St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of November 17-23, 2020

This Sunday is the last Sunday in the season of Pentecost and as such is Christ the King Sunday.  We celebrate Christ as King of kings and Lord of Lords.  All of our readings reflect this.
This week's readings
In the Old Testament lesson Jesus is the Shepherd seeking out his sheep from far and wide bringing them into his safe embrace. He establishes for his sheep a home in the land of Israel replete with good grazing land and rich pastures.  Further he establishes David as Shepherd and King in whose lineage and Kingship He will follow.
Our Psalm is filled with kingdom imagery.  We are to enter His gates with thanksgiving and come to His Courts with praise.

Our Gospel continues in this theme.  Jesus sits upon His throne with all of the nations standing before him in judgement.  In this judgment His again is Shepherd separating sheep from goats and sending the sheep to eternal life and the goats into eternal punishment.  This is all very kingly.

I ask you though to pay close attention to how Jesus judges who is the sheep and who is the goats.  

'Come, you that are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.'  

Jesus, King of kings and Lord or lords, won't judge us based on the acknowledgement of His Lordship; not on how much praise we give Him.  We will be judged on how we treated the lowest of the low; for feeding the hungry, giving drink to the thirsty, welcoming the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting the prisoner.  We are to see them as Jesus.  We are not just "seeing the Jesus in them".  We are to see them as Jesus and treat them accordingly.  We do a good job of helping our fellow man, but think of how much more we can bring to these interactions if we do them not just from a sense of duty, but from believing that we are doing these things for Jesus Himself, how that increases the level of dignity we bring to the interac
--Shawn Prater-Lee
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings  
Ezekiel 34:11-16, 20-24; Psalm 100; Ephesians 1:15-23;  
Matthew 25:31-46                  
The Sunday sermon
Matthew 25:14-30

