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The Season of Epiphany

 

Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.        (Matthew 2:1-2)

 

The term epiphany means "to show" or "to make known" or even "to reveal." In Western churches, it remembers the coming of the wise men bringing gifts to visit the Christ child, who by so doing "reveal" Jesus to the world as Lord and King.

Epiphany is the climax of the Advent/Christmas Season and the Twelve Days of Christmas, which are usually counted from the evening of December 25th until the morning of January 6th, which is the Twelfth Day. This is an occasion for feasting in some cultures, including the baking of a special King's Cake as part of the festivities of Epiphany.

In traditional Christian churches Christmas, as well as Easter, is celebrated as a period of time, a season of the church year, rather than just a day. The Season of the Church Year associated with Christmas actually begins with the first Sunday of Advent, four Sundays before Christmas Day. Advent is marked by expectation and anticipation in preparing to celebrate the coming of Jesus. Christmas begins with Christmas Day December 25 and lasts for Twelve Days until Epiphany, January 6, which looks ahead to the mission of the church to the world in light of the Nativity. The one or two Sundays between Christmas Day and Epiphany are sometimes called Christmastide.

For many Protestant church traditions, the season of Epiphany extends from January 6th until Ash Wednesday, which begins the season of Lent leading to Easter. Depending on the timing of Easter, this longer period of Epiphany includes from four to nine Sundays. In some western traditions, the last Sunday of Epiphany is celebrated as Transfiguration Sunday. (Dennis Bratcher)

Very Urgent Reminder

Our first St Chad & DOF Gathering of the New Year is just 8 days away on Saturday, January 16th at 5 PM. Our meeting will be held at the Salem Center 7235 Bonneval Rd,
Jacksonville, FL 32256. Looking forward to seeing everyone.
(Lots of finger food provided)

If any 'out of towner's' are coming in there are several hotels near the Salem Center which is located at
I-95 and Butler Blvd.

We have a number of special guests that will be joining us.

As we prepare to gather together let me suggest we give ourselves to prayerful preparation to be God's gifts to one another. Gifts of encouragement, impartation, inspiration, and grace. While we Iive in an age of extreme high tech, let's purpose to extend the ministry of 'high touch' to one another. The work before us will need all the high tech and high touch from all of us in order to complete the task.

A Prayer for Mission
Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of your faithful people is governed and sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers which we offer before you for all members of your holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Read Dec. e-letter below and we still need your help toward our end of year deficit. Go to www.stchad.org to make your donation.

Apostolate of Saint Chad
Diocese of St Chad
December 3, 2015

Dear Kingdom Co-Workers,

I trust you all received the Advent e-letter that went out this past weekend. I was greatly moved by the description of the culture of Bethlehem and Palestine at the time of Christ's birth. The parallels of our own time are so obvious and a bit frightening. It certainly should give us pause, and cause us to think more focused on our call and witness to our own generation. As Advent marks the beginning of a new church year I am proposing that we take this new Beginning 'marker' and put forward some culture changing goals for ourselves and the Apostolate.

The past six months has been a season of silence and gestation for many of us. For me, it has been a time of waiting on the Lord's direction regarding our next steps for the Apostolate. In April at the International House of Bishops meeting I was asked to accept a second term as Presiding Bishop for our Communion. (An unpaid position I might add) I asked for and was given several weeks to pray and consult others before giving my decision. At our July telephonic IHOBS meeting I agreed to accept, on the condition that the Apostolate be given the status of an extra territorial province and the Archbishops agreed. For the past four years the Apostolate had functioned more as a personal prelature and therefore limited in its capabilities. We are now able to exercise the apostolic nature of the Apostolate but with the broader authority and reach of a province. Therefore, our challenge now is to create the appropriate organizational structure that will serve the international needs of the Province and its growth. Growth, I might add, that is already happening. A full accounting of that will come in a later correspondence. With this new 'Provincial' vehicle we are able to respond to the growth opportunity being presented to us. Of course, this means we must have all hands with an oar to row this gospel boat forward. Therefore it is imperative that we regroup with our gathering schedule so a full verbal report can be given and questions answered face to face. I am recommending that we have our next gathering January 16th at 5 PM, location to be announced. In the meantime I will be happy to receive emails, phone calls, Skype, texts, what's app, etc, etc!

In order to move forward in a responsible manner we have to do as the scripture teaches, we must count the cost. The cost is quiet straight forward as I along with the help of Logos Global Network and a tiny percentage of our members have covered them the last four years. That cannot be the case going forward. But I have every confidence that together we can make the necessary commitment and not only clear the current end of year deficit of $3960.00 but keep ourselves in the black going forward. As you know our canons require all ordained clergy to tithe to their assigned jurisdiction. There are special dispensations made for those planting new churches and ministries and in that case the church/ministry tithes to the jurisdiction. In the mean time I am simply asking that all clergy, Deacons, Priests, and Bishops go to www.stchad.org and make as generous an Advent gift as you are able. I believe before the Christmas candle is lighted the deficit will be gone and a surplus will have taken its place. I sincerely appreciate your partnership in this effort.

May the joys and grace of Advent be yours,

Let us pray:

Almighty God, whose loving hand has given us all that we possess: Grant us grace that we may honor you with our substance, and, remembering the account which we must one day give, may be faithful stewards of your bounty, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Your fellow servant,


Bishop Charles Travis

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Dr. Charles Travis, Presiding Bishop of the CEEC
International House of Bishops
Archbishop of the Apostolate of Saint Chad

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