St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

The week of May 7-13, 2018  
Jesus' earthly ministry draws to a close
  

Acts 1:15-17,21-26, Psalm 1
1 John 5:9-13, John 17:6-19
 

This Thursday at 7:30 pm St. Paul's will join with Zion Episcopal Church in Wappingers Falls and St. John's Lutheran Church at First Lutheran Church in Poughkeepsie to celebrate Jesus' Ascension into heaven. This "always on a Thursday" service comes 40 days after Easter and ten days before Pentecost. It orients us toward the immense changes that were taking place as the disciples and other followers of Jesus became accustomed to his post-Resurrection presence, only to have him float heavenward on Ascension.
bible.jpg
This week's lessons 
 
 Jesus' biblically reported sightings on earth conclude with the Ascension. On Pentecost his Holy Spirit descends upon his followers, reminding them that Jesus said, "I will not leave you comfortless." Among the names for the Holy Spirit in the Bible is Holy Comforter. Clearly Jesus intends for his followers to be able to carry on his works after his Ascension.

 
Last Sunday we actually had a glimpse of this from the Acts of the Apostles in which the Holy Spirit fell upon those who heard the Word as Peter preached it. The Holy Spirit existed before Pentecost but did not become recognizable until Pentecost, which arrives this year on May 20. But the groundwork was laid throughout Jesus earthly ministry to prepare his followers--all of us--to live as he lived, loving God and loving our neighbor.
'In Service to God & You'
This week's helpers
  

SUNDAY 8AM

Server:            Maria Bell

 

Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor

                        Adrian Goldson

 

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian

 

SUNDAY 10AM

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons

 

Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee

   Jordan Rosborough

   Ben Rosborough

 

Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor

                        Mari Bell

 

Litanist:           Mark Debald

 

Usher:             Dewy Clarke

                        Mark Debald

 

Altar Guild:      Mertlyn & Norma

                         

Greeters:         Rose Marie Proctor

                        Alexis Plain                  


P A R I S H  N E W S


Ascension service Thursday: Every year we celebrate the Ascension of Jesus to heaven 40 days after Easter. This year the date of the Ascension service is May 10.
 
As has been our practice for many years, we celebrate the Ascension with other Episcopal and Lutheran churches in the area. This year the Ascension service will take place at First Lutheran Church, Catharine and Mill Streets, at 7:30 pm Thursday.
 
 
 
New pew cushions in our future
A sample of a possible new pew cushions

Thanks to a $7,500 matching grant from the New York Altar Guild, St. Paul's will be ordering new pew cushions in the coming weeks. The pew cushions will replace the dark brown velvet cushions which have graced our parish seating for many decades.
  
Lumpy and firm pew cushions often are mentioned by our parishioners. The color of the current cushions also tends to darken the outer pews underneath the lower roof of the church. The new pew cushions will be both lighter and brighter.
  
Expect a solicitation for assistance in matching the NYAG grant. It is hoped we will be ready to order the new pew cushions this year.
 

 
 




 
 
 
Episcopal Charities collection this Sunday



 
A collection will be held this Sunday for Episcopal Charities Sunday..  This collection is taken throughout the diocese in support of the work of Episcopal Charities in giving grants to needed community programs. It is no accident that the collection is slated for Mother's Day. The programs Episcopal Charities supports help families and individuals live decent lives, eat well and enjoy the generosity of Episcopalians in our diocese.

Remember that Episcopal Charities gives generous grants to support our food pantry at St. Paul's every year.
 
If you're able to donate, please do so as your donation goes a long way to help different organizations throughout New York.
 

 
 
 
 
   
  
Mother's Day Carnations

 
This Sunday we will also be our Annual Mother's Day Carnation Remembrance. Orders have been filled and parishioners will be able to pick up their flowers at the beginning of the service.  A white carnation symbolizes a mother who has passed, a pink carnation indicates they are still with us.

 
 
 
Italian Dinner this Saturday, May 12th @ 6pm

What a better way to spend a Saturday night than with food, friends, and fellowship! Join us this weekend for a hearty Italian meal. Dinner is available for take-out and sit down. Bring a friend...
 


COMMUNITY  NEWS
Note:
Please visit the DCIC website (www.dutchesscountyinterfaith.org) and our Facebook page for updates on these events and more.
 
