St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of March 18-24, 2019
The barren fig tree from Sunday's Gospel
The burning bush and the barren fig tree are two of the better known reports in our Bible. In the first God speaks to Moses from a burning bush. In the second Jesus uses the parable of a barren fig tree that it's owner has given up on and wants to cut down.
The second image is both more familiar and more disturbing. If we attempt to relate to such a tree we have to imagine ourselves being without fruit. That is, we have nothing to show for our existence. Add to that the notion that our owner might seek to remove us from the earth and use it for a tree that produces fruit. It's not too hard to imagine who that grower might be and what sort of fruit that grower might be expecting from us. Neither is it too difficult to imagine and implement a more fruitful life for ourselves, full of fruit that would please our "owner."

The voice of God coming from the burning bush is a tale we realize is happily reserved for Moses. It's part of his story. But if we put ourselves in Moses' shoes, would we be as brave as Moses communicating with God? Would we be able to ask questions, admit our timidity? A bigger question still: would we be willing to do what God told Moses to do? How strong is our faith?
These two stories are more alike than we might have thought. They challenge us to consider our own readiness to live into our Baptismal Covenant.
   Exodus 3:1-15; Psalm 63:1-8;
   1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9


Our Lenten Supper Series take place every Wednesday's at 5:30pm in the parlor.

The structure of the Lenten supper series is a half hour or so for supper, a half hour or so for the meditations and discussion, and a half hour or so for worship.

The booklet of meditations being used this year is pictured at the left. It is published by Episcopal Relief and Development.

The supper is provided by different volunteers each week. The supper ordinarily consists of soup, bread and juice.

Signup sheets are in the narthex for the Wednesdays of this year's Lenten supper series. All are encouraged to attend. 

The Strawberry & Raspberry Fiddlers playing in the church
Over 100 people turned out to hear the Strawberry and Raspberry Hill Fiddlers Saturday night.  What an amazing group of talented "kids" they are!!  Many thanks to them for playing at St. Paul's.

Then most stayed to enjoy the delicious Corned Beef & Cabbage dinner. Comments were - "Outstanding meal"; "Lots of food - even had enough for lunch the next day";" delicious corn bread - best I've ever had"; "never saw so many cupcakes all at once".

Thank you to all who helped plan, shop, cook, serve, and clean up and especially to all who bought tickets and came to support St. Paul's.
March is mayonnaise month at St. Paul's Food Pantry. Please bring your jars, any size to church on Sundays during the month and place them in the basket in the narthex. And if you are able to donate also a can or two of tuna fish, so much the better!
The Pantry's volunteers and clients thank all who brought donations of peanut butter and jelly in February. God bless you.


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.

C O M M U N I T Y   C A L E N D A R

Note: Please visit the DCIC website ( and their Facebook page for updates on these events and more.

]March 19
DCIC Story Circle
Theme: Legacy
7:30 p.m.
The Hindu Samaj and Cultural Center (3 Brown Road, Wappingers Falls). For more information, contact us at
April 7
Premier A
4:00 p.m.
Congregation Shir Chadash (1168 Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more information, email info@shir - or call (845) 232 - 1029
 May 19
DCIC Clergy Meet and Greet
4:00 p.m.
Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more
information, contact us at
May 29
DCIC Religious Leaders
Discussion on " The First Amendment "
Led by retired NYS Supreme Court Judge Albert Rosenblatt
7:00 p.m.
Freedom Plains United Presbyterian Church (Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more
information, contact us at
October 6
DCIC CROP Hunger Walk
More details to follow.
November 24
DCIC Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
More details to follow.
 December 7 and
December 8
DCIC Fair Trade and
Handmade Bazaar
More details to follow.

