St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of September 23-29, 2019

God favors justice and the just 
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s quote, "The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice" has been popularized in recent years, particularly in usage by President Barack Obama. The truth of this claim is well-founded biblically and Sunday's Gospel is one of the cornerstones of that proof.
This week's readings.
Our Gospel concerns the imbalance between the rich man and Lazarus, the one wealthy yet ignorant and indifferent toward the other who suffered migh tily outs ide his home. Lazarus's circumstances and physical condition and his poverty are illuminated by the description in the Gospel: " And at (the rich man's) gate lay a poor man named Lazarus, covered with sores, who longed to satisfy his hunger with what fell from the rich man's table; even the dogs would come and lick his sores."
It is difficult to imagine a more abject scene. Then Lazarus dies and goes to heaven. The rich man dies and goes in the other direction. The rich man pleads with Abraham, who has welcomed Lazarus into heaven. Abraham rejects the rich man's pleas for relief or at least for an earthly warning to the rich man's surviving brothers. Abraham responds, 'If they
do not listen to Moses and the prophets, neither will they be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.'"
It would seem this is a warning about hellfire and damnation, but it is not. It is instead a sign of God's commitment to justice. The obvious implication is that those who fail to right the wrongs under their noses will suffer. It is those who uphold the cause of justice who win spiritual freedom for themselves and those they aid. 

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

Music for your listening and dancing pleasure from 5:00 - 7:00 featuring FOUR OF A KIND playing Classic Rock,  Blues, Country, Etc.     
Dinner at 6:00 prepared by JJ's Kids from the CIA.
Special Menu Includes:
            Fall Panzanella/Bruschetta Combination
            Fall Ratatouille
            Duck Confit Pasta, Pheasant Roast with Cherry Wine     
            Sauce and Quinoa
            Fall Pumpkin Crumble Cake layered dessert
            Mulled/Spiced Apple Cider
Adults - $15      Children - $8
Take-outs available after 7:00 
The Pastoral Care Committee is asking for help from the St. Paul's congregation.
Identify individuals who might appreciate some help dealing with their practical and spiritual struggles. 
Visitations to those who are homebound or are in hospitals or nursing homes.
Sending cards on a regular basis: "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. 
Holiday bags are prepared at Christmas for those who are homebound.

If you can help or 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.
Let's think about sandwiches for September for our Food Pantry clients. Please bring peanut butter and jelly and/or tuna fish and mayonnaise during this back-to-school month. Our clients can use these high protein foods to make sandwiches on the 100% whole grain bread we purchase every week from Freihofer's Outlet in New Paltz.
Thanks to everyone who helps our neighbors in need!

