St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

"Making friends while serving God"

The Week of Febuary 2-8, 2021
and he would not permit the demons to speak because they knew him
This week's readings

Jesus not only expelled the demons from their victims, He prevented those demons from speaking. Here we find three interesting observations. First, demons can speak, or at least control their victims' speech. Second, these demons knew who Jesus was. Third, Jesus did not permit the demons to speak when around Him. They sought to disrupt His plans, something Jesus would not allow. His plan-to reveal Himself as the Messiah, God, and the Son of God-was not served by the testimony of His enemy. One of Satan's favorite tools is to twist the truth to his own ends. Jesus would not let the demons lay a hand on the truth to twist it.
--Shawn Prater-Lee

To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings  
Isaiah 40:21-31; Psalm 147:1-12, 21c; 1 Corinthians 9:16-23;
 Mark 1:29-39
The Sunday sermon
Mark 1: 21-28, Authority
Who is this man that shows up in the synagogue in this morning's gospel? He's loud. He interrupts. He draws our attention as we hear him described in this morning's gospel.

But not so the people in the synagogue; they have their attention fixed on Jesus. They are astounded by his presence and teaching. He is like nothing they have ever seen or heard before. He spoke with authority. His words meant something. Even that unbathed man with the unclean spirit is shocked and intrigued by Jesus. "What have you to do with us Jesus of Nazareth? The man said. "Have you come to destroy us?"

It's Ironic that he does not have that effect on the people in the synagogue. As I said earlier, their attention is on Jesus. They are astounded by his presence and teaching. As Jesus teaches, his authority fills not just the place but every person there. And almost immediately Jesus with his clean spirit engages the man with the unclean spirit.

I don't want to treat this gospel in the way I think most preacher might handle it. I want to take us out on a limb and treat this gospel almost like a parable. I'm asking you to consider the man with the unclean spirit representing every person in that synagogue. Let me further explain that perhaps his uncleanness is not necessarily about his personal hygiene. Instead it's about his broken, his fragmented life. And it reflects the possibly, fragmented lives of every person in that synagogue, and the many voices he speaks represent the many personas that also exist within those folks. In looking at him the people see themselves and they are quite astounded by the contrast between themselves and Jesus, the one with the clean spirit.

"What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth"? The man senses the distance between his life and Jesus. His words reflect his isolation. But, again, he speaks not only for himself, but for all those in the synagogue who has ever experienced the brokenness of life.

You and I are not so different from the people in the synagogue. I dare to say, each one of us also has known separation and brokenness in our own lives. We too may at times have lived in isolation of one kind or another. Some of us have been trapped in grief or have carried the burden of guilt. The truth of those situations often reveals itself in the many personas we wear.

At some level we all project various personas. They are used as a means by which we want others to see us, and how we want to see ourselves. I know a woman who if she doesn't have her make-up on will not answer if someone knocks on the front door. I keep telling her that one of these days it will be someone wanting to tell her she has won several million dollars. "All the more reason not to answer," she tells me, "because they will be outside with television cameras." And she couldn't have them put her on television without her makeup. Or how many times have we said, "Yes, I'm feeling fine;" when the truth is we have a lot on our minds and are barely hanging on by a thread, and not sure how we are going to make it through the day. And of course, you remember my telling you about the young priest who was posing outside the church's storefront community center, talk about a persona. He was waiting for children and adults to come to him for his blessing. Did his persona really get destroyed by a four-year-old kid revealing himself from the fire escape directly above him. It let him know that Jesus can intervene in our lives in the least expected ways. Those are examples of false voices, the false voices of the unclean spirit that separates us from our authentic selves.

We say the right things, act the right way, dress, and behave the right way, and all the while we are creating ourselves in the image and likeness of the unclean spirit. The irony is that those fronts we put on, those personas we engage keep us from having the very things we so desperately need, things like intimacy, healing, forgiveness, and authenticity. And when challenged, those voices within us collectively ask, "Have you come to destroy us?"

Yes, that is exactly what Jesus came for. He came to destroy, to silence our false voices. He came to casts out our many personas and to make us people with clean spirits. He stands before us as the mirror image of who we can become. He calls us into our true self, the one made in the image of God.
So, it is not easy to destroy the false voices within us. But we can, if we put our faith in Christ Jesus. If we study through Scripture our Lord's behavior and his ability to continually pour out his love and always speak the truth, even as he died on the cross. As we work at continually pouring out love, and speaking the truth, we will learn to speak only with one voice. Actually, it will not be us, but Christ who will be speaking through us.
--Fr. C. Allan Ford


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.
--The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler
Total deposits for the past week - $2,310  ($810 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.  


Sign up for update when vaccine is available. Please share this site with others.
Pharmacies in our area are dispensing vaccines. Please visit these pharmacies like Rite Aid on South Ave. and Hooker Ave. and get your names on a list. As soon as an individual is eligible, the pharmacy will call. People can sign up with the county by clicking on the website link above as well.
 --The Rev. Dcn. Julett Butler 
Dutchess County Legislator Barrington Atkins will be working with Westchester Medical Center Health Network to provide a FREE PSYCHOLOGICAL FIRST AID TRAINING.  The training will focus on reducing the effects of trauma during and following a disaster and public health emergencies such as covid-19.
Space is limited. 

