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419 Cedarcroft Road         Baltimore, Maryland 21212       410-433-4811
www.nativitycomforter.org    office@nativitycomforter.org
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Today we celebrate the Feast of the Presentation, also known as Candlemas. Jesus and Mary take baby Jesus to the temple to give thanks to God for his very life. We hear the Song of Simeon and Anna, faithful servants of God who have been waiting their whole lives for this moment. It falls forty days after the birth of Jesus and is also called the Purification of the Virgin Mary.

Some people bring all their candles to the church to be blessed for the year ahead. Others say we have to take our Christmas decorations down now. Oh well, I'm not ready to do that yet. You decide. LOL.

Thanks to Jody Johnson for her reminder to give thanks for groundhogs this day, but let's give them their space and privacy. They have a more important job to do, and as it turns out, they aren't that good at forecasting the weather anyway. Read her thoughts below.

Peace,
Pastor Stewart
Pastoral Notes
Please keep Jonathan Pearce in your prayers as he battles COVID-19. He is in critical condition at the temporary Convention Center facility. Esther and Danielle appreciate your love and support.

We extend our deepest sympathy to Neal Baroody upon the unexpected death of his father Samuel Abraham Baroody yesterday afternoon. You may remember that Neal and his siblings lost their dear mother in July after an extended illness. 

Lord, you now have set your servant free 
   to go in peace as you have promised;

For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior, 
   whom you have prepared for all the world to see:

A Light to enlighten the nations, 
   and the glory of your people Israel.

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:  
   as it was in the beginning, is now, and will be for ever. Amen.

 

  • Wednesday Evening Prayers continue at 7:30 pm. Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 82573335080#.
  • If you missed Church on Sunday, you can watch it here or below.
  • A Baltimore Sun article on Memorial Episcopal Church's reparations fund is here. Read more on their website.
  • Here is yesterday's Chair Yoga Class with Linda Mcgill. 
  • Please join us for our Outreach Summit immediately after the 10:30am service on Sunday February 8! More below.
A Word on Behalf of the Groundhog
on Groundhog Day                                                       
by Jody Johnson
       The humble but relatively large rodent, Marmota Monax, the groundhog, is also known as a whistling pig, woodchuck, woodshock, marmot (hence the genus name), and land beaver. The species name, Monax, is an Algonquian name for the woodchuck, which means "digger". It is native to North America and is the celebrity animal featured on February 2. This shy animal burrows 6 feet down into the ground to make a 20 feet long tunnel often with two to five exits. They mate in early March to late April, produce an average of five initially hairless offspring, and usually live three years in the wild. They tend to be solitary but sometimes live in colonies, where one might see a groundhog standing guard, betraying a high pitched whistle (hence, “whistling pig”) when alarmed. Farmers and horse owners are glad to get rid of woodshocks because their burrows can cause a misstepping horse to break a leg and a farmer’s tractor to embed in the burrow. 
      Groundhogs naturally emerge from their burrows occasionally during winter and retreat back to hibernation after taking a quick survey of the terrain. From this simple behavior, Homo sapiens (that’s us ----the humans) has interpreted that the groundhog makes some sort of weather assessment on the status of winter’s longevity when they emerge from the burrow. Humankind’s myth states winter will last 6 weeks longer than February 2 if the woodchuck sees its shadow. (REALLY?? Who makes up this stuff?)
     The whistling pigs that live in Gobbler's Knob in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania are awakened on February 2 to approaching vehicles, loud music, dropped tailgates, the quick exhales of opened beers, and a host of people laughing, calling, screaming, singing, stomping, stumbling, and generally wreaking havoc in their otherwise quiet neighborhood. At some point, a marmot sees a hairy arm with a glove advance down its burrow and grab it by its back as it is trying to run away. The terrified land beaver is hauled into the light and is held high for all the humans to survey. Expert humans determine if the sun is shining or not, and the terrified creature has to endure the party until everyone is satisfied that the longevity of winter has been determined. Then after more loud noises, celebrations, and general merriment (to the humans) and terror (to the groundhogs), “Punxsutawney Phil” is allowed to return home to his trembling subterranean mate. Homo sapiens then fill their vehicles, chatter about the day’s events, and leave their trash blowing in the wind. The woodchucks stay low, hoping that stillness falls again and they can get back to their marmotish activities.

