Thursday Announcements for December 31, 2020
FATHER MARK’S ANNOUNCEMENTS
1) So…I guess we made it? I started that to write that sentence like a really
great announcement, like “YAY! WE MADE IT!!” but that just didn’t feel like the
right tone as we limp to the end of 2020. In so many ways this year has felt like
a marathon. That is, if you were forced to run a marathon without ever getting in
shape. Or without water. Or snacks. Or shoes. I’m glad it’s over, and I’m glad
we really did make it, but honestly I’m a little tired and a little scarred by the
whole experience. Anyway, it’s New Year’s Eve, and I do wish everyone the
best, most joyous, most fun celebration possible under these circumstances.
Whatever beverage you choose, raise a glass to 2021! I have a feeling it’s
going to be an amazing year! Have a great night, be safe, and remember that
you are now, and you are always, a beloved child of God.
2) Not to jinx it, but our local COVID-19 cases have been declining the past few
weeks, so fingers crossed we don’t see a big uptick this week or next. If we
continue this trend I could see us being able to gather again in the not-too
-distant future. As of yesterday our 7-day moving average of new cases in
Scotts Bluff county was 31. A month ago it was 50. The diocesan re-opening
threshold is still 20. So continue wearing those masks and keeping your
distance and for goodness sake get the vaccine when it is available to you.
These are the keys to regathering in church and reclaiming our lives.
3) This is as good a way to end the year as any. This morning I saw a 3 minute
video of robots dancing to an old song from the ‘60’s called “Do You Love Me.”
It really is quite extraordinary, but like many have already said online, I can’t
decide if I am delighted by it or terrified. Watch for yourself here if you need a
laugh today. https://youtu.be/fn3KWM1kuAw
And now, we end this year with the wonderful writings of Rae Whitney:
Old Year, no longer with us,
we’re glad to see you gone,
you’ve left with us your virus
where it does not belong..
It’s caused a world-wide lock-down,
of businesses and schools,
with everybody asked to
abide by special rules.
Now thanks to health providers
and world-wide scientists,
we have exciting vaccines,---
we hope we’re on the lists!
When we are vaccinated,
we’ll halt the Covid spread,
and life will be more normal,-
disease no longer spread.
Goodbye to Twenty-Twenty,
and welcome Twenty-One!
Old Year, depart in darkness;
and New Year, bring the sun!
We’ve learned so many lessons,
while “sheltering in place”;
let’s not forget new wisdom,
then spread God’s gift of grace.
(Rae E Whitney Dec 31, 2020)
(This text may be sung to the tune of “The Church’s One Foundation”)
Happy Birthday!! Happy Anniversary!!
Brad Bode December 31 Mark & Jill Selvey December 31
Max Meyer December 31
Erica Croft December 31
Marcaria Lamont January 2
Monica Lehr January 6
William Schnell January 7
Jane Wisniewski January 7
Prayer Requests: Due to my working from home two days a week (for
now), please send me your prayer requests by Wednesday each
week to ensure they are in the next Sunday’s Bulletin.
***Daily Devotion for Thursday December 31, 2020***
The 5 Steps – Pause * Listen * Think * Pray * Go
Breathe in this good news of great joy! Take a deep breath.
For you….yes, YOU, Jesus was born. A savior, who is the Messiah, the
The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not overcome it.
Keep breathing, in praise to our God who makes all things new this
There was also a prophet, Anna the daughter of Phanuel, who belonged
to the tribe of Asher. She was very old. After she married, she lived with
her husband for seven years. She was now an 84-year-old widow. She
never left the temple area but worshipped God with fasting and prayer
night and day. She approached at that very moment and began to praise
God and to speak about Jesus to everyone who was looking forward to
the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna was a woman of purpose. She never left the temple after her
husband died until she witnessed Simeon blessing the infant Jesus. In that
moment, Anna went out with a single intention to tell everyone about this
baby and the promise of redemption.
We’ve been in a holding pattern like Anna, and it may have felt like you
haven’t left your home all year. I’m not sure we are ready to leave our
metaphorical temple, but we need to think about our daily intention as we
step into a new year.
A daily intention helps us choose how we INTEND to live instead of
WISHING life would be different. Some people choose one word to guide
them throughout this year. You may choose your core values that help you
be your very best self. However you do it, begin this day with deep, faithful
Take a few minutes before your feet hit the floor every day to reflect on
your daily intention. Let’s follow Jesus into 2021. One step at a time.
With a deep breath, hard work, and your help, God, I release my petty
grudges, unnecessary judgements, and outright grumpiness. May I be my
best self, the person I was created to be.
With a deep breath, more hard work, and the peace of Christ, empower
me to live into 2021 with intentionality and faithfulness. May I find
contentment without complacency.
With a deep breath and the Holy Spirit, let’s move into this new year with
joy and grace.
Take a deep breath and be present every moment of every day of 2021.
Love with intention. Be the Church.
Practice radical hospitality. Celebrate others.
May the grace of God fill your days so that you cannot help but respond to
all of life with exuberant joy!
***For those of you that would like to access these devotionals daily, you
can go on this website: www.d365.org
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. (at the Office)
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Rev. Erin Rath
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