blessed to participate in a program named CREDO through the UCC health insurance program of the Pension Boards.   CREDO is a wellness program targeted to for clergy in mid-career to assess our spiritual, vocational physical and psychological, and financial health.   During the week-long program, we met as a large group for worship and presentations.  We were also assigned to a cohort group of four colleagues from across the country to share hopes and dreams and goals for continuing strong in ministry.

My small group has been in contact almost monthly since we first met in October of 2015.  We have met in person each year to play and learn and to find renewal and rest.  Our time together, it gives me a safe haven where four pastors serving very different congregations hold each other accountable to personal goals, celebrate successes, console each other in hard times, and encourage each other. We explore new ideas in an atmosphere of trust that sings with synergy, creativity, and honesty.

            I am grateful for this group of colleagues and friends and the time we have spent together.

Worship Notes:               Third Sunday in Lent

Psalm 19 “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable to you, O God.”

With the image of God as a rock, the end of the Psalm 19 uses an image from Creation for God that alludes back to the Creation language at the beginning of the psalm. Skies and rocks speak of God. The individual or leader who prays this psalm prays to live in dependence on God, and in harmony with all Creation.                                                                                                                                             John 2:13–22 speaks of Creation and justice in a different way. In the ancient world, the temple was understood as a microcosm of Creation. This relationship to Creation is evident in the architecture and decorations of the temple. Jesus cleansing the temple is a cleansing of Creation from injustice. In calling his body the temple, Christ holds together spirit and matter. The body is spiritual, is God’s temple. Christ’s body is a microcosm of Creation. If this is so, then Creation could be understood as the body of God.                                                                     We will share in Holy Communion this morning.  Have some bread and a cracker and a cup of water, wine or juice at your worship centers.

 

Food for Thought:   

“We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.”  (George Bernard Shaw)

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Thursday Thoughts for February 25, 2021

Thursday Thoughts for February 25, 2021

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February 25, 2021
Dear Congregation:
The weight of the anniversary of one year being in this time of pandemic is wearing on many of us including the knowledge that more than 500,000 people have died from COVID 19.
This week, I share a prayer by a favorite writer, UCC minister, Rev. Maren Tirabassi. Hope it comforts you as it did me.
Prayer for Grieving 500,000 Dead of Covid-19 in the US
Holy One, who blesses those that mourn and do not hurry into being comforted, we sit down into the loss of those we know, and those that now we’ll never have a chance to know. We grieve the stories they will not live, the songs they will not sing, the children they will not have, the hope they will not offer to those around them, the inventions they will not patent, the art, poetry, ink, music, shingling a house, legal argument, good tune-up and tire rotation, diagnosis, surgical procedure, gentle placement of a ventilator, dental cleaning, quilt, strawberry picking, produce counter stocking, life-guard undertow rescue, lullaby, recipe and vote that will never be made. We grieve the birthday candles on cakes they will never taste. We grieve for their parents and their children, their families, their colleagues and their friends. We grieve memories slipping away waiting for memorial services. We grieve that the very sadness ebbs away from weariness or the new whisper of good news. O God, our masks are wet with tears and our fingers shake holding balloons at nursing home windows. Comfort us, we pray. amen
Worship Notes: Second Sunday in Lent
Our first scripture reading for this Second Sunday in Lent is Genesis 17: 1-7, 15-16, and speaks to trust in God’s promises. Abram and Sarai are childless; yet God makes a covenant, promising Abram he will be the ancestor of many nations. In Mark 8: 31-38, Jesus and his disciples are near Caesarea Philippi. For the first time, Jesus teaches that he will suffer and die. Today we will be honoring our young people and their families involved with Scouting.
Food for Thought:
“Carve your name on hearts, not tombstones. A legacy is etched into the minds of others and the stories they share about you.” –Shannon Alder
Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701
301-662-2762
E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Thursday Thoughts, February 11, 2021

Thursday Thoughts, February 11, 2021

CLICK HERE for the Thursday, February 11 Thursday Thoughts

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at:https://boxcast.tv/channel/bzioh0xyyacgq5fmjnoi

