St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of February 23-28, 2021


"[Christ] does not say: 'Make a cross' or 'Look for a cross.' Each of us has a cross to carry.
There is no need to make one or look for one. The cross we have is hard enough for us! But are we willing to take it up, to accept it as our cross? Maybe we can't study, maybe we are handicapped, maybe we suffer from depression, maybe we experience conflict in our families, maybe we are victims of violence or abuse. We didn't choose any of it, but these things are our crosses. We can ignore them, reject them, refuse them or hate them. But we can also take up these crosses and follow Jesus with them. 

Henri Nowen
--Shawn Prater-Lee

To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings  
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16; Psalm 22:22-30; Romans 4:13-25;
 Mark 8:31-38
The Sunday sermon
Genesis 9: 8-17, Noah and the Flood  
You probably don't expect to hear a sermon this first Sunday in Lent that talks about Noah and the great flood. Guess what, when I first sat down to put this sermon together, I wasn't thinking about Noah and flood waters either. But when I started investigating the text, so many images, especially from Katrina came into haunting focus on the screens of my mind: a woman standing on a rooftop, waving at a helicopter, a man who spent ten days in his attic with only a couple of candy bars and a gallon of water, and a seven year old boy leading a group of younger kids through the wet and empty streets looking for their parents. And only a couple of weeks ago, I got into a conversation with a woman standing in line behind me in the supermarket. Her home was in New Orleans. But after Katrina she vowed never to return to New Orleans.
Oh, I know, the floods on the Gulf Coast are different from the flood in Genesis. The floods in the south came from natural disasters, more precisely hurricanes. Whereas the great flood in the time of Noah, according to Scripture, was God's response to human sin. And I know of no one who thinks God sent the hurricanes to the Gulf Coast to wipe out our sin. If that were the case, the whole of the United States would still be under water and probably would never dry out.
Nevertheless, that is the point that the narrator of Genesis was making regarding the time of Noah. God saw that the wickedness of humankind was great in those days, and that every inclination on the part of humankind was evil. And God was truly sorry that he had made humankind, and it grieved him deep within his heart. So, he decided that he would blot out creation.
We have to understand that God made the world in Genesis 1 as a place in which all elements of creation were to work together in mutuality and support; but by Genesis 6 that vision had decayed and violence had become the fabric of life. The violence was so profound, so permeating, so entrenched that God decided to end the world as it was known and begin again.
Now I have to tell you, for me there is an aspect of the text that presents a problem. A loving God would never destroy the world. To do so would be to go against God's nature. Nevertheless, while God could never authorize such violence, I do think the text offers us two stunning insights. First, the kind of social world we create, the kind of lives we live, determine our direction and our fate. If we create a world of love, justice, and mutual support for all, that kind of world will support itself indefinitely. But if we create a world of violence, with exploitation, manipulation, and injustice, we create a world that will eventually destroy itself. Put another way, if we make the world chaotic, we will have nothing to look forward to but self-destruction. We got a clear taste of what I am trying to say when we look back to the breaching of, look back to the attempted destruction of the Capitol of the United States on the 6th of January.
Consider if you will, Rome on a Friday filled with chaos, nailed Jesus to a cross, but Rome itself eventually fell. The Nazis made killing an industry of chaos, but again at the end Germany was left as a scorched earth.
The second dramatic insight from this text is that even in the midst of chaos and violence, God provides the means to begin again. After the flood waters began to subside, Noah opened the windows of the ark and a dove ventured out and returned with an olive branch and landed on Noah's finger. The ark was opened, and the inhabitants came down the ramp into a new world. The human family again had a chance to join God in re-creating a world of love, justice, and mutual support.
When we come off the ark, sometimes we have to spend time exploring the new world. We have to learn how to live again, how to relate to our brothers and sisters with decency and trust, because without making the hard decisions of learning to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, we can only expect the old stuff to come back, again and again.
So, what does all of this have to do with Lent? After all, Lent is a season for reflection; it is a time to take stock of where we are in relation to God's purposes for the world. Lent is a gift from God, a time for us to think about how to intervene with our tendencies towards violence, a time to resolve to join God in rebuilding a more perfect world.
At the climax of the text, God took a bow and sets it in the clouds as a sign that God would never flood the world again. The Hebrew word for "bow" refers to the warrior's bow, but as it is set in the heavens, we see that God has transformed the instrument of violence into a thing of beauty. Let us commit ourselves to a holy Lent, one in which our constant prayer is that God will teach us to walk with Jesus, that God will fill us with the peace and love that pours into us from the Holy Spirit. My brothers and sisters I wish you a blessed and peace-filled Lent.

