St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

The week of March 11-17, 2019
 GOD PROMISED ABRAM
'So shall your descendants be' 
 
 
  
Abram followed God's directions and believed what God told him. God in turn made his famous promise to Abram, that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars in the night sky. When we think about it we realize that metaphorically speaking this promise is made for all: our future is assured and safely in God's hands. God will provide. This Sunday's Hebrew Bible reading is the second in this year's Lenten cycle to display God's extreme generosity. It reminds us that when we set our goals in alignment with God's goals, our prospects of success increase.
bible.jpg
THIS WEEK'S READINGS

 
 
Our collect focuses more on those who have not adhered to God's plan for us, so we pray, "Be gracious to all who have gone astray from thy ways." We can act as though we're talking about someone else, but really we're praying for everyone, including our own sinful selves. We are all, after all, sinners in God's sight. Our psalm opens with this brave view:
 
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom then shall I fear? *
the Lord is the strength of my life;
of whom then shall I be afraid?
 
It reminds us yet again that we are safe in God's care, no matter what. This is reinforced in our epistle reading from the Letter to the Philipians, in which we are reminded that "our citizenship is in heaven." Jesus is mindful of that fact as he is warned about dangers he faces, especially from the local authorities who are disturbed by his apparent power and authority. His clear anger at the injustice of being hounded while healing and helping people is understandable, a reminder that he was never fully appreciated for his messages of hope and faith.
 

 
   Genesis 15:1-12,17-18; Psalm 27;
   Philippians 3:17-4:1; Luke 13:31-35



LENTEN SUPPER SERIES

Our Annual Lenten Supper Series will begin this Wednesday, March 13th at 5:30pm in the parlor.

The structure of the Lenten supper series is a half hour or so for supper, a half hour or so for the meditations and discussion, and a half hour or so for worship.

The booklet of meditations being used this year is pictured at the left. It is published by Episcopal Relief and Development.

The supper is provided by different volunteers each week. The supper ordinarily consists of soup, bread and juice.

Signup sheets are in the narthex for the Wednesdays of this year's Lenten supper series.
All are encouraged to attend. 
 
 
  PARISH  NEWS

   
MARCH IS MAYO MONTH
 
March is mayonnaise month at St. Paul's Food Pantry. Please bring your jars, any size to church on Sundays during the month and place them in the basket in the narthex. And if you are able to donate also a can or two of tuna fish, so much the better!
  
The Pantry's volunteers and clients thank all who brought donations of peanut butter and jelly in February. God bless you.

 
 
ANNUAL CORNED BEEF & CABBAGE DINNER
 
Our annual dinner is this Saturday, The Strawberry & Raspberry Fiddlers will begin at 5pm followed by the dinner at 6pm.
 
Please call (845) 452-8440 or email (stpaulpk@verizon.net) the office to RSVP your spot.
            

25 WEEK CLUB RETURNING!

  
A REMINDER FOR THOSE WHO DON'T REMEMBER HOW IT WORKS.
  
You buy a ticket for $25.   You are then eligible to win any of the drawings and you can win multiple times!! Weekly drawings of $20 & $10 will be held every Sunday at Coffee Hour beginning April 7 and continuing through September 22.
  
A final drawing and party will be held Saturday, September 29. Prizes of $500, $250, $150, $100 and $50 will be awarded at that time.
  
Tickets will be available beginning Saturday, February 16. Plan to get at least 1 ticket and try to sell some also. It's a fun way to support the church.
This time at least half of the profits will help pay for our new pew cushions.



C O M M U N I T Y   C A L E N D A R

Note: Please visit the DCIC website (www.dutchesscountyinterfaith.org) and their Facebook page for updates on these events and more.
UPCOMING EVENTS-PLEASE SAVE THE DATES!

Date
Event
Time
Venue
Tuesday, March 12
DCIC Annual Membership Meeting
Keynote Speaker: Jody Miller (Chair of the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights)
5:30 p.m.
First Evangelical Lutheran Church (325 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie). Reception follows meeting.
RSVP by Wednesday, March 6 by emailing us at office@dutchesscountyinterfaith.org
This event is open to the public and all are welcome.
Tuesday, March 19
DCIC Story Circle
Theme: Legacy
7:30 p.m.
The Hindu Samaj and Cultural Center (3 Brown Road, Wappingers Falls). For more information, contact us at
office@dutchesscountyinterfaith.org
Sunday, April 7
Maccabeats: Premier A
Cappella
4:00 p.m.
Congregation Shir Chadash (1168 Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more information, email info@shir - chadash.org or call (845) 232 - 1029
Sunday, May 19
DCIC Clergy Meet and Greet
4:00 p.m.
Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more
information, contact us at
office@dutchesscountyinterfaith.org
Wednesday, May 29
DCIC Religious Leaders
Discussion on " The First Amendment "
Led by retired NYS Supreme Court Judge Albert Rosenblatt
7:00 p.m.
Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more
information, contact us at
office@dutchesscountyinterfaith.org
Sunday, October 6
DCIC CROP Hunger Walk
More details to follow.
Sunday, November 24
DCIC Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
More details to follow.
Saturday, December 7 and
Sunday, December 8
DCIC Fair Trade and
Handmade Bazaar
More details to follow.

                           
                     
                              MARCH BIRTHDAYS
 
11   Margaret Robinson                                21         Linda Aleen Dubois
12   Tyler Jones                                                         Lisl Prater-Lee
14   Kattyann Goodwin                                 24         Alice Leigh
17   Deborah Marie Williams                        25         Michael Van Pelt
       Whitman (George) Williams                  26         Karen Reid
       Bryanna Winkler                                    29         Danya Clarke
20   Stacey Rosborough                               30         Stuart Ballinger
                                                                      31         Rose Marie Proctor
                                                                                   Peter Bedrossian
                                                                             

The Sunday Sermon....  
                           
Resisting temptation
 
SERMON: 1 Lent C 3 10 19
Deut26:1-11;Ps91:1-2,9-16;Rom10:8b-13;Lk4:1-13
 
We got a good dose of the devil this morning in our Gospel. So I thought I should bring you the latest Satan notions from the internet. Why should you always look at the fine print? Because the devil is in the details. Why will you never see Satan in an Armani suit? The Devil Wears Prada. Do you know what happens if you keep knocking on the Devils door? Sooner or later he'll invite you in.
 
I have been thinking about Satan this week. I have been thinking about him--I think Satan's a him, don't you?--for two reasons. One is that this is the season of Lent and we are talking about temptation. We start off with today's Gospel about Jesus being tempted by Satan. The other reason is that I found online the image of Satan we used in this week's newsletter and it really captured my imagination. Did you see it?
 
The picture shows Jesus atop a mountain, face raised heaven-ward, arms spread wide, a wind blowing his blue cape. It also shows Satan, a scornful look on his face, flying away, looking over his shoulder at Jesus, as if he's afraid he might catch what Jesus has: his faith. Satan has horns and cloven hooves and looks kind of rusty. He looks like a really unpleasant vulture that's been rousted from the mountaintop by the Son of God.
 
I like imagining what Jesus is thinking or saying or praying in this picture. Is he saying, "Thanks for giving me the faith to dispatch Satan"? Is he saying why would I want the deal he was offering me? Is he saying "Wow! This faith stuff works?" I think it's the last one. Because that's how I feel when I pray for help and get it. Maybe having an uncomfortable conversation, maybe keeping my temper, maybe just keeping on track with whatever I'm doing: I ask for God's peace to go with me and it does. That is such an awesome sense. As I wrote this I realized that I've never had that not work. I might mention it does sometimes not work when I don't ask for it, however. How about you?
 
Have you had that sensation that your faith has empowered or calmed or inspired or otherwise helped you in your daily endeavors? The really ordinary stuff? I sure have. As stimulating as the image is, as exciting as the Gospel story is, we still have to figure out ways to translate Jesus' experience into guidance that fits into our lives. Here in the 21st century. Personally I have not visited any jagged mountain peaks. I've never been to the top of a temple. Although I have climbed up in our bell tower a few times.
 
We picked a different image for the 10 am service bulletin this morning, this one from Cameroon, the Mafa collection, which we see occasionally. In it the presumed tempter is whispering in the ear of the figure in red. This image is much more subtle than the newsletter image. This image focuses on an earlier moment in the exchange than the one from the newsletter. The tempter hasn't yet been dispatched and is still suggesting glory and power for the listener, if only a commitment would be made to worship Satan.
 
I don't know about you, but I thought the figure in red could be a woman. If so then we can more easily relate to that person's humanity, rather than try to relate to Jesus in his divinity. The whisperer also appears less threatening than Satan in the newsletter version. Regardless we appreciate the danger, the vision of the community below, and we realize in both images the listener, whether Jesus or the woman or you or me, confronts suggestive notions all the time.
 
Hopefully seeing the ideas of today's Gospel portrayed in two very different ways helps us relate to it and imagine what benefits await us if we apply these lessons to our lives.
 
When we consider what Jesus said when tempted by Satan, we get a clear picture of our own proximity to temptation and our options. In response to Satan's three temptations Jesus said, " 'One does not live by bread alone," "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him." And "Do not put the Lord your God to the test."
 
We find it difficult to imagine being so hungry that we would sell our soul for a stone to be turned into a loaf of bread. Just imagine. But there are times when we are hungry for food and times when we are hungry for other things, so much so that we know we might lose our balance, emotionally, and accept an offer with serious consequences.
 
Averting starvation is only one temptation. Overeating is another serious peril. Eating foods which we're allergic to or which are medically discouraged or which can be harmful in other ways are all possibilities when we're off balance and susceptible to temptation. So we have to be attentive and careful about whom we're dealing with when we accept offers, even really good offers, and especially offers that sound too good to be true.
 
