St. Paul's Episcopal Church   Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The week of June 25- July 1, 2018  
'Your faith has made you well'

 2 Samuel 1:1, 17-27,  Psalm 130
2  Corinthians 8:7-15, Mark 5:21-43

This is what Jesus told the woman who had suffered from hemorrhages for twelve years. She had said, "If I but touch his clothes, I will be made well." She had sought him out and got close enough to Jesus to touch his robe. He knew it. He asked who touched his clothes and she confessed. His disciples asked how he could tell someone touched him, so dense was the crowd.
This week's readings
Jesus had been on the way to the home of a leader of the synagogue, a big deal in the town Jesus was visiting. The leader's daughter was at the point of death, he told Jesus. But Jesus was not only available to the religious leader; he was available to the woman who had been sick for a dozen years. His healing power was available even when Jesus himself was unaware. The woman's faith healed her, Jesus said.
Jesus continued to the home of the leader of the synagogue and found folks declaring the girl had died. He told the synagogue leader to ignore them. "Do not fear, only believe." Jesus then went to the girl's room and raised her from her death-like state, saying "Talitha cum," which means "Little girl get up."
Even though he discouraged publicity, Jesus' healing gifts received a lot of attention. He healed the rich and the poor, the indigent and the powerful. He loved the people he came into contact with. Reports were broadcast far and wide. Eventually it caused problems and he had to see people in the countryside and not in the towns and cities. The authorities didn't appreciate the attention he was receiving and the power that was being attributed to him.

'In Service to God & You'
Server:            Maria Bell
Lectors:           Rose Marie Proctor
                        Cora Keith
Litanist:           Pete Bedrossian
Organist:         Maris Kristapsons
Acolytes:         Shawn Prater-Lee
                        Jordan Rosborough
                        Ben Rosborough
Lectors:           Molly Jones
                        Mark Debald
Litanist:           Mark Debald
Usher:             Dewy Clarke
                        Mark Debald
Altar Guild:      Joanna & Rose Marie

Bishop Dietsche decries 
family separation policy
                                                                                                                                             June 20, 2018

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

"Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it." And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them (Mark 10:15-16).

I pray that by the time this letter reaches you the hundreds and hundreds of children, including small babies, who have been taken by force from their parents and are currently detained in this country will be returning to their families. People across the political spectrum and faith communities in America are joining in heartbroken and outraged opposition to what may well be the cruelest and least defensible policy decision by an American president and administration in our memory. 

The recordings and photographs of the children are almost impossible for any caring person to apprehend. I left New York late last week to baptize my youngest grandchild, and as we watched my daughter's happy, carefree children in their safe home she turned to me and said, "I can't follow this news story. I can't even open the articles." Because it does violence to our eyes and ears, and assault and battery to our hearts. It strikes terror. And it is racist. And it is systematic child abuse. 

The human cost of this administration's policy is being paid by the smallest and most vulnerable among us, and by parents agonizing over their separation from their children. It is an increasing worry that some of these children may never be able to be reunited with their mothers and fathers. Some may be lost forever. Long after this policy is shut down, which it will be, the trauma experienced by these children, even those who are safely reunited, will continue to mark and shape them. That this tsunami of human suffering is being imposed to leverage and further a political end is a pure evil. And it must be named as such. 

"Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?" That question is asked in churches in the Diocese of New York before font and altar at every Baptism, and it speaks directly to the responsibilities of Christians living in a broken country, and calls us to consider the obligations that come with that renunciation. If the things we do and the things we say are not defined and guided by (or are incompatible with) the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and by his Sermon on the Mount, and his new commandment of godly love, then they are plainly unchristian. 

We know that America is as divided today as it has ever been. For a long time we have been driven into political camps by the policies of our leaders and government. We know that faithful Christians may disagree over partisan political philosophies, though we see that we are living in those divisions and participating in them with a greater weight of emotional investment and even hatred than we are used to. We are in trouble as a people and a nation. Yet it will be a mistake for us to look at this treatment of children and imagine that this is just another political debate or even another misguided policy. This "policy" exposes the deep sickness and toxic infestation of human sin. And it exposes a fundamental immorality within this administration. Which we must not forget. 

Today Margaret and I will give some of our money to bring relief to these children, and help for their families. And we will pray for the Episcopal Church as it prepares to gather in Convention in Texas. Right now we have to do anything we can to save the children. And then we must save the Beloved Community. And then we must save the common life we share with all people. So that we may save America. 

"Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, 
so that they may be one, as we are one" (John 17:11).

