SECOND SUNDAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
January 3, 2021 - 10:30am
Anonymous, The Three Magi before Herod
(Paris: Musée de Cluny, 15th century), stained glass window.
Dimensions: 41 cm diameter.
Rectors Report
Most of us are glad to see 2020 in the rearview mirror, and are praying that 2021 will be a better year. Perhaps the rain before New Year’s helped to wash away some of the chaos of 2020. We have been through a pandemic of fear that has seen unprecedented events in our country and world. Few have not been jarred out of daily routines, and this provides opportunities (or requires us) to make choices on how we respond. In other words, a silver lining to the corona cloud is that we have gotten off autopilot, and we’ve had the opportunity to reevaluate what we’re doing and reorder our actions to be in line with our priorities as disciples of Christ. This does not mean that our previous actions were ‘bad,’ instead it means that the changing conditions can force us to lean into the work of a disciple, or respond as fear dictates (whether that be frittering or fretting away the time). St. Augustine experienced significant ups and downs of Roman society, and he observed that the Church prospers in times of peace. He then noted that saints are crafted during times of difficultly. Perhaps that’s the gift of 2020 – we’ve been given the opportunity to be crafted more into the image of our Lord Jesus. 2021 may also give us such opportunities, and I pray that we’ve grown enough in 2020 to meet them with faith, hope, and love. Soli Deo gloria!

I announced last Sunday that we’ve received new Diocesan directives about how we are permitted to gather in worship. Due to the rise in COVID-19 cases, all the churches in the Diocese are limited to gathering of 20 persons or less. Since it takes about 10 persons to handle the liturgy, music, and online broadcast, that means that only 10 additional persons will be permitted in the main church building. Most of y’all know that I have a difficult time turning people away when they are seeking to draw close to God, and that means we’ve had a few options to consider. The first option is to move the service outside into the breezeway, as the Diocese permits us to hold outside services without size restrictions. After considering that January and February are the coldest months of the year (not to mention windy and wet), and how worshipping outside would impact the liturgy, music, and technology team, we’ve kicked around some alternatives. I’ve decided that the best (or maybe the least-worst) option is to count the number of those handling the liturgy, music, and online broadcast, and then allow the first people who arrive at church to attend until we reach a total number of 20 in the main church. This gives an incentive to come to church early! After we reach 20 in the church, we’ll have the overflow in the Parish Hall (up to 20). This allows us to handle a total of 40 on church property. If we need more than this, then we could have a third group in the Parlor (though we haven’t had over 40 since this bruhaha started).  We’ve set up some extra pews in the Parish Hall, and the big screen TV will offer a live feed of the service. NB* we will continue to broadcast concomitantly on Facebook and YouTube for those not on church property. During the distribution of the Eucharist, I’ll bring the consecrated hosts to those in the Parish Hall. It’s serendipitous that I got a good deal on a number of silver patens last week, as we’ll probably have about 5 patens in use on Sundays. It’s worth noting that since these new directives will be likely be in effect at the time of our Annual Meeting, we’ll probably handle the Annual Meeting in the same way (and with online streaming).

See y’all on the first Sunday of 2021!

*Nota Bene or ‘note this well.’
A Morsel for Meditation
A countless throng. I have always derived much comfort from the statement of Revelation 7:9 that the company of the redeemed in heaven will be 'a great multitude which no man could number'. I do not profess to know how this can be, since Christians have always seemed to be a rather small minority. But Scripture states it for our comfort. Although no biblical Christian can be a universalist (believing that all mankind will ultimately be saved), since Scripture teaches the awful reality and eternity of hell, yet a biblical Christian can -- even must -- assert that the redeemed will somehow be an international throng so immense as to be countless. For God's promise is going to be fulfilled, and Abraham's seed is going to be as innumerable as the dust of the earth, the stars of the sky and the sand on the seashore. -- John R.W. Stott
 
A half-truth masquerading as the whole truth becomes a complete untruth. -- J.I. Packer, A Quest for Godliness: The Puritan Vision of the Christian Life (Indiana University, 1990), 126.
 
You can't go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending. -- C.S. Lewis
COLLECT

O God, who wonderfully created, and yet more wonderfully restored, the dignity of human nature: Grant that we may share the divine life of him who humbled himself to share our humanity, your Son Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The readings may be found here

 
The Flowers For The Festival Of The
Holy Nativity Were Given By
St. Paul’s Daughters of the King 
In loving memory of our departed Sister in Christ, Paula Backus
Marie Aughtry - In memory of Bill

Claudine Brown - With thanksgiving for the audio/video team
who make it possible to worship from home.

Jennifer, Jacob, & Jeff Faunce
In Thanksgiving for our friends and family
Ginger Garcia - With thanksgiving for my St.Paul friends

Georgianna Harrison - For our St Paul's family worshiping at home

Frank McKee - In Memory of family members who have passed on, in Thanks for the health and happiness of family members and loved ones who are with us, and in Celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Bill & Gail Rolston - In honor of our future
first grandson due in March 2021

Steve & Mary Ramsey - In memory of Kay Ramsey

Bill & Judy Shaddox - In honor of Father Gordon and Delores

Debbie Shaffer - In gratitude for my children and grandchildren
Suzanne Taylor - In joyful thanksgiving for the birth of my
granddaughter, Amelia Rizvi Loudermilk

Altar Guild Thanks you for your contributions!
Pray for the Church, the Body of Christ
Please pray for those on our prayer list this week:

Jincy is home, and she thanks everyone for their prayers.
At present she is requesting
no phone calls, please.

