LAST SUNDAY AFTER THE EPIPHANY
The Transfiguration
Mosaic from the Church of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor, Israel
Celebrate Our Worship
Physically distant, but connected together online!
Service Available on YouTube and Rebroadcast on Local TV: Sunday at 9:00 am Click Here, for TV: Channel 8 in Newburyport broadcast on Tuesday at 9:00 am, Thursday at 9:00 am, and Sunday at 10:30 am. Channel 9 in Newbury and Channel 18 in Salisbury broadcast on Wednesday at 9:00 am.
Note: On a Monday holiday the Tuesday at 9:00 am service will be the previous week.

Let us know if you have trouble accessing the service or our YouTube channel. We can help! Call the office.

Bulletin, Prayers, Virtual Coffee Hour (Meeting ID: 852 8932 7409
Passcode: 445064)

Please make your offering by check, internet banking, or on our website Donation button https://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/donate.

Ash Wednesday
Our service will air at 8am on Wednesday, February 17 on our YouTube C.
Channel 19 in Salisbury will air the service at 10:00 am on Wednesday.
Channel 98 in Newburyport will air the service on Wednesday at 10:00am and 7:00pm
Additional information and the bulletin for this service will be sent next Tuesday.
FROM THE RECTOR
Dear St. Paul's Community,

This Sunday is of course the feast of St.Valentine (popularly known as Valentine's Day). St. Valentine is a third-century martyr who ministered to other persecuted Christians and, it's unclear exactly how he become the saint featured on a day celebrating romance, but there are a few legends. One is that he performed secret Christian marriages in defiance of the emperor in order to keep men from being conscripted to fight for the Roman military. Another is that he left a note for the jailer's daughter, whom he had healed of blindness, before his martyrdom signed "your Valentine." The first Valentine's Day card! More important than hagiographical tales is that this Sunday is the last Sunday before Lent and in preparation for the coming season we reflect on the Transfiguration of Christ. The feast of the Transfiguration is actually in August, but this Sunday we move toward Lent by focussing on the promise of glory awaiting us at Easter – a glory witnessed in Christ's person as he was transfigured on the mountain.

Lent begins next week on Ash Wednesday (see above for YouTube and TV info to view the service). The ashes blessed at the service will be available for people on Wednesday for the imposition of ashes at home and can be collected on the porch of the church from 9am, along with other items to help us celebrate Lent together. These Lent "to-go bags" will include ashes, a blessed candle from Candlemas for prayer at home, some devotional material, and material for children and families. Please swing by and pick one up! If you would like one but cannot make it to church let us know and we'll be sure to get one to you. Stay tuned for more info on how we will be keeping Lent together as a church family.

Our annual meeting will be held on February 28th at 10.45am. It has to be held virtually this year, but for those who do not have access to the internet, you will be able to join by phone and if any are not able to connect in this way, we will provide the minutes of the meeting to you so that you can add your voice and vote to anything you would like in the week following the meeting to be included to a final version of the meeting minutes. We will make every accommodation possible for those who are unable to attend virtually due to lack of internet access to participate fully.

Every blessing,
Fr Jarred
CHRISTIAN EDUCATION
LEARNING, SHARING & SERVICE for OUR CHILDREN & YOUTH:
This week's Online Sunday School is: "Shone In Our Hearts" - look for the email on Saturday morning.

For links to previous classes - to share your thoughts, or to say hi! - please email Linda.
National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman! Here and here are insights into her Inauguration Day poem - we heard her again last Sunday. For a list of poetry books inspired by Gorman's work (or is it the other way around!), click here.
News from St Paul's Anti-Racist Awareness (SPARA) book club: we continue to read and discuss Just Mercy, by Bryan Stevenson - the Community Read of Newburyport High School. Some of us met with the greater community on Wednesday evening for a Zoom dialogue - we'll report on upcoming initiatives.

We're reading through the end of the book for next time; come whether you've done the reading or not! New members always welcome!

