Sunday, January 7, 2007

Star Sunday

We have a lovely tradition at our church that takes place on Epiphany Sunday. Each person in the congregation receives a Star upon which is written a word that may impact on their life in some way during the coming year. The words refer to qualities of life, both temporal and spiritual - like prayer, forgiveness, acceptance, rejoicing, family, goals, community, music, worship. The Stars are all placed (face down) in the offering plates and passed through the congregation - our minister always jokes that it's the only Sunday when we each to get to take something out of the plate rather than putting something in. A buzz of excitement filters from front to back of the church, as people dig around in the plate to get just the perfect feeling Star, and then discover what their word is. Sometimes, it's all too uncanny, the way the words seem to fit the person. One of my dear friends, who is a well known and respected music teacher, composer, and conductor, has picked the "music" star for 5 of the past 10 years - no kidding! (I got the "music" star once.)

I've missed Star Sunday for the past three years because we were in Florida on Epiphany Sunday. So I was excited to be there this year. I was even more excited because during the past year, one of my favorite blogger friends just happens to go by the name of "Star," and I was eager to pick one of our Stars for her, too.

So, when the offering plate came to me, I picked a star for myself, and then held her in my thoughts as I picked another one. Here's the result:

My star was "reading," which is of course, one of the most important elements of my life, and has been ever since I picked up my first book at the age of 2. But lately, reading has become even more valuable to me, as I read with writing in mind, studying the craft of other writers in an effort to improve my own writing abilities.

My friend Star's star was "stories," and it will be up to her to tell you how this manifests itself in her life over the coming year. I know she's written some wonderful stories of her own in the year gone by, and I have a feeling there are a lot more waiting inside her :)

I'm not surprised that our stars would match up like this, because it's pretty uncanny how often we seem to be on the same wavelength - on line at the same time, reading the same blogs at the same time, and thinking along the same lines about numerous things.

This is the prayer after the gift of stars has been received:

Leader: Creator of all light, today, as in every day of our lives, we have received another gift from you. Perhaps it is a quality of life, a spiritual value, or a dimension of being.

People: We ackowledge that we do not yet fully understand this gift, but we receive it with thanksgiving. We pray that through these next 12 months, your Spirit will enable us to make this gift our very own.

May you each find a star to guide you through the coming year, and make it's light your own.



Blogger Star said...

Reading--that is right on the mark for you (as I'm sure several others could have been as well).

Thank you for thinking of me at this special time and gifting me with "stories" for the next 12 months. I am excited to see how I am led to make this gift my own. Although I was not present, I share in that feeling of anticipation you described rippling through the church as the stars were selected.

What will the year ahead bring for us, my friend?

Blogger Tammy said...

What wonderful stars you received for each of you! You both are talented writers that continue to push me to keep trying. HUGS

Blogger kj said...

nice nice post, becca. "reading stories"--what a match for two friends.

i will remember about the stars. i like it alot.


Blogger Bibi said...

I love that idea. And I'm so glad you named one reading because it seems to be dying, rapidly, and it's one of the most valuable ways for us to learn and grow. Love it!

Anonymous Paris Parfait said...

Such beautiful and appropriate stars! I love the story of how the churches distributes the stars each year. Lovely post.

Blogger deirdre said...

What a beautiful tradition. I'm not surprised, really that the two stars you chose are so appropriate - there's magic that happens in the writing world.

Anonymous Diana said...

Hi Becca, this is Diana, I'll be sending you a MUG !! I'll let you know when I get it in the mail. Haven't picked out the right one yet. wanted to know who I got first.

Anonymous Diana said...

almost forgot, Becca, I'll need your address :) you can email it to m if your more comfortable with that rather than leaving it on my blog.

Anonymous nancy said...

Hi! Interesting post. Makes me think that my book group recently read a book you might like. It is "Reading Like a Writer" by Francine Prose. My group (which has some published authors in it) decided it might as well be entitled "Writing Like a Reader"! Either way, perhaps you might get something out of it. All the best!


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