The Seduction of Secrecy
 
            In my twenties, I was invited to join a secret society.  It sounded mystical and then, when I read more about it, silly.   I decided that I was smarter than that.  Yet, over the years, I have succumbed more than once to someone saying to me "Well, it is really quite secret, but, I think you should know..."

                Next, the secret teller took me aside and dished; the grave and top-secret matter proved gossip, dressed in better clothes.  I have sinned in the same way.  Occasionally there are good reasons to keep secrets, of course, such as the protection of another person's reputation or privacy, or to protect the innocent against evil.  If Ann Frank is in your house, mum is the word! 

                Still secret keeping tends to danger and divisions.  The telling of secrets can damage people's lives. So can the manufacturing of secrets.  Secrets give us power over other people:  "I know a secret, and you don't know it!" begins on the playground, but, grown up, socialized and in stockings, it can be dangerous.  Read any classic Southern novel.  To be in the know is to have power and access and 'friendships' that may prove useful.  (There the slippery slope begins:  we turn to using others, willing in the end to betray our former friends or see them as pawns in our game of thrones.)

                I looked for secrets in the Scriptures. There is scant patience for secrets.  Unlike other religious traditions, neither in Israel nor the church are there secret rites.  Every in Israel knew what the High Priest of Israel did on the Day of Atonement in the Holy of Holies.  The rite was all laid out in the Scriptures.  Access to the Temple was limited for reasons of purity, not secrecy.   All may come and see the Eucharist.  We have no hidden codes, no secret handshakes.

                In the Gospels, Jesus says, "Nothing is hidden that shall not be disclosed, nor is anything secret that shall not be made known and come to light." When he is brought in secret before the Sanhedrin and asked about his teaching, he answers, "I have spoke openly to the world. I have always taught in synagogues and in the Temple where all the Jews come together.  I have said nothing in secret."  Even when he ordered his disciples to not use the word "Messiah", it was not because he was creating a circle of the chosen, but because the word had political implications that were not his agenda. Indeed, the only time that Jesus tells us to do something in secret is when we give our money away---for the reason that we are to not seek the world's approval, but God's.   The only secret that God made known in Christ is the extent of how much God loves us.  That secret Christians are to shout from the housetops.   

Victoria Heard

Outreach
North Texas Food Bank - Benefiting Irving Cares
Our work day for the North Texas Food Bank this year is Saturday, March 18th from 9:00 - 11:30. We have 20 volunteer slots to fill, and we hope that many of you will join us (and bring a friend or two!). This is always a lot of fun. The work we do comes back to Irving, because our hours translates to credits for the food that 
Irving Cares gets from the NTFB. Anyone over the age of 10 is welcome to join us. Students aged 10 - 15 must be accompanied by an adult (but everyone needs to fill out a volunteer form -- see below). Please read dress requirements when you sign up (close toed shoes) and bring work gloves if you want.
We will meet at Redeemer at 8:00 and carpool down to NTFB. We will be leaving the parking lot no later than 8:15, so if you miss us, we'll see you there! (We need to check in on-site at 8:45.)
This year, the NTFB has asked each volunteer to fill out an on-line form. Please follow these instructions to do so:

BEFORE March 11th, 2017  *Follow each step in order**
Create a Volunteer Profile & Sign Up
-Step 1: Each volunteer will need to click this link to sign-in / create a volunteer profile:
-Step 2: When prompted enter Join Code:  redeemer2017
-Step 3:  Complete registration  PLEASE DESIGNATE IRVING CARES AS THE BENEFICIARY OF YOUR HOURS
-Step 4:  Click the link to sign up for your volunteer event:    Sorting AM Shift, Saturday, March 18  (this is in a calendar format)

Every volunteer will need to do this at least a week before the work day. All unclaimed spots will be released 7 days before the day of the shift to other volunteers wanting to lend a helping hand.
We hope to see lots of folks (well, at least 20) there!
Questions? Contact Meg Mueller - 214.886.8263


We CAN do it!
The School and the Church are challenged to gather 1,000 cans of food for Irving Cares during February,
Irving Cares
Irving Cares serves those in need in our town.  The  most needed items are : canned fruit, canned meat (tuna, chicken), canned meals (chili, stew, and soups), hot and cold cereal and hygiene products (soap, shampoo, deodorant and toilet paper).  Please leave your contributions in the brown basket at the end of the credenza.
Mardi Gras Theme Shrove Tuesday 
February 28 is Shrove Tuesday and this year rather than pancakes we are having Cajun cooking.  Anyone interested in providing a crock pot of jambalaya, etc. French bread, dessert, please contact:  Terry Hogle 214-457-2201
.

Last Sunday after the Epiphany
Sunday, February 26, 2017
8:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
Celebrant, The Reverend Canon Victoria R. T. Heard
Altar Party

Time
Lay Eucharistic Minister
Lector/Prayers of the People
8:00 a.m.
Bob Ware 
Phyllis Slocum
 10:30 a.m.
Carol Ware
Meg Mueller


Readings
Exodus 14:12-18

Psalm 2

2 Peter 1:16-21

The Gospel Reading Matthew 17:1-9

Next Week's Calendar
Sunday, February 26, 2017
Holy Eucharist .......................................... 8:00 a.m.
Fellowship following the Service
Sunday School............................................ 9:15 a.m.
Choir Rehearsal........................................... 9:15 a.m.
Holy Eucharist........................................ 10:30 a.m.
Fellowship following the Service
Brotherhood of St. Andrew                      12:15 p.m.
Rhema Gospel Church                               12:30 p.m.
Monday, February 27, 2017
Augustine Chapter SLAA                           6:45 p.m.
Toastmasters............................................... 7:00 p.m.
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
Tuesday Morning Bible Study                   10:00 a.m.
Mardi Gras Party........................................ 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017, Ash Wednesday
RMS Chapel..................... 10:30 a.m. & 11:00 a.m.
    Eucharist with Imposition of Ashes       12:15 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
            Choir Rehearsal........................................... 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, March 2, 2017
Irving Chorale............................................. 7:30 p.m.
Friday, March 3, 2017
Berea Interdenominational
Bible Study Class ................ 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 5,  2017 First Sunday in Lent
Holy Eucharist .......................................... 8:00 a.m.
Fellowship following the service
Sunday School........................................... 9:15 a.m.
Choir Rehearsal......................................... 9:30 a.m.
Holy Eucharist........................................ 10:30 a.m.
Fellowship following the Service
The Daughters of the King                        12:15 p.m.
Rhema Gospel Church                               12:30 p.m.
Lent - Holy Week - Easter Schedule
March 1, 2017........... Ash Wednesday....................... 12:15 p.m. & 6:30 p.m.
April 9, 2017.............. Palm Sunday........................... 8:00 a.m. & 10:30 p.m.
April 13, 2017............ Maundy Thursday......................................... 7:00 p.m.
April 14, 2017............ Good Friday................................................... 7:00 p.m.
April 15, 2017............ Holy Saturday, Easter Vigil.......................... .8:00 p.m.
April 16, 2017............ Easter....................................... 8:00 a.m. & 10:30 a.m.
 

Quick Links
Lay Ministry Schedule: ns0239@yahoo.com 
Visit our website: redeemer-irving.org 
Subscribe to our website  http://redeener-irving.org 
View the church calendar online  http://redeemer-irving.org/calendar/
E-Mail the Church Office  redeemeroffice@redeemer-irving.org
Visit the Diocesan website http://edod.org/
Episcopal Church of the Redeemer |  RedeemerOfficeRedeemer-Irving.org| 972.255.4171 | www.Redeemer-Irving.org