Trinity Church Welcomes All through its "Big Red Doors" with Tibetan prayer flags flying in the wind. It would be hard to find a more diverse group of believers, used-to-be believers, and sort-of believers. Many of us were born into other religions and denominations, and have found ourselves to be part of the inclusiveness of God's love.

Epiphany

from the Greek phainein to bring to light, to cause to appear, to show; epiphainein to manifest, epiphainea appearance Latin epiphania. Epiphany n: a festival observed on January 6, commemorating the coming of the Magi as the first manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles; an appearance of manifestation esp.of a divine being, a usually sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something; an intuitive grasp of reality through something (as an event) usually simple and striking.

Christians celebrate today Christ’s Epiphany -- his shining-forth in the world. We can all celebrate the many ways in which divine light and truth shines forth in different religious traditions and in the events of our own life.

Epiphany Proclamation

Baptism of the Lord

An astounding mystery is proclaimed today: two natures are made anew. The Divine becomes human: what God was, God remains; what God was not, God takes on, suffering neither confusion nor division. Alleluia!

The Holy Name of Jesus-January 1

1 January, eight days after Christmas, commemorates the circumcision and naming of the child Jesus; as recounted in the Gospel read on that day, "at the end of eight days, when he was circumcised, he was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before he was conceived in the womb."

Behold I stand at the door knocking. I am the Alpha and Omega. The Beginning and the end.-Revelations

January 2 - Basil of Caesarea (ca. 330-ca. 379), Church father, monk and pastor

Basil was born in Caesarea of Cappadocia around the year 330 into a family of longstanding Christian tradition. Basil died on January 1, 379 on the eve of the Council of Constantinople, which he had expertly helped to prepare by serving unity and communion in the Church and among the churches. He also contributed to the Council by helping to formulate, together with the other great Cappadocian fathers, the Orthodox theology of the Holy Spirit and the Trinity, which is at the heart of the creed of faith common to all of the Christian churches.

January 4 - Angela of Foligno (ca. 1248-1309) witness

Angela of Foligno, a Third-Order Franciscan, died on this day in 1309, surrounded by her disciples. She was born in Foligno, Italy around the year 1248. It was a time of extraordinary spiritual reawakening, and in Angela's Umbrian town there were religious houses belonging to all of the mendicant orders that had arisen in southern Europe: the Franciscans, the Dominicans, the Augustinians, and the Servants of Mary.

As a wife and mother, Angela led a life far from the remembrance of God. Then, mysteriously but deeply moved by the penitential climate of the day, she gradually fell into despair at the discovery of her sins, and began to seek out increasingly inhuman means of expiation. During this tormented journey, Angela experienced an additional blow when she lost her husband, mother and children over the course of several months. Faced with tragedy, she intensified her penances still further, but it was when she discovered Christ's gentle and merciful presence among Foligno's leprosy patients that she found true peace.

She sold all of her belongings, convinced that only extreme poverty would allow her to identify herself with the poor God who had revealed himself in Christ, the "passionate God-man," as she calls him in her Book of Divine Consolation, a literary masterpiece of medieval mysticism. For Angela, Christ's passion is the only path to meaning in the face of the evil that assails humanity.

January 5 - Syncletica (4th cent. nun)

Among the many Christians who went into the Egyptian desert in the fourth century in search of a life of radical faithfulness to the Gospel, there were a number of women who founded semi-anchorite forms of community life. The most famous of these is undoubtedly Syncletica, whose Life was written by a certain Athanasius.

Born into a noble Alexandrian family, but of Macedonian ancestry, Syncletica decided to lead a life of seclusion and prayer after the death of her parents. She headed for the desert with her sister, who was blind, in search of solitude. With time her reputation grew and many young women came to her, wishing to be guided in the spiritual struggle and in monastic asceticism. Syncletica, overcoming her initial reluctance, founded with them a form of life that was almost cenobitic in character. Life in her community was centered on obedience, which she considered a more certain path to poverty of heart compared with the purification that could be reached through monastic asceticism alone.

