St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of January 27-February 2, 2020

Warden Mark Debald passes to Rose Marie Proctor the certificate she received Sunday as the recipient of the 2020 paraclete Potter volunteer service award.

Rose Marie Proctor receives
2020 volunteer service award

The 2020 Paraclete Potter Award, our parish's volunteer service award, was bestowed on Rose Marie Proctor at Sunday's Annual General Meeting. Three of her grandchildren were present for the award and Rose Marie received a standing ovation from the congregation.

Other highlights of the meeting included election of new vestry members Kevin Kelly and Mark Goodwin, re-election of vestry members Joanna Frang and Aleen Josephs Clarke, election of Shawn Prater-Lee  as warden and election of Bobbie Gordon as vestry member to complete the two years remaining in Shawn's term on the vestry.

Treasurer Dewy Clarke provided a thorough summary of the church's financial position and budget. Father Tyler announced that he will be retiring on April 19 and that Mother Gloria Payne-Carter will serve as supply for the weeks following Father Tyler's departure.
The sermon on the mount   
A number of places in Israel claim to be the location of Jesus' "Sermon on the Mount." At least one of them looks a lot like the image above. It is a gentle slope, surrounded by planted fields, just above the Sea of Galilee near Capernaum. It doesn't look much like a mountain. The Sea of Galilee doesn't look much like a sea, either. It's a big lake.
This week's readings
But the spot more or less like the scene above is lovely. It is sloped downward toward the water and it has a natural amphitheater. As undramatic as that sounds, it seems credible that hundreds of people, if not thousands, could have gathered in such a place and heard Jesus preach his most famous sermon. Whatever the site lacked in terms of acoustics or seating, the sermon is known throughout the world. It was Jesus opening a new age of understanding of God's desire for humanity. The rewards for those seeking to follow God's will are enumerated by Jesus in the Beatitudes, verses 2-12 in Sunday's Gospel.
The assurance of blessedness was, in itself, a blessing. It was a message that God was on the side of the people who were poor and who struggled against all kinds of adversity, who's lot in life was anything but ease and comfort. It serves as a reminder to all people that these attributes which bring blessing are the values of the Almighty. These are the things that matter.
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 

The Stewardship committee met last week and set the following calendar for 2020 Fund Raising activities: 
February 22 - Chili take-out 
March 14 - Corned Beef & Cabbage Dinner  
March 15 - Begin selling 25 Week club tickets 
May 16 - Dance for fun 
June 13 - Rummage Sale 
June 14 - First 25 Week Club drawing 
August 2 - Caribbean Brunch 
August 8 or 15 - Lunch at Outback 
Sept 12 or 26 - Game Night or Card Party 
October 24 - CIA Lasagna Dinner 
December 6 - 25 Week Club Final Drawing 
Mark your calendars now and plan to participate in these great activities.  Let us know if you have other ideas!!

Food Pantry Wintertime Supplies

At this time of year, our clients especially appreciate filling foods such as oatmeal (instant) for breakfast, soup for lunch, and hearty meals for dinner such as spaghetti and tomato sauce, beef stew, and corned beef hash. You can help! Every Sunday there is a large basket in the narthax waiting to be filled with nourishing nonperishable food. Please bring a little something each week.
Also, did you know that every Monday a volunteer purchases 40 loaves of whole grain sandwich bread for the Pantry? The Bread Alone Bakery in Rhinebeck donates specialty loaves and rolls, but our clients need sliced bread to make sandwiches with the peanut butter and jelly or tuna and mayo we give them. You can help by giving money for this purpose to the Food Pantry. 

