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A Word on Wednesday

Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem, in the province of Judea, at the time when King Herod reigned. Not long after Jesus was born, magi, wise men or seers from the East, made their way from the East to Jerusalem. These wise men made inquiries.

Wise Men: Where is this newborn, who is the King of the Jews? When we were far away in the East we saw His star, and we have followed its glisten and gleam all this way to worship Him…

…The wise men left Herod’s chambers and went on their way. The star they had first seen in the East reappeared—a miracle that, of course, overjoyed and enraptured the wise men. The star led them to the house where Jesus lay; and as soon as the wise men arrived, they saw Him with His mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped Him. They unpacked their satchels and gave Jesus gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

Matthew 2: 1-2, 9-11  (The Voice)

 

Beautiful Beloveds,

Today is Epiphany, the twelfth day of Christmas, when we observe the arrival of the wise ones to greet Jesus.  On their arrival, we’re told they were overcome by joy.  I wonder, what would it take for you to allow yourself to be ‘overjoyed and enraptured,’ in your journey of faith.  As we leave 2020 behind, and look ahead to 2021, how can you tap into joy and beauty in a difficult season?  How can you allow yourself to fall in love with God and God’s people again?

The wise ones offered gifts to Jesus: gold, frankincense, and myrrh, gifts full of rich symbolism and meaning.  As you consider the year ahead, what gift can you give to Jesus?  It might be something rich with symbolism and meaning, or maybe it’s decidedly concrete and tangible.  What will you offer Emmanuel, God with us?  Could you give gifts of time, talent, and treasure?  Or as we promise when we join the United Methodist Church, our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness?  How can you best offer the gift of who and whose you are?

You are a gift, to our community, our church, to me.  Let us enter another year of shared mission and ministry, grateful for the gifts God has given us to love and serve others.

Happy New year and a very happy Epiphany!

 

Peace,

Heather

For those of you who enjoy receiving a “star word,” to guide your year, you can find a word generator here. For those of you who just thought, “star what?!,” click here to learn more.

As United Methodists we promise to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.  Here are some ways you can live into those promises, this week:

Prayers:

As we begin another year of mission and ministry, I offer the Wesleyan Covenant Prayer.  Steve Manskar writes, “John Wesley adapted this prayer from the Puritan tradition that was so important to his parents, Samuel and Suzannah, and life in the Epworth rectory. It informed his theology and preaching. He expected the people called ‘Methodists’ to pray this prayer at the beginning of each new year as a way of remembering and renewing their baptismal covenant”.

 

“I am no longer my own, but thine.

Put me to what thou wilt, rank me with whom thou wilt.

Put me to doing, put me to suffering.

Let me be employed by thee or laid aside for thee,

exalted for thee or brought low for thee.

Let me be full, let me be empty.

Let me have all things, let me have nothing.

I freely and heartily yield all things

to thy pleasure and disposal.

And now, O glorious and blessed God,

Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,

thou art mine, and I am thine. So be it.

And the covenant which I have made on earth,

let it be ratified in heaven. Amen.”

Please submit prayer requests here or contact Pastor Heather directly, pastorheather@umcchurches.org  and 774.994.3645.

Presence

CALENDAR
Virtual—

Zoom links at the end of the email

In Person
Wednesday, January 6: Epiphany

Noon—Deadline for Saturday Tidings Submissions

 Moment of Light—Prayer and Conversation

3pm & 7pm

Thursday, January 7
10 am Bible Study

6:30 pm COVID-19 Leadership Task Force Meeting

Friday,  January 8
Saturday, January 9
9 am Seacoast District Anti-Racism Training

 

Moment of Light—Prayer and conversation via Zoom—3pm and 7pm Wednesdays in January

Sometimes January can be a beautiful month, full of hope and new resolutions. And, sometimes, January can be long and difficult, full of short days, long nights, the low after the high of the holidays.

Whatever you’re feeling, let’s check in with one another. We’ll chat, share the highs and lows of the week, maybe even try a game or two, and end with prayer.

 

Need a resolution for the new year?  Consider weekly Bible Study.  Join us Thursday mornings at 10 for a one hour exploration of the text.  We’re starting Matthew, chapter 7 on January 7.  We begin by sharing prayer requests.  Then, we read a bit, and share what we notice.  We end our time asking one another, “What might God be saying to us, in this particular text, today?”  I discover something new about the text, the message, or myself every time.  And, we have fun, too.  No registration necessary, just click the zoom link to join us at 10am.  Bring whatever version of the Bible you like to read.

 

Gifts

What Wonderful gifts we provided to the women at Safe Harbor and to the men and women at CHAMP House with our BIC card donations. Our gifts also through BIC raised another $100 to prevent homelessness. A huge thank you to all who donated this Christmas.

What about pledge cards and envelopes?  We’ll be handing out pledge cards later this month, and the envelopes are in the church office.  If you want yours sooner, rather than later, please contact Jane Gray in the office, 508.428.2811 or office@umcchurches.org to set up a time to pick yours up.

Service and Witness

Seacoast District Anti-Racism Training

The Conference Commission on Religion and Race (CCORR) is finishing up the 2016-2019 quadrennial anti-racism training that was conducted in each district using the study guide offered through the General Commission on Religion and Race.  This training is REQUIRED for clergy. Laity are also invited to participate.  Click here to learn more and register.
There are two online sessions available for those who have not completed this training:

  • 9 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2021
  • 9 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021

 

Zoom Links

 

Wednesday Moment of Light

Topic: Moment of Light

Time: 3pm and 7pm Wednesdays in January

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/82424932249?pwd=WmxjU29wMWM0RzNDMEZOMG9RclVQZz09

 

Meeting ID: 824 2493 2249

Passcode: 374395

 

One tap mobile

+16465588656,,82424932249#,,,,*374395#

 

Dial by your location

+1 646 558 8656

 

Meeting ID: 824 2493 2249

Passcode: 374395

 

Thursday Morning Bible Study

Time: Thursday mornings, 10am

 

Join Zoom Meeting

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/83958360902?pwd=K2Q1enBPQWJ4cGJLamI2UXJWVzhEZz09

 

Meeting ID: 839 5836 0902

Passcode: 477955

One tap mobile

+13126266799,,83958360902#,,,,*477955# US (Chicago)

+16465588656,,83958360902#,,,,*477955# US (New York)

 

Or Call:          +1 646 558 8656

Meeting ID: 839 5836 0902

Passcode: 477955

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