 
 
Tuesday, May 8
100 Cups of Coffee Community Gathering
(DCIC is a co-sponsor of this event)
6:00p.m.-7:30 p.m.
Family Partnership Center, Cafeteria, Lower Level (29 N. Hamilton Street, Poughkeepsie)
For more information, contact the Commission on Human Rights at dchumanrights@dutchessny.gov or (845) 486-2169
Tuesday, May 8
"Towards a Catholic Christianity: An Ecumenical Discussion" with author, Dr. Michael McCarthy
7:00p.m.-9:00 p.m.
Nativity Center, St. Martin de Porres Church (118 Cedar Valley Road, Poughkeepsie)
Dr. McCarthy is an emeritus professor of philosophy at Vassar College.
Thursday, May 10
DCIC Interfaith Story Circle: First Annual Sermon Slam
7:00 p.m.
Everyone is invited to attend.
Vassar Temple (140 Hooker Avenue, Poughkeepsie)
For more information, contact Muriel Horowitz at murielh@optonline.net
Thursday May 17
"Pastoral Care With Veterans and Their Families"
Free Training for Clergy by The Department of Veterans Affairs VA Hudson Valley Healthcare System Chaplain Service
10:00a.m.-
12:00 p.m.
Castle Point VA Campus, Multi-Purpose Room
Building 18 (41 Castle Point Road, Wappingers Falls)
To pre-register, contact Beatrice Riel at
(845) 831-2000 ext. 5408 by May 10th


 
                                            MAY

3       Aidan Curtis                                              17     Kataleya Mayorga                                    

         Robin Porter                                             18     Claudette Tucker

7       Carolyn Dewald                                        20     Richlina Angel Hodge

         Clifford Clarke                                                   Jorge Santos Jr.

         Christina Hope Prater-Lee                        22    Shiann Mayorga Cash

         Frances Rogers                                        25    Theresa Butler

8       Bruce Wolven                                           27     Mark Goodwin

11     Mary Wethington                                               Bert Mazzuto

12     Kimberly Zeleznik                                              Velma Pusey

15     Joanna Frang                                            30     Debbie Pitcher

 

The Sunday Sermon.......

Signs of Spring
 
SERMON: 6 Easter B 5 6 18
Acts10:44-48; Ps98; 1Jn5:1-6; Jn 15:9-17
 
There are a lot of signs of spring about us these days. Molly and I came back from Alaska to find the last of the April showers vigorously pouring on the throughway as we drove from Newark Airport to New Paltz Monday, the last day of the month. Then BOOM! Tuesday, May first. Sunshine! Trees budding! Birds chirping! Allergies! Right up to the last day if not the last minute, April showers brought May flowers.
 
There is another sure sign of spring: boats bobbing in the Hudson because people are fishing. It is as reliable as the sunrise. And it's happening already. I have an offer to go fly fishing with a friend this spring and I am of course looking forward to it. But I have to admit, as you may recall, that I consider any excuse to be around the river, around water generally, worthwhile.
 
But dedicated fishermen are a special breed. When the fish are running they can hardly bother being distracted by anything else. Once there was a fisherman who was also very devout. He was explaining to his young son about telling the truth and not lying. "Lying is a sin," he told the little boy. "Even when you are talking about fishing it's a sin to lie." He told the boy about how exaggerating the size of the fish caught, or the number, was lying. How it was lying to say you were sick when you were actually going fishing. "What do you think happens to a fisherman who lied about being sick to avoid church and go fishing when he dies?" the father asked the son. "They lie still?" the boy suggested. Yes they do. They lie still just like the people who never tell a lie and just like everyone else. They lie still.
 
This isn't just true for liars. It is true for all of us, all the sinners. Our imperfections do not define our afterlife. Geologists have established that there is no subterranean land of horrors known as hell. Hell, we have come to believe, is mostly the life led by those whose acts burden them with guilt and regret.
 
This week I attended a priests' retreat at Mohonk Mountain House and among many topics discussed was forgiveness. Our presenter spoke about how confused people get about forgiveness because it gets tangled up with the idea of repentance. What we were considering at the time is how forgiveness is not contingent on repentance. Forgiveness of another can be more important to us than it is to the one we forgive. This is because without forgiveness we carry the weight of the offense, however slight or great, ourselves. Once we forgive we no longer need be burdened with it.
 
This business of the joke about lying fishermen, forgiveness and repentance can help us focus on today's readings and the guidance they give us. They can do this because what I've been speaking of so far and what we find in our readings is truth. Remember my favorite line from one of my favorite movies, "A Few Good Men?" Jack Nicholson plays an immoral Marine colonel who bellows at his questioner who has asked for the truth, "You can't handle the truth!" Anyone who has seen that movie would remember that it is the Jack Nicholson character who can't handle the truth, the truth of his own dishonesty, his own ability to even acknowledge the truth, much less live by it.
 
The truths we are invited to consider and perhaps take on as our own truth are many this week. For starters, in our collect we prayed as though it was fact and one we believed, that God "prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding." We believe God's generosity, goodness, love and mercy flow in our direction continually because we love God, because we attempt to adhere to God's commandments. Yet we also believe God's generosity, goodness, love and mercy flow toward all; we are not special; God loves every single person, the sinner and the relatively sinless, alike.
 
The next sentence in the collect implies a second truth: we need God to fill our hearts with the love of God so that we can obtain God's promises. We infer that without a love of God we cannot enjoy God's peace, God's salvation, God's eternal company. A further truth in the collect then appears: the reality that God's promises exceed all we can desire.
 
