10 Aug 2020

 St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
August 10, 2020
Calendar Reminders
Aug 15 9:30-11:30 AA Meeting
Aug 16 11:00 am St. Paul’s On-Line Worship Service—FaceBook Live https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff /live_videos/
Diocese of N. Indiana (St. James Cathedral) 10:15 AM Sunday https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC CKWYmjR8F8_Eu1dOKZ1jdA
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm
daily: https://cathedral.org/worship/
Collect for 11th Sunday after Pentecost (August 16th)
Almighty God, you have given your only Son to be for us a sacrifice for sin, and also an example of godly life: Give us grace to receive thankfully the fruits of his redeeming work, and to follow daily in the blessed steps of his most holy life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Genesis 45:1-15; Psalm 133; Romans 11:1-2a, 29-32; Matthew 15: (10-28).

Our Parish Prayer List:
We pray for our Bishops, Michael and Jennifer; for the people of our companion diocese of Brasilia and their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mauricio Andrade; and for the people & Diocese of Haiti, and for St. Andre’s in Mithon.
In the diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for Clergy and students of diocesan campus ministries. We also pray for our own parish of St. Paul’s, that our work here may be life- giving for others and for us, and that the Holy Spirit will guide us to those for whom our community would be life-giving.
For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples,
For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it,
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering. We remember all who have asked us to remember them in prayer ... Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Gus, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John, Fred, Kacey, Star, and Bill.
For those who have died: For the soul of Sue, and for Whit and her family.
For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them,
We pray for the victims of COVID-19: The sick, those who have died, the families who have suffered loss of loved ones, of jobs and other incomes, and of the companionship of friends. We pray for the more than 97,000 children who have been diagnosed with Covid in the past two weeks. We pray for comfort in anxiety, for healing in physical and emotional pain and illness, and for courage to trust and work for a safer and more compassionate world.
In the communion of St Paul and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.
For all who fear God and believe in you, Lord Christ, that our divisions may cease, and that all may be one as you and the Father are one, we pray to you, O Lord. Make us one in heart and mind to serve you with joy forever. Amen.
From the SPTW team:
ONLINE MORNING PRAYER SERVICES: The next service will begin Sunday, August 16th at 11:00 am. It will be on Facebook Live. https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/

Every week, folks are checking out the broadcast, during and after the service! Please join us, and tell others about the service.
Several people have inquired about joining the church. Bishop Jennifer has informed the diocese she will be conducting a Confirmation Service in the Fall. If you would be interested in being a part of a Confirmation Class, please contact the Office or Deacon Jim.
We would love to have more volunteers to participate in the online Sunday Morning Prayer service, as readers, and/or as officiant. If you are interested, please let me know, or leave word with the parish office.
MANY THANKS for your faithfulness in sending in your pledges and offerings. We have kept up our payments so far, and need to continue doing so.
Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern for the health and well-being of our parish and its members by making phone calls and being willing to help those of us in need! Our parish is blessed by so many caring members. If you have needs during this time of uncertainty please let us know!
The Parish Secretary would like to remind everyone that regular office hours for the rest of the summer will be Monday through Wednesday, and Friday, 10:00 am to 4:30 pm.
If you have something you’d like to add to the next SPTW, please email the team at stpaulsjeff@gmail.com by Sunday afternoon. Please put SPTW in the subject line.
The Covid-19 Report July 27, 2020
From Kim Hedges
These are the numbers for Clark County, Indiana:
+The recommended positivity rate is 5%. This number reflects the positive cases divided by the number of tests administered. It is important to note that this number needs to be incredibly low because a lot of employers are requiring two negative tests before a person can return to the workplace. It also reflects the fact that this test comes back with false negatives often and that many people get the test early after exposure before the disease has multiplied enough to show a positive result.
+The recommended infection rate is 0.3. Please note that the infection rate data lags about a week. So the numbers given each week reflect the past week. This number shows how many people a single positive case could transmit the disease to under normal circumstances.

