St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of August 20-26, 2018  
Solomon and the Plans of the Temple

 1 Kings 8:(1,6,10-11), 22-30,41-43;  Psalm 84
Ephesians 6:10-20; John 6:56-69

This week's readings
Every one of our readings this Sunday is about faith and the church. Solomon asks God to accept the house he ordered built for God and asks God to honor all who show respect for God, including foreigners. In our psalm we reflect on the wonders of God's house, the temple, for Christians the church, not just as a building, but as a community of the faithful.
Our epistle reading from Ephesians has very militant features, including references to helmets and shields, swords,  arrows and breastplates, reminding believers to be forceful in defending the faith. We presume the specific references are metaphorical.
In our Gospel, from John, Jesus repeats his assertion from the last few Sundays about being the bread of life and the bread of heaven. Realizing some believers have fallen away and his disciples are struggling with these notions, Jesus asks,  "Do you also wish to go away?" Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God."
How we as Christians manifest our faith defines, in part, how the church represents Jesus in the world. In times like these when the church--all churches--are under increased scrutiny we seek to love God and love our neighbor. And we believe by worshiping God and serving our neighbors we fulfill our call and our desire to conform in faith.


On Saturday, Aug. 18th Seventy-four people enjoyed a delicious lunch at Outback Steakhouse.  We filled one whole side of the restaurant!  Thank you to all who sold tickets and especially to all who attended. It was wonderful to participate with such a fun group of people. I'd like to offer a special thank you to Linda Lucas-Cronk, Confectionery Artist and owner of Qwirky Kakes.  She baked and donated the delicious cake you see here.  I would strongly encourage anyone who needs a cake for a party to contact her at www .  You won't be disappointed!  All of this fun on Saturday earned $637 for St. Paul's Church.

Gerry Sprague's 92nd birthday was celebrated by parishioners at his home Aug. 3rd. The birthday hat was declared a most popular piece of haberdashery, but Gerry declined a request for him to wear it to church. It is shown here to share with those not in attendance to Gerry's fun spirit. We celebrated his birthday again on Sunday, Aug. 5th when he and Owen Scarlett shared a wonderful birthday cake.


Our Aug 5 Caribbean brunch was a huge success,
bringing in $329 and feeding parishioners and other friends. The awesome variety of delicious dishes was appreciated by all who attended.



Three gnomes from the firm of Goldson, Kelly and Jones disposed of tree limbs and a soggy sofa that someone donated in our parking lot. The sofa, once cut in half, fit nicely in the dumpster.

Volunteers for St. Paul's Outreach activities in our food pantry and thrift shop enjoyed a warm evening picnic Wednesday at the Poughkeepsie Yacht Club.

P A R I S H  N E W S

We all know the Nicene Creed: we say it every Sunday. But where did it come from? It goes back to the early centuries of the Church when our rituals and beliefs were evolving. Different Councils were called to meet and address the questions of the day. The first Council of Nicea (325) was a meeting of bishops in what is now part of Turkey, called by the Emperor Constantine. One question addressed was the divinity of Jesus. A result of the discussion was what became the Nicene Creed. The version we now refer to as the Nicene Creed though, while honoring that first council, evolved from that original version. It is believed to have been perfected at the 381 Council of Constantinople. Indeed the 1979 Prayer Book of Common Prayer payed homage to this version when it replaced the opening "I believe" (from the 1928 Book of Common Prayer) with the communal opening 'We believe" that we now recite. Put another way: Our "new" prayer book, takes us back almost 1,700 years!
                                                                                --Pete Bedrossian, Formation Committee Chair

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.  

Winners have been drawn weekly since July 1.  The following people have been the lucky ones so far:  Linda Santos, Claudette Tucker, Sarah LoConte, Rose Cox,  Donna Hosier, Angelique Casey,  Tony Hamel, Mark Debald, Dolores Kelly, Carolyn Dewald, Cynthia Benjamin, Dewy Clarke, and Carol Rohde.  Some of these people have even won multiple times.   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.

Our next Fund Raising Activity will be September 15.  
Mark your calendars now for our Caribbean Dinner. Be sure to tell your family and friends.  
So far the menu includes:  Jerk Pork, Stewed Pork, Curried Chicken, Rice & Peas and Cabbage plus dessert and beverage.  
Cost is Adults - $15; Seniors & Students - $12; Children 6-12 - $8 and children under 6 free.  
Watch The Messenger and the Sunday bulletins for fliers and more information.

