If you would like a full copy of the tidings for this month, please email or visit Annie in the office.
FROM THE PRIEST-IN-CHARGE
May Light continually shine and smile upon you,
Epiphany is one of my favorite liturgical times in the life of the Church. It is the time of remembering not only the story of the birth and incarnation of the Word made Flesh, but also a time of connecting our spiritual life more and more toward God’s goodness in creation. Traditionally, Epiphany is a ‘Season of Blessing’ particularly with blessings of homes and numerous other blessings, often of things material, such as icons, crosses, and water.
On Epiphany (January 6) the Orthodox Church worldwide in many communities will be blessing the waters, particularly the streams, lakes, and oceans near the local communities. In many of these celebrations, after the Bishop or Priest blesses the water, a cross is thrown into the waters, often-icy cold waters depending on the location. Then people, usually young men, jump into the water to retrieve the cross with an understanding that retrieval of the cross will bring abundant blessings for the entire year. What wonderful celebrations and I simply love knowing that across the globe many streams, lakes, ponds, creeks, and seas will be blessed and celebrated.
In Epiphany I try to focus my contemplations, that of turning my mind and whole being toward God, with a more intentional focus on God’s goodness in all creation. Albeit I admit I keep this highlighted focus in my prayers and contemplations throughout the liturgical seasons. As it is within our Life in Christ, we are always afforded the opportunity for our choices. I continually choose to keep at my focal point God’s goodness in all creation in discerning daily life choices. I am not always successfully and find many challenges, yet it is what sustains me as well. Yet, I digress. Back to Epiphany.
Epiphany is one of the times in following the Lectionary Lessons for a given year (A, B, or C) where we get to hear from the Gospel of John. This gospel is interspersed through any given Lectionary Year and mostly comes to our ears at particularly liturgical seasons, such as Christmas, Holy Week and Easter. I am very sensitive to this as I co-authored a book on the Gospels and my contribution was the Gospel of John. So, in Epiphany, regardless of what Lectionary Year, I resonate with all, the A, B, or C readings, because each has a segment from John. However, I admit I more often contemplate Year C’s reading the most, which is the story of the Wedding at Cana.
This story is associated within the signs tradition of John, the first sign being that of turning the water into wine as Jesus, his mother, and others celebrate a wedding in their community. It is a good story to keep us all on track with the wondrous and joyful understanding that God is fully present and manifested in our lives particularly noticeable at any good celebration or feast.
I am always drawn to contemplating the mystery of the Wedding of Cana at this time in Epiphany. The transformation of water into wine for me taps into our Eucharistic theologies of life-giving sustenance as we forge into understanding God’s presence more fully in all of creation. We are indeed a people who are sustained with the gifts, found in the material gifts of bread and wine that are transformed into spiritual food to nourish us in our deepening trust and faith in God, manifested in Jesus Christ, and enlivened by the Spirit.
So today, and every day, take a moment to simply give thanks to God for the gift of water. Give thanks for the water that you drink, the water that is in the form of snow, the water shared with creation as you water plants or place in your pet’s bowls. Take time to give thanks for the gift of water and drink deeply in your thanksgivings deepening your trust in knowing God is always fully present with you and within you.
On January 26th we will have our service at 9am followed by a potluck and the Annual Meeting. This is a time for us to celebrate where we have come during the past year, to elect new leaders, and to look forward to where God may be calling us in the future. Please mark your calendars now, and plan to attend. The notes from last year’s meeting are below if you’d like to review them or get a sense of what to expect!
BOOK CLUB: UNSHELTERED
Book Club will be meeting on Friday, January 24th at 10:30am, here at St. Barnabas. The book for January is Unsheltered, by Barbara Kingsolver. All are welcome to read and join! Read on to learn more about the book:
How could two hardworking people do everything right in life, a woman asks, and end up destitute? Willa Knox and her husband followed all the rules as responsible parents and professionals, and have nothing to show for it but debts and an inherited brick house that is falling apart. The magazine where Willa worked has folded; the college where her husband had tenure has closed. Their dubious shelter is also the only option for a disabled father-in-law and an exasperating, free-spirited daughter. When the family’s one success story, an Ivy-educated son, is uprooted by tragedy he seems likely to join them, with dark complications of his own.
