A Message from the Junior Warden

Traditional in some Christian faiths is the celebration of the
Twelve Days of Christmas. These twelve days are thought to
demarcate the time between the birth of Jesus and the arrival
of the Magi or Wise Men. Often various Christian saints are
remembered and honored on designated days of the twelve.
And, of course, we are all familiar with the famous carol ” The
Twelve Days of Christmas,” and the gifts bestowed by our ” true

While the Twelve Days of Christmas has little basis in Christian
theology, perhaps there is a lesson we can take from the tradition.
That is: the celebration of the birth of Jesus need not end on the
26th of December when many people dismantle their Christmas
trees and put away the ornaments. Jesus’ birth can be celebrated
quietly in our hearts not only for the ” twelve days,” but for as long
as we want and need.

With all the turmoil and uncertainty in our lives today because of
Covid, as Christians, we should remind ourselves that with the
birth of Jesus the world was changed forever. With “God among us”
we need not despair nor lose hope. God continues to renew our
world and individual lives, as long as we believe and hold in our
hearts the “glad tidings of great joy.”

Jim Mannon

The Reverend Kate Wilson’s January 2 Sermon

Jeremiah 31:7-14 Psalm 84 Ephesians 1:3-6,15-19a Matthew 2:1-12

Blessed Christmas and a More Blessed New Year. Lord knows we need it!

In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

It’s the darnedest thing. On some rare Sundays, there are two Gospels to choose from. We call them Track 1 and Track 2. But this Sunday there are three. I don’t believe I’ve seen this before, except on Christmas with its three readings to cover the eve and the day itself. Today’s choices are:1) The Holy Family’s flight to Egypt to escape Herod’s jealousy-fueled murder of the Innocents; 2) Jesus at 12 teaching in the temple and mouthing off at his parents who had been looking for him frantically for three days. Why, Jesus, Why? He said to them, “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know that I must be in my Father’s house?” (Luke 2:49). Preteens. Sometimes you can’t live with them, but you sure can’t live without them; 3) Our reading from Matthew commemorating the arrival of the Magi, or Wise Men, or Kings, or astronomers.

The church calendar named the event the Epiphany and placed it on January 6, a Thursday this year, and an anniversary for other reasons that need our prayers. That makes next Sunday the first Sunday after Epiphany. But the Epiphany isn’t a skip-over feast. The Epiphany matters. It matters for the awareness, the opening of the eyes of these three foreigners and the gradual opening of our eyes to the person of Jesus, the surprise of Jesus, the meaning of Jesus. On the first Sunday of Epiphany, we will return to green vestments once again. But it’s not the green of ordinariness, it is the green of a seedling punching through the hard ground to grow tall and strong. It is the seedling of a mystical ah-ha! And it is up to us to nurture it.

Imagine the shock and surprise on these three travelers’ faces when they end their long hard journey at a simple home, a communal oven, simple furnishings, and a toddler with dirty knees from crawling on the well-swept dirt floor. There is little extra to be found here. Imagine Mary’s offering the travelers a meal with its lentils and olives and dates, of bread and olive oil, and thin wine. She can’t just call Joseph on her cell to have him pick up a leg a lamb on the way home. What must the Magi have thought? This was not what they had expected, and yet they stayed until their purpose was accomplished.

Imagine Mary’s surprise when three grand pagan gentlemen arrived at her door. Had she ever seen a non-Jew in her brief life, let alone men as noble as these? The arrival of the three Magi with camels and gifts opens Mary’s eyes as well – but was it to a new confusion or a new understanding of the toddler unsteadily getting to his feet nearby.

These are Gentiles – pagans, worshippers of gods either Roman or other, who have travelled here. It matters that these three were non-Jews. His own did not receive him, his own did not receive the light, wrote the evangelist John. Here, so near the beginning of the story itself and decades before Jesus’s ministry began, Gentiles seek him out. All they know is that it matters. They don’t know why. They have persisted, and they have arrived. They know this is a moment of greatness, and they make homage to this unremarkable child.

And they brought gifts on their long journey. Surely they had bodyguards or soldiers to protect them and their gifts from bandits, highwaymen rampant just outside the fires of every village. Deep in my heart I believe Mary was thunderstruck by all this and the baby was more entertained by the tassels on their clothing and the bells on their camels. The richness would not have impressed him.

