Sunday, January 6, 2019
This Sunday: Communion - Epiphany
From Reverend Pat Kriss
“Without the quest, there can be no epiphany.”
Dr. Constantine E. Scaros, Dean, University of New England
Since this is the first Sunday a brand new year, it’s a perfect time for fresh new starts, to begin the journeys that will bring us the gift of sudden new understanding. This is Epiphany Sunday, the day in the church year when we celebrate the arrival of three wise rulers from the East who have invested months of their lives just to follow the lead of a bright star.
Epiphany Sunday is a far bigger deal in Spain and all the Latin American Sundays than it usually is in America, and for a couple of good reasons. In Latin countries, it isn’t Santa who is the man of the hour during the holidays, and not on Christmas Eve. It’s the Three Kings – three wise men who, according to tradition, were from very different cultures outside of Judea. It’s these three kings, already busy bringing gifts to the new Messiah whose star they have followed, who manage on January 6 to stop at the houses of all the other little girls and boys in the world and leave gifts for them too. Be a little one and leave your shoes on the doorstep, and by morning they will be filled with little gifts, and big gifts too will have magically made their way inside the home. Of course, you should have left some water and food for the Kings’ camels, too. Accordingly, our upcoming Epiphany Sunday will have a little touch of Spanish to it.
The second reason that the Feast of the Epiphany is important is that it marks the entry of three Gentile people into the all-Jewish story of Christmas. Learned Gentiles, men of science representing the rest of the world Jesus came to save, whose star insisted that they follow it on a quest for a great king, a Messiah who, they thought, would have need of the precious gold, frankincense and myrrh they brought with them. Imagine their surprise when they arrived at the home of Mary and Jesus, to find, not a towering king, but a teething toddler. Their quest taught them a lesson: the future of our sorry world is often in the hands of the children who will grow to rule the world. All of them need our support to grow.
The final gift of this Sunday is the ability to caste away, to destroy that which is holding us back for the New Year. Now, everyone has an idea of what we want to add to this new year ahead, in terms of noble causes we want to take on like weight loss and exercise. But I’m a big fan of letting go of the past too, to make room for the present and future. So this communion Sunday, after our service we will have our traditional bonfire on the church front portico, where we get a chance to consign pieces of paper to the fire that symbolically bear all the bad things we no longer want in our lives. So come this Sunday, and experience a liberation of your life from the darkness, and start that quest into a new life.
Blessings – Pastor Pat Kriss
From Jim Moriarty, Music Director
“Music is the language of the spirit. It opens the secret of life bringing peace, abolishing strife.” – Kahlil Gibran
I thank my choir for their outstanding musical contributions throughout the Advent season and Christmas Eve! If you would like to join this wonderful choir please see me after service, or contact the church office and leave a message. I only ask that you have sung in choirs or choruses in the past, and some experience reading music.
I also would like to thank Nancy Wildman, Cheryl Hill and Tim Koch for volunteering their time to sing at the special December 30th Carol Sing service. I am so fortunate to be able to work with such talented people.
Peace and Joy this coming year through music ,
Our January Fellowship Luncheon will be held on Tuesday, January 8th at 12:30 pm in Annie Hall. Please bring a dish to share and welcome in the New Year!
First Church Knitters Group. We plan on meeting to knit and crochet at 5:30 pm in the Parlor on alternate Thursdays. Everyone is welcome. Seasoned knitters and crocheters as well as people who want to learn to knit or crochet. Fellowship and friends meet to relax...call Heidi at 204 798 0476 or 203 826 6827 to RSVP/next date.
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Deer Hill Thrift Shop
Great merchandise, low prices, very friendly staff.
Please consider volunteering – contact Pat Moriarty or Terry Hansen.
Fridays: 9:30 am – 2 pm; Saturdays 10 am – 2 pm.
The Dorothy Day Overflow Shelter has opened in our gym. We welcome our homeless guests and the volunteers who staff the shelter every night throughout the winter season. Donations of cup-of-soup, hot chocolate and coffee are always welcome.