It’s time to finish the work.On April 3-5, 2018 the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA and our partners will gather in Washington, D.C. for a historic event to launch its Truth and Racial Justice Initiative. As we mark 50 years since the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on April 4, 1968, we will commit to do our part to eradicate the entrenched racism that grips the United States and paralyzes our ability to see every human being as equal.
We challenge ourselves and our communities to join in truth-telling, leading to actions that right the wrongs, and, with God’s grace, bring healing and wholeness to all people, and unity to the nation.
April 3-5 is only the beginning. Our #rally2endracism is the launch of a comprehensive, multi-year program to address racism in our nation.
Schedule At-A-Glance for April 3-5, 2018Tuesday, April 3: Ecumenical Worship Service in the Orthodox Tradition
- 6:30 p.m.: St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral,
2815 36th St., NW, Washington, D.C., 20007
Wednesday, April 4: ACT to End Racism Rally on the National Mall
- 7-8 a.m.: Silent Prayer Walk to the National Mall
- 8-9 a.m.: Interfaith Service
- 9 a.m.-4 p.m.: Rally and Call to Commitment
Thursday, April 5: National Day of Advocacy & Action
Dear Friends in the Faith,
Grace and peace to you. It is my hope and prayer that 2018 has started off well for you and your family. It is hard to believe, but we are already in February, which means the year is already 1/12 over! We are currently in Year B of the Revised Common Lectionary, meaning many of our gospel texts for Sunday morning come from the gospel of Mark. Being the oldest gospel and the shortest (only 16 chapters), this book moves quickly (much like time does here at Epiphany). The author of Mark often uses the word “immediately” (euthus in Greek) to note the fastpaced action. In the first four weeks of 2018 we have had three gospel readings from Mark, and we are still in the first chapter! The quick-moving gospel aligns well with the fast pace of life that has become the norm in our society. Already this year we have heard twice about the message that Jesus ushers into the world. John the Baptist proclaims “… a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.” (Mark 1:4, NRSV). Just a few verses later Jesus proclaims, “…The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent and believe in the good news.” (Mark 1:15 , NRSV). This word repentance is understood to mean “to change one’s ways.” This message is strong in the gospel of Mark and certainly speaks to us today - we who are renewed and refreshed in the sacraments of Holy Baptism and Holy Communion. We are turned and tuned into God’s love and the gift of abundant and eternal life through Jesus Christ. Our time in the season of Epiphany is coming to an end, and on February 14 we will change directions to begin the season of Lent. This is an important time in the life of the church. We change the paraments, the tone changes, we move to a new liturgy, we say the confession and forgiveness each week, and we focus upon the ways in which sin and doubt have affected the relationships we have with God and with one another. On Ash Wednesday we will be reminded that we have come from dust, and to dust we shall return. We will receive a visible sign of the cross on our foreheads, connecting us with both the death and life of Jesus Christ. Pastor Paul Waterman Continued on next page As we begin our journey to the cross this season of Lent, I invite you to consider how the Holy Spirit is guiding you to change directions. We have just proclaimed the light of Christ which shines on Christmas and through Epiphany. That light does not disappear, but the season of Lent reminds us that many still live in darkness. Health, work, family relationships, pain, doubt, and the list goes on and on. How are you equipped to reflect the light of Christ? What must you deal with in your own life that is obstructing the light of Christ? I don’t know the answers for you, but I do know two things: I, too, am going through this Lenten journey as one who is in need of healing and we travel this journey together. May the words of the hymn, O Lord, Throughout These Forty Days, guide us through our Lenten journey: “O Lord, throughout these forty days you prayed and kept the fast; inspire repentance for our sin, and free us from our past.” Verse 1 (ELW, #319) Blessings to each of you. May the love of Christ and the work of the Holy Spirit be upon you! Soli Deo Gloria, Paul Waterman
Greetings from the folks at Epiphany Lutheran Church! I pray you are healthy and well this first full week of Lent. As we listen to God's Word, weekly, it is good to hear a variety of voices.
For this season of Lent, we have five guest devotional writers who have been given a scriptural text and asked to write a reflection and prayer around that text. This will be a weekly publication, sent out via EHappenings and Facebook.
This week, our writer is Jan Womack, who currently serves as the Christian Education Committee Chairperson and the Secretary of the church council. May these words be on your hearts and minds this week. Thanks, Jan, for sharing your reflection with us.
