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To be a Community where all persons will encounter the power and 

love of the Living God, through His Son, Jesus Christ.




All Saints Episcopal Church is called by the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit to...


·     Worship Jesus Christ

·     Learn and Teach His Word

·     Minister in His Name

·     Proclaim Him and Share the Blessing of His Love

·     Welcome All in His Name


The All Saints Messenger
March 2, 2017
In This Issue

Greetings in the Name of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,

It began last night night - Lent is beginning.

Christ is going out into the desert.

Why is He going into the desert?

He is going to meet you there.

You are a fallen creature in a fallen world. Heaven is your home, but you were not born in Heaven. You were born on the fallen earth. You've felt it all your life. You've known that it's there. You ought to be in Heaven, but you're not. You ought to be happy, but you're not. You ought to love readily, but you don't. You ought to see light, and by the light see everything, but it's dark.

There is a vast desert between yourself and Heaven. You are there already; you were born there. The only way home, to light and love and happiness, is to cross it. I can't tell you what that will look like, for you. There are all kinds of deserts. Some are all sand dunes; some are hard packed dirt. Some are alive with cacti and some are barren. Some are blazing hot, but not all - the South Pole is is a desert, after all. And most every desert is cold at night. Night comes to all deserts - dark, chill night where you can't see where you're going. It will come to that eventually, though I can't say when. And when it comes, Christ will meet you and lead you by the hand.

Christ will lead you to Calvary. He has to, you see. It's the only way out of the desert. Calvary is the way home. Every human being is suspended painfully between Heaven and Earth, and Calvary is how we're freed from Earth. He went there Himself, so you wouldn't be alone, and now He shows you the way.

I can't say it won't hurt to travel home. It will. I don't know how much. I can't say why it hurts some so much more than others. I don't know why some deserts seem alive and some are so dead and lonely. I can't understand why the nights are different lengths for different people.

But everyone will go through the desert, and everyone will have a dark night, and everyone will be crucified on Calvary.

And when it's over, we'll all be home.

This is where we are, every day of our lives. The brilliance of Lent is that it shines light on the desert.  It reminds us of where we are. This is the time of year when we can't look away from our fallen state. We fast, as we are able, to remind ourselves that our souls are hungry. We gaze upon the Crucified Christ and see that our souls are crucified. We meditate on the Via Dolorosa and find it's the road we've always walked.

What a wonder, to see our King there. The One who is without sin; the One who has no desert between Himself and Heaven, has left Heaven and come to the desert, to bring us home. The One who cannot die is submitting to death on Calvary, so that our death will lead us home.

Christ is going out into the desert.

He is coming here, to the desert, to lead us on the Via Dolorosa, to Calvary and from there, to home.

Make ready your heart. Prepare yourself for the Bridegroom.

Christ is coming to lead us home.

See ya Sunday,

Fr. Gary+

*With thanks to Mary Pezzulo

*  Picture Directory :  FINAL DATE - This Sunday, March 5th .   

*  The Pacesetters will meet at the church at  10:00 on Tuesday March 14th to share the plans for selling food at the Yard Sale and to sign-up workers. Plans for our next outing on Thursday April 27th to Greenville, SC to see the Andrew Wyeth exhibit will be discussed.  Following the meeting, we will have a St. Patrick's Day party.  Please let Jerry Wertz know if you plan to attend the party.  (  or 704-577-9699)

*  Monthly Parish Breakfast: Beginning this  Sunday March 5th at 9AM and continuing the first  Sunday of every month thereafter, we will be having breakfast for the entire church.  The  10:30 volunteers will be the cooks and the  8 o'clock volunteers will clean up.  For the first breakfast, the church will provide eggs and meat.  We ask all of you to bring an item: fruit, orange juice, biscuits, cinnamon rolls, egg/sausage/ham casseroles, etc. A sign-up sheet will be posted in the Family Life Center to ensure a good assortment of food. Besides increasing opportunities for fellowship it is one of the best ways to get both the  8 AM and the  10:30 people together so we get to know everyone. We also hope committee heads will take the opportunity to talk up their ministries and let people know how they might help. On that  Sunday, there will be no Adult Christian Formation or Coffee Hour but there will be  Sunday School for the children.  If you want to assist with this event, please contact Jerry Wertz at 704-577-9699 or

*  Salvation Army Garden:  Plans are underway for the planting of the garden to provide vegetables for a salad each week or to use in the meals.   Charlie Jenkins is in charge of the garden along with a team.  We are in need of people/families willing to adopt 1 or 2 plots and do the weeding of those plots.  Yes, we are a little ahead of ourselves but the garden will be planted soon and before you know it, the beds will be covered in weeds.  There is a sheet in the Family Life Center for you to put your name on a plot. In case you didn't know, All Saints provides the meal and fresh salad every  Monday night at the Salvation Army.  The recipients are always very complimentary of the food provided.  The vestry representatives for the garden are Jerry Wertz and Linda Klocker.

