A Message from the Priest in Charge:
As we move a little deeper into our season of Epiphany, we examine the many ways that God has been revealed to us in the person of Jesus the Christ. In our lessons last week, it was through his baptism in the River Jordan. This week, it is through the calling of his first disciples - those who were at first perhaps curious or attracted to Jesus' charisma or wondering if he was actually the one they had been waiting for all through the years.
As we consider our own call to discipleship - through baptism, through curiosity or through a deep longing in our soul that seeks to be satisfied - we are invited to ask important questions as to how we live into that call. After last week's bold sharing of our feelings in the wake of the attacks on our nations' Capitol Building, I have been asked to use some of our Adult Formation time to delve deeper into the questions we most likely have been asking ourselves and others. Here's how I hope to respond to those requests.
This Sunday, our worship service will originate from inside St. John's Church with a full celebration of Holy Eucharist in word and sacrament. Immediately following our service, pre-consecrated wafers will be offered (for up to an hour) to anyone who wishes to drive to the church and receive "the body of Christ" in drive-thru or walk-up fashion. By engaging in worship and receiving the sacrament, we can be spiritually nurtured for the journey ahead of us.
Next Sunday, January 24, is the date for our Annual Parish meeting - this year on Zoom because of the COVID-19 restrictions. That virtual meeting will take place immediately after our 10:00am service and include reports from various Vestry members, the election of new Vestry members and discussions around the 2021 budget and the opportunities it presents for this congregation to grow its presence in College Park and the surrounding community. By engaging in positive discussion, we can learn from others about what is most important for us as we move forward in the next year to eighteen months as a parish church in College Park.
On January 31, following our worship service on Zoom, we will open up the channels for everyone and utilize the "break-out room" feature of the platform to engage everyone present in small group discussions about how we best address the questions, unease, fears and hopes of these uncertain times. My hope is that, out of those discussions, we will emerge with a clearer picture of what we can do as Christians, as Episcopalians and as members of St. John's Church to seek some answers and develop a path forward as the disciples of Christ that I know we are. By offering positive suggestions and bold ideas, we can put our goals into a plan of action that all can sign up for.
This weekend, we enter into the celebration of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King's birthday, a Monday set aside as a federal holiday in honor of his life and witness to this nation. During our Sunday service, our Bishop will address our congregation with pre-recorded remarks about Dr. King and the significance of his ministry. May we all look to this political and social moment in history for ideas and guidance as we move forward in our own search for justice and peace among all people.
Peace and blessings,
Rev. Terri +