Agape' Metropolitan Community Church
This Week's News and Updates
January 31,2019

Click here to view Christmas Eve Candlelight Service.

May this new year write a beautiful new chapter for you.
May your journey be filled with wonder, love, happiness and joy.
Happy New Year!

Epiphany

Arise, shine; for your light has come,
and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you.” Isaiah 60:1


Epiphany is the season of light. Sometimes light draws us forward; sometimes it pushes us away. Sometimes light brings hope; sometimes it provokes fear. People who experience exclusion appreciate the power of its illumination. Words from Isaiah 60 pour into their very being: “Arise, shine…Upon you Divinity will shine…Raise your eyes, look around you; those who have despised you have gathered around you…The dust of their camels has covered you, so many have gathered….As you behold them you will glow and your heart will throb and thrill.” The light of God shines glory among those obscured by society’s shadows. It is time, Isaiah says, for God’s people to rise up as beacons of divine presence.

Can you name times when you shied away from being exposed to the light? Can you name times when you could bask in the light, confident of God’s blessing? Marianne Williamson reminds us, “It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? Your are a child of God and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.”

Unfortunately, light imagery has sometimes served evil purposes in our society. Racist discourse has glorified light hues and vilified darker ones. It is important for us as individuals and communities of faith to have open conversations about the ways we use the language of light and darkness in our worship and our liturgy.

This passage from Isaiah also reminds us that the light of our divinity has drawing power, and so does doing justice. God calls us to “rise and shine” for the immigrant, the poor, victims of gun violence and war, the exploited, the outcast, and the vulnerable. Epiphany light does not shine on everyone the same way. The arrogant turn away, while others rise to bask in its glow. Few places can rival the joy experienced when Queer folk worship together in an affirming community of faith, and that is what MCC has been about for the last 51 years. The work of rising and shining is never done.

Prayer: May this holy season be for each of us a time of moving beyond what is reasonable, toward the star of wonder. God, move us beyond grasping tight to what we have, to unclenching our hands and letting go. God, lead us to the light, moving beyond competition to cooperation, seeing that all humans are siblings moving beyond the anxiety of small concerns towards the joys of justice and peace. Amen


Rev. Elder Dr. Mona West

We received the following email from Matthew W. Roberts, PhD (Pronouns: He, Him, His), Partnership Specialist, 2020 Census, U.S. Census Bureau/Dallas Regional Census Center

Dear 2020 Census Partners and supporters,

During this celebratory season and with the new year nearly upon us, the Census Bureau and I would like to thank you for your support of the 2020 Census and efforts to ensure it is a complete success. Incredible progress is being made in preparation for April 1st. Soon you will see a surge in our 2020 Census national media campaign. This will get people thinking about the census and possibly create some conversation-starters for your outreach efforts.

As we continue to prepare, a key piece of 2020 Census logistics still needs to be fully accomplished: recruiting enough workers to conduct these massive operations. Not a holiday present per se, but you might be giving the gift of knowledge by letting people know we are recruiting right now for tens of thousands of jobs. They can go to:  2020census.gov/jobs

Another way is to post the following link on your social media or forward it to a friend.

January Birthdays
01/01 - Gay Broaddus
01/07 - Angela Lawler
01/16 - Missy Roberts
01/17 - Makenna Ashton
01/26 - Gary Haub
01/30 - Ward Thulin
01/31 - Robert Myers

Order of Worship
"Epiphany 1"

The Gathering

Call to Worship: "Welcoming a New Year" Rev. Robert Myers

Song of Welcome: "Follow the Lilght" Community

Words of Welcome and Time of Greeting: Rev. Robert Myer

Time with our Children: Trish Ashton

A Response: "This Little Light of Mine" Community

Song of Preparation: "Word of God Speak" Community

The Scripture: Ancient Witness: Isaiah 60:1-6 Cassy Batts

The Scripture: Gospel Witness: Matthew 2:1-12 Leigh Wolfer

Song of Response: "O Come, O Come" Community

Time of Teaching: Rev. Robert Myers

Centering Song: "Come and Find the Quiet Center" Community

Community Prayer: EJ Hudzina

Response to the Prayer: "Come and Find the Quiet Center" Community

Bringing Our Gifts: Cassy Batts

Song of Sending Forth:   “Joy to the World”  Community

Announcements and Benediction: Rev. Robert Myers

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Agape' MCC is a Reproductive Justice Congregation.
817-535-5002 / agapemccchurch@gmail.com / https:// www.agapemcc.com /