St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

 
The Week of July 29-August 4, 2019
  

The parable of the rich fool

Beware of all kinds of greed

In this week's Gospel Jesus is confronted with an unusual situation. An individual who had been listening to Jesus demanded, "Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me."
bible.jpg
This week's readings.
 
By itself this is a very odd encounter. Is Jesus a family counselor? A lawyer? No, he's a teacher, a rabbi. We don't know if the brother with the inheritance has been listening to Jesus or not. We only know the embittered brother wants Jesus to take care of the matter for him.
 
Jesus declines and warns his listeners of all forms of greed. In doing this he gives the angry brother more than an inheritance: he gives him direction to a way of life that will satisfy him more than material wealth. Jesus explains that all the wealth a person can muster and retain is meaningless unless one is generous toward God. That, we can infer, means loving God and loving our neighbor, not trying to have the most possessions possible when our life comes to an end.
 

     

To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 

 

   PARISH  NEWS
   
PASTORAL CARE COMMITTEE NEEDS YOUR HELP 

The Pastoral Care Committee is asking for help from the St. Paul's congregation to identify individuals who might appreciate some help dealing with their practical and spiritual struggles.

OUTREACH
The Pastoral Care Committee reaches out to those who are sick, homebound, need support or are struggling in any way.
 
VISITATIONS
Visitations are made to those who are homebound or are in hospitals or nursing homes.
COMMUNICATION
Cards are sent out on a regular basis for "Thinking of You",  Get Well, Sympathy or holidays to those we do not see but wish to keep in touch. Phone calls also keep us in touch with the home-bound.
RIDES
Rides to church are provided to those who are unable to drive or need assistance. We don't know how many members of our parish are "stuck at home" due to the lack of transportation. Please consider those you haven't seen in church for a while and let the Pastoral Care team know.
 
HOLIDAY GIFTS
Holiday bags are prepared at Christmas for those who are homebound.

If you have a concern or know of anyone in need of pastoral care, please contact Cynthia Benjamin, Chairperson or any member of the committee - Rose Marie Proctor, Janet Quade, Charlie Benjamin, Norma Williams.

Pastoral Care also joins with the Seekers Group which meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6PM. For more information on this, please contact Cynthia Benjamin.
 
--Janet Quade
 
 
 
HELPING HABITAT
Habitat Update

Thank you to those who volunteered at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore on Saturday, July 27, 2019.  We were busy, had fun and some even bought items.  There will be future dates for St. Paul's members to  volunteer as a team.  However, you can call the ReStore and volunteer at other times that are more convenient for you.  Please let the ReStore manager know you are from St. Paul's. 

The family which will own the Faith Build home in Wappingers Falls has been introduced to the community. The Rivera Family from Calvary Chapel Church:  Andres, Dannyi, Angela, Misleidy and Misleiry will be the recipients of the new home when the build is completed. 

Please remember the keep Habitat for Humanity in your prayers.           
                                                                                                            
     --Deacon Julett



Help for families and friends of those who are in prison 

Do you or someone you know have an incarcerated family member or friend?  There is a Kairos Outside program for people in your situation. On weekends the program takes place in most of the 50 states. A friend or family member can participate no matter where they reside and no matter where there friend or family member is incarcerated.
  
The Kairos Weekend:  Kairos Outside is a safe place where women gather together to share the impact that incarceration has had on the them and their families.  Kairos Outside Guests are women who are "doing time alongside their family/friends who are incarcerated or women who were previously incarcerated but were not able to participate in Kairos Inside at the time."  The Weekend starts at 6 pm on Friday night September 20 and continues until 4 pm on Sunday, September 22.  It provides an opportunity to not only explore one's relationship with God, but to also experience a time of fun, music, great food and community.
  
If you are interested, please contact Deacon Julett to obtain a flyer by leaving a message with your contact number at the Parish Office.                                         
                                                                                                             --Deacon Julett



Perfect summer brunch
featuring Caribbean fare
 
Sunday Aug. 4 we'll see a special feature at St. Paul's after church with a summer brunch featuring Caribbean specialties and some of the regular coffee hour breakfast offerings.
 
Of particular note:
 
            - Ackee and salt fish
            - callaloo
            - fried dumplings
            - fried plantains
            - escovitch fish
            - corn pudding
            - African specialties.
 
More conventional breakfast foods such as scrambled eggs, ham and sausage will be on hand as well.
 
The price for this splendid brunch is $10 for adults and $5 for children. Please plan to attend and enjoy the convivial atmosphere after church. Please also invite any neighbors, friends and family who might enjoy the great food and our remarkable congregation.  


St. Paul's - First Lutheran
Vacation Bible School
 
 Once again St. Paul's along with First Lutheran is holding Vacation Bible School (VBS) for children ages 6-12. Dates are August 6,7,8th from 5:30 - 8:00 p.m. The exciting theme is HERO CENTRAL - Discover Your Strength in God. The evenings will begin with a light supper followed by activities that will include bible stories, music, games, and crafts. There are fliers in the Narthex. Please invite friends to join you. Call the church office 845-452-8440 to let us know you are interested. Someone will call you back with a reminder as the time grows closer.

