St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

The week of October 29- November 4, 2018  
Bishop Dietsche's letter 
on the Pittsburgh shooting

  


 

  


The Tree of Life Synagogue Massacre 
and the Responsibility of Gospel Witness

October 29,2018
  
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
  
All good and well-meaning people in America and across the world are horrified and heartbroken over the mass shooting that took place at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh this weekend. This may have been the largest assault on American Jews in our history, and has happened at a time when there remain many among us, including some of the victims of Saturday's massacre, who lived through and can remember the Holocaust in Europe of the 1930s and 1940s. Vicious, violent anti-Semitism has been a continuous dark current through western culture century after century; it has erupted in some of the most horrific chapters of our history, and some of the most extreme campaigns of human brutality; and, on Saturday we were reminded in the most painful way that this sheer evil continues to reside in the deep pathology of American religious, racial and ethnic hatreds. 
  
Every community of faith, and the larger society around us, are recoiling at this violent crime of religious hatred in our midst. Everywhere are prayers for the dead and wounded, for the bereaved, and for a shattered community. The people of Tree of Life, and of Squirrel Hill in Pittsburgh, will know, I am certain, the compassion and love of the much larger body of people who feel the deep wound of this violence alongside our Jewish brothers and sisters in Pittsburgh. To all of them this diocese extends our love and grief and the embrace of our common humanity. And the rich fabric of constant prayer. 
  
But this terrible act came at the end of a week when we saw some fourteen or more bombs sent through the mail to political leaders and the news media. That those bombs brought no loss of life is a grace, but the fact of them, sent by an extreme far-right politically motivated attacker, has shaken the foundation of a country preparing right now to exercise the sacrament of its democracy. 
  
Something essential and needed in our common life is coming undone. Some foundation upon which we believed we stood is crumbling. Some thread, by which we were bound together, has been cut, and we are falling away from one another into warring camps and tribal divisions. I have had vestry persons in our parishes tell me that their congregations are so divided that "we can't even talk to each other anymore." At church! Everywhere is the fear that those treasured democratic values and bonds of community by which we have ordered our common life across our differences, by which we have endured and survived crisis upon crisis throughout our history, may now be spinning away from us. Who are we actually? And what may we become?
  
In the face of such a societal crisis, and in this vacuum of political leadership, it is more important than ever that we, the church, be the church. That we choose the gospel witness. We must make now, as ever, no peace with evil, and continue our conviction in the love of God for all people through our Lord Jesus Christ, and for the generosity and freedom and equality and compassion and welcome that this love of God requires of us. These principles must inform everything we do as a church: when we are being pastors and caregivers to one another; when we pray for those who do not pray for us; when we pray for the victims of hate; when we are reaching out to the least, the last and the lost among us; when we are learning in interfaith commonality the thousand faces of God; when we stand as one in advocacy for racial and ethnic and gender and LGBT equality; when we come before the altar to receive the absolving, reconciling love of God in Christ and then turn to this broken world to make our peace. And, too, when we look across the political and cultural divide and extend ourselves for the possibility of something new. To invite, beckon and call those whom we might otherwise name adversary or opponent or enemy into the enfolding love of communion. That we may make every sacrifice for the sake of the Kingdom. So that we may be repairers of the breach. This is what our Presiding Bishop meant in his royal wedding sermon: "love is power." The power to transform. That simple proclamation, which galvanized the world, is our hope for the world; that the love of God, and the powerful expression of it in your life and mine, may make all things new. 
  
With every good wish, I remain
  
Yours,

+Andy

The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York
 
 
   
AN EXCITING TWO WEEKS AT ST. PAUL'S
 

  
St. Paul's Church has been "hopping" the past two week-ends. Saturday, October 20, Maris Kristapsons and the recorder ensemble from St. John's Lutheran Church entertained us with a Latin American concert.  
  
The music dated from approximately 1500 to 1750. Some of the music was by composers from Spain and Portugal (some whose music was heard in Latin America during that time, and some also who lived and worked in Latin America then), and was mostly from the parts of Latin America comprising the present-day countries of Peru, Mexico, and Brazil.  

It was very interesting and certainly not like Latin American music we hear today.   The food, planned and prepared by Student Chefs under the direction of Dr. J.J. Manley, Coordinator of Student Life at the CIA, coordinated with the concert. We enjoyed Homemade Salsa and Chips, Pork & Sausage Ragout, Black Beans and Rice, Roasted Vegetables and Tres Leches Cake.  

Thank you to all who attended and to the volunteers who helped set up and clean up.  It was an evening enjoyed by all.

    Sundae Sunday Open House a Success!
 

















We opened our doors to our neighbors and got to meet them and they got to meet us.
Sundae-Sunday was a wonderful success for St. Paul's. Over 60 of our neighbors came and spent the afternoon with us. The children did the scavenger, did crafts in the Parlor and rounded out their experience with a Sunday School worksheet and ice cream. Adults had the opportunity to learn about or Church building. We went through 12 pizzas and over 3 gallons of ice cream.

A great big Thank you!!!! Goes to all who helped make this day a success.
  
