St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of February 25 - March 3, 2019
Moving from Epiphany to Lent 

Our readings as we have approached the end of the season of Epiphany have been clearly focused on Jesus' teaching. This Sunday, the Last Sunday after the Epiphany, our Gospel reading is the transfiguration, from Luke. Not only do we see Jesus transfigured, we also see him in the company of Moses and Elijah. The lesson concludes with a healing of a youth possessed by a demon, reinforcing in the minds of all Jesus' godly powers.

Our other lessons run parallel to the Gospel. The Hebrew Bible from Exodus has Moses descending the Holy Mountain with the tablets of the covenant, The Ten Commandments. Our psalm clarifies for any who have doubts, "The Lord is King; let the people tremble." Paul in his Second Letter to the Corinthians compares Jesus and Moses at length.

This is our preparation for Lent. We have seen Jesus' incarnation, we have seen him minister to the people, we have seen him cheered and derided both. Finally, this Sunday, we see him glorified. As we enter into the season of Lent we drop the Alleluias and we assume a penitential and reflective stance. What do we have planned for Lent that will deepen our engagement with our readings, our worship and our faith? We have yet another week to consider that question.

Exodus 34:29-35; Psalm 99;
2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2; Luke 9:28-43a

                  Readings for the week of February 25 - March 6
Monday, February 25      Saint Matthias, Apostle (tr.)
Romans 15:7-13
Tuesday, February 26
Romans 15:14-21
Wednesday, February 27
Romans 15:22-29
Thursday, February 28
Romans 15:30-33
Friday, March 1
Romans 16:1-7
Saturday, March 2
Romans 16:8-16
Sunday, March 3   
Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Hear God's Word at your local church

Monday, March 4
Romans 16:17-23 
 *NRSV omits verse 24
Tuesday, March 5
Romans 16:25-27
Wednesday, March 6
Ash Wednesday


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.


C O M M U N I T Y    N E W S

Last fall, anti - Semitic fliers were posted by supporters of neo - Nazi hate groups on three Poughkeepsie college campuses and two Beacon churches.

During the first week of January 2019, 17 notices were posted in the Town of Poughkeepsie on stop signs and light poles - this time targeting the immigrant community.

The Town of Poughkeepsie police reported that nothing can be done, but we disagree. If we as a community don ' t speak up, who else will?

At this time when there is increased violence and harassment toward Jews, Muslims, immigrants, LBGTQ, African - Americans and other minorities, a group of non - partisans, concerned Dutchess County residents ask for your help and support in changing the narrative with a visual campaign of yard signs, window signs and bumper stickers that read " Hate Has No Home Here. "

Lawn signs will be available by March 1.

Please CLICK on the link below

HATE HAS NO HOME HERE to order lawn and window signs and bumper stickers for you to have and distribute. For more information, please write to

(" Hate Has No Home Here " Dutchess is an informal group,
non-partisan, and not affiliated with any institution.)

C O M M U N I T Y   C A L E N D A R

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

Wednesday, February 27
Race: The Power of an Illusion
(Community Discussion
co - sponsored by DCIC and the Race Unity Circle)
7:00 - 9:00 p.m.
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of
Poughkeepsie (67 S. Randolph Avenue, Poughkeepsie) For more information, contact us at
Saturday, March 2
Faith Build Clergy and Ministry Leader Breakfast
9:30 a.m.
St. Martin de Porres Nativity Center, (118
Cedar Valley Road, Poughkeepsie). To RSVP, email
Tuesday, March 12
DCIC Annual Membership Meeting
Keynote Speaker: Jody Miller (Chair of the Dutchess County Commission on Human Rights)
5:30 p.m.
First Evangelical Lutheran Church (325 Mill Street, Poughkeepsie). Reception follows meeting.
RSVP by Wednesday, March 6 by emailing us at
This event is open to the public and all are welcome.
Tuesday, 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
Sunday, April 7
Maccabeats: Premier A
4:00 p.m.
Congregation Shir Chadash (1168 Route 55, Lagrangeville). For more information, email info@shir - or call (845) 232 - 1029
Sunday, 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
Wednesday, 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
Sunday, October 6
DCIC CROP Hunger Walk
More details to follow.
Sunday, November 24
DCIC Interfaith Thanksgiving Service
More details to follow.
Saturday, December 7 and
Sunday, December 8
DCIC Fair Trade and
Handmade Bazaar
More details to follow.