11:30 a.m. Virtual Fellowshiphttps://zoom.us/j/153605864?pwd=M2VSRjZsRDdFd1Q4bms0RExzam5SUT09&status=success PW:  007681

February 11, 2021

Dear Congregation:

On Super Bowl Sunday, our youth gathered to receive food donations and monetary donations for the Frederick food bank. The kids hadn’t seen each other in months. It was a beautiful day to be outside. There was snow from the morning providing the perfect opportunity for making a snowman and making snowballs and tossing them at each other.  The joy of seeing them together, wearing masks and staying physically apart, was a gift in an otherwise weary time.

I see that same joy whenever we have seen one another over these months.  When we gather for worship, when we meet for a Spiritual Walk, when people are delivering worship packets or stopping by the church office, I see the joy in being together.

In our hearts and minds, we know there’s always a risk when people gather. Even before the pandemic, we recognized the need to have clean bathrooms. When serving food, we pulled our hair back, washed our hands, and made sure we had gloves on.  When we did not feel well, we did not attend worship or a church gathering.

There is no magic day when we all of us will feel comfortable gathering together at one time.  Integrating ourselves back into the wider culture of gathering will take some time. For some of us, it will take longer than for others.

Our church and its leaders are committed to creating a safe space for gathering.  We will continue to honor your decision to come to activities in person — and to remain at home until you feel comfortable doing so.  I ask you to remember these values as part of our love of neighbor and to respect one another’s decisions to connect in a socially aware manner in person or online, understanding that, while different in approach, are both valid.

P.S.  Using our young people as an example, we all need to play and to laugh.  I am looking for someone/some people to plan some silly or playful activities for the coming months where we would be outside and able to social distance.  Use your imagination.  We have a beautiful patio area, high top tables, noisy musical things.

Worship Notes                

The Season after the Epiphany ends with the story of Jesus’ transfiguration in Mark 9: 2-9. This revealing of Jesus’ glory is a turning point, marking the end of Jesus’ ministry in Galilee and the beginning of the journey towards Jerusalem and the fate that awaits Jesus there. Just before today’s reading, Peter declares that Jesus is the Messiah. But Peter does not understand Jesus’ teaching about the kind of Messiah Jesus has come to be.                                                                                                     I John 4: 7-19 reminds us of the gift of love.

Norman Ross will be preaching this morning and Kim Sexton leading the liturgy.  The ERUCC singers will be reading scripture.

Food for Thought:   

            “Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.”   (Maya Angelou)

 

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Thursday Thoughts, February 4 2021

Thursday Thoughts, February 4 2021

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February 4, 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at:https://boxcast.tv/channel/bzioh0xyyacgq5fmjnoi

11:30 a.m. Virtual Fellowshiphttps://zoom.us/j/153605864?pwd=M2VSRjZsRDdFd1Q4bms0RExzam5SUT09&status=success PW:  007681

Dear Congregation:

The Tuesday morning Bible study group has been having a lively discussion on the parables of Jesus. This week we explored the parable of the laborers in the vineyard. In the story, a landowner hires various workers throughout the day. Some work all day. Some work half a day. Some work for an hour. At the end of the day they all get paid the same amount.
For many of us, the immediate reaction to this parable is, “Not fair!” We identify with those laborers who worked all day and then somebody else comes in and gets all the same credit. Brings back bad memories of group projects in school.

The parable is disturbing because it forces us to think outside the box of what is fair or not fair. Professor Amy Joe Levine, whose book we are using as a resource for this study, asks us to approach the parable with a different point of view. Can we think beyond what is fair or not fair? Can we consider the generosity of the landowner? Can we consider that everyone ought to have a daily wage sufficient for living? Can we look at this parable through the lens of justice?

She also raises a question about living in community. What may have prevented those first hired from saying to the landowner, “Hey, my friends over there need work, too.”
We spent a lot of time trying to wrap our heads around those perspectives. And especially about the perspective of a landowner who chooses to be generous and how we react when someone gets more than we do.

