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 22, 2018
Greetings in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ,
The words of Psalm 31, which we will hear and read this Palm Sunday, could be projected into Jesus' life experience and so they have often been. In so doing, we can sense the level of shame and scorn that accompanied
the events of his last days. But the psalmist wrote as one who clings to God and seeks to be faithful, not simply as a projection onto some future Messiah.
What does it mean to be faithful in our own time and place, when the privileged position of the church is receding into the past? How long will it be before our memories of the glory days "pass out of mind like one who is dead?" The story of faithfulness does not end with Jesus, or us, or future generations. He asks us to carry on. We are often sent forth from worship, blessed with the words mirrored in verse 16: "May the Lord's face shine on you and be gracious to you." What would it be like to actually believe that this will happen?
God, as we prepare for Holy Week, help us to trust that you will bring life out of death for us, and also for the church and the world. Our memories of the past are not our god, you are. We are in your hands. Amen.
See ya Sunday!
Holy Week Schedule
Monday through Thursday: Morning Prayer at 8 AM
Thursday, March 29th: Maundy Thursday at 7:00 PM
Friday, March 30th: Good Friday Services at 12:00 Noon & 7:00 PM
Saturday, March 31: Easter Vigil at 8:15 PM (Followed by a champagne and
chocolate reception in the Family Life Center)
Sunday, April 1: Easter Day Services at 8:00 AM & 10:30 AM
*Don't forget to bring bells to the Easter Vigil Service, and
bells and flowers to the Easter Day Services.
* Sign up sheet for Holy Week: During Holy week we have more services and a need for more people to serve. There is a sign-up sheet in the Life Center - please sign up for the times and services you are available for so we don't have to "assign" people.
* Special Announcement for Holy Week: New Life Metropolitan Community Church (NLMCC) has been sharing space with us for a year now. This Holy Week we are excited that they will be joining us for some of our Holy Week services. This year Pastor Dawn Flynn will preach at the Good
noon service and two of NLMCC's parishioners will read lessons at the Easter Vigil. Our relationship together is more than just renting space, we are Christians together on a journey discovering what our Loving God is calling us to do; taking action and then being transformed. Please join us in mutual worship.
* Last Friday Get Together: Save the date! Due to our usual final Friday landing on Good
Friday, we are having our gathering of food, fellowship, and fun on
Friday, March 23, at 6pm until
8pm. We will have our usual potluck, games, and fellowship. Even in the season of Lent, we continue to celebrate our family in Christ! Join us! All are welcome!
* Easter Flowers: If you would like to contribute to the Easter Altar Flower Arrangement to be placed in the church for Easter Services in memory or in honor of your loved ones, please fill out the form inserted in this week's bulletin. We plan to have one large arrangement like last year. We suggest a minimum of $10.00.
* Easter Egg Hunt: after the 10:30 service on Easter Sunday. We are looking for donations of candy and small goodies like stickers, coins, erasers, etc. to fill plastic eggs. If you have any questions, please contact Allison Wells.
* Youth Events
: Please mark your calendars for the following Youth Events:
- April 8, 2:00pm
- Movie and popcorn at the Stine Residence. The Stine's have graciously offered their home theater to the youth for a movie. Please let Chris know if you plan to attend.
so we can arrange car pool; their residence is gated.
- May 20 2:00pm Putt Putt Golf - details to follow. This is our final activity until the Fall.
* Wednesday Book Club at 10:00
: The next book we will be reading starting
in two weeks
is Original Blessings: Putting Sin in Its Rightful Place by Danielle Shroyer. If you were thinking of joining the group, this would be a good time as we start a new book. The book costs $15.41 new with used books costing nearly the same. If you would like me to order a book, please contact me at
* Family Promise
: Family Promise is a community program that provides housing and support to families that are less fortunate. Our Family Promise guest will once again be with us starting Sunday April 8th, and will be with us the entire week until Sunday, May 15th. On the Sunday they arrive, we need individuals assist in moving the family belonging, and on the following Sunday to load the trailer. During the week, we like to have volunteers at the Fellowship Center when the guests arrive. During the week we find it rewarding to engage the children by playing games, coloring and other types of entertaining activities in the evening. We also need volunteers to prepare and serve meals. One of the most important duties that is required during the week is that someone be on the church premises to ensure the families' safety and to assist in case of an emergency during the evening. This program is a wonderful opportunity to give families without a place that they can call home, a temporary sanctuary by providing a bit of compassion. Any assistance that you might offer, would is greatly appreciated. For more information, or to volunteer please contact Marc Dudley at 704-718-4044 or
* Concert of Healing & Reconciliation: On
Saturday, April 14, 2018 @ 7:30 PM The Gay Men's Chorus of Charlotte will present a concert at All Saints Episcopal Church. The concert will feature Joel Thompson's Seven Last Words of the Unarmed which is a powerful creative piece addressing the deaths of unarmed men and police officers shot in the line of duty. Information about tickets will be made known when available.