*  New Partnership: Beginning in late March/early April New Life Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) will begin using space at All Saints for their worship services. New Life is a small parish of about 15 people who have recently lost their worship space in Charlotte. They are a liturgical church that celebrates The Eucharist weekly and our traditions share many common rites, rituals, symbols and theological underpinnings. The Vestry and Fr. Gary have been in discussions and negotiations with New Life for about six months and most of the details have been finalized. New Life will contribute to the financial needs of All Saints in this arrangement. New Life's services are held on Sunday evening at 7PM and on first Sundays they will gather in our parish hall for a potluck supper and worship beginning at 6 PM. New Life parishioners hope to participate in some of our ministries and attend some of our more unique services. Please give them a wonderful All Saints welcome! Any questions please contact Fr. Gary.

*  The Abrahamic Faiths:  Past, Present, and What About the Future?: On Friday March 10th,  7-9PM at Temple Emanuel, you are invited to hear Rabbi Jonah Pesner of The Religious Action Center in Washington DC speak about "Confronting the rise of Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism together. This is a community event sponsored by the Gastonia Trialogue Steering Committee. All are welcome!

*  Parish Picnic:  and worship service at Rankin Lake on April 30th.  

*  Adult Christian Formation: We are studying "Great Figures of the New Testament." Our guide is the esteemed Jewish scholar Amy-Jill Levine who teaches at Vanderbilt University. What Ms. Levine brings to the table is a unique Jewish understanding of the New Testament, the culture and people of the day. She will take us on a journey of specific characters: who they are, what they do and how they have been assessed across the centuries. We begin at  9:25 AM. Please join us!

*  Save The Date:  The 2017 All Saints Yard Sale will be on Saturday, April 29th so start collecting items for our sale.  Please only donate items that are in good, working condition, clean and no stuffed animals.  We will need lots of help the week prior for setting up and pricing, as well as on the day of the sale.  The sale is sponsored by the All Saints Outreach Committee.   We have no space to store your donations before the sale.  We can not accept old tv's - only flat screens that work.  If you have large items or furniture that must be moved prior to the yard sale, please call George Sowersby.  Contact Claudette Forbes or George Sowersby with questions.

*  Family Promise:   The remaining 2017 dates that we will be host to the Family Promise guests are: 5/21 - 5/28, 8/6 - 8/13, 10/8 - 10/15 . Family Promise is a community program that provides housing and support to homeless families.  All Saints is one of the original churches that helped establish this ministry more than ten years ago.  We host families in this ministry four times a year at our parish facilities with assistance from the Redeemer Lutheran Church here in Gastonia. There are many ways to support this ministry. During hosting weeks we need parishioners to greet and engage guests ( 5:00-6:30 pm), to prepare and serve dinner ( 6:30-8:00 pm), to spend the night ( 8:00 pm - 7:30 am), and to provide homework and enrichment activities for children ( 5:30-6:30). For more information, or to volunteer please contact Marc Dudley at 704-718-4044 or

*  Fr. Gary's Annual Meeting Address: Fr. Gary's address to the Parish at the Annual Meeting is available on the table in the Life Center. If you were not able to make it to the Annual Meeting please pick up a copy.

*  Foyers:  The group lists are available in the Family Life Center.  Contact Jerry Wertz if you have any questions - or 704-577-9699.

*  Parade of Tables:  Save the date!!  Saturday, September 23rd.  

*  2017 Pledge Cards: If you have not turned in your pledge card yet, please think about doing so.  Pledge Cards are available in the Narthex.  The Vestry thanks everyone for their generosity.

*  The Bible Study Group began a new study of Paul. The group meets  on Wednesday at  10:00am in the Family Life Center.   We welcome anyone who would like to join us. You do not have to be a member of All Saints to come. If you would like to learn more about the group, please contact Jerry Wertz at 704-577-9699. 

*  Choir:  Rehearsal will now be on Sunday mornings at 9:25am.

