The Mouse for February 7, 2021
"Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do."
—Mark 1:38
Here are the latest opportunities to strengthen
your faith and connect with the community:
Epiphany 5
Sermon Preview: "How to attain moral and spiritual health"

Sometimes cures come in twos. (Consider the two-shot regimen for the Covid-19 vaccine.)

Jesus works a two-fold healing of Peter's mother-in-law in this Sunday's gospel. Not only does the fever leave her, but her full strength is restored, enough so that she is able to get up and serve her guests.

Healing the sick and exorcising demons were important parts of Jesus' ministry, but not the most important part. Jesus preached and taught for moral and spiritual health too, "for that is what I came out to do," he says.

But there is one thing we need to do to begin, and must continue throughout, the healing process. Pray. Come hear (or tune into) Sunday's sermon, "How to attain moral and spiritual health," to find out more about how.

In-Person Worship
for Sunday, February 7, 2021

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

Saint Peter's is currently not located in a Covid-19 hot spot as determined by the New York State Cluster Action Initiative. We are therefore permitted to hold indoor, in-person services with the following restrictions, as determined by the Vicar and Wardens:

  1. Seating has been reduced to 25% of capacity
  2. Seating is socially distanced
  3. Masks are required
  4. Congregational singing is suspended
  5. Communion is distributed in one kind only

We ask that you please not come to church in person if you have Covid-19, have symptoms consistent with Covid-19, or are subject to the provisions of the New York State Covid-19 Travel Advisory.

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

First Sunday of the month Holy Communion will resume on March 7, 2021 at 9:30 a.m.
Church School

Childcare and Church School have resumed at the 9:30 a.m. service. Please RSVP to Marie Scagnelli at, by Saturday 5 p.m.
Catechism Corner

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

Q.   What does it mean to be created in the image of God?
A.   It means that we are free to make choices: to love, to create, to reason, and to live in harmony with creation and with God.

Ask: is the opposite true? On the one hand, you might say yes, because, after all, you are free to hate, destroy, backslide into ignorance, and to live a life contrary to nature, all the while cursing God. On the other hand, you must say no, because the opposite is not true—for none of these choices bear the image of God! Thus, free will only works in one direction, as a "yes" towards God (2 Cor. 1:20). Everything else is sin, which is not free. Sin is slavery.
Nominating Committee

The Committee seeks submission of names to fill one warden position and three vestry person slots. Email John Reid at
Every Member Canvass (EMC)

It is the time of year for the annual EMC appeal campaign!

Letters were mailed out last month, explaining the purpose of the campaign—to raise money for the operating expenses for St. Peter's—and outlining the anticipated operating expenses for the upcoming year. The good news is that in spite of all the COVID-19 restrictions, St. Peter's remains a place of constancy and connection in our congregation thanks to the wonderful services that Jake presides over each Sunday. The bad news is that even though we are not all able to gather together in person each week or have coffee hour, the expenses of running the church are not reduced in any way.

We have a lofty goal this year to raise $270,000, which is a significant increase over last year's goal of $230,000, so we are asking everyone who is able to consider increasing their contribution to St. Peter's by 20%. If we are to meet this goal, it is going to take 100% participation from the Parish, and, if circumstances allow, increases in everyone's giving levels.

The Vestry and our Vicar have already pledged for 2021, and in some cases, even fulfilled their pledges before year's end as a way to show their commitment to funding the 2021 budget. It is our hope that the congregation will follow their lead, and help us meet our goal.

EMC Committee members (Jim Wilson, Ginna Sermier, Sarah Stack, Andrew Garcia, and Phil Balshi) together with Vestry members will be following up with calls and emails to everyone in the parish in the next few weeks to make sure everyone understands the purpose of this appeal and its importance to the financial health of St. Peter's. Look for those emails and calls, and thank you in advance for considering our request for your support!
Sarah Stack, for the EMC Committee
Memorial Flowers

If you are interested in dedicating flowers in memorium or for a special occasion, 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.
Remember - no clothing donations at this time!
The church is always open, so if you would like to stop by for a quick prayer or meditation, please feel free to do so. Masks and hand sanitizers will be available in the church entrance.
History Highlight

Dutchess County was established on November 1, 1683. By 1714 there were 64 settler families living here, many of whom were members of the Church of England. The first recorded visitation of an Anglican clergyman to Dutchess County was in 1755, when the Rev. Samuel Seabury (the elder) was sent by the Church of England's Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, to Fishkill, N. Y.

—Louise Tompkins, A Landmark: The History of St. Peter's Protestant Episcopal Church (Lithgow, NY, 1971), 7-8.
Collect for Epiphany 5

Set us free, O God, from the bondage of our sins and give us, we beseech thee, the liberty of that abundant life which thou hast manifested to us in thy Son our Savior Jesus Christ; who liveth and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
Text or call the Vicar at (845) 745-8160 for prayer or a pastoral visit.

N.B. the Vicar has a new email address:
Questions about the parish? Please email:

The Mouse is compiled and edited each week by the Vicar. He asks that submissions to The Mouse be made by the Wednesday prior to Friday's edition. Please send submissions to Thank you.