* Luncheon Results: The St. Patrick's Day Luncheon was well received and thanks go to Alice Rudisill-Braddy, Charlie Jenkins, Cheryl Saylor, Linda Boyd, Marlene Nivens and Helen Goulet for preparing the meal and Bill Collins, Dave Smith, George Saylor & William Graham for helping to clean up. Thanks to all who so generously contributed, we raised $232.00 with expenses of $38.75 netted us $193.25.
* Donation: Linda Klocker has donated a set of DVD's/books from "The Great Courses". The Holy Land Revealed and Great Figures of the New Testament. Will put them in the conference room if anyone wants to borrow them.
* Garden/Salad Fund: The garden fund is in good shape right now and many thanks to those who have donated. Right now we have around $600 which should last us for a
* Church Yard Sale
: The sale will be Saturday May 5th. When you are doing spring cleaning, remember us. Things that sale well, to name a few, are costume jewelry, books, clothes and kitchen items. We plan to sale food at the Sale as well. If you would like to help in any way, please let me know. We can use all the help we can get.
* Adult Christian Formation: A study on The Lives of Great Christians. Our guide is Professor William Cook. Some of those we will journey with are St. Antony, the First Monk; Francis of Assisi; Augustine; and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Please join us
on Sunday mornings at
9:30 in The Life Center.
* Book Exchange: If you like to read, we have set up boxes of books on the table in the large room in the Family Life Center. Take what you want and return when finished. We will sell books at the yard sale on May 5th.
* Pastoral Caregivers: The Pastoral Care Committee is reorganizing. We are looking for parish volunteers to walk, communicate and visit with our parishioners who are homebound, struggling, lonely or sick. This ministry is key to ensuring those who are in need receive care and knowing that their church family loves them. Our desire is to have enough people on our team that no one has more than two people. No special skills are required; just a desire to love their neighbor. If you are interested please contact Deacon Martha, Deacon Cris or Father Gary.
* Cursillo WNC has entered into a Season of Reflection and we are not having Cursillo weekends at this time. Each Deanery is hosting Holy Conversations to discuss the direction of Cursillo in this Diocese. This is an opportunity for all voices to be heard and concerns expressed. All Saints is honored to host the next Holy Conversation, which will be held on
Saturday March 24, 2018 from 2:00 pm-3:00 pm. There will be an Ultreya from 1:00pm-2:00pm. We ask for your prayers; we ask for your thoughts and ideas; but most importantly we ask for your presence. All are welcome to attend. If you have any questions, please contact Cheryl Richard, Marsha Ellison, or Flo McCarthy.
* Outreach Committee: Will meet on Tuesday, March 27th at 6:30PM.
* Bishop's Visitation: Our bishop, The Rt. Rev. José McLoughlin, will make his parochial visit on
Sunday, September 16, 2018 (Please note the date change. The Bishop had to change his visitation date due to a calendar conflict). A bishop's visit is time for celebration as well as Baptism, Confirmation, Reception and Reaffirmation. For new members this is a time for being received or confirmed into your new faith community. Fr. Gary will offer a course, Episcopal 101, to assist anyone interested in better understanding our tradition.
* Cooking for the Army: On Saturday, April 7th, parishioners will gather at
9AM to cook approximately 700 meals for The Salvation Army & Cornerstone Ministry. We are always in need of more hands to assist in this life-giving project since "more hands make light work." If you are interested in this ministry, please contact the church office and we will put your name on the monthly e-mail reminder. Upcoming date: Sunday, May 6th.
