St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
"Making friends while serving God"
The Week of April 6-12, 2021
On Doubting
This week's readings
You are constantly facing choices. The question is whether you choose for God or for your own doubting self. You know what the right choice is, but your emotions, passions, and feelings keep suggesting you choose the self-rejecting way.

The root choice is to trust at all times that God is with you and will give you what you most need. . . . God says to you, “I love you. I am with you. I want to see you come closer to me and experience the joy and peace of my presence. I want to give you a new heart and a new spirit. I want you to speak with my mouth, see with my eyes, hear with my ears, touch with my hands. All that is mine is yours. Just trust me and let me be your God.”

This is the voice to listen to. And that listening requires a real choice, not just once in a while but every moment of every day and night. It is you who decides what you think, say, and do. You can think yourself into a depression, you can talk yourself into low self-esteem, you can act in a self-rejecting way. But you always have a choice to think, speak, and act in the name of God and so move toward the Light, the Truth, and the Life.

--Shawn Prater-Lee

To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 
Acts 4:32-35Psalm 1331 John 1:1-2:2;
  John 20:19-31

The Sunday Sermon
John 20: 1-19, Resurrection from darkness                

The Easter story really begins in the dark. It begins with a woman named Mary who had been up all night, unable to sleep because of her grieving. Jesus her friend, her beloved teacher is dead. It’s still not real to her. Yet over and over through the night, she has replayed in her mind, the cruelty, the violence, the death she witnessed. And she remembered the excruciating agony on the face of his mother, and of course his cries from the cross, the senselessness of it all. Why didn’t Jesus protect himself? Why was he so determined to come to Jerusalem? The questions kept running around and around in her mind, with no answer.
Finally she could not stay in her bed any longer. It was still dark, but she decides to go to the tomb. It was an act of desperation. It was the act of a grieving person, wanting to tend to the body of one she loved, wanting to properly anoint the wounds on his body.
Most of us, like Mary, have lived through some darkness in our lives. We have all lived through the deaths of particular hopes; hopes for a certain accomplishment, a certain job, a certain romance. We move through our days, and as time accumulates suddenly we turn around and realize that we are 30 years of age, no pardon me, we are 52 or 79 and that this was not the life we’d always expected. Somewhere, somehow along the way, the bright vision for the future had died, and tiny pieces of our selves had died with it.
When we are in the dark, because of grief, loneliness, or heartbreak, when we are bewildered, perplexed and feeling abandoned by God and friends, this day, this feast day can bring us good news; the resurrection unequivocally, emphatically, definitively declares that death and despair cannot, will not, have the last word.
Some of you have had the opportunity on a Holy Saturday evening to attend the Great Vigil of Easter. It starts outside the front door of the church where we bless the new fire, and from that fire the Pascal Candle, the Easter candle is lit. We then light our own candles from the Pascal candle and slowly process into the church which is as dark and as cold as a tomb. And as we enter the church, the deacon leading the way, carrying the Pascal candle chants the words “The Light of Christ;” and the church loses the feel of being in a tomb as it begins to fill with this new light, and with a new warmth. And many of us begin to feel goose bumps as we sense deep down inside of ourselves new life, as we sense deep down inside of ourselves the resurrection.
The Resurrection, it declares that death and despair cannot, will not, have the last word. Some of us, for various reasons, have a hard time trusting that declaration. For many of us, our scientific world view gets in the way of our faith. We cannot take a dead body into a lab and add heat or light or water or pressure, and replicate the resurrection. Fortunately, Christians from earlier generations didn’t have that distraction. They were not concerned about the mechanics of resurrection, only with its meaning.
And so what does it mean for us? It means that through Christ we have been given a new paradigm. It means that we can have hopes and dreams that go far beyond what might be expected. It means that in the bleakest of situations, the deadliest of situations we can keep hope alive. Let me give you some startling examples. I visited a man in prison who was sentenced to death. As you might expect it was not a very joyful visit. However, he believed that he was going to have his sentence commuted. Less than a year later, he walked out of prison. I won’t go into all the details, but in a manner of speaking, he was yanked from the jaws of death and experienced resurrection. A parishioner learned that her brother died in Viet Nam. His body was so mutilated that there was no opening of the casket when he was brought home for proper burial. Seven years later she received a letter from her brother; he was alive. It was not him in that casket. He had been a prisoner of war. He came home; and his family was able to praise God as they experience resurrection. Another felon wanted to become a lawyer when he left prison. In the 1970s ex-felons could not be admitted to the bar. He hoped beyond hope, and he became a lawyer.
It is not for us to be concerned about the mechanics of the resurrection, only with its meaning. If all of us embraced the message of the resurrection, if we became a world that hoped beyond hope, and that supported each other in keeping hope alive, I believe that we would find ourselves dreaming things, that we would find ourselves accomplishing things that would seem to go far beyond our expectations. Do you remember Tug McGraw? He was a major league pitcher for the New York Mets. His team was in the World Series and they were behind in games won. He had a mantra that he repeated in the club house, in the dugout, as he walked to the mound, as he left the mound. That mantra was, “You “gotta” believe. He believed and they won that World Series. My friends, we’ve got to believe in resurrection. We’ve got to believe that collectively we can relieve hunger, collectively we can put down war, heal the sick, destroy bigotry. If collectively we hope where there is no hope. If we believe we can do these things, we will know resurrection.

