St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of January 13-19, 2020


Identifying the Messiah  
John the Baptist was calling for people to repent and to welcome the Messiah before he and Jesus actually met. Though they were cousins, John did not know Jesus. But when he observed Jesus at his baptism, John was convinced. He said, "I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, 'He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who
baptizes with the Holy Spirit.'"
This week's readings.
John continued to point out to people just who the Messiah was. "Look! Here is the Lamb of God," John told two men. They followed him and became his first disciples.
As disciples of Jesus, followers of his Way, we also like to invite others to consider Jesus and all he can do for those who follow him. Our faith, as the Sunday collect explains, is a beacon to those who may find joy in faith. They are drawn because our faith is "...illumined by your Word and Sacraments." As such we pray that God will let us "...shine with the radiance of Christ's glory, that he may be known, worshiped, and obeyed to the ends of the earth."
This is no small matter, being a beacon for others so they can discover Jesus. But it is our joyous calling.
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 

Happy New Year from the Spiritual Life Committee!
The Spiritual Life Committee has hit the ground running! We have a number of events and activities coming up:
*  Lenten Supper Series: It is a time to reflect, unwind and enjoy the fellowship of your fellow parishioners with a light supper of bread and soup followed by meditation. The evening ends with Compline. When is it? 5:30 p.m. -7:00 p.m. on the Wednesdays in Lent: March 4, 11, 18 and 25. Signups will be in the Narthex soon!
*  Lenten Seder: Tentatively set for Wednesday April 1, (5:30-7:00) led by Rabbi Dan Polish. It is an evening that bring us back to our roots in Hebrew tradition. Children are especially welcome.
*  Instructed Eucharist: Sunday March 8th at both the 8:00 and 10:00 services. This came out of our Renewal Works program as one of the five things we wished to add to our Parish life. It is an opportunity for us all to learn about "why and how" of Episcopal worship.

These events are all important parts of our worship here at St. Paul's and I invite and encourage you all to take part in them.
You also can join in our committee work. We'd be glad for you to be a part of this committee. We meet the first Tuesday of the month at 6:00 p.m.
                                                --Pete Bedrossian, Chair - Spiritual Life Committee
St. Paul's kids re-enacting the Epiphany
OurSt. Pauls Sunday School students re-enacting the saga of the Three Wise Men 
at our Epiphany celebration Sunday
Facelift for the ground floor at St. Paul's
For over 50 years our Education Building has provided meeting space for all kinds of groups and events. Because the Scout Hall, which is in the Education Building, and our Parish Hall, which is under the church, have meeting spaces we rent them out and earn money to help us pay our bills. It is important that these spaces and the hallways and restrooms that are connected, are welcoming and clean.
Over the years there has been a lot of wear and tear on these areas. Our Buildings and Grounds Committee has chosen the ground floor for its first major 2020 project. From the CTC stairwell, through the Scout Hall, the hallway and steps to the parking lot, steps and hallway to the rest rooms,  the ceiling and floor of the hall behind the Parish Hall and the dishwashing room cover the area being planned for improvement. Floor restoration on the long hall, paint and baseboard in the Scout Hall, removal of electrical equipment, window repair and window well  cleaning, paint touchup and a dropped ceiling are all part of this large project.
We are asking for volunteers to join the committee Wednesday at 6:30 pm to detail the elements of the overall project from the minimal  to the major. Then we are going to create a plan to fulfill each element.
We need help from practical people and visionaries. We want our church to reflect our appreciation of those who rent the spaces from us.
Please consider joining us Wednesday at 6:30 pm.
The Annual General Meeting (AGM) of St. Paul's will take place at the end of the 10 am service on Sunday, Jan. 26. There will be no 8 am service that day. All members of the church are encouraged to participate. A hearty potluck luncheon will follow the meeting.  Please sign up to bring something for the potluck. Signups are in the Narthex

The meeting will involve
--  reports from our parish committees outlining the work of the committee, achievements in the past year and plans for the new year, a description of the rewards from serving on the committee, and meeting times for those interested in joining
--   a budget report and financial outlook from our Treasurer.
--   elections of two vestry members and one warden. The Vestry has assembled a slate of candidates, but nominations are welcome from the floor.   
--  Father Tyler will provide the Rector's report and announce the recipient of the 2020 Paraclete Potter Award.

