NEWSLETTER

January 2020

 

EPIPHANY 2020

Our Epiphany history will show that we began our new church journey in January of 2008 when we started Epiphany and moved back into the old chapel building at the Museum. After a few years of worship at that location we then purchased the Chipmunk property and have been here ten years. Praise the Lord through the generosity of many we have paid off the loan.

 

Our name was chosen because it was on the Day of Epiphany that we made the decision to notify the diocese that we had become what we considered our status to be, an independent Anglican Church. Bishop Kelshaw had said it was a permissible. distinction. It was a well chosen name and we have lived in the tradition of the feast day of the church year ever since.

 

In the seasons of the Church year we begin the year with Advent and the preparation for the coming of the Christ. The birth of our Savior Jesus on Christmas is the next big feast day. Following this is the season of Epiphany that runs from Epiphany Sunday until the first Sunday of Lent. Easter is the Church’s celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus at the conclusion of Lent. These events from the nativity to the visit of the wise men to the glorious resurrection are the calendar distinctions of our faith in Jesus as the Son of God.

 

Epiphany is the feast day of the revelation of God as He proclaims the Messiah to the world. God sending his Son into the world was clearly a sign to his chosen people that their salvation was at hand with the birth of Jesus. With the coming of the Magi, and you can call them kings or wise men, whichever you prefer, we get the revelation of the mystery of Christ to the whole world by this visit from a non-Jewish source.

 

This good news is for our benefit as well as to the Jewish people. Looking to the future hope, Gentile believers are united with Jewish believers.

 

Looking at the present, Gentile and Jews are united in one body, the “church.” And looking to the past, Gentile share equally with our Jewish brothers in the promise made to Abraham that “In your seed all nations of the earth shall be blessed.”

 

Writing in Ephesians, Paul says that by God’s wisdom seen by the prophets of old and now through our Savior Jesus the mystery of salvation is fully known. God’s purpose has been achieved through Jesus Christ.

 

The “Ah ha” moment when we see the revealing of God’s plan is the “Epiphany” that shines to us through the leading of the star.

 

The Christmas stars of Epiphany of Cloudcroft are a special way to remember this festival and

rejoice in the Word made flesh.

 

Epiphany Tradition

A search of the web will reveal a few interesting facts about this festival of Epiphany and the confusion existing between it and Twelfth Night which marks the beginning of the Epiphany season of the church year. If you count off twelve days from the 25th of December you will arrive on January 5th. According to the Church of England this is Twelfth Night and the next day is Epiphany when the wise men arrived on January 6th. Other sources of counting will contend that you start the count the day after Christmas and Twelfth Night is then January 6th. Now we come to the highly important reason for this vital count down. By tradition you must take down your Christmas decorations the day before Epiphany or you will risk the omen of bad luck for the next year. According to other superstitions it is also equally tricky to take them down a day early or suffer the same consequences. If you miss this date the only alternative is to leave them up and wait until Candlemas on the 2nd of February and the presentation of Jesus in the Temple. Or by some instructional thinking you must leave them up all the next year.

     An English poem from the seventeenth century says,

          “Down with the rosemary, and so

          Down with the bays and mistletoe:

          Down with the holly, ivy, all,

          Wherewith ye dressed the Christmas Hall.”

 

LOOKING TO NEXT YEAR

You may have received in your email the letter from Bishop Mark with his plan for his retirement on 1 April of this year. I had received a phone call from the Bishop few weeks ago to alert me to the possibility of this move depending on Standing Committee approval. That seems to have been done and the retirement is set. We pray that the Bishop’s plan for his future will prove beneficial and rewarding for him and Cindy. One of the important contributions of Bishop’s Mark’s tenure has been the addition of the Mexican Churches to the Diocese. In Archbishop Beach’s newsletter he acknowledged the expansion of the Anglican Church in North America into Mexico and that has been Bishop Mark’s endeavor.

 

Put it on your prayer list to lift up Bishop Mark and Cindy Zimmerman and the Diocese of the

Southwest in the coming year.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Fred+