THIS WEEK AT ST JOHN'S
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY

TWELVE DRUMMERS DRUMMING?

Dear Friends,
 
When I was growing up, this song was everywhere, but I never really thought about Christmas having 12 days. We did what everyone did. We heard syrupy muzak Christmas songs in the mall and even played them on records. We put up our tree in early December, and took it down on Boxing Day. We went to church but in all other respects, we lived the secular Christmas complete with gifts under the tree from Santa Claus.
 
When I first heard about no decorating in Advent, I was more than ready to label the police of liturgical correctness. I have since come to appreciate the beauty and revolutionary undertone of Advent. With a healthy dose of “bend the rules” especially if there are good practical reasons. For example, my previous church put on a Christmas Concert to raise money for local ministries and it had to happen early enough in Advent that people weren’t too busy with their other secular Christmas plans. We laid on early Christmas really thick to support those ministries!
 
In the pandemic, I am now hearing other voices with pastoral reasons for changing our Christmas practices. For 2 Christmases now, people have needed a bit more cheer because they are cooped up. This from my liturgically-correct friends: “I put the tree and lights up early and I am leaving them up until Candlemas!” Yes, there are people dutifully taking down the tree at Epiphany, but it’s a dark winter in dark times. Why not wait until the Feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple on February 2.
 
It’s called Candlemas because of an early Christian tradition of bringing candles to the church to be blessed – and then lit as a symbol of Jesus Christ, the Light of the World. Go ahead; do what you need! Of course, we can bless candles.
 
In the meantime, I’m writing this on Epiphany – the day we read about the Magi. The word epiphany means a manifestation, a revealing, a showing forth. You know the word for when you have an “Aha! Moment” – in church we have a whole season of stories of these moments, divine showings every Sunday right through to Ash Wednesday.
 
This Sunday, the Epiphany story moves from the Nativity Scene to the Baptism of Jesus as an Epiphany. This Sunday raises the question: "Baptism as an Aha Moment – for Jesus…and for you?"
 
Please join our St John’s community this Sunday for the Baptism of Jesus. Services on Zoom at our regular times of 8:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. – by clicking on the link in this newsletter or on our website.
 
Gary+
TO REMEMBER IN PRAYER

Those On Our Hearts
John, The Reverend Gary van der Meer, Major the Reverend Canon Catherine Askew, Ministry Intern John Holgate, Gordon, Gregory, Kerry and all who minister at St John's.(Please note Prayers will be posted for two consecutive weeks unless requested to be posted for a longer period of time.)

Our Diocese
Parish of South Dundas and their priest The Reverend Mark Lewis.
For the lay staff of Ascension House: Heidi Fawcett, Ishita Ghose, Bill Gilbert, Sanjay Grover, Glenn Lockwood, Ringo Morella, Patricia Myles, Kiran Otto, Titilayo Oyefi, Heidi Pizzuto, Sandra Purdy, Safiyah Rochelle, Donna Rourke, Jane Scanlon.
For all clergy under the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Ottawa.
Our Bishop, The Right Reverend Shane Parker, our Metropolitan, The Most Reverend Anne Germond and our Primate, The Most Reverend Linda Nicholls.
 
Anglican Church of Canada (ACC)
Dr. Andrea Mann, Director, and the staff of Global Relations; Ryan Weston, Lead Animator, Public Witness for Social and Ecological Justice.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada (ELCIC)
The Assistants to the Bishop and the staff of the Eastern Synod.

The Anglican Communion from Aba to Zululand
The Baptism of Christ Iglesia Anglicana de Chile.

Parish Prayer Group
If you wish to have someone prayed for, please call (613) 232-4500 ext 21 or send an email to prayer-request@stjohnsottawa.ca.
JOIN US
SCRIPTURE READINGS
THE BAPTISM OF THE LORD
FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
Sunday at 8:00am & 10.15am
Each service begins with 30 minutes of social time, i.e. 7:30 a.m. and 9:45 a.m.

Both services use the same link above or found on the St John’s website here: www.stjohnsottawa.com/worship/online-church
WHAT'S HAPPENING
Check out page 6-7 to see St John's featured in January's issue of Crosstalk.
TAKE NOTE
Theology Study on the Book of Revelation

The Christian Council of the Capital Area is presenting a teaching series online by our neighbour, The Rev John Perkin of First Baptist Church. This seven-week study on the book of Revelation-is intended to give understanding to some of the major motifs and symbols in the last book of the Bible.

We often hear it said that we live in "apocalyptic times." Our age has shaped the images and symbols of apocalypse to give a very different interpretation of what is perceived to be a time of crisis, and a time of crisis is exactly what gave rise to the original apocalyptic texts, most notably the book of Revelation. In our faith tradition, it is important for us to understand the book of Revelation in its original context and meaning, rather than the ways it is portrayed in the popular culture of our age. This seven-week study will look at ways to interpret the book of Revelation from a faith perspective, not as a guide to the future but as an encouragement to the Christian life. As well, it will seek to give understanding to some of the major motifs and symbols in the last book of the Bible, such as the Four Horsemen, Armageddon, and the New Jerusalem.

The outline for the seven weeks is as follows:

  1. Revelation in popular culture,
  2. The centrality of Christ in Revelation
  3. Reading Revelation; different perspectives
  4. The seven woes and four horsemen explained
  5. Beasts, numerology and being countercultural
  6. Babylon Falls: hope and resilience
  7. A new world

Rev. John C. Perkin is minister at First Baptist Church. He spent twenty-five years as chaplain and professor at Mount Allison University in New Brunswick, where he taught in the area of faith and culture, including a course called The Apocalyptic Consciousness; this course in apocalyptic studies explored the book of Revelation and its interpretation through the centuries. John has been a frequent spokesperson in national media on themes of Revelation and apocalypticism; his course was noted by Macleans magazine for its popularity.

Register on Eventbrite and you will receive an email with the Zoom Link for the next seven Tuesdays at 7:30 pm (starting Tuesday, January 11).

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The Magi - Margaret Kasurak
SCRIPTURE READINGS
SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EPIPHANY
16 JANUARY 2022
ST JOHN THE EVANGELIST
ANGLICAN CHURCH

 154 Somerset Street West, Ottawa, ON K2P 0H8
613-232-4500
office@stjohnsottawa.ca

The Reverend Gary van der Meer, Rector
Major the Reverend Canon Catherine Askew, Honorary Assistant 
Dr Gordon Johnston, FRCCO, Organist and Choirmaster  
Detlef Dransch, Rector’s Warden 
Stephen Giles, People's Warden
Steve Chaplin, Deputy Rector's Warden
Anishinabe aking ate awaso kikinawadjichigan.
This land we are upon is the traditional territory of the Algonquin people.