Please plan to come to attend the meeting, learn about the ongoing business of your church, and enjoy collegiality and hospitality at the potluck lunch.
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 annual observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is a special time of the year when all Christians, Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox, from every corner of the world have the opportunity to join together in prayer for the unity that Jesus wants for all those who believe in his name. 
The host for the event, St. Martin de Porres Church, invites Christians to come together on Sunday, January 26, at 3:00 pm, at 118 Cedar Valley Rd., Poughkeepsie. We will be worshiping with neighboring Christian communities, as we celebrate our desire for the unity that can overcome all historical differences and root itself in our common belief in Jesus. 
Rev. Jeffrey Koenig, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church, will be the homilist. Refreshments and conversation will follow the one hour long service. All are invited!
Another way
SERMON: 1 Epiphany A 1 12 20
The ending of this morning's Gospel is anticlimactic. You would think that after the Three Kings' encounter with the baby Jesus, the Messiah, and after their generous gifts honoring Jesus and his family, and after all they'd seen and heard, evidencing the importance of this event...
Well, wouldn't you think there would at least be an angel chorus to guide them home, or maybe a parade of seraphim and cherubim? Shouldn't something be done to show how important their mission was, now that it has been accomplished?
There are two answers to my question. The first is yes and the second is no. Yes there should be something and there is: the life of Jesus was the acknowledgement of the grand and gracious thing the Three Kings (or wise men or magi) did. However, there is also a "no answer." There shouldn't have been any unnecessary hubbub over the Three Kings for very clear reasons. First, the somewhat diplomatic mission of the delegation was a self-contained function. Honoring the Three Kings after they'd honored Jesus would have distracted onlookers and detracted from their purpose which was to honor and align with the Messiah. Second, any unnecessary attention might attract the attention of the authorities, and they might feel compelled to inform Herod who expected them to report back to him. So they needed to be discreet. Finally, as in any dramatic enterprise, the focus needed to be kept on the baby Jesus.
The Three Kings knew that Herod wanted to harm Jesus. They had been warned in a dream that they shouldn't report back to Herod as he had directed. So the Three Kings "...left for their own country by another road."
This modest and subtle departure may well have saved Jesus' life. It certainly confounded Herod's plan to obtain from the Three Wise Men information on Jesus and his family. And in a pretty clear sense it reflected the humble beginnings of Jesus, always just under the radar of the displeased authorities.
Throughout his earthly ministry Jesus continued to manifest a humble demeanor and to let his message and his works speak for themselves. He did this rather than seek to draw the attention of those who perhaps weren't interested in salvation or were just scoping out this celebrity itinerant preacher. He was also trying not to aggravate the authorities, both the military occupiers of Palestine and the religious authorities. If they could see that he represented no threat to them or their power, Jesus thought, he could do far more than if he was always deflecting criticism and dealing with hostile forces.
So it seems as though the Three Wise Men were onto something when they "...left for their own country by another road." This points to a theme that appears through Jesus' ministry and in the church in the two thousand years since.
There are always choices to make. When we set out to do something we have to decide what it is and how we think we might best achieve its goals. Sometimes it is not so obvious what we have to do. In the same sense, it is sometimes not so obvious how to do it.
The Three Kings (or wise men or magi) reveal for us their insightful way of going about their business. In the first place they sought out information, having been informed by something like astrology ("the star at its rising") of the Messiah's birth. They found themselves before the king and were directed to bring the king information about Jesus. After meeting Jesus and his family they dreamt of the peril Jesus faced and left the Holy Family "by another road."
Their care and caution point out to us that sometimes it is better to be discreet, to be quiet, to be cautious, than it is to broadcast our plans from the rooftops, or from Facebook, if you wish.
There is a famous poem by Robert Frost titled, "The Road Less Traveled," which examines a travelers choice between two paths. At the end the traveler realizes that taking one path may have deprived the traveler of worthwhile experiences, but acknowledges that one cannot know if that is true.
Many times we make choices based on information that is insufficient for insuring a good decision. Sometimes we make rash decisions we later regret. And sometimes we just end up wondering, "What if I had gone the other way?"
Like the Three Kings, like the poem's sojourner, we don't want our lack of awareness, our information deficit regarding consequences, our lack of caution, to cause difficulty for us or others. The Three Kings chose the other way to insure that their visit and information about Jesus did not reach Herod until they were long gone. They were successful, thankfully.
But their approach to a sensitive situation is now well known. That they averted disaster and saved Jesus' life could be the very highest stakes example of "taking another way," but there are lots of others. In fact working with much of this imagery from the poem and the story of the Three Wise Men, an author named Scott Peck wrote a book published in 1978 titled, "The Road Less Traveled." This book named the road less traveled as love and defined love as the willingness to extend oneself for the spiritual advancement of another. In the years this book was popular I was returning to the Episcopal Church and the spirituality of love and extending oneself to another for their spiritual benefit resonated deeply with me.
This, you might realize, is also the chosen path of our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry. His way of love campaign is directly tied to what he calls "the Episcopal Branch of the Jesus Movement." And he reminds us again and again that love is what Jesus had to offer the people who came to him for a new way to live: Jesus' love for them, God's love for them, the reminder to love God and love our neighbor, how we are to love one another. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, offered love as a solution for the insoluble.
I was reminded of this during the week as we learned of the military standoff with Iran. The Episcopal Church office released a statement on the crisis which simply made reference to a previous offering by the Presiding Bishop in which he said, "Jesus said blessed are the peacemakers. We believe in peace." And peace is love on a global scale.
Their love and awe for Jesus caused the Three Wise Men to find another way to depart and go home. Jesus again and again found other ways to help people without condemning those seeking answers from him and without trying to frighten them into following his example. He loved them because he personified love.
This is not just another way. This is the other way. This was the radical and improbable solution Jesus brought to the world. It encompassed wisdom from a variety of traditions and his own divine knowledge, but in the final analysis it boiled down to being open minded enough to find a more desirable way to be and to get things done.
We humans like to consider all the options for our decision making. But when we stop to think about it, really the only decision is whether we choose love. We really only want and need the path that points to the love we recognize as God's gift to us, found personified in Jesus. If we choose something else, we are just putting a little more ego and self will into the world, not making it a better place with a considered and loving act instead.              Amen
A sermon preached at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY, on the first Sunday
after the Epiphany, Jan. 12, 2020, 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
7 Jacinto Xavier Santos-
14 Edna Clarke

