St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of September 17-23, 2018  
Humanity in a nutshell

 Proverbs 31:10-31;  Psalm 1
James 3:13-4:3,7-8a; Mark 9:30-37

This week's readings
Sunday's Gospel has Jesus explaining at the beginning, "The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands..." and at the end asserting "Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me..." Our Savior's grasp of human capacity for evil and goodness is total.
Our Hebrew Bible reading from Proverbs portrays a "capable wife" and details her competence in domestic and commercial realms. It is implied that few rise to her level of competence and goodness.
Sunday's Psalm and Epistle reading, like the Gospel, portray both good and evil and strongly. Both  encourage the former over the latter. Much like last week's Gospel, the reading from the Letter of James attempts to lift the eyes of the reader from the earthly to the heavenly, from the human to the divine.
It is not as though this is surprising or new information. Rather, our readings put on display the simple fact of the choice before us every minute of the day: to do the will of God. Sometimes we rise to the challenge, sometimes we don't/ But the more frequently we realize it's a choice, not a foregone conclusion, the better our prospects of choosing the godly path.

P A R I S H  N E W S

Julett Butler is our Diaconal Postulant

A long time friend of St. Paul's, Julett Butler, has joined our congregation for her final year of training to become a deacon in the Episcopal Diocese of New York.  Though a parishioner at Christ Church, Julett attends church with us frequently. She also participates in our midweek Bible Study group and has been a very generous donor of her knit wares to our Small Blessings thrift shop.
The diocesan training program for deacons is a four-year program. As this is Julett's final year, she now is permitted to serve as a diaconal postulant in a parish without an ordained deacon to supervise her ministry. In her year with us Julett will be supervised by Father Tyler. Mother Gloria will serve as her mentor.
Gradually, in the course of the year, Julett will be given more and more liturgical functions to perform. For now she is observing how we do things at St. Paul's. This is because there are differences of liturgical nuance at every church. As the year progresses she will be given more and more to do until she is authorized to perform all diaconal roles. Julett is also becoming acquainted with the life of our parish as lived out in our committees. Don't be surprised to find Julett at a Worship Committee or Altar Guild meeting.


FROM THE STEWARDSHIP COMMITTEE: Be sure to fill out your Time & Talent Pledge form and return it by September 30th.   Many thanks to the several people who have already returned theirs. We're hoping to hear from 100% of the congregation!!

Consecration Sunday is coming on November 18th. The 10:00am Service will be the only service that day with a luncheon following.  Be sure to be there!!

Sundae Sunday Open House: SAVE THE DATE! October 28th from  2pm - 5pm.  More information to follow - watch The Messenger to learn more.

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.  

Recent winners have been: Bobbie Gordon, Peggie Bedrossian,, Kevin Kelly, Molly Jones, Will Tyler, Val Stelcen, Mary Martin, Barbara Marino. Be sure to get a ticket so you have a chance to be a lucky winner too.

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.

C O M M U N I T Y   N E W S

Sunday Sermon

The divine and the human

SERMON: 17 Pentecost B 9 16 18

A couple of weeks ago we looked at Jesus' criticism of the religious authorities who knew the rules but didn't have God in their hearts. Jesus called them hypocrites. We all know the expression, "do as I say, not as I do," which openly invites the same label.

I found myself in a situation this week where I had to think about these things again. I've been appointed to a public board that has demanded much more time, energy and thought of me than I had planned. On Wednesday I was stuck in a meeting where it seemed to me everyone except me and one other member wanted to talk and talk and talk and talk about a project rather than just vote it up or down. I was furious. A couple of people had flip flopped and so the issue was tabled.
The next day, between rain storms, I was changing our sign on the corner. The new message says


This, of course, is the message of today's Gospel. How fitting is it, do you think, for a pastor to be changing his church's sign message only to realize, "Ooops. Time to set my mind on the divine."

And so I did. I prayed for a change in my heart and I prayed for the people involved and I thanked God for the reminder. And, to tell you the truth, I need to thank God for the weather because if rain hadn't stopped me from changing the sign until Thursday, I might have changed the sign Monday, as I normally do, and not been able to connect the message of the sign with my spiritual confusion.

(OK. Now I've thanked God for the weather.)

This message comes to us after one of the most dramatic exchanges in the entire Bible. Jesus is asking his disciples who people say he is. He asks this as they are walking along a road. He then asks who the disciples themselves say he is. It is Peter who blurts out, "You are the Messiah."

Look at the dramatic action which followed that confession of faith by Peter:

Peter declares Jesus is the Messiah.
Jesus sternly orders them to keep it quiet.
Jesus details his grisly death.
Peter rebukes Jesus.
Jesus orders him, "Get behind me, Satan."

Jesus then goes on to speak with his followers in very specific terms about what it means to follow Jesus. It reminds me of a time when I was in the process of being considered for the priesthood by my diocese. A priest who was a friend and guide told me that what they wanted to know from me was that I could not imagine doing anything else with my life than becoming a priest, than following Jesus.

