Sunday Service, January 16, 2022
A member of my family tested positive for COVID this week. I’m grateful to report that her symptoms have been relatively mild. This does necessitate, however, that I quarantine for five days for the safety of others. As a result, I have asked Fr. David Comeau to preach and celebrate this upcoming Sunday, and he has graciously agreed to do so. Most of you will remember his time with us this past October, and his encouraging presence and words. I look forward to hearing him and joining you via livestream as we celebrate the second week of Epiphany.
Additionally, another winter storm has been forecast for this weekend. We will keep an eye on the weather. In the event that it looks like roads will be unsafe, we will cancel the in-person service and offer an abbreviated service via Zoom. We will notify you via email Saturday evening and include the link if needed.
Next week, January 23, we will announce the candidates for Vestry, and distribute their biographies. Voting for vestry members has the potential to be misperceived as a popularity contest. Remember, however, that each candidate is offering herself/himself as a servant to God and the congregation, and each one has unique gifts, skills, and experience that can be used by the Spirit in the leadership of Immanuel. Our call as a community is to listen to Jesus, asking him to guide us to the three people prepared by him for this role. Those who are not selected can rest in the confidence that they are loved by God and the Immanuel family, honored for being willing to be a candidate, and prepared for service in other ways. Would you begin praying now for the Lord to guide this selection process?
Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
This is the first year I’ve paid attention to the fact that Martin Luther King, Jr. Day occurs during Epiphany. It seems quite appropriate that in the season in which we reflect on Jesus revealed as King of all peoples, we remember Dr. King’s shining work for the equality of all people. This work emerged out his conviction that “The Christian gospel is a two-way road. On the one hand, it seeks to change the souls of men, and thereby unite them with God; on the other hand, it seeks to change the environmental conditions of men so the soul will have a chance after it is changed.”
In worship of God, in gratefulness for Dr. King’s life, and with confidence in Jesus who alone can reconcile all people to God "in one body through the cross, thereby killing the hostility" (Ephesians 2:14-17), join with me in praying the collect “For the Human Family” from our Book of Common Prayer:
O God, you made us in your own image, and you have redeemed us through your Son Jesus Christ: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Your Pastor in Christ,