We were unable to meet on Christmas Eve due to the snow storm and some of our leaders being snowed in and unable to travel to the church. We were pleased to gather at Bethany on Christmas morning for brunch and carols and scripture. It was a joyous time to celebrate together. You can re-watch Christmas Day worship here.
On New Year’s Day the people of Clio: Bethany UMC travelled to our partner church, Otisville UMC for a combined worship service with Holy Communion. We had a bit of a technical issue so you’ll see 2 videos below. We also drew our Star Words! If you haven’t drawn a Star Word yet, stop by our office and choose one.
Pastor Kayla shares her star word and some additional info about Star Words:
The use of star words, also called “star gifts,” is a prayer practice connected to Epiphany and the new year that has been growing in popularity in Protestant churches for nearly a decade now. The idea is that a list of intention words, or guiding words, are written or printed on paper stars.
1. The Magi followed a star, which ultimately led them to Jesus. Therefore, we too use all the resources we have available to us—including creative prayer practices and intention words for the new year— to move closer to Jesus.
2. We trust that God uses multiple ways to guide us and speak to us. Star words are one such lens that might provide us a way to look for God in our midst, both actively and in hindsight.
3. We trust that it is often easy to miss God in our daily midst. Having an intention word to consider both in present days, as well as to reflect on at the end of the year, allows for us to see God in ways we may not have seen God before. This is the greatest gift.
4. We know that the most common prayer practice for many involves speaking to God as opposed to silence or contemplation. We believe that star words invite a new prayer rhythm of reflection and review that can be a powerful new way to connect with God.
5. By not looking or sorting through the star words at their selection, we practice the spiritual task of receiving. It is not we who are in control in this moment. Instead, we trust that God is present, and we let go of our desire to cultivate or control.
Start with what you know – how do you define the word? How do you already experience this word – is it negative, is it positive? What emotion does it evoke in you as you have received the word? As you think about how you experience this word in your life today, what do you notice?
What do you need to know? How is the word defined? What does scripture say? What do historic leaders have to say about this word? What is inspiring or challenging about this word to you?
How might God be calling you to stretch and grow through the lens of this word in 2023? Personal: family, friends, finances, spiritually, health and mental well-being, maybe God is calling you to something new in this season through the random-ness of the draw.
How might you be called to use this word to enlighten our journey together as a cooperative parish?
Share your star word & any reflections you have on it in the comments!