With every good wish, I remain

The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York
As this letter is going out we are learning that the president is taking action to reunite these families. I am profoundly grateful for that. But this was very much a crisis of his own making, which was entirely preventable. So that now the reunion of families will have to take place alongside the therapeutic care of these traumatized children. Again, the world has never more needed the church to be the church, and that life of active faith and witness must be more than reflexive reaction to each new crisis. May God grace us to come together that we may help one another, and our president and all elected leaders, to rise to the high calling of God and live out those values which are for us Christians the inheritance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
  P A R I S H  N E W S

Be sure to get yours ASAP in order to get in all of the drawings. 
Here's a reminder of how it works:
Tickets are $25.00 each. Drawings will be held every Sunday from July 1 - December 9.   Prizes for those drawings are $10 and $20.  
The final drawing will be December 15 at a party that will include dinner and perhaps musical entertainment. Prizes awarded that day will be $10, $20 plus the big prizes of $500, $250, $150, $100 & $50. 
You can win multiple times since your ticket is always returned to the pile so that it's there for the final drawing.  All parishioners are asked to buy or sell at least 2 tickets.
Tickets to sell are available from Bobbie Gordon. Tickets for purchase are available from Vestry members and Debbie Pitcher, Deb Williams, Rose Marie Proctor, Charlie Benjamin, Cynthia Benjamin, Janet Quade and Bobbie Gordon.

August 12th, 2018 
       Caribbean Brunch
Following the 10:00 church service
  $6 per person or $12 per family
  Please feel free to invite family & friends. 
2     Donna Taylor                                                          17    Jordan William Rosborough
7     Molly Jones                                                                     Benjamin Charles Rosborough
       Mary Ann Bagatta                                                           Damien Cole
8     Joy Jones                                                               21    Shirley Mary Richardson
       Serena Mazzuto                                                             William Hyson IV
10   Hyacinth Curtis                                                       22    Michael Babb II
11   Philip Mahlke                                                          23    Sophia Mincey
12   Garrett Martin Bell                                                  25    Donna Hosier
       Ira Wethington                                                        30    Amanda Rose Bell
13   Kimberli William                                                             Shelly Anderson Walker
15   Bobbie Gordon                                                               Luke Goodwin
The Sunday Sermon                          
The importance of faith
SERMON: 5 Pentecost B 6 24 18
1 Sam17:1a,4-11,19-23,32-49; Ps9:9-20; 2 Cor6:1-13; Mk4:35-41
This has been an amazing week for me. In the midst of the huge and awful and unnecessary controversy of the federal government separating immigrant children from their parents I had the sublime luxury--and I mean that--of relaxing because I had read carefully the story of David and Goliath. Not to jump too far ahead, but I felt as David felt. I felt like I could say to the people prying crying children out of their parents' arms, "This is God's battle--you cannot win."

On Monday the readings were downloaded and decisions were made concerning the length of the Hebrew Bible reading. The alternative to the very long first reading you heard this morning was one about a third as long--the last third of the reading we did hear. But as I read the longer version Monday it occurred to me that we don't always get the full story about David and Goliath. How innocent and sincere David was. How awful Goliath was.

The details are also really interesting. Yes, we've heard it before, but not every time the reading comes around. Every three years we get these readings and, to be frank, the Gospel lesson of Jesus in the boat often draws more of our attention.

To emphasize Goliath's size and strength his weapons are described:
"(His) height was six cubits and a span. He had a helmet of bronze on his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of bronze. He had greaves of bronze on his legs and a javelin of bronze slung between his shoulders. The shaft of his spear was like a weaver's beam, and his spear's head weighed six hundred shekels of iron."

Six hundred shekels of iron is fifteen pounds. How would you like to try to throw a spear with a 15 pound head on it? His coat weighed 5000 shekels of bronze. That's 125 pounds. These are impossible weights for ordinary people to consider. Goliath is clearly a deadly adversary.

He is also very ugly in his taunting of the Israelites and David. David, on the other hand, is forthright and humble. He has killed bear and lion while tending sheep. He is not afraid. And he believes Goliath has offended God and David intends to take him down.

David evidences a total lack of concern about the imbalance of warrior skills between him and Goliath. When he finds Saul's armor uncomfortable and awkward he discards it, believing God will protect him.
David meets Goliath's arrogance with confidence, Goliath's strength with his very own skill with a sling. He dispatches Goliath at once.

But this is not just the victory of the humble and forthright David over the boastful and dreaded Goliath. It is that; just not only that. More importantly, this is the victory of God, the God in which David believes and which David seeks to vindicate.

It helps, of course, that no one is interested in Goliath winning. Everybody's rooting for David. David's righteousness, humility, sincerity and skill win the day. All is right in the world.

