St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601


MESSENGER
"Making friends while serving God"

 
The Week of June 17-23, 2019
  
ANNUAL SUMMER OUTDOOR SERVICE 
AND PICNIC SUNDAY JUNE 30
Our annual outdoor church service and picnic will be held on Sunday, June 30th from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  The outdoor service will be the only service that day. There is no 8am service.

The location for the picnic is the Germania Recreation Grounds on Old Degarmo Rd. (See Bobbie Gordon for directions.)

Bring some food to share, hamburgers and hotdogs will be provided.


THE GERASENE DEMONIAC
 
Our Gospel reading this week is commonly known as "The Gerasene Demoniac." It involves Jesus relieving a man who had become possessed by demons. The demons are fearful of Jesus; they ask to be put into a herd of swine rather than be subject to what they imagine would be Jesus' harsh treatment. Jesus complies, the demons enter the swine and the swine drown themselves in a lake. All very dramatic.
 
Two thousand years ago demonic possession was a reasonable and common explanation for people who behaved oddly. Today mental health professionals are available to treat psychological difficulties and medical systems deal with the violent and self-destructive sufferers. But then the notion of being possessed by demons made sense.
bible.jpg
THIS WEEK'S READINGS
 
The rendering above treats it all sort of as a matter of fact. Jesus  gestures toward the man and the demons, looking oddly like rabbits, exit from the man without apparent violence to him or the observers. We don't know what the actual diagnosis for the sufferer was, but he is relieved of it, which is really all that matters.
 
Jesus was willing and able to help people whom the rest of society considered untouchable. He sought to being peace to the troubled, whether their problems were physical or psychological. And he succeeded. The peace Jesus brought is something we share at every service. It is more than "Hello," and it is more than the initial coffee hour. It is an assertion that we are at peace with the person with whom we are passing the peace.
 

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

 
  Isaiah 65:1-9; Psalm 22:18-27
    Galatians 3:23-29; Luke 8:26-39
 

DEACON'S DOINGS...
 
Becoming Known 
  
Hello St. Paul's Family,

Since my last note I have been busy practicing my new 'deacon craft'.There is a lot to learn and apply.I ask a lot more questions because that's how I learn best.I visited and performed the role of the deacon at St. Paul's, Spring Valley.It was a scary, yet wonderful experience.The chapel-style sanctuary is small and cozy; one could feel the warmth of the congregation. I thought no one knew me and was delightfully surprised to know that three women knew of me.According to an old popular song, "it's not who you know it's who knows you."

While I was away recently visiting my parents, I decided to read the entire book of Daniel after one of my daily devotions.I learned about Daniel's devotion and dedication to God during difficult times.God knew Daniel. God knows you and me.

On Pentecost I celebrated Pentecost in a Presbyterian Church and the preacher asked if we could draw a picture of the Holy Spirit, other than the fire and the dove.I never thought about that before.I don't know for sure what the Holy Spirit looks like.Yet, I believe and know that the Holy Spirit is real.The Holy Spirit intercedes for us with "groans" (Roman 8:26). "Every time I feel the Spirit moving in my heart I will pray."

We know God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit knows us. How do we feel in response to that knowledge?                                - - Deacon Julett

    PARISH  NEWS
 
JUNE IS OATMEAL MONTH
For the month of June we are asking for donations of instant oatmeal. It can be plain or a variety pack.
 
Many thanks to our regular contributors from our Food Pantry volunteers and clients..



 
25 WEEK CLUB

A REMINDER FOR THOSE WHO DON'T REMEMBER HOW IT WORKS
.
You buy a ticket for $25.   You are then eligible to win any of the drawings and you can win multiple times!! Weekly drawings of $20 & $10 will be held every Sunday at Coffee Hour beginning April 7 and continuing through September 22.

A final drawing and party will be held Saturday, September 29. Prizes of $500, $250, $150, $100 and $50 will be awarded at that time.

Tickets will be available beginning Saturday, February 16. Plan to get at least 1 ticket and try to sell some also. It's a fun way to support the church.