Please Pray for those on
our prayer list this week:
Family of CJ Cathey, Rita Woods, Ken Gunter, Bill Rolston,
Dana Medford, Marcy Walsh,
Paula Reeves, Judy Shaddox,
Mike Lavigne,
Dolores & Father Gordon,

Contact our church office to
add a name to our prayer list: 903-455-5030. Names remain
for one month unless
renewed or canceled.
We also pray for our Daughters of the King Ministry as they bring their strength and service together by praying for friends and for the people.

You may also add people to the list by filling out a DOK confidential prayer card and putting them in the blue box located in the Narthex.
PRAYER REQUESTS & BOX

The Daughters of the King support your prayer needs and wishes. Each Sunday a prayer team will be available to pray with you after the Worship Service in the choir area after the 10:30 service. If you would like additional information, please see a DOK member.

They also have a intercessory prayer box on the table in the Narthex to deposit prayer requests. Prayer request cards may be found in the pews and beside the box in the Narthex. Daughters pray daily. All prayers are confidential. Each person is prayed for one month. If you wish for continued prayers, please complete another request card or contact a Daughter.

You may call the church office (903-455-5030) and specify it is for the DOK intercessory prayer list. You can hand the card to a Daughter (she is always wearing her cross).

WEDNESDAY MORNING PRAYER & BIBLE STUDY

10:30AM via Zoom
see streaming below



Stewardship

You can make your checks payable to "St. Paul's Episcopal Church" and mail them to:

St. Paul's Episcopal Church
8320 Jack Finney Blvd. 
Greenville, TX 75402
You can also make your donations at http://stpaulstx.org/giving/ to make a donation using your credit or debit card via PayPal or Tithe.ly.
Streaming:
Since we’re doing so much online our Google, YouTube, Facebook reviews are particularly important. Please take the time to give us a 5-star review! : https://g.page/r/CfEFxlXVrQvbEAg/review

  • Our Sunday services are available live at 10:25 am (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCCmlrRFxbQF7CSAnFS8H9FA) and Facebook (https://facebook.com/stpaulsepiscopalgreenville). Our recorded Sunday service is broadcast on the GEUS community Channel (Channel 34) on Wednesdays at 8 am and 6 pm. Previously recorded services may be accessed anytime on our Facebook and YouTube pages. The recorded sermons may be found on our website as MP3s.
  • Remote Eucharist continues, and a few parishioners are helping me to distribute the Eucharist to parishioners’ homes on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Please let me know by email if you’d like to receive the Holy Sacrament remotely. The best way to contact me is fathernickfunk@gmail.com.
  • The Parish office remains closed; however we continue to check voicemails and emails regularly.
  • The St. Paul’s Zoom Meeting may be found at https://zoom.us/j/9037772020. Our Meeting ID is: 903 777 2020. To call in, use one tap mobile: +13462487799,,9037772020# or to dial: +1 346 248 7799.
  • Morning Prayer on Wednesdays at 10:30 via a Zoom meeting, and upload it live if Zoom and Facebook work together (about 75% success rate).


Masks worn by all at worship. Please bring your own!
 
Only one entrance. Sanitizers
will be located there.
 
Worshippers/households
separated by 6 feet.

No tactile passing of the Peace
Indoor services will not have congregational singing.
 
Collection plate placed at
entrance to the Nave
 
Bread only communion distributed within Diocesan protocols.
 
Join us for coffee hour

For The Kids and
the Kids at Heart


from 'The Star'

Just For Laughs
 1. The dumbest thing I ever bought was a 2020 planner.
 
2. I was so bored I called Jake from State Farm just to talk to someone. He asked me what I was wearing.
 
3. 2019: Stay away from negative people. 2020: Stay away from positive people.
 
4. The world has turned upside down. Old folks are sneaking out of the house, and their kids are yelling at them to stay indoors!
 
5. This morning I saw a neighbor talking to her dog. It was obvious she thought her dog understood her. I came into my house and told my cat. We laughed a lot.
 
6. Every few days try your jeans on just to make sure they fit. Pajamas will have you believe all is well in the kingdom.
7. Does anyone know if we can take showers yet or should we just keep washing our hands?
 
8. This virus has done what no woman has been able to do. Cancel sports, shut down all bars, and keep men at home!
 
9. I never thought the comment, “I wouldn’t touch him or her with a 6-foot pole” would become a national policy, but here we are!
 
10. I need to practice physical-distancing from the refrigerator
 
11. I hope the weather is good tomorrow for my trip to the Backyard. I’m getting tired of the Living Room.
 
12. Never in a million years could I have imagined I would go up to a bank teller wearing a mask and asking for money.
Shared by Rita Woods
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