First Sunday After Epiphany: Bulletin & Readings for January 8, 2023

Bulletin for Epiphany

This bulletin includes the order of service for the Season of Epiphany. The items in bold italics are intended for the congregation’s response.

Opening Hymn

In the name of God: Creator, Redeemer, and Giver of life. Amen.

Call to Worship and Confession of Sin

Light! Light, light and more light!

Arise, shine; for your light has come, and the glory of God has risen upon you. Nations shall come to your light, and rulers to the brightness of your rising.

The wonderful light of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

And also with you.

The prophet speaks of the coming light of God which calls all the people of the earth to come together in God’s realm of shalom. Let us confess the ways in which we have rejected God’s vision of wholeness.

God of light and darkness, we have seen the glimmer of your star-light beckoning to us, but we have turned away and followed other paths. We confess that we have not loved you with all our heart, with all our soul, with all our mind, and with all our strength.

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.  

Forgive us, Holy One. Strengthen our faltering steps and guide us in your holy way of peace.  Amen.

Lift up your eyes and see the grace of God poured out into your lives. The light of God shines through the darkness.  

Our hearts rejoice for Christ is in our midst.

Canticle of Praise for Epiphany

Blessed are you, O Christ, our God;

you were before time began, and came to the world to save us.

Blessed are you, Sun of righteousness;

you shine with the Father’s love and illumine the whole universe.

Blessed are you, Child of Mary;

born a child you shared our humanity.

Blessed are you, Child of David;

born to rule, you received gifts from the wise men.

Blessed are you, Son of Man;

baptised by John, you saved us from ourselves.

Blessed are you, heavenly Christ;

teaching and preaching, healing and comforting, you proclaimed the kingdom.

With all the voices of heaven we celebrate the coming of our Saviour.

Let heaven and earth shout their praise. With all the creatures on earth we sing and dance at your birth. Praise and glory to you, O Lord Jesus Christ.

The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

Collect of the Day

Father in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.

The Ministry of the Word

The First Reading

Reader:  Susan

Isaiah 42:1-9

1Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations. 2He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; 3a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice. 4He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.

5Thus says God, the Lord, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: 6I am the Lord, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations,7to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness. 8I am the Lord, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols. 9See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

Psalm

Reader:  Don

Psalm 29

Ascribe to the Lord, you gods, *
       ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his Name; *
       worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness.
The voice of the Lord is upon the waters;
  the God of glory thunders; *
       the Lord is upon the mighty waters.
The voice of the Lord is a powerful voice; *
       the voice of the Lord is a voice of splendor.
The voice of the Lord breaks the cedar trees; *
       the Lord breaks the cedars of Lebanon;
He makes Lebanon skip like a calf, *
       and Mount Hermon like a young wild ox.
The voice of the Lord splits the flames of fire;
  the voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness; *
       the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the Lord makes the oak trees writhe *
       and strips the forests bare.
And in the temple of the Lord *
       all are crying, “Glory!”
10 The Lord sits enthroned above the flood; *
       the Lord sits enthroned as King for evermore.
11 The Lord shall give strength to his people; *
       the Lord shall give his people the blessing of peace.

The Second Reading 

Reader:  Susan

Acts 10:34-43

34Then Peter began to speak to them: “I truly understand that God shows no partiality, 35but in every nation anyone who fears him and does what is right is acceptable to him. 36You know the message he sent to the people of Israel, preaching peace by Jesus Christ—he is Lord of all. 37That message spread throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John announced: 38how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power; how he went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him. 39We are witnesses to all that he did both in Judea and in Jerusalem. They put him to death by hanging him on a tree; 40but God raised him on the third day and allowed him to appear, 41not to all the people but to us who were chosen by God as witnesses, and who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one ordained by God as judge of the living and the dead. 43All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.

The Gospel

The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Glory to you, Lord Christ.

Matthew 3:13-17

13Then Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him. 14John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” 15But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. 16And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. 17And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.”

Sermon – The Rev. Fletcher Harper

The Prayers

A Celtic Creed

We believe in God above us, maker and sustainer of all life, of sun and moon, of water and earth, of male and female. 

We believe in God beside us, Jesus Christ, the word made flesh, born of a woman, servant of the poor, tortured and nailed to a tree. A man of sorrows, he died forsaken. He descended into the earth to the place of death. 

On the third day he rose from the tomb. He ascended into heaven, to be everywhere present, unleashing a universal realm of love that will come on earth. 

We believe in God within us, the Holy Spirit of fire, life-giving breath of the Church, Spirit of healing and forgiveness, source of resurrection and of eternal life. Amen.

Prayers of the People

Reader: JoAnn

We pray for the coming of God’s kingdom.

You sent your Son to bring good news to the poor, sight to the blind, freedom to the captives and salvation to your people: anoint us with your Spirit; rouse us to work in Christ’s name. God, by your Spirit

Bring on your realm.

