Today, January 6, is the Feast of the Epiphany -- the day when the Church remembers the revelation of Jesus to all nations. In Matthew's account of the Gospel, wise watchers of the stars represent all peoples outside the Israelites; they see something amazing, bring their gifts, and come from the East to worship a newborn King.
Thursday's blizzard bumped the ECW's lunch at Sue Shackford's to today, the Epiphany. And, notwithstanding today's single-digit temperatures, the lunch is on for noon.
On January 7, we're going to observe the First Sunday after the Epiphany in the morning, and then, in the early evening, flip back to celebrate the Epiphany story at our 4 p.m. Epiphany Evensong followed by an Epiphany party and Rector's Roast Beef Supper. So, Jesus will be an adult in the morning, and a baby on his mother's knee in the evening.
With the Epiphany Evensong, we conclude our celebrations of our Lord's Nativity with a final sighting of the Holy Family, the Star, and the Kings. The Sunday School -- especially children who were away on December 24th -- will present an Epiphany tableau, as young readers relate the biblical account, and we finally get to sing the Epiphany verses of favorite carols. The children will reprise their "Gloria" and "Mary's Song;" and the Choir will bring out an old favorite, "The Coventry Carol." All the children's necessary rehearsal of songs and parts will happen during Sunday School time tomorrow morning.
Our celebration will continue with an Epiphany Party and Rector's Roast Beef Dinner. Please bring an appetizer or dessert to share, and any adult beverage you would like to offer your table. It would be great to have a "King's Cake" or two. Please also consider helping with the set-up for, serving during, or clean-up after the dinner.
January 7 will be a busy day for the Sunday School, but parish education gatherings will not meet the following Sunday, January 15, due to the Martin Luther King Holiday.
I hope this finds you safe and warm! God bless you all for your generosity in helping keep our neighbors warm during this winter's frightful cold. Your Angels-under-the-Balcony monetary gifts will continue Christ Church's traditional outreach to those now served by the Town's Heating Assistance Program. The gifts of gloves, scarves and hats with which you decorated the Mitten Tree, and the bags of toiletries and treats you placed around the base, will warm and delight those served by New Haven's Chapel-on-the-Green.
It's not too late to make a gift for the Heating Assistance Program; please make your check out to Christ Church with "Heating Fund" or "Angels" in the memo line. After Easter, we will prepare a Chapel-on-the-Green lunch as part of participating in a Sunday afternoon service.
Sunday's Rectory Forum will view and discuss a brief video about The Crusades, prepared by the producers of "The Sultan and the Saint." The Crusades were the occasion for the meeting of the Sultan of Egypt and St. Francis of Assisi in 1220. The documentary presents The Crusades as the archetype for how to incite mass hatred and violence within one population towards others.
It is into such a world that God took on human flesh to live among us; that's worth celebrating!
In faith and hope,
p.s. Graham Marsh, our seminary intern, is still at home in Minneapolis this week, recovering from the General Ordination Examinations, which he wrote all-day Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. His High School group may choose to worship with the congregation throughout Sunday's 10 a.m. service, or join the Middle School class. Graham's first Sunday of this semester will be January 21st.
We feature various authors from around our parish, commenting on topics of interest to our community. Enjoy! Comment if you are so moved!