One of the themes of the season after Epiphany is the good news of Jesus going to the nations—the globalization of God’s chosen people. We will represent this with our Communion bread, which will come from a variety of countries or regions.
We’ll also include specific prayers for the locale. The first of our eucharistic breads, contributed by Marguerite Morgan, is from Eastern Europe.
SPECIAL BLESSING – Our Bishop visits on the last Sunday after Epiphany. This is a customary time for baptism, confirmation, or reception—three ways of becoming a part of the Church. The Most Rev. Robert Duncan is at Incarnation Church February 15.
We have several who should take a next step in the pursuit of a Christian faith. If you’ve not been baptized, this will be a great time for it. If you are baptized but have not been confirmed, this annual visitation from the Bishop is most appropriate. If you are baptized and confirmed, but haven’t been received into our congregation, Archbishop Bob has a blessing for you.
Please let Fr. Paul know if you plan to be baptized, confirmed, or received. If you have a question about which if any of these categories you’re in, let’s talk.
LAY LITURGICAL MINISTERS – Marian Kreithen organizes the schedule of lay ministry for our worship services: readers, prayer intercessors, those who assist at the altar and carry chalices.
Marian is hoping to soon wrap up a schedule for the first quarter of 2015. If you particpate as a lector, intercessor, or chalicer, you have probably received an email from Marian. Please respond to it as soon as possible. It asks for any Sundays you may be out of town or otherwise unavailable to serve.
IN THE WORD – Incarnation Church’s weekday Bible studies resume after our holiday break.
The East Suburbs group will continue its exploration of godly community, beginning Friday, January 23. We then meet on the first and third Friday evenings of each month. Fr. Paul moderates the study.
Wednesday evening Bible studies from the Gospel of Luke on the ministry of Jesus resume February 4. These meet at the Bowman residence in Carnegie. Peg Bowman moderates.
The next installment in our film series based on Kiesłsowski’s The Decalogue is Friday, January 30, 7:00 p.m. at the Johnston residence in Squirell Hill.
Lastly, Jeff Hyams is wondering if anyone would like to participate in a monthly book discussion group. If you’d enjoy this, speak to him directly.
AS WE BEGIN a new calendar year and are only a few weeks into the new liturgical year, my charge to all of us associated with Incarnation Church is that this be our Year of Prayer.
It is true, the Church should always be in prayer. But for most of us, I’m guessing, prayer doesn’t come easily. So, our Vestry hopes that this year can be one where all of us associated with Incarnation can bring greater intention to prayer and greater cooperation in prayer.
Here it is in a nutshell. May A.D. 2015 be a year of prayer which for us all is:
extraordinary … expectant … experimental
Let’s make more time for prayer about more things. Let’s expect prayer to be fruitful— always fruitful God’s way, not always our way. Let’s try approaches to prayer which may be new to each or all of us.
Here are three immediate ways we can be intentional and in concert in prayer.
- At church each Sunday this year, when you receive your worship bulletin you also get a one-sheet prayer digest. It contains the collect of the week, plus the Anglican Cycle of Prayer and our own Strip District Cycle of Prayer. Let us all pray these together throughout the week. This way our concerted prayers on Sunday can be extended throughout the week.
- As I write, I’ve just come from a plannng meeting for a healing service. Many in our congregation—and no doubt many people we know and people in the Strip District—need prayer for healing. It may be for themselves or for someone they love. Nothing fancy. Nothing scary or weird. Let’s just show up when the time comes and simply pray for Jesus to keep doing what he does, making people well.
- We have a sister church. Long story how we found out. But there is an Anglican church plant in California under Bishop Todd Hunter called
Incarnation Church. It’s a bit outside of Sacramento in a community called Rosedale. They have a mission to encourage and celebrate the arts and creativity. Which helps explain the name. They are interested in doing church in unexpected places. They want to draw people who might not darken the door of, oh, a Gothic cathedral, but who are ready to find and be found by their Creator God who loves them perfectly.
Read about Incarnation Church, Rosedale, and their priest Josh Lickter and wife Rachel at their website:
They are getting ready to open a coffee shop—The Fig Tree—in which they’ll worship and host arts events, and from which all their ministry will happen. The team now worships in Josh’s and Rachel’s home.
Josh and I have enjoyed talking by phone about our congregations. There are amazing similarities, but enough differences to make it interesting. Our daughter has worshiped with them several times and we are in their prayers. You’ve heard them in our prayers, too. Let’s multiply our intercessions for them.
- For Incarnation Church, Rosedale, CA, and especially that they raise the final $3000 needed to proceed with their business plan for the coffee shop.
- For the Thompsons’ newest grandchild Elizabeth, in thanksgiving.