St. Paul's Episcopal Church Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
"Making friends while serving God"
The Week of May 4-10, 2021

For this week's meditation I am going to default to the reading from this week's Gospel. Jesus is talking about love and what true love is. His words are much better than anything that I could write about.

Love you all!

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”

--Shawn Prater-Lee
To be redirected to the Lectionary Page and get a digital copy of the readings 
Acts 10:44-48; Psalm 98; 1 John 5:1-6;
  John 15:9-17

The Sunday Sermon

Acts 8:26-40

His name was Robinson Obasi Okyere. He was from Nigeria and he was in the seminary with me. You always knew when he was around because of his laugh. It was so high pitched that many of us were concerned that his laughter might cause glass to shatter. And I used to love to hear him talk. His lyric tones reminded me of a West Indian accent with which, because of my family, I am quite familiar. I think Robinson was genuinely appreciated by most of my fellow seminarians, but because of cultural differences and regrettably I need to add because of the color of his skin, there were some who had a problem engaging him.

The relationship between my fellow seminarians and Robinson Obasi Okyere was probably not that different than the brief relationship that existed between Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch in this morning’s first lesson. Philip was one of the original deacons of the Early Church who had been quite successful in his task of sharing the gospel of Christ in the region of Samaria. The eunuch was a foreigner, who Philip, a Palestinian Jewish Christian, might have found interesting on some levels, but culturally because he was different he probably engaged him with some uneasiness.

We don’t know the man’s name, but we do know that he was the chief treasurer for Candace, the Queen of the Ethiopians. We also know that he was wealthy, educated, and that he traveled by chariot in relative elegance and comfort. We can also assume that he probably became a eunuch during his childhood. You see, this barbaric procedure was a primitive method of behavior modification for males who were to serve in the queen’s court. I’ll let you read between those lines. You may also recall it was a custom that was practiced in the middle ages enabling boy sopranos who sang in choir to continue as sopranos in adulthood. During that period women were not permitted to sing publicly, but someone had to sing the soprano line for the choral music that was being written during that time.

Despite the treasurer’s wealth, education and influence, Scripture implies that he was seeking something, something spiritual that might make him whole. But because of his eunuch status, when in his search he came to Jerusalem to worship Israel’s God, he was not permitted to enter the main portion of the temple. He was not permitted to recite the prayers. He was not permitted to hear the reading of the Torah; he could not be a member of the worshipping community. He was made to remain in the outer courts.

He traveled such a great distance to worship in the temple, but he was excluded. When Philip met him on the road, the man was reading from the 53rd chapter of Isaiah. It’s about the “the suffering servant.” “Like a sheep,” it reads, “he was led to the slaughter, and like a lamb silent before its shearer, so he does not open his mouth. In his humiliation justice was denied him.”
So Philip climbed into the chariot of this stranger who was reading from Isaiah. Then he explained to the man that the person being described in that section of Scripture was none other than Jesus, a man who like him had no offspring, who like him was denied justice. And in my way of thinking, the eunuch who had felt empty most of his life, as he listened to Philip, began to identify with Christ Jesus and began to feel a fullness in that long time empty place in his heart.

It reminds me of my ancestors who were brought from Africa to the West Indies. There was an emptiness in their hearts as well, having their culture torn away from them and made to live in a distant land. But there was one beautiful gift they received in drips and drabs; they learned about Jesus Christ who knew what it was to be flogged, as did they. They learned about Jesus Christ who knew what it was to be treated like dirt, as did they. They learned about Jesus Christ who knew what it was to be considered less than, as did they. And yes, I am sure they identified with Isaiah’s “suffering servant.” “Surely he has born our grief,” they read in Scripture, “and carried our sorrows.”

When Philip and the eunuch came upon a body of water, the man asked Philip “What is to prevent me from being baptized?” Notice the way he puts the question. Despite his wealth, education, and status, because of his physical condition he was used to being denied one way or the other. Here he was ready to embrace Christ, but something, in his way of thinking had to get in his way. So, “What is to prevent me?” he said. Had I been Philip, at that moment I would have given him such a big hug and pulled him out of that chariot before he could say “Robinson Obasi Okyere” and into the water. Scripture tells us that Philip, filled with the Spirit, baptized that man from Ethiopia, making him a stranger no more, making him a brother in Christ’s family. And the man went on his way rejoicing!

According to secular history, the queen’s treasurer went home and became the first Christian missionary in his country. He is identified, according to some sources, as being the first bishop of the Coptic Church, and that Coptic Christians still consider this reading from Acts as their Church’s “birth story.”
So, what does this story say to us? It reminds us that during our individual pilgrimages we may well encounter people who are searching for some kind of wholeness in their lives. And by simply being who we are, God’s Spirit will be there to guide us. How many times have you and I run into a person who we have not seen for years, who reminds us of a conversation the two of us had years passed, that changed that person’s life? It may have been a child who later encounters us as an adult. I am sure that has to happen with teachers and coaches. Or maybe it was a former coworker, a neighbor, words spoken to a person to whom we brought sandwiches in a local shelter. We can never tell when God is going to use us as he used Philip in this morning’s reading from Acts.

