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Block Print by Mike Newman
Link to the reports from Jan 15 Annual Meeting
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Saints of the Week, Jan. 15 - 22
|[Richard Meux Benson, Religious, 1915, and Charles Gore, Bishop of Worcester,
of Birmingham, and of Oxford, 1932]
|Antony, Abbot in Egypt, 356|
|The Confession of Saint Peter the Apostle|
|Wulfstan, Bishop of Worcester, 1095|
|Fabian, Bishop and Martyr of Rome, 250|
|Agnes, Martyr at Rome, 304|
|Vincent, Deacon of Saragossa, and Martyr, 304|
Jan. 15 -Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Scenes of Epiphany 2 - 1. Clouds and cold in the morning. At the end of the service the light was seen at an angle through the stained glass and created a wonderful effect. 2 Two of the youth were helping our youngest acolyte through the ropes. 3. Best communion bread this side of the Rappahannock - braided, home made bread, an ample supply
From Last week...
The Week Ahead...
Jan . 18 -10:00am, Ecumenical Bible Study
Jan . 18 -25, Week of Prayer for Christian Unity
Jan . 18 - 3:30pm-5pm , Village Harvest Food Distribution
Confession of St. Peter
"St. Peter"- Peter P. Rubens
This is the week to remember the confessional of St. Peter. We remember how the Apostle Peter was led by God's grace to acknowledge Jesus as the Christ from Matthew -Matthew 16:13-20. There was a sermon in 2014 that was all about Peter. Here's the link. More information on St. Peter is found here.
Jan 18 is the day appointed for this event. A collect - "Almighty Father, who inspired Simon Peter, first among the apostles, to confess Jesus as Messiah and Son of the living God: Keep your Church steadfast upon the rock of this faith, so that in unity and peace we may proclaim the one truth and follow the one Lord, our Savior Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen. "
Lectionary for the 3rd Week of Epiphany
I.Theme - Call to service with a call for unity
The Calling of the Apostles Peter and Andrew" - Duccio de Buoninsegna (1308-1311)
The lectionary readings are here or individually:
Isaiah provides the foretelling of Christ even at a time of defect.
The relationship between John the Baptist and Jesus continues and takes a new turn in the lesson this week. After John baptizes Jesus (Epiphany 1), John then announces and calls attention to Jesus' identity (Epiphany 2), and in this passage, the news of John's arrest is the occasion for Jesus to leave his home in Nazareth and begin his public ministry. The mission begins where Jesus will ultimately give the Great Commission, at the conclusion of Matthew's Gospel (28:16-20).
Note, last week we had John's version of the calling of the first disciples - this week is Matthew in the calling of Andrew and Peter.
John the Baptist's death was the spark that caused the ministry to begin. It was necessary to emphasize in this beginning that Jesus' ministry is aligned with God's purpose as it is revealed in the Scriptures.
When the news comes to him about John's arrest, he makes a different choice, by withdrawing to Galilee, where he calls his first disciples, preaches the Sermon on the Mount, begins his ministry of healing, and teaches what it means to be the Messiah who is "God with us."
Unlike the Gospel of John, Matthew does not identify Jesus as the light of the world. Nonetheless, the prophecy from Isaiah makes clear that Jesus' return to Galilee will be the occasion for those who sit in darkness to see "a great light" (Matthew 4:16-17). No doubt Jesus' ministry of teaching and healing is the basis for that light.
Jesus calls people as they are, from where they are, being who they are. At the same time, however, as the gospel narrative proceeds, readers learn that it is the followers of Jesus who bear his light in the world by their own (collective) way of life. In the sermon on the Mount, Jesus tells the people, "You (plural) are the light of the world,. . . Let your light shine before others so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:14-16). Jesus' proclamation that the realm (kingdom) of heaven has come near is the first flicker of a light that will grow and burn among his followers until they are able to "proclaim
Those first disciples, for their part, might have preferred to keep their jobs, to remain with their families, to stay with the life that they knew. When they see Jesus and hear his words to them, they make a different choice, however; they take a risk, step out in faith, leave behind that which is comfortable and secure. They choose to follow Jesus.
Paul 25 years after Christ wants the message of Christ to come through despite division in Corinth. Christ name was synonomous with the Church. There was some fragmentation. The Corinthians were putting certain leaders into a place that really belonged only to God. In that sense they were becoming 'cult figures'. Jesus role needs to be restored.
Read more about the lectionary
Some background over the Fishermen
"As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him." - Matthew 4:18-20
The Roman government created an economy which benefited themselves. They imposed taxes on everything – we complain about taxes, but back then it was much worse. Fishermen had to pay taxes on their equipment; if they owned their boat, they paid taxes on it and if they rented it, they had to pay usage tax. Then they had to pay for a fishing permit. Afterward, when they brought in their haul, even if their net was full of fish they didn’t end up with much: there was an official on shore who counted every single fish caught and the fishermen had to pay a tax for each fish! And on top of that, all citizens were expected to pay a sort of tribute tax to honor their rulers’ authority.
Tax collectors could humiliate you and beat you up in the street with immunity if you tried to evade paying taxes. No wonder they were so reviled!
By the time the fisherman was on his way home after a day of hard work, he didn’t have much to show for it income-wise. In fact, he would end up with less money than the minimum wage of those days for the same amount of work. There was no prestige to being a fisherman – it was a very lowly job.
Perhaps this is why Jesus chose his first disciples among this class of people. There wouldn’t have been much incentive to stay in that profession, especially if Jesus had already attained some notoriety so they’d already heard of him and his message, knew he was legit. If Jesus was already known, Zebedee may have encouraged his sons to go with him. Here was hope, the opportunity to make a better life, to be part of a movement.
Week of Prayer for Christian Unity Jan 18-25, 2017
The 2017 theme for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity has been selected. On the occasion of the 500th anniversary year of the beginnings of the Reformation, the theme: "Reconciliation – The Love of Christ Compels Us" (2 Corinthians 5:14-20) has been chosen. A commentary on the scripture is here. The traditional period in the northern hemisphere for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is 18-25 January. Those dates were proposed in 1908 by Paul Wattson to cover the original days of the feasts of the Chair of St. Peter (January 18) and the Conversion of St. Paul (January 25) , and therefore have a symbolic significance.
The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity gives Christians an annual opportunity to continue their quest for the unity they already share in Christ. It is also a time to gather in praise of the Triune God and to deepen the understanding of the ecumenical movement.
The Week of Prayer also invites those who participate to use it as an opportunity to examine the effectiveness of the ecumenical movement in seeking to end the divisions among Christians. From the smallest to the largest communities, from all cultures, races and language groups, from all the baptized to all those in ordained ministry, the Week of Prayer is also an opportunity to ask examine the level of support they have given to this important movement in the life of the Church.
Activities for the Week of Prayer and Unity
●Day 2 - Send an appropriate care package to the refugee camps at a European crossing point such as Calais.
●Day 3 Watch this clip to view how Damascus has been devastated by conflict.
Pray for the Damascus Road conversion required for peace to be realised. Prayers are available from Christian Aid.
●Day 4 - Look through an old photo album and reflect on those places and people who have shaped and taught you.
●Day 5 - Spend time connecting with creation today, for example, by watching a nature documentary, visiting a local park or going for a walk in a woodland.
●Day 6 - Read about the work of reconciliation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Here is the background of the struggle.
●Explore the different ways people can be discriminated against.
● Day 7 -Ask someone for something you need today.
● Day 8 - View the Tree of Life – an example of what was meant for destruction bringing restoration