We buy our sandwich bread at Freihofer's Bakery Outlet in New Paltz for 90 cents a loaf. For $5, you can provide five families with a loaf of top brand packaged bread with money to spare. Put the money in an envelope marked "For Food Pantry bread purchase" with your name and pledge number on it and put it in the collection plate.                                                                                                         --Molly Jones 
The Dutchess County Interfaith Council has been blessed with the leadership of Karen Dipnarine-Saroop as our Executive Director for the past two years.  Karen has decided to pursue other interests and opportunities and has resigned as our Executive Director.  Her work has put the Interfaith Council in a strong position to continue our mission and we are deeply grateful.  Karen will be greatly missed and we know that her heart, dedication and passion for justice will bless us all in her future endeavors. 
If you know anyone who might be interested in applying to be our next Executive Director please encourage them to apply.  You will find a job listing at the following link,
If your community of faith is one that uplifts prayer requests, we ask that you uplift the Interfaith Council in this time of transition.  Also be on the lookout for upcoming  events and announcements.                 --Rev. Paul D. Lent, DCIC President

Showing ourselves thankful

SERMON: 3 Epiphany A 1 26 2020
We've got some interesting things going on today. At least three. One is the conversion of St. Paul. The actual commemoration date was yesterday. Let me pray for us the collect concerning the commemoration:

O God, by the preaching of your apostle Paul you have caused the light of the Gospel to shine throughout the world: Grant, we pray, that we, having his wonderful conversion in remembrance, may show ourselves thankful to you by following his holy teaching; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen

When we turn to look at the conversion window above the choir loft we see the ray of light above him, the rearing horse and apostle on the ground, wondering who it was, asking "Saul, Saul, why are persecuting me?" He doesn't know it is Jesus at first, and that Jesus is referring to Saul's persecution of the early Christians.

The retinue that accompanied Saul, because he is a big deal in the Jewish faith, stand by wondering what his problem is. They don't see the ray of light, they don't hear the voice of Christ. But in the last frame we see Jesus wandering off with a halo and a cane, blinded, temporarily, by his experience, made holy by his belief, his conversion.

We realize most conversions are not so dramatic or debilitating. Most of us would call it coming to faith, also, not converting from something else. But when we look at Saul, now Paul, in the last frame we realize he was converted and he was called. And he was changed. His vision, represented by the cane, and his holy aspect, represented by his halo, tell us that Paul was changed radically. But also that he had these limitations of vision, albeit short term, and of the thorn in his side which he refers to in his epistles. My point is, though converted, Paul is still not without problems. His conversion did not make him perfect or pure as the driven snow.

That's a good thing to remember when we encounter the first apostles called by Jesus to fish for people. They are the second interesting aspect for today. They weren't perfect specimens, either. They were normal humans invited by Jesus to join in his ministry to the people.

And they were fishermen. These hardy boatmen were perfect for Jesus' purposes, even if they were imperfect in many ways. They moved around a lot. They had physical stamina. They knew how to get food from the waters. And without being glib or flippant, as fishermen they were always looking to catch more. Fishermen are by nature optimists.

Our bulletin cover today depicts fishermen casting a net for fish. This is a very familiar scene to me because when Molly and I lived in Pensacola, Florida, there were often people fishing by the shore of a lake or the side of a creek or a river, casting these nets over the water to catch the fish just beneath the surface. This is very different from the fishing scenes we know from Alaska where fishing with nets usually involves boats, sometimes very big boats. But our bulletin cover picture shows us the determination of those who go fishing. And by extension and by knowing how the apostles stayed with Jesus for his three year ministry on earth, we understand that same disposition fishermen show toward catching fish applied to their efforts in fishing for people.

In Pensacola there was an easy way to tell if a person was a net fisherman. The nets they cast usually had a line extending from the middle of the net with a lead weight attached. The fisherman would hold that weight in their teeth as they cast the net and release the weight at the last second so the net would fall over the fish and the weight would cause the net to close on itself, trapping the fish underneath it.

It is difficult to know when is the exact moment to release the weight. Most net fishermen I knew had badly chipped from teeth from holding the weight too long in their mouths

So there is a signal there about the nuances of fishing with nets. And with all forms of fishing there are techniques that work and then there are others. A person needs to know what they're doing. Ask me about fly fishing some time. My ignorance is awesome!

The same applies to fishing for people. When Jesus invited the fishermen to follow him to fish for people they had to learn new skills. They had to discern what it was that would draw people to them and to Jesus.

And that brings me to the third interesting and intersecting aspect we encounter this morning: our Annual General Meeting.