* Building Use Policy: Our buildings are being used more and more and scheduling conflicts have occurred. Effective immediately, all rooms/buildings will be reserved and scheduled by the Parish Administrator through the submission of a form which are available at the office. Additionally, if you are in need of advance set-up for the room or event you are scheduling (night before, earlier than the event, etc.) please take that into consideration when reserving. We appreciate your understanding realizing that this will improve our ability to serve our parishioners and ministries.
* Save the date: All Saints Outreach will host a "Summer Blast Picnic" fundraiser on Saturday, June 2nd from 5-8. Please put it on your calendar and plan to attend. More details will follow!
* Save the date: Parade of Tables on Saturday, September 22nd.
* Annual Giving: If you have not returned your pledge sheets we encourage you to do so. We appreciate your gifts in our corner of God's Kingdom.
* 2018 Sign Up Sheets: For Coffee Hour, Altar Guild and Altar Flowers are on the bulletin board in the FLC. 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).
* Cookbooks: $5.00 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.
* Parish Nurse Ministry will be taking blood pressures after the 8:00 and 10:30 services on the second Sunday of the month. Nurses interested in the parish nurse ministry please contact Cheryl Saylor, MSN.
* Zumba: Now being offered 3 days a week in the Family Life Center!
- Tuesday & Thursday at 7:15PM: Please join Dana Wolfe for a fun workout made for everyone. The class that started the dance-fitness revolution and changed the way we look at a "workout" forever. It's fun, effective and best of all? Made for everyone! ($5/class or $20/month)
- Friday at 9:15AM: Taught by certified instructor Barbara Mooradian who has been teaching for 6 years. Especially suited to older adults or those with mobility issues or restrictions, Zumba Gold has all of the liveliness and fun of Zumba while being low impact and easier on the body. It can even be done while sitting! ($5/class)
* First Sunday of the month Coffee Hour: We need someone to set up and clean up only
for Coffee Hour on Parish Breakfast Sunday. You do not have to provide any food, just set out the food left from breakfast. Please sign up for this on the Coffee Hour sign-up sheet.
* Youth Christian Formation: Christian Formation for our young people begins at 9:30 sharp. Our new program is an Episcopal curriculum. We have 11 dedicated teachers and three dedicated musicians who will be guiding our young people. Please bring your children and let them experience God and Jesus with others.
* Choir Rehearsal: Sunday mornings
at 9:25 am.
* Food Pantry: Please help us restock the shelves! Through your generosity, we have been able to help many families and individuals.
* Preaching ROTA (rotation) at All Saints: We are blessed at All Saints to hear three different voices in preaching. Each one of our clergy; Gary, Cris and Martha, have experienced the world and see the world differently and through different lenses. Because our community is made up of different people from different experiences we need to hear different voices. At All Saints, Deacon Cris preaches on the 3rd
Sunday of each month, Deacon Martha preaches on the 1st
Sunday of alternate months, and Fr. Gary preaches the other Sundays. We hope you find the different voices fulfilling in your spiritual journey.
* Salvation Army Service Schedule: Monday, March 26th - Team #5. (Linda Boyd & Charlie Jenkins)
* 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: AllSaintsGastonia.org as well as our facebook and twitter pages. To submit your story, go to AllSaintsGastonia.org 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.
* Partnership: All Saints has entered into a relationship with the YMCA's Resource Connection Gateway. This 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
. 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.
* All Saints Sermons online: Thanks to John Woodward, our sermons are available in audio and video on our website at: www.allsaintsgastonia.org/sermons
* 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.
* 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 (email@example.com) or speak to Fr. Gary.
March 23rd: Last Friday Get Together
March 24th: Ultreya & Holy Conversations
March 27th: Outreach Committee
April 7th: Cooking for the Army
April 8th: Youth Event
April 14th: Concert
April 29th: Parish Picnic
May 5th: Yard Sale
May 6th: Cooking for the Army
May 20th: Youth Event
June 2nd: Summer Blast Picnic
September 16th: Bishop Jose Visit
September 22nd: Parade of Tables
This Sunday's Scripture Readings
The Liturgy of the Palms
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Give thanks to the
Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now proclaim, *
"His mercy endures for ever."
