Christ Episcopal Church
PO Box 67 413 West Evesham Road
Magnolia, New Jersey 08049
Phone ~ 856.783.4270

9:15 a.m. Christian Education
10:00 a.m. Service
Dear Friends in Christ,

January 6, the Feast of the Epiphany, ends the Christmas Season. Now we begin to look intently at the life and teaching of Jesus Christ. The word “epiphany” means revelation or “made manifest” (known). The identity and mission of Jesus unfolds before us in the readings for the Sundays in January andFebruary. Many of the stories we will hear are very familiar. But do we really understand the significance of what we read and hear? More importantly, does it make any difference in our lives and relationships?

We will hear of Jesus’ baptism and the calling of the first disciples. What was it about Jesus that called these men away from their daily life to follow him? Does what he has to say mean anything to us? Are
we willing or ready to give up everything to follow Jesus? Jesus will talk about repentance, the need to change directions and turn back to God. He will speak of the inbreaking of the Kingdom of Heaven (for Matthew). Does this Kingdom matter to us? If so, how are we living it out in our daily lives?

Jesus gathers a community around him. Some might say they are unlikely characters to choose for such an important mission. They were ordinary, common folk. There were no great politicians or sports stars. We don’t see any royalty or entertainment people making up this new group. What we do see, are a group of everyday people who create a new fellowship focused on Jesus and what he has to say and do.  They will change the world. Are we part of this community? Who do we need to invite to be part of it?

Later in Epiphany we will come face to face with Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Matthew covers the essential teaching of Jesus in chapters 5 through 7. There will be some hard things said and some surprising ways Jesus’ followers are asked to do and be going forward. What makes us uncomfortable as we hear this teaching? It will sound so much different from the way the world acts now. Can we honestly say we will embrace the heart of what Jesus has to say? Will we live it?

Epiphany comes with our new year. Many people are focused on what the future holds for us. Others are looking back to the past and all the trials and tribulations we have gone through in 2022. There will be our worries about what is unfolding before us ... will we suffer a recession? Will COVID raise its ugly head again? Is war on the horizon for us? Will we be able to deal with the climate changes, helping immigrants, and stopping the violence that threatens us on every side? What about living in the present?

There are many questions as we move ahead into Epiphany. It is a time for us to carefully listen and consider what it means for us to be a Christian. It’s time for us to focus on 

Jesus’ Kingdom of Heaven
and how we will be part of it. May God show us what we need to know and the way we are called to follow. Let’s be open to what the Spirit has to say to us as a community. Let’s embrace Jesus and become
his disciples once again. 

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and may we have a blessed Epiphany!  With warmest regards, I remain, faithfully yours in Christ, Fr. Pat

We are unique!

We probably never should have happened. But here we are joining two separate church communities into one and enjoying every minute of it.  Properties were sold and properties demolished but our soul remains strong. The people of Christ Church are here because we want to be a part of the “New Thing” that God has created in our midst. We are committed to outreach.  Our goal is not to amass wealth, but to use the resources we have to build our spiritual base and support those less fortunate.

Food pantries… Back packs…Christmas with Santa are just a few of our projects. Studies in Scripture, Quiet retreats and opportunities for fellowship come together to help give meaning to our Sunday  Liturgy. There are not any red carpets in our newly consecrated church building, just a stone floor ready to accommodate the wheel chairs and walkers for the disabled.

The Good Shepherd window is the focal point of our worship area. We are a community where in the words of J.S. Bach, “Sheep May Safely Graze”.  Come in and See.

Father Critelli

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