Groundbreaking
 Announcement
 
Join us for our Groundbreaking on our new expansion June 23rd at 10 AM!

This has been a long road paved with so much work and generosity by so many. 
Come and invite your friends to join with us and Bishop Hector Monterroso as we celebrate this new beginning!
Ministry Minute

Sessions, the Romans and the Ideological Coliseum

"[...] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment."
-      Romans 12:21-13:2

The Bible has been in the news!

Over the last week scripture quotes have dashed across the headlines ever since our Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, cited Romans 13:1-2 as he was talking about the administration's policy on immigration (Click here to watch). Since then many faith leaders, including our Bishop and Presiding Bishop have weighed in on the immigration debate citing other scriptures, and just yesterday the President issued an Executive Order amending the policy. While I do have deep opinions about immigration both as a Christian and as a citizen, this post will not be about immigration. If you want my thoughts on that ask and I will be happy to tell you, but there are many voices on that in news feeds right now. What I haven't seen is someone talking in depth about Romans 13, the scripture that was cited, and how, with deep respect to our Attorney General, he may have missed what is truly important and revolutionary about this passage and its context.

While I hope you watch the clip yourself, Jeff Sessions is making a case that consistently applying the law is a moral thing in itself and he is citing Romans 13 as evidence for it. He also implies that obeying the law is a moral necessity because it is God who put our Government in charge. While, of course, in general following the law is a good and important thing, that isn't what Romans 13 is about and there are reasons why a Christian in power quoting it in this way is problematic. Once again I say this out of love and support for our Attorney General and our administration, and also I say it because I think Romans 13 has a lot to teach us about how we live full lives as Christians together.

The truth is what Mr. Sessions said is close to accurate, but there are a few important details that change the conclusion.

1)      Paul, the author of the Letter to the Romans, broke the law a lot.

Much of the time that Paul was in ministry was spent in prison. Many of the letters in the Bible were probably written from his cell. Preaching the Gospel was a crime when this letter was written as was refusing to worship pagan idols. When Paul talks about being "subject to the governing authorities" he is not talking about following the letter of government's laws. He is pointing to something important, but it is different than following the law as written. Mr. Session has a point about the consistent application of the law, but that point is unrelated to Romans 13.

2)      Citing Romans 13 when you are in power makes you look bad.

The Epistle to the Romans is a letter written to Christians in Rome from Paul, the founding pastor of their community. These letters where not written as a theological treatise for the ages. They were intended for their audience-a group a Christians trying to live in the heart of the Roman Empire. Many of those Christians were probably not considered citizens of Rome and the Roman government was actively persecuting Christians. They were throwing Paul's congregant friends to be devoured by lions. Within 50 years of the writing of this letter they would build the colosseum in this city of Rome so that they could kill people in front of larger crowds. It was the Roman government who were the ones who actually crucified Jesus. That is the government that Paul is talking about in Romans 13. He is not saying God likes this government so what they say is what God wants. Paul is saying that we are to respect even this terrible awful immoral government and we are not to fall to their evil level when we resist them. Paul's point is that God is working through people even as awful as the Romans. This is really clear if you read the verses right before Romans 13:1 which say "Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave room for the wrath of God [...] Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good" (12:19-20). Right after that he says be subject to the government which means don't take up arms and try to kill them back.

So when you are in power and you cite Romans 13 you are comparing yourself to the Romans of Biblical time which you never want to do. Honestly when I heard Jeff Sessions say this I was dumbfounded. It would be a little like hearing someone say, "I am good at paperwork, like the NAZIs." NAZIs may be good at paperwork but you don't want to put them together with you.

3)      Romans 13 is really important for Christians who are not in power.

Think about this for a second as it applies to our country. Certainly there is a lot of frustration right now, anger, hurt and division between Republicans and Democrats. But as bad as you think the other is, the Roman Government was much worse. And what was Paul's advice? Be good to your opponents. Overcome evil with good. Have faith that God is working through even the worst people to move us into justice and right relationship. If that advice works in the case of the Roman Empire than it certainly applies now. Paul doesn't say this to stop Christians from resisting what they see as wrong or unjust, he says these things so that Christians will resist using their best, most loving, most charitable selves.

Thank God we no longer have a functioning Colosseum like they did in Rome where people would be slaughtered for entertainments sake. Our society and economy, however; have become so fueled by rage that we have created an ideological Colosseum. Here we see words twisted, intensions assumed and accuracy ignored. Through social media, reality television and ratings-based reporting Americans clamor to see public shaming and hatred. I can't help but wonder what would happen if we all stopped to take the true meaning of Romans 12-13 to heart and worked on our problems together overcoming the evils of the world with love rather than slander and derision.

