Table Rock Talk January 2017

The Newsletter of Lawrencefield Parish Church

Welcome to the Jesus Movement

Episcopal Church slates 2017-2018 Revivals

FROM AN EPISCOPAL CHURCH NEWS RELEASE

The Episcopal Church is working with diocesan teams to organize a series of Episcopal Revivals in 2017 and 2018, six major events that promise to stir and renew hearts for Jesus, to equip Episcopalians as evangelists, and to welcome people who aren’t part of a church to join the Jesus Movement. The six Episcopal Revivals will vary in design, but most will be multi-day events that feature dynamic worship and preaching, offerings from local artists and musicians, personal testimony and storytelling, topical speakers, invitation to local social action, engagement with young leaders, and intentional outreach with people who aren’t active in a faith community.

The first Revival will be held in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, called The Presiding Bishop's Pilgrimage for Reconciliation, Healing and Evangelism in Southwestern Pennsylvania. It will feature a worship service celebrating Absalom Jones and other gatherings that invite people across boundaries and into reconciling relationship with each other and with God. For information on the Revival in the Diocese of Pittsburgh, contact Rich Creehan at media@episcopalpgh.org.

Subsequent revivals will be held in West Missouri, Georgia and San Joaquin. For more information on the other revivals consult The Episcopal Church’s website, which will also live-stream many of the events.

“The Jesus Movement” has been a popular theme of the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry since his election as Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church in 2015.

Celebrating Dr. King

Wheeling group plans events for MLK day, rector featured

A series of events will honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on the weekend commemorating him in January. The celebration is jointly sponsored by Wheeling Jesuit University, the Wheeling MLK Celebration Committee, Wheeling YWCA, Fourth Street United Methodist Church, Upper Ohio Valley Ministerial Alliance, and WV NAACP.

The commemoration begins on Sunday, January 15 at 1:15 with a march starting at the “windmill” on the top of Wheeling Hill and proceeding to Fourth St. Methodist Church, where community leaders and clergy, including LPC rector Cynthia Walter will offer reflections. At 3:00 a community meal will be served at the church. Festivities continue at 4:00 at Macedonia Baptist Church on 12th St., where the 2017 MLK award winners will be recognized.

From 9:00am on January 16 until 1:00pm there will be activities for kids at the Laughlin Chapel, including readings by the winners of the YWCA Essay Contest. The celebration concludes with a presentation by the Rev. Paul Abernathy of FOCUS Pittsburgh on “King’s Vision: A Tangible Witness in a Brokenhearted World” at the Troy Theater at Wheeling Jesuit University.

The Rector’s Study The Rev. Cynthia Byers Walter

January Holy Days

January may seem an odd time for holidays. We’re all exhausted from Christmas and New Years’, and besides, the weather can be so uncooperative! But the church does not take a vacation from celebrating!

The First Sunday after Christmas is normally called “Christmas 1” for obvious reasons. But this year is special because the first Sunday after Christmas this year is January 1, and January 1 in the church is known as the Feast of the Holy Name. This is one of only three observances that take precedence over a usual Sunday celebration. It obviously does not often happen that January 1 falls on a Sunday. (If it falls on a weekday as it usually does, a lot of people are otherwise occupied on New Years’ Day!) so many of us don’t even know what Holy Name is.

“Holy Name” always takes place eight days after Christmas, December 25, which means that it always falls on New Years’ Day, January 1. The reason for the eight days is because eight days after birth was (and I suppose still is) the standard timing for the circumcision of a newborn Jewish boy. Sure enough, scripture tells us that Joseph and Mary had the tiny Jesus circumcised “after eight days had past” (Luke 2:21). At circumcision, the child is formally named, and Jesus is no exception. He is given “the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb.” It is this event the church commemorates on January 1.

But the Feast of the Holy Name is not just the observation of an event in the life of Jesus. Like Trinity Sunday it is also a recognition of a bit of fundamental Christian dogma. Jesus’ very name has a position of honor in the church, and Christians ascribe power to it. That is why we pray “in Jesus’ name.” Paul’s letter to the Philippians ascribes a prophetic function to the name of Jesus in verses 2:9-11: “Therefore God also highly exalted him and gave him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bend, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Hymn 435 in our hymnbook highlights these words, beginning, “At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow.” There is also a famous painting by the mannerist El Greco (1579) which depicts a mystical vision of all of heaven and earth kneeling before the sacred Name. Even the jaws of hell open and its wretched inmates fall down in adoration. You can view an image of this painting here.

So if you’re not too depleted by your New Years’ Eve celebration the previous evening, come to church on January 1. You might learn something!

Soon after Holy Name, on January 6, we celebrate the Feast of the Epiphany, which gives its name to the entire season following, right up until Ash Wednesday. You are probably more familiar with Epiphany than with Holy Name, since there are four to nine Sundays in it. The Greek word “Epiphany” means manifestation. January 6 itself celebrates the manifestation of the baby Jesus as the Messiah specifically to the Wise Men, who came from the East to adore him. Subsequent Sundays in Epiphany Season commemorate other manifestations of Jesus as the Messiah: in his baptism, in the calling of disciples, in his preaching (this year, particularly in the Sermon on the Mount), and in his Transfiguration.

The first of these, Jesus’ baptism, gets particular attention on the first Sunday after Epiphany, which this year falls on January 8. The Feast of the “Baptism of Our Lord” is designated as one of the four dates of the year on which baptisms are particularly appropriate, for obvious reasons.

There are two additional “Red Letter Days” in January that, alas, we will not celebrate at Lawrencefield, because they do not fall on Sundays. Even if they did, these feasts would not take precedence over Sundays. Sundays are feasts of Our Lord, and Our Lord outranks even St. Peter, whose Confession of Jesus as the Messiah is commemorated on January 18, and St. Paul, who Conversion is commemorated on January 25.

At any rate, just because Christmas is over is no reason to stop celebrating! There’s always something going on at church!

Vestry Vibes

Summary of the December 18 Vestry Meeting:

Introduction of new vestry members New vestry members Scott Duymich, Janine Reddy and Jack Wheeler were introduced. Janine and Jack signed their requisite Vestry Declarations. Scott was unable to attend and will sign his at the next meeting.

Vestry Officers Barb Hinkle was reelected Senior Warden, Scott Duymich was elected Junior Warden, Michelle Beihl was elected to continue as Vestry Register, even though she will no longer be a voting member of the vestry (this arrangement is permitted by canon) assisted by Airry Schultz, and Tom Farnsworth was reelected treasurer.

Vestry Committees Tom Farnsworth, Jack Wheeler and Ron White will serve on the Budget Committee. Karen Dalby, Barb Hinkle and Jaci Neer will serve on the Personnel Committee, to be tasked with reviewing job descriptions and making recommendations on employee compensation, specifically the rector’s housing allowance, as required annually by canon. Both committees will meet after the first of the year.

Trustee election Doug Dalby was elected to succeed George Weaver.

Friends of St. Lawrence II The rector will offer another FSL series this Lent. Past participants recommend it for all congregational leaders, so vestry members who have not taken the course are asked to consider taking it this year.

Senior Warden’s Report Barb Hinkle offered to lead a small group to introduce ourselves to the new owners of the former Bed & Breakfast across the street.

Junior Warden’s Report Undercroft painting is complete. Undercroft lighting has been replaced. Faucets have been adjusted to function properly. The desired final mowing to mulch fallen leaves has not yet happened. Dave will try again to contact our yardman. The remaining painting for the handicap parking space will have to be deferred till warmer weather. The post Dave thought he had for the handicap signs is inappropriate, so he still needs to obtain another before the signs can be erected.