WORSHIP IN JANUARY
“Beloved Community in Christ and for our World.” The month and in particular the Sundays of January invite the faithful into recognitions both sacred and secular. The month includes the Festival of the Epiphany, Jan. 5; Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Jan. 11; Baptism of the Lord, Jan. 12; Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, Jan. 18-25; Human Relations Day, Jan. 19; The Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday Observance, Jan. 20; Ecumenical Sunday, Jan. 26. With these days recognizing faith and issues of justice, we will use January to honor “Beloved Community in Christ and for our World.”
From Adam Taylor’s article found in the Discipleship Section of this newsletter, “In contemporary terms, the key to realizing the “beloved community” is to build a nation in which neither punishment nor privilege is attached to one’s race, skin color, nationality, gender identity, sexual orientation, or any other human difference. While this represents a very high bar, it must become a barometer by which we measure political leadership and every piece of public policy. In other words, not only would every person, all of whom are made in the image of God, be equally valued and respected, their inherent value and dignity would be affirmed.”
Invest yourself in the Sundays of January as we yield to the Holy Christ’s way of wisdom for our human hope to be as one, honoring God’s creation and sharing together in building holy community through prayer, advocacy, and affirmation.
Festival of the Epiphany Sunday, January 5
Matthew 2:1-15, Isaiah 60:1-6
Sacrament of Holy Communion
2nd Sunday of Epiphany, January 12
Baptism of the Lord Sunday
Matthew 3:13-17, Acts 10:34-43
3rd Sunday of Epiphany, January 19
John 1:29-42, I Corinthians 1:1-9
Human Relations Day
4th Sunday of Epiphany, January 26
Matthew 4:12-23, I Corinthians 1:10-18
RESIST HARM MOVEMENT DISCUSSION, JAN. 12
Gather in the Library of FUMC from 11 am to Noon to learn about the newly developed coalition of United Methodist organizations including Reconciling Ministries Network, Uniting Methodists, Love Your Neighbor and others seeking full inclusion of lgbtq persons at the May 2020 General Conference of the UMC. Go to resistharm.com for information and join the discussion on Jan. 12 with other members of FUMC.
HOLY ENVY, JAN. 19
Join Pastor David for a Sunday, 11 am, discussion on interfaith understanding and cooperation as gleaned from the book Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others by Barbara Brown Taylor. You do not need to read the book to take part in the discussion. Come to learn and be informed.
ANSWERING HARD QUESTIONS CHILDREN ASK, FEB. 2
Parents of children and youth are invited to gather with Pastor David, Maureen Koziol and Brooke DeJong on Sunday, Feb. 2 at 10:45 am in the Library for a brief Q & A on questions of faith asked by children and youth. We will use insights from the book “When Kids Ask Hard Questions” by co-author, the Rev. Bromleigh McCleneghan, associate minister of Union Church of Hinsdale in Illinois, and former member of FUMC. Rev. McCleneghan will be preaching on Sunday, Feb. 9 for UMW Love Sunday.
The world is a confusing and painful place for children (and adults). How do you respond faithfully to your kids big questions? Learn to craft faithful conversations and be better prepared to talk about the tough stuff with your kids. More than 30 essays from a diverse group of young Christian parents/pastors address today’s toughest topics, including gender, race, bullying, mental illness, death, divorce, money, technology, and generosity. When Kids Ask Hard Questions invites you to take a deep breath, create safe spaces for the hard conversations, and speak the truth in love. Each chapter includes a resource list for further exploration.
FEBRUARY ADULT STUDY “WHITE FRAGILITY” BEGINS FEB. 5
Using the book White Fragility: Why It’s So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism, the three session study begins Wednesday, February 5, 7 – 8:30 pm at FUMC. Session two is Wednesday, Feb. 12 and Session three is Wednesday, Feb. 19 at 7 pm. Participants will need to have read the book in its entirety before the first session begins. A study guide will be available to all registered participants by Jan. 26. Books can be purchased through the church office at cost of $16. The study is in conjunction with the Northern Illinois Conference initiative confronting racism in church and society.