St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of November 18-24, 2019

The Bishop is coming this Sunday! We need to set up  Sunday morning, so we need as many hands as we can get at 8:00 a.m. Sunday to get the Parish Hall ready for the lunch after the 10 am service. All help will be gratefully accepted and we know that many hands make light work!
Confirmation and Bishop's visit
Our D iocesan Bishop, The Right Rev. Andrew M.L. Dietsche, will join us and lead us in worship on Sunday, Nov. 24. On that day we will hold only one service so all can attend church with our bishop. The service is at 10 am.

Bishops visit each of the roughly 200 churches in the diocese every two years. Their visits are ordinarily coordinated with the confirmation of young people. This Sunday Chelsea Taylor and Brooke Plain will be confirmed by Bishop Andy.

The bishop will also meet with the confirmands before the service and with the vestry following the luncheon.

Bishop Andy and his wife Margaret were Poughkeepsie residents prior to his election as bishop and their move to New York City. Margaret will be joining Bishop Andy at St. Paul's on Sunday.
  No 8 am service Nov 24

St. Paul's Church at Diocesan Convention

We were well represented at this year's Diocesan Convention. Shawn Prater-Lee and I were the Lay Delegates. Deacon Julett and Father Tyler were our clergy delegates. Julett is pictured at left bringing the host for Communion.

Father Tyler was part of the dramatic presentation about the John Jay resolution of 1860 (above). Facing Fr. Tyler were The Rev. Masud ibn Syedullah, the narrator, and The Rev. Sam. Owen, reading the part of John Jay. The resolution was one condemning Slavery. It was tabled in 1860, not to be bought up again until 2019. Father Tyler's character is seen in the photo offering to bring up the resolution, saying that they can bring it up, and table it again as they had done the year before. (Yes, he was playing a role dramatizing the 1860 Convention).                                                                                             --Pete Bedrossian                                                                                                                             

Christ the King Sunday
The final Sunday in every liturgical year is called Christ the King Sunday. Different Gospel messages and images are used in each of the three liturgical years. In one
This week's readings.
year Jesus' followers ask when it was they cared for him and Jesus responds, whenever you cared for others. In another Pilate questions Jesus, "So you are a king," and Jesus responds, "You say I am...for this I was born."

This year, crucified on the cross, Jesus declares to the thief on an adjacent cross who has asked for Jesus' mercy, "Today you will be with me in paradise." This exchange stands in contrast with the ridicule of the other thief who suggests if Jesus is the Son of God he should use his spiritual powers and get down from his cross.
In the painting displayed above Jesus is aglow with his own spirit, promising to the startled thief his salvation. We see the weariness in Jesus face and we see the nail in his right hand. It appears his death might come before the forgiven thief's.
As we contemplate this Sunday the kingship of our Lord and Savior Jesus we can consider our own crosses, those which we carry and those which may some day claim our lives. With Jesus beside us, the King of Peace, loving and forgiving, we believe all will be well.
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 

The meditation booklet for this year's
Advent Supper Series.
Advent Supper Series starts Dec. 4
The Advent Supper Series for this year has been set with a new publication of meditations for the participants.
Over the years St. Paul's parishioners have gathered on Wednesdays during Advent (and Lent) to share soup and bread, read meditations of the season, and conclude with Compline. The supper series takes place from 5:30-7 pm on the three Wednesdays in Advent prior to Christmas: Dec. 4, 11 and 18.
The new meditation booklet is titled Messages of Hope for Advent and Christmas 2019. It contains three minute devotions for each of the days in the season of Advent and Christmas. It is published by the Ave Maria press in Notre Dame Indiana.
A sign-up sheet for participants is in the Narthex. Participants are asked to bring soup or bread or drinks in order that all may partake.


Community Bags Sold = Donations Raised!

For the month of November, every time the reusable $2.50 Community Bag is sold at the Stop & Shop store located at 59 Burnett Boulevard, Poughkeepsie NY, St. Paul's Episcopal Church Food Pantry will receive a $1 donation. Learn more at our Non-Profit Resource Center.  


We are all familiar with the Christmas hymn,"Away in a manger." The manger is a food trough for animals. Jesus was put in the food trough by his mother after he was born. It was the only place to put him, as they were lodged in a stable.
The Companions of Mary the Apostle are conducting a retreat for the Advent season on December 7 in which participants will be invited to imagine the creation within themselves of a manger, a place to hold and to welcome Jesus.
The Companions will hold the retreat Dec. 7 from 10 am-4 pm at 9 Huntington Lane, 1607 Route 9W just north of Holy Cross Monastery in West Park NY. Lunch is provided. Suggested donation is $30. To register email by Dec. 3. Pay on the day of the retreat or by Paypal. 
Upcoming events

Sunday Nov. 24: DCIC Annual Thanksgiving Service, 3pm. The Church of Latter-day Saints, 204 Spackenkill Rd, Poughkeepsie
Wed., Dec. 4: DCIC Story Circle, 7pm Kagyu Thubten Choling: Buddhist Monastery, 245 Sheafe Rd., Wappingers Falls
Weekend, Dec. 7-8: DCIC Fair Trade and Handmade Bazaar, 11:00am - 5:00pm, The Hellenic Center, 54 Park ave., Poughkeepsie

Chef Peter serving at Consecration Sunday. Owen & Earl getting the food.
Parishioners lined up to partake of the Consecration Sunday fare.