What isn't reflected in this week’s report is that the 7 day rolling positivity rate is now up to 10.7. Hopefully, we will begin to see the numbers drop if the mask mandate is being followed. I am not out and about, so I can't speak to anectodal evidence on whether people are wearing masks or not. The numbers seem to suggest that they aren't or that they are gathering in larger groups. I expect these numbers to rise again with the opening of school. Charlestown had to move a primary school to on-line learning due to positive test results.
Positivity Infection New Total Rate Rate Cases Cases
     3Aug 8.8 4 Aug 8.8 5 Aug 8.8 6 Aug 8.8 7 Aug 8.8 8 Aug 8.8 9 Aug 8.9
High 6 1081 1.21
High 28 1109 1.23
High 17 1126 1.19
High 21 1147 1.20
High 31 1178 1.21
High 24 1202 1.25
High 31 1233 1.18
                                   Latest Photos of St. Paul’s and Rectory
These photos are from a couple (Ken and Priscilla Lane) that stopped by to photograph our church one day when Mike Nelson was working in the yard along Market Street. The Lanes look for interesting church buildings when they travel. He is the photographer, and a pretty good one at that. You will see Mike in one of the photos, as he obviously took the time to show them around and tell them about the church. He is part of their memory of the occasion! I love the photos, and they are the newest ones since the new roofs and new siding on the rectory.

     From Deacon Jim
What To Make Of It All?
A Walk on the Water! Matthew 14:22-33
Peter lacked sufficient faith to walk on water, but he was the only one who
got out of the boat.
The disciples have been with Jesus about two years now, and after today’s Gospel reading I wonder if any of them are wondering ‘is this what I signed up for?’ Perhaps Simon (soon to become Peter) and his brother Andrew remembered that sunny day by the Sea of Galilee when Jesus approached them as they mended their fishing nets and said ‘Come with me and I’ll make you fishers of men.’ ‘It was such a great experience in those early days’ you could almost hear them say. ‘Jesus had such a way with people; the way he spoke with such gentleness and wisdom, the way he healed not only their bodies but their spirits; his marvelous teachings where he turned our whole view of the

world upside down; in those times it was such a pleasure to simply be in his presence, to sit at his feet, to feel the warmth of his compassion as he tended the crowds that flocked to him.
But lately things have changed. He seems distant; his eyes often have that far-away look, as if he’s seeing something only he can see. His attitude toward us has changed as well; it’s like ‘what was fun has now become serious business.’ Now, he speaks to us in parables and he’s so insistent that we understand them; it’s like he’s preparing us for some great mission. And then these last 24 hours! First, we learn that Herod has executed Jesus’ cousin, John the Baptist, but there’s no time to grieve because even as we try to find an out of the way place, this huge crowd follows us. So, Jesus being Jesus, he tends some of the crowd, but there’re so many! And now it’s getting late and we want to send the crowd home, but Jesus says no, they’re hungry, and as we think ‘how are we going to feed 5,000 people?’ suddenly, all this food appears out of five loaves and two fish. What happened!? All we know is this was no ordinary miracle, this was one Spectacular Whamdoodle of a miracle! In all the time we’ve been following Jesus there’s never been anything like this.
And if that wasn’t enough, right after that Jesus needs some alone time so he tells us to get in a boat and sail across the lake where he’ll meet us on the other side. And, now it’s nighttime and we’re in the middle of this deep lake, lost and afraid, when a huge storm comes out of nowhere. We’re tossing and turning, completely out of control, and we’re thinking to ourselves ‘this is it’ when we see Jesus coming toward us WALKING ON THE WATER! And his face... it was like a ghost! Now we’ve seen ‘warm and fuzzy Jesus’ and we’ve seen ‘wise and wonderful Jesus’ and we’ve seen ‘kind and compassionate Jesus’ but we’ve never seen Jesus like this... Yes, we all believe he’s the Messiah, but this is the power of God! And then, to top it off, what happened to Peter...’
Well, we get the idea. Ever since Jesus was rejected by the Jewish authorities a few chapters back, things have changed, and the disciples have gone from supporting actors to co-starring roles especially in this mind-bending 24-hour period where Jesus performs his two signature miracles, Feeding the 5,000 and Walking on Water. This is a level of power and authority far above what’s come before and it leaves the disciples shaken, bewildered and, yes, frightened. Is this what they signed up for?
Now the real star of today’s reading is actually Peter, as we will see shortly, but first a couple of thoughts on Jesus walking on the water; that is how this section is usually titled. As you may recall, Matthew was aiming his Gospel at Christian Jews who wanted to believe that Jesus was the Messiah but were facing persecution by family and friends. Matthew wants to reassure them that their faith is well-placed and on this occasion he uses water to do it.
Now, water has always been a precious commodity in the Middle East but there was a time, and if you were raised in the Jewish faith you would know this, when water was an enemy to God’s creation; remember Noah and the flood, a foundational event in the story of Israel, and if we go farther back to the time of creation, we see that water meant chaos;