--Fr. C. Allan Ford

After having done Zoom church for almost four months we will resume in person worship on the first and third Sundays of the month starting with a 10:00 am service this Sunday. All other Sundays of the month will be on Zoom format for now.

We will have a single service on Sundays with no midweek healing service. All congregants will be required to wear masks. Pews will be marked off to easily facilitate social distancing between family groups. All music will be instrumental with no singing. The Peace will be a non contact event. We will not be observing communion. There will be no coffee hour.

Bathrooms will be open, but please use a paper towel to touch all common surfaces: doors and sink handles.

There are other tweaks that will be made to facilitate the reopening of the Church. Please know that these changes will be as small as possible and are done with the health and safety of our church family as top priority.

Please bring your mask and your patience to 161 Mansion Street on Sunday as we again get to worship together in the church. Thanks be to God.
--Shawn Prater-Lee
Our FIRST FUNDRAISING EVENT in more than a year.

It will include:

  • Limited Rummage Sale
  • Refreshments sold
  • Raffle
  • Penny Social

When:  Saturday, June 19 (Rain Date – June 26) from 10:00 – 3:00

Where: The Hamilton Street lawn

PLEASE EVERYONE – think about how you can help out – we need volunteers for this event to make it successful – plus it would be GREAT for us all to see each other.

Thoughts, Questions – Speak to a Stewardship Committee person:
Janet Quade, Cynthia Benjamin, Rose Marie Proctor, Aleen Josephs-Clarke, Norma Williams, Daphne Barrett, Debbie Pitchers, or Bobbie Gordon

--Bobbie Gordon


We're going to again follow the in church services at 10:00am on the first and third Sundays, all other Sundays on Zoom format for now.
Our Zoom connections remain the same and are
Meeting ID: 823 3911 5280
One tap mobile
+16465588656,,82339115280# US (New York)
+13017158592,,82339115280# US (Germantown)
Dial by your location
      +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
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 - $3,950 ($250 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 

--Bobbie Gordon

May 1, 2021
A Prayer for India
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
In the current surge of coronavirus infections and deaths in India, we are learning of family and friends of clergy and people of the Indian diaspora here in the Diocese of New York. The situation is dire, and the prayers of the diocese are being asked. I have composed the following prayer for use in our churches, and ask that you include this in the intercessions of your parish in your Sunday and daily worship:

Gracious God, helper of all who turn to you for strength and succor, we ask your presence and protection for the people of India, suffering so terribly in the immediate surge of coronavirus infection and in the unbearable loss of so many people in these unprecedented numbers. We ask healing and restoration for those made sick by this viral infection, and pray that you will move the hearts of the leaders of countries to provide vaccine and oxygen and resources to help India confront and battle this surge and bring comfort, relief and healing to the suffering. We pray you to surround the sick with the mantle of your loving protection, and to come to the dying with hope and peace. As we pray for the people of India, in this terrible surge, we continue to offer intercession for people across the world facing the peril of coronavirus, and the fear and grief which are the fruit of this disease. Make us brave and strong and faithful to live into our high calling in times of extraordinary uncertainty, that we may always and in every circumstance make our witness to your love for all people through our Lord Jesus Christ. And we ask all these things for the sake of your Name. Amen.

The Right Reverend Andrew ML Dietsche
Bishop of New York

Hello Family,

Do you know of anyone who may be facing eviction and needs rent assistance?

Please see the flier below for help or send it to individuals that you are aware of that need the help.


Please use the link below to look up and schedule appointments for vaccines, at all available sites in the area.

--Aleen Josephs Clarke
_3 Aiden Curtis  
_7 Clifford Clarke   
__ Christiana Hope Prater-Lee
11 Mary Wethington
 Cary Curtis
15 Joanna Frang
17 Kataleya Anani Mayorga-Cash   
18 Claudette Tucker
20 George Santos Jr.
   Richlina Angel Hodge
22 Shiann Mayorga-Cash
27 Mark Goodwin
30 Deborah Pitcher
Please keep those on our parish prayer list in your minds and in your prayers, especially at this time of separation and isolation.

MAY 2021
Our prayers are asked for:
Sandra; 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; 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; 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.
May 2-10, 2021
TUE____ 4

WED ___ 5

THU____ 6

SUN____ 9





Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Food Pantry & Thrift Shop

Zoom - Rite II, Ante Communion

Stewardship Meeting
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