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
Abide with me
SERMON: 15 Pentecost C 9 22 19
I would like to ask you to listen closely while I read to you the collect we prayed together at the start of this service. While you're doing that, think also about the hymn we sang before the Gospel, "Abide with me."   
Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly; and even now, while we are placed among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
This collect is almost an antidote for our readings, or at least our Hebrew Bible reading and our Gospel. By themselves these readings this morning are enough to give us a collective anxiety attack.
The reading from Amos alone makes us want to hide under our pews. There are people like that? You had to remind us?
Our Gospel goes on at great length describing the devious manager. I don't have to tell you the story again. But the message is spelled out quite clearly: If we can't be honest, we can't be trusted. And if we can't be honest about little things, how can we be trusted with big things? Finally by implication we understand the answer to the big question: what big things are they talking about? They were named in the collect: things heavenly.
I think we all know people, perhaps friends or even family, who are marginally interested in faith and religion but do not participate. When we get a chance to talk about it with them often it is revealed that they intend to explore faith and religion, their relationship with God. But for the time being sort of can't be bothered. They think they'll get around to it a little later in life, perhaps.
The problem with that is actually our problem. Because as Christians it is our job to convey to others the sense that the relationship with God is the big deal, the matter of business that should come first, that needn't and shouldn't be put off any longer. That is our experience. That is our belief. That is the Good News, the Gospel.
Our collect helps us see this clearly. The big thing is God. If we try to serve God and act deceitfully or dishonestly with money we will fail. Because we cannot look out for ourselves in a selfish or an acquisitive way and serve God. The two are mutually exclusive. They are incompatible.
So if we find ourselves staring at a TV news program or newspaper and think perhaps we're looking at someone who fits the description of the people in the Amos reading, or the dishonest manager, what do we do? We look in our minds instead at things heavenly.
In fact in our collect we asked God to help us "love things heavenly," and "cleave to those that shall abide." Cleave is an old English word for "cling to."
I should admit up front that I enjoy the occasional archaic usage that we find in our Episcopal traditions. Cleave and abide are a couple of examples. This week I was planning our upcoming Communion classes and wondering for about the 75th time how to bring pleasure to others as we explore our traditions, including our language, and how to inspire interest. I think the language of today's collect is a good start.
The term "abide" in itself stimulates a lot of response in Anglicans because of the hymn, "Abide with me," which we sang just prior to the Gospel.
"Abide," incidentally, means, in order from the dictionary, to wait for: await; to endure without yielding: withstand; to bear patiently: tolerate; to remain stable or fixed in a state. I also learned from my dictionary that it is associated with the word abode. I suppose one could abide in an abode.
So when we are asking God to abide with us we are asking for more than momentary presence. We are asking for more than something brief or short term. We are asking for a presence that will last, that will sustain us. We want God to be as present for us as we want to be for God.
The hymn in the most uplifting language reminds us that it is in God that our hopes thrive. Even at the end, as noted in the final verse, "in life, in death, o Lord, abide with me."
The first verse reminds us that God is with us as our sunlit days turn dark with the setting sun and even " When other helpers fail and comforts flee." In the second verse we admit that only God's grace can save us from the tempter's power. Verse three declares "ills have no weight and tears no bitterness," and then "Where is death's sting?" is the question, straight from the First letter of Paul to the Corinthians.
These ideas and some of the other language in the hymn offer us a useful tool for sharing our own experience in faith with others. It is not always comfortable to broach the subject--actually it is almost never comfortable--unless we know the other party is interested. But what the hymn "Abide with me" gives us is language that anyone can relate to and a glimpse of a relationship that anyone who lacked that relationship would want. I am referring to our relationship with God.
Personally I was struck with the phrase, "what but thy grace can foil the Tempter's power?" It may be because I am accustomed to conversation about the Tempter. It comes up whenever I visit the sick or injured in the hospital. A line in one of the prayers concerns avoiding the temptations of the enemy.
The tempter, the enemy, perhaps temptation generally, deserve attention because these are the things that distract us from God. These are the things that led the villains in the Amos reading to " trample on the needy, and bring to ruin the poor, of the land," and inspired the dishonest manager to try to cheat his boss. When I visit people in the hospital I ask about the tempter, the voice that wants us to give up, to doubt the quality of care, to complain and become bitter. Because each of these temptations will inhibit recovery and perhaps worsen the patient's condition.
But you see the Tempter wants to abide with us in the same way we want God to abide with us. The tempter wants to spend time with us and turn us bitter or greedy. Or both.
We need to save the spare room for God, if you will, and not surrender it to the tempter.
Other phrases from the hymn that anyone can relate to include
"Help of the helpless"--a powerful reminder and aid
"I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless"--assuring us God is with us
"Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes"--the clear message being our faith is the only things that survives our earthly lives; and finally,
"Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies" telling us that God both guides and accompanies our souls at the end.
A sermon preached on the Fifteenth Sunday After Pentecost, September 22, 2019, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector
1    Brandon Clarke                      Janet Woods              21 Aleen Josephs-Clarke

     Notoe Hodge                   11  Louise Evans            22 Shamara Wethington Mizell

4   Brian McCarthy               12  Colleen Misner          23 Benjamin Porter               

7   Rebecca Lynn Brown            Marjorie Marks          28 Adrian Goldson

      Florence Greenway        14  Jack Porter                29 Daphne Barrett                   

9   Judith Mizell               Clifford Robert DuBois Jr.    30 Thomas A Walker

                                            18 Candis Henry               

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'

Lectors:          Rose Marie Proctor
   Cora Keith  

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian

Server:            Maria Bell

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
Lectors:           Lisl Prater-lee
                        Bobbie Gordon
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Usher:             Daphne Barrett
Altar Guild:      Joanna & Rose Marie

1982                 546     Awake, my soul, stretch every nerve (Siroe) 
LEVAS-II          189     Great is thy faithfulness 
1982                 625     ye holy angels bright (Darwall's 148th)  
1982                 494     Crown him with many crowns (Diademata) 
HYMN COMMENTARY: Thomas O. Chisholm wrote Great is Thy faithfulness in 1923, referencing Lamentations 3:22-23, in gratitude for God's faithful love throughout his life. Chisholm wrote over 1200 sacred poems during his lifetime, with many published in Christian periodicals. He sent the words to organist and Methodist minister William Runyan, who was affiliated with both the Moody Bible Institute and Hope Publishing Company. Runyan set the poem to music, publishing the new hymn that same year, and it quickly became caught on in many churches. Billy Graham used the song frequently on his international crusades, enhancing its popularity even further.

September 23-29, 2019
MON   23

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

TUE   24
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Store
  6:00pm    Evening Prayer; Bible study

WED  25
  7:30am    AA Meeting
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop 
12:15pm    Healing Service & Eucharist

THU   26
10:00am   Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop

FRI    27
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:30pm    NA Meeting 

SAT   28
10:00am    NA Meeting
12:00pm    25 Week  Club Party and Final Drawing 
  3:00pm    NA Meeting - Men Do Recover 

SUN  29
  8:00am    RITE I
  8:45am    Lessons' Discussions
  9:30am    Choir practice
10:00am    RITE II; Sunday School  
11:15am    Coffee Hour


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