Happy 2021! We made it to the new year, getting passed a year like no other. 2020 was a stressful and frustrating time for so many reasons and yet there were most certainly gifts that have come out of our pandemic-time. Who would have thought we’d livestream our worship services and have the pleasure of people from across the state (and even in other states) join us on a Sunday morning? Anything truly is possible with God.
You may recall that Epiphany is the anniversary of our congregation. It was on Epiphany 1929 that a small band of Verona Episcopalians gathered at a building on the corner of Bloomfield and Grove Avenues for the first worship service. Here we are 92 years later! Still worshiping God, still building community, and still spreading Christ’s love to all those with whom we engage. Even in the midst of a pandemic we participated in worship, fellowship and outreach -- just in new (and sometimes different) ways.
I hope that you’ll join me this new year in continuing to find ways to connect with each other and the greater Verona community. Our Food Pantry has put us right in the middle of God’s work in our area. My hope is that like the life-giving nature our pantry provides to shoppers and volunteers alike, everything we do can be equally be recognized as essential. In the fall we hosted a book group on race and along with 8 or so Holy Spiriters, 4 or 5 from the greater community engaged with us in thought provoking conversations around Robin DiAngelo’s book “White Fragility.” I look forward to another book group staring within the next few months.
The Season after Epiphany in many ways is an “in- between” time. It’s typically five to eight weeks after Christmas and before Lent. Ash Wednesday is February 17 this year, so we have six Sundays to live into this starlit period. My hope is you’ll find time to be led by Christ’s light which we celebrate at Epiphany. The wise men followed a bright star in the sky to find their way to Jesus. How will you?
Did you get an Epiphany Star Word? This is the second year we have provided everyone with a paper star with a word for the upcoming year; so, it is now a tradition. At the 10am worship on Epiphany Sunday I pulled out a word for the entire congregation. The word was “speech.” I ask your help in finding ways for us to live out this call for 2021. Join me in prayer that we, the congregation of Holy Spirit Verona, may find ways to bring the light of Christ to those who need it most.
“Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” -Ephesians 3:20