--Fr. C. Allan Ford


   --Bobbie Gordon 
Sunday Services will be on ZOOM until further notice
Our Zoom connections remain the same and are
Meeting ID: 823 3911 5280
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We now have a YouTube channel.  
or search on YouTube for St. Paul's Poughkeepsie.
We hope to put copies of all of our online services there.
Total deposits for the past week - $1639 ($400 for the Food Pantry). Many thanks to all who have been generously supporting the Food Pantry.
We're looking forward to seeing you on Zoom until further notice.  


--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler

Our Journey through Lent
Isaiah 58:6-12
Is not this the fast that I choose...?
A Welcome Reflection by Allison Duvall
Dear friends,
Thank you for your interest in being part of Episcopal Migration Ministries' journey through the Lenten season. We are grateful to have you join us for daily prayer, devotions, and reflection.
Beginning on Ash Wednesday, February 17, we will post a daily devotional (subscribe to receive by email) that offers a reflection on a portion of Isaiah 58:6-12, pondering the text and its meaning through the lens of migration. You are welcome to invite others to join, and we encourage you to forward the emails along. We will also share the daily devotions on our social media channels, and welcome you to share.
As you pray and engage with the devotions, you will be joining with so many others across the Episcopal Church and the country who are doing the same. Together, #WeAreEMM: we form a community of prayer, reflection, and action.
Throughout the daily devotional series, we will share ways that you can become more involved in the work of Episcopal Migration Ministries. We also invite you to share the ways that you are involved in migration ministry. We would love to hear from you.
EMM is a ministry of the whole Church and her people. Through this work, we welcome, support, and advocate for our newest neighbors, and are met by Christ and transformed in the process.
Blessings to you this Lenten season. We are grateful to walk with you.
EMM Church Engagement Team

Subscribe to Lenten Daily Devotions

EMM's Lenten Daily Devotions are possible because of the generous volunteer efforts of members of EMM's Asylum & Detention Ministry Network. We extend our gratitude to Ana Reza, Diocese of the Rio Grande, BA Miskowiec, director of West Virginia Interfaith Refugee Ministry, Flor Saldivar, Diocese of West Texas, Michelina Nicotera-Taxiera, Diocese of Arizona, and The Rev. Michael Wallins, Diocese of the Rio Grande, for their work to make the daily devotions a reality.
Previous Lenten Devotions:
Support EMM's Ministry 
Copyright © 2021 | Episcopal Migration Ministries, All rights reserved.    Our mailing address is:  815 Second Ave., New York, NY 10017    Want to change how you receive these emails?  You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list.     

 --Shawn Prater-Lee
Sign up for update when vaccine is available. Please share this site with others.
Pharmacies in our area are dispensing vaccines. Please visit these pharmacies like Rite Aid on South Ave. and Hooker Ave. and get your names on a list. As soon as an individual is eligible, the pharmacy will call. People can sign up with the county by clicking on the website link above as well.
 --The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler 


 2 Mertlyn Tomlinson  
14 Brooke Plain  
18 Celia Filor
    Stacy Babb     
15 Ade David Oni
19 Anita Santos-Bravo

 3 Jamal Wethington    

     Shawn Prater-Lee
23 William V Hyson
 9  Marlene Fisher
      William B. Rosborough 
25 Cynthia Benjamin
12 Aaron Bissessar 
16  Luis alberto Jr. Barban
26 Sterling Benjamin
13  Annastasia Schmouth 
18  George Reyes 

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:
Kay, Katherine, Renate; Angie; Frank Burnett, Food Panty Volunteers, victims of Human/Sex Trafficking; Burton family; Lillian, Matthew, Sasha; Paul & Donna, Margaret, Joe, G.J., Aleta, Plain family, Melius family; Ibadan Diocese, All Saints' Church, Oni family; Gary, Legend; Rhonda, Joe, Ann, all Teachers, Parents, Students, Theodore, John, Paul, Kathy, George, Janett, Renate, and Notoe; Sharon Greene, Owen,Agnes, Norma; McLauren family; Graham family; Wood family; Braxton family; Lori, Steven, Jim, Seth; Phil; All essential workers; Beryl & Glen, Vincent family; George;  Daniel Mizell and family; Liz, Martha; 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, 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; 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, 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.


February 23-28, 2021

TUE     23
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

WED    24
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

THU     25
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

SUN     28
10:00am   Zoom - Rite II, Ante Communion





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