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'
Lectors:          Rose Marie Proctor
                       Adrian Goldson       

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian

Server:            Maria Bell

Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee
Lectors:           Alexis Plain
                        Rose Marie Proctor
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Altar Guild:      Daphne Barrett & Hyacinth Curtis

1982          132  When Christ's appearing was made known (Erhalt uns, Herr)
1982          533  How wondrous and great thy works, God of praise! (Lyons)
LEVAS-II   227   We shall overcome (spiritual)
1982         599   Lift every voice and sing (Lift every voice)
HYMN COMMENTARY: When Christ's appearing was made known is an Epiphany hymn text written in the 5th century by Caelius Sedulius and translated into English by Anglican cleric John Mason Neale in the 19th century. The text is unusual in that it connects Jesus' birth with his early ministry. The words have been paired with several hymn tunes at times but are most often sung with "Erhalt uns, Herr," a melody by 16th century German musician Johann Walter that accompanied Martin Luther's hymn "Lord, keep us stead fast in your Word" in 1543.

January 13-19, 2020

MON   13
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:30pm    NA Meeting - Journey to Recovery

TUE    14
10:00am   Food Pantry &Thrift Shop
  6:00pm   Evening Prayer; Bible Study

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

THU    16
10:00am    Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop

FRI      17
  7:30am    AA Meeting
  6:30pm    NA Meeting 

SAT     18
  3:00pm    NA Meeting - Men Do Recover 

SUN    19
  8:00am    Rite I
  8:45am    Lessons' Discussion
  9:30am    Choir practice
10:00am    RITE II - Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries; Sunday  
11:15am    Coffee Hour


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!