it was untamed, it was where the horrible sea monsters lived. Only God could control the waters, so when Jesus is seen walking on the waves and exerting control over the untamed sea and even the mighty winds, he is asserting his oneness with the God of Israel. The disciples see that and proclaim you’re not only the Messiah ‘You are indeed the Son of God.’
Now, as iconic as that story is to our faith, of more significance to us as modern-day disciples is what happens to Peter, and if you want to prepare yourself emotionally watch the part in the movie ‘Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade’ where in order to get to the Holy Grail Harrison Ford faces the dilemma of stepping off into a bottomless pit. I won’t spoil it but that moment is Biblical. Now, in our story Jesus has walked on water toward the disciples and Peter wants to show his faith by walking to Jesus. He steps out of the boat, takes a few shaky steps and begins to sink. Jesus rescues him while saying ‘O Ye of little faith, why did you doubt?’
Peter’s an interesting guy and we’re going to see a lot more of Peter in coming chapters, but for now suffice it to say If one of the disciples showed great courage and fearlessness, it was most likely Peter. If one of the disciples put his foot in his mouth on a regular basis, that was also Peter. He was a big-hearted guy with a child’s faith, sometimes impetuous, prone to speaking before he thought but always sincere; in Jesus’ eyes, the ideal disciple, even in his imperfections. This story of Peter being Peter next to God being God, tells us, pardon the pun, oceans about our faith in a dangerous world and how faith works in discipleship. Let’s look at Peter’s leap of faith...
1. Peter makes the first move by stepping out of the boat. If he had stayed in the boat the disciples still would’ve been rescued but their faith would’ve remained just words. For our faith to be real and not just ‘I believe...’ we need to put ourselves in a position where acting on faith will make a difference; Lord knows there are many opportunities to put our faith to practical use in today’s world!
2. Peter was naturally impulsive, so a sudden leap over the side was well within his personality. Many of us, on the other hand, are more reserved; we like to ‘look before we leap.’ But Jesus’ call to faithfulness does not hinge on our personality type; what drives Christian discipleship is at its core a simple, childlike trust, looking to Christ to take care of us even as we realize we can’t be in control of everything.
3. After being Jesus’ most devoted follower for two years, Peter’s faith lasts just a few steps before he succumbs to the waves. Do you know anybody who can walk on water? I don’t, and I’ve met a lot of people with incredible faith! I wonder if Jesus’ response was a stern ‘Ye of little faith (I am so disappointed in you!)’ or a much more compassionate ‘Ye of little faith, (I’m so proud of you for trying!)’ Remember, all through these passages runs the theme that just a little can yield a lot. Five loaves and two fish; a tiny mustard seed. Can God still use us in a hurting world even if we’re not perfectly faithful?

Perhaps the real question for us is ‘do we have faith in our own faith?’ Are we spiritually self-confident? Is our relationship with God spiritually fertile, or is it merely a vague recognition of a higher power with no personal connection?’ As we accept Christ as our Spiritual Foundation, and as we take our first tentative steps based on that acceptance we soon realize that faith is not a measurable quantity but a process of growth and maturation, and it’s at that point we begin to see the guiding light that will see us through those storms that will surely come our way. Most of all, having faith in our own faith is the gateway and the prerequisite to discipleship, putting us in the
boat with the Apostles as they face heavy seas and setting us beside Peter as he courageously steps out onto the waves.
Remember, Jesus is preparing the disciples for life without him. Today we’ve seen a lesson beyond words, beyond parables, the first of many real-life situations where faith is more than a slogan. From now on we will see the disciples, especially Peter, finding themselves in situations where faith or lack of faith will matter, and we’re asked to see ourselves in these situations. Today, the lesson is that although our faith may not be perfect, after all, nothing in human existence is, we are still asked to take that first step. We cannot refrain from acting out God’s love in the world just because we think we might fail or because we don’t have faith in our own faith.
After all, Peter lacked sufficient faith to walk on water, but he was the only one who got out of the boat!
Let us pray for our Human Family:
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away our arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all races and nations may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen (BCP P.815)



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