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Is Bible Boring? - Lesson 3
Cutting Away The Unwanted Parts of Us!
Circumcision is mentioned nearly 100 times in the Bible. Whatever be our feeling about that, it is absurd that this is the word that found such importance in the bible. Why?
While circumcision was a symbol of God’s covenant with Abraham, this was not unique to the people of Israel. The religions and people of the time practiced this custom as well. Jeremiah 9: 25-26 “The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will attend to all those who are circumcised only in the foreskin: Egypt, Judah, Edom, the Ammonites, Moab, and all those with shaven temples who live in the desert. For all these nations are uncircumcised, and all the house of Israel is uncircumcised in heart.” It was practiced in Syria and Phoenicia dating back to 2200 BC. Josh 5: 2, 9 “The Lord said to Joshua, “Today I have rolled away from you the disgrace of Egypt.” And so that place is called Gilgal to this day.” Joshua commanded his men to be circumcised to let go of the blemish of Egypt.
We all believe the birth of Isaac miraculous. That’s because both Abraham and Sarah were old and couldn’t have borne a child, but in their old age, they became parents of Isaac. When God asked Abraham to be circumcised, it was more than an act of purification, it got associated with the miracle of the birth of Isaac that happened later. All men and women knew from then on, circumcision is to symbolize the miracle God performed for the people of Israel through Abraham, Sarah, and Isaac.
The entire existence of the people of Israel began with the miracle of the birth of Isaac. Circumcision was a way of reminding the people that they were brought forth through the miracle of Isaac and they owe it to God. It is like Baptism.
If baptism does not remind us of this miracle of rebirth, or the miracle of freedom from sin, then it is as well be like that of the gentiles or pagans. We all need to be circumcised of our pride and unawareness of the miracle of our lives. Paul compares Baptism to circumcision to remind us how important it is for us to set ourselves apart through removing what makes us less than the child of God.
Fr. Jos+
Our Love and Admiration Today!
Martin King Luther, Jr.
“Everybody can be great...because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” ― Martin Luther King Jr.
This Monday is Martin Luther King Jr day. He is an example, a challenge, a prophet, and a leader for the world. Even after his death, he talks. He speaks sufficiently loud for those who want to hear or are willing to live a holy life. His voice is deafening to those who are unwilling to examine themselves. For some, he is a disturbing figure, not because of anything he said or did, but because of how he looked!
Today I invite you to admire this great man and forget about how he looked. Listen to what he continues to say and has said while alive. Celebrate Martin Luther King Jr and his legacy and I promise you, you will be blessed for it.
Birthday Offerings:   
Many Episcopal Churches throughout the country remember their congregants with a special prayer during their birthday week. St. James does! 
Your Birthday Sunday is a wonderful time for each of us to give a special birthday offering to celebrate and give thanks for another year of life. You might remember the little needlepoint church that we previously put our offerings in. Covid has changed how we give but it doesn't keep us from continuing this lovely tradition. Whether you give $1 or $.25 per year of life, your gift is greatly appreciated!
This week, we were able to send $500 to "Wish I May" which is a charitable organization that provides birthday party supplies to families who otherwise could not have a celebration. Depending on the family, the children might receive, a small gift and a cake. Use your special day to make sure a child has one too.
 Outreach Grants: 
The St. James Outreach Committee applied for two grants in November to help fund projects that are near and dear to our hearts. And WE GOT BOTH!
#1 Southern Deanery Grant - $2000.00 awarded to help fund the Field Elementary Backpack Food Program for 2nd semester
#2 The International Outreach Grant - $1000.00 awarded to Episcopal Relief and Development for Combating Covid 19 in communities living in extreme poverty.
This $3000.00 is given to these organizations in our name. What a way to show our love and care for our neighbors!
Youth and Children Sunday School
EKC and EYC this week we will learn about spiritual gifts and how God gives each of us special gifts and talents. Also, we will learn about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and how he used his special gifts to promote equality. Join us at 9:15 am. (K-5) or after church (6-12th).
Celebrations & Prayers This Month
Happy Birthdays
Brenda Monroe, Jan. 8th.
Paula Stuckey, Jan. 9th
Charlie Dodson, Jan. 12th.
Elaine Atkinson, Jan. 13th.
Anne Wright, Jan 17th.
Jennifer Alderfer, Jan. 20th Sam Hamra, Jan. 21st.
Rebecca Alderfer, Jan. 27th.
Nancy Pomeroy, Jan. 28th.
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
Britt, Carney, Chesman/Canales
Flower Dedications
To the Glory of God.
Altar Schedule - February 9th
Altar Guild
Julie Gillogly
Tammy Larimore
Celebrant & Preacher
Fr. Jos Tharakan
Deacon & Gospel Proclamation
The Rev. Suzy Lynch
Eucharistic Minister 1
Eucharistic Minister 2
Chris Dodson
Julie Gillogly
1st Reading
2nd Reading
Sam Hamra
Lisa Pruitt
Chris Dodson
Prayers of the people
The Rev. Suzy Lynch
Acolyte (s)
Lisa Pruitt
Michael Bishop-Jones

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