January 3, 2017




Lectionary for the First Sunday after the Epiphany: First Lesson: Isaiah 42:1-9; Psalm 29; Second Lesson: Acts 10:34-43; Gospel: Matthew 3:13-17

Lector’s Guide, Yr. A: pp. 65-69

The Propers for the First Sunday after the Epiphany can be found at http://www.lectionarypage.net. Click on the month, then the date, and scroll down to the lesson you want.

Altar Guild Gertrude Rainwater, Beverly Abbott, Stephanie Hudak
Flower Guild Elizabeth Branch Team
Sub Deacon (8:00) Berry Rainwater
(10:30) Janet Mason
Chalicist (10:30) Paul Roman
Lectors 10:30 1st Lesson Emily Buck
2nd Lesson Paul Roman
Ushers O.J. Booker and David Buck
Acolytes Daisy Jane, Poppy Grace and Harrison Buck
Greeter/Vestry of the Day Alicia Ramfos

A Message from frDann


Thresholds and Transitions

One of the ways people know they are headed somewhere is that they step or pass through portals, doorways, or over thresholds.  That horror movies use this motif is proof that not all passage is safe or without risk.  Some portals are "points of no return."  Think Adam and Eve and the fiery sword of Genesis 3:23-24.

Other significant moments are more like a "foot in the door."  A different effort must follow that commitment or somebody ends up losing a symbolic shoe.

Even being "thrown out of the nest" is a threshold moment of decision for someone different than the one making the "commitment."

In all cases portals are known by one's passage.  The good or bad of each portal or threshold is always the possession of the one moving through or not.

This happens a bunch in the lives of churches, especially churches that are growing or healing.  The Alban Institute has written extensively about how churches teeter totter over and back at these threshold moments.  It’s pretty simple but heart-renderingly difficult to get established beyond the threshold.  It’s difficult because each next step forces old habits and practices to make way for new ways of doing things.

I worshipped in a very small parish that started a weekly email newsletter.  The "matriarch" and several members didn't "do email" and she like them received a copy in the mail.  We have the same provision here at Advent.  But all it took was one phone call from an already emailed friend.  So what was originally a tool for communicating became the symbol for "bad" communication.

Her reaction was first to be offended at being left out.  After a conversation or two with the priest (not me, BTW) and some friends she was able to identify a deeper fear under her being offended.  They were lucky that she recognized and admitted her fears.  Think of her experience as being cut from the "grapevine."

Going back to NO email newsletter didn't make sense.  But leaving that gap between Tuesday's email and Wednesday's snail mail didn't work either.  The compromise was to delay the email's transmission. That was easy.  But it wasn't until everyone was brought through the portal.

Advent is marvelously and painfully at several thresholds.  Most have to do with simple growth. Some have to do with the fuse of time burning.  And others have to do with how we forget and remember.

That we are considering budgets, vestries, committee chairs, worship leadership options, physical plant development AND maintenance is a spiritual necessity of our passage in becoming more and more of what God hopes for us to become.  That we have the moments of a new year and an annual meeting should help us to take several of the first steps need to have us on the other side.

Granted we will be taking on more than we will leave behind.  That's what it means to be a people of tradition and faith.  Our passages, whether in the election of someone we don't know to the vestry or the revision of a budget to accommodate new staffing or the appointment of new committee leadership or the redesigning the bricks in the patio depend on every step we take not just the ones that get us over the threshold.  It’s not just what we do, it’s what we do NEXT that can glorify God just as much.


  • Beginning this Wednesday, January 4th, the Healing Service will move to Wednesdays at noon in the Church.
  • This Friday, January 6th at 9 a.m., Church of the Advent will hold Morning Prayer to celebrate the Epiphany.
  • Morning Prayer will be held every Wednesday at 9 a.m. beginning Wednesday, January 11th.

