FATHER MARK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
1) Thanks to everyone who made our Advent Lessons and Carols possible last week! All-in-all it took about 15 readers, singers, and technicians to make it happen, and it was super fun, and we hope enjoyable for those who watched online. If you missed it, or if you watched it and want more, The Episcopal Diocese of Nebraska has joined forces with the University of Nebraska at Omaha and Opera Omaha to present A Heartland Lessons and Carols,which may be viewed on:
2) Next Monday December 21st at 7:00 P.M. we will participate in a Zoom Blue Christmas Service, which you can join with this Zoom link:Meeting ID: 429 691 4665 Passcode: 69361. Pastor Craig writes this about the Blue Christmas service: “A service for those for whom Christmas is not joyful; for those who are confronted with the loss of loved ones, feeling isolated and alone, perhaps even feeling depressed. On this longest night of the year, we remember and place our hope in Christ. All are welcome to attend.” Livestreamed on our church’s websites and https://www.facebook.com/methodistchurch.scottsbluff/videos/
A combined service with the following churches: First Presbyterian, St. Francis Episcopal, Calvary Lutheran, Holy Apostles’ Episcopal, First Christian Henry/Lyman, Mitchell, Morrill & Scottsbluff United Methodist Churches
ID: 429 691 4665 Passcode: 69361
3) Speaking of Zoom meetings, our Parish Annual Meeting this year will be held virtually using Zoom. We will send the sign-in information later, but for now, please put the date and time on your calendar – Sunday, January 31st 2021 at 11:30 A.M. Unfortunately, this year we can’t do our usual amazing world-famous potluck brunch, but we will still gather and do the annual administrative business of the parish, and find a couple of ways to celebrate virtually at the same time.
4) We are working on the problem some are experiencing with our Facebook livestreamed service, and think we have a fix. Scott has created a way to view it on YouTube using a link on our website homepage. Just before the service begins, you can lick the video link labeled “St Francis Stream Screen” and it should take you to the YouTube streaming version. You can go to www.saintf.org to see what I am describing.
Happy Birthday!! Happy Anniversary!!
Steve Trickler December 17 Mary Kay Versen & Lynn Okicki
Brian Sauer December 22 December 21
Sara Moreno December 23
The Christmas Star
I am sure some of you have heard about the Christmas Star. Here is the information I have found on it:
As I have learned, this is actually the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn. The closer they get to each other the more of a star there appears to be, and this happens about every 20 years. However, this year they will be really close, thus the star.
The last time this was visible without a telescope was on March 4, 1226. Our best chance of seeing this phenomenon is on December 21 in the southwestern sky, and low to the horizon and about 45 minutes post sunset.
It will be visible for the whole week, but this is the best time for us to see it.
To find the “Christmas Star,” look into the night sky around 6:15 p.m., and you will notice a bright, white star low on the southwest horizon. The brightest star will be Jupiter; to the slight upper left of it will be Saturn.
***Daily Devotion for Thursday December 17, 2020***
The 5 Steps – Pause * Listen * Think * Pray * Go
Let us remember: The Lord will continue to do great things for us.
Let us testify to the Light that is God.
Let us hold on to what is good, even when nothing around us makes any sense.
Let us cultivate joy.
They asked him, “Then who are you? Are you Elijah?”
John said, “I’m not.”
“Are you the prophet?”
John answered, “No.”
They asked, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
“I am a voice crying out in the wilderness, Make the Lord’s path straight, just as the prophet Isaiah said.”
Those sent by the Pharisees asked, “Why do you baptize if you aren’t the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the prophet?”
John answered, “I baptize with water. Someone greater stands among you, whom you don’t recognize. He comes after me, but I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps.” This encounter took place across the Jordan in Bethany where John was baptizing.
“I’m not worthy to untie his sandal straps...” What a statement! A bold way for us to perhaps even describe our own relationship with God.
The message that we are not worthy seems to prevail today. Society – and sometimes even those close to us – tell us that we are not worthy. If they don’t say it with words, then with actions. And we often believe this…
But let us remember that we are worthy of God’s joy. God sent Jesus to walk among those who felt unworthy to deliver them, to restore them. You are beloved, you are a child of God.
Luz Cabrera Montes
Lord, hear my crying! Give me strength to care for myself as I seek to care for others. Guide my words and make them match my actions. Amen.
Choose joy, share joy, and make it a discipline.
***For those of you that would like to access these devotionals daily, you can go on this website: www.d365.org
***DON’T FORGET TO EMAIL OR CALL ME WITH YOUR PRAYER REQUESTS BY WEDNESDAY , DECEMBER 23rd***
Gina’s Office Hours
Tuesday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (work from home)
Wednesday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (work from home)
Thursday 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (In Office)
Rev. Erin Rath
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