St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri
Sunday, January 2, 2022

Second Sunday after Christmas
Jeremiah 31:7-14 Psalm 84
Ephesians 1:3-6, 15-19
Matthew 2:1-12

Weather Today
It is already below freezing and raining -The wind is up and the temperatures will not be above freeing all night and tomorrow morning. Roads will be slick, also our parking lot and walkways.
It is no weather for people at risk of falls, for wheelchairs, walkers, or little children.
But we have worked too hard for this 2nd Sunday of Christmas-anticipated-Epiphany celebration to just take it all down.
Abd we don’t want to miss it.
SO we will just consider it a moveable feast and use it all NEXT Sunday –

Father Steve Wilson
Many of you are aware of this already, but in case you aren’t, Steve+ has decided to enter hospice.
His cancer continues to cause new tumors on his bones, and the chemo is not making much difference,
He does have a pain pump now, which has made him more comfortable, and there is no spread to soft tissue, which is very good news. Still do read his letter which is posted on our Facebook page, and continue to pray for him, for Melinda and for Gabriel.

If you or your kids are sick at all, stay home. There is a lot of COVID in the area now, mostly, probably, Omicron, as well as colds and flu, but people are definitely still getting sick.
What we do know is that this variety spreads faster and more easily than Delta, and that it may take longer for a test to become positive. HOME tests seem not to be reliably accurate for Omicron..
If you have any symptoms, stay home and assume it is COVID until you know for sure it isn’t.
Father Isaac Petty
Isaac is Vicar at St Luke’s Episcopal Church and had this weekend and the next couple of weeks planned out, but that was before COVID.
Despite being triple vexed, he is down with it; he has been careful – mostly. He admits that he was in “maskless proximity” with a few people. He felt safe.
But last night he went to the ER with sore throat, 103 temp, chest tightness, high heart rate and B/P. And COVID.
He’s at home, and unlikely to have to be hospitalized because of his vaccine status, BUT he is also sick.
Please, please do not assume that you can waltz around Bolivar or anywhere else without your mask.
Omicron is far more contagious than the Delta variant. For those who are vaccinated, symptoms may indeed be mild or non-existent. But they aren’t always.
And for those who are UNvaccinated, hospitalization rates are again climbing.
You MUST continue to wear a mask at St Alban’s. If some one of us gets sick, we do NOT want it to be because of carelessness or lack of consideration on our part.

Melody Stevens
is also now down with COVID, She has not been to Church since December 12, and she was masked then, and kept distance, so it is unlikely that she got it here, OR that anyone at Church was exposed. Do pray for her; she has recently had cardiac surgery as well.

Second Sunday after Christmas
Epiphany comes in the middle of the week, January 6, so it is possible to miss celebrating it altogether unless we do it this Sunday by choosing the third Gospel option. I did select that reading for today, and will share another reflection on continuing Christmas, the flight into Egypt, and the child Jesus in the temple, (the other options) on Monday-Wednesday.

Thursday, January 6Epiphany, will bring the seating of Bishop Diane at the cathedral in Kansas City. Everyone is welcome to attend the Eucharist, vaccinated and masked. It will also be livestreamed, so that may be the safest option for many of us to participate in this joyful occasion. I will send more information about that tomorrow, Monday, January 3.

Matthew 2:1-12
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem asking, “Where is the child who has been born, King of the Jews? For we observed his star at its rising, and have come to pay him homage.”
When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him; and calling together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea; for so it has been written by the prophet: ‘And you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for from you shall come a ruler who is to shepherd my people, Israel.’ “
Then Herod secretly called for the wise men, and learned from them the exact time when the star had appeared. Then he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go, search diligently for the child; and when you have found him, bring me word so that I may also go and pay him homage.”
When they had heard the king, they set out; and there, ahead of them, went the star, that they had seen at its rising, until it stopped over the place where the child was. When they saw that the star had stopped, they were overwhelmed with joy.
On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; they knelt down and paid him homage. Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.
And having been warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they left for their own country by another road.

To consider:

What Star is this? Hymn 124
What Child is this? Hymn 115
There are only two kings in this story – who are they?



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