Happy New Year. Happy Fresh Start. Happy New Beginning. Happy Epiphany.

Epiphany: the revealing of Christ to the Gentiles. Secularly, the word, with a “little e” loosely means a bright idea revealed. It is perhaps exciting to think that in this time of new beginnings, each of us might have significant, transforming epiphanies in 2014 that spur us further on our spiritual journeys. They can, you know, if we ask God’s help in discerning their meaning and for courage to act on the response we hear from that prayer. Remember that God will equip the willing.

The transforming power of Christ is alive and well within the parish of St. Andrew’s. Witness the baptisms, confirmations, newer parishioners becoming involved in many ministries and serving in a myriad of ways. Each time we step out of our comfort zone in the name of Christ, we risk transformation. Each time we refuse to do so, we risk dry rot!

St. Benedict of Narsius said we should seek to see the face of Christ in everyone we meet. Jesus said that if we have served the least of our brethren, we have served him. What possibilities for transformation are being revealed to you? How are you responding? If you have an idea for either inreach or outreach service and would like to explore possibilities, please contact me. If you feel a restlessness to serve but are unclear what to do about that, please contact me.

Martha Gallagher would like to hear from you if you would like to be part of a team to provide food and/or other assistance to parish families when there is a crisis, such as a hospital stay, a death, etc. She may be reached at 281-501-2294 or mgg0413@gmail.com. 

We have begun collaboration with the Housing Area Community Services (HACS) agency to reach homeless persons in our community. Each month the HACS van will park in front of St. Andrew’s House while sack lunches are being distributed to let recipients know services and resources available through their agency. Located at 18th Street and Seamist, HACS offers healthcare (including AIDS testing, pediatrics, and women’s health services), case management, and referrals for housing and other resources.

January marks the end of the 12 days of Christmas and introduces Epiphany on January 6 as the Christian feast day that celebrates the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ. What a marvelous time to reflect on our Christmas past and the future year. As of early December (the Voice is prepared a few weeks in advance of publication), we were down on pledges even with 9 new additions giving us a total of 70. Further contacts will be made to see if we can bolster our rolls and not cut the budget. All of your participation certainly is appreciated. It is never too late to pledge and our St. Andrews community certainly would appreciate you commitment at any time.

During 2014, the Stewardship Committee will be undertaking some efforts to do its part to realize the vision of St Andrew’s of ‘Being A Caring Community’. We plan to reach out to our parish - You - to make sure that all is well with you and that we have extended a hand to all of those that we have not heard from for a while. February will be our first “Attend Church Month” to see who we have heard from and then in March to reach out to those we haven’t. God Bless. Jerry Gallagher, Stewardship Chair, jcg0151@gmail.com