January 7, 2021

To the Community of the Beloved,

What we experienced yesterday, the Feast of the Epiphany, is not who we are as a nation or as followers of Jesus. Yesterday was the celebration of God’s light being brought into the world. It was and is a reminder that “the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5). 

I was taken back to the days after 9/11 when I searched scripture to find a way forward. I landed in Genesis, specifically Gen. 50:19-20. The backstory is that Joseph was confronted with his brothers who had once tried to kill him. This is what Joseph said:

Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good,” (NKJV)

Or, if you prefer, this passage from the Message:
“Don’t be afraid. Do I act for God? Don’t you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now—life for many people. Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I’ll take care of you and your children.” 

So what good can come from yesterday? Well, I pray that on this day after we have had enough of demonizing one another because we disagree. Wouldn’t that be a great good?

I pray that we will reclaim our baptismal vows, especially where we pledge to “respect the dignity of every human being.” That would be a redemption of yesterday. 

I will be on the lookout for other signs of God’s goodness and redemption. Join me in being detectives of the holy and then share what you have discovered. Remember, as God says, you have nothing to fear. “Perfect love casts out fear.” (1 John 4:18)

Let us not just pray for peace but be instruments of peace. Let us be love. Now.

Cynthia Taylor+

“Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one Father; to whom be dominion and glory, now and for ever. Amen.” (BCP, p. 815)


Thank you all for supporting our food drives. They have been so successful. Our next food drive is Saturday, January 30 from 10am - noon in the church parking lot. Bring your non-perishable foods and stay in your car while our volunteers collect them.

Due to the increased number of COVID cases in the area, Holy Comforter will be "virtual-only" for a time. Although we are not meeting in person, we will continue to live stream our worship service on Facebook at 10:30am.

This Sunday, January 10th: The Rev. Erwin Veale leads Morning Prayer. Join us on Facebook at 10:30am. Or, if you prefer, you can view it later on our YouTube channel.

For this Sunday's bulletin, click here.

A meditation by Children’s Ministry Director Cheryl Spessert:
We’ve now slid into a brand-new year, fresh with expectations and more uncertainty. How will we mark it? Perhaps we are so “over” setting goals that we don’t meet, we just want to get the holiday decorations put away and the mess cleaned up! Understandable.
Today I was reading old notes from when Robert and I used to steal away around the New Year to reflect on our parenting, the progress of our kids, and set some goals for the coming year. We considered the areas of Physical, Academic, Character/Social and noted areas where we wanted to focus some attention. I had to laugh at some of the things we wanted to “fix” which can still be seen in their personalities today and in some cases have become their strengths. One child’s “bossy” tendencies have turned into much needed leadership skills in her teaching profession. Piano lessons we initiated didn’t turn any of our kids into musicians.
However, just as we mark the seasons of the church, this practice still had value as it slowed us down enough to take inventory of the changing needs of our kids and helped us pause to notice and affirm areas of growth and improvement in each child. This could also be done on birthdays or at the beginning of the academic year. You may want to schedule a coffee date with your partner and grab a notepad. Here are some things to consider.
In all areas, how can I affirm and how can I assist further growth in each child?
Do our chosen sports/activities produce the gains we desire?
Are we cultivating healthy habits by our example?
How can we support a positive body image as they change and mature?
What character traits need to be strengthened and how can our family express these?
Do friendships provide support for our family values?
Are we providing opportunity to serve and live generously in our community?
Is extra support needed in areas of struggle?
Are strengths and interests being nurtured by time and attention?
Is humility and respect demonstrated for those with different gifts?
Most importantly, take time to ask God what he sees and desires in your parenting and in your children. He wants to affirm and assist us as we parent the children in our care so our families can be an ever-better reflection of God’s love in our world.

We anticipate a budget of close to $400,000. So far we have received pledges from 61 households for a total of $287,000. We invite everyone who has not pledged to be in prayer as to how you might support the mission and ministry of Holy Comforter in 2021.

Thank you all! And thank you to this year’s Stewardship Committee: Fred Hoogland, Jennifer Cardinal, Rebecca Ricks and Bill Liebel. 

This has been a trying year for all of us but it has hit our young people in special ways - proms and games canceled, learning from home, not being able to gather. That is why it is especially important that we hire just the right person to be a youth pastor to this group to draw alongside them. Applications are now being accepted for this part-time position. Applicants must have a heart for Christ and for teens and be willing to share the story of our faith in creative ways that challenge and inspire as well as being open to their questions. doubts and concerns. Please send resumes to the pastor, Cynthia Taylor at  
Our worship continues even while we are physically separated. Preparing for Sunday is a tool that we will be using to help each of us do just that - prepare for Sunday worship by engaging in the assigned lessons from Scripture.

It includes an overview, a lesson introduction, a reflection, and a prayer starter. It is available on our website here.

Due to COVID-19 concerns, our staff is working remotely at this time, coming into the office only as needed.  The best way to reach any staff person is via e-mail: 
The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Taylor

Vivian Vaiden

Lara Fort

Brad Green

Cheryl Spessert


If at all possible, please keep up with your financial gifts to the church. Money is always tight but never more than now. When this crisis has passed, I want us to pick up where we left off and continue to expand our mission and ministry of Jesus Christ.

There are several ways to give. You can press the "Donate Now" button below or go on-line to our website at and click on Giving at the top right hand. Finally, you can mail checks to: Church of the Holy Comforter, 473 Fury’s Ferry Road, Martinez, Georgia, 30809.  

For those with an IRA account, due to COVID-19, RMDs in 2020 are not required but are still a tax saving for the donor and much needed and appreciated by Holy Comforter. 

For those in need of healing: Paulie Kane, Helen, Leslie Weekley, Bill and Ann Staff, Robbie Jarrell, Cynthia Taylor, Emmie Dent, Nancy Green and the Green family

We pray for a restoration of peace and civility in our country.

For those celebrating birthdays: Ashley Saunders, Abby Brooks, Michele Rumbaugh, Teresa Kezer, Tab Carter, and Ellie Connolly.  

For the marriage of Harriet Myers’ granddaughter Caroline Myers and Austin Woodring and for the birth of Harriet’s great grandchild, Waylon Howe Sanborn.  

Thanksgiving for our partnership with Martinez Elementary School and The Claiborne at West Lake.

For those who are homebound: Donna Garvey, Lorraine Banks, and Joan Jackson

For the departed: Thomas Saunders, Sr., father of Thomas Saunders, Carolyn Schmidt, Lyn Hyman, and Chad Hargrove. 

For those who have died from COVID-19 this past week.

For all who have died for the Christian Faith and for those who have persecuted them.