This of course is not only true about food. When we think about hunger we could be hungering for any number of inedible things, as well as our favorite tasty morsels. We could be hungering to see a friend and make poor decisions to make that happen. We could be hungering for a job and make a poor decision in accepting one or rejecting another. We could even be hungering for health or energy or fitness and overdo it in some exercise regimen recommended by a slick advertising campaign for dietary supplements or bogus equipment. Temptation comes in many, many forms.
 
Considering "Worship the Lord your God, and serve only him" reminds us that there are many people and programs and enterprises looking for converts, followers who will join the chorus of singing their praises. There are times, too, when we'd like to kind of give up this struggle or that and find someone or something to guide us. Often in the church individuals attain a following and become in a sense the center of the church, rather than, for Christians, Jesus. Remembering we're committed to worshipping and serving only God, and no one or no thing else, is the key here. That and not getting distracted by every bright object or easy answer that comes along.
 
Finally, "Do not put the Lord your God to the test" can be understood to mean a lot of things. There are those imaginary understandings we have that go like this: "If I make this light, God is with me." Or, "God wanted me to do such and such." Or even, "God didn't stop me when I did such and so." Usually these are misapplications of something resembling faith. Or wishful thinking.
 
Putting God to the test might also be taking irresponsible chances, expecting God to cover us if we get in a jam. We can always depend on God being with us, but we have to remember to not presume God is going to bail us out of every bad choice we make.
 
Satan teased Jesus with scripture that implied God would save him from being hurt if he took a leap off the temple. Jesus said "Do not put the Lord your God to the test." He also might have said that God's certain saving grace is spiritual not physical.
 
Aside from these three admonitions from Jesus there are many other temptations that we don't have time to deal with today. I think we can appreciate, though, that if we are thinking of God more and thinking of ourselves and our desires less, the chances are pretty good that we'll avoid inappropriate temptations and keep in line with our Baptismal Covenant.
 
Most of our temptations are pretty mundane compared with what Jesus faced in today's Gospel. When we consider the writings in the Bible and the temptations that were, if you will, available in those days, we realize that we might as well be living on a different planet from Jesus' planet. Except for one thing: the admonitions Jesus cited to Satan apply to us just as much as they did to him.
 
Yes, our so-called temptations might be overeating or watching too much television. Or they might be keeping our temper or civility in the face of rudeness. But ultimately what temptations represent to us is the potential loss of connection to God, minute by minute, hour by hour. And every moment spent out of touch with God and, potentially, unreachable by our own sense of God and our commitments to God, means unnecessary strain, struggle and stress on our faith. Why risk it?
 
A sermon preached on the First Sunday of Lent, March 10, 2019, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector.

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie
 
 

'In Service to God & You'
 
SUNDAY 8AM
Server:            Maria Bell

Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Julett Butler

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
  
SUNDAY 10AM
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
  
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
  
Lectors:           Molly Jones
                        Debbie Pitcher
  
Litanist:            Mark Debald
  
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
  
Altar Guild:       Hyacinth Curtis & Daphne Barrett

Greeters:          Rose Marie Proctor & Cynthia Benjamin             
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S HYMNS

1982              690          Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
 
1982              474          When I survey the wonderous cross
 
LEVAS-II        228          When Israel was Egypt's land
 
1982              337           And now, O Father, mindful of the love
 

HYMN INFORMATION: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross was first published in 1707, and is one of over 750 hymns by English clergyman and poet Isaac Watts. Before the early 18th century, churches in England sang only metrical psalms, or paraphrased biblical texts. Hymnologist Rachel Tillay writes, "[Watts] believed that hymns should echo the theme of the sermon and insisted that songs in the church should be amply evangelical and not just additives to the Psalms.  He thought that hymns should be freely composed and not just hold to the letter of Scripture; and that hymns should give straightforward expression to the thoughts and feelings of the singers and not merely recall events of the distant past.  Watts played a vital role in the evolution and creativity of hymnody as we know it today." The hymn tune Rockingham was composed by Englishman Edward Miller in 1790, and was first paired with this text in 1861.
  
 

 
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
March 11-17, 2019
                               
MON 11
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  

6:30pm NA Meeting;


TUE 12
10am-2pm Office, Pantry, Thrift Store;
6pm Evening Prayer, Bible Study;


WED 13
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist
1pm Parish Aid
5:30pm Lenten Supper Series


THUR 14
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 


FRI 15
7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting; 
10am Corned Beef & Cabbage PREP
6:30pm NA Meeting;


SAT  16
10am NA Meeting "Men do recover"
3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery"; 
5pm Strawberry & Raspberry Fiddlers;
6pm Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner;
6pm Private SH Party;
 
SUN 17
8am Rite I;
8:45am Lessons' Discussion;

9:30am Choir Practice; 

10am Sunday School;

10am Rite II; Celebrating Birthdays & Anniversaries

11:15am Coffee Hour
                          

YOUR NEWS BELONGS IN ST. PAUL'S  MESSENGER

Help us get the word out by submitting news of parish activities. Send submittals to stpaulpk@verizon.net or call 845 452 8440

Give us a call today!