St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

 
The Week of August 11 - August 16, 2020
  
 
 
Jesus Calls a Woman a Dog
 

We have a really tough reading this week. 

 In the Gospel for Sunday a woman is pestering Jesus's disciples asking that Jesus heal her daughter of the demon that possesses her.  The disciples want Jesus to rebuke her and he tells her that he was sent for the children of Israel and that it's not fair to take food from children and give it to dogs.  She challenges him saying that even the dogs get the crumbs that fall from the table.  He sees her faith, commends her on it, and heals her for it. 
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This week's readings

Interpretation of this event runs a wide spectrum.  On the one end there are writers that say that Jesus was referring to her as a puppy and meant no ill toward her request.  On the other end of the spectrum writers call Jesus out as showing his fully human side and falling to racism, classism, and sexism.

Some writers take a middle ground and claim that Jesus was using the interaction as a teachable moment.  They see Jesus's initial rebuke as a test of the woman's faith which she passes and he heals her daughter.

I'm not taking a stance here.  The story bothers me.  What do you think?  Join us in church on Sunday and let me know.
 
 
--Shawn Prater-Lee  
 
 
 
 
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings  
 
 
Genesis 45:1-15, 12-28; Psalm 133;  
Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 14:22-33       
     
The Sunday sermon
 
 
Matthew 14: 22-33, Jesus Walks on Water
 
Most of us are people who really worry a lot. Some of us worry about the way things are going in the world, or about our kids away at college, or maybe we worry about our job. Many of us old timers worry about our health. Let's face it; we are all worry warts to one degree or another
Let me tell you about a man who was worrying about his problems. A friend said to him, "Recently I was visiting with a family member who has absolutely no worries at all." The man replied, "Really, who is this family member; and where does he live? I would like to visit him." "Well," said the friend, "Do you see that house over there? Up on that hill just above that house is a cemetery. Not one person up there, including my dear uncle with whom I visited recently, has one thing to worry about." Death is indeed eternal rest. But on the other hand, life can be full of worries. This means that if we are alive we are going to have problems about which we just may worry.
In this morning's gospel, Jesus sent his disciples across the Sea of Galilee. Out on the water the disciples encountered a bad storm with fierce winds. But as hard as they rowed, they made no progress. They became discouraged, exhausted, afraid, and you know what, they were worried. They were probably thinking that they weren't going to make it to safety. I can bet my bottom dollar that Peter was asking himself "How did I get into this mess? Am I going to make it?"
Suddenly they saw Jesus walking towards them on the water. Initially they thought they were seeing a ghost. But Jesus quickly spoke to them, saying, "It is I." And of course impetuous Peter spoke up and said, "Lord, if it is you, call me to walk on the water too." And so Jesus called to Peter, and Peter got out of the boat. And he put his foot on the water and it was firm. He took a step and then another step. And much to his surprise, he was walking on water. But then he felt the strong wind in his face and saw the high waves; he became afraid and began to sink. At which point, according to Scripture, Jesus reached out and rescued him.
Now as exciting, as sensational as this story is, I have to tell you something very sad. The sad thing is that Peter is normally criticized about his role in this story. Preachers through the centuries have said that Peter jumped before he looked. That Peter bit off more than he could chew; that Peter let doubt enter his heart and so he began to sink.
How quickly we look at Peter in this story in a negative way. It's like the story of two duck hunters with their retriever dogs. They went out into the marsh to bag some ducks. A flock of ducks flew overhead and the first hunter fired and shot down a duck and then the second hunter also shot down a duck. The first hunter's dog jumped into the water, swam out, retrieved the duck and swam back to his master. The second hunter's dog walked across the top of the water, retrieved the duck and again walked on top of the water and returned to his master.
The second hunter turned to his friend and asks if he noticed anything different between their dogs. The first hunter responded, "Yes, I noticed that your dog can't swim." The point being made here is that the first hunter was unable to see that which was positive in the second hunter's dog. And all too often, we are unable to see that which is positive in Peter's behavior in this morning's gospel. And what was Peter's positive behavior? He had faith enough and was courageous enough to follow Jesus' direction and got out of the boat, which is an example for us to follow. In other words, Jesus encourages us to have faith in him and take chances. He encourages us to be courageous enough to get out of the boat.
With people Jesus met, he encouraged people to do things that seemed impossible. For instance he told people to "Love your enemies." He told people carrying grudges to love the person who had done them wrong. Many responded, saying, "Impossible, after what he did; after what she said to me?" "Yes, you can do it," said Jesus. But he didn't say it would be easy. We have to have faith; we have to have courage. To live the gospel of Christ, we just can't sit in the boat, wringing our hands and saying "Woe is me, I am going to perish." The gospel tells us that we have to take chances in life.
I am reminded of the timely example of John Lewis. He felt a call as a very young man. I would say, from Jesus to join Martin Luther King in his quest to gain the vote and equal rights for African Americans. Would it be risky, dangerous? You bet it would. Who among us does not remember that 54 mile march the civil rights demonstrators took from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital of Alabama? They crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge, and were greeted by policemen with billy clubs and other weapons. Lewis had his skull cracked. Again, Jesus didn't say it would be easy. In John Lewis we have a prime example of what it is like to jump out of the boat into a stormy sea. In John Lewis we have a great example of what it is to have faith in Christ Jesus in the most difficult of situations.
The Edmund Pettus Bridge was named after a confederate General who also happened to be a leader of the ku klux klan. There is presently some discussion regarding renaming that bridge, the John Lewis Bridge.  
As we embrace the ministry of Jesus Christ, let us always remember that sharing in his ministry can involve taking a certain amount of risk. Maybe we are dealing with some kind of an addiction; it doesn't have to be an addiction to drugs or alcohol, but to confront it, to acknowledge it in front of others may take a certain amount of risk. Or maybe it's a position you have to take on a not too popular subject. Jesus says, Have faith, be courageous. Do as Peter did, and I would add do as John Lewis did and get out of the boat.
 