That idea surprised me. I have a pretty active imagination. When I heard this week that Health Quest and Marist were going to develop a medical school here in Poughkeepsie I thought, "Gee, maybe I'll go to medical school." I can imagine a lot of things.

I took to heart my friend's suggestion and reflected and prayed about it. I looked at my life up to that point and realized that more and more this was the way my life was headed. I deeply desired to draw nearer to God, to my faith, to be involved. I loved being involved in my church's outreach ministries and I thrilled to help out at the altar and as a lector in my role as a subdeacon.

But when I got serious and thought deeply about what I wanted to do with my life, and when I knew it wouldn't impact my family unduly, I had no hesitation admitting that the only thing that called to me was the call to be a priest. Fantasies abound. But this is the real deal.
There was a time, like Peter, when I would have argued with Jesus about his earthly end. I, too, could've been told to get behind Jesus, could have been called Satan.
I loved the idea in The Last Temptation of Christ in which Jesus toyed with the notion of getting down off the cross and going and having a nice life with Mary Magdalene. My human mind, my earthly mind, liked that idea much more than this perfect person, Jesus, dying as he died.

But in addition to being human and of the earth, Jesus was also fully holy, one of the three persons of God. He could not say no to God because of his Trinitarian identity.
We presume from this exchange Peter learned that God's will is not something we attempt to change. 

We can let God know we're unhappy about it when God's will seems to involve something we dislike, like a friend getting sick and dying or a hurricane bearing down on family and friends. But these manifestations of God's will aren't subject to holy u-turns, whether inspired by human supplication or whim. Our task is to accept God's will and try to distinguish where and how we might comply.

The ever impulsive Peter once again has helped us see how it is we are to absorb the history of our faith, the earthly life and death of Jesus, in this instance. There are parts that are disturbing. There are parts that leave us incredulous. Yet it is our faith, we know its outline and its detail and its every twist and turn. And we accept is as our own faith, complete with its improbabilities and the discomforts it plants in us.

Jesus said, " If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it".
We are challenged to put down our own ideas on how the world ought to operate, what principles ought to be followed, and consider Jesus. He was the exemplar of all time, giving of himself throughout his earthly ministrty, right up until his dying breath, with which he uttered that phrase, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do."

This is loving God and loving one's neighbor writ large. This is our heritage. Our call.
A sermon preached Sept. 2, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

 1     Notoe Hodge                                                14      Clifford DuBois Jr.
        Brandon Clarke                                                      Jack Porter
4      Brian McCarthy                                             21      Aleen Josephs Clarke
7      Florence Greenway                                      22      Shamara Wethington Mizell
        Rebecca Lynn Brown                                              Douglas Robinson
9      Janet Woods                                                 23      Benjamin Porter
        Judith Mizell                                                  24      Gladys Morais
11    Louise Evans                                                28      Adrian Goldson
12    Marjorie Marks                                              29      Daphne Barrett
        Colleen Misner                                              30      Tom Walker

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'  
Server:            Maria Bell
Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Cora Keith
Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee
                        Jordan Rosborough
                        Ben Rosborough
Lectors:           Debbie Pitcher
                        Shawn Prater-Lee
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Usher:             Dewy Clarke
                        Mark Debald
Altar Guild:      Joanna & Rose Marie

Greeters:         Rose Marie Proctor
                        Alexis Plain
                        Barbara Gavin

1982                492              Sing ye faithful, sing with gladness (Finnian)
1982                379              God is Love, let heaven adore him (Abbot's Leigh)

1982                448              O love, how deep, how broad, how high (Deus tuorum militum)
1982                397               Now thank we all our God (Nun danket alle Gott)
HYMN INFORMATION: Now thank we all our God, one of the most popular Protestant hymns of all time, was written around 1636 by Lutheran minister and prolific hymn writer Martin Rinkart, in Eilenburg, Saxony. Eilenburg was a walled city that became a refuge for political and military fugitives during the Thirty Years' War, resulting in overcrowding, pestilence, and famine. Armies overran it three times. The Rinkart home was a refuge for the victims, even though he was often hard-pressed to provide for his own family. During the height of a severe plague in 1637, Rinkart was the only surviving pastor in Eilenburg, performing more than 4000 funerals in that year, including that of his first wife. The melody is attributed to a notable German composer of the time, Johann Crüger, who published the words and music together in 1647.

September 17-23, 2018

MON 17                    7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                                 6pm Evening Prayer, Formation;  
                                 6:30pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery";                                             
TUE 18                      10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
                                  6pm Evening Prayer, Seekers Group;
WED 19                     7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                                 10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;   
                                 12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;    
THUR 20                  10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop;  
                                  6pm Evening Prayer, Finance;  
FRI 21                       7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting;                                                       
SAT  22                     8am-1pm Safe Church Training; 
                                  3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery" 
                                  5pm PH Private Event;                                                          
SUN 23                     8am Rite I;
                                  8:45am Lesson's Discussion;
                                  9:30am Choir Practice;
                                 10am Sunday School;
                                 10am Rite II
                                 11:15am Coffee Hour;    
                                 11:30AM Youth Lunch Box & Connect


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