November 17 was a special day at St. Paul s. Parishioners in attendance brought their pledges to the altar to be blessed and then enjoyed fellowship and a delicious catered lunch in Parish Hall.   

This was an opportunity for everyone to celebrate our many blessings together.   People unable to attend will receive a letter this week with a pledge form enclosed.   Please complete it as soon as possible and return it either by mail or in the collection plate on Sunday.  
The change of seasons is upon us once again, and the cooler temperatures of autumn call for soups and stews. Our Food Pantry clients will appreciate going home with beef stew, chicken noodle soup, and vegetable soup, all items on our "menu" of choices. Please contribute generously! Thank you.
Sunday's sermon    
The difference
SERMON: 23 Pentecost c 11 17 19
A blessed Consecration Sunday to you! Today we consider and commit ourselves in terms of time and talent and treasure, setting apart these offerings for sacred purposes. That is the actual definition of consecration: to set something or someone apart for a sacred purpose. It applies to objects, like buildings and organs and altars and holy vessels; it applies to people, like the young people who will be confirmed next week; it applies to our own offerings this day. It is making holy that which otherwise would be mundane, or ordinary.
There is a difference, you know. When we make a decision to subscribe to a cable channel on tv or to support a political campaign it is not a holy gesture. It is perhaps worthy, perhaps even uplifting. But the difference is that God is not involved. God is involved here today.
We have to be in the right frame of mind to think that our offerings could somehow be made holy. After all, it's just our time and our talents and our money we're talking about. And isn't money the root of all evil? How could it be holy? Well, as if you did, I'm glad you asked. Because in the Bible it is the love of money that is the root of all evil. An important distinction, especially today. Because we are attempting to register in our deepest selves the awareness that what we are giving for is God.
Now here is what I think is an interesting question: does God need our help? Does God need our time, talent and treasure? The simple answer is no. God's time and God's patience are endless, so if we are not going to step up to help provide for God's work in this place, well, God can wait for others to do so. Or not. It's too bad when we decide it's not for us, or not now, but God is both patient and merciful.
But what does need our help is the work of God. The carrying of the message that our neighbors are loved, the providing for God's people a house of worship, the engagement in God's name in this corner of Poughkeepsie.
Since we believe that God wants this church to continue and to thrive we open our hearts and engage our active lives and our monetary resources in helping make that happen. As a result St. Paul's Episcopal Church will occupy this corner of Poughkeepsie for another year. On behalf of the wardens and the vestry and the entire congregation I want you to know that your willingness to engage in this enterprise in our fine old church is a worthy one. Your faithfulness and your generosity are celebrated. I believe together we can depend upon our faith and our unity of purpose and continue to serve the community of Poughkeepsie from this church indefinitely. That's because I believe the third reading at the end of the Evening Prayer service which we read now and again when we conduct an Evening Prayer service in conjunction with one of our monthly meetings:
Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."
I have seen this prophesy realized in countless situations where God's purposes were being pursued rather than human purposes. It is thrilling to witness, like when the surprise check comes in to help us purchase a food shipment for the food pantry, or a new volunteer shows up to help out when a regular volunteer can't make it, or when visitors appear in church and rave about its beauty and the delights of our liturgy, things we sometimes take for granted.
If we are observant and if we are willing to forego interpreting these things as coincidences and instead attribute them to God we grow in what is known as the knowledge and love of God. That's what our Prayer Book calls it. I call it the experience of God. I don't get goosebumps from coincidences, but I do when I feel that some divine purpose has been fulfilled. And I find that to be the case more and more.
I was baptized in St. Paul's Episcopal Church. Not this one, but the one in Mount Vernon Washington, about 60 miles north of Seattle. I grew up in the Episcopal Church so I figure I've heard as much about the letters--epistles--of St. Paul as anyone. There are times, I must admit, when I find our namesake wordy. There are times when I find him more interested in controlling people's behavior than in developing people's relationship with God. And, truly, there are times when I think Paul understands the relationship between God and Jesus and the people who believe in them that just knocks my socks off. As when he writes, "Glory to God whose power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine."
Paul and his acolytes or staff wrote about a third of the New Testament. I attended a talk Monday at which I learned of a new book comparing what the four Gospels say about Jesus and what Paul says. The speaker was Michael Phillips, the former rector from Christ Church here in Poughkeepsie. I will try to get a copy of his talk and share it with anyone interested. What I heard from Father Phillips, however, was both surprising and satisfying. He described Paul's background and his emphasis on sacrifice and salvation and declared that St. Paul--our namesake!--had virtually hijacked the belief system that Jesus spent his three years in earthly ministry trying to reveal to his followers. Jesus was teaching God is love and love your neighbor and Paul was teaching that Jesus died for our sins.
This is not a new idea. Salvation and sacrifice have long been central to the Bible, especially before Christianity. But new scholarship has revealed that Paul did focus only on those aspects of Jesus he was interested in--chiefly that he was the Son of God who died for our sins, the ultimate sacrifice, so we should sacrifice ourselves to his purposes in the hope of eternal life. What Jesus said and what Jesus did was not important to Paul. Father Phillips noted that for centuries --millenia actually--people have argued about these divergent purposes. But today we live in a world where the church is not associated with answers to the existential issues of the day-- political division, climate change, income inequality, marginalization, LGBTQ issues, and so on.
As you can imagine, I am not about to stand before you as the Rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, and reject Paul's teaching. But neither do I think I need to ignore this other view. Further, the church definitely has a role to play in resolving the big issues on which people think the church has nothing to contribute. However, our denomination especially has important things to say about these issues. I am proud of our denomination and of our diocese which just last weekend took bold steps to acknowledge the sin of slavery in this country and the church's complicity in it, as well as a strong resolution demanding action on climate change and LGBTQ concerns.
As we consider making contributions from our lives of our time and talent and treasure, it is a good idea to recognize there are competing motivations for doing so.
For example, whether you think you should sacrifice because Jesus sacrificed or that you should sacrifice because you're a joyful member of God's team on earth--who cares? The result is the same. Our sense of engagement compared with our sense of debt is an interesting concept, but it is the result that counts. And the result is that whether we follow the dutiful path or the delightfully engaged path, we do what we can with what we have. The difference, the important difference, is that we engage, we participate, we give of ourselves.
Please take the moments in this service when you can reflect to consider what you'd like to see happen here and what you're willing to do in the church. Think big. Pray for insight into what's needed and, perhaps separately, what you'd like to see. Imagine your role, your part in the fulfilling of God's will here, taking on new dimensions. Think again about the difference: this year make your giving with grand and Godly purposes in mind. Dream big on behalf of God and God's desire for creation. You might be the person who comes up with a mission idea for St. Paul's that suddenly makes church matter to the last few generations who have not noticed its relevance.
This is a moment when you can decide to move to the high dive. And dive in. May God bless you for your continued engagement and giving.                                 Amen
A sermon preached Nov. 17, 2019 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY, by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector 
1 Mary Ann Oughton                 9 Millicent "Joy" McCurty           21 Rhonda Lynn Melius                     
5 Melody Ware                              Chelsea Taylor                        25 Ron Harris        
   Mark DeBald                         19 Cora Keith                            29 Shelly Frater 
6 Judy Lovelace-Donaldson    20 Mother Gloria Payne-Carter

