While as I have said previously, an argument can be made for continuing at least some limited observations until the conclusion of the Nativity Cycle on February 2nd – Candlemas, the feast of The Presentation of Christ in the Temple, also known as The Purification of St. Mary the Virgin – Christmastide is now over.
With the Feast of the Epiphany on Friday, January 6th, we are entering Epiphanytide, and will remain in that season unil the beginning of Pre-Lent (“Gesimatide”) on Septuagesima Sunday, which this year falls on the 5th of February. Today is the First Sunday after the Epiphany, and the focus is on the young Christ debating and discoursing with the elders in the Temple at Jerusalem: “Did you not know I must be about my Father’s business?”
The First Sunday after the Epiphany.
The Book of Common Prayer 1928.
O LORD, we beseech thee mercifully to receive the prayers of thy people who call upon thee; and grant that they may both perceive and know what things they ought to do, and also may have grace and power faithfully to fulfil the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Epistle. Rom. xii. 1.
I BESEECH you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being mammy, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
The Gospel. St. Luke ii. 41.
NOW his parents went to Jerusalem every year at the feast of the passover. And when he was twelve years old, they went up to Jerusalem after the custom of the feast. And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and his mother knew not of it. But they, supposing him to have been in the company, went a day’s journey; and they sought him among their kinsfolk and acquaintance. And when they found him not, they turned back again to Jerusalem, seeking him. And it came to pass, that after three days they found him in the temple, sitting in the midst of the doctors, both hearing them, and asking them questions. And all that heard him were astonished at his understanding and answers. And when they saw him, they were amazed: and his mother said unto him, Son, why hast thou thus dealt with us? behold, thy father and I have sought thee sorrowing. And he said unto them, How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business? And they understood not the saying which he spake unto them. And he went down with them, and came to Nazareth, and was subject unto them: but his mother kept all these sayings in her heart. Amid Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.
Parish Announcements for the
Week of Sunday, January 1st, 2023
If you are a visitor:
Welcome! Thank you for being here. We are very pleased to have you with us, and hope that your worship at Christ Church Anglican is a blessing to you. Please sign the guest book on the table in the narthex, and provide appropriate contact information. Include your email address to be placed on our parish email list: you won’t be bombarded, but it’s a good way to keep in touch. And may God bless you!
Our regular monthly meeting of the Parish Vestry will be held on Saturday, January 14, 2023, at the usual time of noon. This will be the last meeting of the current Vestry, prior to the Parish meeting and election the following Sunday.
Annual Parish Meeting and Vestry Election
Our Annual Parish Meeting and Vestry Election will be held on Sunday, January 15th, 2023, immediately following the 10:30 a.m. service. This is both our annual “State of the Parish” report, and also the election of new Vestry members.
This year, John Fesq and Travis Case have both fulfilled their current terms. Since the Bylaws permit (Section 3.2) members to serve two consecutive terms, and each has served for one term, both are eligible for reelection. John has agreed to stand for reelection; Travis has declined.
Therefore, there is one “open” seat, and one “competitive” seat, to be filled. In addition to John, McNeil Chestnut and Doug Champaigne have both agreed to stand for election.
At the Parish Meeting, every communicant member in good standing of Christ Church Anglican who is then present will be entitled to vote for two candidates. A “communicant in good standing” is defined by our Parish Bylaws as
“Any confirmed person canonically resident in the parish [e.g., on the Parish Rolls] who attends the Parish regularly (in the opinion of the Senior Warden) and who gives regularly to the financial support of the Parish (in the opinion of the Treasurer)” (Bylaws, Section 1.4).
Each voting member will vote for no more than two of the three candidates; the two candidates receiving the highest number of votes will be elected to the incoming class for a three-year term. A run-off election may be held if necessary, immediately following the announcement of results.
Annual Stewardship Campaign
Stewardship, and being good stewards of the gifts God has given us, takes many forms; but there’s no blinking the fact that the financial aspect is critical for the health of our Parish community! It is that time of year again, when we must plan our Parish budget, and to do that effectively and responsibly, we need to know how much we can expect folks to devote to God’s work here in this place.
A few things to keep in mind, both theological and practical, as you decide what God is calling you to give in the coming year: first, the Lord loves a cheerful giver! Giving should not be be undertaken with a sense of dread and teeth-gritted obligation, but with cheerfulness and gratitude in our hearts, as a thank-offering in response to all the gifts God has already given us, beginning with life itself.
Second, please remember that the Biblical standard of giving is the tithe: a tenth-part of our “substance,” offered back to the Giver of all things through supporting the work of the local church – our own parish of Christ Church – as well as the Diocese, Holy Cross, and the jurisdiction, the Anglican Catholic Church, of which we are a part. If our circumstances do not allow tithing at present, let us consider it as a goal to be worked toward.
And third and finally, in practical terms, please pledge. Pledges greatly assist the Vestry and Treasurer in putting together a budget, so as to know with confidence how much to expect that we’ll have coming in, so that we can plan accordingly, rather than having to extrapolate from the last year. Pledge cards will be provided, as will weekly offering envelopes, to facilitate the process.
Members of the Vestry and parish will be providing additional thoughts on this vital issue this Sunday (the 8th), and on the 15th and 22nd of this month, but please prayerfully ponder this, if you are not already doing so. There are pledge cards in the narthex, or just ask me, one of our other clergy, or a member of the Vestry, and we will pass them out at the Parish meeting on the 15th. Many thanks, and may God bless you for your generosity toward His work!
On the Passing of Marv Mercer
As most of you will know, our dear brother Marv, a warm and kind-hearted soul if ever there was one, and a pillar of our parish for many years, passed into the nearer presence of his Lord and ours in the early morning hours of New Year’s Day, following hospitalization for cardiac issues since Christmas.
He was emphatic that he did not wish a “fuss” to be made, and we have complied with his request to simply memorialize him in our prayers; but Belle Meade is planning on holding a gathering in his honour and memory, to which our parish has been invited. I will share additional specifics as I receive them. In the meantime, please continue to remember his son and other loved ones in your prayers.
I conclude with a heartfelt wish and a prayer that all may enjoy a holy, blessed and joyful to Epiphanytide!
“From the rising of the sun even unto the going down of the same my Name shall be great among the Gentiles; and in every place incense shall be offered unto my Name, and a pure offering: for my Name shall be great among the heathen, saith the LORD of hosts.” – Malachi. i. 11.
Faithfully yours in Christ,
Fr. Tom Harbold