St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
"Making friends while serving God"
The Week of March 16-22, 2021
This week's readings
Seeds cannot be sown at just any time of year. Everything has its time. The life of the earth, like our own, is punctuated by the arrival of the opportune time for each thing. And the time to sow seeds is one of these, the time when the seeds should be planted in the earth. In the cold ground, in silence and solitude, the seed starts its journey towards a new life. Likewise, in our own lives, there are times in which we are called to solitude, times in which the earth closes around us and leaves us in darkness. During times like these, we can either succumb to desperation or wait, nourishing ourselves with the little hope that remains. One can spend his entire life without ever bearing fruit, rotting in the ground. There are seeds that are lost, seeds that never come to life. There are seeds that never sprout because they do not want to be transformed by time. There are people too who may never be able to love another truly, who may never allow themselves to be transformed by life. They are the ones who live closed up in the shell of their egoism, the false adults who never abandon the stage of adolescence. They are the adults who don’t know how to make room even for their own children. True love, mature love, is that which allows itself to be sown into the ground, that which knows how to welcome the weight of the earth above it. True love knows how to let go, to be transformed. It knows that it must give its life and become unrecognizable from what it once was. True love knows how to disappear; it does not constantly demand visibility. True love knows irreversibility… permanence: the seed that lets itself be transformed can no longer turn back. The love of a seed is forever or it is not love. The seed gives its life and it can never take it back. Christ is the measure of true love; He loses Himself completely, keeping absolutely nothing for Himself. He gives Himself in an irreversible way. Just as the alabaster jar was broken and its perfume “wasted,” Jesus gives His life freely without expecting anything in exchange. Along the path of life, we also come across those who help us to love in this way. Deep down, each of us longs to love truly, through and through. We all get glimpses of the fact that we too can live life fully if only we can learn to lose ourselves for another person. In the Gospel, some Greeks ask to see Jesus. They want to meet the true face of love, of whom they’ve heard others speak and were left fascinated because they intuit that therein lies the fullness of life. Sometimes it’s useful to seek out mediators that can bring us to Jesus. Often we are not capable alone. Other times we are the ones that are called to be the mediators who hear the longings of those who seek God. Surely it’s no accident that the Greeks ask Phillip. He was from Bethsaida of Galilee, a border town, and so he knows what it’s like to be far from home and what it’s like to feel excluded. Phillip has experienced for himself what it means to be found, to be welcomed when you feel you are on the outside of life. For the Greeks – as for seeds – there are proper times in life and steps that we are called to take. For Jesus too there are sequences to follow and moments that comprise His decision to give His life. It was never an improvisation, however. It was a decision He prepared for with His continual adhesion to life. We too are called to live every moment with our eyes fixed on the goal we long to one day reach.

- from Father Gaetano Piccolo
 --Shawn Prater-Lee
 To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings  

Jeremiah 31:31-34; Psalm 51:1-13; Hebrews 5:5-10;
 John 12:20-33

The Sunday Sermon
 Numbers 21:4-9
Will that be cash or credit card? Do you want that for here or to go? Should we take the highway or drive through town?” Decisions, decisions, decisions! Most of them don’t require too much thought. Even the big ones, should our child go to Bard or a commuter college? Should we stay in Dutchess County with these cold winters or move to the Philippines, Belize, Florida, indeed some place where the weather is warmer? Even those important decisions don’t have to be permanent. If the boy doesn’t like the college he chose, well, after further research he can always transfer to another. If we don’t like the area we moved to, what’s to stop us from picking up and moving again? We make decisions every day. What we may tend to forget is that the choices we make just may have consequences.

Almost fifty years ago, Samuel Keen, a scholar of some note in his day, spent his sabbatical exploring how we as human beings choose to spend our waking hours. Out of that experience he wrote the following: “There are so many lives I want to live, so many styles I would like to inhabit. In me,” he continues, “lives Zorba’s concern to allow no lonely woman to remain comfortless, and also within me one might find Camus’ passion to lessen the suffering of the innocent, and still within me, Hemingway’s drive to live and write with lucidity, and finally in me one might find a need to see each day end with tranquility and a shared cup of tea. I am so many, yet I may be only one. I mourn for all the selves I kill when I decide to be a single person. Decision is a cutting off; it is a castration. I travel one path, only by neglecting many. So I turn my back on small villages I will never see, strange flesh I will never touch, ills I will never cure. Yet perhaps Zorba will not leave me completely. I wouldn’t like to live without being able to engage in the dance.”
Samuel Keen in very colorful fashion is describing the world of decisions you and I face every day. Choice is built into the very essence of our existence. And every time we choose a road less traveled, we will miss countless others paths. Consequently, it’s understandable why we may try to convince ourselves to believe that all paths end up converging. They are like the experience we have looking far down a railroad track. So it doesn’t matter what anyone thinks or decides, because everything will turn out the same in the end. And If you believe that, I have a bridge I want to sell you, because it is not true. Some decisions build fences, some decisions build ugly fences that are permanent. I remind you of the laws of segregation that thrived primarily in the South for many decades. I remind you of the damage they did to humankind. Choices, decisions have consequences.
This strange story we heard as our first lesson is about decisions and their consequences. Moses is getting nothing but whining from the Israelites. They have the gall to complain about a decision they have made to follow Moses out of Egypt into a state of freedom. They are not happy in the wilderness and think back and describe their time in Egypt as if it were Camelot.
They grumble about being in the wilderness, about the lack of food and water. And even when God sends them manna they begin to complain about it the same way you and I might complain about the food we get riding in coach in an airline. At this point in the story, the people’s complaining about the daily menu prompts God to send poisonous snakes. Why? I don’t have the foggiest idea. It might surprise you to know that God does not confer with me before he makes a move. However, according to the Jewish Talmud, the snakes are an ironic retribution. The learned rabbis explain that from creation snakes have eaten only dust, and they have done so without a word of complaint. Therefore, say the rabbis, “Let the serpent which does not complain about its food come and rule over these people who are complaining about theirs.” In other words, the Israelites should be learning a lesson from the serpents about humility.