You are invited to our next Google meeting, February 24, 7pm:
PARISH NEWS
St. Paul's Annual Meeting - Sunday, February 28th at 10:45 am
Please read Fr Jarred's message above. Mark your calendar! We hope you can join us.
Stewardship for 2021
The Parish Stewardship Program is still at 86% of its 2021 pledge target, unchanged from last week. We are seeking $34,000 in additional pledges. We know that some of you need more time to consider your situation as the new year begins. We will be pleased to receive your pledge when you are ready.
You can submit pledge cards by mail, online, or by dropping them off at the church. To give online, there is a pledge card on the St. Paul’s website at https://www.stpauls-nbpt.org/pledge/. If you have a smartphone, you scan this QR code using a QR Reader app. Thank you. The St. Paul's Stewardship Team
Pastoral Care Team
If you know someone who would appreciate a phone call during this pandemic, or is in need of services please call St. Paul’s Office to let the Pastoral Team know. We will happily add their name to the list of people we call on a regular basis and reach out.
Nancy Jukins/Chairperson
Voucher Program
Please let us know if you or anyone you know are in need of help with food, medications, medical expenses and other needs. Call the office at 978-465-5351. All calls are confidential. Deb Hay/Administrator
Prayer List
If you have would like to add someone to our ongoing Sunday worship prayer list, please email the office at stpauls@stpauls-nbpt.org or call 978-465-5351.
WHO WAS SAINT VALENTINE?
Saint Valentine of Rome was widely recognized as a 3rd-century Roman saint who is commemorated on February 14th. He is thought to have been a Christian clergyman-either a priest or bishop-who was martyred by beheading during the reign of Emporer Claudius II. His body is buried along the Via Flaminia outside Rome.

Sources speak of at least three Valentines although the stories of two of the Valentines may be the same person. It is said he was arrested and imprisoned upon being caught marrying Christian couples and otherwise aiding Christians who were at the time being persecuted by Claudius in Rome. When he was brought before Claudius, it is said he took a liking to the prisoner. However, when Valentinus or Valentine tried to convert the Emperor, he was condemned to death. He was beaten with clubs and stones; when that failed to kill him, he was beheaded outside the Flaminian Gate. Various dates are given for his martyrdom: 269, 270, or 273.

There are many other legends behind Saint Valentine. It is said that Valentine as a priest defied the order of the emperor Claudius (also called "the Cruel") and secretly performed Christian weddings for couples, allowing the husbands involved to escape conscription into the pagan army. Claudius banned Soldiers from marrying, believing marriage and family were interfering with their commitment to warfare and the Emperor's many bloody and unpopular campaigns. The ban did not interfere with participation in Roman feasts-particularly the Feast of Lupercalia or Feast of Love in mid-February-where sex with multiple partners was encouraged. The account mentions that in order "to remind these men of their vows and God’s love", Saint Valentine is said to have cut hearts from parchment, giving them to these persecuted Christians, a possible origin of the widespread use of hearts on St. Valentine's Day.

Another legend is that Valentine refused to sacrifice to pagan gods. Being imprisoned for this act, Valentine gave his testimony in prison and through his prayers healed the jailer's daughter who was suffering from blindness. On the day of his execution, he left her a note that was signed, "From Your Valentine".

Many of the current legends that characterize Saint Valentine were invented in the 14th century in England, notably by Geoffrey Chaucer and his circle, when the feast day of February 14 first became associated with romantic love rather than martyrdom. The traditions associated with "Valentine's Day" are documented in Geoffrey Chaucer's Parlement of Foules. They are set in the fictional context of an old tradition that did not exist before Chaucer. The poem refers to February 14th as the day birds (and humans) come together to find a mate.

Shakespeare also took part in popularizing the link between Valentine's Day and love, writing about St. Valentine's day in a romantic context as part of his "Midsummer Night's Dream". Exchanging "valentines" or love notes (often heart-shaped) on Valentine's Day spread throughout Anglo-Saxon countries in popularity by the 19th century and has been promoted to our present day.
Happy Valentine's Day
Whatever the origin - Love One Another Today and Everyday!
We hope you enjoy reading our weekly newsletter which covers the current news of our parish life. If you have questions or news you would like us to include, contact Administrator Deb Hay at 978-465-5351 or stpauls@stpauls-nbpt.org.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 166 High Street
Newburyport, Massachusetts 01950 | 978-465-5351