St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of June 30-July 5, 2020
Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah.

In this week's Old Testament reading Abraham's servant has been sent to find a wife for Abraham's son Isaac.  The servant is standing at the well and is praying telling God what test he will use to find Isaac's wife.  Before he even finishes his prayer Rebakah appears.  She passes the test and is taken to Isaac "and (Isaac) loved her."
This week's readings
This all reminds me of the way works at becoming efficient in meeting our shopping needs.  As you are searching through their vast online store Amazon starts moving items to get them ready to be shipped to you.  You may leave something unbout in your cart, but buy the time you decide to actually buy it Amazon has started to move that item toward you.
In this same way God meets our needs.  He knows what we need even before we ask for it and, just as Rebekah had been in place at the well before the servant even finished his prayer, God sets in motion his answer to our prayers.

--Shawn Prater-Lee  
  To be redirected to the full readings at the end of this newsletter  
    Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67 ; Psalm 45:11-18 ; Romans 7:15-25a; Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30      
The Sunday sermon
Matthew 10: 40-42

When Jesus sent his disciples out to do God's work, he made it quite clear that it would not be easy work. He told them up front of the difficulties they would face if they chose to stick with him. What we read in Matthew's gospel is what really happened during the first two centuries after Jesus' death and resurrection. Christians were imprisoned and executed. Family members, who found other members of family practicing Christianity, turned them into the authorities.
In modern times we saw a similar thing happen in Germany during the Second World War, where members of what was known as the Confessing Church; folks like Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor and martyr, stood up against Hitler, and were imprisoned and hanged because they would not yield to the divine sovereignty of the Third Reich. Even this very day we who call ourselves Christians have our own difficulties and obstacles as we seek to live out our faith, not the least of which is our own misunderstandings, our own temptations, bad choices, compromises, and a myriad of other things. Anyone who is serious about the Christian journey, about walking with Christ, knows that it is a task that is far from easy. It is a task that can sometimes even be dangerous.
So where is the blessing in all of this? What do we get out of this Faith that we profess? I don't think we can experience the blessings until we find ourselves in the midst of performing services reflective of Christ's love; services similar to that mentioned in this morning's gospel. Let me remind you. "Whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones, (and I am rewording the final phrase a bit) they will know their reward."
I want to take you back to that tragic 2013 Boston Marathon, the one where bombs exploded as people were crossing the finish line. There is the story about a woman named Elizabeth Pederson who had already crossed the finish line with two friends when the bombs went off. She and her friends helped out various other runners in need; and at one point Pederson and her two friends encountered a woman sitting on a curb who was totally confused, shocked, and wounded. Pederson and friends offered her a most precious gift; they offered her their attention. And then they gave her a drink from a bottle of cold water. The confusion within her began to dissipate as she sipped the water and as they sat next to her holding her gently. After a time of brief conversation they offered her the use of a cell phone so that she might contact her family. They gave her some cash, and simply sat with her for a time. A few days after the race, Pederson received a text message that began, "Dear Wonderful Stranger you were a gift from God." It was from the runner that Pederson and friends had helped. She talked about how much the drink of cool water meant to her, and the fact that someone got down on the curb with her and helped her get a sense of clarity.
Pederson was so moved by the runner's response, and I think so moved by the Holy Spirit, that she decided to create a website and called it The website was created to encouraged people to look for ways, no matter how small, by which they might commit acts of kindness to honor those who were affected by the Boston Marathon bombings. She invited people to log onto the website. She set as a goal to document one million acts of kindness. Most of the responses she got on the website were little things like, paying for a cup of coffee, or buying a meal for someone who was hungry; putting gas into the car of someone who was stranded, even sharing an umbrella on a rainy day.
Listen to what Pederson said, "None of us can solve terrorism individually. None of us can cure cancer or fix any of the really serious issues affecting our world, but we all can do something. If you think about all of us linking arms together and doing the one thing that we can do, even if it seems petty, "Pederson suggested, "through those acts there will be a grand demonstration of real power."
In today's gospel Jesus invites us to do a small thing, to give to someone who is thirsty a cup of water. As I meditated on this section of the gospel, it occurred to me that it was a water dipper, the Big Dipper, a constellation in the night sky, something very small in the context of the universe that directed the runaway slaves to the north and freedom. What is further interesting; it was small bottles of water that were being handed out to the protestors demonstrating for racial justice as they passed by St. John's Episcopal Church until they were not too gently moved to make room for the president's photo ops.
One of the last phrases Jesus spoke from the cross was "I thirst." Can we not do what little we can as individuals to engage in acts of kindness helping to right the injustices in this world, because I believe in engaging in those small acts of kindness we will know our reward and also we will be quenching the thirst of Christ?
--Fr. C. Allan Ford



After having done Zoom church for almost four months we will resume in person worship with a 10:00 am service on Sunday July 12. Thanks be to God.

In light of the ongoing world pandemic, under the direction of the Bishop, and with great deliberation of the Vestry in person worship will resume, but with (at least for the time being) some changes.

