Happy New Year, everyone! And better yet, Happy Epiphany!

Epiphany means "manifestation." On this day we celebrate the revelation of Christ to the Gentiles - that is, to all of us. It always falls on January 6th, the 12th Day of Christmas. January 6th is a Sunday this year, meaning we get to celebrate Epiphany in style.

As we observe Epiphany this Sunday, our worship takes a slightly different turn. We begin worship in the Narthex, blessing our house for the coming year. We then process singing into the Sanctuary where we will hear a series of readings and sing a series of corresponding carols revolving around the theme of light. We're calling this Lessons and Carols for Epiphany. Worship continues with Holy Communion, and then we go forth to witness to that light that shines brightly in our midst.

This is one of those rare Sundays when all three services will be quite similar, so feel free to come at either 8:15, 10:45 or 5:30. 

Songs of Thankfulness and Praise

1 Songs of thankfulness and praise,
Jesus, Lord, to thee we raise;
manifested by the star
to the sages from afar,
branch of royal David's stem
in thy birth at Bethlehem:
anthems be to thee addressed,
God in flesh made manifest.

2 Manifest at Jordan's stream,
prophet, priest, and king supreme;
and at Cana wedding guest
in thy Godhead manifest;
manifest in pow'r divine,
changing water into wine;
anthems be to thee addressed,
God in flesh made manifest.

3 Manifest in making whole
weakened body, fainting soul;
manifest in valiant fight,
quelling all the devil's might;
manifest in gracious will,
ever bringing good from ill:
anthems be to thee addressed,
God in flesh made manifest.

4 Grant us grace to see thee, Lord,
present in thy holy word;
grace to imitate thee now
and be pure, as pure art thou;
that we might become like thee
at thy great epiphany,
and may praise thee, ever blest,
God in flesh made manifest.

Text: Christopher Wordsworth, 1807-1885, alt.

I'll see you on Sunday!

- John Jahr

This Sunday's Readings
Matthew 2:1-12

Light Dawns in a Weary World:
Epiphany Lessons & Carols
 There will be a series of readings and musical elements 
at all three worship services.

Cross-Generational SME: Epiphany
9:30-10:30 am in Fellowship Hall 
All 4th graders through adults are invited to join together for a time of coloring, sharing stories of our Advent journeys, coffee and hot chocolate. 
If you can bake pastry stars for this event, please RSVP on Realm (in Events) and tell us how many you will be bringing. A link to the recipe can be found here.

Baptismal Seminar - Monday, January 7, 6:00-7:00 pm - If you are considering Baptism at Good Shepherd, make plans to attend this baptismal seminar.  For more information, contact Pr. Marsha.

Book Study with the Pastors - Tuesdays, January 8 - February 5, 9:30 am, Underwood North - Join the pastors for discussions on Take This Bread by Sara Miles. This engaging memoir explores a faith centered on feeding the hungry, in both physical and spiritual ways. 

No Need to Cook on Tuesday, January 8! Join us at Milton's instead.  Go to Milton's Pizza & Pasta (8853 Six Forks Road) and support our preschool. Lunch or dinner; dine in or take out. Be sure to tell them you are with Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool!

Worship on Wednesdays (WOW) with Pizza Dinner - Wednesday, January 9, 5:15 pm, Fellowship Hall -  This worship service is geared towards families with small children, but all are welcome!  

Rams Mens' Ministry Dinner & Discussion led by Pastor Marsha Anderson: 
Tuesday, January 15, 6:30 pm in Fellowship Hall  In the last year we've heard a lot about sexism and sexual assault in the news. We'll explore these topics, including how they impact church life and what the Bible has to say about gender. All are welcome. $7 donation for catered meal is recommended. 

Preschool Open House and Art Show - Thursday, January 17, 6:00-7:30 pm  - Interested in learning more about Good Shepherd Lutheran Preschool? Join us for our annual open house! Registration for the 2019-2020 school year begins on January 11 for returning and church families and January 18 for new families.

More information about upcoming events is available in   this week's bulletin announcements.

The winter edition of The Shepherd's voice is now available online.

Health and Healing  for  Sue Keehn; Johanna Keehn; and Michael McCruder.

Thanksgiving for the birth of twins to Lauren and Brian Mielke.

For the Orphans of Mnene Parish , including Maryjoice Sibanda and Martha Hove.

Maryjoice, 21, completed her 1st year at Midlands State University, taking courses in Human Resources Management. She wrote to her adoptive family saying, "Above all I am so happy to be a student representer in Good Shepherd program. I am getting some leadership skills from my elders and my fellow students."   Letters written to her adoptive family were featured in our December 2 church bulletin.  Her Mail For Mnene partner is the Hoyle family.
Martha is 20 years old. She was in our support program for 7 years and left school  in 2016 to get married.  She returned to Mnene in 2017 to visit our mission team.  She has a 3 year old son and was living with her husband.  We continue to hold her in our prayers.  Her Mail For Mnene partners are the Martin family and Greengrove/Pfefferle family.

Visit the Wittenberg Information Center in the Narthex for photos of this week's orphans and  more information on the Mnene Ministry.
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