St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

The week of July 30- August 5, 2018  
Nathan confronts David
 
 2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a,  Psalm 51:1-13
Ephesians 4:1-16, John 6:24-35
 


bible.jpg
This week's readings
Mercy, mercy, mercy...
 
Here's an interesting coincidence: on Sunday in the Second Book of Samuel Nathan confronts King David with his sins. He tells David a story about a man who abuses his power and the story enrages David. Then Nathan declares, "You are the man!" This is one of the most dramatic moments in the Bible. Nathan does not shy away from David's adultery with Bathsheba or his murder of her husband, Uriah.
 
In our collect, the prayer which precedes the readings, we implore God, " Let your continual mercy, O Lord, cleanse and defend your Church; and, because it cannot continue in safety without your help, protect and govern it always by your goodness." It is generally accepted that the church of God is its people, God's people. It is not buildings. It is not especially clergy-heavy. It's all the people. So when we pray that God's mercy would cleanse and defend the church, we are speaking of the cleansing of the people of the church and, by extension, defending them from the consequences of the misdeeds of the worst of us.
 
This reminds us that we are dependent on the will of God and as the collect notes, the goodness of God. This idea is reinforced by our faith which has led us to believe that God's goodness guides and protects us. This protection is available to us as we live our lives and as we turn to God for guidance, insight, and other forms of comfort. As we pray in the 23rd Psalm, "Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life and I will live in the house of the Lord forever."

 

         
  P A R I S H  N E W S

 
JOIN US FOR LUNCH AT OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE 

 
Get your tickets for the lunch at Outback soon
TICKETS MUST BE PURCHASED IN ADVANCE
 Also, it's important to know that you may attend the lunch anytime between 11:00 and 1:00.

The following event is Saturday, August 18th - Lunch at Outback Steakhouse from 11:00am - 1:00pm.   Tickets are $15 per person and must be purchased in advance either by cash or check made payable to St. Paul s.   See the flyer above for more details.
 
Tickets need to be purchased and picked up at St. Paul s Church by August 11th or you can purchase a ticket from a Vestry or Stewardship Committee member.


GREAT NEWS!
         25 WEEK CLUB TICKETS AVAILABLE NOW!
Be sure to get yours ASAP in order to get in all of the drawings. 
Here's a reminder of how it works:
  
Tickets are $25.00 each. Drawings will be held every Sunday from July 1 - December 9.   Prizes for those drawings are $10 and $20.  
The final drawing will be December 15 at a party that will include dinner and perhaps musical entertainment. Prizes awarded that day will be $10, $20 plus the big prizes of $500, $250, $150, $100 & $50. 
You can win multiple times since your ticket is always returned to the pile so that it's there for the final drawing.  All parishioners are asked to buy or sell at least 2 tickets.
Tickets to sell are available from Bobbie Gordon. Tickets for purchase are available from Vestry members and Debbie Pitcher, Deb Williams, Rose Marie Proctor, Charlie Benjamin, Cynthia Benjamin, Janet Quade and Bobbie Gordon.

                     
                           
August 12th, 2018       
Following the 10:00 church service
  $6 per person or $12 per family
  Please feel free to invite family & friends. 
 

C O M M U N I T Y   N E W S


Sunday Sermon

A very old story
SERMON: 10 Pentecost B 7 22 18
2 Sam11:1-15;Ps14;Eph3:14-21;Jn 6:1-21

There is a scene from a popular sitcom that I thought of this week in which a character is asked point blank if he had committed a particular act. The act, which I will not describe, is utterly and obviously outrageously wrong, inappropriate, indecent and out of bounds. The character, when asked if he did it, pauses, for a moment, as I recall. Then comes up with the best defense he can muster: "If I'd known it was wrong or against policy, I never would have done it." It was ridiculous, absurd.

Most of us grew up knowing some version of the rule that ignorance of the law is no excuse. Our laws are rational manifestations of how we want society to operate, so not being able to anticipate a law, even if we are ignorant of it, suggests we are indifferent to broad social concerns. Even if we don't know the speed limit is 15 miles per hour in a school zone when kids are present, we know we should slow down.

I would suggest we are living in a time when social norms are being cast aside at an alarming rate. I certainly find it alarming. But I am comparatively old. And the rate of change that modern communications technology and social media have made possible explains much, if not all, of our ever lower shifting social standards.
It explains much, but not all. Because there are always going to be those who are quick to grasp the opportunity to take advantage of any laxness in society's expectations of them. Maybe they think they've earned it. Maybe they just think they can get away with it.

Sometimes we come to realize that people do things that are improper at some level because they can. They think they can get away with it, so they give it a shot. They think they're entitled, so they ignore the rules. We always experience some degree of shock and dismay, but it seems to happen pretty much all the time.  In the past few months we have been experiencing the era of the # Me Too moment, revelations of abuse of power involving sexual misbehavior and victimization. It turns our stomachs and brings on our rage. And yet we realize this has been going on just below the level of public consciousness for a long, long time. Until now, that is.

The cascade of claims made against President Trump seemed to have no effect until the disgrace of Harvey Weinstein. The public outrage that was expressed seemed to mount like a tsunami. Now we see clearly that it wasn't just these two or people of similar high positions; more and more public figures and others have been brought into the light.

