St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of April 1-7, 2019
 "Then were we like those who dream"
The first verse of our psalm Sunday is:
       "When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion,
       then were we like those who dream."
The second line of the verse is as evocative an image of delight as one can imagine. This is because our actual dreams are beyond fantastic, sometimes, believable only in the context of the imagination.
So it was when Zion was restored. When the people felt God had forgiven them for their lapses and failures they were ecstatic. As are we, when we stop to consider God's gracious
mercy and forgiveness.

The same sense of awe and thrill is in the Hebrew Bible reading: "Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea..." The reading goes on to enumerate the saving deeds of the Almighty. In our epistle Paul is uncharacteristically positive and humble. He concedes his actions as a Jewish leader were replaced by his conversion to Christianity to his satisfaction and that his hope in faith is to be raised to a life in resurrection for which "... I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own."
In our Gospel reading Mary anoints Jesus feet with costly perfume and is chastised by Judas.  Jesus rebukes Judas, saying, "Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me." With stark language Jesus reminds his followers to keep their eyes on the prize which is their faith in Jesus and in his impending fate. The pleasing scent of the perfume wafts through the space the disciples occupy and fill them with a sense of comfort and sensual peace despite what awaits in the days to come.
"Then were we like those who dream..." So are we in the here and now or so can we be as we approach the end of Lent and Holy Week and the Passion and Easter. These are potent reminders of God's goodness toward us, our being renewed in faith again and again.  
   Isaiah 43:16-21; Psalm 126;
 Philippians 3:4b-14; John 12:1-8

To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings

Annual Lenten Seder April 10

Our Annual Lenten Seder with Rabbi Polish will take place next Wednesday, April 10 beginning at 6:00. This is always a very special event - one we hope all will attend and invite friends and family to join in. 

There is a reservation sheet in the Narthex.   Please sign if you plan to attend.   We need to know how many we should plan for.   

If you can help by bringing some food, there are suggestions listed - also in the Narthex.

Please invite family and friends to join us for this special interfaith meal.

Mark your calendars
Upcoming at St. Paul's:

Caribbean Dinner - May 18 at 6:00.  

Lunch at Outback - June 8 from 11:00 - 1:00.
More information to follow

April is Spring Canned Fruit month at St. Paul's Food Pantry. Please bring canned applesauce, peaches, and mixed fruit of any size to church on Sundays during the month and place them in the basket in the narthex.
To all of the Pantry's volunteers and clients, thank all who brought donations of mayo and tuna fish in the month of March. God bless you.



You buy a ticket for $25.   You are then eligible to win any of the drawings and you can win multiple times!! Weekly drawings of $20 & $10 will be held every Sunday at Coffee Hour beginning April 7 and continuing through September 22.

A final drawing and party will be held Saturday, September 29. Prizes of $500, $250, $150, $100 and $50 will be awarded at that time.

Tickets will be available beginning Saturday, February 16. Plan to get at least 1 ticket and try to sell some also. It's a fun way to support the church.

This time at least half of the profits will help pay for our new pew cushions.
The Sunday Sermon...
                    COME TO THE TABLE!

4 Lent C 3 21 2019

I love a story with a good ending. The first time I heard the story from Luke 15, was years ago when I was a little child in Sunday school. It was called The Prodigal Son. The children's version ended on a high note with the younger son running into his father's arms. Not much was said about the older brother who refused to join the welcome home party for his brother.

We were told to obey and respect our parents, so we wouldn't find ourselves in difficult situations like the prodigal. Scripture verses like, "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right," and "Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise (Ephesians 6:1-2). And finally, "Honor your father and mother; so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord is giving you" (Exodus 20:12). These lessons were drilled into our young minds and our parents reinforced them at home.

As I got older and began studying the scriptures for myself; I noticed some other titles for this parable are The Forgiving Father and The Two Sons.

What feelings were aroused in you when you looked at the picture on your 10 am bulletin?

