20 Apr 2020

St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter April 20, 2020
  Calendar Reminders
All in-person worship and activities of the Church are suspended until further notice.
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm daily:
Diocese of N. Indiana (St. James Cathedral) 10:15 AM Sunday https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC CKWYmjR8F8_Eu1dOKZ1jdA
Apr 12-May 30 The Season of the
May 21 Ascension Day
Resources for at-home time:
Banner by Susan Madara
   https://files.mail-list.com/m/atsa/Coronavirus-Anxiety-Workbook.pdf https://blog.paleohacks.com/pandemic/
Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter (April 26)
O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Acts 2:14a,36-41; Psalm 116:1-3, 10-17; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35
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.
On April 26 , in the diocese we pray for Christ Church, Madison--The Rev. Evelyn
Wheeler . 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: Jesse, Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Gus, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John. We also pray for Rev. Doris Mote.
For those who are temporarily away from the parish, we pray: for Mike & Jackie in Florida.
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 who continue to remember to send in their pledges and offerings. Bills are being paid on time so far. We are aware that many are living on depleted funds, but please 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!
Repairs to 321 roof have been completed and rechecked by the roofers just this morning—all is well.
Words from Deacon Jim:
What To Make Of It All?
The Lesson of Doubting Thomas
The Gospel Reading for the Sunday after Easter is always the same: the story of Doubting Thomas. Interesting, isn’t it, that the last words of John’s Gospel are not Mary Magdalene’s triumphant ‘I have seen the Risen Lord’ but Thomas’ less-than-triumphant ‘Show me and I’ll believe.’ Seems like a strange way to end the story of Jesus.
Actually, this story is a bit of fresh air to those of us who look in the mirror and see a human being staring back, a human being whose desire to understand sometimes manifests itself in doubt. Thank God this story allows that being an ordinary human is not an automatic consignment to the flames of hell! If we remember that Thomas and the disciples were holed up behind locked doors scared out of their wits after what they had just lived through perhaps we can cut Thomas a break. We too are holed up right now (the euphemism is ‘sheltering in place’) and if we’re human we’re asking the same kind of questions that must’ve crossed Thomas’ mind: What kind of God could let this happen? Is my religion a waste of time? How does one person’s faith work in a global catastrophe?
Paul said in his letter to the Hebrews ‘Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.’ (Heb. 11:1) What a marvelously affirming statement! It tells us that faith is not some impossibly high level of spirituality far beyond the capability of mortals; faith is based on assurance and conviction, two very human desires, desires that can be met through simple trust. And Paul is saying if we’re looking for evidence of God’s presence in the world let’s keep it simple(and human!). Consider these small but grace-filled moments out of the past few news cycles:
*Every day people line the streets of New York to cheer the doctors and nurses as they come to work in the city’s hospitals!
*Unable to personally visit his mother in a nursing home, mother and son play tic- tac-toe on opposite sides of an outside window while talking on the phone.
*Two long-time neighbors invent an ingenuous twist to the six-foot rule by sending cans of cola back and forth across the street on radio-controlled toy cars.
*Although our churches are temporarily closed, our outreach programs keep going. Food pantries are stocked and people fed. Thanks, Debbie and all, for making our Easter Basket project to the Clark County Youth Shelter a great success! AND... amid its shutdown the Orange Clover restaurant provided Easter Dinner to the CCYS youth and staff!

*Several members of our own parish have reached out in love and concern to those in any kind of need. Attempts have been made to contact every member by phone. If you need help, let us know!
These are indeed small graces, but in their own way they are assurances and convictions that wherever we are in our celebrations or fears God is with us. God always seems to work out of the corner of our eye, never getting in the way but still worthy of our trust. It’s what Thomas was looking for! By the way, the story of Doubting Thomas ends with Jesus making a special trip back just for Thomas. Thomas does indeed touch Jesus’ wounds; his doubts are answered and his faith restored. In fact, Thomas went on to become a faithful disciple of Christ, the only one to take the Gospel beyond the Roman Empire.
The lesson of Doubting Thomas is Jesus will do whatever’s necessary to sustain and affirm our faith, to give us assurance and conviction. It is our job during these uncertain times to keep our eyes open and look out in trust and hope! And if we have a hard time finding God, don’t worry. God will find us!

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