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The Deacon's Desk - The Rev. William D. Oldland
Epiphanies Among Us
Whenever I hear Epiphany I immediately think of the three wise men and their gifts for the Infant Jesus. My mind wanders to the manger where three strangers who have traveled from great distances following a star lay their gifts before Mary and Joseph. It is a wonderful scene and a warm feeling comes over me. However, I have found myself wondering what does it all mean? What is Epiphany all about?
I began to answer these questions by checking the word Epiphany in the dictionary. The definition is to make clear or evident, apparent to the senses or the mind; obvious. I also checked the event of Epiphany celebrated in the Church year. My research found two major events during this season. The first one is the arrival of the Magi. The second event we celebrate in Jesus life is His baptism. From these two events there are two concepts or thoughts, which are made more clear for us.
The first concept is for whom Jesus came into this world. The arrival of the Magi and their worship of the infant Jesus show us the intention of God for the world. Jesus came to be the Savior of all humanity. The Magis act of worship of the newborn King was evidence that both Hebrew and Gentile were welcome to received Jesus as Lord and Savior. Salvation is open to all.
The second concept we receive more clearly during Epiphany is the ministry of Jesus Christ. On the day of Jesus baptism the Holy Spirit comes upon Him. His ministry to and for the world is ready to begin. As He is baptized in obedience to the Fathers will His ministry becomes evident. His ministry is to show us the relationship God intends to have with us. The relationship is one based on love and forgiveness.
The most remarkable aspect of both of these concepts is our ability to share in them today. Like the Magi we too can acknowledge the kingship of Jesus Christ. We come to worship our Lord and Savior. We can also offer our gifts before Him. Our gifts may not be gold or myrrh. Instead our gifts may be our talents, our abilities, and our love. Furthermore, as Christ was baptized we too are baptized. Our baptism makes us one with Christ and able to share in His ministry. We use the gifts we have to share Gods love and forgiveness in the world. During this season we have the opportunity to be more aware of the identity and ministry of Christ. We have the opportunity to worship Jesus as Savior. Finally, we have the opportunity to share in Jesus ministry in the world. I bet we all know someone in our lives who needs the love and forgiveness of God. These two wonderful blessings start with Gods gifts to us. We have the opportunity to share the gifts with other. I pray we will join Jesus Christ in this ministry.
Peace in Christ,
January Parish House Cleaning Committee:
January Altar Care:
Anne Rogers, Chm., Martha Balsley, Dot Ferneyhough, Kathy Smith
Vestry Ministry Teams & Club Reports
The morning chapter of the ECW will meet at 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 10, 2001 at the home of Willie Adkins. Mavis Simon is co-host.
The Endowment Fund
Leave a lasting legacy - Remember the St. Thomas' Endowment Fund in your will. It's a gift that keeps on giving - year after year.
Talk to Bob Lee Watt or John Garrett about special ways to help the Fund.
Income: November 2000 Expense: November 2000
Pledged $ 10,341.00 Received $ 13,708.00 Overage $ 3,367.00
Budgeted $ 10,721.00 Spent $ 15,972.00 Over spent $ 5,251.00
Thoughts on Stewardship
No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply in us, and his love becomes complete in us.from I John 4:12
This week a friend of mine, Paul Tosto, died after a painful, hard-fought battle with cancer. He has been on our prayer list and I know many of you remember seeing his name when we said our corporate prayers on Sundays or at the Healing Services on Wednesdays. Paul was a former boss, mentor, and daily jogging (later walking) companion of mine. He was one of those people everyone dreams about either working for or with. A typical engineer, Paul was methodical, thorough, fiscally responsible, and full of ideas of how to do things a better way. His calm demeanor and listening skills made him an excellent person to consult whenever a difficult decision had to be made. However, the attributes that I remember are not totally work related. Paul was the type of person who constantly thought of others. He would always inquire as to ones family members well being or be the first to call and give his congratulations whenever anyone got a promotion. Also, I cant remember him talking about other people in a negative way. If the conversation ever drifted in that direction, Paul would say, "Oh, theyre OK" or "maybe they were just having a bad day." And although he was normally quite serious, he would laugh so hard when telling a joke or story, it didnt matter whether it was that funny; I always began laughing because his sense of humor was so infectious. However, when it all comes down to summing up my friend and the life he lived, I would have to say that Paul had the ability to give and show love to others.
