Word from St. Augustine’s/Jan-Feb 2023

 And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only son, full of grace and truth. (John testified to him and cried out, ‘This was he of whom I said, “He who comes after me ranks ahead of me because he was before me.”’) From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. The law indeed was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known. John 1:14-18, NRSV

Dear Friends in Christ,

As we continue to savor the new gift of life come at Christmas through these remaining days of Christmastide, we celebrate the God became one of us so that we learn something of God’s divinity. God’s Word becomes flesh. The Word, who is Jesus, becomes us. And, through Christ, God invites us to become Christlike – full of grace and truth.

This is just like when we celebrate Holy Eucharist regularly, we are reminded that we take Christ in and carry Christ in our everyday lives.

We might ask ourselves, like the angels, shepherds, the foreign “wise folk,” and the likely others who came to seek the holy one come as an infant, what do we come expecting to see? And now seeing with our own eyes, can we too live with changed hearts and minds like them? Of course, the answer is “yes.” How will we respond to our “yes?” How will respond to the Christ child in the coming days and months of this New Year?

If we allow our “yes,” and the “yes” of those around us to shine Christ’s light, the light will shine through. And we notice signs of God’s transforming work around us in the world. Perhaps others, because of your light’s shining, will come seeking beyond Christmas because of you.

The God who shines light through the Christ child who comes, asks no less of us. In Matthew’s Gospel, the One who brings the light to us, reminds us that we may now live into our true nature that is light. Hear Jesus remind you. “You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hidden. No one after lighting a lamp puts it under the bushel basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father in heaven.”

This Sunday January 8, the Church celebrates the Baptism of Our Lord. This is one of four Sundays of the year when, if there are no actual baptisms, the Church renews its covenant made between God and us when we were baptized. Let’s us pray for one another as we prepare to renew our foundational promises of faith.

I look forward to seeing all the ways that God’s light will shine through you, God’s people the Church, in 2023.
Faithfully in Christ,

The Rev. Douglas A. Beck, priest-in-charge

A note about our 2023 schedule As of January 1, Fr. Douglas our part-time priest-in-charge will be with us every other Sunday preaching and celebrating Holy Eucharist. The other Sundays will be lay led Morning Prayer. If you feel God calling you to assist in the ministry of presiding over Morning Prayer, please let Fr. Douglas know. He will show you what you need, train you happily and incorporate you into the schedule. You will be provided with everything that you need: an outline of the service, and a homily to share. Others in the congregation will assist with the readings as is our usual custom. If you have not read in church, but feel called to this important lay ministry, please let Fr. Douglas know. If you have a musical talent and feel led to share that with St. Augustine’s let Fr. Douglas know that, too.

Faith Formation and Holy Eucharist during the week is moving to most Thursdays beginning on January 5, 2:30-3:30 PM. Our Winter discussion will be Paul’s Letter to the Romans, one chapter a week, followed by an informal celebration of Holy Eucharist. It is hoped that the day and time change will be more convenient for more folks, that all may come midweek gathering around Word and Sacrament.

St. Augustine’s Annual Meeting notice Annual Meeting to take place following the 10:00 AM service on Sunday, February 5. More than ten folks need to be present for the budget presentation and approval of Bishop’s Committee positions for the year. If fewer than ten folks attend we will be unable to call a quorum requiring the postponement of the meeting. Please, all, make every effort to be in church on Feb. 5. The Bishop’s Committee thanks you in advance!
Sr. Warden, Jr. Warden, Treasurer, priest-in-charge, please remember to submit your 2022 reports to Clerk Lenora Granger in time for her to compile and copy in advance of our meeting.

In the event of weather changes to our gathering watch for an e-mail from Fr. Douglas. In the even of a Sunday cancellation when Holy Eucharist is scheduled, a Zoom link will be sent and we will plan to worship from our homes. Morning Prayer Sundays will be cancelled. Again, the email will come from Fr. Douglas regarding any changes to the normal Sunday schedule.

A word about Holy Eucharist At last September’s clergy gathering, Bishop Brown instructed diocesan clergy serving congregations to begin lifting protocols put in place during the height of the pandemic regarding the distribution of Holy Eucharist. Here at St. Augustine’s, those protocols were lifted beginning on Christmas Eve. The administration of the communion host and common cup are now restored.

Receiving in one kind (host alone) is always acceptable. Those preferring to also receive the cup may do so in two ways. When the chalice is presented to you, please assist the bearer by guiding the chalice to your lips. If you prefer not to sip, you may touch the base of the chalice and hear the words of administration.

Intinction (dipping the host into the cup) is not permitted.

Pastoral Care reminder Remember that I am here to serve you! Know that I plan to be in Dover-Foxcroft most weekly Thursdays. But you may reach me at other times as needed. Regarding pastoral care, please don’t hesitate to reach me by phone or e-mail. Fr. Douglas+

Coming up at St. Augustine’s
Thursdays beginning January 5, 2:30-3:30 PM. Faith Formation and Holy Eucharist.
Sunday, January 8, 10:00 AM The Baptism of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Celebration of Holy Eucharist
Sunday, January 15, 10:00 AM The Second Sunday after the Epiphany    Morning Prayer
January 20-27 Fr. Douglas attending Haden Institute Spiritual Direction Training, then to Wisconsin gathering with Order of Julian of Norwich leaders.
Sunday, January 22, 10:00 AM The Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Celebration of Holy Eucharist, The Rev. Regina Christianson, guest celebrant and preacher
Sunday, January 29, 10:00 AM The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Morning Prayer
Sunday, February 5, 10:00 AM The Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany
Holy Eucharist with Annual Meeting Following
Wednesday, February 8, 8:45 AM Bishop’s Committee via Zoom
Sunday, February 12, 10:00 AM The Sixth Sunday after the Epiphany
Morning Prayer
Sunday, February 19, 10:00 AM The Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Holy Eucharist
Wednesday, February 22, 9:00 AM Ash Wednesday
The Imposition of Ashes and Holy Eucharist
Sunday, February 26, 10:00 AM The First Sunday in Lent
Morning Prayer