                          FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS

1       Maris Kristapsons                                 14        Brooke Plain
2       Mertlyn Tomlinson                                15        Shawn Prater-Lee
         Stacey Plain                                                      William Rosborough
3       Jamal Wethington                                 16        Luis Alberto Barban
9       Marlene Fisher                                      18        Celia Flor
12     Aaron Bissessar                                    19        Anita Santos-Bravo
13    Annastasia (Stacey) Schmouth              23        WIlliam Hyson
                                                                       25        Cynthia Benjamin
                                                                       26        Sterling Benjamin

The Sunday Sermon  
                            HIS WAY

7 Epiphany c 2 24 9

I got fired once by a guy named Fink. He wanted to make room at the place where I worked for a pal who had big ideas. Sadly, I guess, those ideas were not connected to reality. But I was pretty angry. I couldn't believe Fink believed in this new guy. But I was out.

Someone told me that one day I would thank Mr. Fink. I have not yet done so. But every time I think of today's Hebrew Bible story I wonder: did Joseph thank his brothers?

I don't think so. A close reading of today's lesson doesn't indicate any thanks. Forgiveness, yes. Not thanks. God is given credit for turning the evil intentions of the brothers into something good. Something really, really good.

I love that. I love the way Joseph, the foreigner, turned things around for Egypt. I love the way he was so desperate to make himself known to his brothers after all they'd done to him. It's more than a reminder that holding onto pain and resentment hurts us more than it hurts the other party. It points out that we can't stop those things we consider misfortunes from being redeemed by life, by God.
I was told of a family that healed in many ways when they learned that one of the older members was fatally sick. It's an interesting thing to think about. If you were in that situation would you rather continue to stew, for all the good that's been doing you, or get over it and move on as a family?

I trust your answer is get over it.
Let's look at our collect for this morning:
O Lord, you have taught us that without love whatever we
do is worth nothing: Send your Holy Spirit and pour into our
hearts your greatest gift, which is love, the true bond of peace
and of all virtue, without which whoever lives is accounted
dead before you. Grant this for the sake of your only Son
Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy
Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen

I am especially drawn to the opening line in the Rite I form:
O Lord, who hast taught us that all our doings without
charity are nothing worth.

I don't know if it's my Anglican heritage or my appreciation of Monty Python, but I have a kind of fun yet visceral reaction to the notion, "Our doings without charity are nothing worth." Maybe I'm just channeling for Yoda from Star Wars. But it reminds me of the famous reading from the Letter to the Romans a few weeks ago in which the power of love was spelled out. That's very much part of my belief system.

Now how we deal with those who hurt us or who do what we consider wrong is a challenging notion. We are very familiar here with "Love God and love your neighbor." We can't live into that without being willing to love the wrong-doer.

Our Psalm makes that abundantly clear:
1 Do not fret yourself because of evildoers; *
do not be jealous of those who do wrong.
2 For they shall soon wither like the grass, *
and like the green grass fade away.
3 Put your trust in the Lord and do good; *
dwell in the land and feed on its riches.
4 Take delight in the Lord, *
and he shall give you your heart's desire.

This notion of just not letting ourselves get worked up by the actions and decisions of others is a really powerful idea.

I once rather glibly (or so I thought) declared to someone at our church in Miami that I understood why bad things happen to good people, but I didn't understand why good things happen to bad people. He located a Prayer Book and read to me the opening of this morning's psalm.

We can observe that such actions or decisions do not comport well with our understanding of how the world ought to work, but we do not need to lose sleep over it. Likewise, in general, we can observe with total confidence that the world's population often or perhaps usually does not behave as we think it ought.
Then we get to remember that no one died and left us in charge. We are not God. God decided to endow humanity with human will and this is what we got. To dispute it, to challenge it, to bemoan it is, at least in some measure, to argue with God's plan for the world. We can address individual actions and decisions we consider wrong for one reason or another, but God endowed the actors and decision makers with human will just like we were so endowed. Rather than fret ourselves, as the psalm says, we can deny ourselves permission to get all worked up.

