The Mouse for August 29, 2021
"You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God with which I am charging you."

— Deuteronomy 4:2
Proper 17
Sermon: "Addition by subtraction"

After last week's sermon (see: "Put away the gods"), a parishioner said to me, "Your sermon needs a sequel. What are we, as the chosen, supposed to do?"

This week's readings from Deuteronomy give the answer.

Moses says,"You must observe [the law] diligently, for this will show your wisdom and discernment to the peoples, who, when they hear all these statutes, will say, 'Surely this great nation is a wise and discerning people!'" (Deut. 4:6).

The Jew's task is to preach Torah to the whole world. The nations are to take note of the Jews and of the special way in which they live. Commenting on this passage Joseph Soloveitchik wrote, "our way of life must impress and attract people and fascinate their curiosity."

Can that be said of Christians? If not, might it be because of an hypocrisy that leads to indifference, as Jesus explains in this Sunday's reading from Mark? Come hear (or live stream) this Sunday's sermon to learn more about the integrity God expects of those who believe in Him.

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Holy Communion, 8 a.m.
Morning Prayer, 9:30 a.m.

You can also live-stream the 9:30 service by clicking here.
Catechism Corner

The Vicar continues his weekly exposition of the Catechism, found in the Book of Common Prayer, pp. 845-862.

Sin and Redemption, pp. 848-849
Q.     What is redemption?
A.      Redemption is the act of God which sets us free from the power of evil, sin, and death.

When I was child, my friends and I would collect pop bottles, bring them to the store to redeem them, and use the nickels and dimes we got back to buy candy. You can still do that, but nowadays most of us just put our cans and bottles in the recycling bin. In other words, we set them aside. But that is only the first step.

So too with salvation. Jesus first sets us aside (see 2 Cor. 6:17) when He calls us to live a new life. That call to conversion can only happen during our lives. But redemption must wait until after our deaths. Only then are we “cashed in” for our full value. Until then, “we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies” (Rom. 8:23).

Upcoming Events for Youth & Families

Sunday, September 26, 11 a.m. - Youth & Family Programming Organizational Meeting
Join us after coffee hour for a check-in of no more than 45 minutes to see where we all are. 18 months of pandemic has changed a lot of habits. Is church and church school still on your list? How about an acolyte program? Would you like to do a Christmas pageant this year? Have children that are confirmation age? This is the meeting to discuss everything and sort it all out. What we do in 2021-2022 will be informed by your input.

Sunday, October 3, 9:30 a.m. - Annual St. Francis’s Day Celebration and Blessing of the Animals
This is an annual family favorite. Bring your children and your pets. Outdoors, under the tent.

Saturday, October 16, 4 p.m. Acolyte Training & Pizza Party
This low-key event will introduce children ages 8 and up to the various roles in our liturgy: lector, usher, crucifer, and altar server. Sometimes it helps to commit to something and having something to do during the service is a great commitment! Serving in church as a child can (and often does) lead to a lifetime commitment to the church and a spirituality that grows as your child grows.

2021 Christmas Pageant - TBD

2022 Confirmation Class
The Vicar will offer confirmation class for children 12 and older after Easter. The tentative dates are: Apr 23, Apr 30, May 7, May 14, May 21 & May 22.* All days are Saturdays. Class is from 3 to 4:30 in the Parish House.

* On Sunday, May 22, 2022, the children will lead all aspects of worship at the 9:30 service, including the homily. N.B. we still do not have a date for the bishop’s visit, but I have requested either June or sometime in the fall of 2022.

All events in the Parish House unless otherwise noted.
Sermon transcripts available on the website

Click here and you'll be able to watch recent sermons and read along, as well as download a copy of the transcript.
Featuring our own Nancy Vanderlee.
For more information click here.
Annual Designer Vintage Clothing Sale
to benefit
Food of Life Pantry
Columbus Day Weekend — Oct. 9th & 10th


Donate Designer Clothing:
Go through your closets and choose one to three of your most fabulous, designer items that you no longer wear such as clothing, handbags, scarfs, hats, coats, shoes, and jewelry. Make sure items are dry cleaned, washed, pressed, polished and shined. Drop-off items at St. Peter’s Church in the Old Parish House by Sunday, September 26.

Columbus Day Weekend - Oct. 9th & 10th
Franklin Ave., Millbrook, N.Y. (Outside in front of Danielle’s Hair Design, near Babette’s.)

Write a check:
You may also support the work of the Pantry by writing a check. Payable to “Food of Life Pantry” please include in Memo line: CLOTHES SALE. Mail to St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 40 Leedsville Road, Amenia, NY 12501.

The Food of Life Pantry, run by St. Thomas Episcopal Church in Amenia, is a program that we at St. Peter’s Church support through our Outreach Program. To learn more visit
Flowers at St. Peter's

The floral guild is always grateful for donations. If you are interested in dedicating flowers in memoriam or for a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary, please send an email to with the date and the name(s) to whom you would like to dedicate the arrangements.

You can either send a check to St. Peter’s (PO Box 1502, Millbrook, NY 12545) or put the check in the weekly offering with "flowers" on the memo line. You may also add a dedication in the bulletin or leave it anonymous.
Online Giving

St. Peter's is pleased to offer the convenience of online giving via our website. You may make a pledge payment or a one-time gift either by ACH or credit card. From the website menu, click on Serve > Make a gift online, or click here.
History Highlight

Highlights from Henry Chadwick's The Early Church (Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1967), selected by the Vicar. Chadwick was the sometime Master of Peterhouse, Cambridge.


"The term Gnosticism is derived from the ordinary Greek word for knowledge (gnosis). The second century sects claimed to possess a special 'knowledge' which transcended the simple faith of the Church. But in fact their knowledge was not of a philosophical or intellectualist character, but rather a knowledge of the nature and destiny of man, especially Gnostic man, based on a grandiose revelation about the origin of the world which explained how evil had come into being and how one should act in order to gain deliverance from it. What they claimed to 'know' consisted of a myth about the creation of the world as the result of a pre-cosmic disaster which accounted for the present misery of man's lot, and about the way in which the elect few might be redeemed. In the elect, they believed, there was a divine spark that had become imprisoned in matter and had lost its memory of its true, heavenly home. The content of the Gnostic gospel was an attempt to rouse the soul from its sleep-walking condition and make it aware of the high destiny to which it was called." (p. 35)
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Collect for Proper 17

Lord of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things: Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and bring forth in us the fruit of good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
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