Posted by Sheila Thomasson

Dear Members of St. John’s,

In the rhythm of the church year, one of the quickest transitions occurs between Christmas and Epiphany. Only twelve days long, the Christmas season moves toward a conclusion as the story of the wise men creates a transition to the ministry of Jesus.

On the first Sunday of Epiphany, we encounter the Holy Spirit at work as John the Baptist baptizes Jesus in the river Jordan. Then, from one Sunday to the next throughout the season, we encounter different aspects of the Son of God “shining forth”—Epiphany.

Literally meaning a “shining light,” the entire season focuses on different aspects of how God’s light shines on the world through Jesus as Jesus’ ministry unfolds. While various interpreters of the Scriptures have also provided stories, the Gospels themselves form a backdrop showing how God is at work in the world.

Our congregational history at St. John’s is, in many ways, an epiphany history. At various moments in the history of this congregation, we can identify the many ways God was at work. So many things have happened in this congregation, we might even consider the word “epiphany” as a mission statement—truly through the ongoing ministry of St. John’s Lutheran Church, God has been shining here for the city of Charleston and for the world.          

Specifically, this time of transition is still producing opportunities for God’s light to shine—a call committee has been formed, the congregation is considering its mission, and God is certainly at work. And through many ministries together, God’s light continues to shape ministry in this place.

All of these things were certainly evidenced in the Christmas season. The congregation came together to show how God was working leading into Christmas and through our various Christmas activities. Our Christmas worship was truly outstanding. Many people deserve thanks for all that they did during the holiday season.

I know I join the other members of the staff as Karen and I give thanks for the gifts you provided as a congregation during Christmas time. We give thanks for the support you provide during the year as well. As a staff, new to this church and its traditions, we continue to work in ministry together. We are, after all, Epiphany people working together to make God’s Kingdom visible in the world!                               –

Pastor Scott