Following in the footsteps of Jesus, gentle and humble in heart, Syncletica led her many disciples to the deep joy that is reached in Christian life when one loves enough to empty oneself. Syncletica died after a long and tragic illness that disfigured her face and left her mute and blind, but did not prevent her from continuing to be an eloquent witness to the good news of the Gospel until the end of her days.

Eve of Epiphany/Theophany

When Christmas, a feast that originated in the West, began to spread to the East, Eastern churches responded by accentuating the themes of baptism and the wedding at Cana in their liturgies on January 6. In the West, under the influence of the Roman liturgy in particular, the theme of the adoration of the Magi was emphasized on January 6, and the commemoration of Jesus' baptism was postponed to the Sunday following the Epiphany.

After contemplating on Christmas the 'descending' moment of the Incarnation, the entire Church remembers on Epiphany that salvation is destined to reach all people, as was revealed by Jesus the Messiah, light of revelation to the nations and glory for God's people Israel.

John Neumann - January 5th

"Everyone who breathes, high and low, educated and ignorant, young and old, man and woman, has a mission, has a work. We are not sent into this world for nothing; we are not born at random; we are not here, that we may go to bed at night, and get up in the morning, toil for our bread, eat and drink, laugh and joke, sin when we have a mind, and reform when we are tired of sinning, rear a family and die. God sees every one of us; He creates every soul, . . . for a purpose. He needs, He deigns to need, every one of us. He has an end for each of us; we are all equal in His sight, and we are placed in our different ranks and stations, not to get what we can out of them for ourselves, but to labor in them for Him. As Christ has His work, we too have ours; as He rejoiced to do His work, we must rejoice in ours also.” - (1811-1860)

Human Trafficking Awareness- January 18th

Human trafficking is a form of modern day slavery. It is a rapidly growing criminal industry second only to drug dealing. Human Trafficking involves the use of force, fraud and/or coercion for the purpose of sexual exploitation or forced labor. Contrary to popular belief, by federal and state laws Human Trafficking does not require the movement of people across borders. You are encouraged to share these resources with your congregation and community to help bring awareness to this terrible crime.

God of compassion and justice, open our hearts to pray “Your kingdom come” with such passion that our lives become part of the answer to our prayer…so that you will is done on Earth as in heaven. Amen.

from the Sisters of the Holy Cross
Intercession and Closing Prayer from World Vision prayers for Abolitionist Sunday

Martin Luther King

Martin Luther King, Jr., was born in 1929, the grandson and son of Baptist preachers. After his education at Boston University, he became pastor of a Baptist church in Montgomery, Alabama. There he confronted the entrenched racism that pervaded much of the United States at that time. In 1955 Rosa Parks famously refused to yield her seat on a bus to a white person. King joined with others in organizing the Montgomery bus boycott and became nationally prominent. In the following years, King traveled from city to city leading protests and demonstrations. King’s preaching was extraordinary in its impact. People of all races responded to King’s vision of a nation in which everyone would behold others as children of God, not defined by race. His last Sunday sermon was given in Washington National Cathedral on March 31, 1968. A few days later, he traveled to Memphis to take part in a sanitation workers’ strike. While in Memphis, he was assassinated.

January 15 — February 23 A Winter Feast for the Soul

This annual forty-day worldwide period of spiritual practice brings people of all faiths together in prayer and meditation for personal and planetary peace.

The inspiration for this work came out of a three-line Rumi poem:

Based on the success of the first Winter Feast in Idaho (2008), the interest that it generated across the globe, and the need for peace efforts at this time in our history, the founders decided to extend the outreach worldwide.

January 18- Confession of Peter

The confession of the disciple Simon Peter, “you are the Christ, the Son of the living God,” is a milestone in the Lord’s ministry, in the founding of the church, and in the history of humankind. On Peter’s confession of faith lay the foundation of a new world order. Peter was a simple fisherman of Galilee, rough and impetuous. Andrew, his brother, called him to follow Jesus. He soon grew very close and dear to the Lord and was one of the inner circle of Jesus’ companions. He was quick tempered and impulsive, given to bursts of enthusiasm and lulls of depression. At the Last Supper he swore he would die rather than forsake Jesus, but before daybreak denied him three times. Following the Resurrection, Peter emerged as leader of the more conservative disciples, strenuously opposing the baptism of Gentiles.

