20 July 2020

 St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
July 20, 2020
July 26 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 8th Sunday after Pentecost (July 26th )
O God, the protector of all who trust in you, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy: Increase and multiply upon us your mercy; that, with you as our ruler and guide, we may so pass through things temporal, that we lose not the things eternal; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons:
 Calendar Reminders
 July 25 9:30-11:30 AA Meeting
      Genesis 29:15-28; Psalm 105:1-11, 45b; Romans 8:26-39;
 Matthew 13:31-33,44-52

   Saint Paul’s
with a
Sunday Morning 11:00 AM Prayer Service
3 Ways to Watch! Watch live on Facebook Live!
https://facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live videos Watch any time on St. Paul’s Facebook Page
Having trouble with Facebook? Try YouTube. Our Sunday Service will be available on YouTube beginning the following Wednesday:
1. Get on Youtube.com
2. Type in St.Paul’sJeffersonville
Lost your Printed Service Order? Get another one! Call the Church at (812)282-1108
   Want to Participate? Be an Officiant or a Lector!
1. The Officiant leads the service by following the Service Order. The Officiant might present a sermon or read an inspirational poem or short meditation but it’s not necessary.
2. The Lector (we need 2 per Sunday) responds for the congregation during the liturgy and reads Scripture and leads the Prayers of the People.
All participants should be at church at 10:20 AM on Sunday. Service begins at 11:00. Finished at 11:30.
We would like to develop a regular schedule of participants to lead this vital outreach to our parish family and beyond! Please consider joining us! Our numbers show that we are reaching folks beyond our membership!
Many thanks to Charlene and Dennis McAndrews and daughter Kellie for getting us on the air and to Phyllis and Steve and Charlene for helping develop the morning liturgy and to Marylee for keeping our Prayers and officiants’ service order current and for all members who’ve tuned in these past Sundays and offered suggestions.
Call the Church at (812)282-1108) for: Problems accessing the service online. Requesting a printed Service Order. Volunteering to be a participant.
   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 St. Augustine, Danville, The Rev. William Barfield. 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 and Kacey.
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 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, July 26th
at 11:00 am. It will be on Facebook Live. https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/ More and more folks are checking out the videos during and after the service! Please join us.
   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.
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 inform 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. Many thanks.
Dear Folks.
I had hoped to be writing to notify of an in-person vestry meeting. however the report from Kim Hedges is worse instead of better so am writing to bring you up to date on some pending items. Hopefully, we will look for an in-person meet in August.
1. Due to the inspection by the new insurance carrier we were required to have the basement sprinkler system tested and inspected. Midwest Sprinkler Co. completed that task on 6 July. The cost was $287.00 paid out of general fund
as it was/is regular required maintenance. I received the inspetion report 14 July There are corrections that need to be done. The report notes 2 guages that failed and the systems needs 5 year servicing (which entails flushing the entire system). The cost of this is $562.00. I have contacted Ben to see if that can be paid out of the endowment fund.
2. RKR Electric Contractors visited 321 on 6 July and gave an estimate of $1572.00 to replace the fuse panel and feeder line from main panel. That work should be completed in the next week or so. I consulted with Ben Sapp and he agreed that this is both a capital improvement and emergency repair therefore is covered under the endowment fund. The endowment fund will pay that charge.
3. The AA chapter resumed meeting in the parish hall 11 July after signing the agreement required by the diocese. They are required to wear masks and remain socially distant (as much as possible), and maintain sanitation practices. Reason for
   this is that were being evicted from their alternate meeting place during our shutdown. They seldom number more than 10members at their meetings so it met the guidelines (and they understand they are meeting in person at their own risk).
4. The Sunday morning on line service is going well now that the sound problem has been solved. Thanks to our deacon Jim Stanton, Phyllis Nelson, Steve Fleece, Charlene McAndrews and her daughter Kellie (who has been our technical adviser) for handling this. A microphone had to be secured to solve the sound problem. I haven’t seen a bill for this yet but feel we should reimburse Kellie for the expense.
5. Due to rise in the virus cases in Indiana and Kentucky we are still holding off on reopening to “normal” activities. Jim has committed to continue the online services but there may be occasions when he is unavailable. When that occurs someone else will have to come forward to lead the service. Due to my continuing back and shoulder problems that someone may not be me. Brush up on your Morning Prayer presentation in case you are asked.
6. Many thanks go to Marylee James for managing the office activities and publishing the weekly newsletter. I go in one morning per week to sign checks and make bank deposits. Fortunately, other than the repairs described above there have been no major crisis occurring.
7. Our revenue stream. So far, has held up and expenses are low, allowing us to stay current on monthly bills. Those who have pledged giving this year have remained faithful.
Stay connected, stay the church and we will get through this.
Words from Deacon Jim: (Sermon from July 19th )
What To Make Of It All?
What to Make of Weeds! Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Today’s Gospel reading finds Jesus in a critical position. For many chapters, now, Matthew has presented incontrovertible proof in the form of miracles worked and prophecies fulfilled that Jesus is the Anointed One, the long-awaited Messiah sent by God to re-establish God’s reign on earth. And yet the religious authorities in Israel have blatantly and irrevocably rejected Jesus and are out to destroy him. Now Jesus must face his own future on the Cross while at the same time preparing his followers to carry on
   without him, assuring them that God’s Kingdom will come, just not right now. As we learned last week, Jesus uses parables to instruct his disciples and it’s important to recall that these parables, what Jesus viewed as ‘Secrets to the Kingdom’ were meant only for believers and were beyond the understanding of non-believers. Thus, Jesus saw his disciples as participants and forerunners in God’s new Creation, laying the groundwork for Jesus’ triumphant return.
