St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of September 9-15, 2019

Lost & Found

Jesus refers to the Good Shepherd in this Sunday's Gospel:   
"Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it?"
He is telling this to his audience which is made up of tax collectors and sinners and Pharisees and scribes. The religious leaders criticized him for spending time with sinners and Jesus responded with the lost sheep reference.
This week's readings.
The notion that the tax collectors and sinners were worthy of attention, not to mention dining with them, offended the religious leaders. The potential of helping these wayward souls turn their lives around and become focused on loving God and their neighbor motivates Jesus. He also artfully points out to the religious leaders that they are doing nothing to reach those who have lost their way and who need help finding their way back to the right path.
The lesson concludes with the woman celebrating after finding a lost coin. Jesus was pointing out that recovery from loss, whether it's loss of a coin or loss of one's moral bearings, is important and worth celebrating. 
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 

  Sign up in the Narthex if you have STUFF to donate. 
St.Paul's will again be manning the Water Station for the Duchess County Classic Marathon on Sunday, September 15. We need to be at the Maloney Road Water Station by 7:30 that morning. We need to have at least 12 people there to hand out water and encourage the runners. This is a great event and a wonderful opportunity for St. Paul's to "Put Faith in Action" as our T-shirts say. Sign-up in the Narthex or talk with either Shawn Prater-Lee or Bobbie Gordon.
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 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.

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
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
SERMON: 13 Pentecost C 9 8 19 
A devout old shepherd lost his favorite Bible while he was out looking for a wayward lamb. Three weeks later, a sheep walked up to him carrying the Bible in its mouth. The shepherd couldn't believe his eyes. He took the precious book out of the sheep's mouth, raised his eyes heavenward and exclaimed, "It's a miracle!"

" Not really," said the sheep. "Your name is written inside the cover."

What a silly story! I love it. And I think it was so enjoyable to me because I had been reading all this kind of angry language in today's Gospel and trying to make sense of it. I didn't stop with the joke, however.

I read a few articles about the "hate father and mother, wife and children" language of the Gospel and I felt better. One said that Jesus was speaking in hyperbole to get people's attention. Hyperbole is defined as "extravagant exaggeration." Another article said that the use of hate is not an accurate interpretation of the original Aramaic. It said in fact the more fitting language would suggest a person who did not prefer or prioritize Jesus over family, father, mother, wife and children could not follow Jesus completely. 

A third article reported that the parallel story from the Gospel of Matthew can be considered as follows:

"The language of this particular saying, however, raises concern for many. Does Jesus really call us to hate our biological families and our very lives? ...Jesus is using hyperbolic language here as he does frequently in his teachings (e.g., Matthew 18:8-9). This becomes clear when we compare this saying in Luke with its parallel in Matthew (10:37): "Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew, drawing on the same Jesus tradition as Luke, seems to have interpreted the more stark language of "hate" to refer to primary allegiance. For Matthew, this saying indicates that our primary allegiance must be to Jesus rather than to family.
Exchanging "primary allegiance" for "hate" is both a big step and a big relief.
Another article I read said that this particular portion of the Luke reading, about hating one's family, is held up by those who distrust Christianity for being hypocritical. It's my opinion that a lot of people find it easier to reject religion, especially Christianity, rather than engage and take the time to find out what it's really about."

You may remember that I am a somewhat rabid newshound. I follow the news mostly on line and in print. Last week, even before I saw it online, our son asked me about my reaction to a column in The New York Times by Tim Egan, one of their regular contributors. The title was "Why people hate religion."

Now there's a conversation starter in church, don't you think?

Let's go back to the word hyperbole, the term used to describe extravagant exaggeration. It would appear some hyperbole crept into the headline, wouldn't you say?

But we all have to acknowledge that religion does get met with distrust, suspicion, apprehension, even fear by some folks. I think the clear point of the column I read is that there are good reasons for people to manifest some kind of caution when they encounter religion or even people who are religious.

For example, I have noted in the fifteen years I have been wearing clerical clothing that some people steer clear of me. Friends ask odd questions as though I have changed so radically they can't imagine what I must be like now. I accept that because I do know people who have made changes in their life that have essentially changed them.

But I think what people are most aware of, concerning Christians, is that what Jesus taught--setting aside today's hyperbolic language-- is not how all Christians behave. And that leads a lot of people to reconsider their understanding of Christianity and, perhaps, religion as a whole.

It leads Tim Egan to write, "What you hear about is the phonies, the charlatans who wave Bibles, the theatrically pious, and they are legion. Vice President Mike Pence wears his faith like a fluorescent orange vest. But when he visited the border this summer and saw human beings crammed like cordwood in the Texas heat, that faith was invisible."

The column goes on to remind us of the President's messianic ponderings a couple of weeks ago in which he described himself as "the second coming of God." The article details the absurdity of such an analogy. It goes on at some length to examine instances of religious hypocrisy in the current administration.

The author notes that Anglican Archbishop Desmond Tutu observes, "we are prisoners of hope."

For Christians it is our hope that the good deeds and good lives of faithful Christians will draw others to the faith not because we need the numbers, though they would help. But rather because people's lives are better for them if they have faith in Jesus, who told us to love God and love our neighbor.

Putting Jesus first and letting his priorities of loving God and our neighbor first, makes it possible to live better lives in general and specifically with our families, our neighbors and with strangers. It makes it easier to live in confusing times when the religious right gets all the attention and not in a good way. It makes it okay to love God and love our neighbor and leave it at that.

The column in The New York Times closed with this insightful summary: "Faith is not that complicated. Religion always is."

Not t o quibble endlessly, but I would like to say religion can be complicated, especially if one does not follow the basic rule: we should love God and our neighbor. Amen
  A sermon preached on the 13th Sunday after Pentecost, Sept. 8, 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
    Adrian Goldson

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian

Server:            Maria Bell

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
Lectors:          Alexis Plain
                       Brooke Marie Plain
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Usher:             Daphne Barrett
Altar Guild:      Hyacinth & Daphne (Alice)

1982          423     Immortal, invisible, God only wise (St. Denio) 
1982          410     Praise, my soul, the King of heaven (Lauda anima)
1982          439     What wondrous love is this (Wondrous Love)  
1982          470     There's a wideness in God's mercy (Beecher) 
HYMN COMMENTARY: The lyrics for What wondrous love is this were first published around 1811 in a Virginia camp meeting songbook, and are generally attributed to an anonymous author. Most sources attribute the hymn's melody to an old English song best known as "The Ballad of Captain Kidd." In the early 1800s, hymnals typically lacked any musical notation, and camp meeting attendees would sing hymns to a variety of familiar, popular melodies, including "The Ballad of Captain Kidd," which was well-known at the time. This is likely how the text and melody came to be paired. Later, this paring was first published in the classic shape note hymnal "The Southern Harmony."

August 26-September 1, 2019
MON   9

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

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

WED  11
  7:30am    AA Meeting
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop 
12:15pm    Healing Service & Eucharist
  1:00pm    Parish Aid

THU   12
10:00am   Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop

FRI    13
  7:30am    AA Meeting
11:00am    Sorting of Rummage Sale 
  6:30pm    NA Meeting

SAT   14
10:00am    NA Meeting; Rummage sale 
11:00am    Block Clean-up 
  3:00pm    NA Meeting - Men Do Recover 

SUN  15
  8:00am    RITE I
  8:45am    Lessons' Discussions
  9:00am    Dutchess Co. Classic Water Station
  9:30am    Choir practice
10:00am    RITE II -celebrating birthdays and anniversaries;  
                  Sunday School  
11:15am    Coffee Hour


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