Congregational Care & Family Ministries

January 2021: In past years, I and others from BFUMC travel to Syracuse Home for a lively, celebratory Epiphany Service. While we are unable to do that this year, I invite each of us to pray for one another throughout this Christmas season and on the day of Epiphany for peace and healing. It has probably been hardest for those who have lost loved ones during this pandemic, and those who are in nursing homes, hospitals, and isolated at home, unable to welcome visitors. I offer this meaningful prayer from the late Ann Weems as a reminder of God’s deep love for us:

Star-Giving by Ann Weems

What I’d really like to give you for Christmas is a star…
Brilliance in a package,
            something you could keep in the pocket of your jeans
            or in the pocket of your being.

Something to take out in times of darkness,
            something that would never snuff out or tarnish,
            something you could hold in your hand,
            something for wonderment,
            something for pondering,
            something that would remind you of
            what Christmas has always meant:
            God’s Advent Light into the darkness of this world.

But stars are only God’s for giving,
            and I must be content to give you words and wishes
            and packages without stars.

But I can wish you life
            as radiant as the Star
            that announces the Christ Child’s coming,
            and as filled with awe as the shepherds who stood beneath its light.

And I can pass on to you the love
            that has been given to me,
            ignited countless times by others
            who have knelt in Bethlehem’s light.

Perhaps, if you ask, God will give you a star.

Blessings in the new year!

 -- Rev. Jeff Hodge, Congregational Care & Family Ministries