Epiphany Sermon 2023, “Shining Hope” by Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly

View on YouTube. Subtitles (Closed Captioning) available.

In addition…

“The magi were a Median Kurdish priestly caste, or tribe who rose to prominence in Ancient Persia.” –https://goldcountrymedia.com/news/71455/just-who-were-the-three-wise-men-from-the-east/

The magi were a Median Kurdish priestly caste or tribe who rose to prominence in Ancient Persia.”Matthew’s wise men, or magi–the only word of Persian origin in the original Greek Bible were evidently priests of Zoroastrianism, which was the official religion of Persia…” nytimes 

#WeekendPlans: “Shining Hope” w/@ChaplainSherrie 1/8/23

Please join us at 10:30 am, for fellowship and 11:00 am, for zoom church service this Sunday, January 8, 2023, with Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly. The title of the service is “Shining Hope: Celebrating the Epiphany of the Lord.” A zoom link will be provided to church members and their contacts.

Moon, sky, clouds and engine from plane window (c) Marguerite Panyko 2022

#SermonNotes & Video: “Expecting the Best” by @ChaplainSherrie

“Expecting the Best”
Sermon notes from Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly
The New Church of Montgomery, via zoom
January 3, 2021

The new year has begun and the light has come. Aha! The light has come. We are overjoyed by the new, the bright, the wide possibilities before us. 

Indeed, this just past year, 2020, has been a difficult year for many people, if not all of us. It has been full of illness and challenges. So the good news of the Epiphany is a refreshing welcome. A time of blessings, indeed.

Paul alerts us to the mystery that will soon be revealed as the coming of Jesus Christ. The depth of this mysterious gift is direct access to God, our Lord on high. To know God and God’s love.

In the gospel, we hear of the familiar figures of the three wisemen—three men on a pilgrimage. From the East-following the bright star at night.

They found where the star had stopped and discovered a newborn baby in a manger, in swaddling clothes, in a feeding trough meant for hay and grain for the farm animals.

The gifts they brought to the babe, the son in Mary’s arms, were gold frankincense, and myrrh. They brought their best to him. Gold, signifying the good, frankincense, signifying internal truth from good, and myrrh signifying external truth from good.

These wandering kings recognized the Divine in this tiny human child, and already understood the amazing and grace-filled future that was His to unfold in the year to come.

The magic of a new year is the richness of potential. It is a time of expectation. A full, momentous time mostly unknown.

Because it is a new year, 2021, a new time, and a time full of anticipation, rightly it is a time for expecting the best, It is a time when we are glad to be refreshed and time to hope for the very best that is possible in the new year to come.

We are full of hopes and possibility, even dreams. Hope that the Covid-19 vaccine will work and cure a terrible illness which has caused so much suffering, illness and death. To date, over 2 million cases have been confirmed the USA, and now after 1762 deaths yesterday, a total of over 350K people have tragically died in our country. Over 1.83 million, worldwide. Hopes that people’s health will be restored and their broken families healed anew. And hopes that our divided country will be restored and united.

What are your hopes? And what are your dreams? What do you wish would happen in this new year, 2021?

Martin Luther King, Jr. is known for his stirring and memorable speech, “I Have a Dream!”
The good news of Epiphany is that we all can follow a Holy Star and we all can dream dreams, too. Dreams can be wide, far flung and global. They can involved our country as well as our states cities and towns. Of course, they can involve our individual families and ourselves.

Today’s message is broad and hopeful. You are invited to Expect the Best, as well as rolling up your sleeves and working for it. You are invited to rejoin and to celebrate. 2020 is past, and the new year has come.
What will you celebrate?

How will you celebrate?

Will you celebrate with others?

Or by yourself?

Will you plan the year?

Season by season?

Month by month?

Week by week?

Or let it unfold naturally? Day by day? Hour by hour? Minute by minute?

A new year is a joyful gift full of opportunity and promise…
Life is yours. Full for the taking and the making…
Embrace it fully— be present now—be in the Holy Presence, and expect the best!


#WeekendPlans: “Expecting the Best” with @ChaplainSherrie

Please join us Sunday, January 3rd, 2021, over zoom, for our Epiphany Service with Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly. It is entitled, “Expecting the Best.”

We meet at 10:30 am for Fellowship and 11:00 am for Worship Service. Zoom info provided for those currently worshipping with us or affiliated with a congregant.

Sermon Notes for the #Epiphany, 1/5/20

Wise Men of the Creche

By Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly on the occasion of the Epiphany. January 5, 2020. New Church of Montgomery, at the Glendale New Church.

Isaiah 60: 1-6 

The light has come with the Lord’s glory.

All nations will come together into the light.

In radiance your heart will thrill.

Camels will bring gold and frankincense.

Psalm 72: 1-7, 10-14 

A psalm of liberation freeing those who are oppressed. The rain refreshes the earth and beings kneel before the Lord.

Ephesians 3:1 to 12 Paul speaks of how he has come to understand the mystery that is Christ. To help all see the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things.

Matthew 2: 1-12 the wise men from the east came to Jerusalem asking after the child proclaimed king of the Jews. They noted the star which they had followed. Herod hearing this posed a threat to the child. When the star stopped they found Mary and the Christ child, brought him gifts, and returned home by another route.

Emanuel Swedenborg Divine Providence (Dicht Pulsford, n. 178) man anticipates the future but does not predict it; has no knowledge of it. In this we have hope. He is free and his reason, prompted by his loves – Delight is completed and the event and cause and effect must operate together, in tandem, interdependent, each on the other two.

Blog by Christine Valters Paintner 

Seven Lessons of Epiphany

1. Follow the star to where it leads

2. Embark on the journey, however Long or difficult.

3. Open yourself to wonder along the way.

4. Bow down at the holy encounters in messy places.

5. Carry your treasures and give them away freely.

6. Listen to the wisdom of dreams.

7. Go home by another way.

Message from Rev. Connelly:

“2020 vision” is looking ahead with good clear eyes and full and warm hearts. Through divine influx we are privileged to receive Divine Wisdom and to make it our own. By continuing to listen and learn, our ongoing growth is assured, and our direction is guided with the help of Divine Providence. While we cannot predict the future, we can live into it fully.

“2020: Envisioning a Future of Hope” #SundayInCincy

This Sunday, 1/5/20, Local Worship Leader, Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly gives our Epiphany service entitled, “2020: Envisioning a Future of Hope”. Please join us as we hope, pray and combine our visions for a beautiful future for humanity.

11 am at the Glendale New Church; 845 Congress Avenue, Glendale, OH 45246.

On the twelfth day of Christmas…#EpiphanySunday

Join us this Sunday, January 6, 2019, for Hospitality at 10:30 am and Worship Service at 11:00 am.

Local, Guest Minister, Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly will be our officiant.


The Glendale New Church

845 Congress Avenue, Glendale, OH