All Church Announcements

VBS Registration Open Until July 1st
Take an adventure with us for an exciting and adventurous week, July 9-13 at VBS! Our theme this year is Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. Kids will learn what it means that Jesus carries us and is with us through life's storms. Click here to register

VBS Wish list
The VBS Donation board is up!
We need construction paper, plastic tablecloths, command strips, and beach balls to name a few 
Please take a card from Narthex to help us cover all of our VBS supplies.
Please return it no later than June 24th
If you have any questions, please contact Taylor Durr

Special Adult/Youth Sunday School: Growing Young      
July 22nd 9:15-10:15 Meeting Room
We are honored to have a special guest preacher and presenter on July 22nd. Jamie Martin-Currie is the Missioner for Christian Formation and has long tradition of supporting Churches as they integrate, teach, and support Children and Youth in their Christian faith. Join us for her special presentation on creating a church culture that integrates, empowers and supports youth in their faith.
 
Mission Trip Sunday July 1st
Our middle and high school youth will be returning from their mission trip on June 29. Join us on July 1 at the 10:30 service to hear some of our youth talk about their experiences from mission trip. It is always impactful hearing our youth talk about their faith, what their faith looks like in action, and how they see the world with their faith.
You don't want to miss this!
 
 
Adult Sunday School
Sundays 9:15-10:15, Church Kitchen
Will continue through the summer, but we will be meeting in the Kitchen. Join us for spiritual conversation between the services every week staring the May 20th.
 
Friday Bible Study
Fridays, 10-11:15 AM, Church Office
Join Rev. Les every Friday for a Bible study. It is helpful if you let him know you are coming. All are welcome.

SALSA
Do you have about 2 hours a month to help keep your church grounds looking beautiful? If so, SALSA (Saint Aidan's Lawn Service Associates) needs you! If you are interested and able to serve your church in this fun ministry, we are looking for teens and adults to join the effort. Please call or text Dave Lancaster @ 252-626-7326!

Camp Allen
Looking for summer camps? Camp Allen has both children and adult camps. Check out their website for full details.  Click here

New Options for Online Giving!
Most Efficient
Set up a recurring online bill pay with your bank. All you need is the church's name and address and you can set up your pledge payments to go out with no fees at all.  (Saint Aidans Episcopal Church Cypress Texas, 13131 Fry Road, Cypress. TX 77433-3339)
Most Convenient
Download the Tithe.ly (that is not a typo it is how it is spelled) app from your android or apple appstore. You can set up an easy giving profile and you can give from a credit card, debit card, or directly from your bank account. There are some fees associated with this service, but you can select to pay for the fees yourself if you like. You can also set up and track recurring giving through the app.

SMILE/AMAZON
We have registered Saint Aidan's on Smile/Amazon. Please find link here
Once you have linked your Amazon account there will be a donation to support Saint Aidan's with every purchase you make at no extra cost to you.

Opportunities to Serve
We are looking to expand our ranks of volunteers around worship. There are training videos now available on our website under the action tab (Liturgical Training Videos) where you can scope out what is like to be an acolyte or chalicer. One of the things we could really use help with is our sound booth. Contact  tracy@aidanschurch.org if you are interested. 
Youth Ministry

June 24-29: Mission Trip
 
July 8: Vacation Bible School set up after 10:30 service
 
July 9-13: Vacation Bible School, 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
 
July 22: Games and Icebreakers, 12:00-1:30 p.m. in the youth room
 
July 27: Splashtown trip with Convocation (our area of churches within the Diocese), you will need to RSVP by June 29 and the registration cost is $27.00 plus spending money

If you have any questions, please contact Taylor Durr at taylor@aidanschurch.org
Children's Ministry

Children and Youth Sunday School are on break for the summer and resume in the Fall.
 
VBS REGISTRATION IS OPEN!!!!
Take an adventure with us for an exciting and adventurous week, July 9-13 at VBS! Early registration is March 1-April 22, costing $20.00. Regular registration is April 23-June 16, costing $30.00.
Registration can be found at aidanschurch.org.
Our theme this year is Shipwrecked: Rescued by Jesus. Kids will learn what it means that Jesus carries us and is with us through life's storms. Click Here to Register

Children's Chapel
Children's Chapel is available at our 10:30 service. It is a place for children to worship in the traditions of our faith but in a way that's geared towards Pre K - 3rd grade. A procession will guide the children to the chapel in the beginning of the service and the kids rejoin their families for Communion.
 
Youth Group
We have a great group of youth. Warm inviting and impressive. They generally meet Sunday nights from 12-1-30 pm, but check the schedule to the left.
 

Worship

Sundays
 
Traditional Worship 8:00 am

Traditional Worship with Contemporary Music 10:30 am

 

Are you serving Sunday?
Click below to check the 
Sunday's readings can be found at  lectionarypage.net . We are following Track 1.  
 
Saint Aidan's Episcopal Church
13131 Fry Road
Cypress, TX 77433
281.373.3203