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The Fledgling--Week of January 8, 2021

From Mother Megan:

This is one of those weeks where I was all set to write you a lovely little reflection about the Wise Men and chalking our doors and the glories of Epiphany, and then the news happened, and suddenly it all flew out the window.

A few things I want to set before you:

1.  First and foremost, Jesus is Lord.  Each time we proclaim that, we are turning our backs on the empires that surround us, and that claim our allegiance.  The prayer "Lord, have mercy" was used first as a greeting to Caesar, and the Christian community subverted it to be a declaration of praise to our God.  Any ideology which incites violence, which encourages mob rule, which encourages dehumanization, abuse and disenfranchisement of other children of God, is a capitulation to Empire, and a denial of God's call to us.  

2. Our faith calls us to make peace.  Not the peace that comes from denial, or from oppression of others, but peace that flows from justice and righteousness.  God's life-giving peace of wholeness.  In this moment, when we saw an armed mob threaten Congress, that call to make peace becomes even more important.  Making peace--true peace--is risky and difficult.  It is time consuming and unpopular.  Much more popular is denial, and a race to quickly paper over the horrors of conflict.  But Christ demands that we deal head on with the brokenness of the world, and seek its transformation.  Christ empowers us to confess our own sinfulness and complicity in what led us here, because we are confident that with God's help we can amend our lives and change.  With Jesus' help, we have to be real about where we are, and what we are called to do now.

3. We are called to take care of each other.  I have said a lot over the past year that we are called to love God and love our neighbor, and that goes doubly true right now.  So, please, take care of yourselves.  Do all your proper and good self-care things, including the Boring Self Care things that do not make good Instagram posts (drink water! Remember your meds! Sleep!, etc.) Check in on those around you.  Turn off the news if you need to. Keep an eye out for those who are going to be more vulnerable than yourself.  And remember I'm here if you need me.

Beloved in Christ, we are going to get through this new thing too, and we are going to do it by being grounded in Christ's call to us, and in our love for this world Christ came to save.  


If you have a submission to the Fledgling, send it to the office by Thursday morning for inclusion on Friday.  Bulletin announcements should be into the office by Wednesday morning.
  • If you know of someone who would like to receive the Fledgling, please send their email to the office. 

Prayer for the week

Prayer for Epiphany: 
O God, by the leading of a star you manifested your only Son to the peoples of the earth: Lead us, who know you now by faith, to your presence, where we may see your glory face to face; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Prayer for The Baptism of Christ:

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

 

Readings for the week 

Have you had coffee/tea/hot cider with Mtr Megan?  Send me an email and we'll set up Skype/Facetime and chat!  It's fun (I promise) and we can still meet while we're staying safe right now.
Envelopes are here! If you regularly use stewardship envelopes, it is likely we ordered them for you for 2021. Please contact the office to arrange how we can get them to you.

We are wrapping up our Annual Stewardship Campaign over the next few weeks.  If you haven't returned your Pledge card, please drop it by the Office, or put it in the mail.  If you need another pledge card, email AnnMarie and she will send you one.  

Most of all, thank you to everyone for your prayers, your faithfulness, and your support of the work we do at St. John's.
 
Laundry Love Returns!
We are working to re-open Laundry Love, in a pandemic-safe way.  If you would like to volunteer, and help our neighbors obtain clean clothes in these uncertain times, please send the office an email.  Because Loaves and Fishes is no longer serving in person, our hours for LL may change from when we were previously open, but by getting on the volunteer list now, you can ensure that you'll be the first to know!  
Schedule this week:


Daily Morning Prayer: 9:30am on FB Live and YouTube Live 

Adult Education:  9am: Reclaiming the Book of Revelation:  Zoom link here

Sunday Morning Worship: 10:30 on Facebook Live or YouTube Live

Wednesday Evening Eucharist: On Pause due to bishop's directive

Virtual Coffee hour Zoom at 11:30am (We have a new Zoom Link!  It's below!)
NEW Zoom link here.  

