Wednesday, January 12

weekly update: remember your baptism

We receive you into the household of God. Confess the faith of Christ crucified, proclaim his resurrection, and share with us in his eternal priesthood. - 1979 Book of Common Prayer

In baptism, we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection, being raised to newness of life. Through baptism we also become part of his body the Church. For all this--God's grace, your commitment, and your fellowship with us in the Church--we give praise to God.- The Covenant Book of Worship (1981)

Greetings from the pastoral staff. We have greatly enjoyed the blessings of Christmas and now we find ourselves firmly in the midst of Epiphany, an ordinary time according to some liturgical traditions. What an amazing thing to consider the Epiphany - ordinary! But, intentional or not, that is the gift of the liturgical calendar. The Baptism of our Lord has reshaped all of the universe. What was exceptional is now the ordinary. Things have been turned around.

Larry's sermon on the baptism of Christ posed a great many challenges for all to consider. In our liturgy we confess together, we sing together, we pray together and we recite the creed together. This affirmation of faith is a weekly reaffirmation of our baptism. In our baptism we are given new life in Christ. We give ourselves over to God fully. We also give ourselves over to the community that is Church. In many Baptist traditions, the faithful pledge as a congregation to uphold one another in baptism and the common walk as followers of Christ. Through The Book of Common Prayer, the Episcopal Church asks parents, god parents and the gathered community if they will support those who have been baptized in their life in Christ. The Evangelical Covenant Church, understanding Baptism as both identification with Christ and the enfolding of the adult or child into the Body of Christ, calls the members of each congregation to share in the nurture of the newly baptized. In our three traditions, faith is not meant to be a solitary journey. We are called to celebrate with one another, to struggle alongside one another. This is our shared burden and our shared gift. Thanks be to God.

In other news, the pastoral staff would like to remind you all that after worship this coming Sunday, January 16, we will be working on our constitution. We have received a reprieve of sorts from the ECC and do not have to complete the constitution as quickly as we thought. Nonetheless, it is something that needs our attention. We would like to have a draft completed before Lent. We hope you will help us in this endeavor. If you have not received a copy of the current draft of the constitution, please let us know via email and we will send one your way.

Some of us have been going out for dinner after the Sunday evening service. This has been a great time of fellowship. If any of you have other ideas for playing together, please do not hesitate to make suggestions!

We look forward to seeing you in worship this weekend. May God's Spirit be upon you.
And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased." - Matthew 3:16-17