                                                            --Pete Bedrossian, Formation Committee Chair
 
 
All Saints Sunday
           
  
Ruth 1:1-18;  Psalm 146
  Hebrews 9:11-14; Mark 12:28-34
 

(ALL SAINTS DAY) 11.4.18
 
Thursday is All Saints Day. On that day we remember the saints in our lives, usually people who have gone from earthly life to the eternal habitations, but not always. Sometimes in our midst a friend or acquaintance manifests behavior that we not they are saintly. Sometimes we even let them know we think they're saintly. It's quite a compliment.
bible.jpg
This week's readings

The official Episcopal Church dictionary that sits ready to inform and advise in the church office tells us a saint is "a holy person, a faithful Christian, one who shares life in Christ. The term may also indicate one who has been formally canonized or recognized as saintly by church authority." It is in the New Testament that the term is applied to all faithful Christians.

All Saints Day "commemorates all saints, known and unknown..." the Episcopal dictionary says. It also tells us that although the official date is Nov. 1, All Saints can be celebrated on the Sunday following Nov. 1. In our celebration of All Saints at St. Paul's we offer the opportunity to list those we'd like remembered on All Saints Sunday and list their names in the bulletin.

 
     
P A R I S H  N E W S


  
NOVEMBER IS TUNA FISH MONTH



DECEMBER IS CANNED BEEF STEW MONTH
  



             Consecration Sunday: November 11th
 
We will complete our pledges in church and take them to the altar to be blessed. Remember only one service at 10:00am that day.  We want everyone to be present and to enjoy a catered lunch following the service. It's only 4 weeks away.   Pray about your pledge. Ask for God's guidance as you decide how much to give to St. Paul's. Give thanks for your blessings.
 
 
The Sunday Sermon       
           Politics and principles
SERMON: 23 Pentecost B 10 28 18
Job 42:1-6,10-17;Ps34:1-8;Heb7:23-28;Mk10:46-52

It seems these days as though we encounter a lot of conversation that is focused on the upcoming election. It is not encouraging conversation, either. Though we may each exist in our own little bubbles, it is clear that there are a lot of politically oriented people just waiting to pounce on every instance or suggestion of a potential misdeed. It's a little scary.

When I look out the window of my office I usually look to the top of the trees across the street. There's pair of red tailed hawks that roost there. They turn their white breasts to the sun for warmth. They also, I have witnessed, swoop down and snatch their breakfast from the creek. Too bad for the duck. Occasionally I see them on the heights of our steeple. Which raises a question:

Why did the hawk sit on the church steeple? Because it was a bird of prey.

Obviously that is both a true statement and a play on words. The political person waiting to pounce, is a little like the hawk in the tree. But the political person waiting to pounce is the result of political alienation and division. That division, that alienation, is the result of two terrible factors: one is the loss of principles. The other is despair. Interestingly, our readings today give us insight into both principles--and their proper application--and despair.

In terms of despair, this morning we are treated to Job's summary of his trials which included all manner of negative emotions from despair to desperation, from blame to anger, from a sense of futility to one of acceptance. Job shows us that we need not give up on God even when it seems matters could not be worse. Job also reveals that he could have arrived at that decision to not give up on God earlier. And that is a strong message for us.

We, too, need to remember that. It is too easy to resign ourselves to victimhood. What is going on is we are living our lives and we are experiencing the joys and frustrations of that life often without a whole lot of control. But what we know from experience and could probably all benefit from remembering more often is this: What comes at us in life is important, but it is not as important as how we deal with it. That adage applies both to the good things that come our way and to those things that are disappointing or sometimes even infuriating.

But in terms of remedies for despair I think one of our greatest assets is our Book of Common Prayer. In that book there are prayers of every sort and variety. And they open our eyes, even when we're not looking for them, to things to pray for and to pray about that, frankly, often are a lot more important than out problems.

One of those prayers is the General Thanksgiving on page 836 in which we pray, "We thank you (God) for those disappointments and failures that lead us to acknowledge our dependence on you alone." We can decide to experience the awareness that we can look at every situation as an opportunity to draw closer to the Almighty. That is a remedy for despair.

In our Gospel we encounter Bartimaeus who is a blind beggar. His name means son of Timeaus, which is a clue to our exploration of the values he espouses and exhibits. Because, to quote the reading, " When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!"
This tells us that Bartimaeus respected heritage; just as he is Timeaus' son, he notes Jesus is descended from David. He has honored Jesus with this acknowledgement. Bartimeaus also asked Jesus to have mercy on him. Begging for mercy is not the same thing as asking for help. Mercy is unearned, so to ask mercy from God or from Jesus, or, for that matter, from a judge a jury, is to ask for that which one is not entitled. It is a cry to the goodness of the person from whom mercy is sought.

Bartimeaus revealed his understanding of Jesus' capacity to render mercy. Imagine a blind man begging every day by the side of the main road. He would hear much. Obviously Bartimeaus knew about Jesus and believed Jesus had the capacity to grant what he begged for.

