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The Magazine of The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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Shining a light on Epiphany

Congregations throughout the ELCA continue to create or discover meaningful ways to celebrate the Epiphany of our Lord, which is Jan. 6 (a Sunday in 2013).

Donna Wright, an ELCA pastor, remembers the year at Lord of Love Lutheran Church, Omaha, Neb., when the worship planning team decided to focus on the theme "Light to the Nations." 

Each of the weeks in the Season of Epiphany featured a different country, she said. The highlight was communion bread from those areas: naan from India, pita from Greece, tortilla from Mexico. Each Sunday's bulletin included a paragraph about that country. And every week a nation was included in the prayers of intercession.

Worshipers found this practice meaningful, said Wright, now interim pastor of Redeemer Lutheran Church, Jamison, Pa., except the Sunday they had Korean bread. "The altar guild had purchased bread from a Korean bakery that came in a clear plastic wrapper with a lot of Korean writing on it. When I broke the bread open at the early service, I was caught off guard when I realized it was a Korean cinnamon roll. There was a lot of chuckling at the altar rail."

At Trinity Lutheran Church, Lilburn, Ga., Epiphany worship is "quick and kid friendly" because of the number of children attending, said Dale Sillik, pastor. "We gather in the sanctuary under the star (some glow sticks in a balloon on a fishing pole) and follow it outside behind some of our kids dressed as magi, stopping to mark the door of the church," he said.

Then worshipers move on to the church's outdoor labyrinth, where they add twigs of greens to the small and safe bonfire, and end by making s'mores. They have simple liturgies as they begin, at the door and at the fire, Sillik said.


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