January 13 The Baptism of Our Lord
Coffee Hour: 7:45 Need Volunteer
10:15 Need Volunteer
LEM & Ushers: 7:45 a.m. Alex Swart, Uz Branson
10: 15 a.m. Jacqueline Beltran, Jim Gruettner
Martie & Jeremy Lott
Uganda Team Returns
The Next Big Thing!
As Alice was gathering all the choir music from Advent and Christmas and Fr. Bob organizing stuff to move back to the Parish Hall, Alice said, "Well, on to Lent!" Yup and Yikes! Luckily it is a way off this year. There are a total of 8 Sundays in the Epiphany Season with Ash Wednesday falling on March 6. So we have a fair amount of time. One of the things about Church work is that one always finds oneself thinking at least 6 weeks ahead.
What is the Next Big Thing?
An Episcopal Visitation on the First Sunday of Lent March 10!
We get an Episcopal Visitation (That is a Bishop comes and presides and preaches) every two years. The last three Episcopal Visitations has been with Bishop Diane Bruce. This time we will have Our Diocesan Bishop, The Rt. Rev. John Taylor as celebrant and preacher. Most of you will remember him from Fr. Bob's 35 Anniversary Celebration last June.
What Goes with an Episcopal Visitation?
It's an opportunity for the bishop to get to know the parishes of the diocese.
The bishop administers Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation of people's baptismal vows. (More about this later)
The bishop usually meets with the Vestry to learn about the parish.
The bishop inspects and signs the Parish Registers
The bishop shares a meal with the parishioners after the service.
An Episcopal Visitation is the way individual parishes experience their connection to the wider Church as in the Diocese of Los Angeles, The Episcopal Church in the United States, and the worldwide Anglican Communion. Suddenly we are not just connected to our 200+ members, but the other 80 million Anglicans throughout the world!
So it is a big deal!
It's also an opportunity for both individual and Parish renewal: It can give us all a shot in the arm!
Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation.
This coming Sunday, the Feast of the Baptism of the Lord, we will baptize two infant children. During the baptism, the parents and godparents will speak for the child in affirming their Christian faith and life. We in the congregation will renew and reaffirm our own baptismal vows as well. The children can't speak for themselves, but the parents, godparents, and the parish too, commit to help the child develop their Christian faith in and through the life and example of the Christian community through participation in the parish's life and worship. It's a bit like growing up in a family and growing up in a particular country.
There comes a time though, when one has to claim for themselves a way of life and the values that go with it. The Sacrament of Confirmation is when an adult affirms their own Christian commitment.
Confirmation: For those baptized as children, the bishop lays hands on the candidate and prays for the Holy Spirit to increase and strengthen one's Christian life.
Reception: For those who have been confirmed in another Christian denomination, the bishop extends a welcome to them as they become part of the Episcopal Church
Reaffirmation: For those already confirmed, but would like a special prayer from the bishop that the Holy Spirit continue to assist and deepen their life of faith.
Confirmation, Reception, and Reaffirmation is open to anyone who wants to participate. This includes the young people in Level, 3, Level 4, and Love and Wealth Management.
How we'll get ready.
Fr. Bob's colleagues have put him on to a wonderful new book: Walk in Love. It is an introduction the faith an life in the Episcopal Church by walking through The Book of Common Prayer. Fr. Bob has read it and finds it very good. It is clear, well written, accurate, and accessible. So taking inspiration from the City of Pasadena we are proposing
One Parish, One Book.
We invite any and all in the parish to read the book either on one's own or as part of a discussion group. Fr. Bob will set up several meeting times and dates so that any can participate. These can be daytime for those who are available, an evening, even a Saturday morning. It all depends on what people would like to do.
The book is too long to complete by the time Bishop Taylor comes to us. The goal is to start before Lent and finish by Pentecost. The bishop's visitation will give us all a boost. We'll move through the powerful seasons of Lent, Holy Week with the Reflective Dinners, and Easter, with the climax on Pentecost when we choose one of the Seven Gifts of the Holy Spirit, and light our candle on the side altar.
This should be great fun for all who participate.
