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Is Bible Boring? - Lesson 1
Wish you a blessed and wonderful new year - 2022.
For 2022, I am embarking on a special project to look at some of the very interesting themes in the Bible. Sometimes we feel the Bible is a boring book and it's not very exciting to read. So, it is out of my own curiosity, I started this a year ago. So in 2022, my plan is to write a short note on how the Bible came to be and what we see in some of the strange customs and practices found in the Bible. It will also show us why these customs and practices are important for our own spiritual growth.
The Culture Of the Bible
Jesus incarnated into our world at a specific time, place, and culture. We read all about it in the Bible, both in the Old and The New. If we understand the cultural nuances of that coming, meaning, if we know the culture of the Mediterranean and the ancient Near East we will get a better idea of how the Israelites viewed God and the world around them.
The OT Cosmology
Cosmology refers to the way we understand the structure of the universe. Israelites believed in a three-tier world, where God was up in the heavenly realm, then for us the earthly realm, and those who are dead, the underworld. This is what we read in the ten commandments. Exodus 20: 4 “4 You shall not make for yourself an idol, whether in the form of anything that is in heaven above, or that is on the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.”
The Heavens
Heaven is a place where there is water above and below. It’s called the “expanse”, raqia. Gen 1: 6-8. The heavens were supported by the mountains since they touched the skies.
The Earth
The earth was in the water, rising from it and surrounded by it. The earth is held by the sunken mountains, as we read in Samuel, Job, and Psalm.
The Underworld
It is the realm of the dead. The graves we dig were considered to be the door to the underworld. The underworld also has water and so, it is a terrible place, with the nakedness of the dead seen by God. It is a pit that is closed forever, according to Jonah 2: 5-6.
So, when you read the Bible, keep these in mind. Because there are references after references to these places all over the Old and New Testaments. People saw this as a real, tangible place. It’s not like the modern person who sees God very differently. God is not limited to the heavens, which are not separated by waters or the underworld that has the base of the mountains to support the earth. As we read the Bible, let their perceptions of God help us fine-tune our understanding of God and the Godly realm and hopes for us.
Fr. Jos
Next Week
What made the Israelites different? ...and so us?
Our Love and Admiration Today!
This Week's Heart Awards Go to These Two Amazing People
Gerald Snow & Anne Breid
Gerald Snow
When I came here four years ago, one of the first people I met was Gerald Snow. Gerald was a quiet man who observed things and was ready to engage in conversation.
He also was prepared to help anytime we needed help. As I got to know him, I found a gentle soul, a great helpful man ready to do what needed to be done. He started serving as the male member of the altar guild. He writes the birthday and anniversary cards and helps me with this vital card ministry. He is there to pray and provide any help he can anytime he can.
Unfortunately, his health is not the best these days. However, his care and love for others are! We pray that your health improves and you are able to serve the Lord many more years to come. Thank you for being the nurturer of our souls!
Anne Breid
Meeting Anne Breid was a joy. She was so quiet; I didn't know if she liked me. Then I learned she was the daughter of the former rector, and she lived in the same house I am living in right now. She was an avid supporter of the renovation of the rectory. She wanted to make sure I was comfortable at my home. She was open, honest, and direct when there were things that we needed to talk about as a church. I can't thank her enough for her unassuming ministry in the choir. She faithfully came for practice when we had a contemporary choir and then sang beautifully during communion. When we went into lockdown, she and Mark Garza recorded songs for us to have some music during online services. Her quiet ministry on the vestry, choir, ladies group, and the altar is much appreciated. Thank you, Anne, for being such a blessing to us all.
Who are the gardeners of our souls next week? Any guesses or suggestions? Send to
Happy Birthday Zelle!
You Are Invited!
What: An Open House to celebrate Zelle Atkinson's 100th Birthday
Where: St. James Parish Hall
When: Saturday, January 1, 2022
       2 t0 4 PM
Refreshments will be served. 
No gifts please! Your presence is enough!
Please wear a mask and come greet Zelle on this special occasion! 
Yoga Schedule
Yoga will be taking a break from Dec. 20th-January 1st. Penny will be back after the New Year!
Outreach News:
Thank you so much for your Advent and Christmas giving!
We appreciate your generous hearts. Because of you we can do the work of Christmas!
Because of you ..... 12 Field Families had ham in their Holiday Food Basket
             ..... 30 seniors in care facilities received Christmas gifts
             ..... 11 St. James senior members were remembered
             ..... Crossline Share Your Christmas was funded for seniors in the community
Youth and Children Sunday School
children clipart
EKC and EYC: are taking our Christmas break! We will return on Sunday, January 9th. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Happy Birthday
Brenda Monroe, Jan. 8th.
Paula Stuckey, Jan. 9th
Thelma Rutledge, Jan. 10th
Charlie Dodson, Jan. 12th.
Elaine Atkinson, Jan. 13th.
Anne Wright, Jan 17th.
Sam Hamra, Jan. 21st.
Rebecca Alderfer, Jan. 27th.
Nancy Pomeroy, Jan. 28th.
Jim Dowell, Jan. 29th.
David Hamilton, Jan. 29th.
Alec Hilton, Jan. 29th.
Maggie Thornton, Jan. 29th.
Happy Anniversary
Eric and Elaine Atkinson, January 16th.
Jim and Tessa Eggers, January 18th.
Prayers for Families This Week
Atwood, Baumlin, Bird
Flower Dedications
In thanksgiving for LaZelle’s 100th Birthday!
Given by, Eric and Elaine Atkinson.
Weekly Altar Schedule
Volunteers Schedule For Sunday, Jan. 2nd.
Altar Guild: Amie Ramsfield
Celebrant: Fr. Jos Tharakan
Deacon: Rev. Suzy Lynch
Preacher: Fr. Jos Tharakan
Eucharistic Minister 1: Julie Gillogly
Eucharistic Minister 2: Chris Dodson
First Reading: Sam Hamra  
Psalm: Lisa Pruitt
Second Reading: Eric Atkinson
Gospel: Rev. Suzy Lynch
Prayers of The People: Lisa Pruitt
Crucifer: Lisa Pruitt
Usher/Greeter: Eric Atkinson
Choir Director: