Weekly Newsletter
May 11, 2022

The Fifth Sunday in Eastertide
May 15, 2022

8:00 am Rite I
10:30 am Rite II
Livestreamed Service: 10:30 am

There will be no Fellowship Time this week.

Zoom Centering Prayer: Monday - Wednesday - Friday 9:00 am

From Your Rector

Dear Saints of St. Paul's,

I will be brief this week as I am attending two conferences at Fort Worden. Monday-Wednesday noon I attended our Diocesan Clergy Conference. This afternoon, Norma VanValkenburg and Sue Cook joined me for the Bishop’s Leadership Conference that will last through Friday noon.
Of note this week:

  • Below my column, you will find a message seeking helpers for our June 5 Pentecost festivities.
  • For the month of May, the Stewardship Ministry team encourages the connection between faith and action in care for the environment. You will find this week’s creation care prayer in the Stewardship section. 
  • Please note that the Thursday Mezzanine “Peace-Making (Love + Justice = Peace), that was originally scheduled for May 19, has been rescheduled for May 26 at 4 pm. This will be a hybrid session.
  • In the section “The Saints of St. Paul’s Through History” Pat McMinds shares a memory entitled “Easter Day in the Time of Father Fenn.”
  • In St. Paul’s Prayer Ministries, Kathy Couch offers a reflection entitled “RENOVARĖ: Exploring the Virtuous Life.”
Blessings on your week,

The Rev. Dianne Andrews, Rector
COVID requirements for worship May 15
  • Masks during both services.
  • Lectors and preachers may remove their masks while speaking. 
  • Eucharistic bread may be eaten before returning to your seat as the chalice will be offered, also. If you do not wish to drink from the chalice, cross your arms over your chest. The words "'The blood of Christ, the cup of salvation" will be said and are sufficient. There will be no intinction, i.e., dipping of bread in the wine.
  • There will be no fellowship time this week.

Pentecost Lunch Planning and Support
We are looking forward to celebrating Pentecost on June 5 in traditional St. Paul's style. We will have one service at 10:30 am in the courtyard. Following the service we will take our 2022 St. Paul's family photo and we will also begin taking new photos of all parishioners for our photo wall in the parish hall. After photos are taken, we will share a meal together.

In preparation for this day, we are looking to gather a Pentecost meal planning team as well as a team of helpers. The event usually entails simple summertime food. Please consider joining the support effort for Pentecost festivities and respond below.
Pentecost Celebration Support
06/05/22 9:00am - 06/05/22 1:00pm

Planners, set-up, and clean-up help is needed for the June 5 Pentecost celebrate following the single service that begins at 10:30 am.
I would like help with planning
I would like to help set-up
I would like to help clean-up

A Stewardship Focus on Creation Care

A Prayer for the Week
O God, at creation your Spirit hovered over the ancient deep in which all life was born. In the waters of baptism we are recreated as your children. Bless all oceans and waters; Let your Spirit come and renew the face of the earth. Save us from selfish use of what you have given so that men and women everywhere may give you thanks, through the Eternal Word spoken eternally by God, whose Spirit fills all things and makes us whole. Amen.  

Easter Has Arrived! Time to Return Your Mite Boxes
Now that Easter has arrived, it is time to return your Lenten Mite Boxes. You may leave your boxes in the Narthex or return them to the Church office. Your checks may be made out to St. Paul’s Episcopal Church with the words “Mite Box” written in the “memo” space. Our collected funds this Lenten season support Bayside Housing & Services. We thank our Joanne Rittmueller for providing us a comprehensive look at how our donations help provide safe, suitable, sustainable, and regenerative housing and optional support services; where housing is valued as a basic human right.
Easter Offering Envelopes Will Be Available
Throughout Eastertide
Easter Gift to go to
Episcopal Relief & Development
to Aid the People of Ukraine

Envelopes will be available at church on Easter Sunday.

Checks may be sent to the office with memo: ERD Aid for Ukraine
Sunday's Service and Sermon
The Rev. Dianne Andrews
Deepening Our Faith
Thursday Mezzanine

May 26, 4 pm

(Love + Justice = Peace) 
Mark your calendars for Thursday, May 19th, 4:00 P.M. How does one respond to racial jokes and slurs by standing up for what is right while being loving? The issue often comes up when one least expects it and leaves a person feeling unprepared and uncomfortable. We would like to explore this issue with you so you can have some tools at your disposal. Please join us as we move towards becoming Beloved Community. This will be a hybrid event in the Parish Hall and on Zoom.

“Wherever and whenever hatred or bigotry rises up and is directed at any child of God, we who follow Jesus of Nazareth and therefore stand for love, must act. We must stand up, speak up and show up.” This is another step towards all of us becoming Beloved Community.             The Most Reverend Michael Curry

The Women's Spiritual Growth Group
is currently meeting on Zoom.
Mondays 3-4:30 pm
The Zoom link can be found on the parish website:

The WSGG is currently meeting on Zoom only. We hope to return to hybrid meetings sometime later in April.

On Monday April 18, the group will begin discussing is "Ladder to the Light : an Indigenous Elder's Meditations on Hope and Courage", by retired Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Alaska Steven Charleston.

All women are invited to attend.
The Saints of St. Paul's Through History
The Saints of St. Paul’s Through History
This section of the newsletter is devoted to St. Paul's parish throughout its history, often in vignettes about individual parishioners and clergy. Today’s offering is a little different: Pat McMinds tells about how Easter day was celebrated back in the 1950s, when Father Fenn was our vicar. We hope you enjoy these windows into the life of St. Paul's over time.

Easter Day in the Time of Father Fenn
The first service was at 8:00 am and a joyful one it was, complete with choir, hymns and anthem. (This was before the Easter Vigil was a formal celebration at St. Paul’s.) The second service was at 11:00 am; equally joyous and a duplicate of the first service. The services were followed by a coffee hour, usually featuring hot-cross buns, eggs and fruit platters.

At 3:00 pm, the third service was held. This one was designed for the children of the parish and a much shorter version. After hymns, prayers and a short sermon, the kids feasted on cupcakes, Dixie cups* and punch. During refreshments, the older kids slipped out and hid the hard-boiled colored eggs for the younger kids to hunt.
At the beginning of each service, after the choir processional, each member of the congregation trouped forward, flowers in hand, to decorate the old wooden cross. It was beautiful and smelled wonderful!

After the church celebrations, there was still Easter dinner to prepare! I don’t know how Mom did it all as a choir member and Sunday School teacher!

Pat McMinds (daughter of Jessie Pollard)

Becoming Beloved Community
Diocesan and Greater Episcopal Church News

Starting Over in Prayer (with Fr Martin L Smith)
Wednesday, June 1, 9:30am – 2:30pm

Saint Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral and Online via zoom
Free, Registration Required
(lunch provided for those attending in-person)

These difficult Covid years have left many of us in need of a “reboot” in our prayer. Join us for a time of reflection, prayer, and discussion, about being emotionally honest with God just now, and open again to more real intimacy with God. Fr Martin L Smith, is well known throughout the Episcopal Church and beyond for his roving ministry of spiritual formation in retreats and workshops, and as the author of widely read books exploring contemporary spirituality including The Word is Very Near You, A Season for the SpiritReconciliationCompass and StarsLove Set Free. He is based in Washington DC.

Since 1967, The Episcopal Church has maintained its “unequivocal opposition to any legislation on the part of the national or state governments which would abridge or deny the right of individuals to reach informed decisions [about the termination of pregnancy] and to act upon them.” In light of the recent report about a pending decision in the Supreme Court case Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, The Episcopal Church reaffirms our commitment to “equitable access to women’s health care, including women’s reproductive health care,” which we view as “an integral part of a woman’s struggle to assert her dignity and worth as a human being.” The Office of Government Relations will continue to advocate at the federal level to protect reproductive rights.

Bishop Rickel's Invitation to
Cathedral Day May 7

Episcopal Relief & Development supports ACT Alliance response to
crisis in Ukraine
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting Action by Churches Together (ACT Alliance) as it provides critical assistance to support people affected by violence in Ukraine. Working through ACT member Hungarian Interchurch Aid (HIA) and other local organizations, ACT Alliance is providing emergency assistance such as food, shelter, water and basic supplies to refugees and people displaced within Ukraine.

The UN Refugee Agency estimates that as of March 8, more than two million people have left Ukraine since Russian forces invaded the country, making this the fastest-growing refugee crisis since World War II. Damage to civilian infrastructure has left thousands without electricity or water. Homes have been damaged and destroyed, displacing hundreds of thousands within the country. People are fleeing to neighboring countries such as Poland, Hungary and Romania and their long-term destination is unclear.

On February 27, HIA set up a refugee support point on the Ukrainian side of the border at Beregsurány where volunteers are providing hot tea, sandwiches, refreshments, blankets and basic hygiene items for refugees, who often wait long hours to cross the border into Hungary. These refugees include many children and older adults. HIA is in contact with its network of churches and organizations, as well as local governments in Hungary, to coordinate cash assistance, shelter, food and medicine for people who have been displaced.
ACT Alliance is setting up similar support points at other border towns to assist people as they leave Ukraine. It is working through local partners to provide aid for refugees in Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Poland.

Episcopal Relief & Development is also working with The Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe, the Diocese of Europe, the Anglican Alliance and United Society Partners in the Gospel as the churches prepare to mobilize on potential immediate and long-term responses to assist Ukrainian refugees in Poland, Romania, Hungary and other parts of Europe.

“Episcopal Relief & Development was founded by The Episcopal Church to help people fleeing violence in World War II,” said Nagulan Nesiah, Senior Program Officer, Disaster Response and Risk Reduction, Episcopal Relief & Development. “We remain committed to supporting our partners on the ground as they meet both immediate and long-term needs created by this crisis.”
Donations to Episcopal Relief & Development’s Ukraine Crisis Response Fund will help the organization and its partners continue to provide assistance to people displaced by the crisis in Ukraine.

Diocesan Resource List:
Parish Life and Announcements

2nd Saturday Potluck Cancelled
Due to the continued high rate of Covid infections in Jefferson County, we will be unable to hold our 2nd Saturday Potluck this coming weekend. Please stay tuned for our announcement about the next 2nd Saturday on June 11th. 

Sue Cook
Free Little Library News
Kiwanis International and the Little Free Library organization have formed a national partnership. Kiwanis is a service club with a mission to support community needs and its motto is “Serving the Children of the World.” I reached out to the local club and asked if I could speak to them about Little Free Libraries. They had not been approached to support any of the Little Free Libraries in our area and were delighted to hear my program. At the end of their meeting, they committed to providing books for St Paul’s Little Free Library specifically for young adults and children. The niche they are helping us fill is books by and about people of color and those with handicaps of any kind. They purchased over $100 of new books and also collected used books from members and others. I loaded 3 boxes of these books into the car and drove away smiling. What a wonderful way for St Paul’s to connect with others in our community! 
Little Free Pantry News

A local chapter of P.E.O. International, a women’s philanthropy that supports education and training for women and girls, had a social function last week and collected 4 bags and boxes full of food for our Little Free Pantry. Their party had a Cinco de Mayo theme and so, many of the food items could be used to make a typical Mexican meal – refried beans, tortillas, hot sauces, rice and salsa. Our pantry gets lots of visitors and every donation helps us do our part to address food insecurity in our neighborhood. If you are wondering what you can donate, here’s a list of what is most popular:

Hearty soups, stews and chili
Canned pasta dishes
Canned vegetables
Boxed cereal
Peanut butter
Shelf-stable milk
Bottled water
Toilet paper

Take your donations to Fenn House. There’s a table beneath the stairs leading up to Dianne’s office. If the office is closed, you can place food directly into the pantry. Please – no fresh food, opened containers or expired food. Thank you!

Next Concert: Sunday May 29
2 pm

Masks and vaccination required • thank you
$15 or $20 or $25 suggested donation (a free will offering) •
18 and under always free

St. Paul's Prayer Ministries

Exploring the Virtuous Life

“Train yourself in godliness, for, while physical training is of value, godliness is valuable in every way, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” I Timothy 4: 7, 8 

In last week’s newsletter, I discussed RENOVARĖ’s contemplative tradition, known also as the prayer-filled life. The contemplative tradition forms the foundation for holy living by enabling us to experience an everdeepening intimacy with God. This week we take a look at the holiness tradition. Living a virtuous life focuses on our righteousness and allows God to reshape our hearts and attitudes in order to positively face the many temptations that assault us each day.

One of my fears of leading a virtuous life is that I will become puritanical in my approach to people and situations. In my zeal to live a “holy” life, I may become legalistic, too “rule-oriented”, or a perfectionist. I may expect others to follow my “shining” example, obeying strict guidelines or unreasonable expectations, placing huge burdens on them in the process. We all know people who live in this manner. 

Jesus’ life is a shining example of living in holiness. Satan tempted Jesus in the wilderness, hoping to provoke him to sin and reject the commandments of God. Throughout his life, Jesus continually resisted evil, strived for justice and peace, and treated others with dignity, despite the situation. Oh, that we could do the same! 

Developing holiness takes time. We are a mass of tangled motives – hope and fear, faith and doubt, trust and despair, honesty and untruthfulness. We can easily fall into patterns of criticism, anger, spitefulness, or gossip, letting “our fleshly selves” take over, as my friend Penelope says. It is an act of faith to continually cry out to God to search our hearts and root out the wickedness that we experience (Ps. 138: 23). Improving holy habits is an intentional act, necessitating that we invite God into the chambers of our hearts in order to receive God’s healing touch.

Fortunately, we are blessed with many examples of people throughout history who have led the way to a life of virtue. Betsy ten Boom is one such example. Eric Bonhoeffer is another. They kept their hearts focused on the goodness, mercy and grace of God, even when they were imprisoned and died at Nazi concentration camps during World War II. My friend Karen and my Aunt June are two more shining examples. Each lived challenging lives. Each became caregivers to their husbands, a very difficult job indeed. They were able to do this with grace and love, experiencing an unconditional warmth and settled peace. 

To reach for holiness in your own life, try the following: 1. Pray that the Holy Spirit will purify your heart and mind, then listen; 2. Go a day without saying anything negative or anything dishonest.

Think of those who have been the lights of holiness in your life. Where did you meet them? What did they say? How did they touch or move and change you? What happened as a result? 

Thank you, God, for slowly infusing us with your love, molding our hearts to be more like yours, and preparing us for things we can hardly imagine. Amen.

For more information on the Holiness Tradition, see Richard Foster’s book Streams of Living Water.
For more information on the Contemplative Tradition, see Richard Foster’s book Streams of Living Water.
Kathy Couch

If you feel inspired to share any of your own experiences or comment on what I have written, please let me know by contacting me at

Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church
Intercessory Prayer Ministries
To make a prayer request contact Kathy Couch at

A Ministry of Care and Prayer
We offer our prayers for these ministries and concerns, please include these people in your prayers today and throughout the week.
O Gracious God, incline our hearts to your will for this parish;
Allow Your Holy Spirit to move over us; Open our minds to Your grace, giving us grateful hearts and generous minds; And Bless our labors for the spread of your Kingdom. Amen
At St. Paul's, in thanksgiving for the ministry of:
Bishop Greg, Reverend Dianne, Deacon Lani, and the faithful members of St Paul's.

At St. Paul's, in thanksgiving for the ministry of:

In the Diocese of Olympia, for:
Emmanuel, Eastsound
Christ Church, Blaine

In the Anglican Communion, pray for:
The Anglican Church of Rwanda

Parish Cycle of Prayer, for:
Nancy Budd-Garvan
Christine Buzzard
Beth Cahape
Jan Chappuis
Maurie Chiswell

Almighty and ever living God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth, hear our prayers for this parish family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless, and restore the penitent. Grant us all things necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be of one heart and one mind within your holy Church; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Parish Birthdays

We wish blessings to the saints of St. Paul's with May birthdays:

1  Sakura Davis
8  Cameron Andrews
9  Jeff Stoch, Robert Risley
11 Linda Nolan
12 Susan Cronshaw
19  Mahala Henry, Norma VanValkenburg
21  Barbara Mesas
22  Sydney Keegan
30  Cajsa DeGregorio, Jim Phinney

(Those who are not listed in the office registry, and want to be, contact Kathy Couch at to update our records.)

Watch over your children, O Lord, as their days increase; bless and guide them wherever they may be. Strengthen them when they stand; comfort them when discouraged or sorrowful; raise them up if they fall; and in their hearts may thy peace which passeth understanding abide all the days of their lives; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

mission statement
Vestry affirmation statement
Our pantry will be part of a network of outlets in Port Townsend and Jefferson County. All of the pantries are independent and there isn’t an organization to “belong to.” We are joining lots of good people across the country who, since 2016, have tried to address food insecurity in their communities. Click here for more.

You can support our pantry by donating food. The pantry is managed around this motto: 

"Give what you can. Take what you need."

Click here for a list of suggestions of what food donations would most useful . A list will also be posted in the pantry cupboard. in the pantry will be posted in the cupboard. In every case, the food must be shelf-stable (non-perishable), sealed and not expired. If the pantry is full and the church is open, you can leave your donation in the basket outside of the office labeled “little free pantry.” 

If you would like to make a donation of funds to the pantry, please leave your check made out to “St Paul’s Episcopal Church” with a note that you intend it for the pantry in the church office. 

Questions? Please reach out to Tracy Garrett at 703.989.2619 or

Become a Just Soup Volunteer
Just Soup needs volunteers to help staff its“To Go” service on Tuesdays. We are offering the same delicious, hot soup as always, on a drive-through, carry-out basis. We will prepare lunch bags with soup, fruit, bread, a snack item, and a spoon and napkin to provide to recipients.

This ministry is more important now than ever before. Many other community food programs have had to close, while the need has increased with so many people out of work.
Our new procedure allows us to maintain 6 feet of social distance at all times, both from each other and from recipients. For each soup day, we need 2 people to work inside the parish hall packing the bags, and 2 or 3 people outside distributing them and directing traffic.

Everyone will wear masks and gloves. If you do not have a mask, we will give you one. We believe those working outside will have no more exposure than if they made a trip to the grocery, and those working inside even less.

Soup will be distributed from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Volunteers are asked to arrive by 10:30 to set up, and should be finished by 2:00-ish.

If you would like to learn more, or you want to volunteer, contact Karen Bezanson: 360.316.1192,, Becky Brown-Nienow: 425-233-9981,, or the church office during office hours: (Tue-Th 9 a.m. - noon) 360.385.0770.
The Men’s Bible Study

For at least 20 years the Saint Paul Men’s Bible Study has met once a week at 7 AM for breakfast, fellowship and a discussion. The meeting lasts till about 8:30, but sometimes continues on for another half hour….. No preparation has been required…We have alternated between the Old and New Testaments. Each man brings a bible (any edition will do) and we take turns reading two verses until we complete one or two chapters. Men are welcome regardless of their level of faith or commitment. We have been blessed in attendance by Jews, Catholics, Orthodox, Presbyterians, and members of St. Paul’s. The discussion is open to all points of view. Perhaps our only “rule” is to be kind to each other.

The plague has created a challenge which has been neatly addressed. Since our restaurant venue is closed, we now meet by Zoom. This has allowed our Summer attendees as well as those who have moved away to attend our virtual meetings…..Texas, California, Oregon, Arizona, as well as our Port Townsend locals are all represented in our weekly meeting…..   Are you interested in checking us out ? Call me, John Austin 360 301 0833 or Joe Nuber 360 302 1212.
Spiritual Direction Opportunities in the Port Townsend Area

With deep roots in the contemplative Christian tradition, spiritual direction provides attentive companionship for people on their spiritual journey. It is open to anyone seeking to become more aware of and responsive to the presence and call of the Holy in their lives. A trained guide listens and accompanies the directee, asking reflective questions, witnessing moments of spiritual awareness, and encouraging healing and growth. Direction typically takes place in monthly one-with-one settings but can also happen in a group setting. Directors may also be available for leading contemplative retreats.  For more information click here.
Amazon smile

Though we encourage shopping locally, if you must order from Amazon, you can turn your Amazon shopping into a contribution for St. Paul's. The Amazon Smile program has been generating donations for non-profit organizations for
many years. It is easy to use and can help deliver somesignificant funds for St. Paul's ministries. It's easy to start giving through shopping at Amazon Smile, while you do your holiday shopping now, and as you purchase items throughout the year. There's no fee, no extra cost, no time limit.

First, go to, and log in with your usual email and password. Then you will be asked to select the charity you want to support - enter St. Paul's Port Townsend. Then confirm your selection, and you're all set to shop and give. 

When you shop online, go to and order your items through that site, instead of They often have specials just for Amazon Smile patrons.

For more information, contact Nancy Budd-Garvan at
Diocesan Calendar:
Safeguarding God's Children
Safeguarding God's People

Compline is on hiatus
until further notice
Solemn Chanted Compline 
Every Thursday Evening - 8:30 pm
  20 minutes of prayer
to complete and bless your day  
St. Paul's Sanctuary
Community Service Opportunities
Community Outreach
St. Paul's is a wonderful congregation with a heart for reaching out to those who are in need of God's love, care and grace. Through a variety of efforts, many hands have given service in many ways. A full listing St. Paul's outreach activities may be found by clicking the link below,
If you are interested in getting more involved, or have questions, contact Deacon Lani Hubbard:

Prayer Shawl Knitters
are Meeting In-person

Second Thursday of each month
11 am
Pollard Room

All forms of needle work welcome!
Bring your project!
Parish Calendar
Thursday May 12
7:30 am Men's Bible Study via Zoom
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
Friday May 13
9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
5:00 pm Fridays at Five
Saturday May 14
Easter 5C
Sunday May 15
8:00 am National Cathedral streaming HE click here

8:00 Worship Service, Rite I
no fellowship time today

10:30 am Holy Eucharist, Rite II
in-person & livestreamed
no fellowship time today

1:00 Daughters of Norway (PH)
7:00 pm Women's AA (in-person)
Monday May 16
Office open Tue-Wed-Thurs
9 am - noon
call or email
9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
2:00 pm Bookkeeper in office
3:00 pm Women's Spiritual Growth Group via Zoom
Tuesday May 17

Office open Tue-Wed-Thurs
9 am - noon
11:30 am Just Soup To Go
2:30 pm History Task Force
4:30 Vestry Meeting
Wednesday May 18

9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
10:30 am Healing Eucharist
Thursday May 19
7:30 am Men's Bible Study via Zoom
9:30 am Lay Weeders
4:30 Peace making mezzanine (alternate time)
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal
Friday May 20
9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
5:00 pm Fridays at Five
Saturday May 21
Easter 6C
Sunday May 22
:00 am National Cathedral streaming HE click here

8:00 am Sacred Ground Closing

8:00 Holy Eucharist, Rite I
9:00 Fellowship Time

10:30 am Sacred Ground Closing
10:30 am Holy Eucharist, Rite II
in-person & livestreamed

11:45 am Fellowship Time

7:00 pm Women's AA (in-person)
Monday May 23
9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
3:00 pm Women's Spiritual Growth Group via Zoom
Tuesday May 24
Office open Tue-Wed-Thurs
9 am - noon
call or email
11:30 am Just Soup To Go
2:30 pm History Task Force
Wednesday May 25
9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
10:30 am Service of Healing & HE

Thursday May 26
7:30 am Men's Bible Study via Zoom
7:00 pm Choir Rehearsal

Friday May 27
9:00 am Centering Prayer via Zoom
5:00 pm Fridays at Five
Sunday Lessons

Easter 5C
May 15, 2022

The Collect

Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Savior, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The First Lesson
Acts 11:1-18

Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, "Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?" Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, "I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, `Get up, Peter; kill and eat.' But I replied, `By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.' But a second time the voice answered from heaven, `What God has made clean, you must not call profane.' This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, `Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.' And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, `John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.' If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?" When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, "Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life."

The Response
Psalm 148
1 Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; *
praise God in the heights.
2 Praise the Lord all you angels; *
sing praises, all you heavenly host.
3 Praise the Lord, sun and moon; *
sing praises, all you shining stars.
4 Praise the Lord, heaven of heavens, *
sing praises, you waters above the heavens.
5 Let them praise the name of the Lord; *
who gave the command and they were created,
6 who made them stand fast for ever and ever, *
who gave them a law which shall not pass away.
7 Praise the Lord from the earth, *
you sea-monsters and all deeps;
8 fire and hail, snow and fog, *
tempestuous wind, doing God’s will;
9 mountains and all hills, *
fruit trees and all cedars;
10 wild beasts and all cattle, *
creeping things and wingèd birds;
11 sovereigns of the earth and all peoples, *
princes and all rulers of the world;
12 young men and young women, *
old and young together.
13 Let them praise the name of the Lord, *
whose name only is exalted,
whose splendor is over earth and heaven.
14 The Lord has raised up strength for this people *
and praise for all loyal servants,
the children of Israel, *
a people who are near to the Lord.

The Second Lesson
Revelation 21:1-6

I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life."

The Gospel
John 13:31-35

 At the last supper, when Judas had gone out, Jesus said, "Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, 'Where I am going, you cannot come.' I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."