*  Handbells:   rehearsal at 6PM on  March 29April 5 and April 19.  Ring for  10:30 worship  April 23.

*  Pastoral Care Meeting:  Tuesday, March 28th at 7PM.

* Parish Nurse Ministry will be taking blood pressures after the 8:00 and 10:30 services on the first Sunday of the month.  Nurses interested in the parish nurse ministry please contact Cheryl Saylor, MSN at 803-656-5110. 

*  Sign Up Sheets for coffee hour, altar guild and altar flowers are on the bulletin board in the Family Life Center.  Coffee Hour hosting can be as simple as drinks and cookies.  Coffee hour is provided to have fellowship with our parish family.  Please sign up or call the church office to add your name to the list (704-864-7201).

*  Salvation Army Service Schedule:  Monday, March 6th - Team #4.  (Carol Maiden)

*  Mid-Week Service: All Saints offers a "Service of Healing with Eucharist" on Wednesday evenings at 5:30 PM.  All of us are hurting, in need of healing, or want to be made whole again.  Christ comes to us in the quiet times of a contemplative service where we can "be still and know that God is God." Think about joining us and be renewed, refreshed, transformed, and continue your journey towards "wholeness."

* Cookbooks:  $15 each or 2 for $25 - If you don't need a cookbook, but would like to help our Outreach committee reach their budget goal, consider buying a cookbook to donate to our newcomers committee. Any donated cookbooks will be included in the welcome bag we hand out to newcomers. 

*  Church Financials: The Vestry wants to make sure that all parishioners are aware that the monthly financial reports are posted on the bulletin boards in The Family Life Center. If you have any concerns or questions please contact Phill Wertz or Fr. Gary.  Thank You!

*  Why Do You Love All Saints?  Who here loves All Saints?  Do you want to tell the world why you love being a part of the All Saints family?  Please help us spread the word about our congregation by telling your All Saints Story.  All Saints Stories will be published on our website: as well as our facebook and twitter pages.  To submit your story, go to and click "All Saints Stories" under the Parish Life tab.  If you can, please submit a photo with your story.  

* Prayer List:  Our prayer list grows rapidly.  We ask all parishioners to keep the office informed so that our prayer list remains current and manageable.

*  Ministry Schedule:  The 2017 February through April Ministry Schedule is on the table in the Family Life Center.

*  Fr. Gary's Blog:

*  Gaston Library is sorely in need of used books etc. for their annual book sale held next year.  Paperbacks, hardback, fiction, nonfiction, children's, magazines, DVD and CD's are needed.  If you're cleaning out, now's a good time to give those old books a new home.  Books can be left at the dock at the library or at the church and I'll see they get over there.  (Put them next to the CAM box).  Please no wet, moldy or books with broken spines.  Thanks,  Linda Klocker.

*  Food Pantry:  Please help us keep our food pantry stocked.  If you would like to give a monetary donation, we'd be happy to do the shopping for you.

*  Flower Ministry:  We are looking for a volunteer to head up our Flower Ministry.  It entails breaking down the large  Sunday flower arrangement into smaller arrangements  on Monday mornings.  These smaller arrangements are then delivered to parishioners who are home bound or sick.  Please let Debra know if you would be interested in this ministry.

*  New Partnership: All Saints has entered into a new relationship with the YMCA's Resource Connection Gateway.  This new relationship enables us to help those in need more rapidly and efficiently while also addressing long-term needs versus only addressing immediate concerns.  If you would like more information please see Fr. Gary.

*  Salvation Army Serving:   If anyone is interested in serving at the Salvation Army on Mon. nights from 5:00 to 6:00, please contact Candy Albergine at 704-868-8691 or email We have a couple of spots open and you will find this ministry is a true blessing to all involved. The schedule is on bulletin board in Family Life Center.

* Christian Formation for Youth.  If you have questions please ask Laura Tilly,  Phill Wertz, or Fr. Gary.

*  All Saints Sermons online: Thanks to John Woodward, our sermons are available in audio and video on our website at:
*  Free Mulch:  There are several piles of mulch in the upper parking lot that you are welcome to take.  We need to free up some parking spaces in that upper lot.  Please do not take the mulch by the shed as that is intended for the garden.  

*  Church Directory:  Available on the table in the Family Life Center.

*  Towel Ministry:  We are excited and thankful that Vic Cooper and Jim McCarthy have taken over the coordination of our Towel Ministry.  Please approach them and let them know your talents and availability when projects arise.