The Nuts and Bolts
The first thing we have to do is order books. There will be a sign-up sheet outside Church. You can also email in an order to the office. The book is $16.20 plus shipping. It is also available for $9.99 on Kindle.
There will also be a sign-up sheet for people to indicate interest in receiving the Sacrament of Confirmation, Reception, or Reaffirmation.
Once we get a sense of people's interest we'll figure out the next steps discussion groups.
What else we'll do when the Bishop Comes.
It is Lent after all, so to honor austerity and penitence, we've come up with an interesting idea for the Parish lunch after Church. We'll do a pot-luck as always, but this time, we'll do a Soup, Salad, and Bread Lunch. We're asking people to sign up to make their favorite soups for us. We'll get a variety of different kinds of breads and salads, and yes, since it is Sunday, desserts.
Kate Kahler will coordinate this very creative event.
So think on this, how you would like to participate, and we'll pull together something really fun.
Coffee Hour for January and February
The Sign Up Sheet for the next two months will be outside Church on Sunday. Please sign up to host a coffee hour after the 7:45 or 10:15 Liturgies.
The Financial Page:
Annual Giving for 2019
We thank everyone who has sent in an Annual Giving Pledge card for 2019.
At this point we are 2/3 of the way to where we need to be for our Annual Giving. We really do need everyone's participation.
If you've not sent in a Pledge Card yet, please do so as soon as possible.
Annual Giving Pledge Cards are also available on the back table of the Church.
Offering Envelopes for 2019
The Offering Envelopes for 2019 will be outside Church this Sunday.
Emmaus Road: New Book: A Life of Jesus by Shusako Endo
Emmaus Road Resumes on Monday January 14, at 7:00 p.m. We will read Shusako Endo's book A Life of Jesus. Endo is a Japanese writer who is Roman Catholic. His fiction has wrestled with the question, why is it that of all the places on Earth where Christianity has taken root, Japan is the one place it has had the most difficulty. Endo wrote A Life of Jesus, in order to present him to his fellow Japanese in a way they could more easily appropriate. It is a very different take on the story of Jesus, than we are used to.
Endo's other book Silence, about the persecution of Christians in Japan in the 16th Century was made into a movie a couple of years ago starring Liam Neeson and Jeremy Irons.
The book is available from Amazon. We'll meet Monday evening to start and figure out the reading sequence. Everyone is invited to participate.
The Young Person's Guide to Love and Wealth Management:
Sunday, January 20, 4:00 p.m. - 6:00 p.m. at the home of Bill and Rebecca Woods
Love and Wealth Management will meet to welcome back Gillian, Sara, and Adam from their trip to Uganda and hear of their adventures. We'll also make some plans as to what we'll do next.
Year End Close
Part of closing out 2018 and moving on to 2019 is to update the computer's membership module. This means correcting the Parish Directory and the Parish Email List.
On the table outside Church on Sunday will be two file folders, one for the Parish Directory Blue and one for the Parish Email List Red.
Please Check Both!
They are separate lists in two different computer programs. So if your email list is wrong on either the Parish Directory or the Email List, You need to correct both lists!
Also, there are about 40 members of the congregation whose computer record does not include their birthdate. Fr. Bob will reach out to you for this information. This will enable the computer to calculate parish membership statistics accurately for the Parish Parochial Report that goes to both the Diocese and the National Church.
Yes. It means the books cleared (finally) and the furniture was built on Tuesday. The team taught the teachers how to build them. The furniture is all placed except some tables that need a different screwdriver that the teachers will work on today (Wednesday). There are photos of the teachers climbing the rough hill to the school carrying shelves on their heads on Facebook. The books will probably wait until my return.
The team leaves today for safari. The customs and revenue officials hung us up about 16 days. Ronnie sat in offices many of those days. It is a fun story about how they finally were released.
The team was great! The kids bonded! We have to move to plan B for getting the books placed on shelves. I will continue to take and send photos. Thank goodness I am staying longer ! And thank goodness for iPhones so that I can communicate with you better.
Many are getting homesick and will be glad to get home.
I’m getting a little nervous about staying alone