NEWS FOR THE WEEK OF December 10, 2014
|As we await the Coming One, we also welcome you. Find your place at the Table this Christmas Eve.|
|In Praise of the Small Church|
|The following article by The Rev. Peter Dodoma, St. Philips Harrodsburg, appeared in the Harrodsburg Herald.|
Last Sunday I had the chance to do a pulpit swap with the Episcopal church in Hazard, KY. The priest who oversees that congregation came to Harrodsburg & preached at St. Philip's. I got up early and traveled southeast into a beautiful, Appalachian fall day in Perry County.
St. Mark's is small: they have about 15 people in their church. They're tucked away on a side street of Hazard: you have to know where you're going to find them. With a congregation that small, it's hard for them to pay for a permanent priest.
One priest from Lexington coordinates services at St. Mark's: she makes sure that a priest is there at least once a month to preach and serve communion. The other weeks St. Mark's people hold a prayer service, read Scripture, and plan how they're going to tackle all of their work in their community.
St. Mark's may be small, but they are incredibly vibrant: a real powerhouse in Perry County. Here's a sample of what they do:
* As soon as Sunday worship was finished, some of the church members were headed for the local Veteran's home. They help prepare and serve home-cooked meals for these men and women.
* There was chili cooking during the church service. Hazard has a homeless shelter and the church provides a home-cooked meal for the shelter once a month. Their evening to provide was last Sunday.
* Hosting NA & Nar Anon groups. Just like Mercer County, Perry County has big problems with drug use and addiction. This little congregation opens their church to meetings throughout the week, doing what they can to help change this situation.
* Backsnack program. This little group fills about 20 backpacks each week, ensuring that some of the poorest children in Perry County have food for the weekend.
Whew! And I'm sure this is only a partial list of what these amazing Christians are doing for God's Kingdom in SE Kentucky.
Why write about this? Because our society tends to think that 'bigger is better.' Whether it's a bigger car, bigger home or bigger church attendance, we almost instinctively think that God has definitely blessed us or our work when the numbers are big. When the numbers are smaller, we may ignore them or wonder why God is not blessing that person or organization.
The truth, as I believe St. Mark's points out, is that God's blessings come in all shapes and sizes. Whether there are 5 people or 500 people sitting in the pews, God can use us perfectly for his purposes. As God reminds Jeremiah: "Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you." (Jeremiah 1.5) It means that God crafts each of us for specific work. God has plans that only you can fulfill: work that only you can do.
I believe small churches are a critical part of carrying God's love to the world and if you're a part of a St. Mark's- sized group, I commend you for your strength and encourage you to listen carefully for God's voice and to go boldly where God leads you.
|Leadership Training Offered In Central KY January 9-10|
|Diocesan Leadership Training will be held at St. Michael's Church in Lexington Friday evening January 9 and Saturday, January 10th. Attendance is necessary at both sessions. Those who are interested should contact the Office of Leadership Development, Dr. Kay Collier McLaughlin (firstname.lastname@example.org or 859-252-6527) as when groups are filled, a waiting list will be developed.|
- The 119th Annual Convention of the Diocese of Lexington will be held at Morehead Convention Center (MCC), 111 East First Street, Morehead, Kentucky on February 19-21, 2015. For more information visit diolex.org.
- Mission house will be closed December 24-January 1, 2015.
- The Link will be on hiatus December 24 and December 31. The next issue will be January 7.
The Diocese of Lexington's Annual Acolyte Festival: January 31
Mark your calendars for January 31, 2015. The Acolyte Festival starts at 9:30AM and includes a Celebration Eucharist with the Bishop, workshops, Acolyte Olympic Games, and lunch. It will be held at Christ Church Cathedral this year. Cost is $10 for lunch per individual and a $5 fee per church.
|Mission Trip to Guatemala: Article 2|
| The Diocese of Lexington invites all high school age youth and young adults to attend it's first Youth-Young Adult Mission trip to Guatemala City, Guatemala to work in an orphanage, Hope For Tomorrow.|
Our journey to establish a children's home in Guatemala that would provide a nurturing environment for abandoned and orphaned children began in 2003. That vision is now a reality! Hope For Tomorrow Children's Home provides a stable family group to meet the physical, educational, medical, psychological, nutritional and spiritual needs of each child. As a Christ-centered program, we are working to provide a spiritual climate that encourages each child to realize God's call and ensure opportunities to increase their spiritual growth. Come see the amazing things God is doing through Hope For Tomorrow Children's Home.
To read about recent mission trips, visit their web-site here.
A Candlelight "Blue" Christmas with Pleasant Company
Christ Church Cathedral, 166 Market Street, Lexington, December 21
A Ceremony of Carols
Christ Church Cathedral, 166 Market Street, Lexington, December 22
Christmas at the Cathedral
Christ Church Cathedral, 166 Market Street, Lexington, December 24-December 25
The Cathedral Domain, 800 HWY 1746, Irvine, December 27-December 30
Clergy Day (more information to come)
Renowned Scholar Gail O'Day will lead a day on "Preaching the Gospel of John in Lent, Holy Week, and Easter"
Friday, January 16, 10am-2pm, Good Shepherd
Ordination to Priesthood - Andrew Hege, Good Shepherd
Saturday, January 16, 11 am, Good Shepherd
Ordination to Priesthood - Kate Byrd, Christ Church Cathedral
Saturday, January 24, 2pm, Christ Church Cathedral
The Electric Revival - Youth Dance & Lock-In
Trinity Episcopal Church, 326 Madison Ave., Covington, January 17-18
The Church of the Nativity, Maysville
The Rev. Michael Henderson, Rector
St. Andrew's Church, Fort Thomas
The Rev. Jeffrey Queen, Rector
17 Dec. Carol Ruthven P
18 Dec. Phillip Haug P
20 Dec. Margaret Shanks P
21 Dec. Donna Barr D
Cynthia Duffus P
Philip Linder P
Johnnie Ross P
22 Dec. E. Dana Hardwick P
We pray for beloved clergy experiencing medical concerns: Jay Pierce.
We pray for the friends and family of those who have departed: John Madden and John Dews.