 
Adult Forum is unpacking the book of Revelation!  Ever wonder about the apocalypse?  Worried 2020 might be it?  Come ask any and all questions as we dive deep into the scariest/most misunderstood book of the Bible!  The book we will be reading alongside is Barbara Rossing's Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation   Everyone is welcome!  Zoom link is here
Second Sunday after Epiphany Resources

Bulletin for Sunday Worship is here
Online Prayerbook is here
Important Announcement:
IN PREPARATION FOR THE ANNUAL MEETING IN JANUARY 2021 please take note that qualified voters are defined by NYS law and the canons of the Diocese as follows: persons of full age belonging to the parish, who have been baptized and are in regular attendance at its worship and contributors to its support for at least twelve months prior (i.e., since January 2020).
            If you have any question about your membership at St. John's, please contact AnnMarie in the office for clarification.  If you are new to St John's since February 2020, and have not yet transferred your membership in writing, please contact the office so that you will be eligible to vote in 2021.  If you have not been a regular contributor  (i.e. made and fulfilled a pledge or been a regular contributor of record), please contact the Treasurer (Mary Arlin) to rectify this before December 31.
            Anyone standing for election as a vestry member must meet these same qualifications.  Wardens and delegates must also be confirmed members of The Episcopal Church.

Annual Meeting will be held immediately following the service on January 17th via Zoom. 
 

Resources for Anti-Racism/Solidarity Work:


This week, I'm going to do something slightly different.  Herein are some resources that might help you as you seek to understand both what happened when an angry mob stormed the capitol on January 6th, and what we can do about it as Christians.  
  • Barmen Declaration:  This was written in 1930s Germany by a group of Lutheran church leaders, including Karl Barth, to address the way that the state had become so intertwined with Christianity.  They feared (with, it turns out, solid reason) that the rising Nazis sought to manipulate Christianity to hold onto power, and in so doing were selling out the gospel.  It's worth a read.  
     
  • Along those lines is Reclaiming Jesus.  This too is a declaration asserting that our commitment must be to Jesus as Lord, and to the salvation he proclaims. Therefore any attempt by earthly leaders to use the gospel to claim power is a perversion of this truth.   (It's signed by our own PB.)
     
  • James Cone (now of blessed memory) was a professor at Union Theological Seminary in NYC and was the founder of Black Liberation Theology.  In this video, he speaks about the roots of his theology, and the United States' troubled history of religion, violence, and power.
     
  • I have heard lots of people agonize over the differences in the way law enforcement reacted to what happened in the Capitol this week, and what we saw happen over the summer.  If you are wrestling with how and why that is, this, from Christian Peacemaking Teams, goes into some good detail about how racism shows up in an institution's culture--often in ways we don't recognize until it's flown past us. White Supremacy Culture 
     
  • Finally--for praying purposes: two recommendations:
    • Martin Luther King's Ten Commandments for Non Violence   MLK required all participants to sign a pledge before marching, and this was it.  Might be a good discipline for us to take on as well, and Lent is approaching....
    • The Supplication--It's at the end of the Great Litany in the BCP, on page 154, and is particularly recommended for "war, or times of national anxiety" as a standalone devotion.  




 

We will continue to post information on protests and ways to support in a timely fashion on the parish FB page.




 
 

 

Good Things:

Places for Spiritual refreshment:



PHOTOS are needed to accompany some of the music in our online services. If you’ve shot some scenes in and around Ithaca that Karen could use with your permission, please send them to the church office; thank you!

SING with our Cyber Choirs and refine your vocal, musical, and technical skills while you serve our parish in worship.  Have a look here for more information!

 

How can I help?:

Are you good at computers and whatnot?  We need Digital Vergers! 
The new AV system in our sanctuary needs folks to work it during services!  It is not too hard (Mtr Megan promises--if she can do it, anyone can!) and it's a great ministry for behind-the-scenes type folks.  If you're interested, email Mtr. Megan! 


Loaves & Fishes has a pressing and ongoing need for community volunteers

Staff and volunteers are providing to-go meals for nearly 3 times more guests this year than last and this number is likely to stay high for the foreseeable future. L&F is strictly screening all volunteers to make sure that the workspace is safe for everyone. The minimum volunteer age for now is 25 with no upper age limit. For more info, click here  Or send an email to info@loaves.org

 

Lots of ways to support St. John's!

We've partnered with Tithe.ly to offer the option of online giving for St. John's. Go to the website at stjohnsithaca.org, and look for the donate button in the upper right corner. It's safe, secure, and VERY convenient!

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You can also download the Tithe.ly app on the iTunes store or Google Play store to your smartphone, and search for St. John's Episcopal Church, and give that way.  It will even set up automatic payments so you never have to remember your checkbook again!

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Help support St. John's while you shop! If you are shopping on Amazon, use our unique link and Amazon will return 0.05% of your purchase price to St. John's. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/15-0615665


 



 
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