This First Sunday after Epiphany and Baptism of Christ Sunday will also include a service of Dedication of the Pastoral Search Committee. Associate Conference Minister Pam Lucas will be with us and the Search Committee will meet for the first time after worship.
The Epiphany Season is full of light and hope and excitement. Epiphany directs us to look for the manifestation of God present in Jesus Christ, in our lives and in the world. The launching of this Search Committee comes after a long journey like the Magi following the star to Bethlehem. A year ago the congregation was nowhere near ready to do this. We still have a long journey ahead, but we have much to celebrate in reaching this moment of light, hope and excitement that sometimes felt as if it might never arrive.
We will celebrate with a special litany written by Rev. Pam Lucas and read by five members of the church, and with one of the most affirming and uplifting messages from God through the prophet Isaiah, and with the story of the Baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan. It was the beginning of his ministry, just as this is the beginning of the Search Committee’s. For Jesus it began with gifts from God of love and the Spirit, and we will pray and reflect and do all we can to give the Search Committee those same gifts.
Music is one of the most powerful ways to convey the feeling of love or the power of the Spirit’s presence, and the hymns and choral and organ pieces are designed to do that.
We will sing three much-loved hymns: Lord, Speak to Me, That I May Speak, and Take My Life and Let It Be, and Love Divine, All Loves Excelling. The choir will sing a beautiful contemporary Epiphany Season hymn from the New Century Hymnal and Teach Me, O Lord by Thomas Attwood. John will play “We all believe in one God” BWV 680 by J. S. Bach, “Take my Life and Let It Be”, Setting by Wim Verburg, and Ricercar on “Come Holy Ghost with thy Grace” by J. K. F. Fischer. Below is a sneak preview from YouTube of the powerful piece by Bach that John will play. We have provided two different versions. The first will give you a sense of what John will be doing behind the scenes, especially the fancy footwork. The second is not as visually interesting, but is well worth listening to for the difference in interpretation.