umcgiving

January 3—Epiphany Sunday—World Service Fund (Discipleship Ministries)

A Moment for Mission

“God gave his grace to me, the least of all God’s people, to preach the good news about the immeasurable riches of Christ.” — Ephesians 3:8, CEB

Epiphany ” is a Greek term meaning “manifestation” or “revelation.” In the church, it particularly refers to the way Jesus is made known to us. As we start the new year, the season of Epiphany asks, “Who is this Jesus who was born in a stable and is on his way to the cross?”

That first Christmas and Epiphany were exciting to some and disorienting to others. Traditions were questioned. Risk-taking, discovery and a new form of religion burst forth. Predictable behavior went out the window with the arrival of Jesus Christ. Anxiety had to have risen among the Jewish faithful.

It’s interesting that our time in the church right now feels the same. Some may call this a time of “wilderness wandering.” The old is being stripped away, and a new identity as God’s people has not yet been revealed. We find ourselves in a liminal space as a people of faith and in The United Methodist Church. It could be a time of experiment, creativity and excitement for a new journey.

On the way to Damascus, Paul experienced an epiphany. Disoriented and blinded, Paul tried to see what the future held. True epiphanies do that! They cause us to wonder.

Perhaps our epiphany is occurring, and we feel like Paul, looking for a future with blinded eyes. When Ananias laid hands on Paul, he found a new direction. May it be so for us in this new year.

— Adapted from “Epiphany Is a Liminal Season” Bishop Robert Farr, The Missouri Methodists, January 2020. Used by permission.

Offertory Prayer
Loving God, we are blessed by your amazing grace. Help us to preach the good news about the immeasurable riches of Christ. In your name, we pray. Amen.

From Discipleship Ministries: Second Sunday after Christmas Day – Holy God and Parent of us all: We have moved through this season of family and Christmas joy, and we are reminded that beyond our earthly families, you have adopted us into your redeemed family. Through the saving, redeeming work of the Incarnation, we have become heirs, and our redemption is the magnificent gift of salvation. We give our gifts, but we give ourselves as the only fitting response to your adoption of us, your rebellious children. Lead us in your way into this new year. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen. (Ephesians 1:3-14)

Newsletter Nugget
Thanks to congregational support through the World Service Fund, Discipleship Ministries assists annual conferences, districts and local churches as they win disciples to Jesus Christ and help people to grow in their understanding of God.

One key way in which Discipleship Ministries fulfills this mission is through webinars, launching a new series each month.

The “Spiritual Poverty” webinar starts on January 14. Bishop Reuben Saenz from Great Plains Annual Conference and the Rev. Tweedy Navarrete from Four Corners Native American Ministry will highlight spirituality and what it means to live in hopelessness, experience hope and share hope with others.

The next webinar, beginning on February 16, focuses on “Political Poverty.” The Rev. Levi Bautista, General Board of Church and Society, will join Discipleship Ministries for conversation on how God hears and calls the church to listen and to stand with those who go unheard.

To learn more, go to https://bit.ly.34sSDsd . Your World Service Fund gifts help provide life-changing opportunities like these to share God’s love. Thank you!

— Adapted from Discipleship Ministries website