This time at least half of the profits will help pay for our new pew cushions.
 
The Sunday Sermon
 

          The nature of God

 
 
SERMON: TRINITY C 6 16 19
Prov8:1-14,22-31; Ps8; Rom5:1-5; Jn16:12-15
 
There's an old story about someone who was looking out their window and saw someone on a ledge on the next building across the airspace who appeared about to jump. They threw open their window and shouted "Don't jump!" The person on the ledge looked up, surprised. "Life is worth living," they shouted across the empty airspace. "Have faith!" The person on the ledge shouted back, "I have no hope, but I have faith." "What faith are you?" the interloper queried. When the person on the ledge replied, naming their denomination, the other person abruptly shut their window yelling, "Die, infidel!"
 
At some point in history I suspect that there have been people in every single religion who believe in their hearts and believe from their toes to their nose that their particular brand of religion is the only valid one. In their mind there can be no substitute. Breakaways think their former religion missed the mark while the religion they left believes in fact the deserters are the apostates. When we consider the subject of foreign religions and spiritual beings and practices which seem utterly unfamiliar, it seems any semblance of acceptance or even recognition of parallel beliefs or practices is rare indeed.
 
I think this is something to consider today since it is Trinity Sunday. This is the Sunday after Pentecost and Pentecost was the day the Holy Spirit first appeared to the disciples. At Pentecost people were understanding others despite their differences, something we would gather from the reporting that was not terribly common. Even so, how long did it take for the members of the newly founded Christian faith to start criticizing Judaism, the virtual font from which Christianity grew? Since we see criticisms of Jewish practices and leadership throughout the New Testament, we can presume wholesale criticism of Judaism was not far behind.
But we don't often consider what it is about our faith that might be upsetting or off-putting for others. After all, in our creed we make some pretty striking statements about what we think took place two millennia ago. We also claim today, of all days, that God is comprised of three persons, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Yet we also claim to be a monotheistic religion--that is, with a single God--yet we have three persons comprising that God. Compared to some religions that might not see all that odd, but it does stretch the bounds of common sense.
 
What we're addressing is the nature of God. And maybe that's the point. Religion is not intended to make sense. It is intended to do other things. For example it helps us understand our place in the world. It explains in a kind of mythological way, a theological way, how the earth was formed and what the Creator --all three persons of it in Christianity--is about, not what it is to look like.
 
As recipients, as inheritors of a faith passed down through the two millennia of Christianity, we presumably have no illusions any longer about being the only faith or the only valid faith. We recognize others practice religions in other ways and, hopefully, they recognize that about us. Sadly there are those ready to dismiss those of all other faiths as infidels, but as a nation we declare that we believe in religious freedom for all. Sometimes we don't act like it but we do believe it.
The essence of faith is relational. Relational to creation, to the Creator, to other people, to our spiritual selves such as we become familiar with them. Everyone does it a little differently, too, just to keep it interesting.
 
David Brooks, the columnist in The New York Times, wrote a recent column (June 10) which declared that we are returning to the Age of Aquarius, that late 1960s counterculture breakaway from conformity and the establishment. He noted that more people now believe in astrology than Protestant Christianity in the US. He went on to say that Wicca, or modern Pagan witchcraft, is the fastest growing religion in the country. He further described mindfulness as a popular spiritual practice for seekers.
 
The belief systems David Brooks mentioned offer practices (think of your astrological sign or casting a spell) to aid in understanding spiritual matters or to address them. They may lack the equivalent of a creedal belief system, but they provide a window for a type of understanding.
 
