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Dear Friends in Valhalla Parish—

This Epiphany, I'm writing to invite each of you to journey along with the Magi. So often, at this time of year, after all the lead-up through Advent and Christmas, January can feel like a bit of a let down. We get to Epiphany—and then what? 

This year, I'm inviting you to take part in a journey through this year, guided by a star. 

The premise is simply this:

The magi followed the star to find Jesus, bringing their gifts. We too are seeking Jesus, and we trust that God both can and will use many signs (or stars) to guide us closer to the Divine presence.

If you want to participate, let me know. A reply to this email would be easiest, telling me that you would like a star. I will send you a word. And, if you'd like, I can put a star with that word on it in the mail so that you have it in your home (I cut out a lot of stars before the Bishop announced the move to online worship and don't want them to go to waste!).

You will be invited to trust the word that selects you, to think about it, to ponder it, and what significance this word might have in your life, and how God might be speaking to you through this simple message.

Please let me know if you would like to participate!

It all begins in joy and to joy it all returns. And yet, in between, a thousand deaths each day. That’s how I imagine the Magi summed it up their journey as they return to the place they once called home. 

Two years slouching towards Bethlehem and two years back into the world. In between, epiphaneia. Divine encounter. They embarkedd on a harrowing journey to give—and to receive—the gift that changes everything.  

Like us, their journey begins with a star, a spark. It begins with intuition unleashing them, leading them (leading all of us!) down  the road made only by walking: a road that inevitably, though never directly, bring them (brings us) to encounter with  all we’ve been looking for.

May it be so for you this year.

Every Blessing, 

Andrew Stephens-Rennie
Valhalla Parish Missioner

Note: The idea for Star Words is borrowed from some wonderful women in ministry down in the United States.