Well, I don’t think they were learning much because they were being mightily distracted by the snake bites. And they pleaded to Moses to ask God to get rid of the snakes. God helped them, but not in the way they expected. God did not remove the dangerous snakes. He ordered Moses to make a bronze snake; a strange directive, but when you are up to your ankles in adders, you don’t ask questions. God promised that any who had been bitten had but to look up at what must have been a distasteful sight. They were to look up at the bronze snake on the pole and they would be healed. 
The writer of this morning’s gospel remembers this story from Numbers and says that when Christ is lifted up on Calvary’s cross, it is almost like that bronze snake that is lifted up in the wilderness. You see, the cross itself, like the bronzer snake in the wilderness, is also strange, striking, scary, and unsettling. The sight of the cross is so distasteful that it is easy to miss the point. Christ death upon the cross reveals the extent of God’s mercy for all of us who are snake-bitten by the power of death. And when we choose to gaze upon the cross, and feel the love that comes pouring down on us, we know that we are cherished by God, and that life for us, just like life for Christ Jesus, does not end with the grave, it goes on!

The joy of living a life now that includes the love demonstrated by the cross of Christ is that we don’t have to live in fear of being cast into eternal damnation. What kind of God would want his creation to constantly live in fear of everlasting damnation? Not the God that we love and who loves us. So we spend our lives looking at the cross. We are sealed with the cross of Christ at Baptism. Many of us have crosses in our houses and wear crosses around our necks. When we are able to gather for liturgy on a Sunday morning, it is the cross that leads us into worship and also leads us out to love and serve the Lord. And what great joy we have to be able to tell others this wonderful news regarding the healing power of the cross of Christ. 

--Fr. C. Allan Ford

Dear St. Paul's Family

It's been a year since the Covid-19 virus forced us into physical and emotional distancing. Our friends at the Dutchess County Interfaith Council has created an "In Memoriam Page" on their website to honor those who died from the Virus. I would encourage you to add the name(s) of your family members, friends or associates so we will never forget their passing and others can join you in their memory. You are invited to give the full name, age, and a one sentence tribute. The email address to send the information is -

If you need help to submit your tribute, please leave a message at 845-454-0613 and I will help.

Grace and peace
Deacon Julett

--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler
From February 26th through the month of March, St. Paul's Episcopal Church Food Pantry has been selected to receive a $1 donation for every $9.99 Bloomin' 4 Good Bouquet with the red circle sticker sold at the stores located at 2540 South Road, Poughkeepsie, Rt. 9 Hyde Park and Burnett Blvd, Poughkeepsie.
Welcome to the Bloomin' 4 Good Program!
A Brand New Program to Benefit St. Paul's Episcopal Church Food Pantry
Let's Fight Hunger Together. One Bouquet at a Time.
You are about halfway through your benefiting month in the Bloomin' 4 Good Program. Shoppers and supporters have raised $52 for St. Paul's Episcopal Church Food Pantry so far!
Approximately 6 weeks after the close of your month, you will receive a donation check in the mail for the amount you have raised.

We ask our supporters to please purchase two or more $9.99 Bloomin' 4 Good Bouquets with the red circle sticker before the month ends!
Click the button below to start using the ready-to-go Marketing Materials.

-- Charlie & Jeannie Henderson

Several St. Paul’s parishioners joined in a drive by to celebrate Margaret’s birthday.
It was a joyous occasion!!!
--Bobbie Gordon
Sunday Services will be on ZOOM until further notice
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.
Total deposits for the past week - $1,236 ($250 for the Food Pantry). Many thanks to all who have been generously supporting the Food Pantry.
We're looking forward to seeing you on Zoom until further notice. 