In thinking about Paul, I have also thought about us at St. Thomas. We have a beautiful sanctuary and excellent facilities. We have a wonderful church staff that includes our new deacon, Bill. We help many individuals and organizations in our community through our outreach programs. We have many aids and avenues to become more spiritual. However, if we do not have the ability to love others, we are merely "clanging cymbals." And sometimes the church is the hardest place to demonstrate love. We can all cite examples of this.
People will be drawn to "what we have" and to Christ through our ability to love. Jesus talks so much about this subject. His teachings and parables are all centered on this theme. We cant merely give it "lip service," we must make it part of our everyday life. This is what people will remember about us more than anything else
St. Thomas' will celebrate Homecoming on Sunday, January 14. Please join us for a covered dish luncheon following the 11:00 a.m. service. St. Thomas' will provide the meat. Please mark your calendar and invite your friends and family to join us for this special event.
News from The Episcopal Day SchoolADMINISTRATORS REPORT Shelly Ellington
Sure hope everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving! The Dayschool has had a busy and fast December. The children and teachers worked very hard to learn their songs to give praise for the birth of Jesus during their Christmas program, "Christmas Around The World". Special thanks to our dedicated teachers who put all of their hearts into these programs! Thanks to Rev. and Mrs. Oldland and family for their participation in our program! Also A GREAT BIG thanks to everyone for your poinsettia orders. The school will certainly put the money to great use for our childrens education! Have a safe and very Merry CHRISTmas!
PRESCHOOL REPORT Carol Puryear
This has been a short month and oh so full. We spent a lot of time getting ready for our program "Christmas Around the World". All the kids did such a good job! And we were especially glad to have Father Bill accompany the kids on two of their numbers. They enjoy singing with him and the beautiful guitar music adds so much! We were also glad Bill, Ellen and the boys stayed for our dinner, too. We are also thrilled to report we collected over $700 in our offering for Samaritans Purse. The Lord really blessed our entire evening. Ill close in the same way we closed our program: Feliz Navidad, Mele Kalikimaka, Meri Kurimasu, Joyeaux Noel, Vesele Vanoce, Frohliche Weihnachteen, MERRY CHRISTMAS!
KINDERGARTEN REPORT Cori Anderson
Dear Church Family,
This month we have been reflecting back on the wonderful birth of Christ. I am so thankful that Christ came, so that one day I can live with him forever. This month has been a busy one as we prepared for the Christmas program. The children worked very hard and did a great job! For "K" week my class cooked a pot of soup for the Soup "K"itchen. What a wonderful teaching tool, to help others that are in need. I am looking forward to spending the holidays with my family (and cleaning my house!) Have a great holiday!
Thank You Notes
The Reidsville Soup Kitchen, Inc. would like to take this opportunity to express their sincere appreciation for your recent expression of goodwill. ($194) Support such as yours ensures the continuation of this much needed community project.
Thanks for being such a faithful supporter!
Dear People at this Church,
I want to try and thank you all for the nice Dinner at Thanksgiving. I was all alone and you will never know how I thanked God I had a nice dinner. Thank you. May God bless you.
Thank you so much for my car package. You have been there for me ever since I left Reidsville to go to Elon and before. It means a lot to me to know that I have your support.
Phillip Dalton II
Dear Friends of St. Thomas,
Thank you for your December 15, 2000 donation of $102.00 to Reidsville Habitat For Humanity. We have completed House #10 and the family should be in their new home for Christmas. Plans are being made to begin construction of House #11 in January 2001. Thank you for your continued support and prayers to Reidsville Habitat For Humanity.
Thank you for "Continuing the Tradition",
Jimmy Thompson, Fund-Raising Chairman
Dear St. Thomas Friends,
I want to thank you all for the kindness shown to my family and I during this Christmas season. We appreciate how good you are to us all year long, too. Lin, David, Nicholas, Alex and I wish everyone a wonderful New Year! Thank you, again, for being so kind.
Love, Edie Stadler
St. Thomas Episcopal Church,
What a grand Christmas present. Thank you so much for the $500 donation to the Reidsville Library. I will use the money to buy "easy reader" books for beginner readers. Your gift helps children become life-long readers and learners.