--Fr. C. Allan Ford

This parish survey is intended to help our parish in our search for a new clergy person. The Vestry is responsible for the search and the selection, but this is a decision that impacts all of us at St. Paul’s. We need your input to help us make the decision that is right for all of us. It is important that every voice is heard. Please take the time to fill out this survey to help us move forward in this process.

The survey takes less than 15 minutes and can be found at St. Paul's Survey

Paper copies will be available at this Sunday's Blessing of the Palms or can be mailed to you by calling the church office at (845) 452-8440.


The Wardens & Vestry
--Shawn Prater-Lee

Dear St. Paul's Family

It's been a year since the Covid-19 virus forced us into physical and emotional distancing. Our friends at the Dutchess County Interfaith Council has created an "In Memoriam Page" on their website to honor those who died from the Virus. I would encourage you to add the name(s) of your family members, friends or associates so we will never forget their passing and others can join you in their memory. You are invited to give the full name, age, and a one sentence tribute. The email address to send the information is -

If you need help to submit your tribute, please leave a message at 845-454-0613 and I will help.

Grace and peace
Deacon Julett

Sunday Services will be on ZOOM until further notice
Our Zoom connections remain the same and are
Meeting ID: 823 3911 5280
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We now have a YouTube channel. 
or search on YouTube for St. Paul's Poughkeepsie.
We hope to put copies of all of our online services there.
Total deposits for the past week - $2255 ($340 for the Food Pantry). Many thanks to all who have been generously supporting the Food Pantry. We're looking forward to seeing you on Zoom until further notice. 

A reminder - counting is always done on Mondays. Please remember to either mail in your pledge or drop it off through the mail slot any day during the week. The correct address is: 161 Mansion St., Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 


The Stewardship Committee will meet Monday, April 12 at 3:30. Please try to attend. We will discuss the upcoming Rummage Sale!!

--Bobbie Gordon

This is a free emotional support service offered by NYS and facilitated by Astor Services. Please feel free to forward this information to anyone you feel it will be useful for. Astor is here to help all Dutchess County residents cope with the emotional stress of the Covid-19 crisis.
--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler

2 Jerry Bissessar 
3 Adam Bissessar      
6 Angelina Bissessar    
Joyce Herman
7 Kira Curtis
13 Brianna Bryant
Hannah Crist Cardoso-Saavedra


14 Mahalia Samuels 
19 Donna Robinson Zajkowski 
20 Earl Boyer
Mr. Earl Boyer
21 Madison Goldson
23 Alice Darien
Adam Mazzuto

25 Jahman Birks
29 Peter Grace
30 E. James Schneider
Michael Curtis
Please keep those on our parish prayer list in your minds and in your prayers, especially at this time of separation and isolation.

APRIL 2021
Our prayers are asked for:
George, Norm; Fr. Tyler & Molly; Janett; Kay, Katherine, Renate; Frank Burnett, Food Pantry Volunteers, victims of Human/Sex Trafficking; Burton family; Lillian, Matthew, Sasha; Paul & Donna, Margaret, Joe, G.J., Aleta, Plain family, Melius family; Ibadan Diocese, All Saints' Church, Oni family; Gary, Legend; Rhonda, Joe, Ann, all Teachers, Parents, Students, Theodore, John, Paul, Kathy, George, Janett, Renate, and Notoe; Sharon Greene, Owen, Agnes, Norma; McLauren family; Graham family; Wood family; Braxton family; Lori, Steven, Jim, Seth; Phil; All essential workers; Beryl & Glen, Vincent family; George; Daniel Mizell and family; Liz, Martha; Eileen; the Butler, Richards and Barrett families; Fr. Allan and family; St. Paul's Vestry; Darien family; Richardson family; Sherow family; Edna Clarke, Michelle, Kathy B.; Carola and Violet; Whitman, Medical Reserve Corp. of Dutchess County, The Laken family; All Parishioners; Kairos International, Catherine, Michelle, Yamily; G.J., Joe; Lois, Matthew, Lillian; Lynita, Perry, Melius family, Sasha; Stacey, Linda, Phil, Jody; Tucker family, Branch family, Atkinson family; Alison, McGhan, Sterling, Unah, Avonel, Kim, Santos family, Madeline, Bramble, Charlie, Cynthia, Gencia, Val, Joanne, Janet, Corkey, Pelaez, Josephs-Clarke family, Dixon family, Paulette, Jarah, Mertlyn; Adam, Paul, Andrew & family, Douglas family, Ron, Dave, Liz; Jill, Lana, Andrew, Susan; Schneider family, all in need; Susie; Sherry, Claudia
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'
Our food pantry volunteers are in active service at St. Paul's these days. We give thanks to them and thanks to God for their willingness to help us by helping others.

April 6-12, 2021

WED____ 7

THU____ 8






Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Stewardship Committee
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!

St. Paul's Episcopal Church 161 Mansion Street, Poughkeepsie, NY 12601