St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of July 23-29, 2018  
Miracles and a #MeToo Moment
 2 Samuel 11:1-15,  Psalm 14
Ephesians 3:14-21, John 6:1-21

This week's readings
We confront this Sunday King David's abominable behavior toward Bathsheba and her husband, Uriah. That's in our first reading. In our second reading Jesus and his disciples feed 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Quite a contrast: from a #Me Too moment to major miracles.
Each incident contains hubris and honor. Uriah maintains his dignity, despite David's scheming. The disciples reveal substantial skepticism about feeding 5,000. Yet they soldier on and discover that all were fed.
The gathering of the leftovers is evidence of the miracle: more remained than was initially found to distribute. The miracle of faith helped the disciples fill the needs of all. Arguments have taken place over whether the spiritual needs of the people were so much greater than their physical hunger that they were satisfied by Jesus' presence, words and healing, more than by physical sustenance. The leftovers suggest otherwise.
We live daily with human shortcomings and the miracle of faith. We ponder the great dichotomy they present. We can depend on our faith to save us from despair when the human conditions seems about to overwhelm us.

  P A R I S H  N E W S


Get your tickets for the lunch at Outback soon
 Also, it's important to know that you may attend the lunch anytime between 11:00 and 1:00.

The following event is Saturday, August 18th - Lunch at Outback Steakhouse from 11:00am - 1:00pm.   Tickets are $15 per person and must be purchased in advance either by cash or check made payable to St. Paul s.   See the flyer above for more details.
Tickets need to be purchased and picked up at St. Paul s Church by August 11th or you can purchase a ticket from a Vestry or Stewardship Committee member.

Be sure to get yours ASAP in order to get in all of the drawings. 
Here's a reminder of how it works:
Tickets are $25.00 each. Drawings will be held every Sunday from July 1 - December 9.   Prizes for those drawings are $10 and $20.  
The final drawing will be December 15 at a party that will include dinner and perhaps musical entertainment. Prizes awarded that day will be $10, $20 plus the big prizes of $500, $250, $150, $100 & $50. 
You can win multiple times since your ticket is always returned to the pile so that it's there for the final drawing.  All parishioners are asked to buy or sell at least 2 tickets.
Tickets to sell are available from Bobbie Gordon. Tickets for purchase are available from Vestry members and Debbie Pitcher, Deb Williams, Rose Marie Proctor, Charlie Benjamin, Cynthia Benjamin, Janet Quade and Bobbie Gordon.

August 12th, 2018       
Following the 10:00 church service
  $6 per person or $12 per family
  Please feel free to invite family & friends. 

C O M M U N I T Y   N E W S

Sunday Sermon...
                        Paying attention
SERMON: 9 Pentecost B 6 24 18

Charlie Benjamin and I took Bobbie Gordon out to lunch for her birthday last month. As we do now and then, we went to Alex's Restaurant on Main Street. I parked the car in what looked like a good spot.
After lunch we came out and I had a ticket. A $135 ticket. I had parked in a handicapped parking spot. Unintentionally, I assure you. It had been marked with normal parking signs, topped with handicapped parking signs which I either didn't see or subconsciously ignored. As did Bobbie and Charlie, I presume, as neither of them said anything.

Fast forward a month. Molly and I came back from vacation Wednesday and I now have a court date. I will make my case for mercy and my generally good citizenship and see how it goes. But it brought to mind how sometimes we think we're doing one thing and we're actually doing another. Sometimes people think we're doing one thing and we're doing something else altogether. Sometimes we think we have an understanding and we find out we are mistaken.

Like the pastor who could tell Bubba was out of sorts. "What's the matter, Bubba?" the pastor asked. "I need help with my hearing, pastor," Bubba said. "Well get down on your knees, my friend," the pastor ordered. "We'll pray on it." So for five or ten minute the pastor prayed for Bubba's hearing. Finally he stopped and asked Bubba, "How's your hearing now, Bubba?" Bubba Replied, "I don't know, pastor. It's not 'til next week."

I also kind of resonated to this joke because I read a really good meditation from Forward Day by Day while Molly and I were gone that pointed out that as nice as it is to imagine our problems being relieved by the love of Jesus, what Jesus promises you and me is the freedom from fear. We can turn to Jesus in prayer in the midst of the most difficult problems and find ourselves strangely ready to go on because the debilitating power of our fear is gone. We suddenly know we can go on, no matter what.

I watched that realization wash over the face of a woman this week who had suffered some serious disappointments recently and was terribly unhappy. I asked her about her prayer life and how often she asked God to be with her during the day. I asked her if she believed in God's readiness to help her and she said she did. Then I told her God would be with her throughout whatever comes her way. And that she could help herself by offering prayers of thanks to God for the good things in her life that made it worth living.
She stopped crying and looked up with a lovely smile and started talking about her daughter and how wonderful she is. She thanked me a few times before she got out of the office. This, I thought, is the miracle of faith, the certainty that God cares about us and hears us and stays with us all the time. I was grateful for the experience.

