January 2nd , 2022
Second Sunday After Christmas
Virtual Worship @ 10am
It is my hope and prayer this note finds you in good spirits. For the last few weeks, I have been worried about the current rise of COVID infection and the possible impact in our congregation.
Well, today our Health Team decided that it is wise for us to pause our in-person worship celebration and cancel any in person activities for the for first 15 days of January. The Health Team will revise where we are as we get closer to Sunday, January 16.
This is NOT an easy decision but is a decision that made total sense. As of today, the entire staff of Children Ministries is out due to COVID either exposure or a positive test, similar situations happened within the worship team.
We are called to care for one another, and this is our way to care for you all. We all know the routine we have two outlets where we can participate with our virtual worship. Please see them below.
Let us keep those exposed and sick with COVID in our prayers and let us do all we can to stop this madness.
This is a great opportunity to make sure you are fully vaccinated including the third one “the Booster”. Please reach out to me either, by a call, text, email if you need pastoral care or have any questions.
Thanks for your understanding
Luis F. Reyes,
The Second Sunday of Christmas begin with the prophet Jeremiah, the promise of the exiles returning in 31:7-14. God will bring back the exiles, the prophet declares, as God has fulfilled the promises of old. Celebration and restoration go hand in hand. God rescues the people from their oppression; as God has done so in the past, God will do so again. God, like a parent to all people, views Ephraim (another name for Israel) as the firstborn, the ones who changed how God related to all people the way a first child changes perspective for a parent.
In Jeremiah God promises restoration for God’s exiled people, and offers a promise of grace and love even to those who would have been considered unclean or unacceptable to God in the past.
In our neighborhoods, and even our families, it is easy to fall into competition, suspicion, and self-interest. When times are tough, it is tempting to hoard and protect our resources from those around us for fear we won’t have enough. It is tempting to become violent in our attempts to protect ourselves from those we perceive as a threat. And it is tempting to align ourselves only with interest groups of those who think, act, look, and believe as we do. But, this is exactly the kind of behavior that perpetuates our suffering and brokenness and that keeps the world from healing. When we can earn to trust that we belong as well as others, and when we can begin to reach out to make connections with those who are different from us, the world begins to change for us, and God’s grace and glory is revealed.
A promise of God’s restoration for God’s exiled people in which God commits to bringing God’s people back to their home, including the disabled and blind, and mothers who are expectant or in labor.
Prayer of Brokenness
God of All Beginnings, we confess our own despair and distrust. Our expectations have been tempered, our hopes subdued. We are afraid of being let down again by the world. Remind us that our hope is not in the things of this world, in our leaders or our systems, but our hope is in You, Creator of heaven and earth. Shape our hearts to love more deeply. Open our minds to accept what we cannot change but to transform our own lives to Your ways. Mold our lives to live as You lived, in compassion and loving-kindness, in gratitude and peace. Lift up our hearts, so we may enter this new year with Your living hope. In the name of Christ we pray. Amen
Just a friendly reminder we are under MASK
mandate for all indoor facilities. So please while in our building wear your MASKS
The Epiphany of the Lord
Music Rehearsals & Video Recording
Sunday, January 9th
Epiphany & Baptism of the Lord Sunday
Christian Formation Hour – 8:45am
Please return your pledge forms for 2022 so we can begin to work with our church financial picture for the new year, and provide your envelopes if you need them.
If you’ve misplaced the form mailed to you, they are available at the back of the
sanctuary, in the church office, or by calling Susan Friend Questions?
Contact Susan Friend.
You are always in our thoughts and prayers, but if you need extra this week, or have someone you’d like us to add to our prayer list, please contact the church office at Jennifer@FirstUMCLobard.org or MediaRelations@FirstUMCLombard.org.