 
--Fr. C. Allan Ford
 
   

PARISH  NEWS


AUGUST AND SEPTEMBER WORSHIP SCHEDULE  
 
Thanks to all who have attended church these last two weeks whether it was in person at 161 Mansion Street or whether it was on Zoom. As announced several weeks ago we'll have in person worship on the first and third Sundays of the month. Otherwise we'll be on Zoom.
 
Our schedule through the end of September will be:

In Person Worship this Sunday and on September 6 and 20 

Zoom church on August 23 and 30 and on September 13 and 27.

Hope to see you in church on Sunday and/or on Zoom in a few weeks  
   

 
--Shawn Prater-Lee


 
 
 
A NOTE FROM THE TREASURY TEAM
 
 
Total deposit for the past week - $1488.75 (includes $425 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!!!




COMMUNITY  NEWS
 
   
DUTCHESS COUNTY HABITAT FOR HUMANITY
 
We are currently renovating a small home on South Grand Avenue that was donated to us. By the end of this year, we expect to move another homeowner participant into the home.
Less you believe that these homes are "given free" to participants, they are not. Once accepted into the Homeownership Program, the process can take from 12 to 18 months to complete. Participants must be employed, attend classes on how to take care of a home, work with a credit counselor to clean up or enhance their credit, and perform between 200 and 400 hours of sweat equity, among other things. In the end, they will have a low-interest SONYMA mortgage from a local bank.
 
Our ReStore collects food for St. Paul's Food Pantry and has an extensive bottle recycling program that turns bottles/cans into cash so that we can continue our mission. If you would like to donate your recycled bottles and cans let Deacon Julett know and arrangements will be made to pick them up. Please encourage your friends to shop at the ReStore since all profits go towards building or renovating homes.
Habitat is proud to be affiliated with St. Paul's and our congregation. If you know of someone who might benefit from homeownership, please contact me at our office 845-475-9336, Ext. 2.   All inquiries are confidential. Habitat needs help unloading their donation PODS and processing donations. If you can help call Dannielle Santos at 845-232-5036, Ext. 3 or email restore.manager@habitatdutchess.org.
 
Thank you. - Carol Rohde
 
Ponder this:
"As long as you are proud you cannot know God...as long as your are looking down, you cannot see something that is above you."                                   C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity. 
 
                                              

 
AUGUST BIRTHDAYS
    
 
 1 Josephine Sherow 
   
 3 G.C. (Gerry) Sprague 
  7 Charlene DuBois

14 Ed McCurty
23 Marlene Taylor
  
25 Dewy Clarke
 
 4 Owen Tucker
 
 5 Owen Scarlett
 

15 Adrianna Babb


20 Krystal Hyson

27 Jessica Ann Krainski





 
 





                                              


Celebrating Gerry Sprague's 94th birthday.  
A few parishioners stood outside & sang Happy Birthday to help him celebrate.
 


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

 
 
Intercessions
AUGUST 2020
 
Our prayers are asked for:
 
Beryl & Glen, Vincent family; Rev. Susan of Christ Church; George; Stephanie,  
 
Aaron; 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,  
 
Phil, Kathy B.; Carola and Violet; Whitman, Medical Reserve Corp. of Dutchess  
 
County, Dept. of Behavioral and Community health of Dutchess county;  
 
Peggy;The Bedrossian family; Seth;Lori; 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.


  
 
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
August 11-16, 2020
 
                               


TUE     1110:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop


WED    12
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop


THU     13
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop


SUN     16
 10:00am   RITE II - In Church  



 







 



                          
 


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