In another time, a troubled husband and public servant asks, How can a man tell the truth, and be reviled for it? A science teacher with a passion for honest investigation, Thatcher Greenwood finds himself under siege: his employer forbids him to speak of the exciting work just published by Charles Darwin. His young bride and social-climbing mother-in-law bristle at the risk of scandal, and dismiss his worries that their elegant house is unsound. In a village ostensibly founded as a benevolent Utopia, Thatcher wants only to honor his duties, but his friendships with a woman scientist and a renegade newspaper editor threaten to draw him into a vendetta with the town’s powerful men.
Unsheltered is the compulsively readable story of two families, in two centuries, who live at the corner of Sixth and Plum in Vineland, New Jersey, navigating what seems to be the end of the world as they know it. With history as their tantalizing canvas, these characters paint a startlingly relevant portrait of life in precarious times when the foundations of the past have failed to prepare us for the future.
As we approach the end of 2019 your mind may be starting turn towards taxes (mine is!). All gifts to St. Barnabas made before the end of this year will be counted and I will issue you a donation summary for the entire year – both pledge and other donations – in January that you can use for tax purposes.
Women's Lunch will be Wednesday, January 22nd at J Fargo's at 1:00 pm.
We currently have a volunteer team undertaking a review of St. Barnabas’ recordkeeping practices. They are reviewing Diocesan best-practices for record-keeping and comparing it to our current system to make plans for how we can improve. We want to make sure we have all the records required of us, but that we’re not cluttering our space with unnecessary papers. We also want to make sure that our important records and information are preserved in case of a fire or flood.
We’ll keep you up to date on the process!
ARTICLES OR ANNOUNCEMENTS FOR THE TIDINGS
If you would like to submit an article or announcement for the Tidings, please send it to firstname.lastname@example.org by 10:00am on the last Thursday of the month!
MINISTRY & OUTREACH SUPPORT
Good Samaritan Food Pantry: $1,200
The Bridge Emergency Shelter: $1,200
Cathedral Ridge Camp: $1,200
Montezuma Youth Pride: $1,193**
Grace’s Kitchen: $7,925*
Sanctuary at Mancos United Methodist Church: $387*
Rector’s Ministry to Community: $2,504
*Ministry is funded solely by donation
**Ministry funded solely by donation and grant income
November 2019: 1,377 Meals Served
2019 Year-To-Date: 12,163
Total Meals Served Since 1998: 213,028
QUOTE OF THE MONTH
The true source of joy is love- love of God, love of beauty, love of wisdom, love of another human being, it does not matter which. It is all one love: a joyful awareness of dissolving boundaries of our ordinary narrow self, of being one with reality beyond, of being made whole. It is God speaking. Listen to your Creative Conscience, the voice of the divine guiding you each day. It resides in your heart: your true temple.
~ Irma Lalecki in "The Door to Joy”
We would like to express great appreciation to the following people:
Sue K, Jack & Judy, Roxanne & Jim, Stan & Pat, and Rhoda for donating our Christmas flowers
An anonymous Christmas elf, for the beautiful wreath outside Grace’s Kitchen!
Julie S, Roxanne, and Jack for their help with our 2020 budget
Sylvia, for helping to set up the candles for Christmas Eve
Judy, Roxanne, and Cindy B for their continued work on improving our record systems
All the members of our “Ironing Ministry”: Janice, Jane, Judy O, Sylvia, Helen N, Roxanne, and all others who offered to help!
Janice and Ann for their ongoing help with coffee hour
The altar guild for a marvelous job on the Christmas Eve Vigil
Linda G and Jack for donating to our “Printer Paper Ministry”