I know I surprise no one when I say this is not a new phenomenon. Our Hebrew Bible reading this morning takes David from last week's contemplation of building a house for God to the nearly public violation of the sixth and seventh commandments. How great a fall for King David!

We consider the revelations with a dismay rooted in the awfulness of the acts and our sad comprehension of the hubris that infects us all, to varying degrees. Not normally as drastically as David, but hubris does run rampant in our society.

One thing that we may realize in the 21st Century that wasn't recognized in the day of King David is that David could have cut his losses by stopping at adultery and avoiding murder. But he didn't, of course. He was in a position to dispatch Uriah literally, figuratively and finally and he did so, rather than face the shame of his sin and confess and take his lumps. Instead he stabbed the loyal Uriah in the back.

We will see this set of poor choices play out in the Bible in the weeks to come. And we will see how the corresponding contemporary crisis of sexual misbehavior ultimately informs and enlightens us. Will it cause a more mindful atmosphere in our society regarding abuse of power? After all, that is precisely what generates the type of sexual misbehavior we've been reading about. People with power, usually men, forcing themselves on others, usually women, because they have the power.

Or will we as a society lower our standards still further, rationalizing as locker room talk calm discussion of groping and sexual abuse, and sex with unwilling partners as an entitlement for those in power?
I suppose it is possible that we are in the middle of such a fierce current of social change that the notion of raising our standards to literally and figuratively respect the dignity of every human being is beyond reach. That may be. But we will know only if we try. If we submit without trying to hold back to the seeming fast current of social change, we surrender that aspect of our Baptismal Covenant and break our vow to uphold it.

It may seem an impossible choice. To challenge the dilution of our standards or recognize and accept the wave of change. But impossible choices were designed to be confronted by our faith. And in today's Gospel we have a marvelous example of Jesus and his disciples choosing to operate on faith versus fear.
The concern is the giant horde of people who want to see and hear Jesus. It's hot and the day will be a long one and there's no supply of food. Yet Jesus says to his followers, effectively, let's rely on our faith, our higher beliefs. God will provide, the people will not go hungry. And so it was.

A wonderful reflection I read recently asserted that Jesus promised again and again the freedom from fear. In today's Gospel, after feeding the 5,000, he came upon his disciples in a boat in rough waters. Jesus was walking on the water and his followers were afraid. But Jesus, once again, said, "Do not fear," and calmed the waters and calmed his disciples.

Miracles are great but few and far between. Opportunities to live into the miracle of faith abound. They sometimes challenge us. They sometimes simply move us as we thought we were incapable of being moved.

But one thing is clear: our faith can eclipse our fear for the simple reason Paul laid out in his letter to the Ephesians today: God working in us "is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine." Thanks be to God.
 
Amen
 
A sermon preached July 29, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

                       
 
                                                  JULY
 
2    Elisabeth Emily Cecilia Gillon                              20         Kaylee Curtis
7    Janet Quade                                                        22         Ruthie A. Hodge
11   Ginny Gates                                                        27         Faith Mincey
13   Sharon Sherow                                                   28         Michael Babb
       Christopher Evans                                              31         Selena Hyson   
               


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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie
 
 

'In Service to God & You'
  
SUNDAY 8AM
Server:            Maria Bell
  
Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                       Adrian Goldson
  
Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
  
SUNDAY 10AM
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
  
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee
                        Jordan Rosborough
                        Ben Rosborough
  
Lectors:           Bobbie Gordon
                        Molly Jones
  
Litanist:           Mark Debald
  
Usher:             Dewy Clarke
                        Mark Debald
  
Altar Guild:      Mertlyn & Norma
Greeters:         Debbie Pitcher
                        Bobbie Gordon


 
 
 
 
 
 
THIS WEEK'S HYMNS

1982                       657          Love divine, all loves excelling
 
1982                       688          A mighty fortress is our

LEVAS-II                38            On a hill far away
 
1982                       690          Guide me, O thou great Jehovah
 
 
 
HYMN INFORMATION: A Mighty Fortress Is Our God is one of the best loved hymns of the Lutheran tradition and among Protestant denominations in general. Martin Luther was a prolific hymnodist and is believed to have written the words and composed the melody sometime between 1527 and 1529. A paraphrase of Psalm 46, the original German text has been translated into English at least seventy times, and has been nicknamed the "Battle Hymn of the Reformation" for the effect it had in helping spread the Reformation.



 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
July 30 - August 5, 2018

MON 30                 7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;                                
                              6:30pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery";                                             
                                                                                                                                                
TUE 31                  10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
                               6pm Evening Prayer, Bible Study;                                     
                                                                                                                                               
WED 1                     7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                               10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;   
                               12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;    
                                                                                                                                  
THUR 2                  10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop;  
                                6pm Evening Prayer, Evangelism/ Outreach;                                               
                               
FRI 3                      7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting;                                                       
                       
SAT 4                      10am Morning Prayer, Buildings & Grounds;
                               11am Block Clea-up;
                               3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery"                                                           
                                                                                                                                                                             
SUN 5                      8am Rite I;
                               8:45am Lesson's Discussion;
                               9:30am Choir Practice;
                              10am Sunday School;
                              10am Rite II- Anointing & Laying of Hands
                              11:15am Coffee Hour;     
                              11:45am Hospitality                                       

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