Our AGM is basically our report to the congregation on how things are going. We're going to elect and re-elect Vestry members and thank others whose terms ended. We'll hear reports from our committee leaders. And we'll observe the bestowal of the annual Paraclete Potter Service Award.
But over all that is the question of how we're doing. And we'll get to discuss that as well. Because while we have an amazing building we have considerable expenses to keep it operating. And though we have a faithful and devoted congregation, there are still seats to be had, to put it mildly. So how we're doing has to be considered from a practical and from a spiritual point of view.

The practical aspect will be reported on. And in brief, we're gaining on both restoration and financial grounds. That is not to say we're out of the woods entirely, but things are decidedly hopeful.
From a spiritual standpoint we are quite healthy. We have engaged members. We explore our traditions and the Bible and have discussions and overall make faith meaningful here at St. Paul's. We do that especially well in the way we love our neighbor, by offering ourselves and our church to the benefit of others, whether we're talking about our church services, or our food pantry and thrift shop, or the 12-step groups that meet here or our CTC staff and clients and their alternative to incarceration program for young offenders.

And in that, we, too, get to fish for people. We get to invite our community, our neighbors, to our church for social events, Bible study, weddings and funerals, regular services and special ones. And invariably people like St. Paul's and the refreshing diversity this church exhibits.

There probably are some techniques we could learn to put more people in the pews on Sundays and we'll talk about that a little during the AGM.

But overall we are stable, we are healthy, and we are delighted to fish for people on this downtown street corner of Poughkeepsie.

When we offer people what we have here it is the healing power of faith. We don't have a rock band or overhead screens or seven services on Sunday. What we have is our faith and our confidence in that faith, lived out daily by you and by me. And we are ready to share that with all who visit us or join us.

That's us fishing for people. We don't threaten people with hell. We don't cajole or criticize. We let people we encounter know about what we have found here and what it has done for us. It's called grace, saving grace. We are blessed indeed to be on this journey together.                       Amen
A sermon preached on the Third Sunday after the Epiphany, Jan. 26, 2020, the date of  the Annual
 General Meeting, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY 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   1 Maris Kristopsons
7 Jacinto Xavier Santos-
14 Edna Clarke   2 Mertlyn Tomlinson
     Stacey Plain

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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:           Molly Jones
                        Jim Schneider
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Altar Guild:      Rose Marie Proctor

1982      497     How bright appears the Morning Star (Wie schon Leuchtet)
1982      307     Lord, enthroned in heavenly spledor (Bryn Calfaria)
1982      517     How lovely is thy dwelling place (Brother James' Air)
1982      436     Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates (Truro)
HYMN COMMENTARY: Of all the psalms, Psalm 23 is the best-known and most popular across every Christian denomination. There have been numerous translations and adaptations over the centuries, and countless musical settings. Perhaps the most widely known hymn setting is The Lord's my shepherd, I'll not want, also known as "Brother James' Air," first published in 1915, "Brother James" being Scottish musician, poet and mystic James Leith Macbeth Bain (1860-1925). The translation he used is from the Scottish Psalter of 1650. Francis Rous completed his initial translations in 1644 and for the next six years two groups of theologians and church leaders scrutinized every word and phrase for faithfulness to the original Hebrew texts before it came into general use. It is still in use today and considered by many to be the only acceptable translation of the psalms.

January 27-February 2, 2020

MON   27
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:00pm   Evening Prayer; Vestry
  6:30pm    NA Meeting - Journey to Recovery

TUE    28
10:00am   Food Pantry &Thrift Shop
  6:00pm   Evening Prayer; Bible Study

WED   29
  7:30am    AA Meeting
10:00am    Food Pantry &Thrift Shop
12:15pm    Healing service & Eucharist

THU    30
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop

FRI      31
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:30pm    NA Meeting 

SAT       1
  9:30am    Morning Prayer; Bldg. & Grounds Mtg
11:00am    Block -Clean-up
  2:00pm    NA Meeting - Men Do Recover 

SUN      2
  8:00am    Rite I
  8:45am    Lessons' Discussions
  9:30am    Choir practice
10:00am    RITE II - Anointing/Laying on of Hands; Sunday School  
11:15am    Coffee Hour
11:45am    Hospitality


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