Could this distant memory have compelled Jesus to cross the Galilee time and again? To cure the sick and the possessed, to feed the crowd of 4000, to enter so close to the Roman cities of the Decapolis? Was a vague memory of shiny things he hadn’t noticed so long ago be behind his embrace of Gentiles now? Is that why he broke the rule separating us from them? Or might it have been the real gifts these three had given, their time, their belief in something they did not understand, their loving looks – themselves? Is that why he invited Gentiles to himself and urged us to follow him by doing the same today? Who are the Gentiles we dislike or distrust? Might our openness change anything today?

Christmas is our official gift-giving time of the year. I hear our economy did well this year; or at least Amazon did. Now that we have expressed our love or respect or care for those important to us, and our obligation to those who aren’t, perhaps this Gospel is calling us to formulate our gifts to Jesus. What shall they be?

What does Jesus ask of us? Enough time, treasure, and talent to support the work of our faith community and other communities, yes. But more than that, and something embarrassingly familiar: to love one another as he has loved us and to love our neighbors as ourselves.

I took a break while doing my draft of this sermon on Friday and turned to the news online. Murder, verdicts, wild fires, racial hate, more floods, more disasters, more pandemic deaths, climate crises. It was so depressing I wanted to give up on my sermon. But then, out of the blue: Betty White.

My heart skipped a beat or two. What a terrible loss! But almost simultaneously I thought of her double entendre, her brilliant one liners, her good-girl face and come-hither remarks. She was hysterical when scripted and when not. Talk about gifts. Imagine lavishing gifts of humor and humility and love and joy all over us for all these decades! We were all her neighbor, weren’t we?

I spent a bit of time on Twitter yesterday morning reading her praises and watching clips of her as her co-stars dissolved in laughter. Comments were posted from people of every race and age and I detected a number of religions and all were stunned and sorrowful and endlessly thankful. They thanked her for her gifts, which each had received personally. She did what I believe Jesus calls us to do: reach out to others as equals, as fellow travelers, as fellow sufferers. Respecting the Christ within them if we cannot accept the politics or beliefs suffocating them. Being fully human and imperfect is OK. Being human, too, is one of our greatest gifts.

It is unlikely that we will have the impact of a woman with the plain Jane name of Betty White, but we can bring our full beings in our most positive ways to those we meet. If the least we can do is to stop our own angry talk, let’s begin there. We need not leave them laughing: that is one of her gifts; we are called to live our own. Those are the gifts Jesus wants from us, those we already have, no matter how seemingly unimportant.

We have never needed one another’s goodness and love more than now. Our nation has never needed us to act with integrity more than now. Jesus is here to replenish our gifts through the powerful grace of this Holy Eucharist and this loving community. Accept all that you can. Savor it. Give what you have. As my favorite refrigerator magnet urges, “The meaning of life is to find our gifts, the purpose of life is to give them away.”

I’d like to end by sharing a blessing for the New Year by Nadi Bolz-Weber. She is an original, as we all are. A tattooed Methodist minister has got to be a stand out, but she also has the gift of loving God’s children with her generous heart.

A blessing for the New Year by Nadia Bolz-Weber

As you enter this new year, as you pack away the Christmas decorations and get out your stretchy pants

as you face the onslaught of false promises offered you through new disciplines and elimination diets

as you grasp for control of yourself and your life and this chaotic world

May you remember that there is no resolution that, if kept, will make you more worthy of love.

There is no resolution that, if kept, will make life less uncertain and allow you to control a pandemic and your children and the way other people act.

So this year,

May you just skip the part where you resolve to be better do better and look better this time.

May you give yourself the gift of really, really low expectations.

May you expect so little of yourself that you can be super proud of the smallest of accomplishments.

May you expect so little of the people in your life that you actually notice and cherish every small, lovely thing about them.

May you expect so little of the supply chain and the service industry that you notice more of what you do get and less of what you don’t and then just tip really well anyhow.

May you expect to get so little out of 2022 that you can celebrate every single thing it offers you, however small.

Because you deserve joy and not disappointment.

So, I wish you a Happy as possible New Year.

Love, Nadia.