Finally, in throwing off his cloak he is radically setting aside all he has and is committing his hopes and faith to Jesus. His faith, Jesus saw, was strong. Jesus asked what he wanted and he asked Jesus to let him see again. Jesus didn't say, "OK, I'll do that." He didn't say prayers over him. He simply told Bartimeaus, "Go; your faith has made you well."

One could say that Jesus observed that although Bartimeaus was asking to see again, he was able to see Jesus plainly as the Son of David, as one possessing mercy, as one to follow. Which is what he did.

In other words, Bartimeaus the blind beggar teaches us about principles by his manifestation of honor, commitment, faith, fidelity and discipleship.
What we've learned about principles from Bartimaeus and Job has been on my mind this week for a couple of reasons in addition to their being our readings. One, obviously, is the series of bombings that took place last week and the massacre at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. Given the hate that has been spewing from the right, with encouragement from our President, it is sadly no surprise. It is predictable.The political tone around us has become toxic, truly deadly.

The fake threats that the President and his base are citing are insignificant compared to real threats facing our nation. In terms of our American values, consider that while the dreaded caravan of desperate immigrants treks toward America:

--they are only a fraction of a single per cent of the annual migration that enters the US every year;
--during the caravan 16,800 Americans will die from drug abuse;
--an estimated 690,000 people in our nation (including 270,000 children) will become homeless;
-- 8,850 Americans will die from guns, including murder and suicide;
-- about 9,000 Americans will die from a lack of or poor health insurance.

These are the real crises facing our nation.

At the same time as we observe the fearmongering and hate of the President and his base we find cause for hope. This week I had two fantastic experiences of inspiration from men I admire. One is our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. I am writing a grant application to plan a revival in the area featuring Bishop Michael. He has so captured the attention and the hearts of people in the church and those who just watched the royal wedding. I have reflected on his message of love and I realized that it is hard to stay anxious when I'm thinking about love.

The other experience involved Bruce Chilton, an Episcopal Priest and professor at Bard College who gave the keynote address at the Dutchess County Interfaith Council Wednesday. Professor Chilton spoke of how it is that we come together to become better acquainted with those of other faiths and we find ourselves drawn into relationships which do not otherwise occur much. We are aware of others who would encourage us to stay with our own kind, but we know that's a dead end. And we reflect some of God's glory in our disparity of different kinds: faith, culture, race, gender, and, sadly not so much, age.

There's lots of work to do to model principled living in this world. We know what our principles are. We recite them in our Baptismal Covenant. It is in living out our principles that we convey the message of hope and salvation that is insured by Bruce Chilton, Michael Curry, Job and by Bartimeaus, who though blind could see quite clearly the truth about Jesus.

God bless them all. Amen


     A sermon preached Oct. 28, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector
    COMMUNITY   NEWS  
CALENDAR
 

Sunday,

Nov 4th
 

Interfaith Music Festival
3pm

Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church

(Rt 55 Lagrangeville)

Sunday,

Nov 18th
 

DCIC Interfaith Thanksgiving Service

Save the Date! More details
 to follow


 
                                    NOVEMBER
 
1       Mary Ann Oughton                           9       Millicent "Joy" McCurty
5       Melody Ware                                  19       Cora Keith
         Mark Debald                                   21       Rhonda Lynn Melius
6       Judy Lovelace                                25       Ron Harris
                                                                      28       Sharon Dillon

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'  
  
SUNDAY 8AM
Server:            Maria Bell
  
Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Cora Keith
  
Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
  
SUNDAY 10AM
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
  
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
  
Lectors:           Bert Mazzuto
                        Adrian Goldson
  
Litanist:           Mark Debald
  
Usher:             Dewy Clarke
                        Mark Debald
  
Altar Guild:      Joanna & Rose Marie

Greeters:         Mary Ann Bagatta
                       
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S HYMNS

1982                 287       For all the saints, who from their labors rest

1982                 551       Rise up, ye saints of God

1982                293       I sing a song of the saints of God

1982                 287       For all the saints, who from their labors rest


HYMN INFORMATION: Nineteenth century English clergyman William Walsham How was a great force in the movement for infusing new spiritual life into the church, and for his work  among the poor. He was especially fond of children, and was often called "the children's bishop." Author of much sacred verse as well, he published For All the Saints in 1864 as a processional hymn, while he was Bishop of Wakefield. Originally sung to a less familiar tune, in 1906 it was paired with a new tune, "Sine Nomine," by renowned English composer Ralph Vaughan Williams, in which form it has endured in popularity to this day in many denominations.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  
 
THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
October 29-Novembr 4, 2018
                               
MON 29
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  

6pm Evening Prayer, Vestry;  


TUE 31
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 


WED 31 

7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;


 

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

  


12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;    


THUR 1

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

 

6pm Evening Prayer, Evangelism,Outreach 



FRI 2
7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting; 


SAT  3
 3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery" 

11am Girl Scout Meeting

SUN 4
8am Rite I;

 8:45am Lesson's Discussion;

9:30am Choir Practice;

10am Sunday School;

10am Rite II

11:15am Coffee Hour; 
                          

YOUR NEWS BELONGS IN ST. PAUL'S  MESSENGER

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