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Debbie Pitcher
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Ushers:             Dewy Clarke
                        Aleen Clarke
Altar Guild:      Norma Williams & Mertlyn Tomlinson

1982        494     Crown Him with many crowns (Diademata)
1982        421     All glory be to God on high (Allein Gott in der Hoh)   
1982         508     Breathe on me, Breath of God (Nova Vita)   
1982        460      Alleluia, sing to Jesus! (Hyfrydol)
HYMN COMMENTARY: The hymn All glory be to God on high dates from the earliest years of the Protestant Reformation, and is often referred to as "the Lutheran Gloria." Both the words and the melody are attributed to German musician Nikolaus Decius, and both date from about 1523. Intended as a German version of the Gloria of the traditional Latin mass, the melody is an adaptation of a Gregorian chant, "Lux et origo." The hymn has been widely used in many denominations, and a testament to its popularity is the large number of organ chorales and choral setting by many prominent composers over the centuries, most notably Johann Sebastian Bach and Felix Mendelssohn.        

November 18-24, 2019

MON    18
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:00pm    Evening Prayer
  6:30pm    NA Meeting - Journey to Recovery

TUE     19
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Store
  2:00pm    Small Blessings/Food Pantry
  6:00pm    Evening Prayer; Seekers Group

WED    20
  7:30am    AA Meeting
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop 
12:15pm    Healing Service & Eucharist

THU     21
10:00am   Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop

FRI      22
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:30pm    NA Meeting 

SAT     23
10:00am    NA Meeting
  3:00pm    NA Meeting - Men Do Recover  

SUN    24
  9:30am    Choir practice
10:00am    RITE II - Bishop's visit, Confirmation; Sunday School 
11:15am    Special Coffee Hour
11:30am    Youth Connect


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