The readings for Sunday have few lines of intensity that focus our attention toward the sources of grace and healing power. A tree planted by the water, believers claiming together the gospel of new life in the risen Christ, people gathered around Jesus for the power of his words and the goodness of his spirit. We will look together at these passages and let them order our lives and shape our thoughts.
The choir meets to rehearse at 8:45 am.
Worship Book Dedication
After the sermon we will dedicate new worship books. These books are the treasuries of the Christian faith, and they represent current practice in our Lutheran tradition. They should remain in the worship room. If you would like one for your home–for your private devotion–you may order one yourself, or I will order one for you. We call the books “hymnals”, but they are more than that. They contain the service music and the orders of our liturgies, the prayers, the creeds, the catechism, and more.
Many of our worship books have bookplates with the names of members and friends of Peace. These names help us honor one another, remember those who are away, and remember those who have died.
Worship books were given in memory of Carol Taylor, Sue Ellen Cummings, Ursula Smoot and Fritz Wald. Books have been given in honor of Loren and Althea Korte, Dick and Mazie Stitt, Kathryn Welter and Charlie Conklin.
Family Promise Volunteer Training 11 am
Kim Canning will lead a training session during the Faith Formation hour. Bring neighbors and friends who might be interested in volunteering for Family Promise. Confirmation and high school students will watch the young children so that parents can attend the training. After the training, sign up for a Family Promise volunteer task, and remember to support or join the Peace Walkers.
Presentation on Christians in the Holy Land next Sunday, February 24
Steve and Nancy Meshon will show a video and talk about what they learned on their recent trip to Israel and Palestine.
A Place to Turn in Natick
Bring in jelly for A Place to Turn in Natick. During the season of Lent Stephanie Smoot will help us make a planting plan for our garden. Produce from the garden is brought to A Place to Turn.
Ash Wednesday 10 am and 7:30 pm.
Thursday Bible studies in Lent, 10 am, beginning March 14. Studies of the Gospel of Luke from the video-based Yale Divinity Bible study. This series of studies is designed for use by members of congregations. The video discussions feature Yale Divinity School faculty. If you would like to attend, sign up in the narthex.
Interfaith Hymn Festival March 2, 5 pm at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, Newton Lower Falls
Members and friends of Peace, Temple Shir Tikva and the Islamic Center will join readers and singers from St. Mary’s for the event. A reception and book sale, sponsored by Wellesley Books, will follow the program.
Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts;
the whole earth is full of his glory. Isaiah 6:3
The first reading for Sunday is from Isaiah. Before the prayer of institution, which draws our thoughts to the bread and wine of blessing on the altar, we sing with the attendants of the Lord: Holy, Holy, Holy. Christ our Lord is present for us. We are have come to a holy place, and to a life-giving, sacred moment.
The choir rehearses at 8:45 am.
Faith formation at 11 am.
The forum during our faith formation time is a discussion of another hymn-#834 Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise. Leah Jonczyk will read the text for us. The essay from Stars Shall Bend Their Voices is by Jamaican poet, Lorna Goodison, professor at the University of Michigan. Bob Holmgren will help us explore the music.
Bring in jelly for A Place to Turn in Natick.
Sign up for flowers. When you give flowers for the altar you may bring them home after the service. If you leave them at church they will be delivered to members and friends of Peace who cannot attend Sunday morning worship. In recent weeks flowers have been brought to Joanne Davis, Loren and Althea Korte, Eleanor Peterson and Charlotte Walek.
Confirmation Sunday afternoon at 4 pm.
The council meets Monday, February 11 at 7:30 pm.
Organ task force visit to the Allen Organ showroom in Worcester, Tuesday February 12. Time tbd.
Heather Moretz becomes an American citizen Wednesday, February 13. Congratulations, Heather!
Next Sunday, February 17, Family Promise volunteer training during the faith formation hour. Kim Canning will lead the training. Invite your friends and neighbors to the training.
Dedication of worship books, Sunday, February 17. Hymnals for our worship will be blessed the holy guidance they give as we sing and pray every week. Hymnals have been given in memory of Carol Taylor, Sue Ellen Cummings, Ursula Smoot and Fritz Wald, and in honor of Charlie Conklin, Loren and Althea Korte and Kathryn Welter.
Support the Peace Walkers at the Family Promise walkathon, or join the walk. Sign up to serve as a volunteer during our host weeks in March.
Saturday, March 2, 5 pm interfaith hymn festival at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Newton Lower Falls. Peace members, Kirsten Johnson, Kathryn Welter, Jonathan, Heather and Keira Moretz, and friends of Peace, Susie Kuzma and Bruce Goody, will among those taking part in the program.