Soli Deo Gloria,
Pastor Paul Waterman
Epiphany Lutheran Church
1 Peter 3: 8-12 “Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. 9 Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called - that you might inherit a blessing. 10 For those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; 11 let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. 12 For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”
These words are part of Peter’s letter to the “exiles” - the Christians, under Nero, who were no longer under the protection of the Roman Empire. These words, however, sound like they were written just for us in this day.
There are some difficult admonitions here; especially the part about not repaying abuse for abuse. Getting even is something we almost feel obligated to do; after all, it’s justice we are seeking, is it not? Ah, but God says that revenge is his to mete out.* But still, we should bless them? Whoa, it’s difficult enough just to forgive, but to bless them too? How am I supposed to do that?
The only way I can do that (and I’m not good at it), is to give the matter a little time and a lot of prayer. Prayer for strength to let go of the anger and let God make it right; and a lot more prayer to come up with a proper blessing to bestow. Understanding why I need to do this is easy (God has spoken), but feelingthe understanding is something that comes from God, a blessing in itself.
Prayer for the week:
Forgive me, Lord, the times when I have taken things into my own hands to wield justice as I see it. Give me a forgiving heart and the strength to give my anger up and discern how I can turn a problem into an opportunity for good. Amen
* Romans 12:19 Beloved, never avenge yourselves but leave room for the wrath of God; for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord’.
Epiphany coin collectors are awesome. We (Leo, Lynn, & Marcia) kept the bank's coin sorter busy for 30 minutes depositing the coins collected for Global Mission on Sunday. And, the final deposit (including bills and checks) was $1,631.84. This is the most we have ever deposited at this point (first of December) in our Global Mission fund raising efforts over the years. We thank you, Epiphany members!!
Keep your jars and begin collecting for 2018.
Epiphany Evangelism Committee
I hope everyone is doing well today! I know that this time of year is especially busy at Epiphany, but I had a little Christmas project I am planning, and I would love your help. The holidays are a hard time for a lot of people, and two groups of people that I think could really use some holiday cheer are the people effected by both the Las Vegas shooting and the church shooting in Sutherland, Texas! I am not wanting us to overload their mailboxes with hundreds of cards, but I think that a few nice hand decorated cards will help remind them that they are in our hearts as they approach the holiday season, if you would like to help I believe that we are meeting at around 5:45 on Wednesday night before supper. That will give us about a half hour, which should be enough time, but if we need more time we can always stay a little after worship. I would love for all ages to participate in this small act that will hopefully add some light into their lives this Christmas! Blessings to you all!
CARBONDALE: Epiphany Lutheran Church, 1501 W. Chautauqua, Saturday, Sept. 30th, 8 am - 2 pm, church-wide yard sale. Widely varied household items of all sorts, incl. elliptical machine, electronics, crafts; no clothing, but some shoes, hats, & other accessories. Proceeds go to help support seminary students.
The Church Women United Hunger Sale report is now complete. We raised $14,914.90 for hunger related charities. The majority of the money will remain in Southern Illinois. The total this year exceeds last year by $705. Many thanks to all those of you who assisted with this project!
Please take a minute to put this musical event on your weekend calendar. Phil Brown and friends will be performing the music of Epiphany's own Phil Brown this coming Sunday, April 23, at 3pm at Epiphany. Enjoy.
Pastor Waterman was awarded a Master of Divinity degree by Wartburg Theological Seminary, in Dubuque, Iowa, in May. On July 9, 2016, Pastor Waterman was ordained into the ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) in Waterloo, Iowa.
Pastor Waterman is married to the Reverend Melissa Waterman (also an ordained pastor in the ELCA) and they have three young children ranging in age from two to four years of age. Pastor Melissa Waterman will serve as pastor to Mount Calvary Lutheran Church (ELCA) in DeSoto, IL and First Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Murphysboro, IL. They will live in DeSoto.
“Being a part of a clergy couple has challenges, especially with three young children, but ministry is not something we keep at church for our members,” noted Pastor Paul Waterman. “All baptized are called into ministry in the various vocations that each of us have.”
Pastor Waterman has two degrees from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, where he worked in student affairs for a number of years. “Campus ministry has been a critical part of my own faith journey, and the opportunity for campus ministry with the entire campus, not just students, at Southern Illinois University is exciting to me” said Pastor Waterman.