Absalom Jones and the Essential Worker:
Yellow Fever 1793 to COVID 2019
Wednesday, February 10 | 6:30PM-7:45PM | via Zoom
The Rt. Rev. Mary D. Glasspool | The Hon. Byron Rushing | Dr. Deborah Harmon Hines
Moderated by: Dr. Nell Braxton Gibson
This panel will discuss the importance of Absalom Jones'work during the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 when he and Richard Allen worked tirelessly to nurse the sick and bury the dead in Philadelphia. Fast-forward to the current COVID-19 pandemic: The participants will build a bridge between 1793 and 2020, discussing Jones' responses to the overall crisis and lessons learned, while examining essential opportunities for strengthening community ties during these trying times.
Blessed Absalom Jones Celebration Service
Officiant: The Rt. Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche, Bishop of New York 
Sermon:The Hon. Byron Rushing,Vice President of the House of Deputies
Saturday, February 20, 2021 | 10:30AM-12PM | via Facebook Livestream
  • Diocesan Festival Choir

  • Jay Hoggard - Jazz Musician

  • Tina Fabrique - Broadway Performer
  • Poet Gold - Spoken Word Artist

  • Michael James Leslie - Broadway Performer

  • Larry Marshall - Broadway Performer
Join Us in Collaborative Chorale!
Interested in participating in the online collaborative choir performance of We are Marching in the Light of God during the Absalom Jones celebration on 2/20/21?

Contact Jeannine Otis at by January 31 for more information and simple recording and uploading instructions!
Join the Virtual Procession!
This year our celebratory service procession will be virtual. If you would like to participate, please provide a few high resolution photos of your church banner, (ideally held by cheerful team members in front of your church!), or as a plan B, please provide a photo of your banner at an event or against a contrasting background. 
Please note: photos must be uploaded by Sunday, January 31 to be included in the procession.
Click here to upload your photos.
For questions, contact Allison Moore, or 845-633-8272.
Blessed Absalom Jones Mutual Aid Project
January through March 2021
Celebrate His Triumph and Continue His Work!
This year your congregation has the opportunity to continue the work of Blessed Absalom Jones by participating in a Diocesan-wide effort to help those in need in our communities. We suggest working with several organizations that are seeking tangible items to provide much needed support to those they serve. 
Make a Donation in Honor of Absalom Jones
Offerings associated with the Absalom Jones Celebration will be donated to Voorhees College in Denmark, South Carolina, a member of the Historically Black Colleges and Universities with a long-standing affiliation with the Episcopal Church.
To Donate by Check
Make Checks Payable to: Union of Black Episcopalians
Memo: Absalom Jones
Mail To: Mabel Wernham, Treasurer
2040 Bruckner Blvd, Apt 14A
Bronx, NY 10473
Organized by the Absalom Jones Celebration Committee of the Episcopal Diocese of New York.
For questions or more information, please email Carla Burns.

You are all invited to a Valentine's Benefit Concert held by and for the Grace Year Program, on Sunday, February 14th at 7pm.  It will be held on zoom.  The proceeds will support the Grace Year program, a young adult service learning program based at Grace Church Millbrook,  The Grace Year fellows spend a year living in intentional community, serving in social justice or social service organizations and developing professional skills and spiritual practices to sustain a lifetime of transformational leadership.  This year's fellows are talented musicians and they will be singing, playing music and speaking about their Grace Year experience.  Tickets are $20, $10 for students.   To purchase tickets, go to 
 --Shawn Prater-Lee
The Alzheimer's Foundation of American has a Teen Scholarship Essay Contest. Scholarships range from $5000.00 - $450.00. They gave away over $42,000.00 last year. Please pass on to any you know who might benefit.
NAMI Mid-Hudson
NAMI Mid-Hudson, Inc.
PO Box 787
Poughkeepsie, NY 12602
(please leave a message)


 2 Mertlyn Tomlinson  
14 Brooke Plain  
18 Celia Filor
    Stacy Babb     
15 Ade David Oni
19 Anita Santos-Bravo

 3 Jamal Wethington    

      Shawn Prater-Lee
23 William V Hyson
 9  Marlene Fisher
       William B. Rosborough 
25 Cynthia Benjamin
12 Aaron Bissessar 
16  Luis alberto Jr. Barban

13  Annastasia Schmouth 
18  George Reyes 


Please keep those on our parish prayer list in your minds and in your 
prayers, especially at this time of separation and isolation.

Our prayers are asked for:
Frank Burnett, Food Panty 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, Elyse, 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

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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.


February 2-8, 2021

TUE       2
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

WED      3
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

THU       4
10:00am   Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

SUN       7
10:00am   RITE II - Zoom  Ante Communion

MON      8
  3:30pm   Stewardship Meeting





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