       Everyone has heard “how much wood could a wood chuck chuck if a wood chuck could chuck wood?” I ‘d like to rewrite this jingle: How much ground could a groundhog hog if a groundhog could hog ground? After the events on Groundhog Day in Gobblers Knob, I am betting those groundhogs are thinking about how to amass larger plots of land to secure more privacy.



Outreach Summit February 7

Please join us as we gather to plan our outreach work in Baltimore and beyond. We will meet on Sunday, February 7 following our 10:30 worship service. We have a long history of generously and faithfully serving the communities beyond our church. Our outreach work helps us fulfill Jesus’ call to support our siblings in need. We have a long tradition of supporting programs including: 
  • GEDCO - the CARES Food Pantry and Ascension Homes 
  • Lutheran World Relief Fund & Episcopal Relief and Development
  • Baltimore International Seafarer’s Center and Rebuilding Together Baltimore 
  • Salvation Army, Diocese of Jerusalem, and so much more!
Our “Summit” will include: 
  • Presentations and reflections about our current community work
  • Discussion about other potential opportunities to engage in outreach work
  • The formation of a team of people who will continue to carry out our outreach work 
One thing is certain: there is plenty of need in our world. Let’s gather together, pray, talk and commit to the future of our Outreach Team’s service to God’s most beautiful world. Contact Nancy Fenton for more information. 
 

Contact the church to pick up you copy for $20
or order from your favorite book store or
online here.
 

Be Still and Know....

Linda Macgill shares the Thursday Evening Mediation Class recording here. This is a very healing Yoga Nidra, so feel free to listen as often as you like. The recording will be available until next Thursday. See link below for tomorrow's class.

 

CARES Donations Needed

Here are the updates needs at the Food Pantry:Dish soap
  • Laundry soap
  • Toilet paper
  • Baby diapers (size 5 & 6 in particular)
  • Baby wipes (we currently have none)
  • Adult diapers (women's large sizes)
Thursday Evening Meditation Class
Our meditation class will be a 45 minute Yoga Nidra on Thursdays from 7:30 pm to 8:15 pm. This will be a very relaxing meditation; turn off your video and listen to my voice. Yoga Nidra offers us many benefits and allows us to be more relaxed and better equipped to handle the difficulties in life. This class is offered to you free of charge. It is my way to give back to our Church community, while helping us all strengthen and unite together. To join the class please click on the hyperlink below under Join Zoom Meeting, you may be asked to enter a passcode: yoga Looking forward to spearheading this class and making it a class that we can all look forward to each week; where we will focus on our breath, bring our minds too stillness, so that we can go inward and feel the grace and peace that lies within us all.
Linda Mcgill
Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 410 236 9650.  Passcode: yoga
One tap mobile +13017158592,,4102369650# 
If you missed Sunday's service, find it by clicking the link above.
Here are all the Zoom links for our online activities.
These links should remain the same each week.

Sunday Worship @ 10:30 am
Followed by Coffee Hour

Click here to join or call in +13017158592, 81549645294#.
You can also watch the live on 
YouTube.


Monday Chair Yoga @ 10:00 am
Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 4102369650#
Leader: Linda Macgill, 410-235-3612 or 410-236-9650 or email.
Last Monday's Recording is here.

Wednesday Healing Prayers @ 10:30 am
Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 87331904395#

Wednesday Night Live @ 7:30 pm
Compline Evening Prayers and Conversation

Click this link or call 1-301-715-8592 then enter 82573335080#.

Thursday Morning Bible Study @ 11:00 am
Click here to join  or call 1-929-205-6099 then enter 88586024640#
 
 

The Delaware-Maryland Synod of the ELCA has worship here on this website. The Episcopal Diocese of Maryland worships virtually at 11:00am at the Cathedral of the Incarnation. All services are cast on this worship page. Watch Washington National Cathedral's worship here.
 

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