*  Building Use Policy:  Our buildings are being used more and more and scheduling conflicts are occurring.  Effective immediately, all rooms/buildings will be scheduled by the Parish Administrator by the submission of a form which is available at the office and will soon be available on the web site.  We appreciate your understanding realizing that this will improve our ability to serve our parishioners and ministries.

* Planned Giving: Programs for Outreach Ministries are an important part of our parish.  You can ensure the continuation of these programs by setting up an endowment or including a bequest in your will. The Episcopal Foundation of Western Carolina has set up "The Living Stones Society" to provide Education and training to all clergy and parishioners about setting up a program. For more information see Fr. Gary or call the foundation at 828-225-6656.
* Ministry Opportunities: There are a variety of Ministries available at All Saints including feeding at The Salvation Army, tending the Garden, Family Promise where we take care of those without a home for a week at a time, Altar Guild, Readers, Lectors, Acolytes, Chalicers, and many more. Everyone at All Saints is encouraged to serve in some way. Please let us know what you are interested in and we will put you in touch with the ministry coordinator. You can call the office (704-864-7201), email ( or speak to Fr. Gary.

 Upcoming Schedule  


March 4th:  Lenten Study 

March 5th:  Monthly Parish Breakfast

March 5th:  Final Picture Day

March 14th:  Pacesetters

March 28th:  Pastoral Care

March 29th:  Handbells

April 8th:  Vestry Work Day

April 27th:  Pacesetters

April 29th:  Yard Sale

April 30th:  Parish Picnic & Service at Rankin Lake

September 23rd:  Parade of Tables

This Sunday's Scripture Readings

The Collect

Almighty God, whose blessed Son was led by the Spirit to be tempted by Satan: Come quickly to help us who are assaulted by many temptations; and, as you know the weaknesses of each of us, let each one find you mighty to save; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The First Reading: Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to till it and keep it. And the Lord God commanded the man, "You may freely eat of every tree of the garden; but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall die."

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other wild animal that the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God say, 'You shall not eat from any tree in the garden'?" The woman said to the serpent, "We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden; but God said, 'You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the garden, nor shall you touch it, or you shall die.'" But the serpent said to the woman, "You will not die; for God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil." So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made loincloths for themselves.

Psalm 32

Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, *
     and whose sin is put away!
2 Happy are they to whom the  Lord imputes no guilt, *
     and in whose spirit there is no guile!
3 While I held my tongue, my bones withered away, *
     because of my groaning all day long.
4 For your hand was heavy upon me day and night; *
     my moisture was dried up as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you, *
     and did not conceal my guilt.
6 I said," I will confess my transgressions to the  Lord." *
     Then you forgave me the guilt of my sin.
7 Therefore all the faithful will make their prayers to you in time of trouble; *
     when the great waters overflow, they shall not reach them.
8 You are my hiding-place;
     you preserve me from trouble; *
     you surround me with shouts of deliverance.
9 "I will instruct you and teach you in the way that you should go; *
     I will guide you with my eye.
10 Do not be like horse or mule, which have no understanding; *
     who must be fitted with bit and bridle,
     or else they will not stay near you."
11 Great are the tribulations of the wicked; *
     but mercy embraces those who trust in the  Lord.
12 Be glad, you righteous, and rejoice in the  Lord; *
     shout for joy, all who are true of heart.

The Epistle:  Romans 5:12-19

As sin came into the world through one man, and death came through sin, and so death spread to all because all have sinned-- sin was indeed in the world before the law, but sin is not reckoned when there is no law. Yet death exercised dominion from Adam to Moses, even over those whose sins were not like the transgression of Adam, who is a type of the one who was to come.

But the free gift is not like the trespass. For if the many died through the one man's trespass, much more surely have the grace of God and the free gift in the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, abounded for the many. And the free gift is not like the effect of the one man's sin. For the judgment following one trespass brought condemnation, but the free gift following many trespasses brings justification. If, because of the one man's trespass, death exercised dominion through that one, much more surely will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness exercise dominion in life through the one man, Jesus Christ.

Therefore just as one man's trespass led to condemnation for all, so one man's act of righteousness leads to justification and life for all. For just as by the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man's obedience the many will be made righteous.

The Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11

Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. The tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." But he answered, "It is written,

'One does not live by bread alone,
but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"
Then the devil took him to the holy city and placed him on the pinnacle of the temple, saying to him, "If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down; for it is written,

'He will command his angels concerning you,'
and 'On their hands they will bear you up,
so that you will not dash your foot against a stone.'"
Jesus said to him, "Again it is written, 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"

Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor; and he said to him, "All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me." Jesus said to him, "Away with you, Satan! for it is written,

'Worship the Lord your God,
and serve only him.'"
Then the devil left him, and suddenly angels came and waited on him.

