Full St. Nick's News for February 17, 2024 Dear Friends, On Wednesday, we marked the…
Happy New Year!
Many years ago I was given the gift of The New Zealand Prayer Book. It is similar to our Book of Common Prayer. (As a brief aside – if you want to learn more about Prayer Books – come to our Episcopal 101 offered this Spring and you can learn all about them!) Anyway, one of the things I love about the New Zealand Prayer book is the offerings of devotions and daily prayer. In their section on Family Prayer they offering the following –
A PRAYER FOR THE FAMILY
Lord Jesus, at Nazareth you shared in the life of your family. Help us to live together in our family with love and respect for each other. Make our home a place of blessing, peace and joy for everyone, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
In darkness and in light, in trouble and in joy,
help us, heavenly Father, to trust your love,
to serve your purpose, and to praise your name,
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
I see our church as a family. We are the family of God, learning to grow in friendship, faith, hope, and love together. God chooses us as beloved children and we have chosen to live out our faith at St. Nicholas as friends and family who love, serve, and bless one another and the world around us.
In this new year, I want to encourage you to become involved in a new ministry, small group, or outreach activity. It is a great gift to have church online and to come and worship together on Sundays. It is an even greater gift to develop deep connections with one another as encouragers and accountability partners in faith.
This Sunday we will hear the Gospel of John’s call story of Nathaniel and Philip. The story right before this one is the invitation of some of John’s disciples to follow Jesus. John 1:37-39 shares,
When the two disciples heard him (John the Baptist) say this, they followed Jesus. Turning around, Jesus saw them following and asked, “What do you want?”
They said, “Rabbi” (which means “Teacher”), “where are you staying?”
“Come,” he replied, “and you will see.”
I love the openness of this invitation. “Come, and you will see.” Sometimes you just need to take a step out of the ordinary and explore new ways of being. Sometimes you need to risk something new to grow in faith. Faith is dynamic – not static. We are called to grow, change, and learn. God absolutely loves us as we are, but also wants us to take an active role in our spiritual growth and formation.
We have lots of opportunities in this new year for you. We have bible studies, a men’s group, women’s fellowship, youth and children’s programs, Sunday morning ministries, and outreach opportunities. We have dinner gatherings and options to serve as leaders and champions for ministries. We also embrace the motto – if we don’t have what you are looking for, let’s create it. A great example of ministries that have been created out of people’s passions are 1) our Good News Garden Ministry and 2) our Prayer Outreach Ministries. They were both created out of the desire to grow close to God and one another and the love of gardening and knitting/crocheting/needlework.
I can’t wait to see how God will lead us in this new year! I know and trust that God will continue to guide us as we grow in friendship, faith, hope, and love.
God’s Peace, Love, and Blessings,