10:30 a.m. Charles Fillmore Chapel
January 4: Feast of the Epiphany
Bishop Janet Sunderland
January 11: Baptism of the Lord
Bishop Cliff Kroski
January 18: Bishop Janet Sunderland
January 25: Bishop Cliff Kroski
Financial Contribution Records
The financial contributions of all who contributed to our church in 2014, and who identified those contributions, are being given to you or will be mailed to you. You may use these records for income tax purposes.
Thank you all for your generosity of spirit and your support of our community.
We begin the first Sunday of 2015 celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany. This wonderful celebration from Matthew’s Gospel tells the story of three magi, wise astrologers, who follow a star and bring gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to a newborn baby.
Whether this story is true or based on oral tradition doesn’t matter. We are so familiar with this story of the wise men, the conversation with Herod, the three gifts (because there were three travelers), and the dream to return home by another route.
As we have in years past, we offer a traditional blessing for you: (20 + C + M + B + 15).
The number of the New Year is split at the beginning and end. The C, M, and B are the initials of the Magi (traditionally Caspar, Melchior, and Balthazar) and the + stands for saint. The letters also abbreviate the blessing, “Christus mansionem benedicat”: May Christ bless this house.
Write the inscription above the lintel inside the front door as a family member says, “May Christ bless this house.” It’s a wonderful, simple ceremony. Throughout the year those who come and go through that door will enjoy the blessing of Christ though you.
The Feast of the Baptism of Jesus is the bridge between the Christmas season and Ordinary Time, and the official end of the Christmas season.
We hear Mark’s account of the baptism of Jesus. This is the shortest of the Gospel accounts of the event. When Jesus is baptized by John, a voice comes from heaven, “You are my beloved Son; with you I am well pleased.” The message in Mark implies that only Jesus heard the voice, unlike Matthew’s Gospel which implies that all present heard it. We are blessed with water and reminded that we, too, are sons and daughters of the Divine; we too are beloved; and God is well pleased with us. We share in the baptism of the Christ as we are called to transformation, wholeness, and holiness as the Spirit resides in us.
January 18th begins a brief month of Ordinary Time (Lent begins February 18th). We hear John’s Gospel today and Jesus called “The Lamb of God” by the Baptist. Andrew and an unidentified man hear what Jesus is called and begin to follow him. Andrew tells his brother Simon,” We have found the Messiah.” Simon meets Jesus and immediately has his named changed to Cephas-Peter. A name change is also a change in mission and purpose, and from that day on, Peter’s life was never the same.
The last Sunday of the month tells Mark’s account of the call to discipleship of Andrew and Peter. Jesus tells them to follow him and he will make them “fishers of men.” Jesus also calls James and John. The four men leave their fishing nets to follow.
+Cliff and +Janet