We will have a single service on Sundays with no midweek healing service.  All congregants will be required to wear masks.  Pews will be marked off to easily facilitate social distancing between family groups.  All music will be instrumental with no singing. The Peace will be a non contact event.  At the recommendation of the Bishop we will not be observing communion.

There are other tweaks that will be made to facilitate the reopening of the Church.  Please know that these changes will be as small as possible and are done with the health and safety of our church family as top priority.

Please join us on June 28 and July 5 for Zoom Church then please bring your mask to 161 Mansion Street on Sunday July 12 as we again get to worship together in the church.  Thanks be to God.
--Shawn Prater-Lee
Total deposit for the past week - $1020 ($100 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 pray you are all well and look forward to "seeing" you at Zoom Church.
If you're tired of cooking, we still have Super Chili that we're happy to sell for $10 per quart. You can pick up your order on Mondays from 10-12pm.



  7 Janet Quade
11 Ginny Gates   
17 Oluinayemisi Oni

22 Ruthie A.Hodge
28 Michael Babb

13 Sharon Sherow

27 Faith Mincey



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

JULY 2020
Our prayers are asked for:
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 our by helping others.


1982               558   Faith of our fathers living still (St. Catherine)

LEVAS-II          29   Jesus, keep me near the cross (Near the Cross)

1982               718  God of our fathers, whose almighty hand (Materna)

1982               717   My country 'tis of thee (America) [POSTLUDE]

The CollectTheReadings.
O  God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Old Testament
Genesis 24:34-38, 42-49, 58-67
T he servant said to Laban, "I am Abraham's servant. The Lord has greatly blessed my master, and he has become wealthy; he has given him flocks and herds, silver and gold, male and female slaves, camels and donkeys. And Sarah my master's wife bore a son to my master when she was old; and he has given him all that he has. My master made me swear, saying, 'You shall not take a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, in whose land I live; but you shall go to my father's house, to my kindred, and get a wife for my son.'
"I came today to the spring, and said, 'O Lord, the God of my master Abraham, if now you will only make successful the way I am going! I am standing here by the spring of water; let the young woman who comes out to draw, to whom I shall say, "Please give me a little water from your jar to drink," and who will say to me, "Drink, and I will draw for your camels also" -let her be the woman whom the Lord has appointed for my master's son.'
"Before I had finished speaking in my heart, there was Rebekah coming out with her water jar on her shoulder; and she went down to the spring, and drew. I said to her, 'Please let me drink.' She quickly let down her jar from her shoulder, and said, 'Drink, and I will also water your camels.' So I drank, and she also watered the camels. Then I asked her, 'Whose daughter are you?' She said, 'The daughter of Bethuel, Nahor's son, whom Milcah bore to him.' So I put the ring on her nose, and the bracelets on her arms. Then I bowed my head and worshiped the Lord, and blessed the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me by the right way to obtain the daughter of my master's kinsman for his son. Now then, if you will deal loyally and truly with my master, tell me; and if not, tell me, so that I may turn either to the right hand or to the left."
And they called Rebekah, and said to her, "Will you go with this man?" She said, "I will." So they sent away their sister Rebekah and her nurse along with Abraham's servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah and said to her, "May you, our sister, become thousands of myriads; may your offspring gain possession of the gates of their foes." Then Rebekah and her maids rose up, mounted the camels, and followed the man; thus the servant took Rebekah, and went his way. Now Isaac had come from Beer-lahai-roi, and was settled in the Negeb. Isaac went out in the evening to walk in the field; and looking up, he saw camels coming. And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she slipped quickly from the camel, and said to the servant, "Who is the man over there, walking in the field to meet us?" The servant said, "It is my master." So she took her veil and covered herself. And the servant told Isaac all the things that he had done. Then Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah's tent. He took Rebekah, and she became his wife; and he loved her. So Isaac was comforted after his mother's death.
The Response
Psalm 45: 11-18
Eructavit cor meum
11 " H ear, O daughter; consider and listen closely; * 
forget your people and your father's house.
12 The king will have pleasure in your beauty; * 
he is your master; therefore do him honor.
13 The people of Tyre are here with a gift; * 
the rich among the people seek your favor."
14 All glorious is the princess as she enters; * 
her gown is cloth-of-gold.
15 In embroidered apparel she is brought to the king; * 
after her the bridesmaids follow in procession.
16 With joy and gladness they are brought, * 
and enter into the palace of the king.
17 "In place of fathers, O king, you shall have sons; * 
you shall make them princes over all the earth.
18 I will make your name to be remembered 
from one generation to another; * 
therefore nations will praise you for ever and ever."
The Epistle
Romans 7:15-25a
I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree that the law is good. But in fact it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells within me, that is, in my flesh. I can will what is right, but I cannot do it. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I that do it, but sin that dwells within me.
So I find it to be a law that when I want to do what is good, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God in my inmost self, but I see in my members another law at war with the law of my mind, making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!
The Gospel
Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Jesus said to the crowd, "To what will I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling to one another,
'We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
we wailed, and you did not mourn.'
For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, 'He has a demon'; the Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, 'Look, a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!' Yet wisdom is vindicated by her deeds."
At that time Jesus said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.
"Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light."


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