January 18-World Religion Day

On this day we remember that all religions arise from the One Source and are different paths to that One who is known by various names. The importance of this day is emphasized in the Baha'i, Sufi, and Islamic traditions.

January 21- Agnes of Rome

Under orders from the Emperor Diocletian, in 304, the giant politico-military machine of the Roman Empire went to work to rid itself of the troublesome subversives called Christians. Many children were the innocent victims of this efficient blood purge. Agnes of Rome is a famous example. She was reared a Christian, and though just a young teenager when the persecution began, Agnes wished to witness for the faith. A Roman official was attracted to her and might easily have saved her life. He offered her jewelry and many pleasant gifts if she would renounce the Lord and her parents and worship the Roman gods. Infatuated by the innocent girl, the official then attempted to seduce her. She resisted and he became enraged. He had her tortured and publicly stripped and abused. At the culmination of this hideous ordeal she was killed with a sword.

January 22- St. Vincent

Vincent was a deacon in an early Christian church in Saragossa, Spain. He was a trusted friend and assistant of the bishop, Valerius. He was a very effective leader and therefore a prize catch for the Spanish governor, Dacian, who was implementing the Emperor Diocletian’s policy of persecution. Dacian’s agents used every means known to them to brainwash Vincent, since, if he gave up Christianity, it would surely result in the defection of others. Vincent was submitted to intensive argumentation, interrupted by excruciating tortures. He was beaten, chained, stretched on the rack, cooked on a gridiron, and the floor of his bare cell was covered with broken glass on which he had to walk and recline. Vincent did not renounce Christ or acknowledge the Roman deities. Finally the exhausted and mutilated saint was released, perhaps as an example to other Christians of what they might have to suffer. He died shortly after his release. But his steadfastness, far from discouraging other Christians, strengthened them in their determination to remain faithful to the Lord.

January 23-Death day of Rabbi Abraham J. Heschel (1907-1972)

European-born religious leader, scholar, philosopher, and teacher whose friendship and participation with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in the civil-rights movement reminds us that social activism and justice concern us all.

January 24- Ordination of Florence Li- Tim -Oi

Born in Hong Kong in 1907 and baptized as a student, Li Tim-Oi chose the name Florence in honor of Florence Nightingale (see August 12). In 1931 at the ordination of deaconesses, Florence Li Tim-Oi heard and responded a call to ordained ministry. After attending theological school, she was serving as a deacon in Macau when fighting intensified between Japan and China. There were no available priests to minister to Christians in the area, and so in 1944 the Bishop of Victoria ordained Florence as a priest. She served for the remainder of the war, but shortly after the war she voluntarily gave up her license to function as a priest. Among Anglicans her ordination was controversial, so she stepped down while the Communion was in discernment. She remained in China for many years, though she was forced to work in a factory during the years of the Cultural Revolution. Florence moved to Canada in her later years, and she served as a priest in Toronto. Finally, most Anglicans had come to support the ordination of women.

January 25- Conversation of St. Paul

Paul has been called by some modern writers “the true founder of the church” and even “the first Christian.” Although we may reject such statements as exaggerations, they do reflect the enormous importance of this man in the development of our faith and our community in history. The occasion of Paul’s conversion has long been regarded as a major turning point in Christian history. He had been an enthusiastic Jew, a Pharisee, in fact, and had studied under one of the great rabbis of his day, Gamaliel. Paul advocated and witnessed the stoning of Stephen (see December 26) and was enroute to Damascus to assist in the further persecution of the Christians there when his dramatic conversion took place. From then on his life was totally devoted to the service of Christ, and especially to the conversion of non-Jewish people. His letters and the Book of Acts give us a wealth of information regarding his life and work. He founded churches in Philippi, Athens, Thessalonica, Corinth, and many other important cities of his day.