For a collect that is barely four lines long that's a lot of truth. Before we examine the three readings and the psalm let's consider what we are called to do with these truths. If we are seeking to be faithful followers of God and Jesus, we should behave in ways that manifest these truths in our lives. Otherwise we are like the fisherman who claims to be sick yet goes fishing.
 
We need to respond appropriately to God's generosity, goodness, love and mercy. And we do that by exhibiting those characteristics ourselves in loving one another and loving our neighbor.
The desire to obtain God's promises-- God's peace, God's salvation, God's eternal company--should be a matter of fact for us. This should matter to us. But how do we demonstrate that these promises are important? By following God's desire, once again, that we love God and love our neighbor.
 
There is an awkward truth in our reading from the Acts of the Apostles today. The truth we can firmly attest to is that Pentecost isn't for two more weeks. But here we are with the Holy Spirit falling upon those who heard the Word. The Word with a capital W is Jesus, of course, and as Peter described Jesus, he was speaking the Word. The truth that Peter was speaking was that Jesus offered himself to all, not just to those who believed. In those days it was astonishing that the gift of belief and the visitation of the Holy Spirit were available both to Jews and Greeks, the circumcised and the uncircumcised. How do we handle this truth? As Peter did, offering baptism to all who desired it in the name of Jesus.
 
The truth of our psalm is in the first word and throughout: we are to sing to and of the Lord. We are to do so in thought, word and deed. Read psalm 98 and you will have no doubt.
In our epistle we find the foundational truth of being born again: everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ has been born of God. That is the truth of the Christian faith and it calls us to love one another as God loves us. Loving God, the epistle states clearly, is obeying God's commandments.
 
The Gospel truth this Sunday is buried in the last phrase. We don't have to dwell on all the rest; we've heard it today, we've heard it before; we've already covered a lot of it by exploring the previous readings. So let's cut to the chase. Please get out your bulletins and join me in again reading the final sentence of the Gospel assigned for this Sunday: "I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another."
 
Jesus has been conducting his earthly ministry all this time with one plan in mind: that we might love one another. He's not asking us to be sinless. He knows we're not capable. He's not asking us to be great worship leaders, or perfect parents or exemplary employees, friends and neighbors.
 
Jesus wants one thing: for us to love one another. It so happens, since we've been paying attention all along, that we appreciate that that is precisely how it is we are to love God: by loving one another. How else would we set out to love God?
 
For the longest time people thought sacrifice was the way to go. Even though the Bible says clearly that that does not please the Almighty. Isaiah perhaps says it best: "What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices? says the Lord; I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams..." Elsewhere Isaiah states, "Is not this the fast that I choose, to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free...?
 
This is how we are to love one another, by helping and caring and setting aside our self interest and becoming interested in God's other children rather than ourselves.
 
These ideas bring us comfort, just as our acts in their fulfillment bring comfort to those we encounter at St. Paul's and elsewhere in our lives. The gifts we have been offered we have accepted. The gifts we have received have transformed our lives. We offer them gladly to others. We are rich beyond measure when we realize and fully live into these truths. Amen
 
A sermon preached at St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie NY May 6, 2018 by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector
 

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S HYMNS

1982                 214     Hail the day that sees him rise
 
1982                 307     Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor
 
1982                 603     When Christ was lifted from the earth
 
1982                 460     Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
 
 
 
HYMN INFORMATION: This Sunday's hymn texts and tunes are pairings from various English and Welsh sources, and two celebrate Christ's Ascension and glory. The opening hymn, Hail the day that sees him rise, was penned by renowned English Methodist cleric Charles Wesley (author of over 6500 hymn tunes) in 1739, and is set to an 1817 tune by Welsh singer and hymn composer Robert Williams. The gradual hymn, Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor, features words dating from 1874 by English hymn writer George Hugh Bourne and an 1852 tune by Welsh musician William Owen. The offertory hymn, When Christ was lifted from the earth, was written by English theologian Brian Wren in 1970 and is sung to a 1930 tune by English organist Gordon Slater. The closing hymn, Alleluia! sing to Jesus, was written by English hymn and carol writer William Chatterton Dix (best known for the Christmas carol What child is this) in 1867, and is sung to a tune by Welsh hymn tune composer Rowland Huw Prichard, written in his teens almost forty years earlier. 



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
May 7-13, 2018

MON 7               7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;                       
                          6:30pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery";                                             
                                                                                                                                                
TUE 8                10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;
                           6pm Evening Prayer, Bible Study;  
                                                                                                                                               
WED 9                7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                          10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;
      6pm Evening Prayer, Finance;
                                                                                                                                  
THUR 10            10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop;
                           1pm Parish Aid;
                            7:30pm Ascension Day Service (First Lutheran Church, Poughkeepsie)
       
FRI 11                7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting;
                       
SAT 12                3pm SH Private Party Event;
                           6pm Italian Dinner;
                                                                                                                                            
SUN 13               8am Rite I
                            8:45am Lessons' Discussion;
                            9:30am Choir practice;  
              10am Rite II-
              10am Sunday School;
              11:15am Coffee Hour; 
              11:30am Youth;

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