In today’s parable, the Parable of the Wheat and Tares (tares is another word for weeds) the Disciples are faced with two mind-boggling issues: what will happen at the end of time, and what is the nature of evil. Both of these issues are presented in stark, and frankly, scary language, and both demand strong and unwavering discipleship. While last week’s parable showed good seed falling on bad soil, the Parable of the Wheat and Tares show bad seed being purposely dropped on good soil; Satan sowing weeds among the wheat. Now I recall Mike Lankert’s remark that a weed is just a flower in the wrong place, but experts tell us that the bad seed in this parable is darnel grass, known in Jesus’ time as a particularly difficult weed to control. Apparently, darnel grass is indistinguishable from wheat until it flowers and then it’s too late to pull it without damaging the wheat right beside it. Of course, the believers are the wheat and the non-believers are the weeds but the question remains what to do about the good and bad growing up side by side.
Listen to Jesus’ words:
Just as the weeds are collected and burned up with fire, so will it be at the end of the age. The Son of Man will send his angels, and they will collect out of his kingdom all causes of sin and all evildoers, and they will throw them into the furnace of fire, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. Then the righteous will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
A Fiery Furnace. Avenging Angels. Weeping, and Gnashing of Teeth. Not your usual day-to-day comings and goings. This is apocalyptic and Jesus is pointing his disciples toward that Final Judgment-- that singular end time when the ultimate battle between God and Satan will result in Satan’s utter defeat and God’s triumphant victory for all time. As part of that final reckoning the just will be separated from the unjust with the just shining like the sun and the unjust suffering eternal agony. So in these cataclysmic events Jesus is assuring the faithful that even through God’s plan for a new Creation has been delayed it has not been defeated and justice will indeed triumph over evil.
Now the evil we’re talking about here is ‘Evil with a capital E,’ the cosmic evil personified in Satan who seeks to undermine and corrupt God’s Creation. In our Baptismal Covenant one of the questions is ‘Do you renounce Satan and all the spiritual forces of wickedness that rebel against God?’ The next question is ‘Do you renounce the evil powers of this world which corrupt and destroy the creatures of God?’ So, in renouncing evil there’s a recognition that evil does exist and is sometimes so powerful that it seems like a force unto itself. Many of us with long memories would cite the rise of Nazism in the 1930s as an example. The systematic extermination of 6 million Jews is surely Evil with a capital E. But ‘evil with a small e’ also exists and for most of us hits closer to home. What do we call evil in our world? Could it be a kid who shoots up an elementary school? Could it be
   a person who drives his car into a sea of protesters? Could it be an addiction that erupts in a senseless spate of violence? Could it be bigotry that over the years becomes so deeply entrenched that it becomes a cultural norm? We know that each of us has the capacity to act both nobly and selfishly according to our own conscience and moral character. But what about acts committed with no conscience or no morals? Could that be the difference between bad judgment and what can only be called evil?
Now, in this parable Jesus is asked how to handle good and evil existing side by side, how to prevent the weeds from taking over the field and suffocating the wheat, and Biblical scholars sometimes scratch their heads because Jesus does not directly answer this question, and when you think about it, it’d be nice to know, wouldn’t it, how to destroy evil here on earth? The theologian Thomas Wardlaw says that instead of a direct answer Jesus reacts with ‘purposeful ambiguity;’ he chooses to leave the question hanging, as if to indicate that at least part of the answer is what we figure out on our own. What Jesus does say is ‘Let them grow together,’ let good and evil grow together, and that’s the real takeaway in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares. Let them grow together. Strip away all the Doomsday imagery and you’re left with just wheat and tares, translated people of all kinds, some good, some not-so-good, some paragons of virtue, some liars and cheats, some selfish, some selfless, some saints, a few truly evil, Joan of Arcs, Judas Iscariots, Martin Luther Kings, Adolf Hitlers, mostly average people like the disciples to whom this parable was told whom Jesus was instructing ‘Guys, this is the world in which you’ll be living until I return and set things right. Sometimes good will win; sometimes evil. Yes, there will be a reckoning, but thank God, that is not your call. In fact, true freedom in Christ means that you are not encumbered with the task of meting out God’s judgment on your fellow humans. You have consciences and God-given moral authority to address evil in society and there are laws to handle those who act badly, and for now, that has to be enough. Can you imagine the millstone around your own neck if you say to another person you’re not worthy of God’s forgiveness? Let that be the dialogue between Almighty God and Satan.
At this point in Matthew Jesus has been rejected, soon he will be crucified, only to rise and eventually but most assuredly return. In the meantime God’s promise of a new Kingdom remains unfulfilled and we live in a world where there is evil with both a large and small E, and it’s up to people of conscience and faith to recognize and stand up to these evils. But in doing so, and in living the Christian life in general, we must never stoop to the temptation to ourselves act as God. Our hope for our future, no matter if we’re the wheat or if we’re the weeds (and sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference), our hope is in God’s overpowering love, a love much stronger than hate, a love spread by his followers to the good and evil alike, with the hope of growing together toward a New Creation that will reveal itself as both Good and Just.
Let us celebrate Joy in God’s Creation:
O heavenly Father, who hast filled the world with beauty: Open our eyes to behold thy gracious hand in all thy works; that, rejoicing in thy whole creation, we may learn to serve
   thee with gladness; for the sake of him through whom all things were made, thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
(BCP, P.814)

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