The Spirit of the Lord is Upon Me

Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Luke 4:14-21

This is the third in a four-part series focusing on refugee resettlement through Episcopal Migration Ministries. Today’s lesson focuses on our baptismal ministry to proclaim the Good News of God in Christ, to seek and serve Christ in all persons, and to respect the dignity of every human being. 

Download the lesson plans for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW EMM Epiphany 3, Year C, Younger Children
LPTW EMM Epiphany 3, Year C, Older Children
LPTW EMM Epiphany 3, Year C, Adult

I Have Called You by Name

First Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22

This is the second in a four-part series focusing on The Episcopal Church work with refugees. Today’s lesson focuses on the ways in which we are called to the ministry of refugee resettlement through our Baptism, through the work of the Holy Spirit and through passion for justice for all of God’s people.

Download the lesson plans for the First Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW EMM Epiphany 1, Year C, Younger Children
LPTW EMM Epiphany 1, Year C, Older Children
LPTW EMM Epiphany 1, Year C, Adult

The Holy Family were Refugees

The Feast of the Epiphany, Year C
Intergenerational Gospel Lesson
Scripture: Matthew 2:1-12

This week, the church celebrates the Feast of the Epiphany, which begins the six-week season of Epiphany. Epiphany recognizes the manifestation of the divine in Jesus and recalls the flight of the Holy Family into Egypt to escape the tyranny of King Herod, who ordered the Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem.

Forced to flee, Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus became what we now call refugees.

The Holy Family’s experience is mirrored today in the plight of more than 60 million displaced persons worldwide, including at least 19 million refugees. Many are in camps or cities in places such as Rwanda, Kenya and Jordan, hoping that someday it will be safe enough to return to their communities. Some, however, find that they must journey to a new country to begin again. For 70,000 refugees in 2015, that journey brought them to the United States.

The journey of a refugee is never easy. Someday these journeys may no longer be necessary; someday persecution and violence may cease to drive displacement and rob refugees of their communities and nations.

Until that day, please join Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM) in working toward safer, brighter futures for refugees.

For more than 75 years, the Episcopal Church has welcomed and supported refugees in the United States. Working in partnership with Episcopal faith communities as well as with local governments, non-government organizations (NGOs) and a network of 30 affiliate offices, Episcopal Migration Ministries provides safe passage, vital services, hospitality and friendship for thousands of refugee families resettling in the U.S. every year.

If you would like to learn more about particular groups of people The Episcopal Church and other resettlement agencies resettle, you can find up to date statistics on the status of refugees in the world using this link: http://www.unrefugees.org/. Finally, if you have time, research the status of refugees in your community. Use the EMM network affiliate map to identify a resource in your area: http://bit.ly/1swkPif.

Over four weeks – January 3, 10, 24 and 31 – Episcopal Migration Ministries is providing bulletin inserts and Lesson Plans That Work that will help you learn more about the plight of the refugee and how you can join this life-saving and life-giving ministry.

To learn more about supporting refugee resettlement on a local level, contact Allison Duvall, Episcopal Migration Ministries manager for Church Relations and Engagement, aduvall@episcopalchurch.org or visit http://www.episcopalchurch.org/emm.

Download the intergenerational lesson plan for Epiphany.

LPTW EMM Epiphany, Year C, Intergenerational

Moses is Transfigured When Meeting with God

Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Exodus 34:29-35

Moses has gone back up the mountain to meet with God and comes down with a second set of tablets. This is because he destroyed the first set when he discovered that the people had made a golden calf to worship another god. This is an opportunity for a renewal of the covenant between God and the people. The tablets contain the Ten Words or 10 Commandments which will help the people maintain the covenant. But today’s reading really focuses on the fact that Moses’ countenance or face is changed as a result of seeing God face to face. It is this evidence of encounter with the Divine that helps the people to see this is really something different. And it begs the question, how are transfigured by our encounter with the Divine?

