January Newsletter Article

Services

Sundays - 9:00 AM sanctuary ---------- wednesdays - 6:30 pm chapel

by: Joyce Bloomquist

01/03/2022

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“and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.“ ~Matthew 2:9b-10

On Epiphany, we remember the story of the Magi following the star to Bethlehem to see the Christ child. They notice it in the sky and are guided by its light to the Holy Family. The arrival of the Magi symbolizes the inclusion of all people of the world into Jesus’s family.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a sign as obvious as a big, bright star to guide us in our journey with Jesus? Sometimes we need help in noticing God’s action in our lives and in the people around us. God speaks to us in many ways as we seek God’s presence. 

This Epiphany season, I invite the whole church into the practice of STAR WORDS, which can help us to look for God in our midst, change our perspective, and focus our attention on Christ amid all the distractions of daily life. A STAR WORD gives us an opportunity to listen deeply and hear God in a new way.

On Sunday, January 2 and for the rest of the month, you are each invited to take a star from the table in the narthex. You are encouraged to trust the STAR WORD that selects you, but there are no rules in star choosing, so if you need to trade for a different random word or look through the words until you find one that feels especially for you, you are free to do so.

If you are not regularly attending at Gethsemane in person, you can call the church office and we will give you a STAR WORD over the phone.

Keep your STAR WORD in a place where you will see it every day. Use your star word to pray for God’s guidance and to help you seek Jesus in your life throughout this year. You may find that your STAR WORD takes on increased significance or meaning as you experience your year, framing your perspective through the word God has put before you. 
 
 
Ideas for engaging with your STAR WORD:

· Look up the definition of the word, even if you know it well. Learn about its origins. What culture does it come from? How has its meaning changed over time?

· What does this word bring to mind as you contemplate? Does it recall any memories? How might God be speaking to you through the feelings and the stories this word evokes?

· Find this word or a synonym in the bible – what does the scripture tell you? Does this word remind you of other bible passages or stories? One place to search for where your word occurs in scripture is www.biblegateway.com.

· Write your own prayer using your word or find a prayer written by someone else that includes your word and pray it regularly.

· Draw or trace a star in the center of a piece of paper and write your word inside. Then doodle, color, and write around it with symbols and names of people or things you want to pray about. Color and doodle as long as you want, until the prayer feels complete. Try this every week to see how your prayers change.
 
Like the Magi followed the star to find Jesus, may your STAR WORD guide you as you follow Jesus this year.

Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Amy
 
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“and there, ahead of them, went the star that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.“ ~Matthew 2:9b-10

On Epiphany, we remember the story of the Magi following the star to Bethlehem to see the Christ child. They notice it in the sky and are guided by its light to the Holy Family. The arrival of the Magi symbolizes the inclusion of all people of the world into Jesus’s family.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a sign as obvious as a big, bright star to guide us in our journey with Jesus? Sometimes we need help in noticing God’s action in our lives and in the people around us. God speaks to us in many ways as we seek God’s presence. 

This Epiphany season, I invite the whole church into the practice of STAR WORDS, which can help us to look for God in our midst, change our perspective, and focus our attention on Christ amid all the distractions of daily life. A STAR WORD gives us an opportunity to listen deeply and hear God in a new way.

On Sunday, January 2 and for the rest of the month, you are each invited to take a star from the table in the narthex. You are encouraged to trust the STAR WORD that selects you, but there are no rules in star choosing, so if you need to trade for a different random word or look through the words until you find one that feels especially for you, you are free to do so.

If you are not regularly attending at Gethsemane in person, you can call the church office and we will give you a STAR WORD over the phone.

Keep your STAR WORD in a place where you will see it every day. Use your star word to pray for God’s guidance and to help you seek Jesus in your life throughout this year. You may find that your STAR WORD takes on increased significance or meaning as you experience your year, framing your perspective through the word God has put before you. 
 
 
Ideas for engaging with your STAR WORD:

· Look up the definition of the word, even if you know it well. Learn about its origins. What culture does it come from? How has its meaning changed over time?

· What does this word bring to mind as you contemplate? Does it recall any memories? How might God be speaking to you through the feelings and the stories this word evokes?

· Find this word or a synonym in the bible – what does the scripture tell you? Does this word remind you of other bible passages or stories? One place to search for where your word occurs in scripture is www.biblegateway.com.

· Write your own prayer using your word or find a prayer written by someone else that includes your word and pray it regularly.

· Draw or trace a star in the center of a piece of paper and write your word inside. Then doodle, color, and write around it with symbols and names of people or things you want to pray about. Color and doodle as long as you want, until the prayer feels complete. Try this every week to see how your prayers change.
 
Like the Magi followed the star to find Jesus, may your STAR WORD guide you as you follow Jesus this year.

Your sister in Christ,
Pastor Amy
 
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