Long ago I learned about the importance of an attitude of gratitude. I have joked on occasion that if one can't generate an attitude of gratitude, then an attitude of platitudes will work. And while I mean it in a comical sense it is also true. Because platitudes are commonplace. They have described the human condition for so long that they seem mundane, but they are actually reliable. Here's a few:

Good things come to those who wait.
The definition of insanity is doing the same thing and expecting the result to be different
Time heals all wounds
Such is life.
What doesn't kill me will only make me stronger.
Hard work always pays off.
Money can't buy happiness.
It's not rocket science.
I could go on and on, but I trust you get my point. Irritating as some of these phrases might seem in the midst of a situation, they are, generally, true. Sometimes the truth hurts. (There I go with another platitude.)
Speaking only for myself, I have to admit that there are times where I seek out the complicated solution when the simple one is sitting right in front of me. Like turning to prayer. Or reflecting on all I have to be grateful for.

Our vacation contained a number of situations which surprised me in their simplicity. We went to see Yosemite National Park, the sequoia trees, the redwood trees and the Oregon Coast, where my brother lives. If I got started telling you about the trees you wouldn't get home in time for supper. They were astonishing. They were alive in ways much more marvelous than roots and branches and needles and cones. There were like living animals. And they knocked us out.

Molly had been reading about Yosemite and John Muir and the amazing trees and the beginning of the conservation movement in America. Yosemite started it all.

This topic came up in Forward Day by Day Thursday. It read, "One of my favorite statements by conservationist John Muir came from his defense of the Hetch Hechy Valley near Yosemite.(Actually in Yosemite.) 'Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature may heal and cheer and give strength to body and soul alike'."

The reading continues, "Muir lost the battle--the valley was flooded to create a reservoir--but the question remains: Would the world be better off if we poured all of our resources into what is "useful," into what serves a practical purpose?...Like Muir, Jesus believes that value isn't strictly a function of utility. Beauty--including acts of kindness and mercy--is as necessary to the spirit as bread is to the body."

In the middle of the forest and the park, watching the whale in Port Orford Oregon surface before diving for more food, this simple understanding of why we have nature and beauty is obvious: this is God's creation. This is the way God wants it. It is ours to enjoy or ignore, preserve or destroy.
Our readings today also point us in the direction of care and enjoyment of creation. Samuel tells David God has needs that maybe David can meet. David can create for God a house of cedar as a sign of the Israelites care for God's creation and their obedience to God's ways.

Jesus and his weary disciples have been busy caring for God's people. Jesus sees they are weary and proposes rest. They are preparing themselves for the feeding of the 5,000 although they don't know it yet. But clearly Jesus and David know they are honoring God by protecting what is precious to God.
We, too, are called to protect what is precious to God. Last week in Oregon we heard a priest in his sermon actually shout about the atrocity of the government locking up children in cages. This week there will be much comment from many pulpits about truth telling and treason.

We needn't turn partisan and we needn't despair. Our faith points us in the direction of loving our neighbor and caring for God's creation. That we know how to do.              Amen
                                A sermon preached July 22, 2018 at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

2    Elisabeth Emily Cecilia Gillon                              20         Kaylee Curtis
7    Janet Quade                                                        22         Ruthie A. Hodge
11   Ginny Gates                                                        27         Faith Mincey
13   Sharon Sherow                                                   28         Michael Babb
       Christopher Evans                                              31         Selena Hyson   

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'
Server:            Maria Bell
Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Tom Walker
Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee
                        Jordan Rosborough
                        Ben Rosborough
Lectors:           Debbie Pitcher
                        Jim Schneider
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Usher:             Dewy Clarke
                        Mark Debald
Altar Guild:      Hyacinth Curtis & Daphne Barrett
Greeters:         Debbie Pitcher
                        Bobbie Gordon


1982                       637          How firm a foundation
1982                       292          O Jesus, crowned with all renown

LEVAS-II                38            On a hill far away
1982                       525          The church's one foundation
HYMN INFORMATION: The hymn The Church's One Foundation arose from a bitter controversy in the Anglican Church in the 1860s. Bishop John Calenso of Natal, South Africa, was deposed by his superior for rejecting the doctrine of eternal punishment and questioning the authorship of the Pentateuch (the first five books of the Holy Bible). A young curate named Samuel John Stone then wrote this hymn as a defense of the orthodox Anglican position and based it on an article of the Apostles' Creed, "I believe in the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints." Various verses were added and removed in subsequent years to arrive at the form we know today, and few who sing it now are aware of the controversy that inspired the original. Noted Anglican composer Samuel Sebastian Wesley wrote the tune Aurelia in 1864, originally for another hymn text, but it soon became more frequently linked with the present text.

July 23-29, 2018

MON 23                 7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                              6pm Evening Prayer, Vestry
                              6:30pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery";                                             
TUE 24                  10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
                               6pm Evening Prayer, Bible Study;                                     
WED 25                   7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                               10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;   
                               12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;    
THUR 26                10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop;                                                  
FRI 27                    7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting;                                                       
SAT 28                    8am PH Private Event
                               3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery"                                                           
SUN 29                  8am Rite I;
                               8:45am Lesson's Discussion;
                              10am Sunday School;
                              10am Rite II
                              11:15am Coffee Hour;                                            


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