Pastor's Sabbath Days: Pastor Kelly: Tuesday Pastor Kristy: Friday
Days to Reach Pastor's Pastor Kelly: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday Pastor Kristy: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday
How do you prepare for 2021? Many of us can't put 2020 in our rear-view mirror quickly enough. But how do we want to enter the new year. For John Wesley, this was a spiritual question. And he addressed his questions and his longings, his prayer and his hopes in a Covenant Service. Also called a Watch Night Service (and there are several larger congregations offering great versions for you to experience!)
The first celebration of the Covenant Service in the Methodist movement was in 1753. Wesley found the service rich and meaningful. I do find in this liminal time between the switch of the calendar year, there is a "remarkable blessing."
There is preparation expected, in the review of the past year, in examining what is missing, what is needed, who I want to be in the new year. It's a spiritual discipline. This year, it may require a special vision and imagination to see what we've discovered this year we want to hold onto when all the energy will be on "returning to normal."
Our Epiphany service on January 3 will focus on the scriptures that invite us to "return another way" with elements from Covenant Service.
Commit yourselves to Christ as his servants. Give yourselves to him, that you may belong to him. Christ has many services to be done. Some are more easy and honorable, others are more difficult and disgraceful. Some are suitable to our inclinations and interests, others are contrary to both. In some we may please Christ and please ourselves. But then there are other works where we cannot please Christ except by denying ourselves. It is necessary, therefore, that we consider what it means to be a servant of Christ.
–from Wesley's Covenant Renewal Service
It is a hybrid Sunday that holds a great deal of meaning. It's a Journey Sunday where we'll be discussing Home By Another Route. In the Wesley tradition, it's the time of Covenant Renewal. It is the Second Sunday after Christmas, the Sunday three days after New Year, and three days before Epiphany, and, in the old song, "The Twelve Days of Christmas" it is the ninth day – the day when the "gift" is nine people dancing.
So we invite you to come to this table of …
one star for following,
bread and cup for sharing,
three days of New Year
at least four still-traveling camels,
and many, many hopes for the world.
Come to this table, even if you want
to be laying everything down
because you are so weary of being fearful,
isolated or essential to everyone but you.
Come to this table if you are swimming
in Zoom, virtual education,
financial risk, or grief.
Come to this table if you milked
all the joy from Christmas –
enough to carry you into 2021 …
or not nearly enough.
Come to this table,
if you have stopped dancing,
even though you are carrying many gifts,
or you need to be healed
by watching for the dance
in snowflake or pohutukawa*
in friend or stranger,
in the old story of another path home,
and the warm bread and sweet cup
shared right now.
(* Te Reo Māori: pōhutukawa, known as Aotearoa / New Zealand Christmas tree, is a coastal evergreen which blooms with bright red clusters of flowers in December and January.)
We invite you to join us for Holy Communion on Jan 3.
If you would like the elements of Holy Communion brought to you at your home, please let Pastor Kelly know, she'll be happy to arrange it.