Did you get a warm fuzzy feeling or was it feeling of sadness? I had a warm fuzzy feeling and a sense of relief. The father tenderly embraces his son as the crowd looks on.

-          Some people were probably saying...AHHHH ...isn't that sweet!
-          His baby boy has come home! The poor man was worried sick.
-          That boy put his father through some sleepless night!

And of course, there are those who were unaware of the incident saying to themselves... Who is that dirty man our Lord is holding?  

Pictures say a thousand words - DON'T they?  

Our Gospel reading from Luke began with, "All the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to Jesus. And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, "This fellow, welcomes sinners and eats with them." If they truly knew Jesus, they would not have been surprised at his actions. Jesus welcomes all. I believe the tax collectors and sinners were clearly the lost and outcast among their community; and to whom Jesus made his connection.

Jesus knew the thoughts of the Scribes and Pharisees; and tells the crowd the parable about a wealthy man who had two sons. The young son is clearly inexperienced, eager to see the world, asks for his portion of the inheritance, goes off with high hopes and the rose-colored glasses. His behaviors resulted in him being homeless, friendless and hungry. We must give him credit though; before he goes back home, he goes job hunting. Sadly, the job he got did not work out, so he does the next best thing. He remembers his home, the life of luxury there, plans to return by asking his father for forgiveness, and is willing to beg his way back into the household even as a slave. All this time, his father is worried, constantly looking out, welcomes him back without any reservations and throws a lavish party to celebrate his safe return.

The parable does not end there at all. Because, he has an older brother who is at home doing his "right" thing, minding his manner and taking care of business. By law this estate is now his and everything is at his disposal. His younger brother has no claim now because he received his portion of the inheritance and lost it all.

Over the years, I began to take notice of the older brother. Check this out .... he comes home to find a party going on and is informed that his younger brother is back home. Wow!!   Who is throwing this party? How come he was not a part of the planning?   He is told that his father is throwing a party for his brother's safe return. According to Luke, he was angry and refused to join the party. Shouldn't he be happy his little brother is back, to help out? Oh, No! He was fit to be tied and lashes out in anger at his father.
I believe he felt lost to his father in a different way even though he was present all the time.

His father goes out to meet with him, just like he went out to meet his younger son. It is interesting that the father did not send a slave to tell him to come in. The older brother on the other hand is blind to his relationship with his father and talks about serving his father for years (that's the slave vs master relationship). He says, "I have never disobeyed your command." The older son saw his father as the person who gives commands for him to obey. This is certainly not the way the father wants his children to relate to him. This is a distorted view of Christianity and the Christian way of life. God is not a punisher. We are in relationship with a loving God.  

The father begs his son to come in and join the family because the family unit was broken when the younger son was away. I believe the father was doing all he could to show his son that it takes more than just managing things on the estate to create a relationship of love and obedience. The older son needed to show his love for his family in a tangible way. The father appeals with the tender loving relationship he wants his son to enjoy. He kept using words like "my child', "your brother"; not my slave or my servant. The father is reassuring his son of his rightful place in the family; while the son on the other hand is distancing himself.

The father reassures his son that he is loved, not forgotten or overlooked in any way. The son is opening up to his father and expressing the void he feels by doing what he considers the right thing by staying home. He does not feel appreciated or valued. He expresses his feelings of disconnect from his father, when he says, "You have never given me a young goat, that I might celebrate with my friends." How sad!
This son was confused about the wealth he had at his disposal. He is now the sole successor and could have taken anything he wanted. He chose his friends over his family. He would rather have a party with strangers than celebrate with his father and brother.

Despite his son's angry outburst, the father lovingly reminds the son that, "All that is mine is yours". This son needs to change his relationship with his father and start behaving like an heir and a son. There was nothing he needed to do to earn his father's love.
So, who do you identify with in this parable? Is it the younger son, the older son, or the father? You may have been all three at some point in your life. We may have stood in judgment like the Pharisees, gone off and done your thing with negative consequences and get labeled as a sinner/prodigal; OR shown love and offered forgiveness to someone.
We don't have to be confused about our relationship with Jesus. We have a loving God who allows us the free will to try our hand at things and will lovingly accept us home into the family of fellow Christians. "Happy are they whose transgressions are forgiven, and whose sin is put away."