 
 
 
  
SCHOOL'S OUT & THE FOOD PANTRY NEEDS YOUR HELP!
During the summer months, our Food Pantry volunteers see an increase in demand from our neighbors in need. School is out, so children are eating more meals at home. Please bring non-perishable food with you when you come to church and place it in the large basket in the Narthax.
 
Items that are always needed are pancake mix and pancake syrup, tuna fish and mayonnaise, and beef stew. Anything you donate will be given away. Thank you!

  
  
25 WEEK CLUB

 
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Do you have your ticket for the 25 Week Club? Remember "you have to be in it to win it!! We have held weekly drawings since April 7 for $20 & $10, so that means there have been 28 winners so far and some people have won more than once.   The final drawing for the large prizes will be held at a lunch on September 28th. Ticket holders will receive an invitation in late August. Money raised from the 25 Week Club helps support the church and this time half of the earnings will go toward the cost of the new pew cushions. It's not too late to get a ticket - see Bobbie Gordon if you'd like one or if you can sell some to your friends.


 

Sunday's sermon
Ask, search, knock

SERMON: 7 Pentecost C 7 28 19
Gen18:20-32;Ps138;Col2:6-15;Lk11:1-13
 
I've been feeling bad about not having any funny stories to tell you in my sermons. I know it's not expected. But a laugh or even a mild chuckle is a pretty nice thing to enjoy on a Sunday morning. So here goes.

Timmy didn't want to put his money in the offering plate Sunday morning, so his mother decided to use some hurried creative reasoning with him.

"You don't want that money, honey," she whispered in his ear. "Quick! Drop it in the plate. It's tainted!"

Horrified, the little boy obeyed. After a few seconds he whispered, "But, mommy, why was the money tainted? Was it dirty?"

"Oh, no dear," she replied. "It's not really dirty. It just 'taint yours, and it 'taint mine," she replied. "It's God's."

A little later in Sunday School the following drama took place:

The Sunday School teacher was just finishing a lesson on honesty. "Do you know where children go if they don't put their money in the collection plate?" the teacher asked.

"Yes ma'am," a boy blurted out. "They go to the movies."

OK, so much for uplifting humor.

This week we have a truly stimulating Gospel reading that helps us engage our faith in all situations. It was preceded by a Collect that reminds us that God protects those who believe in God. That seems to be a really important ingredient in the process of making our prayers work. Because if we don't have or we're not working for a strong faith, then who or what are we praying to? And why, if we don't believe? So we have to start with a strong faith and that faith has to be joined to the belief that we receive answers even in silence. Ordinarily the clouds don't open and a voice from above doesn't say, "OK, have it your way." Ordinarily we make our petitions to God and we wait to see what unfolds.

Anyone who has an active prayer life knows that the act of praying is actually informing us of our desire, our willingness, and sometimes our need to reach out to God on matters that are important to us. God already knows what's on our minds. God knows what's on our minds even if we're praying for something different. But the goal of prayer is for us to recognize that communication is happening, to be engaged.

Both our Gospel and our Hebrew Bible reading address the issue of persistence in dealing with God. Abraham actually negotiates with God concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, ultimately after rounds of back and forth Abraham convinces God that if ten righteous persons are found in the cities, God will not demolish them.

In our Gospel Jesus uses the metaphor of a friend who has already locked up his house and gone to sleep as a stand in for God. If one came to that friend's house and asked repeatedly for bread because a visitor had arrived unexpectedly, Jesus said, eventually that person would get up and give the friend bread.

Both the example of persistence with God and the circumstances of Abraham's negotiations with God include the incentive of hospitality. Unfortunately for the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, Abraham's nephew Lot --who has shown hospitality to the same angels Abraham hosted last week-- is the only righteous man in the community.

Persistence is important, we understand; we should not give up. Perhaps if we give up easily, then what we were praying for isn't really that important to us. But persistence is only part of our Gospel lesson this morning.

In the opening of our Gospel reading Jesus teaches the disciples the Lord's Prayer. The phrase, "...forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone indebted to us..." is one of the many traps in the Bible set for hypocrites. How many have begged to be forgiven, yet have not forgiven those who harmed them? And how many have gladly or greedily taken more than their share, then denied food or shelter for those in need?

What is especially interesting about this portion of the Lord's Prayer is that Jesus doesn't say this is God's expectation. Jesus says this is the way we should behave to be in relationship with God. Kind of like a youngster washing their face before going to see their grandmother.

Our relationship with God is not transactional, not matter how hard we might try to bargain. It is familial. We are part of God's family and our role is to engage and to give of ourselves. It is also to give thanks when we realize what good things have happened to us or come to us by way of God's great mercy.

The Lord's Prayer connects directly in this reading to what Jesus says about Seek, Ask, Knock. Jesus said, " Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened."

If you just now closed your eyes and prayed for something outlandish and are surprised to find it didn't materialize, don't be. Because implicit in every prayer, in every thanksgiving and every intercession, is the requirement that we only pray for what conforms to God's will. My occasional remarks about Maseratis and yachts notwithstanding, we need to remember that we are seeking always for God's will to be done. When we pray for someone to heal or to get a job, or for something to work out one way or another, we add "if it be your will."

