To the Members and Friends of St. John’s, Irmo:
Coats! Coats! Coats! We need your coats. Big coats. Little coats. Wool coats, Cotton Coats. Polyester coats. Short ones. Long ones. Red ones. Blue ones. Fancy ones. Plain ones.
February and March are usually the coldest months of the year in the Midlands and there are many people who don’t have a coat to keep warm. In response to this need, we are collecting as many coats as possible so that “Sharing God’s Love” can distribute them to those who need them. The gospel writer Luke quotes John (the Baptist) in the third chapter, “Whoever has two coats must share with anyone who has none….” The writer of Hebrews expresses similar sentiments, “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.” (Hebrews 13:16). We ask you to bring your coats, or a blanket by the church the next two Sundays, and on the 10th (second Sunday of the month) we will bless them and get them to “Sharing God’s Love” we thank you in advance for your contribution to keep our neighbors warm.
Besides the cold weather, when we think of the month of February, we often think of Valentine’s Day on February 14. This day is named after St. Valentine, about whom little is known. Scholars do know he was a priest and maybe a bishop. He was once under house arrest and restored the sight of the judge’s daughter by laying his hands on her. The judge, his family, and servants, totaling 44 people were then all baptized. During the eighteenth century, two Englishmen noted that St. Valentine’s identity was practically unknown, suggested that Valentine’s Day be created to replace a pagan holiday known as Lupercalia. Because it was believed that birds paired in mid-February, the holiday became associated with romance. Although legends vary concerning St. Valentine, the day recognizing him is widely recognized as a day for romance and devotion. So, Valentine’s Day had its origins as a religious holiday.
I bring this to your attention because so many of our holidays have religious origins and that if celebrated, we need to remember how they got started. Whether some people like it or not, we are surrounded by God’s presence in our lives.
As always, I thank you for being the church, the small church!
See all of you in church Sunday!
In His Service,
John Derrick, Pastor