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Sunday, January 29th, 2023

The Fourth Sunday after the Epiphany

What is the First Thing Jesus Teaches (according to Matthew's Gospel)?

How to Recognize Blessedness!!

Not how to become blessed, or even to bless each other, but rather to recognize who is already blessed by God. And the import of all this is: it’s not who we necessarily think are blessed.

In our world, when we think of someone who is blessed, we most often think of someone who is powerful or famous or successful or beautiful or enviable.
But Jesus teaches us to see how God calls blessed those who are down and out, those who are distressed by their circumstances, or those who are passionate about promoting righteousness and working for peace, or those persecuted for doing the right yet unpopular thing.

Jesus urges his disciples – then and now – to look at those around us differently than the culture does. Rather than measure persons by their possessions, we are invited – nay, commanded – to see their character. Rather than merely take pity on their losses, we are invited to enter into them. Rather than judge their failings, we are invited to forgive and remind them that they are blessed by God and born for more than they’ve settled for. And rather than despise weakness, we are invited to see in it the truest point of meeting between God’s children. For God reveals God’s self to us most clearly and consistently at our places of deepest need.

God always comes where we least expect God to be in order to bless that which the world refuses to bless, to love what the world calls unlovable, and to redeem that which the world does not believe merits saving. What would it be like if we left church with new eyes, able to perceive in the needs of a neighbor not a nuisance or even something to be pitied, but rather those marks of blessedness to which we are privileged to attend?

I think if that happened, Dear Partner, our congregations would be more like the discipleship community Jesus founded all those centuries ago, fashioned by God’s grace.to be different from the world around us, to be places of forgiveness, mercy, grace, and goodness. And I think we might find others attracted to join us. Not all, mind you. There will always be folks who have a hard time recognizing that freedom comes from letting go, that strength shows itself in vulnerability, and that safety comes through trust and mutual regard.

Jesus points us to recognize that God’s kingdom isn’t a place far away but is found whenever we honor each other as God’s children, bear each other’s burdens, bind each other’s wounds, and meet each other’s needs. To be human is to be inescapably fragile and vulnerable, and it turns out that the surprising character of God isn’t to reject these things but rather to gather them all into a divine embrace.

Blessed are the poor in spirit: those who mourn, the meek, the pure in heart, as well as those who hunger and thirst for righteousness and who are persecuted on Christ’s behalf. It’s quite a list. And blessed are those, we might add, who see the blessings of God in their neighbor’s need and give thanks they were privileged to meet them.

Not initially an easy word to accept, but ultimately a true word that has the capacity to transform, create, and grant new life.
The Reverend Ken Feske image plus signature

This Sunday

Ken will be preaching on Matthew 5

Music by
Jubal Joslyn, tenor
Chris Fenstermaker, piano
Cathryn Wilkinson, piano and organ
Read more.

Small Groups

Men's Bible Study
The Men’’s Bible Study continues the study of Revelation with assistance from N. T. Wright’s book Revelation for Everyone.

Men’s Bible Study meets Thursdays at 10:30am, in the Multi-Purpose room & ZOOM

For more information or zoom link contact Bob Axley.
Women's Insights on Faith
Women's Insight on Faith meets
first and third Thursday's.

Hosted by Mia Jarick at her home in Pacific Grove.

For more information contact
Mia Jarick
Bible Study
Bible Study is held each Sunday at 9:00 am in the
Multipurpose Room where the topic is the sermon
Bible lesson of the day.
envelopes

Offering Envelopes

Assigned personal numbered offering envelopes for 2023 are available for individuals and families.
Contact Adam Hale at
adamhale@churchintheforest.org
to sign up to receive yours.
women sitting

“Breathe”

Women’s retreat

Saturday February 18, 10:00 to 3 :00
at Church in the Forest

Registration can be done on Sundays on the sandwich board or
by emailing Melanie at mellydees1@gmail.com

This will be a time of reflection and fellowship. We will learn about what we breathe in, what we hold onto and what we breathe out. Are there new ways of looking at things in our lives?

Cost: $25.00 to cover lunch and beverages; make checks out to Church in the Forest with the notation “Retreat"

Led by Rev. Melanie.
Lent

Lenten Vespers
and
Soup & Salad

March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
4:00-5:15pm
in the Multi-purpose Room
Watch a video filmed in the Holy Lands with commentary.
Group reflection/conversation
Share a meal

ash wednesday

February 22

Personal reflection and imposition of ashes with Pastor Ken
9am, noon and 4pm
in the Sanctuary

Annual Budget Meeting

February 12

11:20am

meeting
Save the Date

Sunday
February 5
11:15—12 noon
“A Box of Tin Whistles”
Come up the stairs to the balcony for an up close view of how the organ works. Cathryn Wilkinson will share a few historic moments in the development of the organ and describe a little bit of the organ builder’s art. Hint: It’s more than just a box of whistles!
Since the balcony is small, we can accommodate the first 12 folks. A repeat performance will be scheduled at a later date if there is more interest.

February 12
11:20am
Annual Budget Meeting

Saturday
February 18
Women's Retreat
10:00 - 3:00 at CitF

February 22
Ash Wednesday
Imposition of Ashes, 9am, noon, 4pm

March 1, 8, 15, 22 and 29
Lenten Study and Soup/Salad
Wednesday 4:00-5:15pm
“No Greater Love” a walk through Christ’s passion enhanced by video footage from the Holy Lands.


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Social Distanced Options

For those that are immune compromised, immune sensitive, concerned about the virus or just prefer to stay at home, we offer a recorded version of our Sunday services on our webpage churchintheforest.org!

Click here to listen to listen to the most recent service or go to churchintheforest.org and look for the grey button for Last Sunday's Service (see image below, lined out in red)
Listen to Last Sunday
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Church in the Forest
P.O.Box 1027
Pebble Beach, CA 93953
831-624-1374
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