C O M M U N I T Y   N E W S

Sunday Sermon

SERMON: 13 Pentecost B 8 19 18
We're about six months out from Earth Day, but this sermon couldn't wait, I'm afraid. Since Molly and I came back from the West Coast a couple of weeks ago I have been reflecting on the environment and our relationship to it. It occurred to me this week, in light of today's Gospel, that we have an excellent opportunity to consider the environment, God's creation of it, and our role in its protection.
Creation is the environment. It's the entire enchilada. And when we give thanks for creation and its sustenance of us, as Trinitarian Anglicans we give that thanks to God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

Beyond that, however, before I connect the Gospel to Creation, I would like to test your understanding of a few environmental principles:
Why does as a TIME magazine survey say only 85 per cent of Americans think climate change is happening? The other 15 per cent work for the fossil fuels industry.

What do loggers eat in the forest? Mac and trees.
How do oil companies handle oil spills? Slick lawyers.
How does the President plan on fighting record high temperatures? By changing from Fahrenheit to Celsius.
What is the difference between a tree and a person? It's illegal to hit one of them with an ax.
How do you know if you're a bad recycler? You give the recycling bins to your kids for sledding.
And finally, a little close to home for Molly and me:
How do Prius owners drive? With one hand on the wheel and the other patting themselves on the back.

Did you detect a little confession in that last one? Molly wanted a Prius when we came to Poughkeepsie. I was indifferent. But we got it and, frankly, I rarely feel as smart as I feel when I am driving down the road at 48 miles per gallon. It's a modest but remarkable thing. And I am glad to benefit from it.
I am also glad the automotive industry is doing more and more--even more than new models of the Prius--to conserve energy and, by extension, protect the environment.

Our trip out West last month surprised me in a couple of ways. One is that I actually felt I was in the midst of beings when we were standing among the sequoias and the redwoods. I think I felt as I had felt when I was l playing with my pet bulldogs, both growing up and as an adult. They were alive and present for me, enjoying me like I was enjoying them. I felt the trees were alive and present for me.

I envision myself but don't often identify myself as a tree hugger, but on this trip and since, I sure do. Those trees knocked me out. John Muir wrote that when one approaches the giant sequoias one should look not at its height or its girth, but just straight at it. The wood, the bark, the roots are a beautiful tapestry of color and texture and contour that are, ignoring height and girth, fantastic.

The whale that entertained us for a few minutes below the bluff we were hiking along at Port Orford, Oregon, likewise thrilled me. I've seen and been close to a lot of whales, especially in Alaska and on ocean tugboats, but to have a whale seemingly cavorting in the water below you when you're standing on land is a sublime experience.

A friend of mine recently returned from a vacation in Alaska and came back delighted and raving about the endless beauties of the 49th State. I had encouraged her trip and given suggestions. I don't know who was more pleased by her enthusiastic trip report, me or her.

As such conversations often do, that one turned to concern for the environment. The current administration has taken a number of steps which threaten the careful scientific and political balance that protects the environment in this country nationwide and in Alaska especially. My recently returned friend was highly indignant --outraged, now that I think about it--at the potential loosening of environmental protections.

Her ire brought to mind the Aug 1 release of the entire Aug 5 issue of The New York Times Magazine concerning climate change. The headline, in white on an otherwise totally black cover read, "Thirty years ago, we could have saved our planet."

Now I will admit to being a bit of a political junkie. I've worked for a US Senator and a mayor and in local governments in Alaska and Florida. I'm of the Watergate generation. I know where I was when Nixon resigned. I have a cassette tape of it.

But I was flabbergasted to learn that since the Nixon administration --since the 1970s--we have had evidence, ever increasing evidence, that the burning of fossil fuels, if not drastically reduced, would generate enough climate change to kill hundreds of thousands of people, swamp coastal countries and cities, make life miserable for most and utterly change the future of the planet. And most shocking of all is that there was a growing movement to initiate those drastic reductions on a global level through treaty. And that that plan was dashed by carelessness, indifference, greed and ego in the worlds of industry, politics and, even science.

