Friday, December 9, 2016

Stations of the Nativity, tomorrow (Dec 10) at 11:00 am

The Advent/Christmas Seasons is about God coming to us in the Person of Jesus.  This act of divine love is the true source of joy and wonder of Christmas, but it can easily get lost in the hustle and bustle of the season. 

A partial remedy to this is to take time off from your Christmas chores and routines and join your fellow parishioners at the church this Saturday morning (Dec 10) at 11:00 am in a series of meditations and prayers  on the events surrounding the birth of Jesus.  We will use the beautiful prints that adorn our church this time of year.  During Advent, our Stations of the Cross in the nave of the church are replaced with beautiful reproductions of classical paintings that tell the story of Christmas.  We will walk through the nave, spending time at each of the beautiful pieces of artwork, reading the related scripture, and saying our prayers and devotions. 
Following The Stations of the Nativity there will be a luncheon of our favorite Christmas recipes. Bring one copy of your recipe to be copied and shared. We will make copies.  This will be a great time for fellowship for the whole parish. 
If you are unable to join us, take time to walk through the nave on your own and enjoy these paintings.

Ministers of the Church

We are all ministers in God’s holy Church, and we are each called to represent Christ and His Church to the world around us.  We, the laity, are to bear witness to Him wherever we may be, and, according to the spiritual and natural gifts given each of us, we are to carry on Christ’s work of reconciliation and servanthood in the world.  Within the Body of Christ, we are each to take our place in the fellowship, worship, and governance of God’s holy Church.

Some are called and “ordained” by God to more specific ministries within the Body of Christ.  The New Testament list three: deacons; presbyters (also called elders or priests); and bishops. These are not higher ministries, but rather more specialized ways of serving God and His Church.

The ministry of a deacon
The diaconate is a servant ministry. Deacons have the particular role of serving those around them and pointing the church to its call to serve.  Deacons serve priests and bishops by assisting them in carrying out their duties.

The ministry of a priest
The priesthood is a leadership ministry.   Priests have particular responsibility for the pastoral care and leadership of God’s people, for the administration of the local congregation on behalf of the bishop, and for the teaching and spiritual growth of the congregation. They are to preach, administer the sacraments, declare God’s forgiveness to those who repent, confess and amend their lives, and pronounce God’s blessing upon the people.

The ministry of a bishop.
Bishops have the apostolic ministry of propagating and overseeing the Church. They function as chief priest and pastor of a diocese and are the symbol of the local parish’s connectivity with the broader Church.  From biblical, bishops were appointed by the Apostles to carry on their apostolic ministry of guarding the faith, unity, and discipline of the whole Church.  They proclaim the Word of God, act in Christ’s name for the reconciliation of the world, and build up the Church.  In their apostolic role, bishops ordain priest and deacons to assist Him in their apostolic calling within local congregations.