Saint Day / Feast of the Week

Perpetua and her Companions
Martyrs at Carthage, 202

Vibia Perpetua was a young widow, mother of an infant and owner
of several slaves, including Felicitas and Revocatus. With two
other young Carthaginians, Secundulus and Saturninus, they were
catechumens preparing for baptism.

Early in the third century, Emperor Septimius Severus decreed that all
persons should sacrifice to the divinity of the emperor. There was no
way that a Christian, confessing faith in the one Lord Jesus Christ,
could do this. Perpetua and her companions were arrested and held in
prison under miserable conditions.

In a document attributed to Perpetua, we learn of visions she had in
prison. One was of a ladder to heaven, which she climbed to reach a
large garden; another was of her brother who had died when young
of a dreadful disease, but was now well and drinking the water of life;
the last was of herself as a warrior battling the Devil and defeating
him to win entrance to the gate of life. "And I awoke, understanding
that I should fight, not with beasts, but with the Devil ... So much
about me up to the day before the games; let him who will write of
what happened then."

At the public hearing before the Proconsul, she refused even the
entreaties of her aged father, saying, "I am a Christian."

On March 7, Perpetua and her companions, encouraging one another
to bear bravely whatever pain they might suffer, were sent to the arena
to be mangled by a leopard, a boar, a bear, and a savage cow. Perpetua
and Felicitas, tossed by the cow, were bruised and disheveled, but
Perpetua, "lost in spirit and ecstasy," hardly knew that anything had
happened. To her companions she cried, "Stand fast in the faith and
love one another. And do not let what we suffer be a stumbling block
to you."

Eventually, all were put to death by a stroke of a sword through the
throat. The soldier who struck Perpetua was inept. His first blow
merely pierced her throat between the bones. She shrieked with pain,
then aided the man to guide the sword properly. The report of her
death concludes, "Perhaps so great a woman, feared by the unclean
spirit, could not have been killed unless she so willed it."
  Prayer List 
We pray for Anne Dalton, Page Lee, Adam Barnes, Cathy Harvey, Laura Beth Murray, Joshua Scruggs, Jack Dixson, Charles Clamurro, Courtney Birk, Charlie Metcalf, Madison Krontz, Linda Stanford, Joseph Colarossi, Maureen Cooper, Chong Saile, Brendan McKiernan, John, Owen Harpold, Johnny Featherston, Carolyn Healy, John King, Jim & Glenda Carpenter, William Knowles, D onald & Sadie Woody, Susan Lamb, Linda Klocker, Walter Frazier, Jane Tucker, Maxine Justice, Tony & Liz Butler, Michael Driscoll, Rita Ensminger, Mary Lou Butterworth, Christine McCular, Nancy Byers & John Kunes .

March 2nd - Kyle Tilly
March 4th - Marian Watts
March 5th - Sid Brandon
March 5th - Christina Solis
March 9th - Anita Elgin
March 9th - Linda Stanford
March 14th - Chong Saile
March 14th - Larry Kish
March 24th - Jocelyn King
March 28th - Debra Sayles
March 29th - Jerry Wertz
March 30th - Kelly Eckard
March 31st - Millie English
March 31st - Bruce Kiser

Please let the office know if we have missed your birthday!

March 5
March 12
8:00 AM
Brad Frazier
Don Stine
10:30 AM
Jim & Flo
Nancy Byers
Mike Huskins
Adam Nygren
Shawn Baxter
Lee Wells
Lindsey Wells
Autumn Jager
Sydney Wertz
Lydia Kish
Emory Borner
8:00 AM
Laurie Stewart
Kelly Morris
10:30 AM
Sharon & Bob 
John & Jessica Woodward
Glenda Carpenter
Allison Wells
Chris Butterworth
Cheryl Saylor
Lenten Greens
Lenten Greens
Parish Breakfast
Allison Wells
10:30 AM
C.B. Barr
Morningside Resident
Lee & Allison
William Graham
Marc Dudley
Jim & Flo
George Sowersby
Susan Stroud
VPOD 8:00
George Saylor
Glenda Carpenter
Jerry Wertz
Marc Dudley

Blessings & Peace,
Fr. Gary+

phone: 704-864-7201
Fr. Gary's blog: