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THE RECTOR'S DESK - The Rev. William D. Oldland
||The first Sunday of January this
year is the celebration of Epiphany. Epiphany means manifestation, an appearance of the
divine. On this Sunday we will celebrate the visit of the Magi to Jesus.
Well, "how does this visit affect me", one might ask? The Magi represent the Gentiles. They represent us. Their visit represents the appearance of the divine, Jesus Christ to the gentiles, to you and me. On this special day we recognize the revelation of God Incarnate to the entire world.
I also believe it represents something deeper to us. The Magi knew a new King was coming to the world. They knew they had to follow the star. I expect they were not looking for a little baby in a manger. I expect they were looking for a king being crowned. If they were expecting a baby, I know they would have expected the baby to be in a royal household. The visit to Herod substantiates this idea.
However, the Magi find something unexpected. God appears to them in a manger. The mother was a young peasant girl. The only gifts offered would be the ones they have brought with them on their journey. I am sure the appearance of God to the Magi in this manner was a surprise. The appearance was unexpected.
Could it be that we too should be looking for God in unexpected places and ways? Sometimes I wonder if we don't trap ourselves into looking for God in the same usual places. We look for God at church. We look for God in the prayers. We look for God in the clergy. During this Epiphany season we might try looking for God in other places. We might look for God as we hold a baby. We might look for God as we talk with our children. We might look for God in the people on the street. We might look to see God in the homeless of Reidsville or the people at the Soup Kitchen or Outreach Center.
One interesting thing about God; God has a habit of showing up in the most interesting places. Epiphany serves to remind us that God is near. Epiphany also reminds us to open our eyes a little wider or to widen our visual scope. By widening our field of vision we might have the opportunity to see the glory of God all around us.
Have fun looking for God.
Please try to keep your pledge payments caught up. Thank you.
*A complete financial statement is displayed on the bulletin board next to the Vestry Meeting room.
The Endowment Fund
Thanks to the following for their contributions to the Endowment Fund:
Willie Mae Adkins, Jimmy & Scott Trotter, Marian Safriet in honor of Harriet & John Garrett
HEALING SERVICE with Anointing and the Laying on of Hands and the Holy Communion, every Wednesday at noon in the chapel.
On Wednesdays beginning September 12 at 6:30 p.m. in the Church, an additional service will be added.
Everyone is welcome!
Thoughts on Stewardship
. Today I'm breathing a sigh of relief, mainly because I have finished another session with one of the most unhappy people I have ever known. This person comes to see me whenever she's annoyed with her job, her co-workers, or supervisor. She is always finding fault with something or somebody. She claims to be the only one in her department that ever does any work, but has never thought about how our plant continues to operate quite well during the days when she is off or on vacation. She continually dredges up events from the past and blames much of her present difficulties on whatever happened in her life years ago. Needless to say, she has presented me with more opportunities to be gracious than I could ever wish. I know more about this person than I really need to know. The fact that her husband left her some time back and she is not on good terms with her children doesn't come as a big surprise. As difficult as she can be, I feel badly for the fact that she is pretty miserable most of the time. I rarely see her smile or seem to enjoy the company of her fellow employees.
Knowing that I am not by any means a therapist, I am very cautious about what I say to her. But today, I told her that she needed to be able to let go of just a few of her disappointments and some of the anger she is feeling about certain situations in her life. I told her that "letting go" is not easy, but if she continues to carry all of her burdens around with her, they will become so heavy that she soon won't be able to move. At one point I even told her about the solution described in Ann LaMott's spiritual autobiography, Traveling Mercies. The author says when she has a problem or trouble that is more than she can reasonably handle, she writes it on a piece of paper and puts it in her 'God box." It is her way of turning worries over to someone much greater than herself.
Sometimes it is so easy to see the "speck" in my brother or sister's eye but ever so difficult to realize when I "get off track." All of this makes me wonder how I mirror Christ to others. I am even reminded of a quote by baseball great, Joe DiMaggio. He once said during the latter years of his career, "I feel that every day I need to do my best because there is someone in the stands who has never seen me play." As Christians we need to remember that we are the only Christ some may ever see.
We won't always be able to solve the dilemmas in our lives or the lives of others. But, as Christians, hopefully we can live in a way that reflects Christ's light. The people who have helped me the most are those who quietly and peacefully go about doing good and loving other people. As our friend, Nelson Hodgkins, emphasized on several occasions, "Maybe others can see what we have and desire to have the same peace, love, and happiness for themselves."
ECW Morning Chapter meets January through May and September through December on the Second Thursday of each month at 10:30 a.m. January 10 February 14 March 14 April 11 May 9 September 12 October 10 November 14 December 12
Induction of ECW Officers - Sunday January 6 at the 11:00 a.m. service
General Membership Meeting - Sunday January 27 following the 11:00 a.m. service in the Parish House
The Vestry meets on Monday January 21 at 6:30 p.m. in the Vestry Room.
2: Butch Trent, Jr.
3: Dale Fulton
4: Gerry Montaigne, III
7: Lee Isley, Jr.
8: Amy Newman
12: Judith Cardwell
13: Johns Martin
16: Ross Haigler
Clark Turner, III
21: Mildred Cummings
22: Mary Jane Ham
23: Cheri Barrett
24: Mark Jenkins
26: Donna Van Ness
27: Tara Bradford
28: Cindy Teague
Food Donations for the Reidsville Outreach Center
Fourth Sunday Each Month! - January 27
Tiny Saints will be meeting every Sunday of each month in the Parish House. Children ages 2-6 are invited to participate in this 45 minute session on Episcopalian traditions. The children sing songs, have a child's version of the day's lesson and a litany. There is also craft time and a snack. The children are returned to their families during the Peace for communion. Questions? Call Leslie Phipps.
Junior & Senior High Youth Activities for January
St. Thomas' and Rev. Powell wishes to thank each and every one who designated their time and effort preparing cookies for the prison ministry Christmas Party. One hundred and thirty dozen cookies were picked up by 1:00 p.m. on Friday, December 14th and well received.
To our friends at St. Thomas',
Thank you for all your kind words and support this year during our times of sorrow.
Lou Ann Joyce & Family
Thanks to everyone for the wonderful baby shower. Thanks to Kathy Smith and Anne Donecker for organizing this special event. Also, thanks to the Pastoral Care Committee for providing us with dinner during the recent birth of our son.
Thanks and God Bless,
Penny, Mike, Matt, and Reid
The Reidsville Soup Kitchen would like to take this opportunity to express their sincere appreciation for your recent expression of goodwill ($294.74). Support such as yours ensures the continuation of this much needed community project.
Dear St. Thomas',
I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for the Christmas gifts and cards given to me during this holiday season. Your kind generosity was greatly appreciated. Also, I am grateful to those of you who have given so graciously your time and efforts with your assistance. I look forward to spending 2002 with all of you, and I would like to extend a blessed New Year!!
Again, a heartfelt thanks to you all.
On behalf of all the Meals on Wheels clients to whom you delivered a Thanksgiving meal - THANK YOU!!!
As Thanksgiving approaches each year, I receive many calls from my clients wondering if the "nice people from the church will bring a meal." They look so forward to the food and the few minutes that your fine volunteers spend with them. More importantly, they know that they are cared for and thought about during the holiday time when they can be so lonely.
So again, a hearty thanks for remembering the elderly shut-ins that are so deserving in our community, and for all the good works that your fine congregation do.
Very truly yours,
Nutrition Services Coordinator
Thank you very much for the bag of goodies and for your kindness in remembering me.
Dear Friends at St. Thomas',
Thank you so very much for your continued support of the Reidsville Outreach Center. Our requests for food are increasing and your contributions have been very valuable to our food pantry. Thank you for helping with this ministry.
Beginning in September, newsletter articles need to be in our office by the 20th of each month. Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.
Counters Needed! - If you would like to volunteer contact Steve Worth or Marian Safriet or the church office.
Ushers Needed! - If you would like to volunteer contact the church office.
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