Rector's Remarks
For as in one one body we have many members, and all the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, 
are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another. 

Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us 
use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts,in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads,with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.

Let love be genuine. 

Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another 
with affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be 
slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit,serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope,be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the 
needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 
Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with one another.Do not be haughty, but associate with 
the lowly.Never be wise in your own sight. Repay no one evil for 
evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all.

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord."
To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty,give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

St. Paul
Romans 12:4-21

So - Are you taking your daily Episcopal vitamins?


Morning Beloved,

I mentioned in my first occasional Rector's Remarks that one of my themes for this program year shall be promoting "normative Episcopal Christianity". These politically, socially, environmentally, medically, and religiously abnormal times demand a re-grounding and deeper grasp and appreciation for normal Episcopal belief and practice in order to hold us anchored and steady in these worrisome and wobbly days.

In my first remarks, I spoke about receiving the Holy Eucharist and being in each other's physical presence as part of our normative practice. The sanctuary is clean and bright. Come back and give face-to-face worship a try. I think you'll find, like the rest of us, that being in our sacred space is surprisingly comforting, and powerful. I am indeed confident that it is safer than going grocery shopping, to work in an office building, and other daily tasks we perform. Come see for yourself.

Today I want to talk about the importance of getting a regular dose of Episcopal Christianity.

Some people say that the Christian denominations don't really make a difference, that we are all more or less the same. Tell that to a woman who discerns a call to ordained ministry and is in one of the many Christian denominations that won't support or empower God's call in her life. Tell that to a gay, lesbian, bi, trans, LGBTQIA+ person who can't get married or ordained in most Christian denominations worldwide.

It's true -- most of the Christian denominations do share 95% of the same beliefs, but that last 5% makes a world of difference! In my view, as an intentional convert to the Episcopal Church, Episcopal Christianity is absolutely the best as it embodies the Good and Joyful News of God in Christ as Jesus intended.

It's important, therefore, that while we acknowledge the vast commonality we share with other Christian denominations, we also cherish, celebrate, and share our unique differences. In other words, you should be getting a regular dose of Episcopal Christian belief and practice -- "vitamins" -- daily.

Want to feel less depressed, anxious, and gloomy?
Take your vitamins and exercise your faith!

Here are three suggested vitamins, and one even involves a live, free, Zoom event tonight with an internationally recognized and inspirational Episcopal priest, Becca Stevens!

First, as I have mentioned before, sign up for the short, daily emails from the Episcopal monks at St. John the Evangelist Episcopal monastery in Cambridge, Mass. These are snippets of sermons, which, if you like the short reading, you can click through to read the whole sermon. It's a taste and possible meal, all in one tiny email. Out of all the many daily emails I have signed up for over the many years, this is truly the only one I've kept receiving because it packs so much good punch in so little time. It's a great multivitamin! This is literally the one that came in this morning while I was writing this email to you, Beloved:

Rule

God is not bound by the rules of etiquette, decorum, or nationalism. God is not even bound by the rules of cleanliness, holiness, or sanctity. God is not bound by the rules of religion, ethics, or gender. God is not bound by the rules of class, race, or ability. The only rule that God is bound by, is the rule of love, for God is love.
-Br. James Koester



Second, check out Forward Day by Day, a publishing arm of the Episcopal Church. You can sign up for daily scripture readings, collects, book suggestions, and more. It's cheap and an old favorite of many. Check them out.

Third, sign up to experience Becca Stevens tonight at 7:30. She is the daughter of an Episcopal priest, an Episcopal priest herself, and founder of Thistle Farms, a non-profit that provides physical, mental, and economic freedom for women survivors. It's free and is supported by our Episcopal peeps at St. John's in Larchmont.
Rev. Becca
After experiencing the death of her father and subsequent child abuse when she was 5, Becca Stevens longed to open a sanctuary for survivors offering a loving community. In 1997, Becca opened our first home as a sanctuary for 5 women survivors. Four years later, the women were making great strides in recovery, but struggling to become financially self-sufficient due to employment barriers. To address this, Becca, volunteers, and residents began making candles in a church basement and, in 2001, Thistle Farms social enterprises were born.
I've had the great fortune to hear Becca speak live more than once, and I never leave without tears streaming down my face and deep gratitude in my heart for this priest, her call, her ministry, and her great goodness in the world. She is a great Episcopalian. Experience her tonight!

Feeling down, anxious, and depressed?

Register to experience Becca tonight at 7:30 pm over Zoom, including the live, grammy-winning music of her husband, and the inspiring stories from some of the women survivors in the program.

There's a lot of light in the world, Beloved.
Do you see it?

Are you looking for it?

Are you making it a priority to find and to experience?

Are you spreading it yourself?
Are you a part of the problem, or the solution?

Remember what your Momma used to say: take your vitamins! Indeed, take them daily!

Never hesitate to reach out to me and/or Deacon Norm. We are always here for you, as is God and your entire church family.

With love and prayers,

Fr. Hal

"Glory to God,
whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine:
Glory to him from generation to generation
in the church and in Christ Jesus for ever and ever. Amen"
Ephesians 3:20
The Church of the Good Shepherd
39 Granite Springs Road
Granite Springs, NY 10527

www.goodshepherdny.org
Come check us out!