Download the lesson plans for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW Last Epiphany, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Last Epiphany, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

God Calls Each Of Us

Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Jeremiah 1:4-10

Jeremiah is called by God to deliver difficult news during challenging times. He pleads that he is too young, but God is not accepting that excuse. Jeremiah had plenty of reason to be reluctant. But he becomes an historic prophet and serves during the reign of five different kings, before and during the exile.

Download the lesson plans for the Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW Epiphany 4, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Epiphany 4, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

Third Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Nehemiah 8:1-10

Ezra and Nehemiah are really one story told in many forms. We hear history, biography, lament, praise, instruction, poetry and celebration. In today’s passage, the people are back in Jerusalem and trying to figure out how to live faithfully as God’s people again. Ezra proclaims and interprets the Law for the people. It takes many hours but they stay and listen. Nehemiah encourages them to feast and give thanks.

Download the lesson plans for the Third Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW Epiphany 3, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Epiphany 3, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

 

The Lord Delights in You

Second Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Isaiah 62:1-5

The return from Exile back to their homeland was not pretty. God’s people had yearned for ages to return home. But when they got there, the country was in disrepair. They began to lose hope. This passage reminds them (and us) that God is not finished – there is still hope! God promises restoration and abundance and reassures us (again) that we are loved and that it will get better.

Download the lesson plans for the Second Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW Epiphany 2, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Epiphany 2, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

I Have Called You by Name, You are Mine

First Sunday after the Epiphany
Scripture: Isaiah 43:1-7

This passage from “Second Isaiah” was written during the Babylonian Exile, just as the possibility for return to their homeland was first appearing. The words are meant to be comforting and to provide reassurance that God is still with them and things will get better. Through Isaiah, God reminds the people of God’s constant presence and care, even when the people have strayed and disobeyed. Since this might be a day for Baptisms, one may also make the connection to our own living in covenant with God and God’s continued presence in our lives and those of the baptismal candidates.

Download the lesson plans for the First Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW Epiphany 1, Year C, Old Testament, Younger Children
LPTW Epiphany 1, Year C, Old Testament, Older Children

Cleaning the Temple

Third Sunday in Lent, Year B
Scripture: John 2:13-22

Events teach. Often the learning comes after the event. Jesus teaches with elements that have immediate impact as well as lingering meaning. And they usually land well outside the expected. So, with Passover looming, Jesus goes into the busy temple and proceeds to clean house. “Take these things out of here!” he demands of the money changers, the animal merchants – even those who sold doves. Then he announces: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” A temple that took 46 years to build? Could he mean the temple God has been building since the beginning of time? What “things” need to be removed from our own personal temples?

Download the Lesson Plans for the Third Sunday in Lent

LPTW Lent 3, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Lent 3, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Lent 3, Year B, Adults
LPTW Lent 3, Year B, All

Epiphanies

Last Sunday after the Epiphany, Year B
Scripture: Mark 9:2-10

Jesus’ status as Messiah is confirmed by the divine testimony that he is God’s beloved Son (9:7) and is anticipated by the shining white garments of Jesus. The three that see the transfiguration are also those who witnessed the healing of Jairus’s daughter (5:37) and will witness his agony in Gathsemane (14:33). Although this group of disciples have seen the healing and the transfiguration, they do not seem to demonstrate exceptional insight or fidelity.

The transfiguration story is a form of an epiphany, a sudden manifestation of the divine and when humans see or witness an epiphany, they generally have an ah-ha moment, followed by confusion (now what) or fear (what does this mean?) Peter (once again) demonstrates that he doesn’t “get it” and Jesus once again has to explain his death and resurrection.

Download the lesson plan for the Last Sunday after the Epiphany

LPTW Last Epiphany, Year B, Younger Children
LPTW Last Epiphany, Year B, Older Children
LPTW Last Epiphany, Year B, Adults
LPTW Last Epiphany, Year B, All