St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of December 29, 2019 - January 5, 2020


Joseph and the angels
Jesus' earthly father, Joseph, has quite a track record with angels. We remember Joseph's concerns about Mary being pregnant, and not by him. But the angel appeared in a dream and informed him of the marvelous thing God was doing with her through the Holy Spirit. Joseph then took her as his wife.
This week's readings.
But after Jesus was born Joseph heard again from the angel that Herod was going to try to do harm to the baby Jesus. Joseph didn't hesitate. He packed up his family and took off so Herod wouldn't find Jesus.
Joseph's angelic experiences are a wonderful reminder of the better angels that appear throughout our lives. Sometimes they appear in dreams, though usually in human form and not with wings. But we get notions in various ways from those we might consider our better angels. We also find our own subconscious, like Joseph's, making very plain what our plans should involve.
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 

Christmas help from our Food Pantry
From 10 AM to 4 PM on Saturday, December 21, volunteers greeted Food Pantry clients with Christmas cards containing a $25 gift card to use for buying food for their holiday meal at Price Chopper grocery store. More than 125 clients had signed up to receive a card, and many stayed for a glass of punch and a cookie. Extra tables were set up with free items for the clients to take home including Christmas decorations, toys, toiletries, cook books, and sheet sets. The gift cards were paid for with a grant from United Way's Holiday Helping Hand program, donations from Parish Aid, Veith Electric, and several individuals, and a special collection from the congregation. Note: These gift cards, which were ordered from Price Chopper, are special in that they cannot be used to purchase alcohol or tobacco.
Now as the New Year begins, the Pantry continues offering non-perishable basic nutrition to neighbors in need on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 10 AM to 2 PM. Did you know that our Pantry is open for longer hours than any other pantry in the city except for the Family Partnership Center? Please bring a donation each Sunday to add to the basket in the narthex. Especially welcome this time of year are canned stews, soups, pork and beans, chili, and corned beef hash.  


The Word and the Light
SERMON: 1 Christmas A 12 29 19
Isa 61:10-62:3; Ps147;Gal3:23-25;4:4-7;Jn1:1-18
The use of the term Word to describe the co-eternal second member of the Christian Trinity is only the first thing that needs explanation and exploration with today's Gospel. Here we are four days after Christmas and we want to know--again, just like every other year--what is going on?
The manner in which John presents Jesus coming into the world is intended to do a few things. Three, actually, that appear to be pretty obvious. One is that is causes us to consider why the truth of God would be contained in a Word, or the Word, rather than something animated. Why not talk about the baby Jesus first?
Second is the use of big ideas like Word and Light to characterize this birth.
Third is to use language that affects people in surprising ways: here we are talking about a baby and considering the comfort and safety of light and the danger and dread of dark. I would say it's pretty persuasive.
To connect a newborn with the establishment of creation is a bit of a leap. Yet here we are in the stable, looking into the manger, cooing over Baby Jesus and realizing, "This is the one." That light would emanate from such a tiny being, that truth would also flow from those lips, amazes us.
Yet we know that Jesus grew into his heritage as the Son of God and taught us, taught all the world, how to become children of God.
This light we have come to know as Jesus has given us the courage to be his followers, perhaps like his cousin John was inspired to foretell his coming. John did so not with expectation of credit or claim of glory, but because he was called from the moment he leapt in his mother's womb.
These wonderful stories, including John's pre-natal enthusiasm for his cousin as the Messiah, are reflected in our own faith and traditions today. We appreciate how desperate the need for God to dwell among the people was felt back then; we share that sense today and ever have. Because without a glimpse of how to live life on God's terms according to God's will, we are fairly out of luck and hopeless.
With that information, conveyed over the millennia by Jesus and his followers, we have a grasp and we have a chance to make better choices, choices that prepare us fitting for the children of God.
If ever we lose sight of these significant prospects we need only turn to today's psalm, Psalm 147. It reminds us of the place of Jesus in the Trinitarian order and of the greatness of God's plan, implemented by Jesus the Savior:
God gathers the exiles and heals the brokenhearted; God counts the stars and knows their names; there is no limit to God's wisdom; God lifts up the lowly but casts the wicked to the ground; God makes grass grow to feed herds; God honors those who follow and await God's favor; God establishes peace.
This is but a sampling of what the psalmist wrote of the Almighty in the days before Jesus came to earth. Isaiah, likewise, encourages us to sharpen our vision of God and to appreciate all God has done and will do for us. Isaiah declares that God has changed him inwardly and outwardly, by clothing him in the garments of salvation and covering him with the robe of righteousness. Reading these lines, who could yearn for earthly possessions or even fine robes and jewels? What could be finer than those garments and robes?
If we missed the message of garments and robes, Isaiah's bride and bridegroom metaphor fills in the gaps by comparing God's followers with those endowed with the joy and love and confidence of newlyweds.
In this way we are blessed every year, blessed anew with another Gospel rendition of the nativity to reflect upon. But none braces us so well as John's Gospel, full of the Word and Light, Truth and Faith.
A sermon preached at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY on the First Sunday After Christmas, Dec. 29, 2019, by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector
1 Mavis Rivera      Lilian G. Thomas
15 John Jerome Mazzuto
2 Bill Rhode  8  Abraham Joseph Foley 21 Donna Hudak 
3 Linda Santos 11 Francis McKenzie 23 Carola Madrid
Jeffrey Francis 12 John H Filor 25 Agnes Scarlett
6 Rita Marks 13 Rena Mazzuto
7 Jacinto Xavier Santos-
14 Edna Clarke

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'
Lectors:          Rose Marie Proctor
                       Mark Goodwin       

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian

Server:            Maria Bell

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Altar Guild:      Norma Williams & Mertlyn Tomlinson

1982       76        On Jordan's bank, the Baptist's cry (Winchester New)
1982     339        Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness (Schmucke dich)
1982     439        What wondrous love is this (Wondrous Love)
1982     135        Songs of thankfulness and praise (Salzburg)
HYMN COMMENTARY: "Schmücke dich, o liebe Seele" is a Lutheran hymn originally published in German, with lyrics by Johann Franck and a melody by Johann Crüger. Originally intended for Communion, it first appeared in 1649. The most popular English translation, Deck thyself, my soul, with gladness, is by Catherine Winkworth and dates from 1858. Johann Franck was not a minister but a politician and mayor. In this hymn, he compares the unity between Jesus and a Christian receiving communion to the closeness of bridegroom and bride. The melody has been described as joyful and dance-like, countering the funereal tone that sometimes characterized observances of the Lord's Supper in churches at that time. 

December 30, 2019 - January 5, 2019

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

TUE     31
  10:00am   Food Pantry &Thrift Shop

WED      1
  7:30am    AA Meeting

THU       2
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop

FRI        3
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:30pm    NA Meeting 

SAT       4
  9:30am    Morning Prayer
10:00am    NA Meeting;
Buildings & Grounds 
11:00am    Block Clean-up
  3:00pm    NA Meeting - Men Do Recover 

SUN      5
  8:00am    Rite I
  8:45am    Lessons' Discussion
  9:30am    Choir practice
10:00am    RITE II; Anointing/Laying on of Hands;Sunday School 
11:15am    Coffee Hour
11:45am    Youth


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