Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian. Galatians 3:24-25
When this letter was written, the people understood who the disciplinarian was. He was a slave who walked and stayed with a boy in school and often treated the boy harshly for his behavior. Paul is saying that we humans needed such a person in our lives and the Commandments functioned in that way for us.
However, with the coming of Christ, we have been given a new way to live. It’s not that the Law is wrong; rather it’s that we have a new guide. We don’t need to be forced to go to school. We don’t need to be forced to do what is right. Because of the love of God in sending Jesus Christ and Christ’s love of us in his teaching and in his death and resurrection, we don’t need the harsh discipline. Our hearts tell us and guide us into the right way to live and the right behavior.
That is the power of God’s love…..
Blessings as you finish your week.
My Schedule: Next week,I will be in Corbin on Thursday, January 2, and my Sabbath day will be Friday, January 3. Please feel free to contact me in an emergency, by calling 859 -429-1659 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I will be away from Christmas Day until New Year’s Day. If you have a pastoral emergency, please call The Rev. Peter Helman, Priest-in-Charge, St. Mary’s, Middlesboro at 606-248-6450..
Adult Forum: There will be no adult Forum this Sunday.We will begin again on January 5 with an 8-session series, Lazarus at the Gate, a series on economic discipleship.
Confirmation Classes will be offered Wednesdays at 4:30pm beginning January 8 and finishing February 5. Classes are open to everyone. Sessions will focus on the history, theology and structure of The Episcopal Church. Please let Rebecca know if you will attend.
This Week at St. John’s
Sunday, December 29
10am – Godly Play (No Adult Forum)
11am – Morning Prayer – Christmas Lessons and Carols
Wednesday, January 1
6pm – Evening Worship
Sunday, January 5
10am – Godly Play and Adult Forum (Lazarus at the Gate)
11am – Holy Eucharist and Annual Meeting
Noon – Pot Luck Lunch
Please prayerfully consider how you will financially contribute to the work of St. John’s Church in 2014. A big thanks to everyone who has pledged so far. We have received 18 pledges totaling close to $38,000. We expect our budget needs to be at least $47,000 for 2014. If you have not already pledged, complete a pledge card today and place it in the offering plate to will assist with our planning for the work of St. John’s in 2014.
2013 Year-End Giving Reminders: As you reflect on your year-end tax planning, we hope you will consider making use of the income tax charitable deduction. Whether you plan to give a gift to your local parish or a Diocesan ministry or both, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Gifts made by check must be postmarked by December 31 to qualify as a 2013 gift. If your employer has a matching gift program, please enclose the form along with your check.
- Credit card gifts must be made on the Diocese website by December 31 at midnight to qualify as a 2013 gift.
- Gifts of stock are a great way to reduce your tax liability, while making a gift to your parish or Diocesan ministry. If you own appreciated stock, you can deduce the full fair market value of the stock at the time of the gift and not be subject to capital gains tax on the increase in the value of the stock. Please contact Angie Smith at the Diocese office if you are interested in making this type of gift.
- Are you 70 ½ or older? 2013 is the last year you can take advantage of a special tax break for year-end gifts from your IRA. You can roll over up to $100,000 from your IRA to the Diocese and avoid taxes on the income. This is a great option for those who must take a Required Minimum Distribution (RMD) but want to avoid higher taxes on the additional income. Please contact Angie Smith for information if you plan on taking advantage of this.
Prayers Requested for the youth attending the Diocesan Junior & Senior High Youth Event December 27-30, at the Cathedral Domain.
God our Father, you see your children growing up in an unsteady and confusing world: Show them that your ways give more life than the ways of the world, and that following you is better than chasing after selfish goals. Help them to take failure, not as a measure of their worth, but as a chance for a new start. Give them strength to hold their faith in you, and to keep alive their joy in your creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Annual Meeting, Sunday, January 5. Plan now to attend our Annual Meeting to adopt a budget for 2014 and elect people to Vestry and to attend Diocesan Convention. We will also have a pot luck that Sunday.
Pot Luck Sunday: There will be no pot luck in December; however, there will be 2 in January – January 5 for the Annual Meeting and January 26 as the last Sunday of the month.
Serving Our Neighbors – See baskets in the parlor.
- Everlasting Arms, Corbin’s shelter for people who are homeless is in need of men’s razors, deodorant and socks.
- The Food Pantry at Corbin Presbyterian Church is always in need of nonperishable food items. Vegetables are especially appreciated.
Flowers for Christmas: Donations for flowers are accepted for any Sunday of the year. Please place your donation in the envelope, marking whether they are in honor of or in memory of someone.
United Thank Offering (UTO) is a ministry of the Episcopal Church for the mission of the whole church. Through United Thank Offering, men, women, and children nurture the habit of giving daily thanks to God. These prayers of thanksgiving start when we recognize and name our many daily blessings. Those who participate in UTO discover that thankfulness leads to generosity. United Thank Offering is entrusted to promote thank offerings, to receive the offerings, and to distribute the UTO monies to support mission and ministry throughout the Episcopal Church and in invited Provinces of the Anglican Communion in the developing world.
Your UTO offerings are collected twice each year. Each time you feel thankful during your day, put some change into your box. We will gather these gifts of gratitude in May and begin again for the November offering.
If you need a UTO box, please see Rebecca.
Reimagine the Episcopal Church: In 2012, the General Convention created a taskforce to reimagine The Episcopal Church for the future. The members of the Taskforce want to hear the memories, hopes and dreams that people have for The Church. We are trying to reach as many people as we can over the next few months. We will use what we hear to help us shape recommendations for The Church’s structure, administration and governance. To add your memories, go online at http://reimaginetec.org/ or see Rev. Rebecca for a paper copy you can submit. Deadline is March 4, 2014.
Hymn Selection Group If you’d like to choose hymns for services, join this group. You will choose hymns for an upcoming service and then meet with the entire group to confirm the final selections. See Billy Hibbitts if you are interested.
Would you like to write Prayers of the People? If you are interested in writing these prayers (there are resources that can help with this task), please let Rebecca know by phone or email email@example.com.
Are you interested in assisting with the Sunday service? Readers, Eucharistic Ministers, Crucifers, Altar Guild Members and choir members are all important for each Sunday service. If you’re interested in serving, please let Rebecca know by phone 859-429-1659 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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