Christmas Day has passed, but in January the Christmas and Epiphany seasons are still upon us. This means that the church celebrates the revelation of Jesus to the world, and notices that there is always a choice to accept or reject the Savior.
After Jesus was born in Bethlehem in Judea, during the time of King Herod, magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked, “Where is the one who has been born King of the Jews? We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship Him.” (Matthew 2:1-2)
Everyone who hears of Jesus must respond either by worshipping him or by rejecting him. King Herod clearly felt threatened by Jesus and rejected him; the magi worshipped him. There was a stark contrast between the good King Jesus and the evil King Herod.
- Jesus was sent by God; Herod was placed on the throne by the Romans.
- Jesus was to be shepherd of Israel; Herod was an exploiter of Israel.
- Jesus gave up his life, so that the throne might be given to him; Herod took the lives of children to keep his throne.
- Jesus was born in King David’s city; Herod occupied the Jewish capitol. (See Cindy Bunch, “Advent of the Savior”.)
We have been blessed by having heard the news about the Savior of the world. As a new year begins, we continue to come together to worship him, God’s Son. Let us also spread the news of his presence among us to those who do not yet know of him. May the light of Christ shine in you!
Pastor Ann Marie Winters
CELEBRATE GRAND-FAMILIES: “Celebrate Grand-families” is a support group for grandparents raising their grandchildren. St. Paul is reaching out to support these families with Christian compassion and a place to meet and discuss their needs. We now have 17 families who participate, and more are welcome, if you know of anyone who would fit in. While the grandparents meet, we will have crafts, games, bible stories, snacks, help with homework, tutoring, and a fun social time for children. Sessions in January will be on Saturdays, January 11 and 25, from 10:30 am to 12:00 pm. Please contact Brenda Ceplecci or Pastor Winters to help.
CELEBRATE RECOVERY LAUNCH: The big day is here! On January 15 at 6:30 pm we are launching a new program at St. Paul to support the healing of “hurts, habits, and hang-ups”. We invite you and your family and friends to come if you suffer from abuse, grief, harmful relationships, divorce, co-dependency, depression, guilt, shame, drug and alcohol addiction, gambling, eating disorders, and so on. Celebrate Recovery is a world-wide ministry based on the beatitudes of Jesus that includes a time of worship songs, a testimony or lesson, and small group sharing. We also will have a fellowship time each week following the small group experience. Please consider how you may help to support this outreach into our community. Could you greet people at the door one evening? Make cookies or set up water and coffee? It is a simple program with a big impact for those who participate. Many thanks to our leaders who have been dedicated in preparing for this ministry: Marty Maurice, Nola Bennett, Deb Illencik, Anna Lacy, and Nick Fee. Pray for the successful launch of CELEBRATE RECOVERY AT ST. PAUL on January 15 and every Wednesday evening from 6:30 to 8:00 pm.
BAPTISM CONGRATULATIONS: Congratulations to Emma Nell Mcelroy on her baptism on January 19. Welcome to God’s family at St. Paul.
LARGE CATECHISM: Do you want to brush up on the basics of the Lutheran faith? A small group is meeting on the 3rd Monday of each month at 6:30 pm. Come join us in the Parlor on January 20.
ANNUAL CONGREGATION MEETING: The Annual Congregation Meeting will be held at St. Paul on Sunday, January 26, 2020, at 11:30 am.