Send us to bring help to the poor and freedom to the oppressed.

God, by your Spirit 

Bring on your realm.

Send us to tell the world the good news of your healing love.

We pray for those who are ill or suffering, silently or aloud.

God, by your Spirit 

Bring on your realm.

Send us to those who mourn, to bring joy and gladness instead of grief.

We remember those who have died, silently or aloud. God, by your Spirit

Bring on your realm.

Send us to proclaim that the time is here for you to save your people.

God, by your Spirit 

Bring on your realm.

God, use us, imperfect as we are, to bring in your kingdom of mercy, justice, love and peace. Empower us by your Spirit and unite us in your Son, that all our joy and delight may be to serve you, now and for ever. Amen.

The Peace

Announcements

The Holy Communion

Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.   Ephesians 5:2

During the Offertory, a hymn, psalm, or anthem may be sung.

Doxology

Praise god from whom all blessings flow. Praise them all creatures here below. Praise god above the heavenly hosts. Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Amen.
(Words: Isaac Watts (1674-1748), para. of Psalm 117; Music: Old 100th, melody from Pseaumes octante trois de David, 1551, alt.; harm. after Louis Bourgeois (1510?-1561?); Licensed for Use: CCLI Copyright License 20716203; CCLI Streaming License 20716210

Representatives of the congregation bring the people’s offerings of bread and wine, and money or other gifts, to the deacon or celebrant. The people stand while the offerings are presented and placed on the Altar.

The Great Thanksgiving

The Lord is here. 

God’s Spirit is with us.

Lift up your hearts.  

We lift them to the Lord.

Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.  

It is right to offer thanks and praise.

We give you thanks, O God, for making your love evident since the very beginning of time when you spoke the word which replaced the darkness of chaos with life-giving light. A light which has nurtured generations of people, and plants and creatures, great and small. A light which reveals the fear and powerlessness caused by corrupt and evil actions. 

And so you spoke the Word which would once and for all dispel the darkness of chaotic lives. Through your love for the world the Word became flesh and lived among us full of grace and truth. The angels carolled glory to you in the highest heavens and peace to all people on earth, and we join with them and with all people to praise your holy name:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might, heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. Hosanna in the highest.

To you indeed be glory, almighty God, because on the night before he died, your Son, Jesus Christ, took bread; when he had given you thanks, he broke it, gave it to his disciples, and said:

Take, eat, this is my body which is given for you; do this to remember me.

After supper he took the cup; when he had given you thanks, he gave it to them and said:

This cup is the new covenant in my blood poured out for you; do this as often as you drink it to remember me.

And so in this great sacrament we celebrate and proclaim the mystery of our faith.

Christ has died, Christ is risen, Christ will come in glory.

Pour out your Holy Spirit on all gathered here, that we might be your light in the world. Pour out your Holy Spirit on these gifts of bread and wine, that we might be infused with the gift of your nourishing guidance.

Transform us with your nourishing grace, even as we eat of this bread and drink of this wine. Transfigure us to be your presence in the world, even as we are redeemed and reclaimed by your great love.

By your Spirit, make us one with Christ, one with each other, and one in ministry to the world, until Christ comes in final victory, and we feast at the heavenly banquet.

Through Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit in your holy Church, all honor and glory is yours, almighty God, now and forever more. Amen.

The Lord’s Prayer

And now, in the words that Jesus taught us, we pray:

Our Father, who art in heaven. hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kindgom come. Thy will be done, on Earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, and deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the Kingdom, the power and the glory,
forever and ever.  Amen.

Breaking of the Bread

Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us.

Therefore let us keep the feast.

These are the gifts of God for you, the people of God.

The congregation receives communion.

(AT THE COMMUNION: We encounter the Real Presence of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ in this Sacrament of Holy Communion. All who desire a closer relationship with God are encouraged to come forward: for a Blessing or, if you are baptized, for the Bread and Wine. NOTE: Until all restrictions have been lifted, only the bread is offered for communion.)

(Please wait for an usher until forming a distanced line in the aisle and come forward to receive from the priest.)

Prayer after Communion

Gracious God, you are the author and giver of all good things. We give you thanks for the gift of life, for the meal we shared, and for reconnecting us as your people. Keep us nourished by this meal and this community. Keep us grounded in the ways in which you feed us, and in the ways we are all hungry. We pray these things through Jesus Christ. Amen.

Blessing

May the path that Christ walks to bring justice upon the earth, to bring light to those who sit in darkness, to bring out those who live in bondage,

to bring new things to all creation: may this path run through our life. May we be the road Christ takes.

Closing Hymn

Dismissal

Prayers taken from The Church of England and https://re-worship.blogspot.com/2012/11/epiphany-worship-resource-index.html

The Altar Flowers

Michael Solter by Family

Ministers in this Service

Service Leader: Fletcher

Altar Guild/Flowers: Susan J

Verger/Tech Vergers: Hank & Shanna

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