The Blue Butterfly Foundation
Human trafficking is defined as the exploitation of an individual for labor, services, or commercial sex; it is a modern form of slavery. The Blue Butterfly Foundation is a 100% volunteer, nonprofit organization that works to fight human trafficking. We focus our efforts on the developing country of Nepal. As a small, impoverished country with a broken government, Nepal has an overwhelming amount of trafficking victims. Founder and Executive Director, Lauren Yanks, has worked with many survivors and seen their trauma firsthand. It is Blue Butterfly Foundation’s mission to prevent trafficking by providing a proper education to those who are vulnerable. While we also ensure our children have their basic needs met, our main focus is education. For more information, please visit
Our current campaign centers around five outstanding young adults who seek to go to college and help bring human rights and empowerment to the women and children of their country and around the world. They have written their own stories and created their own videos. If you would like to hear them share their stories, please visit:
We invite any support you can offer. Every donation makes a big difference, and every penny goes straight toward their education.
If you have any questions or would like to host an event, please email:
Thank you and Namaste!

The Blue Butterfly Foundation
PO Box 387
Tillson, NY 12486
(845) 518-7844

--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler
Join us Sunday, 3/21, at 5:30 p.m. for a night of
Journey Toward Life!
Let us know you're coming:
Featuring music, poetry, storytelling and concrete action steps, join us in fellowship for our March Justice Celebration.
This event is free, online and will feature simultaneous interpretation to Spanish.

Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc. | (845) 485-8627 Email | Website
                 Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc. is a tax-exempt non-profit organization eligible to receive tax-deducible contribution under IRS Code 501[C][3}
--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler
--Janet Quade
Our Journey through Lent
Is not this the fast that I choose...?
A Welcome Reflection by Allison Duvall
Dear friends,
Thank you for your interest in being part of Episcopal Migration Ministries' journey through the Lenten season. We are grateful to have you join us for daily prayer, devotions, and reflection.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17, we will post a daily devotional (subscribe to receive by email) that offers a reflection on a portion of Isaiah 58:6-12, pondering the text and its meaning through the lens of migration. You are welcome to invite others to join, and we encourage you to forward the emails along. We will also share the daily devotions on our social media channels, and welcome you to share.
As you pray and engage with the devotions, you will be joining with so many others across the Episcopal Church and the country who are doing the same. Together, #WeAreEMM: we form a community of prayer, reflection, and action.
Throughout the daily devotional series, we will share ways that you can become more involved in the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries. We also invite you to share the ways that you are involved in migration ministry. We would love to hear from you.
EMM is a ministry of the whole Church and her people. Through this work, we welcome, support, and advocate for our newest neighbors, and are met by Christ and transformed in the process.
Blessings to you this Lenten season. We are grateful to walk with you.
EMM Church Engagement Team
Subscribe to Lenten Daily Devotions
EMM's Lenten Daily Devotions are possible because of the generous volunteer efforts of members of EMM's Asylum & Detention Ministry Network. We extend our gratitude to Ana Reza, Diocese of the Rio Grande, BA Miskowiec, director of West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry, Flor Saldivar, Diocese of West Texas, Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera, Diocese of Arizona, and The Rev. Michael Wallins, Diocese of the Rio Grande, for their work to make the daily devotions a reality.
Previous Lenten Devotions:
Copyright © 2021 | Episcopal Migration Ministries, All rights reserved.    Our mailing address is:  815 Second Ave., New York, NY 10017    Want to change how you receive these emails?  You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list    
 --Shawn Prater-Lee

11 Margaret Robinson 
12 Rev. Tyler Jones     
14 Kattyann Goodwin   
17 Deborah Marie Williams
Bryanna Winkler 
18 Shirley Pharr
20 Stacey Rosborough 


21 Linda Aileen DuBois
Lisl Prater-Lee
24 Alice J. Leigh 
25 Michael Van Pelt
26 Karen A. Reid
Josephine Zeleznik
29 Danya Clarke

30 Stuart Ballinger
31 Rose Marie Proctor
Peter Bedrossian
Please keep those on our parish prayer list in your minds and in your prayers, especially at this time of separation and isolation.

MARCH 2021
Our prayers are asked for:
Fr. Tyler & Molly; Janett; Kay, Katherine, Renate; Frank Burnett, Food Pantry Volunteers, victims of Human/Sex Trafficking; Burton family; 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, Jim, Seth; Phil; All essential workers; Beryl & Glen, Vincent family; George; Daniel Mizell and family; Liz, Martha; 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, 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.

March 16-22, 2021

TUE   16 10:00am  Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

WED  17 10:00am  Food Pantry & Thrift Shop (St. Patrick's Day)

THU   18 10:00am  Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

SUN   21 10:00am  Zoom - Rite II, Ante Communion

MON  22 6:00pm  Evening Prayer; Vestry

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!

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 161 Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601