11 May 2020

St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
May 11, 2020
Calendar Reminders
All in-person worship and activities of the Church are suspended until further notice. On Thursday, April 30th, Bishop Jennifer announced to regional Episcopal leadership that at this point, we will not be holding services in the churches before the end of May.
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm daily:
https://cathedral.org/worship/
Diocese of N. Indiana (St. James Cathedral) 10:15 AM Sunday https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC CKWYmjR8F8_Eu1dOKZ1jdA
     Apr 12-May 30
May 21 May 31
The Season of the Resurrection Ascension Day Day of Pentecost
Collect for the Sixth Sunday of Easter (May 17th)
O God, you have prepared for those who love you such good things as surpass our understanding: Pour into our hearts such love towards you, that we, loving you in all things and above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Acts 17:22-31; Psalm 66:7-18; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21

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 of St. Andre’s in Mithon.
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On May 17 , in the diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for St. John’s, Washington,
The Rev. Dennis Latta. 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.
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 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.
We give thanks for all those who give their time and their lives to care for the sick and dying, and also for those who provide necessary services and goods to us all. We pray for their safety and strength to continue their very necessary and life-giving work.
We pray for: Jesse, Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Gus, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John.
For those who are temporarily away from the parish, we pray: for Mike & Jackie in Florida. Lord of the Church, hear our prayer and make us one in heart and mind to serve you with
joy forever. Amen.
From the SPTW team:
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. Many thanks.
THANKS TO ALL those faithful who continue to remember to send in their pledges and offerings. Bills are still being paid on time. We are aware that many are living on depleted funds, and appreciate that you continue your pledges and offerings as you are able.
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!
Thanks to Sonny McCulloch, our Sr. Warden, for taking the time to allow WAVE and WKRB each to interview him about what our church is doing about reopening. Both stations showed some lovely views of our church, and Sonny was a star! If you missed the interviews, contact the church office for links to them on line.
 
TO SMILE ABOUT
Resources to bind us together even when we’re apart:
Jesus was an Episcopalian (and you can be one, too).
Go to jesuswasanepiscopalian.org. There you will find a delightful series of 3-5 minute videos that will re-connect us with our faith. These are so well done! You are invited to enjoy these mini-lessons one at a time and at your own pace. You will be heartened by the beauty, elegance and spiritual depth of our rather unique approach to seeking God!
The Episcopal Café.
Log on to episcopalcafe.org but have your cup of coffee with you. There are easy to digest articles and news items of all kinds that will enlighten and challenge, just the thing to get us started in the morning or be a thoughtful lunch companion!
Words from Deacon Jim:
What To Make Of It All?
What!? Is It Mother’s Day Already?
As one day melts into the next on this surreal roller-coaster ride through Clovid- 19, lo and behold, in sneaks Mother’s Day(!), and, dwarfed by news of staggering unemployment and dire health forecasts, it is almost an after-thought. Cards and calls are still welcome but what is needed most, a tender touch or a warm embrace, is for now deemed risky behavior. I, for one, hope the ‘new normal’ allows us to hug those we love!
  
Mother’s Day is one of those double-edged celebrations of families and the mothers’ love that binds them together. In many ways it is an idealized celebration, framed by flowers, Hallmark cards and a big Sunday dinner. But for others, Mother’s Day is at best lonely and bittersweet, resurrecting feeling s of loss or brokenness or the loving acceptance that should have been but for some reason wasn’t . There aren’t too many Hallmark cards that speak to that or to the pain imperfect human love can cause, even an imperfect human mother’s love.
If Mother’s Day caught us by surprise this year, I invite you to visit Jackie Lankert’s Facebook page and read the post from her daughter Carrie. It is gorgeous, beautifully written and bespeaks a gratitude and wisdom that can only come out of a lifetime of experiences, each experience, perhaps, a ‘snapshot’ glued in a family album. Carrie’s letter to her mother has inspired me to take the box off the top shelf of the closet and look through the photos in my life, especially those where Mom and I are in the same shot. After all, we’re supposed to be experiencing life from a distance of six feet, right? Well, most of my ‘close-ups’ are taken from right around that distance!
A photographer will tell us that a snapshot is just that, a freeze-frame in a lifelong narrative. It’s up to us to create the context for these ‘moments in time.’ It’s up to us to give them value and meaning. As I open my family album: Here’s a picture of me (I think it’s me) in a stroller while Mom hangs laundry on the line. Here’s one of her playing the piano she saved years to buy. Here she is in a posed picture at Kathy and my wedding. Here she is learning to drive at age 46. That’s her helping my sister through two extremely tough pregnancies. Here’s a horrible series of pics at the end of her life, being moved from place to place until she blessedly arrived at a Hospice facility; she is comforted by a CD of Pavarotti that she plays endlessly. This last one is a rare moment of honesty where I tell her I’m sorry she’s in such pain and she says ‘Son, nothing worries me anymore.’ I love these old photos and the places they take me but they are only snapshots. Her life was what happened between the pictures; a Warrick County girl who grew up on a farm during the Depression and who found fulfillment as a wife and mother and faithful Christian. It was a life well-lived, simple and yet grace-filled, and it’s ironic that the ‘snapshots’ we hold onto so dearly reveal so little of that life.
Jesus told his disciples shortly before he died on the cross ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ I’m not sure how much they understood of that statement; they had followed Jesus through three years of in-person ministry and were seeking real-time answers: where are we going, what’s next, why can’t we go with you? Instead Jesus gave them an answer that glued together everything in their shared lives. It gave life and purpose to every ‘snapshot’ from their time with Jesus and prepared them for carrying on without him. It gave them a past, present and future where God always was, is and will be. A perfect love can do that!
This final conversation between Jesus and the disciples from which the quote arises stirs in us a few existential questions and perhaps Mother’s Day is a time to re-visit them: Where am I headed, How will I know when I’ve arrived, Does this journey I’m on have meaning? Mothers play pivotal roles in our lives but sooner or later we’re on our own and we have to answer these questions in our own way and from our own experiences. Mother’s Day is an

invitation to find our place on life’s highway (‘I am the way’), it beckons us to explore what it all means (‘I am the truth’) and to realize what a ride it’s been (‘I am the life’)!
Pandemic aside, let’s honor our mothers with a gift beyond flowers, a gift only a gracious God can bestow: gratitude for the depth of love only a mother can provide, and the acceptance that only God’s love is perfect.
Let us pray a Prayer for Families:
Almighty God, we commend to thy continual care the homes in which thy people dwell. Put far from them, we beseech thee, every root of bitterness, the desire of vainglory, and the pride of life. Fill them with faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience and godliness. Turn the hearts of the parents to the children, and the hearts of the children to the parents; and so enkindle fervent charity among us all, that we may evermore be kindly affectioned one to another; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (P.828)
REJOICE ALWAYS! PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES! FOR THAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR US!
 

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