For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then we will see face to face. No I know only part; then I will know fully, even as I have been fully known. And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love. 1 Corinthians 13:12
Paul’s letter to the Christians in Corinth offers a new teaching about the gifts of God. Sunday we will think about the spiritual gifts each of us has received, and how, when we share them, Christian community takes shape.
The choir meets at 8:45 am.
Faith formation at 11 am.
Adult forum during the faith formation hour will be a discussion of the hymn, Precious Lord, Take My Hand. We had scheduled a study of this hymn for two weeks ago; that day turned out to be a snow day for some of you. Last Sunday was our annual meeting, so Sunday we will take up this hymn again. Leah Joncyzk will read the hymn text. We will hear an essay on it by Vermont poet Sidney Lea, then Bob Holmgren will explore the music with us.
Confirmation at 4 pm Sunday.
Saturday, March 2 at 5 pm, at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Newton Lower Falls there will be a program of readings and music based on the anthology, Star’s Shall Bend Their Voices: Poets’ Favorite Hymns and Spiritual Songs. Margaret Gibson, one of the poets who wrote an essay for the anthology, will be there. Kirsten Johnson, Keira Moretz, Jonathan and Heather Moretz, and Kathryn Welter will take part. A flyer is attached.
Last week I brought our collection of coffee and tea to A Place to Turn in Natick. Thank you to everyone who added to the collection basket. Directors of a Place to Turn send thanks to you. They told me that they look forward to another season of vegetables and herbs from our gardens. When I asked what we should collect next, one of directors said, “You know, we always run out of jelly. People don’t like to bring it in, because it’s not healthy. But the children like it.” So, that’s what we’ll collect-jelly-until the basket is full.
Family Promise volunteer training Sunday, February 17 during the faith formation hour. Sign up for our next Family Promise host months follows the training.
Sign up to give flowers. Bring any kind of cut flowers. If you bring in a simple bunch of flowers, that’s fine. Flowers make the chancel look special. You can take them home. If you leave them, I will bring them to one of our shut-ins. (My definition of a shut-in is a member of the church who would be at Sunday morning worship if they could get here. A shut-in is not a member of the church who has chosen to do something else on Sunday morning.)
An organ task force-Ron Riggert, chair, Kathryn Welter, Libby Jonczyk, Warren Green, Kirsten Johnson, Bob Holmgren, Jonathan Moretz and Pastor Johnson-met with a representative of Allen Organs last week. The next meeting of the task force is a field trip to GPaul Music in Worcester, on Tuesday, February 12, to see and hear some Allen organs. Anyone interested in the music program at Peace, is welcome to come along.
When he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, he went to the synagogue on the sabbath day, as was his custom. He stood up to read. Luke 4:16
He stood up to read in front of the assembly, just like many of you do on Sunday morning. Reading the scripture is a holy task. On the Sunday morning of your assignment, you speak ancient words of wisdom and life to the assembled congregation. The word of God is channeled through your voice. The holy spirit moves out to us in the breath of your lungs. In Epiphany we hear you Jesus is. He is the savior of the nations, he is the beloved Son of God, he is the sponsor of celebration and praise. Sunday we hear that he is the fulfillment of scripture. The Law and the Prophets are fulfilled in Jesus. He is the living, breathing (reading) word of God.
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. John 2:1
Wedding at Cana, German 1450 Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
The readings through the season of Epiphany reveal Jesus’ identity. Sunday we read about a wedding at Cana. Jesus is the life of the party. We’ll walk through the story and think about Jesus’ interaction with Mary, and what John calls the “sign” of Jesus turning water into wine, and more. What does this event “signal” to us about our lives as Christians?
We will mark Martin Luther King day by singing hymns that remind us of King’s life’s work and legacy: “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “Precious Lord Take My Hand”. During the forum hour we will listen to and think about “Precious Lord Take My Hand”. It was Martin Luther King’s favorite hymn.
Bring my sons from far away
and my daughters from the end
of the earth–
everyone who is called by my name,
whom I created for my glory
whom I formed and made. Isaiah 43:6-7
Epiphany is the season of recognition and revelation, of identity and vocation. Who are you? What do you tell about yourself by your words and actions? What is your role in life? Whom do you serve? To whom are you related? These are some of the questions of Epiphany. This Sunday we mark the baptism of Jesus. He was claimed, called in the waters of the Jordan, and sent from there for work in the world. We are claimed, called and given a Christian vocation in the waters of baptism.
Sunday we will all renew our baptismal vows. As we do this we will be reminded that the Christian faith is to be lived and acted on. We do not live out our Christian life by passive, casual, observation of Christian ceremonies. As we renew our baptismal vows on Sunday we will review the terms of our vocations as Christians, and ponder the Epiphany questions of identity.