Jesus in our Gospel this morning zeroes in on the same issues and makes it almost painfully clear what he considers proper treatment of those we might otherwise dispute, dismiss or disregard. I made a list of all the clear admonitions that today's lesson contained and found they total 17.

Love your enemies,
Do good to those who hate you,
Bless those who curse you,
Pray for those who abuse you.
If anyone strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also;
From anyone who takes away your coat, do not withhold even your shirt.
Give to everyone who begs from you
If anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again.
Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Love your enemies,
Do good
Lend, expecting nothing in return.
Be merciful.
Do not judge.
Do not condemn.

That's quite a list. Also in this lesson Jesus points out how we are to treat others the way God treats us. Then refer back to the list. The ultimate effect he cites:"the measure you give will be the measure you get back."

This reading is a continuation of the Gospel of Luke, picking up where we left off last week. Just previous to that Jesus had chosen the 12 disciples, so this is Luke's version of the early instruction to his followers.

He started by spelling out the ways in which God reverses the misfortunes of those who struggle and suffer. He then laid down some warnings for those who were comfortable and uncharitable. That was last week's reading from the Gospel of Luke.

This week Jesus is saying that to be distracted by all that is wrong is a mistake; we need to focus on the good, concentrate on doing our part to reveal God's goodness in the world. Again and again --again and again, 17 times--Jesus tells us which path to take when we are feeling wronged, disadvantaged, violated or deceived. There is no room for doubt left in our minds, is there?
Is there?

Let me return to the story of Joseph and his brothers and my unhappy experience with Mr. Fink. I confess I have not thanked the man who fired me, ignored my hard work and upset rather drastically the good work of an agency I cared about deeply. I have, however, noted that my life since then has been an unending cascade of blessings and surprises and gifts (mostly) that make that unhappy time only a faint memory.

It may be easier for me than for most to give credit to God, since for the last 30 years my life in the church has grown and absorbed me and changed me in ways my friends and family and I find quite wonderful.

So I guess this is more of a testimonial than I intended when I set out to write this sermon. When Molly found me one summer Saturday afternoon in Miami 20 years ago in the living room reading the Bible she asked, "Are you the man I married?" I answered her, "No."

God's plan for us as laid out by Jesus offers us more than we can ask or imagine. Jesus closed today's Gospel lesson with, "the measure you give will be the measure you get back."

I might argue that God gives many times what we give because that, I think, is my experience. Regardless, we are blessed by the clarity of these lessons and the no-nonsense language Jesus uses to show us the way. His way. Amen
A sermon preached on the seventh Sunday after the Epiphany, Feb. 24, 2019, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

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

Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Cora Keith

Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee                 
Lectors:           Judith Mizell
                        Daphne Barrett
Litanist:            Mark Debald
Usher:              Dewy Clarke
                         Mark Debald
Altar Guild:       Norma Williams & Mertlyn Tomlinson

Greeters:          Rose Marie Proctor & Cynthia Benjamin             


1982              460          Alleluia! Sing to Jesus
1982              135          Songs of thankfulness and praise
1982              427          When morning gilds the skies
1982              563          Go forward, Christian soldier

HYMN INFORMATION: Go Forward, Christian Soldier is a hymn that urges commitment to waging spiritual warfare for Christ. The text was written by Lawrence Tuttiett, who originally intended to study medicine but became an Anglican minister instead in 1850. Shortly thereafter, Tuttiett began writing hymns and today's text dates from 1861. Hymnologist John Julian wrote, "Mr. Tuttiett's hymns are characterised by smoothness of rhythm, direction of aim, simplicity of language, and deep earnestness." Several tunes have been used with this hymn text, the most popular being Lancashire, composed by Henry Thomas Smart, also paired with the familiar hymn "Lead On, O King Eternal."


February 25 - March 3, 2019
MON 25
7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  

6pm Evening Prayer, Vestry;
6:30pm NA Meeting;

TUE 26
10am-2pm Office, Pantry, Thrift Store;
6pm Evening Prayer, Bible Study;

WED 27
10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop; 
12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;

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

7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting; 
6:30pm NA Meeting;

SAT  2
10am NA Meeting;
3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery"; 

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

9:30am Choir Practice; 

10am Sunday School;

10am Rite II;

11:15am Coffee Hour & The Good Book Club Meeting;
11:30am Youth- Lunch Box & Connect;
11:45am Hospitality;


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