VOLUME 3, NUMBER 6, JANUARY 1, 2012
The Busy Month of January
For starters, the Church celebrates several important feasts. On Sunday, January 1 the Church celebrates the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. The eighth day after Christmas has been a feast of the Church for many centuries. In the Jewish tradition, on the eighth day after a male child is born, he is circumcised and Jesus was no exception. "After eight days had passed, it was time to circumcise the child; and he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb." (Luke 2:21). January 1 has been celebrated as the Feast of the Circumcision for most of its existence. In 1979, the Episcopal Church renamed the feast The Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Different Names, the same celebration. While Sunday takes precedence of most feasts, Holy Name is one of the few that the Prayer Book makes provision for celebration on a Sunday (BCP, 16) and we will take advantage of that provision to celebrate this feast in Morning Prayer and in the Masses on that day.
In both Eastern and Western Churches, January 6 is called the Epiphany and celebrates the manifestation of God the Son (the second person of the Trinity) as the human being Jesus Christ. In the West, the Epiphany has been about the visit of the Magi, and so, of the manifestation of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles (and so, the beginning, already in Christ's infancy, of the movement of God's salvation outward from the Jews to the whole world). In the East, the Epiphany has been about the manifestation in Jesus' Baptism in the Jordan River and includes the blessing of water, the chaotic element from which the world and life was drawn, and so blessing all of creation—often by throwing a cross into a local body of water.
The Episcopal Church doesn't want to lose either of these aspects of the Epiphany and so on January 6 the Episcopal Church celebrates the Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the following Sunday the Church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord. Grace Church will observe the Epiphany with the Men's Group sponsored Morning Prayer at 7am, a Low Mass at Noon and a Sung Mass at 8pm. We will observe the Baptism of Our Lord with Morning Prayer at 7:45am, Said Mass at 8am and a Sung Mass with the Blessing of Water and the Renewal of Baptismal Vows at 10am.
The next few weeks are at least as busy. On the following Sunday (January 15), the Right Reverend Mark Beckwith will make his canonically required bishop's visitation and bless the beautiful new font given to us by Jack and Cindy Waneck in loving memory of Joan Waneck. The next Sunday Grace Church will have its Annual Meeting. The following weekend the Diocese of Newark will hold its Annual Convention.
Before we know it, we will find ourselves in Lent and then again in Easter. And the Church moves forward on her way to the Kingdom. Merry Christmas
2012 OFFERING ENVELOPES... Are available in the narthex. Please take yours to help save on mailing costs. Also, please note that some numbers have been reassigned, and you may not have the same envelope numbers as last year. Please check and be sure to use your new number when making contributions. Thank you.
2012 CALENDARS... Are also available in the narthex. Please take one or several for your home and take a few more to give to friends.
ADULT FORUM RESUMES NEXT WEEK... The rector will conclude his Adult Forum series on Messianic Hope(s) next Sunday after the 10AM Mass. The following Sunday the Bishop will lead a forum and the Sunday after that will be the Annual Meeting. On Sunday, January 29, we will have representatives from Apostles' House speak to us about their ministry.
BISHOP'S VISITATION... The bishop's canonically required visit will take place on January 15, 2012. On that visit, he will preside over our Sunday celebration of the Holy Eucharist, bless the new Baptismal Font and lead us in the renewal of our baptismal vows. After Mass he will lead an Adult Forum and meet with the Vestry. The bishop's visitation is one of the five occasions that are especially appropriate for the celebration of Holy Baptism. If anyone knows of anyone seeking this sacrament, please contact the Rector as soon as possible (201 664-0407 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
ANNUAL MEETING... The Annual Meeting will be on January 22nd this year. The purpose of the Annual Meeting is to elect officers and to present the budget. Please mark your calendars and look for more information next week.
DIOCESAN CONVENTION... The Convention of the Episcopal Diocese of Newark will be held on Friday, January 27 and Saturday, January 28. For information on the convention, please see the diocesan convention website: www.dioceseofnewark.org/convention.
PLEASE REMEMBER FOOD FOR FRIENDS DURING CHRISTMAS... A gift to Food for Friends made any time during Christmas has special significance. At this time of unemployment and underemployment, we all know that the need is great. St. Paul's Community Development Corporation Food Pantry especially welcomes high protein items, such as beans and canned meats. Otherwise, their wish list asks specifically for tuna, cereal, peanut butter, rice, coffee, and pasta. Alternatively checks may be drawn in favor of St. Paul's Community Development Corporation and marked Food Pantry. Please send checks directly to St. Paul's at 451 Van Houten Street, Paterson, NJ 07501. Thank you.
Friday, January 6
The Epiphany of Our Lord Jesus Christ to the Gentiles
Ministers of the Assembly
9 Harrington Avenue, Westwood, NJ 07675
Telephone: +1 (201) 664-0407 | Email: email@example.com
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