Painting for Panda Packs

The St. James Catholic Women’s Club, a long term partner in our Panda Pack program, is raffling off an original painting by Madison artist Peter Muzyka to raise money for Panda Packs. Members of the Women’s Club will be at Church of the Advent this Sunday to sell raffle tickets. Tickets are $5.00 each and can be purchased from any member of the Women’s Club or at the Madison Artists Guild. The drawing will be held on January 28, 2017. Please support the St. James Women as they support us in this worthwhile program!


Due to the weather forecast, Adventures for this Friday, January 6th has been cancelled. Please do not bring any more Christmas trees to the Church. We will let you know when it will be rescheduled.

Men’s Group

The Men’s Group will meet this Friday at 11:30 at the Baptist Church to help serve food for Meals on Main. Contact Dutton Morehouse at 920-535-0139 for more information.

Caring Hands and DOK

Caring Hands will meet at 3:00pm and DOK at 4:30pm on Monday, January 9th in the Parish House. For more information, please contact Susan Kurtz at kurtzw@bellsouth.net.

An International Celebration of the Twelve Nights of Christmas

On Sunday, January 8th at 3 p.m., Kevin Kelly and the Athens Chamber Singers will perform a Twelfth Night Concert featuring songs from Appalachian folk tunes to Ukrainian carols. There will be a reception immediately following at the Parish House. Donations of plated finger foods are needed for the reception as well as help cleaning up after. Please let Allison know at adventmadison@bellsouth.net if you are able to bring something and help clean up.

Come and join the festivities as we celebrate the birth of Jesus and usher in the season of Epiphany.  Childcare will be available.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting will be held on Sunday, January 15th following the 10:30 a.m. service. All Vestry members need to have their reports in to Allison no later than Tuesday, January 10th. We will gather for food and fellowship before the meeting. Childcare will be available.

January Calendar

3          5:00p              Healing Service

4          10:00a            Theolatte

            12:00p            Healing Service

6          11:30a            Men’s Group

8          8:00a              Rite I

            10:30a            Rite II

            3:00p              Celebration of Twelve Nights of Christmas

11        10:00a            Theolatte

            12:00p            Healing Service

15        8:00a              Rite I

            10:30a            Rite II

            12:00p            Annual Meeting

January Birthdays

2          David Brown

            Judy Sanders

3          Chip Kelley

8          Thomas Rowland

11        Helen Harrell Horton

12        Lillian Eby

13        Susan Hallman

14        Bill Abbott

30        Susan Kurtz

            Frank Walsh

31        David Land

January Anniversaries

16        Pat Wells and Lisa Tyree

18        Bill and Beverly Abbott

24        Deloris and Bill Ramfos

Daughters of the King Prayer List

Listed below are the names of parishioners and friends for whom the Daughters of the King pray regularly. They also pray for persons who would prefer that their names not be published. If you would like to request prayer either published or private, please call Susan Kurtz at 706-343-1393 or kurtzw@bellsouth.net

Parishioners: Ellen Warren, Penny and Bob Lyle, Riley Tucker, Carol Blow, Ginger Kroeber, and Bill Ramfos

Family: William Wood Burriss, John Roberts, Ed Schmidt, Chandal Chenier, Tom Branch, Katie Gass, Stephen Heeny, Carey Wickland, Carol Johnson, Dorothy Adams, Francie Satterfield, Mary Bowden Griffith, Dovie Avans, Lisa Stahl, Annette Piazza, Vern Lewis and Ann Brewster

Community: Liesel Cammeratt, Marian Lizzio, Al Dickerman, Linda Seguin, Natalia Barbieri, Marie Hendrix, Marie Callahan, Chuck Bradley, Betsi Allen, Norman Askin, Liza Waganagwa-Rose, Carol Keler Strangway, Frances Dorsey, Agatha Mills, Jack Smith, Marc Goumillout, Jim Winkler, Avery Dallas, Connie Cooke, Evelyn Clayton, Glancy Brandon Stowers, Victoria Ondo, Maryann Pascal, Allen Whitson, Audrey & Richard Griffin, and Bill Player

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