Whatever made us think that life is fair? I once heard a speaker say that we have to get over that concept because the more we try and make life fair the more frustrated we get. Life, as we know it, is not fair.

Levine asks us to focus on generosity. Sometimes we are the recipients of generosity that to others may not seem fair. At other times, we may be the ones who share and consider the others in our community who may need more in order to live.

What might our lives look like if we gazed through a lens of generosity and justice rather than fairness?

Worship Notes Fifth Sunday after Epiphany
The readings today affirm the importance of prayer in keeping our focus for ministry. Restored by God’s transforming love, we are reshaped as messengers of good news. In our Gospel lesson, Mark 1:29-39, as Jesus is seeking rest at the home of Simon and Andrew, he is called upon to heal Simon’s mother-in-law. Crowds begin to press in around the house, demanding more words and deeds of power from Jesus. Isaiah 40: 21-31 calls God’s people to remember that God – who created the universe and rules everything within it – is their source of strength. We will share in communion this morning.

Food for Thought:
“Fair doesn’t mean giving every child the same thing, but giving every child what he or she needs.” (Rick Lavoie)

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701
301-662-2762
E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Thursday Thoughts January 28, 2021

Thursday Thoughts January 28, 2021

CLICK HERE to read the Thursday THoughts for January 28, 2021

 

January 28, 2021

The 10:30 service can be viewed online at:https://boxcast.tv/channel/bzioh0xyyacgq5fmjnoi

11:30 a.m. Virtual Fellowshiphttps://zoom.us/j/153605864?pwd=M2VSRjZsRDdFd1Q4bms0RExzam5SUT09&status=success PW:  007681

Dear Congregation:
I have been reflecting, a lot, on the theme of connections.  Walking on trails around Frederick, I see how the tree limbs intertwined and their roots tangle together underground and on top of the ground.  The Green Committee has been helping me see the connection between  my behavior, consumption, use and disposal of items affects the environment, including God’s people.  The COVID pandemic has caused all of us to consider how we are connected in pain and sorrow as we see so many fellow citizens suffering from the virus but also how we need to pay attention to our behaviors that affect the health and wellbeing of neighbors around us.I’ve also been reflecting how we are connected in community, in the church, in Frederick, in the USA, and the world as we heal and rebuild relationships.  As St. Paul instructs in the letter to Corinthians, we cannot say to one another, I have no need of you.  We are bound together.I’m currently reading a book titled, Braiding Sweetgrass.   Author, Robin Wall Kimmerer is a botanist and has been trained to ask questions of nature with the tools of science.  She is also a member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and embraces that plants and animals are among our oldest teachers.  Her book is filled with wonderful reflections of her learnings that help the reader to make connections between science and our human experience of nature.In the preface to the book, I was struck by her words about the process of braiding a basket out of sweetgrass.   As she described the process of the connection between the braiders and the braiding and the tension involved,  I found myself connecting her thoughts with the experience of what we will need to do as a country in these days.  We are connected and share a common bond with other citizens, no matter who they are and where they are on the political spectrum.  As citizens, we are connected and called to find ways to braid together our experiences, even in the midst of the tension.  That the tension helps to make the braid stronger but requires us working together.I invite you to reflect on her words and how they might speak to you today:

A sheaf of sweetgrass, bound at the end and divided into thirds, is ready to braid. In braiding sweetgrass so that it is smooth, glossy, and worthy of the gift-a certain amount of tension is needed. As any little girl with tight braids will tell you, you have to pull a bit. Of course you can do it yourself by tying one end to a chair, or by holding it in your teeth and braiding backward away from yourself-but the sweetest way is to have someone else hold the end so that you pull gently against each other, all the while leaning in, head to head, chatting and laughing, watching each other’s hands, one holding steady while the other shifts the slim bundles over one another, each in its turn. Linked by sweetgrass, there is reciprocity between you, linked by sweetgrass, the holder as vital as the braider… Will you hold the end of the bundle while I braid? And then I’ll hold it for you, while you braid, too.