Jacky Miller, Youth Services Coordinator
Flowers for January 2001
January 7 Available January 14 Worth January 21 Allen January 28 Available
January Greeter Schedule
January 7 Anne & Kris Rogers January 14 Dot Ferneyhough January 21 Pam Allen January 28 Bill Sutton
Welcome to the following people who have recently joined St. Thomas by letter of transfer:
Paul and Cheri Barrett
Men's Club Meeting
The Mens Club will meet on the first Thursday of each month in the Parish House. The next meeting will be Thursday, January 4 at 6:30 p.m.
REGISTRATION FOR INQUIRER'S CLASSES
These classes are for anyone interested in learning more about the beliefs of the Episcopal Church. The classes will begin in February and take place on Sundays after church. These classes will not only answer some questions about what we believe, they will also prepare individuals for Confirmation, Reception or Reaffirmation when the Bishop visits in April. There will be eight classes and they will last about one hour and a half. To register for these classes please call the church office.
Food Donations for the Reidsville Outreach Center
Think Italian... Hot Pasta Covered in Red Sauce!
Monthly Food Collection for the Reidsville Outreach Center
Third Sunday: January 21
Designated Food Items: Boxed Pasta, Canned Spaghetti Sauce, & Canned Spaghettio's, etc.
Look for the large brown basket at the steps going up to the altar. Let's fill it up to overflowing this month as we did in December! Please remember to include your children/grandchildren in offering food for those in need throughout our community.
Newcomer's GatheringAttention all newcomers to St. Thomas Episcopal Church or the Reidsville area! We invite you to have coffee and dessert at the Rectory on Wednesday, January 31st. The Rectory address is 634 Parkway Blvd. The time for the gathering will be from 7:00 8:00 p.m. in the evening. Children are welcome to attend this gathering.
2001 Diocesan Convention
The 2001 Diocesan Convention will be held in Winston-Salem, February 1-3. The Delegates are Bill Sutton and Pam Allen. Colin Ferguson is alternate Delegate.
Marriage EncounterMARRIAGE ENCOUNTER is a special weekend experience for a husband and wife to grow together as a couple and build better communication for themselves and their family. For more information or to register for the next EPISCOPAL MARRIAGE ENCOUNTER weekend, February 9-11 contact Gayle or Dick Madison at 336/768-2989.
Report on This Years Stewardship Campaign
As of this time, all pledges have not come in. There are still 11 people who supported St. Thomas last year that have yet to be heard from. Hopefully, they will contact us shortly. Presently, the amount pledged is $130,000 not quite the amount of money we had to work with this past year.
However, the good news is that we have 11 new pledges this year. This is certainly encouraging. Your generosity will enable us to enhance programs within our parish and still be able to provide for our traditional outreach endeavors.
If we have not heard from you concerning your stewardship of money, please get in touch with either Steve Worth or myself. I do thank every one of you for continued assistance of St. Thomas.
St. Thomas' Four-Wheel Drive Brigade
With inclement weather coming our way, the Outreach Commission proposes a new group who will initially help members of St. Thomas', but have future plans to reach out to the community with their service. To put together this proposal, we need four things:
volunteers with four-wheel drive vehicles, a desire to help, some available time, & a sense of adventure
people who (in snow & ice) need food, a ride to the doctor/dentist, etc. a very special person with organizational skills who can be the contact person during bad weather an idea for a great name for this service. If you fit into any of these categories or have a catchy idea for a name, please call or email Edie at the church office: 349-3511 or email@example.com
Christian Education Commission
The Christian Education Commission will meet Sunday, January 7th in the Vestry room, following the 11:00 a.m. service.
January Christian Education
Adult/High School Sunday School in
January: 9:45-10:30, Parish Hall
January 7, Epiphany Sunday - Class Celebrating Epiphany
January 14, Homecoming - No Sunday School
Three Week Study
Led by High School Youth: Labyrinth
January 21 - Introduction/History
January 28 - How to Walk a Labyrinth & What to Expect
Thursday, Feb. 1 - Field Trip! Van(s) ride to Holy Trinity in Greensboro for Labyrinth Walk
February 4 - Post-Walk Discussion/What We Learned or Experienced