Epiphany Light

By Lyn Holt, Director of Youth Ministry

I love the season of Epiphany. It brings to my mind a vision of the light of Christ piercing the darkness on cold, dark evenings; a reminder that we must continue to seek a deeper understanding and a closer relationship with God. Epiphany is that special season when we celebrate the gift of Christ, given to all people. The gifts of the Magi represent for me, the many gifts God brings to us.

As I’ve been pondering Epiphany, I came across a New York Times article about the ways in which the pandemic has created a crisis for American children. Many adults, thanks to earned wisdom and age, have developed ways of coping with COVID changes. But our young people haven’t had the time to hone these abilities, and many of the structures for handling these difficulties are gone or have changed too much. Young people now have a greater need for spiritual touchstones, for consistency, and for emotional support as they navigate their current reality. I believe this is one of the ways in which the Church, especially St. Peter’s, is well equipped to help families deal with all this chaos and upheaval. I am grateful that St. Peter’s has deeply spiritual and passionate youth leaders to provide a “village” for our youth. Our youth leaders show up. We teach Journey to Adulthood (J2A) lessons on Sunday mornings, we get to know the youth through retreats and fellowship events, and we make every effort to provide back-up to parents who are also navigating these pandemic times.

Each week, our formation lessons teach our young people about God, the Church, and themselves. We reinforce the fact that God loves them fully and unconditionally, and we are all available to lend an ear when needed. The knowledge and breadth of experience that our youth leaders possess is remarkable. Michael Beaumont, Elsie Erneston, and Harris Holt each have more than 12 years of experience in youth ministry. John Frederick has many years of experience teaching college students and three years of experience in St. Peter’s youth ministry. Mary Gotschall, in her second year of teaching Rite 13, has the experience of participating in J2A during her own teen years. Our newest youth leader, Kari Wilson, has previously taught youth confirmation classes and is a veteran Emergency Room nurse.

It is my hope that while we’re still in the chaos of our pandemic times, our youth and their parents will take full advantage of the offerings St. Peter’s provides, to help them cope with the stress and uncertainty. I believe that we can offer the light of Christ for our young members now and when we return to “normal,” whatever that may look like.

This Week

Holy Eucharist, Rite I, 7:45 a.m., Church
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 9:00 a.m., Church
Formation, 10:00 a.m.
Holy Eucharist, Rite II, 11:15 a.m., Church and Livestream
Sunday Book Group, 2:00 p.m., Zoom 

The Daily Office
Morning Prayer, Monday–Friday, 8:00 a.m., Zoom (st-peters.org/morningprayer)*
Evening Prayer, Monday–Friday, 5:30 p.m., Zoom (st-peters.org/eveningprayer)
*Morning Prayer is offered virtually weekdays as well as in person Tuesday and Thursdays

Monday, Bible Study, 6:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Morning Prayer, 8:00 a.m., Chapel 
Wednesday, Holy Eucharist, Rite II, Noon, Chapel
Wednesday, Bible Study, 7:00 p.m., Zoom (st-peters.org/biblestudy-wednesday)
Wednesday, Room in the Inn

Join us for Worship. Our safety procedures at each service allow us to welcome all those who feel that in-person worship is safe for them at this time. Many COVID-19 protocols, including mask-wearing, are in effect. Socially distanced seating is available in the chapel. Diocesan guidelines require masks indoors at St. Peter’s for all services and other gatherings, regardless of vaccination status. 

Nursery and Catechesis of the Good Shepherd does not resume this Sunday. As we continue to monitor the spread of the Omicron COVID variant, there will be no Catechesis of the Good Shepherd or nursery services offered this Sunday, January 9. In person formation for youth (grades 6–12) and adults will still be offered. A decision regarding children’s formation on January 16 will be released next week. For questions please contact Anna Hurdle (ahurdle@st-peters.org).