Second Sunday of Christmas – January 3, 2016
Mass at 11:00 a.m. Readings: Jeremiah 31:7-14; Psalm 147; Ephesians 1:3-14; John 1:1-18. Pastor George Detweiler preaches and presides.
Like last year, there are two Sundays between Christmas and Epiphany this year, something that will not occur again until 2020. Whenever this second Sunday is celebrated the gospel is the profound Christological poem from John 1.
Though we may try to understand how the Word existed with God from the beginning of time, the wonder we celebrate at Christmas is that the Word continues to dwell among us. Christ comes among us in the gathered assembly, the scriptures, the waters of baptism, and the bread and cup of the Eucharist. Through these ordinary gifts we receive the fullness of God’s grace and truth.
It is to this fulfillment of Israel’s hopes that Jeremiah points in the reading from the Hebrew scriptures. Writing at a time when Israel was being scattered and carried off in exile, Jeremiah casts a vision of the future in which God rescues the people and brings them back to their homeland and restores the worship in Jerusalem.
The Ephesians reading reminds us of the meaning of Christ dwelling among us: that we might live for the praise of his glory. That is what we attempt to do in this Christmas season!
Bach Vespers at 5:00 PM on Sunday
Bach Vespers is on winter break and will return at 5:00 PM on Sunday, February 7, 2016.
Join us for a Solemn Mass for the Epiphany of Our Lord, on Wednesday, January 6 at 7:00 PM, featuring music by Leo Sowerby and Joseph Rheinberger.
Music for Sunday
Prelude: In dulci jubilo – Johann Michael Bach; In dulci jubilo, BuxWV 197 – Dieterich Buxtehude;
Christum wir sollen, BWV 611 – Johann Sebastian Bach
Offertory: See, See the Word is Incarnate – Orlando Gibbons
Communion: The Blessed Son of God – Ralph Vaughan Williams
Postlude: In dir ist Freude, BWV 615- J.S. Bach
Greet Now, The Swiftly Changing Year
#291 Let Our Gladness Have No End
#295 Of the Father’s Love Begotten
#272 Lo, How a Rose E’er Blooming
#867 In Thee Is Gladness
Dear people of God,
We had a wonderful celebration of the Savior’s birth, with fine music and good attendance at all three services! Especially heartening to me was to see the many people who helped out with the Christ Masses. In Manhattan, many people go “home” for Christmas, meaning that many of our regular worship volunteers are not available to help out over the holidays.
Special thanks to…
• Shannon Jones and Tommy Bricco, who were at the door greeting people at multiple services, Tommy at all three Christ Masses plus Sunday, and Shannon who missed only the 5 PM of those four services (because she was still at work.)
• Susan Hannah for recruiting servers for all the holiday liturgies, a difficult job when so many are away;
• Donald Meineke, for being a real ministry partner and overseeing the preparation of the bulletins and chancel decorating, in addition to performing and directing the music for Christ Mass
• Dee Scholz-Beyer for stepping in to be assisting minister on Christ Mass Day on very short notice when someone else was ill
• Sergiy Orlov for attending to cleaning, getting trees, greens and poinsettias for these holidays
• Bonnie Minger for having the bulletins prepared well in advance so we had lots of time to review and refine them, and for staying calm when the copier broke down
• Parish Choir and staff singers: Anna Lenti, Franny Geller, Lyndon England, Nathan Hodgson, Joe Damon Chappel – for providing beautiful music for all the Christ Masses with commendable graciousness.
• the members who served and participated in these Masses of Christ. We had visitors from all over the nation and around the world, which makes the participation of members especially important to engage and welcome them.
It was a special joy for me to be part of the Christ Masses here at Holy Trinity. Many of you are aware of how much I treasure our musical and liturgical life. It has a been a long time since I served a congregation that appreciated intoning the gospel, for example. Thank you for giving me this opportunity to serve with you!
Another way for some to give….
On December 18, Congress passed the PATH Act, making it easier for Americans who have reached age 70½ to give to causes they care about, like Holy Trinity and Bach Vespers!
Individuals who have reached age 70½ can donate up to $100,000 to charitable organizations directly from their Individual Retirement Account (IRA), without treating the distribution as taxable income.
The PATH Act renews and makes permanent the IRA Charitable Rollover provision of 2006. This provision has expired and been temporarily renewed multiple times until now, causing uncertainty for donors and making it difficult to effectively manage finances and plan their estates.
Now the provision is permanent! It’s a win-win-for us and for people who want to support us.
Benefits of an IRA charitable rollover distribution:
* Avoid taxes on transfers of up to $100,000 from your IRA to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.
* Satisfy your required minimum distribution (RMD) for the year
* Reduce your taxable income, even if you do not itemize deductions
* Make a gift that is not subject to the 50% deduction limits on charitable gifts
How an IRA charitable rollover gift works:
1. Contact your IRA plan administrator to make a gift from your IRA to the Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Holy Trinity.
2. Your IRA funds will be directly transferred to Holy Trinity current account.
3. If you prefer the funds to go into the permanent endowment, or the Building Fund, send us a letter or email indicating that designation.
4. Please note that IRA charitable rollover gifts do not qualify for a charitable deduction.
If you are eligible, help further the mission of Holy Trinity with your gift today!
Scripture Readings – Week after Second Sunday of Christmas
Monday – Jeremiah 31:7 – Why is Jeremiah uncharacteristically hopeful?
Tuesday – Jeremiah 31:8-9 – What is comforting about the imagery here?
Wednesday – Psalm 147:18-20 – What is promised here?
Thursday – Ephesians 1:3-6 – How is this promise similar or different from Jeremiah?
Friday – Ephesians 1:11-12 – According to these verses, what is our purpose?
Saturday – John 1:3-5 – How are these verses appropriate for this season?
Sunday – John 1:14 – Where do you see the glory of the son of God?