St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of December 22-27, 2020
Making Christmas Special in the Year of a Pandemic  
When our children were really young, like two and three years old, we bought them each a paper Advent calendar. Usually these things hold a small piece of cheap chocolate for each of the 25 days of December and have no religious images or messages. That year we lucked out and happened to buy them a calendar that over the 25 days told the story of Christmas.
This week's readings

Each night before we opened that day's window we would read all of the windows leading up to that day.  By day ten or so they had each window memorized and had even added in their own inter-window phrasing and questioning:

Window 8:  Mary was troubled.

Question from the kids:  Why was Mary troubled?

It was pure unadulterated innocence at its best.

For years I have searched for replicas of those calendars and am sad to report that my search still continues. Though I am starting to understand that the memory of those moments and the sharing of those memories is way more special than finding the calendar itself.

As we look toward this special day let us all remember that it's not the gifts that make the day. It's the people that we share that day and all of the rest of the days of the year that make life special.

It's been a hard year. Lean on each other. Love each other. Try to make every day a little special.
--Shawn Prater-Lee
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings  
The Sunday sermon
Luke 1: 26-38 Advent 4

Given the ugliness of the pandemic, this will be a year that we will long remember. Some of us have loss family or friends to Covid-19. And as we remember them the memories begin to overshadow the joy that we should be feeling at this time of the year. Psychologists tell us that the days before and after the Christmas holidays are prime days for the suicide rate to increase. And these may also be prime days for depression to become more pronounced. These are days when life's problems sometimes seem larger than life itself.
Imagine being a young woman planning your life at this time. Imagine trying to do all the right things. Imagine trying to make life fit together in a world where young women were property until claimed by a man. Imagine yourself in the shoes of Mary. An angel came. A message was delivered. Life for her would never be the same again.
The angel said to her, "Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And now, you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you will name him Jesus." I think if Mary was one of the young women in today's world, she just might have told the angel Gabriel to "Get a life!" But instead, Luke shows Mary questioning. And somehow she is able to see beyond the disastrous possibilities that she might encounter; and she sees herself responding as a servant of God, ready to fulfill her role in the salvation story. One might think that she was putting her life on the brink of disaster. She could have lost her future with Joseph. She could have been stoned to death. She could have been dispossessed by her parents. But somehow she believed that through her agreeing to this sacred request she might bring to the world the importance of hope.
Let me say that phrase one more time, the importance of hope. We received a letter from the Bishop discussing the 18th of December 1865. On that date, the United States congress voted to add a thirteenth amendment to the Constitution. This amendment abolished chattel slavery from our country. Our Bishop has asked us to offer prayers of thanksgiving to God for what that action meant then, and for what it means for us in the twenty-first century as we still seek repair for the long-lasting consequences of slavery in the United States.
The Bishop also wants to remind us that in that same year, 1865, our Diocesan Convention determined that the question of slavery was still too divisive for the Episcopal Church to take a position against it. In addition, history reminds us that our New York Diocese during the Civil War refused to condemn slavery or the institutions in New York which continued to profit by it.
Let us consider the concept of hope in the area of racial justice. Through the decades we can document opportunities for hope, beginning with Harriet Tubman and the first slaves that successfully followed the drinking gourd to the north and freedom. And with the emancipation came the period of reconstruction. And African Americans became full citizens. Now there was hope, big time. But then came the era of Jim Crow. There were lynchings of black folks all over the South. Segregation laws were established in the southern states that pushed blacks into a second-class status. And that hope mentioned earlier was dashed against the rocks. In 1964 and 1965 there were the Civil Rights and the Voting Rights acts which opened voting to everyone and the opportunity for African Americans to experience first class citizenship in the South. Again, there was hope. But in time, as if black lives really didn't matter, black folks were being killed in the streets by the police, also in American prisons and chain gangs, black inmates were being treated like slaves. I know first-hand about this because I have been a prison chaplain. And once again, the hope was destroyed.
Mary understood the importance of hope, especially as she stood at the cross watching her son die. And her sense of hope enabled her to know her resurrected son. So I will try to follow her example and do what I can to help bring about that day when blacks and whites will walk together, and skin color will make no difference at all. And on that day joined by those who shared my sense of hope, I will sing Easter hymns as loudly as I am able.
--Fr. C. Allan Ford



AT 5:30PM 
Our Zoom connections remain the same and are
Meeting ID: 823 3911 5280
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,82339115280# US (New York)
+13017158592,,82339115280# US (Germantown)
Dial by your location
       +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
We now have a YouTube channel.  
or search on YouTube for St. Paul's Poughkeepsie.
We hope to put copies of all of our online services there.
For those who have pledged - Your Pledge Envelopes for 2021 can be picked up from the church office beginning Dec. 28 - Mon., Tues., Wed. or Thurs. between 10:00 and Noon. At that time Church calendars will also be available for $5. If you are unable to get to the church during those times, please call the church office and other arrangements will be made.

