How dear to me is your dwelling, O LORD of hosts! *
My soul has a desire and longing for the courts of the LORD;
my heart and my flesh rejoice in the living God.
After a sermon I recently preached, a hearer came to me and demanded I tell him how I became comfortable with death of my loved ones. In the sermon, I mentioned that my work in hospice, allowed me to be in awe and wonder at the transitory time between life and death.
“How do you ever get over it?” he persisted. Well, I’m not sure you ever stop grieving totally. Yes, I still miss my parents and grandparents and loved ones, but what is it that gives me such peace, I had to ask myself?
Finally, I realized it is the testimonies I have heard from those who are dying. They see angels in their room. They see loved ones who have died before them. One friend, a musician, heard an angel chorus!
I shared this with the insistent hearer. “There’s something I can’t see, but which is reassuring and beautiful.” I have peace that my loved ones are there. And my loved ones are in my heart forever.
Psalm 84 describes this place and one of my favorite pieces of music is this Psalm from Brahms’ Requiem. “How lovely is thy dwelling place….” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwnZ748e3CA
Yes, we miss our loved ones and knowing they are surrounded by the angels brings some peace and comfort.
Blessings as you finish you week….
THANK YOU! Thank you to the parish for the wonderful Christmas gifts of two volumes of Feasting on the Word; Night Comes to the Cumberlands; and a #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency book all on Kindle so I have them wherever I go. I so appreciate the blend of practical things that help with my work and fun things that provide rest.
Thank you also for the opera ticket and hotel stay for a trip to Chicago in February. I am going to see Paul Simon in concert, one of my all-time favorite artists. In addition, I know a singer in the Chicago Lyric Opera and am excited to see her in an opera and get a tour of the theater.
Next week, I will be in Corbin on Wednesday, January 8 and my Sabbath day will be Saturday, January 11. I will be attending a continuing education conference in Georgetown on Thursday and Friday. Please feel free to contact me any time, however, by calling 859 -429-1659 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Pot Luck This Sunday: This Sunday is our Annual Meeting pot luck. Bring a dish or drink to share. And all are welcome! Plan to fellowship with each other.
Lazarus at the Gate, an 8-week series on economic discipleship, will begin at the Adult Forum this Sunday. Irene Isaccs will lead the introductory session.
Godly Play: There will be Godly Play classes this Sunday. If you are interested in assisting with these classes on an occasional basis, please let Anne Day Davis or Dura Anne Price know. You will observe the classes for 4 sessions and once you have received this training, you may be called upon to assist as you are available. Let the children deepen your faith!
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.
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.
This Week at St. John’s
Sunday, January 5
10am – Godly Play and Adult Forum (Lazarus at the Gate)
11am – Holy Eucharist and Annual Meeting
Noon – Pot Luck Lunch
Wednesday, January 8
4:30pm – Confirmation Class
6:00pm – Worship
Sunday, January 12
10:00am – Adult Forum and Godly Play
11:00am – Eucharist – Baptism of our Lord Jesus Christ
Daughters of the King meets the third Wednesday of each month at 4:30pm. The next meeting is January 15.
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 the altar: Donations for flowers for the altar 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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January 5 – Wednesday, January 8; Sabbath, January 9 and 10