Anyone who has been paying attention knows that involvement in traditional religion, such as Christianity, has been in decline for a few decades. There are lots of reasons for this, not least that religious institutions have been unfaithful to their followers in discipline and truthfulness. It is also true that no longer does "everyone go somewhere in faith" on the weekend, as in the 1950s. A general disbelief in a physical hell for those who do not fulfill the expectations of their faith is another.
But what we can see is that despite the lack of the rigorous religious expectations of the past, we do have a belief system that helps us satisfy our spiritual and emotional needs in community, in the congregation, in the church. As internally inconsistent as a monotheistic Trinitarian system sounds, it does support Christians in their faith.
My favorite Anglican text, "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church," tells us this about the Trinity:
 
The term was devised by Tertullian (an early Christian writer from Tunisia) to express the mystery of the unity-in-diversity of God. Trinity means threefold unity. The corresponding word in Greek is ho trias which means the Triad. The Trinity is a perfect relationship of love in which neither unity nor distinctness of the divine persons is compromised. God's life is understood to be dynamic, loving, and available to be shared in relationship with humanity for salvation.
So if you know anyone who wants a clear understanding of God's identity and God's love, offer up this explanation:
 
The Trinity is a perfect relationship of love in which neither unity nor distinctness of the divine persons is compromised. Gods life is understood to be dynamic, loving, and available to be shared in relationship with humanity for salvation.
 
I am quick to admit I don't know about most other faiths and I definitely don't know about the ones David Brooks cites. But as for the Trinitarian understanding of God and my relationship with the Almighty: I'll take it, thank you very much!  Amen
 
 
A sermon preached on Trinity Sunday, June 16, 2019, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

                           
                     
                                   JUNE BIRTHDAYS
 
2        Kevin Kelly                                             15        Bobbie Gordon
          Donna Taylor                                         16        Obafemi Oni
7        Molly Jones                                            17        Jordan Rosborough
          Mary Ann Bagatta                                              Benjamin Rosborough
8        Serena Mazzuto                                     21        Shirley Richardson
10      Hyacinth Curtis                                       22        Michael Babb II
12      Garrett Martin Bell                                  25        Donna Hosier
          Ira Wethington                                       30        Amanda Bell
13      Kimberli Williams                                               Luke Goodwin
                                                                             

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie
 
 

'In Service to God & You'
 
SUNDAY 8AM
Server:            Maria Bell

Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Tom Walker

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
  
SUNDAY 10AM
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
  
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
  
Lectors:           Bobbie Gordon
                        Adrian Goldson
  
Litanist:            Mark Debald
  
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
  
Altar Guild:       Hyacinth Curtis & Daphne Barrett
     
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S HYMNS

1982                 372        Praise to the living God!
 
1982                 450        All hail the power of Jesus' name!
 
1982                 652       Dear Lord and Father of mankind
1982                 562        Onward, Christian soldiers
 
 

HYMN INFORMATION:    The hymn Onward, Christian Soldiers was written by English curate Sabine Baring-Gould in 1865 as a children's processional hymn for Pentecost. He reportedly wrote the text in about 15 minutes, later apologizing, "It was written in great haste!" The hymn's theme is taken from references in the New Testament to Christians being soldiers for Christ (II Timothy 2:3). Baring-Gould originally set the lyrics to a melody by Haydn, and it was published in that form in 1871. However, the hymn did not receive wide acceptance until Sir Arthur Sullivan (or Gilbert and Sullivan fame) wrote the tune "St. Gertrude" for it. The Salvation Army eventually adopted the hymn as its favored processional.

 
 

 
 
 
 
 

THIS WEEK'S CALENDAR
June 17-23, 2019
                               
MON 17
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  

6:30pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting;


TUE 18
10am-2pm Office, Pantry, Thrift Store;
6pm Evening Prayer, Spiritual Life;


WED 19
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;


THUR 20
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
6pm Finance;


FRI 21
7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting; 
6:30pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting;


SAT  22
9am PH Private Party;
10am "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting;
12pm SH Private Party;
3pm  "Men do Recover" NA Meeting;

SUN 23
8am Rite I;

8:45am Lesson's Discussion

9:30am Choir practice;

10am Rite II;

11:15am Coffee Hour;

11:30am Youth- Lunch Box & Connect;
                          

YOUR NEWS BELONGS IN ST. PAUL'S  MESSENGER

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