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor
Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ
15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701
301-662-2762
e-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org
January 21, 2021 THURSDAY THOUGHTS

January 21, 2021 THURSDAY THOUGHTS

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January 21, 2021

Dear Congregation:

I hope you will find this benediction, written by the Rev. Dr. William Sloane Coffin for Riverside Church in NY City, as a blessing for these days.

May the Lord bless you

and keep you.

May God’s face

shine upon you and

be gracious unto you.

May God give you the grace

never to sell yourself short;

grace to risk something big

for something good;

grace to remember that the

world is too dangerous

for anything but truth and

too small for anything but love.

So, may God take your minds

and think through them;

may God take your lips

and speak through them;

may God take your hearts

and set them on fire.

May God look on you with joy

And give you peace.

Amen.

 

 

 

Worship Notes                Third Sunday after Epiphany

            God calls many different people in many different ways.  In the Gospel lesson from Mark 1: 14-20, Jesus sees four fishers, and they immediately leave their nets in response to the call to “Follow me.”   Jonah 3:1–5, 10 is also a story of call. The prophet Jonah has already failed once to respond to God’s call. Now God calls Jonah a second time to go to Nineveh to preach a message of repentance. Because of this reluctant prophet, the people repent and acknowledge God. God’s mind is changed and Nineveh is saved.

 

Food for Thought:              

“It is from numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that human history is shaped. Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”  (Robert F. Kennedy 64TH US  Attorney General)

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

Thursday Thoughts, January 14, 2021

Thursday Thoughts, January 14, 2021

CLICK HERE for the January 17, 2021 Thursday Thoughts

 

January 14, 2021

Dear Congregation:

I am holding on to hope.  I am hoping that wisdom and calm will prevail.  I am hoping that we, as a country, can find our way to reclaim our values of liberty and justice for all.  I am hoping that we can recognize that saying we were wrong is nor a moral failing but an act of courage and the opportunity to find a new way forward.

We will gather for worship on Sunday as we have done for over 275 years.  We will gather for prayer next week, with one another and members of the United Church of Christ.  We will invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to fall afresh on us and give us wisdom and courage for the living of these days.

I share a prayer for going on from Steve Garnaas-Holmes:

 Prayer for going on

Beloved, you have not given up on us.  Shine your light within us.

Crucified One, you have been here before. Sustain us with your presence.

Give us the wholeheartedness to mourn our brokenness and then to rise and get to work.

Give us the resilience to stay faithful, even in the shadow of evil, to do justice and to love mercy.

Loving One, lead us.

Redeem our fear, redirect our despair and revive our spirits.

Give us hope and dissatisfaction.

Give us strength and patience.

Give us humility and courage.

Give us love that will not quit in the face of evil.

Be among us, be with us, be in us.

Faithful God hold our hearts in yours, and grant us your peace.   Amen.

 

Worship Notes                 Second Sunday after Epiphany

In both the gospel lesson (John 1:43-51) and the Hebrew lesson (1 Samuel 3:1-10) we hear stories about God calling disciples.  Samuel recounts the classic story of God calling him in the night.  Samuel responds in the way most of us would want to respond: “Hear I am, Lord… “Speak, for your servant is listening.”   In John’s gospel, the only gospel to mention Nathaniel as a character in Jesus’ gathering up his disciples (note that Nathaniel was not counted as one of the 12 disciples), we hear the question put to Jesus about worth and value.  We hear Nathaniel wondering: “Can this guy from Nazareth be worth it?”  We might ask the same question:  Can anything of worth come out of our lives of faith, lived individually or lived together in the church in 2021?            

 

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

Thursday Thoughts, January 7 2021

Thursday Thoughts, January 7 2021

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January 7, 2021

Dear Congregation:

Like you, I am still reeling from yesterday’s events.  I am trying to process all that I saw and heard and wondering where our country goes from here.