How much of the credit do we give David's faith? His clear vision of the situation, of it being not his fight but God's, conveys a powerful belief in the God of Israel. It is a faith sufficient to meet any challenge.
Most of us do not pretend to have David's skill or experience or youth or perhaps even humility. But we have our faith. You have yours and I have mine and we carry it with us all the time and we attend to it probably in very different ways. But our faith is with us and it gains in strength when we exercise it, when we use it, when we call upon it to get us through things, and when we acknowledge that faith is what guided us in times of trouble.

So I have no problem saying to you that my faith, brought to mind by this reading, got me through a week that could have been excruciating. There were moments, to be sure, when reports of the federal government's atrocities along the border moved me mightily, moved me to tears and gasps of horror. But unlike many of the missteps of this administration in its short life, this one I knew was a denial of American values and that next to no one would sit still for it. Sure enough, by the time that governors were pulling back National Guard troops and all five of the living First Ladies of the nation were decrying the separation of immigrant children from their parents, a reversal was announced. The nearly universal condemnation of the policy indicated to me that, "This is God's battle; you cannot win."

As with so many of our readings, this story, one of the most famous in the Bible, causes us to look anew at faith. Specifically, at our own faith. We are blessed in how the Bible brings us stories of faith that resonate with us. Today's Hebrew Bible tale probably doesn't remind you of some giant you did battle with. But it could remind you of some awful situation you were in which you survived and for which you give credit to your faith.

Our Gospel lesson is a pointed look at faltering faith. In the newsletter I asked if readers had been in a boat on stormy waters. I certainly have. And to tell you the truth my fear was stronger on the Hudson than it was in the Gulf of Alaska. Of course my sailboat is quite a bit smaller than the ocean tugs of yore. And the tug did have a seasoned crew.

But the boat Jesus was in supposedly was near swamping and the passengers were quite unnerved. Not Jesus. He was snoozing. When they demanded he do something he stilled the waters, then chided them for their lack of faith.

"Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?" Jesus asked. The Gospel relates, "And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, "Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?"
This is how the disciples developed a stronger faith: watching Jesus tame the wild waters, heal people, turn water into wine, produce bread and fish for thousands. We have the benefit of their experience as well as our own sense that Jesus accompanies us all the time. And when we are conscious of it, Jesus comforts and emboldens us and guides us as any friend would who was going through some part of our lives with us.
This week I was ready to join the marches and the protests about immigrant children being taken from their parents. I may still. But my impression is that the world has recognized the evil in that undertaking, condemned it, and the policy has been stopped by its author.

Gospel faith is what we delight in, the good news that God is with us, helping clarify our consciences, define our engagements, pick our battles, protect and accompany us through thick and thin.
Thanks be to God. 
A sermon preached at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Poughkeepsie NY, June 24, 2018 by The Rev. Tyler Jones, Rector

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church-Poughkeepsie

1982                       11             Awake, my soul, and with the sun
1982                       691           My faith looks up to thee

1982                       325          Let us break bread together on our knees
1982                       558           Faith of our fathers, living still
HYMN INFORMATION: The stirring morning hymn, Awake, My Soul, and With the Sun, was penned by English clergyman Thomas Ken in the late 1600s. In his youth he was a student at a boys' school in Winchester and later returned as a teacher and chaplain. At the school, the boys traditionally rose at 5 AM for morning prayers and a hymn in Latin. During his time as chaplain he wrote this hymn as a replacement for the Latin hymn, earning the gratitude of subsequent generations of students for producing a suitable hymn in English. Originally set to a tune by Jeremiah Clarke, composer of the famous Trumpet Voluntary, the tune we use today was written in the late 1700s by Frenchman Francois Barthelemon.

June 25- July 1, 2018

MON 25                7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                             6pm EVENING PRAYER, Vestry       
                             6:30pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery";                                             
TUE 26                 10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;  
                              6pm EVENING PRAYER, Bible Study;                
WED 27                7:30am "Good Morning" AA Meeting;  
                            10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Small Blessings Thrift Shop;
        12:15pm Healing Service & Eucharist;
THUR 28             10am-2pm Office, Food Pantry, Thrift Shop;                           
FRI 29                  7:30am "Good Morning" AA meeting;                                                       
SAT 30                 3pm NA Meeting "Journey to Recovery"                              
                             5pm Private PH Party;
SUN 1                  8am Rite I;
                            8:45am Lesson's Discussion;
                            10am Sunday School;
                            10am Rite II- Anointing & Laying of Hands;
                            11:15am Coffee Hour;
                            11:45am Hospitality;


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