Whether or not you make New Year’s resolutions, and whether or not you keep them, we are grateful for the news that Christ is with us, in the light and in the dark. Christ’s love for us does not ebb and flow, but remains steadfast, no matter what. The church year unfolds with the season of Epiphany, a time for revelations of Christ’s light shining in the darkness, and for contemplating how we reflect that light into the world that God so loves. The three great revelations of God we examine in Epiphany are the adoration of Baby Jesus by the magi, Jesus’ baptism in the Jordan, and Jesus’ first miracle—turning water into wine.
Because we have missed it, because we are people of the Book, and because we need the nourishment that only Scripture can give, Wednesday Bible Study will be revived! Instead of noon, we will meet in the church library at 6:00 p.m., beginning on January 10, looking at the texts for the upcoming Sunday. Participants may then opt for a specific study or continue this pattern on future Wednesdays.
Following worship on January 7th, we will celebrate Andy Kvalheim’s 37 years of faithful service as the custodian at Trinity as he retires. We will bless his new ministries of grand parenting, farming, and who-knows-what-else. We look forward to Marie and Andy remaining vitally involved in the life of Trinity. We welcome Unified Cleaning Services to our faith community.
Our ministry focus for the month of January will be prison ministry. Dane County Jail Chaplain Christa Fisher will preach and hold an educational forum on the ELCA’s work behind bars on January 14th. We will have a viewing and discuss the documentary 13th, and our pocket change collection will go toward the needs of inmates during this month.
We will rejoice at how light is breaking into the church and the world. On Jan. 28th we’ll celebrate our 4th anniversary as a Reconciling in Christ congregation, giving thanks for all that we’ve learned from our LGTBQ friends and renewing our commitment to being a welcoming place for the LGTBQ community in Madison. Following worship on January 28th, we will have a chili lunch while we reflect on 2017 and make decisions for the year ahead at our annual meeting. Please come!
In February, our ministry focus will be children. We will hear from our partners The Canopy Center about the work they are doing in preventing and treating victims of child abuse, and offer our support. We embrace the work of all who widen the circle of hope and healing. In the same vein, new members will be received at Trinity on a Sunday in January or February. Talk to Pastor Sue if you or someone you know is interested in formalizing a relationship with Trinity.
Lent follows hard on the heels of January this year, with Ash Wednesday falling on Valentine’s Day. We will have a noon and an evening worship service on that day. While the worship commission has not yet decided what our midweek Lenten services will be like (please talk to Gary Turk if you have suggestions), we anticipate getting together on Wednesday evenings in Lent for some sort of fellowship and spiritual reflection. Stay tuned for details!
We will continue painting the panels of our mural in the basement. (Link to painting schedule) You do not need any special talent to contribute to its completion, and everyone is invited to help. The hope is that all of the panels will be completed around Easter, so that—as the weather improves and we celebrate new life—we can mount it on the exterior wall of the building.
As we move through this season of Epiphany and into the contemplative season of Lent, let us keep our eyes open to see Jesus, and our feet following his footsteps. Because new beginnings are always scary, even when they are good, let us hold tight to the promises God makes to us—that we are God’s own forever, and that where two or three of us gather in God’s name, God is with us. We need not fear anything that 2018 might bring our way, because God is walking with us.
Thank you for choosing to journey together into the unknown with the Trinity community! Blessings on this New Year!
(reprinted from the Trinity Seasons newsletter for Epiphany – Lent 2018)