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them;
I will offer thanks to the
20 "This is the gate of the
he who is righteous may enter."
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the
Lord's doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the
Lord has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
Lord, hosannah! *
Lord, send us now success.
26 Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; *
we bless you from the house of the
27 God is the
Lord; he has shined upon us; *
form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar.
28 "You are my God, and I will thank you; *
you are my God, and I will exalt you."
29 Give thanks to the
Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
The Gospel: Mark 11:1-11
When they were approaching Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples and said to them, "Go into the village ahead of you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find tied there a colt that has never been ridden; untie it and bring it. If anyone says to you, 'Why are you doing this?' just say this, 'The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.'" They went away and found a colt tied near a door, outside in the street. As they were untying it, some of the bystanders said to them, "What are you doing, untying the colt?" They told them what Jesus had said; and they allowed them to take it. Then they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks on it; and he sat on it. Many people spread their cloaks on the road, and others spread leafy branches that they had cut in the fields. Then those who went ahead and those who followed were shouting,
Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!
Blessed is the coming kingdom of our ancestor David!
Hosanna in the highest heaven!"
The Liturgy of the Word
Almighty and everliving God, in your tender love for the human race you sent your Son our Savior Jesus Christ to take upon him our nature, and to suffer death upon the cross, giving us the example of his great humility: Mercifully grant that we may walk in the way of his suffering, and also share in his resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The First Lesson: Isaiah 50:4-9a
God has given me
the tongue of a teacher,
that I may know how to sustain
the weary with a word.
Morning by morning he wakens--
wakens my ear
to listen as those who are taught.
God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious,
I did not turn backward.
I gave my back to those who struck me,
and my cheeks to those who pulled out the beard;
I did not hide my face
from insult and spitting.
God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame;
he who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who are my adversaries?
Let them confront me.
It is the Lord
God who helps me;
who will declare me guilty?
Have mercy on me, O
Lord, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.
10 For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.
11 I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.
12 I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.
13 For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.
14 But as for me, I have trusted in you, O
I have said, "You are my God.
15 My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.
16 Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me."
The Epistle: Philippians 2:5-11
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death--
even death on a cross.
Therefore God also highly exalted him
and gave him the name
that is above every name,
so that at the name of Jesus
every knee should bend,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
and every tongue should confess
that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.
The Gospel: Mark 14:1-15:47
It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him; for they said, "Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people."
While he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he sat at the table, a woman came with an alabaster jar of very costly ointment of nard, and she broke open the jar and poured the ointment on his head. But some were there who said to one another in anger, "Why was the ointment wasted in this way? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor." And they scolded her. But Jesus said, "Let her alone; why do you trouble her? She has performed a good service for me. For you always have the poor with you, and you can show kindness to them whenever you wish; but you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for its burial. Truly I tell you, wherever the good news is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in remembrance of her."
Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. When they heard it, they were greatly pleased, and promised to give him money. So he began to look for an opportunity to betray him.
On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb is sacrificed, his disciples said to him, "Where do you want us to go and make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?" So he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, "Go into the city, and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you; follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, 'The Teacher asks, Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there." So the disciples set out and went to the city, and found everything as he had told them; and they prepared the Passover meal.
When it was evening, he came with the twelve. And when they had taken their places and were eating, Jesus said, "Truly I tell you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me." They began to be distressed and to say to him one after another, "Surely, not I?" He said to them, "It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that one not to have been born."
While they were eating, he took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them, and said, "Take; this is my body." Then he took a cup, and after giving thanks he gave it to them, and all of them drank from it. He said to them, "This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I tell you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God."
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. And Jesus said to them, "You will all become deserters; for it is written,
'I will strike the shepherd,
and the sheep will be scattered.'
But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee." Peter said to him, "Even though all become deserters, I will not." Jesus said to him, "Truly I tell you, this day, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." But he said vehemently, "Even though I must die with you, I will not deny you." And all of them said the same.
They went to a place called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And he said to them, "I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake." And going a little farther, he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, "Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what you want." He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, my betrayer is at hand."