What is clear is that we need leadership in the nation, the world, our community, and our church that is willing to do the hard work of building relationships of trust and respect.  It is clear that we all need to take a deep breath and focus on the values we proclaim as people of faith and as a country.  Then, we must do the even harder work of standing up to bullying, injustice, misinformation, and attempts to create an alternative universe.

We have seen so much of what we value ridiculed, challenged, and yesterday we saw an attempt to destroy our democracy.

There can be no silence.  There can be no “I had no idea this was going on.”  There can be no sitting comfortably in our lazy boy chairs or watching from the sidelines.  We have the responsibility as citizens and as people of faith to do this hard work.

Stacey Abrams of Georgia spoke of how she has been working, for years, to go to where people are, to listen to them, to hear their concerns, and build relationships.  She admits that this is hard, time consuming work but it is the only way we can building a community.  And you know where she learned these skills?  From her parents.  Her clergy parents used this model as the way they met people and created church community.

We know how to do this work and we must do it.  Our lives depend on it.

Worship Notes:         Baptism of Christ Sunday

Today is Baptism of Jesus Sunday, an invitation to enter into the mystery and wonder of Baptism. Baptism is important to our identity as Christians, as it is the defining moment in which we enter into the Christian family. This day invites reflection on the relationship between God and Jesus, defined in Jesus’ baptism as special and different from all other relationships. Consider what it means that God says to each of us, “You are my beloved child.”

Mark’s gospel is characterized by urgency – events happen at a rapid pace. In these opening verses, John the Baptizer bursts on the scene in our Gospel lesson, Mark 1: 4-11, with a shocking message: Israel must repent and return to God’s ways.  In the defining moment of baptism, there is a new beginning for Jesus and for all who would follow him in the days and years to come.

Genesis 1:1–5 gives a vivid picture of the work of God the creator. Water is an image of power, both life-giving and destructive. A wind from God (God’s Spirit) brings order out of the watery chaos. God creates by speaking and calls the creation “good.” Creation is beloved and God is pleased with it.

We will be reaffirming our baptisms this morning.   If you are worshipping at home, please have a small bowl of water at your worship centers.

 

Food for Thought:              

“Real change, enduring change, happens one step at a time.”   (Ruth Bader Ginsburg)

 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Kershner Daniel, Senior Pastor

Evangelical Reformed Church, United Church of Christ

15 West Church Street, Frederick, MD 21701

301-662-2762

E-mail: bkdaniel@erucc.org

 

 

Thursday Thoughts, December 31, 2020

Thursday Thoughts, December 31, 2020

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December 31,  2020

Dear Congregation:

I do not need to remind us that it has been a long and hard year.  What I do want us to remember, lest we forget, that throughout it all, God’s grace and strength has been our guide.  We have found comfort and hope in God’s word.  We have experienced encouragement as we have walked with one another through fear and anxiety.   We have learned how to be resilient in ways we never imagined.

May we enter the new year with hope and with the knowl3dge that no matter who we are or where we are on life’s journey, God is with us.

I invite you to share in this prayer from the UCC Worship Ways for the New Year:

God of Creation and Wonder, you formed us in your image.

You gave us your Son who taught us how to live out your teachings.

Give us the strength and wisdom to make this world your world.

Open our hearts to the possibilities of the new year.

Remove any cynicism or mistrust we may be clinging to

and fill us with the hope of a new beginning. Amen.

 

Worship Notes:            Epiphany Sunday                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               On this day our church will celebrate Epiphany, a name that comes from a Greek word meaning “to make manifest” or “to display.” During the season of Epiphany, Christians rejoice in the gift of saving love and the unfolding vision of wholeness that God has made manifest for all people in Jesus the Christ. Our call is to participate in proclaiming this good news.                                                                                       We will read from Isaiah 60:1–6 as the prophet declares that “nations shall come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.”  The Gospel lesson describes the story of the arrival of the magi to pay homage to Jesus, Matthew 2: 1-12.                                                                                                                            We will be sharing in Holy Communion.