As we gather in person for Sunday worship, please remember we still need to be protective of each other as the Omicron Variant of the Covid virus continues to spread. Even those who are vaccinated may become infected and transmit the virus. To protect our communities until this subsides, the Diocese has suggested that you wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status and take a congregational singing hiatus. During this time only one cantor and a small choir will be allowed. We also ask that you maintain social distancing. Please only sit in pews with prayer books and hymnals. Hopefully, one day soon, we will all be able to lift our voices in song. Many thanks to everyone for your patience.

Connect With Us

Prayers and Reflections for this week

We have heard that the daily reflections and scripture readings provided during Lent were appreciated. Those of us writing them have also found it an enriching experience and have decided to continue. The meditations are written by persons from Saint Andrew’s, Gobin UMC and Beach Grove UMC. The daily meditations will be in the newsletter each week and go from Wednesday to Tuesday, except for Sunday. Whether you enjoy these every day, or as the Spirit moves you, may this resource continue to bring you spiritual food for the journey. Blessings!

The First Sunday after The Epiphany

Sunday In-Person Morning Worship Service, January 9 led by The Rev. Kelsey Hutto-Ford

You can connect to the service via Zoom. Click on this link to connect. If you have not used Zoom before, you will be prompted to download Zoom, go ahead and do that. When you enter the meeting you should be able to see and hear others and others can see and hear you. If you come in a little late, please listen for a moment before speaking. In order to see everyone, go to Gallery view (upper right on PCs and upper left for Macintosh). When we get started everyone except the speaker will be muted. If you are reading or playing music, please be sure to unmute yourself.

If you are connecting via telephone dial 301-715-8592 and when prompted enter the Meeting ID: 847 8600 1703 and press #, then enter the password: pray and press # again.

Click here for the service booklet for January 9

Non Food Pantry Latest

Saturday, January 29

• Noon to 3:00 p.m.
There will be a drive through distribution coordinated by Alex Roehrkasse and sack lunches will be given out. We are very grateful to Kate Berry, Martha Rainbolt, Carl Huffman, Karen Hirt Mannon, and Christiane Wisehart who have worked very hard to obtain supplies for the Non-Food Pantry. Kroger is not able to acquire enough products for us so the items are being purchased from a variety of sources. This is much more expensive. Donations to help offset this extra cost will be gratefully accepted!

Top 3 Needed Items
  • Menstrual Pads
  • Tampons

  • Toilet Paper

Your prayers are asked for:

The family of Jack Angleton, brother of Peggy Angleton
Rick and Jena Baker, nephew of Lucy Wieland
Russell Ball, husband of Jennifer Ball
The family of Wolfe Beckman, grandfather of Thea Warren-Simpson
Beth Benedix, friend to many of us at Saint Andrew’s
Bernice Emrick, mother of Karen Hirt Mannon
The family of Margaret Anne Ervin, sister of Bob Haymaker
The Rev. Nancy Ferriani and the family of Bob Ferriani, friends of the Warren and Connie Macy
The family of Eric Fladeland, friend of Tim and Caroline Good

The family of David and Janis Gerkensmeyer, parents of Sarah Gerkensmeyer
Jim and Susan Grivas, friends of St. Andrew’s
Mary Ellen Gurnon, aunt of Daniel and Stephanie Gurnon
Keith Keysor, friend of Andy Cullison
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob and Mimi Breese
The family of Dr. John Lovett, father of Nancy Lovett
Grayson Lyons, great nephew of Peggy Angleton
Majors family, family of Renee Majors
The family of Art Mannon, brother of Jim Mannon
Mary Mountz
Marilyn Mourouzis
Leo Nelson, brother-in-law of Joanne Haymaker
The family of Ann Kelly Newton
The family of Helen Noble, mother of Terry Noble
Gordon Redden
The family of Jordan Sanders, sister of Jim Ensley
Elizabeth and Natalie Sheffler, daughter and granddaughter of Page and Narda Cotton
Gloria Smith
Barbara Stinson, friend of Joanne Haymaker
Skip Sutton
Sydnor Thompson, brother of Harriet Moore

Diocesan Cycle of Prayer:
Saint Peter’s Church, Lebanon: The Rev. Christopher Beasley, Rector.

Our companion dioceses: The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil: The Most Rev. Mauricio Jose Araujo De Andrade, Primate of Brazil and Bishop of Brasilia. The people and Diocese of Haiti and Saint Andre’s in Mithon.

Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Chile.

Birthdays: Henry Cox, January 13 . Caroline Good, January 13 . Suzanne Hassler, January 14

Anniversaries: None


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