Immediately, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the twelve, arrived; and with him there was a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the scribes, and the elders. Now the betrayer had given them a sign, saying, "The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard." So when he came, he went up to him at once and said, "Rabbi!" and kissed him. Then they laid hands on him and arrested him. But one of those who stood near drew his sword and struck the slave of the high priest, cutting off his ear. Then Jesus said to them, "Have you come out with swords and clubs to arrest me as though I were a bandit? Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not arrest me. But let the scriptures be fulfilled." All of them deserted him and fled.
A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen cloth and ran off naked.
They took Jesus to the high priest; and all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes were assembled. Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest; and he was sitting with the guards, warming himself at the fire. Now the chief priests and the whole council were looking for testimony against Jesus to put him to death; but they found none. For many gave false testimony against him, and their testimony did not agree. Some stood up and gave false testimony against him, saying, "We heard him say, 'I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'" But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, "Have you no answer? What is it that they testify against you?" But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, "Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?" Jesus said, "I am; and
'you will see the Son of Man
seated at the right hand of the Power,'
and 'coming with the clouds of heaven.'"
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, "Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision?" All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, "Prophesy!" The guards also took him over and beat him.
While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant-girls of the high priest came by. When she saw Peter warming himself, she stared at him and said, "You also were with Jesus, the man from Nazareth." But he denied it, saying, "I do not know or understand what you are talking about." And he went out into the forecourt. Then the cock crowed. And the servant-girl, on seeing him, began again to say to the bystanders, "This man is one of them." But again he denied it. Then after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, "Certainly you are one of them; for you are a Galilean." But he began to curse, and he swore an oath, "I do not know this man you are talking about." At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down and wept.
As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" He answered him, "You say so." Then the chief priests accused him of many things. Pilate asked him again, "Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you." But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked. Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection. So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom. Then he answered them, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?" For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over. But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead. Pilate spoke to them again, "Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?" They shouted back, "Crucify him!" Pilate asked them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him!" So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters); and they called together the whole cohort. And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him. And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him. After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull). And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it. And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him. The inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews." And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself, and come down from the cross!" In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself. Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, "Listen, he is calling for Elijah." And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down." Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was God's Son!"
There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time. When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph. Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body was laid.
Saint Day / Feast of the Week
First Bishop of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, 1831
Richard Allen was born into slavery in 1760 in Germantown,
Pennsylvania. Allen, his parents, and his siblings were eventually sold
to owner Stokely Sturgis, whose plantation was in Delaware. The
Methodists were already active in Delaware, and Sturgis allowed
Allen to attend church. At the age of 17, Richard underwent a classic
conversion experience: "I cried to the Lord both day and night," Allen
said. "All of a sudden my dungeon shook, my chains flew off, and,
glory to God, I cried."
Allen brought members of the Methodist Church into his master's
home, where Sturgis heard a sermon by the great Methodist preacher
Freeborn Garrettson. Sturgis was himself converted, and he allowed
Allen to hire himself out and purchase his freedom; five years later,
Richard Allen was a free man.
In 1786, Allen became a preacher at St. George's United Methodist
Church, but he was restricted to preaching at early morning services.
Eventually, as black membership increased, the vestry decided to build
a segregated section for black worshippers. Allen, along with his friend
Absalom Jones, resented the segregation of his fellow black Christians,
and in 1787, Allen and Jones led black worshippers out of St. George's
While Jones and many of those associated with him joined the Episcopal
Church, Allen wanted to continue in his Methodist religion. He had
been cooperating with Bishop Francis Asbury to spread Methodism
among African Americans, and in 1794 he founded Bethel Church in
Philadelphia. When the newly formed African Methodist Episcopal
Church declared its independence, Allen became its first Bishop.
Throughout his life, Richard Allen remained an advocate of freedom
for all people, even operating a station on the underground railroad for
escaped slaves. His ardent belief in the brotherhood of all who belonged
to Christ is best expressed in one of the many hymns he wrote:
Why do they then appear so mean
And why so much despised?
Because of their rich robes unseen
The world is not appriz'd.
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April 23rd - Calvin Boyd
April 24th - Deacon Cris South
April 25th - George Saylor
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April 26th - Allison Wells
April 29th - Robert DeCristofor
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Blessings & Peace,