--Shawn Prater-Lee

We are collecting monetary donations in order to purchase Price Chopper gift cards for our Food Pantry Clients. These are special gift cards that are unable to be used for beer or cigarettes. Checks can be sent anytime and should be made payable to St. Paul's Church with Pantry Christmas on the memo line.   
This money will supplement the grant received from United Way/ Holiday Helping Hand in order to serve more of our clients.
--Bobbie Gordon

--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler
Total deposit for the past week - $2340 (includes $550 for the Food Pantry and $800 for Food Pantry Gift Cards). Many thanks to all who are remembering their pledge and to those both within and outside of the church who are generously supporting the Food Pantry.   
We're looking forward to seeing you on Zoom until further notice. Don't forget to wear your mask!!!


Online Anti-Racism Workshop
January 4, 7, 11 and 14
A multi-part online workshop open only
to clergy and laypeople of the Diocese of New York
The online workshop will be conducted on the following dates:
  • Monday, Jan. 4
  • Thursday, Jan. 7
  • Monday, Jan. 11
  • Thursday, Jan. 14
All sessions will be begin at 7:00 p.m. and end at 9:00 p.m.
Participants will be required to complete individual viewing and corresponding assignments before online Zoom meetings. Completion of all assignments and attendance at all meetings is required for diocesan certification.
Registration for this workshop is limited to members of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
The purpose of the diocesan Anti-Racism Workshop is to help us become aware of how the sin of racism impacts all of our lives, and how we all unconsciously and consciously participate in racist systems. It is required for clergy in our diocese and highly recommended for lay leadership.
Dialogue is the foundation of the workshop. We use group exercises and examine scientific and historical evidence concerning the origins of the concept of race and its legacy.
This special multi-part online workshop is only open to members of our diocese. There is no cost to attend.
Of the hundreds of workshop participants, more than 85% have found the workshop to be "very useful" or "extremely useful" in their work and daily lives.
Upcoming Online Anti-Racism Workshops
All to be held via Zoom from 7:00-9:00 p.m.
(Registration for these workshops will open shortly.)
  • March 1, 4, 8, 11
  • June 7, 10, 14, 17
  • September 13, 16, 20, 23
Other Anti-Racism Initiatives
Saturday, February 20
Via Zoom
Atlanta, Georgia; Birmingham, Selma, Montgomery and Hayneville, Alabama
August 12-14 ~ Unless prohibited by COVID
~ Information about upcoming events and initiatives will be shared as possible. ~


 3 Andre Josephs-Clarke 
15 Jasmin Bryant29 Imina Sade Santos-Thompson
 7 Jeanne Henderson   
17 Felicia M Santos-Patterson
30 George Thomas

 8  Brendan Foley  
20 Ruby Smith
 9 Lillian Goldson

23 Carol Anderson
     Bruce Petito
13 Lloyd Waldemar

26  Maria Bell        


Please keep those on our parish prayer list in your minds and in your 
prayers, especially at this time of separation and isolation.

Our prayers are asked for:
Burton family; Becky Campos, Lillian, Matthew, Sasha; Paul & Donna, Margaret, Joe, G.J., Aleta, Plain family, Melius family; Ibadan Diocese, All Saints' Church, Oni family; Gary, Legend; Rhonda, Joe, Ann, all Teachers, Parents, Students, Theodore, John, Paul, Kathy, George, Janett, Renate, and Notoe; Sharon Greene, Owen,Agnes, Norma; McLauren family; Graham family; Wood family; Braxton family; Lori, Steven, Elyse, Jim, Seth; Phil; All essential workers; Beryl & Glen, Vincent family; George;  Daniel Mizell and family; Liz, Martha; Lourdes;  Eileen; the Butler, Richards and Barrett families; Fr. Allan and family; St. Paul's Vestry; Darien  family; Richardson family; Sherow family; Edna Clarke,Michelle, Kathy B.; Carola and Violet; Whitman, Medical Reserve Corp. of Dutchess County, Dept. of Behavioral and Community  health of Dutchess county; The Laken family; All Parishioners; Kairos International, Catherine, Michelle, Yamily; G.J., Joe; Lois, Matthew, Lillian; Lynita, Perry, Melius family, Sasha; Stacey, Linda, Phil, Jody; Tucker family, Branch family, Atkinson family; Alison, McGhan, Sterling, Unah, Avonel, Kim, Santos family, Madeline, Bramble, Charlie, Cynthia, Gencia, Val, Joanne,  Janet, Corkey, Pelaez, Josephs-Clarke family, Dixon family, Paulette, Jarah, Mertlyn; Adam, Paul, Andrew & family, Douglas family, Ron, Dave, Liz; Jill, Lana,  Andrew, Susan; Schneider family, all in need; Susie; Sherry, Claudia

Please "Like" our page to stay up to date with all services and events.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'

Our food pantry volunteers are in active service at St. Paul's these days. We give thanks to them and thanks to God for their willingness to help us by helping others.


December 22-27, 2020

TUE     22
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

WED    23
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

THU     24
  5:30pm   Christmas Eve-Service 

FRI      25

SUN    27
10:00am   RITE II - Zoom




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

Give us a call today!