Good News, 01.04.2012

Friends:

“God of tender care, you have cradled us in goodness, you have mothered us in wholeness, you have loved us into birth:  All around us we have known you, all creation lives to hold you; in our living and our dying we are bringing you to birth.”   (Bernadette Farrell)

Bev and I and the Council hope you will be able to celebrate an Epiphany Open House at our home this Sunday, January 8 from 1 – 4 pm.   Come and relax, children are welcome and enjoy the good cheer of new friends and old.  Hope to see you then!

Epiphany:  Wise Ones from the East will be joining us this Sunday….don’t miss out!  Special Request: If you have Bells (of any size or sound) please bring them to worship with you for our final Christmas Season Celebration!

Sunday School resumes this Sunday – it’s the best Christmas and New Year’s gift to give our children!   Bible 365 also resumes and the Countdown begins….only 3 more Sundays!  You are free to join the class any one of these Sundays too.  Educate the mind and stability emerges; educate the heart and the spirit soars!

Please keep in your prayers: Diana, Gloria (travelling in Europe), BJ on the death of her mother, Anila, Kelly and Alan who about to give birth, Lisa, Kersti, for our young ones who are searching for themselves, for adults who don’t know who they are, for those living with addictions, for Openness, Giving Hearts, Hope and Wonder!

If you have children’s clothes (any sizes) or adult coats or Christmas toys that you don’t need or want, please bring them to church this Sunday.  Shelter, Inc. received two new homeless families on Christmas Day and we are trying to give them a bit of Christmas spirit and blessings that they really need.  Thank you.

The Women’s Group will meet next Wednesday, January 11 from 10 – Noon at Peace.   The Women of Peace evening group will decide soon when they will meet January.

The Jazz Church West presents the Steve Heckman Quartet this Sunday at 5:00 pm.  Favorite pianist Gerry Grosz will be playing with this group.

And now the 12 Days of Christmas….which lead up to Epiphany – the Celebration of Light!   Where do those crazy song lyrics (leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, the partridge in the pear tree) come from?  What do they have to do with Christmas?  Recently I found out:

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning – known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol was a code word for a religious reality which the children could remember.

  • The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.
  • Two turtle doves were the Old and New Testaments.
  • Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.
  • The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.
  • The five golden rings recalled the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament.
  • The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.
  • Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit–Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.
  • The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.
  • Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit–Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.
  • The ten lords a-leaping were the ten commandments.
  • The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.
  • The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in the Apostles’ Creed.

There is your historical insight for today.

Blessed Epiphany!   Pr. Steve