                              MARCH BIRTHDAYS
11   Margaret Robinson                                21         Linda Aleen Dubois
12   Tyler Jones                                                         Lisl Prater-Lee
14   Kattyann Goodwin                                 24         Alice Leigh
17   Deborah Marie Williams                        25         Michael Van Pelt
       Whitman (George) Williams                  26         Karen Reid
       Bryanna Winkler                                    29         Danya Clarke
20   Stacey Rosborough                               30         Stuart Ballinger
                                                                      31         Rose Marie Proctor
                                                                                   Peter Bedrossian

The Sunday Sermon....  
            We've been warned
SERMON: 2 Lent C 3 17 19

Last week we had the devil to discuss. We had different images to consider in the newsletter and on the bulletin. Our Bible study discussion was quite animated. Differing views were expressed.

The notion that there is someone lurking about to draw us into some mess or trouble is very old, very potent, and in a way, very helpful. To some degree it keeps us on our toes. It helps us remember we don't want to leave the path of faith we're on. We want to fulfill our Baptismal Covenant. We've been warned.

In reciting the Great Litany this morning we said out loud many of the ways we can acknowledge our shortcomings. We asked to be delivered from evil, wickedness, sin, blindness of heart, pride, vainglory, hypocrisy, envy, hatred, malice, want of charity, inordinate and sinful affections; deceits of the world, the flesh and the devil; false doctrine, heresy, schism, hardness of heart, contempt of God's Word and commandment. This isn't the entire list, but it's most of it.

Later we asked God to stop wars, bring peace and freedom, show pity on prisoners, captives, the homeless and hungry, the desolate and oppressed. It would seem as though we were asking God to motivate us to do those things; it is we, the people, and our governments which have started war, imprisoned millions, permitted homelessness. Are we asking God to motivate us to do something about this? I think so.

After all, if we asked God later in the Great Litany to forgive our enemies, persecutors and slanderers (and to turn their hearts), should God be doing that alone, or do we have to engage and do a little forgiving ourselves, even without the hearts of our enemies, persecutors and slanderers being turned?

This Litany is a perfect example of what we mean when we refer to ourselves as members of the body of Christ. We are asking God to do with us what we know needs to be done. We are asking God to change us in ways we do not seem capable of changing ourselves. And, frankly, when we state it so clearly that we need this very specific kind of help we are effectively admitting we are desirous of doing this very specific kind of work.

But all those things we asked God to take care of and to motivate us to pay attention to, all those things came from somewhere and possessed us, if you will. They took over our minds and our spirits and left us angry, blaming, hurt, violent, cold hearted and indifferent.

God knows we don't want to be that way and every now and then we come to realize it is ourselves. That's once excellent reason to pay close attention in this season of Lent. We learn about ourselves and our own need for realignment with God's purpose for us. When we pray the Great Litany we are effectively confessing our need for God's help in these areas. It's a good if uncomfortable reminder.
Jesus also wants to help us with these things. But Jesus has a few other things on his mind. He's been warned that Herod is angry and wants to do him in. Despite Jesus' healing miracles and generosity to Herod's people, Herod is threatened and seeks to execute him.

We get a sense of Jesus' frustration in today's Gospel. The Pharisees warned him and Jesus responded, "Go and tell that fox for me, 'Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work."
We don't quite know what to make of Jesus calling Herod a fox until he tells his followers, "How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!"

It's always interesting for us when Jesus uses a figure of speech that we understand kind of instinctively. His use of the fox and the hen with the chicks is about as clear as it could get. We are the chicks, he is the hen and the fox isn't just Herod, it is all the hypocrites in officialdom, in the religious world, in the community, all the people who won't see the good in what Jesus is doing, they are so intent on dispatching him one way or another.

As if that wasn't bad enough, we know that Jesus was frustrated by his followers, because they weren't willing to follow Jesus' guidance their own lives. They were not willing to Gather as a people and assert their intention to follow Jesus in a way that would reveal their numbers and their power. They would forget they knew Jesus or refuse to admit they were interested in his teachings if there was any hint of getting in trouble for it. So the authorities felt they could do whatever they wanted with him and his few outspoken supporters.