"It was a dark and stormy night...or Once upon a time in a galaxy far, far away..." Isn't it true; when we hear those words, we lean forward and our ears perk up, because we know there is a story coming? Jesus was a master weaver of tales and he often told stories to teach people about God and how God wants us to live. And people would listen, because his stories would lead to "Aha!" moments and from those moments on; people saw their lives from a new perspective.
And if I might add a little levity, there was always the hope on the part of those of us who claim to be preachers, that on occasion Jesus in his excellent skill as a preacher might once in a while, just once in a while lay an egg. However I am quick to say, if he did, it was soon forgotten. What was remembered and written down in the gospels were his wonderful stories. Not historically accurate stories according to, but stories that painted riveting pictures in our minds that pointed to profound truths.
Today's story is about a man who goes on a journey and leaves portions of his investments to his servants. As the story unfolds we learn that the first two servants traded the money and doubled his investments. But the third servant dug a hole in the ground where he hid his master's money.
So, the question we are to ask ourselves is how would we handle an enormous chunk of money entrusted to us by our boss. Would we skip off to Atlantic City or Las Vegas? Would we make an appointment with a financial advisor? Or would we hide it in a lock box or slip it under the mattress for safe keeping? The first two servants successfully created profits equal to that which could be made by a Wall Street hedge fund manager. The third servant being extra cautious hid what had been given to him in a safe place.
The master finally returned home. He had his servants report to him. And he was thrilled with the report from the first two servants. And then he turned to the third servant, who told him that he hid what had been given to him in the ground. And then he handed it all back to him, every last penny. The master was not happy. He called the third servant worthless, wicked and lazy, and threw him out!
I suspect it took the original listeners of this story some time to get over its initial shock. For us to grasp its implications, we need to understand that this parable works only when it is recognized as an allegory. The master is Jesus, the servants represent his followers, the time the master was away represents present time, and the master's return represents the day of reckoning, the end of the ages. But what about the "talents?" The talents represent our unique God-given gifts.
So, what is it about the third servant? After all he was not a morally bankrupt person. He did not steal, kill, or dishonor his mother or father. So why was the consequence of his behavior so severe? I'll tell you why. It's because he cheated himself and he cheated God and others by not expanding the talents given to him so that they may be used to better the world. Put another way, he was not proactive in enhancing the gifts given to him so that they may be used to do the work of the gospel.
Jesus told this parable at some point during the last few days of his life. He knew he would not be with his disciples much longer, and he wanted his followers to use their talents to inform the world about the kingdom of God. He did not want them to play it safe, to lock their talents away. He wanted them to take the risk of investing their lives in the work of the kingdom.
A lot of churches ago for me, there was a woman who recently joined our parish. Her husband attended sporadically, but he didn't seem that interested. She wanted him to really know the Lord Jesus as she did. She took me aside one Sunday and told me all the things she was doing to get her husband, as she put it, "kick started" into Christianity. For example, she cut Bible verses out of Scripture and taped them to his mirror. She was hoping that seeing them as he shaved would encourage him to come to church. I told her doing that before his morning coffee, I really didn't really think that was a good idea. She went on to say that she would hand him a cup of coffee in the morning and tell him that God wanted her to serve him this cup of coffee. I didn't quite get that one. So, I simply suggested that she might hand him the cup of coffee and leave God out of it. "But how else am I to lead him to Christ?" she said. I suggested that she just might leave that to the Holy Spirit.
A few months later her husband came to church because their children were in the children's choir, and they were going to sing during the liturgy. In that Sunday bulletin he read that the church was going to sponsor a basketball team. The next day he contacted me and asked if the church had a coach for the team. We didn't. He went on to say that he played ball in college and loved the game, and asked if he might possibly be considered for the position of coach. We met in person two or three times, and after the third time, the church wardens and I offered him the job.
And he was a wonderful coach. The boys loved him, and learned from him. And they won a lot of games under his coaching. Something interesting happened. And I don't know why. I never asked him why, but he started coming to church regularly. Could it have been because his wife was handing him his morning coffee and telling him that God wanted her to serve him? I don't think so. Actually, I came to believe that he eventually realized that his basketball talents were God-given; and he started coming to church regularly to offer thanks to God for his skills and his ability to pass them on to the youngsters on his team. He was loving them, teaching them sportsmanship, unselfishness and how to give generously to each other and to respect each other as they executed their plays on the basketball court. All things necessary in the game of basketball, but also all tenets important in living the Christian life.
Again, I never asked him what caused him to start coming to church regularly. But one thing I know is true, coming to church made it a lot easier for him to shave in the morning, because his wife stopped taping Bible verses to his mirror.
--Fr. C. Allan Ford


The Holiday Basket Raffle is ongoing. Many thanks to Deb Williams for putting the basket together. It looks most enticing!!! Get your tickets at church or contact Bobbie Gordon either by email or through the church office.  See the enclosed flier for details.  
The basket will be displayed in the lobby of the Education building. Tickets are $1.00 each or 6 for $5.00. Be sure to include your name & phone number on the ticket!!!  The drawing will be held December 14 at the Stewardship meeting.  Please see Bobbie Gordon if you would like tickets to sell.
--Debbie Williams
--Bobbie Gordon
Thank you to the 42 parishioners who have pledged $49,503 for 2021. It's never too late to return your pledge form - if you haven't had a chance to do that yet, please take a moment to fill it out and send it to the church. If you have misplaced the form, just call the church office and we'll be happy to send you another form. 
--Bobbie Gordon 
Thanks to all who have attended church these past months whether it was in person at 161 Mansion Street or whether it was on Zoom. We will continue to have in person worship on the first and third Sundays and on Zoom all other Sundays through the end of January.   
We will be in church December 6 and 20.
We will be on Zoom the other Sundays.
Our Zoom connections remain the same and are
Meeting ID: 823 3911 5280 
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Dial by your location 
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 Hope to see you in church on Sunday and/or on Zoom.

