We are wrapping up the Church Year as we begin October here at Bay Shore.
Yes, you read that correctly. The Church Year is based not on the school calendars, not on the (Gregorian) calendar year, and definitely not on our fiscal year. The Church Year is based on the lectionary, which quietly ebbs and flows from Sunday to Sunday, season to season. The lectionary, which has a three year cycle, revolves around the life and ministry of Jesus. Our readings, the seasons, the colors—all of it has been used for generations as a means to relate the story of God to the people who worship and praise him.
The Church Year begins anew on the first Sunday of Advent, usually the last Sunday of November or the first Sunday in December. This year, we will celebrate the festival of Christ the King on November 24, and Advent (our new year) begins on December 1. So, yes—we are wrapping up the last few weeks of the year.
In October, there are many lesser known festivals in the Church Year to celebrate, as well as old familiar ones like Reformation Sunday. Next Sunday, Oct. 13, we will remember the ministry of St. Luke, the great physician and author of the Gospel of Luke. Luke carefully wrote the Gospel narrative and the book of Acts—detailing many physical observations of healing. To honor his work and the work of all caregivers, Bay Shore will have a special emphasis in our worship on the 13th, with a blessing for all who provide care for others, prayers for their ministry of care, and also a special opportunity to voluntarily receive an anointing of oil for personal healing. Medical personnel, social workers—anyone who serves as a caregiver of others—is warmly welcomed to attend as your guest. For those who need healing themselves (caregiver or not!), come and hear the Word and during Holy Communion, receive a special blessing by Pastor Sarah.
Realizing that this celebration is new to Bay Shore, please know that participation in the anointing of oil will be voluntary, and the blessing for care-givers will be done as one body and will require no special efforts from those attending. We hope that you invite persons who would enjoy this focus to personally join you next Sunday at 8 and 10 a.m.
God’s peace and healing be with you all this week,