You are God’s Epiphany! (1/10/21)

Posted by on Jan 10, 2021 in Sermons, UMC Shared Ministries, Worship & Prayer | 0 comments

Renewal. If there was ever a year that we needed to turn the calendar and take a breath of renewal, 2020 was it. It’s been a difficult year for all of us. And the difficulty and stress reaches into our clergy too.

To give a much deserved break to  our clergy, our Conference (the Greater NJ Annual Conference) produced a series to two “virtual”worship services which could be used during this “clergy renewal”  period on Sundays 1/3 and 1/10.  This  post presents the second of these two services. 


Like the rhythm of a heartbeat, the Christian calendar cycles through several annual “seasons,”and this period immediately after Christmas  is called Epiphany.   Epiphany recognizes the arrival of the Magi when they visited Jesus after His birth.  For us, it also marks today’s reality where God can appear to us.  It’s not necessarily in supernatural ways (like a big star or pillar of fire), but God uses the Bible, other people, and our experiences to “speak” to us.  Sunday January 6 is known as Epiphany Sunday, so the two “Clergy Renewal”services follow the topic of Epiphany.  


Week 1:  Your Epiphany from God…

GNJAC Bishop John Schol speaking at PUMC on 11/17/13)

In his first message (presented via You Tube on Sunday 1/3/21), Bishop Schol related his own personal  “epiphanies” and showed us how God speaks to us.  For God to speak to us,we must be prepared to listen.  That means that we need to:

  1. Observe
    Pay attention  to nature.  Listen to other people. Read the Bible.  As Yogi Berra said,”You can learn a lot just by watching.”
    Be open to others; don’t apply a label to them and then ignore them.  God might be using them to speak to you.
  2. Be Quite
    Put your mind and body in “neutral.”  You don’t have to empty your mind, but you can shift your focus.  If your mental “to-do list” is on your mind, write it down.  But then get away from the list.  Soak in nature.  Watch kids playing.  Temporarily lay your concerns aside and take time to just  listen. 
  3. Be Curious: 
    Ask questions and encourage curiosity in others.  Like a toddler opening drawers, always try to discover new things.  God speaks to us through our wonder and questions.  Ask, “God, what do you have for me next?”

To view the first service, click this button:   Week 1 Renewal  


Week 2:  You’re God’s Epiphany!

The first part of the message dealt with how we can receive an epiphany from God.  The second part (broadcast on 1/10/21) showed us how God can use us to become an epiphany for others.  God speaks through OUR actions and words.

The presentation is arranged as shown below. Use the time markers to select parts of the video, or just click “Play” and watch the entire service…

00:00- 05:22   Welcome & opening song: “Everlasting God”
05:22- 06:15   Opening Introductions (Bishop Schol)
06:15- 07:24   Opening Prayer (Hector Burgos)
07:24- 10:30   Announcements and comments (invest)

10:30- 13:30   Children’s Message- Remember Your Baptism (Bishop Schol)

13:30- 15:00   Scripture readings:  (Isaiah 64:1-4  and  Mark 1:4-8)
15:00- 41:35   Sermon, “You’re the Epiphany” (Bishop Schol)

41:35- 45:15    Pastoral Prayer (Bishop Schol)

45:15- 48:09   Closing music, “Come Thou Fount”
48:09- 40:10   Benediction


Explore YOUR Epiphany!

Share what this message has meant to you. The Conference arranged a virtual “Small Group” which will let you dig deeper into discovering your own epiphanies. Small Groups for each service were formed on Zoom for each week’s service (Jan 3, and Jan 10).

Two  “Small Group” sessions for the Week 2 service will be held on  Zoom on Wednesday Jan. 13.  The morning session starts at 9:30 AM, and the evening session starts at 6:30 PM.

For Zoom login links and further details, visit this page on the Greater NJ Annual Conference website: GNJ Small Groups


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For more about Worship at PUMC, click this button: Worship


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