When we pray the Lord's Prayer we directly apply the prescription Jesus gave to seek, ask and knock. When we open the prayer we acknowledge that God is in heaven and, presumably, we realize we are not. We seek God, though distant, though perhaps not yet consciously brought into our presence. We ask that God's will be done, which definitely vetoes the Maserati and the yacht. It also requires that we align our request with what we think the will of God is.

You may remember some years ago Saturday Night Live had a very amusing bit about a preacher who using riffing on the language of the psalms would ask God to smite his enemies, to lift him up, and over all to frustrate any and everybody who got in his way. Well, that's not what prayer is for. Jesus has made that abundantly clear.
To seek God is to seek to know God, to align with God, to become one with God. That is called atonement, when we set aside everything else and are at one with God. Asking God is about letting ourselves know we've asked God to help us with something, whether it's a day that is overwhelmingly beautiful or a cranky friend or a nasty neighbor. It is to bring God into our consciousness as we work through what confronts us in our lives.

And when we knock it is on God's door, asking God to let us get closer, to discover God's ready proximity and the ever greater challenges of drawing ever nearer to the Almighty.

I was reflecting on this particular aspect of our Gospel this week and comparing it to a hymn we sang at Elisabeth' Gillon's celebration of Life, In the Garden. The phrase that was on my mind was "I come to the garden alone..." The opening line describes our spiritual dullness when we believe we are alone. We are never alone. Our Creator is always with us; we are occasionally deaf, blind, insensate and stupid.

Believe me, I wouldn't say that to Johnny Cash's face, but it is my belief. We can get so wrapped up in our ever so special business that we forget that God is around us all the time, incidentally, also being in heaven, as we pray in the Lord's Prayer. Accepting our invitation to ask, search and knock raises the stakes of our faith. Drawing closer and closer to our Creator is our ultimate objective, our joy.
 Amen
 
A sermon preached at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY on the 7th Sunday after Pentecost, 
July 28, 2019,  by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

                           
                     
                                   JULY/AUGUST BIRTHDAYS
 
   4   Julett Butler                   17   Roseline Oni          1 Josephine Sherow   
   7   Janet Quade                  20   Kaylee Curtis            Ann Marie McKenzie
 11   Ginny Gates                   22   Ruthie Hodge        3 Gillian Prater-Lee
 13   Sharon Sherow              27   Faith Mincey             Gerry Sprague
        Christopher Evens         28   Michael Babb            Nathesia Wethington
                                               31   Selene Hyson        4 Owen Tucker Sr.   

                                                                             

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie
 
 

'In Service to God & You'
 

SUNDAY 8AM
Lectors:           Julett Butler

Litanist:            Pete Bedrossian

Server:             Maria Bell

SUNDAY 10AM
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
  
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
  
Lectors:           Bobbie Gordon
                        Colleen Misner
  
Litanist:            Mark Debald
  
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
  
Altar Guild:       Hyacinth & Daphne (Alice)


 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S HYMNS

1982                7     Christ, whose glory fills the skies (Ratisbon)

CPWI          486     More love to thee, O Christ (more Love to Thee)
 
1982            645     The King of love my shepherd is (St. Columba)
 
LEVAS-II         1     Lift every voice and sing
 
         
Hymn Information
Maine native Elizabeth Payton Prentiss (1818-1878) was gifted as a writer from a young age and wrote numerous successful books of prose and poetry. More love to Thee, O Christ was inspired by personal tragedy. It dates from 1856, shortly after she and her husband, a Presbyterian minister, lost two children within a short time. In physical pain for much of her life, she wrote, "I see now that to live for God, whether one is allowed ability to be actively useful or not, is a great thing, and that it is a wonderful mercy to be allowed even to suffer, if thereby one can glorify Him." Repetition of the phrase "More love to thee" throughout the hymn gives the singer a sense of intimacy with Christ typical of this era of hymnody. The melody is by William Doane (1832-1915), composer of over 2,000 songs and hymns including the music for "To God be all glory," our ever-popular "Summer Gloria."
 

  
 
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
July 29-August 4, 2019
                               
MON 29
  

7:30am    AA Meeting
6:30pm    NA Meeting - Journey to Recovery


TUE 30
10:00am   Food Pantry, Thrift Store;



WED 31
7:30am     AA Meeting
10:00am   Food Pantry, Thrift Shop; 
12:15pm   Healing Service & Eucharist;



THU 01
10:00am   Food Pantry, Thrift Shop; 


FRI  02
7:30am     AA Meeting
6:30pm     NA Meeting


SAT 03
9:30am     Morning Prayer
10:00am   Bldg. & Grounds Mtg.; NA Meeting
11:00am   Block Clean-up
3:00pm     NA Meeting - Men Do Recover


SUN 04
8:00am     RITE I
8:45am     Lesson' Discussions
10:00am   Sunday School; RITE II - Anointing/laying on of Hands
11:30am   Caribbean Brunch
                          

YOUR NEWS BELONGS IN ST. PAUL'S  MESSENGER

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