February 2009 Newsletter
Grace and Peace to you!
As I write this we are in mid-winter. So far, this winter is a difficult one because of extra ice and snow that has caused problems in the form of power outages and generally making travel difficult. As a result I have been thinking about spring-time more than usual. I am sure this has been assisted by the fact that each morning Marianne announces how many days are left before the opening of trout season!
Actually we do have some exciting things ahead of us before we get to Spring. Our daughter Melissa is scheduled for a Cochlear Implant, which we are praying will make a marked improvement in her hearing. And Marianne and I have decided to bring a new American Field Spaniel puppy into our home. His name is Oscar, and we’ll be going to Toronto to get him the second week of February.
I have been encouraged by the new people who have been attending worship at St. Paul’s. We will be scheduling another of our ‘Newcomer Teas’ soon. These receptions, when we break out the fine silver, are tangible signs of hope and renewal for the long-time members of the church, as well as an expression of welcome and inclusion to the new members and visitors who attend them. In addition, a small group of parents and teachers have formed into a task force to make plans to publicize and promote the new inter-generational Sunday School. We look forward to a vibrant, well attended Sunday School to take root and thrive. It is very important that we have a great Sunday School operating alongside the very successful Music School that our talented organist and choirmaster, Brian Hoffman, has worked so hard to bring to life.
Even though we may all be looking forward to warmer weather, there are abundant blessings all around us and much good work given us to do.
My prayer for the coming weeks, as we move through the observance of Lent (and on to a glorious Easter), is that we would see ourselves traveling through the seasons as part of God’s treasured creation. The Christian calendar is designed to help us live as intentional disciples of the Risen Lord. The seasons of the Church, and the liturgical colors, function as a daily reminder that the created order is being made new in Jesus Christ. I have provided below a description of the seasons in the Church calendar as an aid to become re-acquainted with the path ahead for our Christian walk.
In the name of the Incarnate Word, Jesus Christ,
The Period After Epiphany
Theme: Jesus is manifested as God incarnate.
The general topic of the Epiphany and the time that follows is Jesus’ manifestation of Himself as God. (The word epiphany is Greek for manifestation.)
The Season of Lent
Theme: Going Into the Wilderness with Jesus. Lent is a season of soul-searching and repentance. It also is a season for making amends.
Dates: Lent is a forty-day period before Easter. It begins on Ash Wednesday. We skip Sundays when we count the forty days, because Sundays commemorate the Resurrection. Lent begins on February 25, 2009 and ends on April 11, 2009.
Colors: Purple, the royal color, to prepare for the King.
The Season of Easter
Theme: Celebrating the Resurrection of the Lord
Dates: Easter Season begins on Easter Day and lasts 50 days, ending on Pentecost.
Colors: White and gold. Gold symbolizes triumph.
The Period After Pentecost (also called Ordinary Time)
Theme: The Church fulfills the Great Commission ( Matthew 28 )
Dates: From the day after Pentecost to the day before Advent.
Colors: Green to symbolize the growth and life of the Church, and within each member.
The Season of Advent
Theme: Preparing for the Coming of the Lord.
Dates: Advent begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas and ends on the day before Christmas.
Colors: Purple, the royal color, to welcome the King.
The Season of Christmas
Theme: Celebrating the Birth of Jesus Christ, the Incarnation of God.
Colors: White for purity and joy.