January 27- Lydia, Dorcas and Phoebe

The commemoration of these three devout women follows directly on the observance of three of Paul’s male co-workers in the Lord. It is a reminder that though the first century was a patriarchal time from which we have very few women’s voices, the apostles and indeed the whole early church depended on women for sustenance, protection and support.

Lydia was Paul’s first European convert. She was a Gentile woman in Philippi who, like many others, was attracted to Judaism. As what the Jewish community called a “God-fearer” she was undoubtedly accorded respect by the Jewish community, but still would have been marginalized. Paul encountered her on a riverbank where she and a group of women had gathered for Sabbath prayers. Undoubtedly Paul preached his gospel of inclusiveness to them and Lydia “opened her heart” and, together with the whole household of which she was head, was baptized.

Phoebe was the apparent patroness of the Christian community in Cenchreae near Corinth. She is the first person mentioned in the long list of Paul’s beloved associates in Chapter 16 of Romans. Paul refers to her as a “sister”, as a “deacon” and as a “patroness” or “helper” of many. In other words, Paul includes her as part of his family in Christ and infers that she has housed and provided legal cover for the local church. Paul’s use of the word “deacon” should be used with caution since the diaconate as an order had not yet developed in the church, but it does suggest the kind of ministry out of which the notion of ordained deacons developed. It would not be too much to call her a “proto-deacon”.

Dorcas (Tabitha in Aramaic), was a revered disciple in Joppa who devoted herself to “good works and acts of charity.” When she fell ill and died, the community sent for Peter who came and after prayer, revived her (Acts 9:36-42). Though we have no record of the words of these three women, the apostolic testimony to their faith and their importance to the mission of the early church speaks for itself.

January 28- Thomas Aquinas

Perhaps the greatest of the many medieval theologians, Thomas was the son of a prominent Italian count. He joined the Dominican Order against the will of his family. He studied at Monte Cassino and at the Universities of Naples, Cologne, and Paris, earning a Master’s degree. Virtually his entire life was spent in teaching and writing. His greatest work was the Summa Theologica, a masterful systematic statement of doctrine. It was by no means an immediate success, but time has proven it to be one of the finest intellectual expositions of the Christian faith ever composed. Some three centuries after his death he was declared “Universal Teacher” to the church. He was particularly concerned about the relationship of faith and reason. He successfully reconciled the philosophy of Aristotle with Christian doctrine.

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January 31- John Bosco; Samuel Shoemaker

John Bosco was an Italian Roman Catholic priest of the Latin Church, educator and writer of the 19th century. While working in Turin, where the population suffered many of the effects of industrialization and urbanization, he dedicated his life to the betterment and education of street children, juvenile delinquents, and other disadvantaged youth.

Samuel Shoemaker was a priest of the Episcopal Church. He was the rector of Calvary Episcopal Church in New York City, the United States headquarters of the Oxford Group during the 1930s.[2] Sam Shoemaker and Oxford Group were significant influences for the founders of Alcoholics Anonymous. Bill Wilson attended Oxford Group meetings at the Calvary Church, and Sam Shoemaker also helped start an Oxford Group chapter in Akron, Ohio,[3] where Dr. Bob Smith became involved.

Shoemaker's contributions and service to Alcoholics Anonymous have had a worldwide effect. The philosophy that Shoemaker codified, in conjunction with Bill Wilson, is used in almost every country around the world to treat alcoholism. , Similar programs are used to help relatives of alcoholics, as well as people suffering with other addictions such as to narcotics.


The Liturgical Seasons

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** This prayer is offer for Victims of Violence throughout of the world. Victims of verbal, physical, emotional, of hunger and thirst,economic abuse,warfare (especially Ukraine, Venezuela, parts of Africa, South America Asia and the Middle East, terrorist action, the death penalty, suicide, shootings (in our cities and neighborhoods), and other guise of violence. May their souls rest in peace and their families experience the Comfort of God. The Church bells will toll on Wednesdays @ 6:10pm.

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