The horror of this is that its effects will be visited on future generations at a cost exponentially higher than if our generation had dealt with it. Likewise, for us to pick it up and accept this challenge now would be exponentially more expensive than it would have been had the challenge had been accepted during the first Bush Administration.

That was when industry-funded disinformation programs started casting doubt on the science of climate change. We entered into a phase of our history that we can only hope will peak during the truthless Trump administration. The man who denied President Obama's birth in the US despite no evidence and considerable facts to prove it, now claims "fake news" whenever the facts disagree with his vision of how he'd like the world to be. For Donald Trump there are no unfriendly facts; only fake news.

You may know that we have fretted as a country about the cost of the ill-conceived wars in the Middle East since Sept. 11, 2001. The Atlantic Magazine recently pegged that cost at $5.6 trillion. The cost of addressing climate change is estimated as high as 50 times higher: over $250 trillion.

I'm now going to connect this to our Gospel. You can take some comfort in my plan to not name more names, express more shock, or bemoan our political impotence. Here's the connection:

In our Gospel we read today, "Jesus said, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh."

As Christians we believe that as Jesus spoke it was the voice of God speaking. After all, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit are three co-equal persons of God. So as Jesus spoke he was making reference to God's involvement in every bite of sustenance, every breath of air, every sip of water, as being part of God's creation and therefore part of God. When we consume anything in creation we consume, if I may, God. Creation--known as God--gives itself to us in many, many ways. We are grateful. We give thanks.

But then, in a virtually suicidal gesture, humanity has developed and used and effectively refused to control, the utter consumption of creation. To the extent that we deeply harm if not consign to a miserable future all generations after our own, this is humanity killing itself. It is our generation killing future generations.

When Jesus told his followers, the disciples and you and me, to follow him, he meant to do as he did: loving God and loving our neighbor. When he said he was the living bread and told us to eat his flesh Jesus was telling us to be mindful as we consumed what our bodies and our appetites called for, being mindful that it is a holy gift, every grain of wheat, every drop of water.

Jesus is the living bread because creation is what allows us to live, even as we despoil the very earth that feeds us. The next time you receive, "The body of Christ, the bread of heaven," consider that this is from creation, it is of God. When you drink the wine of Communion and hear it described as the blood of Christ, the cup of salvation," I hope you can remember that Jesus gave all that we might understand him and follow him, and for that matter consume that bit of creation that comes our way.

This is, I will acknowledge, an awkward proposition. The religious authorities were concerned that Jesus was talking about being related to God. Others worry that we're talking--elliptically, to be sure--about eating flesh and blood, that is, cannibalism.

What Jesus was saying to his followers, those who believed in him and to all of the peoples of the earth, is that we should conserve creation, protect it, nurture it, help it. Not despoil it, pollute it and burn it as fuel.

If we can absorb his language, the cautious metaphor of bread of life, the analogy of blood and wine, we can absorb his message wholly and live as he lived, as a participating part of God's creation.               Amen
A sermon preached Aug. 19, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector


1      Josephine Sherow                                              9      Barry Connelly
3      Gerry Sprague                                                   11     Thomas Quinn
        Nathesia Wethington                                         14      Ed McCurty
        Gillian Prater-Lee                                               15      Adrianna Babb
4      Owen Tucker                                                     20      Krystal Hyson
5      Owen Scarlett                                                    23      Marlene Taylor
7      Charlene DuBois                                               25      Dewy Clarke 

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

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


---        ---          Be still my soul (Finlandia)

 ---        ---          I sing the almighty power of God (Pine Plains)

 ---        ---          Bringing in the sheaves (Sowing in the Morning, Sowing Seeds of Kindness)
 ---        ---          When upon life's billows you are tempest tossed (Count Your Blessings)

August 20-26, 2018

MON 20                  7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;    
                               6pm Evening Prayer, Formation;                        
                               6:30pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery";                                             
TUE 21                    10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
                                 6pm Evening Prayer, Seekers group;
WED 22                    7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                               10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;   
                               12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;    
THUR 23                 10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop;    
                                 6pm Finance;                                                                  
FRI 24                     7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting;                                                       
SAT 25                     3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery"                                                           
SUN 26                   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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