Happy New Year! And moreover, a happy and blessed season of Epiphany! Two days ago, many from the parish gathered to celebrate the feast of the Epiphany with an incredibly beautiful choral mass, followed by a parish potluck. It's my favorite way to ring in the new calendar year, and to step into this new season of Epiphany as we welcome the revealing of Jesus Christ into our lives. And while the seasons of Advent and Christmas are very busy in the church, what many don't realize is that the season of Epiphany (namely, the month of January) is even busier...But in a different sort of way.
During the month of January we are busy with many tasks: Putting together the budget for 2016, preparing annual reports, organizing the annual meeting, assembling the parochial report for the diocese, electing Vestry members...the list goes on. In some ways, this is the busiest month of the year here in the parish office.
Over the next few weeks, you'll be receiving updates and information about all of the above. You'll hear from me about new Vestry candidates, information about the annual meeting, and the parish budget. But today, I'd like to plant a seed in your calendars and ask you to save the date for our annual parish meeting. The Annual Parish Meeting will take place on Sunday, January 31st, immediately following the 10am worship. I can't stress how important it is for all to be present and to take part in this aspect of parish life. We will hear about where we've been in the last year, and where we hope to go. We will elect new Vestry members, and we will have the chance to see and discuss the new parish budget for 2016. It's an important time for the church to come together to tend to the yearly business of being the parish of Ascension. Today I'm asking for your prayers as the Vestry, volunteers, and parish staff busily ready ourselvesfor these upcoming tasks. I hold everyone in this parish in my daily prayers, but this time of year, those prayers always seem to be more fervent, as we engage in this important work.
A Prayer for the Parish (Book of Common Prayer, Pg. 817)
Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in heaven
and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen
the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent.
Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring
us all to be of one heart and mind within your holy Church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Faithfully in Christ,