--Shawn Prater-Lee
--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler
Total deposit for the past week - $1595.75 (including $170 for the Food Pantry). 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 in person the first and third Sundays of the month when we'll be in church with communion. The other Sundays will be on Zoom. Don't forget to wear your mask!!!


logo with pix TD2020b.png  
In a year like no other, Episcopal Charities has responded to the call of our neighbors in need to outreach programs by providing crucial assistance to the most vulnerable among us. We ask you help us in this mission by attending our Virtual Tribute Dinner on Thursday, November 19th, 2020. 
Our Virtual Tribute Dinner will be evening of remarks and performances by friends of Episcopal Charities, during which we'll come together throughout the ten counties of the Diocese of New York -- and beyond! -- to celebrate, give thanks, and reaffirm our commitment to transforming lives. 
We hope you can join us. To buy tickets -- or to make a donation in lieu of attending -- click the link below. 

Tip: Unable to attend? You can still help us respond to the call of those in need. Click the link below to make a gift.
--The Rev. Gloria Payne-Carter 

45th Annual Interfaith Music Festival  
and Thanksgiving Service

"Still We Give Thanks!"

Sunday afternoon, November 22nd at 2pm  

Due to Covid 19 precautions, the event will be held online.

The Interfaith Music Festival is one of the largest fundraisers of the Dutchess County Interfaith Council and the proceed support the many worthwhile programs of the Interfaith Council which include the CROP Walk to End Hunger & the Interfaith Story Circle, among others. Donations to support the work of the DCIC can be made via PayPal through the donation link on our website at; checks may be mailed to DCIC, 9 Vassar St. Poughkeepsie, NY 12601.
Here's What people Are Saying About the Music Festival 
Maris Kristapsons, Music Director of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie said, "At a time when forces in our society are driving people apart, the Interfaith Music Festival's role in bringing people of different faiths and beliefs together is especially important.  Working with the Festival for many years has been tremendously gratifying, finding common ground through music."
When asked why the Music Festival is worthwhile, Donna Gallagher who will sing in the Interfaith Choir and is a member of Temple Beth-El, Poughkeepsie replied," Music touches our souls.  It soothes.  It speaks to us.  With all the hate rhetoric and the fighting worldwide, events like this Music Festival help us to remember that we share common values, even though we may worship differently (or not at all)."
Since its beginning in 1975, the purpose of the Interfaith Music Festival has been to draw together people of many faiths to share each other's worship music.  According to Roberta Sheehan, who instituted this yearly event, "Since the Interfaith Council had grown from an interchurch association, to the more inclusive interfaith organization, we wanted to have a meaningful gathering to draw together people of many faith traditions.  Music seemed to me to be the perfect vehicle.  The first Music Festival concluded with the singing of "Let there be peace on earth and let it begin with me."  These words seemed to sum up the purpose of the Interfaith Council.  Therefore, by tradition, we conclude every Festival with all the participants and even the audience members joining together to sing those words."
Past Executive Director of the DCIC, Gail Burger, who has been involved in every Music Festival said, "A long time City of Poughkeepsie Middle School teacher, Mary Atkins (May her memory be for a Blessing), was fond of speaking about "weaving the thread of Community."  This Interfaith Festival is "weaving the thread of Community" writ large in the language of song." 
Gretchen Gould, who has been involved in the Interfaith Music Festival for many years, said, "As a jazz pianist, composer, and church musician, I have come to appreciate these eclectic efforts because my own family is religiously diversified.  It feels right and peaceful to me to work with and enjoy being with others whose experience is different from mine." 
 --Shawn Prater-Lee
--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler


  1 Mary Ann Oughton 
  6 Judy Lovelace-Donaldson
25 Ron Harris
  5 Melody Ware  
19 Cora Keith  

     Mark Debald 
21 Rhonda Lynn Melius





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:
Rhonda, Lillian, G.J., Paul, Sasha, Matthew, Joe, AletaAnn, all Teachers, Parents, Students,  
Theodore, John, Paul, Kathy, George, Janett, Renate, and Notoe, Stephanie, Aaron; 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; Ibadan  
Diocese, All Saints Anglican Church,Oni family; Donna; 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, Annie, Ron, Dave, Liz; Jill, Lana,  
Andrew, Susan; Schneider family, all in need; Susie; Sherry, Claudia

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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.


November 17-23, 2020

TUE     17
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

WED    18
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

THU     19
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

SUN     22
10:00am   RITE II - Zoom 

MON    23
6:00pm     Evening Prayer; Vestry




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