Jesus didn't expect to win an election or a Mr. Popularity contest. But it seems he did expect people to be a little more outspoken about their desire to follow his spiritual message. Instead they scattered, like little chickens. And the hen can't do much for her brood if they are scattered.
And scattered they were.

In our collect we prayed, "O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone astray from your ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of your Word, Jesus Christ..

We speak of those who have gone astray from Jesus' ways as though they were someone else. In doing so we may obscure from ourselves the fact that this is all of us. None of us is as perfect as we would like to think, not to mention how far short we fall from God's dream of faithful followers.

Who loses out here? The easy and straightforward answer is everyone loses out. We lose out because when we fail to amend our lives in alignment with our confession or the Great Litany or our occasional recitation of the Baptismal Covenant we miss the clues on where we fall short and we create an ever greater divide between ourselves and God. We may think we're making life easier for ourselves, perhaps cutting a couple of convenient corners, but actually we are endangering our connection with the Almighty, the connection that enlivens us when we take the time to appreciate God's goodness to us and our desire lived out in our parish lives to love God and love our neighbor in return. We are also harming our relationships with family and friends, relatives and co workers, those we encounter near and far. Our spirit is harmed and we pay a price.

Jesus told us in today's Gospel that we wouldn't see him --we wouldn't get it--until the time came when we said, "Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord," meaning until we believed and honored him and those who followed him. This season of Lent is a time to explore the ways in which we need to repair our manner of living so that we recognize and respond properly to the one who comes in Jesus' name.    Amen
A sermon preached on the Second Sunday of Lent, March 17, 2019, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

Please " Like" our page to stay up to date with all services and events.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

'In Service to God & You'
Server:            Maria Bell

Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Adrian Goldson

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
Lectors:           Maria Bell
                        Jim Schneider
Litanist:            Mark Debald
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
Altar Guild:       Mertlyn Tomlinson & Norma Williams

Greeters:          Rose Marie Proctor & Cynthia Benjamin             


1982              495          Hail thou, once despised Jesus
1982              574          before thy throne, O God, we kneel
1982              685          Rock of ages, cleft for me
1982              470          There's a wideness in God's mercy

HYMN INFORMATION: Frederick Faber was reared as a strict Calvinist and began his ministry as an Anglican priest. However, in 1845 he converted from Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism under the influence of his friend John Henry (later Cardinal) Newman. Faber recognized that Roman Catholics lacked a tradition of metrical hymnody in English, so he set out to remedy the situation by writing 150 hymns after his conversion. There's a wideness in God's mercy appeared in 1854. British hymnologist J. Richard Watson notes that, "Faber's emotionalism, and his uninhibited use of... imagery, demonstrate his love of a sentiment that comes close to sentimentality. But his sentiment, however excessive it may seem, touches a tender spot: Faber is cheering on the soul, recognizing the troubles of life, and holding out the promise of a final homecoming." More commonly sung to other tunes outside America, here it has been typically paired with the tune "Beecher" by German-American organist John Zundel. First published in 1870 as a setting for Charles Wesley's "Love divine, all loves excelling," the tune was named after the minister at Zundel's church in Brooklyn, Henry Ward Beecher.


March 18-24, 2019
MON 18
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  

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

TUE 19
10am-2pm Office, Pantry, Thrift Store;
6pm Evening Prayer, Seekers group;

WED 20
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist
5:30pm Lenten Supper Series

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

FRI 22
7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting; 
6:30pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting;

SAT  23
10am "Men do recover" NA Meeting
3pm "Journey to Recovery" NA Meeting

SUN 24
8am Rite I;
8:45am Lessons' Discussion;

9:30am Choir Practice; 

10am Sunday School;

10am Rite II;

11:15am Coffee Hour;
11:30am Youth-Lunch Box & Connect;
3pm SH Private Party;


Help us get the word out by submitting news of parish activities. Send submittals to or call 845 452 8440

Give us a call today!