St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of August 5-11, 2019

This is not the recommended way to lay up treasure

It is your Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom

Our Gospel last week ended with the words, "rich toward God." This week we have another reading in which Jesus encourages his followers energetically to give themselves to their relationship with God.
The phrase "where your treasure is, there your heart will be also," is a most recognizable sliver of scripture. But what Jesus means by it is to inspire his disciples to invest their energies and time in their spiritual relationship with God, realizing a deathbed conversion may not be enough and for that matter may not be possible at all because we do not know when our earthly lives will cease.
This week's readings.
Jesus suggests that we " like those (servants) who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks." The resulting image is that of a satisfied master. But the residual impression is of those who do not wait up for their master and the resulting disappointment.
Sell your possession and give alms, Jesus advises, because " your Father's pleasure to give you the kingdom."  This assurance that God will provide for us is central to Jesus' teaching and our response is evidence of our faith.        

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



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.

The Pastoral Care Committee reaches out to those who are sick, homebound, need support or are struggling in any way.
Visitations are made to those who are homebound or are in hospitals or nursing homes.
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 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 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


Many thanks to Norma and her crew for providing a delicious and spectacular brunch on Sunday. They served 73 people and raised about $550 for St. Paul's. Kudos to all!!!

Outdoor Rummage Sale - September 14 from 10:00 - 3:00
Save all of your STUFF and donate it to St. Paul's for this sale - clothing, pictures, housewares, sheets, towels, toys, working small appliances - all will be for sale and the proceeds will go to St. Paul's.
Hot Dogs, water, and lemonade are for sale too.
Sign up in the Narthex if you have STUFF to donate. 
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


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.

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!


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
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.
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

                                   AUGUST BIRTHDAYS
  1 Josephine Sherow             4 Owen Tucker Sr.            14  Ed McCurty 
     Ann Marie McKenzie         5 Owen Scarlett                 15  Adrianna Babb
  3 Gillian Prater-Lee              7 Charlene DuBois             20 Krystal Hyson
     Gerry Sprague                  9  Barry Connelly                23  Marlene Taylor
    Nathesia Wethington        11 Thomas quinn                 25  Dewy Clarke

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'

Lectors:           Adrian Goldson

Litanist:            Pete Bedrossian

Server:             Maria Bell

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
Lectors:           Claudette Tucker
                        Shawn Prater-Lee
Litanist:            Mark Debald
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
Altar Guild:       Norma & Mertlyn



1982          416     For the beauty of the earth (Dix)

1982          383     Fairest Lord Jesus (St. Elizabeth)
LEVAS-II   188     When peace, like a river (It is well with my soul)
1982          405     All things bright and beautiful (Royal Oak)
Hymn Information
The hymn Fairest Lord Jesus, also known as "Beautiful Savior," was called "Crusader's Hymn" by many in the belief that it was sung by German Crusaders on their way to the Holy Land, but there is no evidence to support this connection. The words may have originated in the Jesuit Order, where their earliest documentation is a 1662 German manuscript, long after the Crusades. No evidence of the tune exists prior to 1842, when it first appeared in a collection of Silesian folk songs under the name "Schönster Herr Jesu" (Most beautiful Lord Jesus). Another tradition attributes it to the followers of Czech theologian and reformist Jan Hus, who were driven out of Bohemia in 1620 in an anti-Reformation purge and then settled in Silesia. Most likely we will never know the true origin of this popular and beloved hymn.

August 5-11, 2019
MON  5

7:30am    AA Meeting
5:00pm    Stewardship
6:00pm    Evening Prayer
6:30pm    NA Meeting - Journey to Recovery

TUE   6
10:00am   Food Pantry, Thrift Store
  5:30pm    Vacation Bible School
  6:00pm    Evening Prayer

WED  7
7:30am     AA Meeting
10:00am   Food Pantry, Thrift Shop 
12:15pm   Healing Service & Eucharist
5:30pm    Vacation Bible School

THU   8
10:00am   Food Pantry, Thrift Shop
5:30pm     Vacation Bible School

FRI    9
7:30am     AA Meeting
6:30pm     NA Meeting

SAT 10
10:00am   NA Meeting
3:00pm     NA Meeting - Men Do Recover

SUN 11
8:00am     RITE I
8:45am     Lesson' Discussions
10:00am   RITE II; Sunday School
11:15am   Coffee Hour
11:30am   Youth


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