In our Worship today the table will be set; come and partake of the banquet that will be prepared!

This is your invitation to come and fellowship with the broken, the lost, and find redemption, healing, and wholeness.   Amen

A sermon preached on the Fourth Sunday in Lent, March 31, 2019, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Poughkeepsie NY by Diaconal Postulant Julett Butler.

C O M M U N I T Y   C A L E N D A R

Note: Please visit the DCIC website ( and their Facebook Page for updates on these events and more.

April 7
Premier A
4:00 p.m.
Congregation Shir Chadash (1168 Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more information, email info@shir - or call (845) 232 - 1029
 May 19
DCIC Clergy Meet and Greet
4:00 p.m.
Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more
information, contact us at
May 29
DCIC Religious Leaders
Discussion on " The First Amendment "
Led by retired NYS Supreme Court Judge Albert Rosenblatt
7:00 p.m.
Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more
information, contact us at
October 6
DCIC CROP Hunger Walk
More details to follow.
November 24
DCIC Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
More details to follow.
 December 7 and
December 8
DCIC Fair Trade and
Handmade Bazaar
More details to follow.

                              APRIL BIRTHDAYS
2       Jerry Bissessar                                            19       Donna Robinson Zajkowski
3       Adam Bissessar                                           20       Earl Boyer
6       Angelina Bissessar                                      21       Madison Goldson
        Joyce Herman                                               23       Alice Darien
7       Kira Curtis                                                               Adam Mazzuto
10     Madison Haley Hickman                              25       Jahman Birks
13     Brianna Bryant                                             29       Grace Porter
         Hannah Cardoso-Saavedra                         30       Jim Schneider
14     Mahalia Samuels                                                     Michael Curtis
16     Elisabeth Misner


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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                 
Lectors:           Debbie Pitcher
                        Shawn Prater-Lee
Litanist:            Mark Debald
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
Altar Guild:       Hyacinth Curtis & Daphne Barrett

Greeters:          Brooke Plain & Alexis Plain            


1982                 441       In the Cross of Christ I glory

1982                 701       Jesus, all my gladness

1982                 574       Before thy cross, O God, we kneel

1982                 498       Beneath the cross of Jesus


HYMN INFORMATION: Elizabeth Clephane (1830-1869) was a lay person who lived most of her brief life near Edinburgh, Scotland. Despite a lifetime of frail health, she and her sister worked tirelessly to help the sick and poor in her town. Her hymn  Beneath the cross of Jesus refers to the shelter of the cross and is believed to have been written shortly before her death. The hymn is full of comforting language (though paradoxical, as the cross was an instrument of the cruelest torture) about the cross, -- "the shadow of a mighty rock," "a home within the wilderness," "a rest upon the way." Though well-known 19th century American hymn composer and publisher Ira D. Sankey composed a tune specifically for this hymn, the preferred pairing soon came to be with St. Christopher, a tune composed by English musician Frederick C. Maker.


APRIL 1-7, 2019
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  

5pm Stewardship;
6pm Evening Prayer;
6:30pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting;

10am-2pm Office, Pantry, Thrift Store;
6pm Evening Prayer, Spiritual Life;

7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist
5:30pm Lenten Supper Series

10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 

7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting; 
6:30pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting;

SAT  6
9am-1pm "I want my church to grow" Workshop;
10am "Men do recover" NA Meeting
2pm SH Private Party;
3pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting

8am Rite I;
8:45am Lessons' Discussion;

9:30am Choir Practice; 

10am Sunday School;

10am Rite II; Anointing & Laying of Hands

11:15am Coffee Hour;
11:45am Hospitality;


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!