The Mouse for
September 19, 2021
"But they did not understand what he was saying
and were afraid to ask him."

— Mark 9:32
Proper 20
Sermon: "Clarifying God's word"

God's word is not meant to confuse us; at the same time there are things in it that are hard to understand (2 Pet. 3:16). Here are three examples.

Gen. 1:26, "Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness." We say this so often that its strangeness is lost. But compare it with John 1:18, "No one has ever seen God."

Here is another example. Gen. 1:27, "male and female he created them" and Gen. 2:23, "she shall be called 'woman,' for she was taken out of man." Is man a species with two equal but distinct sexes, or is the woman a derivation, and the beginning of a new line of creation?

Finally, here is an example from this Sunday's Gospel, "he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, 'The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.'"

For the second week in a row we've read these words (see the readings for Proper 19, especially Mark 8:31) and, for the second week in a row, they cause confusion and conflict.

It's time for Jesus to clear up the misunderstanding. And, like a true prophet, that's what He does. He clarifies God's word.

Come hear (or live stream) this Sunday's sermon and let's unpack a basic principle of biblical interpretation: that only God can interpret God's word. You'll also learn about the warning: from those most steeped in God's word come the most corrupt interpretations of it.

Last Sunday's sermon discussion was well-received and I would like to continue it this week. Please join me (and however many others choose to linger) for a discussion of the readings and the sermon after coffee hour.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Holy Communion, 8 a.m.
Morning Prayer, 9:30 a.m.
Coffee Hour, after church.
Sermon Discussion, after coffee hour.

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

If you have not been vaccinated against Covid-19, we ask that you kindly wear a mask while indoors at St. Peter's.
Also, please do not come to church if you are sick.
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.      Who do we believe is the Messiah?
A.      The Messiah, or Christ, is Jesus of Nazareth, the only Son of God.

Not a messiah from a people, but the Messiah from the chosen people. The exclusive claim of Jesus to be the Messiah is the same as the Jews' claim to an exclusive relationship with God. That said, this exclusivity brings "good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people" (Luke 2:10, emphasis added) because the futile search for truth by other nations (the people who walk in darkness of Isaiah 9:2) has come to an end. As St. Paul puts it, "the Gentiles have shared in the Jews' spiritual blessings" (Rom. 15:27).
Why this exclusive claim? Because God is one, and exclusivity is one of the implications of monotheism.

Upcoming Events for Youth & Families
(New item added!)

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 (based on feedback from Sep. 26 meeting)

*** NEW! ***
2022 "Ski Church" - Saturdays for seven weeks in January & February
One idea we're kicking around is "Ski Church" in January and February. Come as you are, from the slopes or wherever, for a family-friendly afternoon service (time TBD, based on your input) that will mirror the upcoming Sunday morning service, but shorter and with more opportunities for children to participate. We're calling it "ski church" but, of course, you don't need to be a skier to come. Come to the organizational meeting on the 26th and let us know if this is something that your family would participate in.

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.
Hobby Horse

An occasional series featuring the hobbies and interests of St. Peter's parishioners.
Crossing the finish line of the NYC marathon in 2018 in 3hr 25 mins.

Will Morlock: "Born to run"

I have been a regular runner since leaving university and starting my first job. Aware that I would soon become office bound, I was keen not to lose the health and fitness gained from playing sports through my school and university years. I am a big believer in “healthy body, healthy mind,” and this has never been more true than during the current pandemic, and the busy lives that we all now live, in general.

Running is a great way to clear one's mind and put things in perspective. It is a tremendous way to start one's day - and a run before church is to be recommended for sharpening one's focus on the sermon! (emphasis added — ed.)

There are fewer better places to run than the back roads and dirt roads of Dutchess County, but it is also an excellent way to discover new cities when traveling, or new parts of the country when staying with friends. One can run with others but, one does not have to rely on others — one can run anywhere at anytime, and it is unencumbered by costly memberships or equipment. A good pair of running shoes will suffice. As my father taught me: “the best things in life are free.”

How far one runs is a matter of personal preference but, like most pastimes and sports one gets sucked into them — and, as with most things in life, the more that one puts into something, the more one gets out of it. I typically run 5-8 miles 2-3 times a week, and perhaps more if I am training for a particular event.

I only started running half marathons within the past ten years, and I stepped up to my first NYC marathon in 2018. I am having a second crack at that race this November, its 50th running, having been postponed from last year. I must confess to having something of the "Peter Pan" syndrome — after all, none of us ever want to grow up, do we?

Will is running this year’s NYC Marathon in aid of the pediatric cancer charity, Ronald McDonald House, New York.

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 basic difficulty raised by [the Gnostic] teachers was to know on what authoritative ground their doctrines could be refuted.

"In a word the central issue was that of Authority. What was the true interpretation of the Old and New Testaments? Who now occupied the teaching chairs of the apostles and could give clear guidance to bewildered believers? Where could one find reliable evidence of what the apostles had really taught?

"Ignatius of Antioch sought to answer the problem... by insisting upon the local bishop as the focus of unity; without him the lifegiving sacraments could not be administered....

"A more permanent justification of ministerial authority came from Rome... in the idea of a succession from the apostles there was a weapon capable of being developed in the subsequent conflicts with Gnosticism. Against any heretical claim to possess secret traditions of what Jesus had told the apostles in the forty days after the resurrection, there was the clear argument that the apostles Peter and Paul could not have failed to impart such doctrines to those whom they had set over the churches, and that by the line of accredited teachers in those churches of apostolic foundation no such heretical notions had been transmitted." (pp. 41-42)
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Collect for Proper 20

Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Text or call the Vicar at (845) 745-8160 for prayer or a pastoral visit.

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