21 Sept 2020

 St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
September 21, 2020
Calendar Reminders
Sep 26 9:30-11:30am AA Meeting
Sep 27 11:00 am St. Paul’s On-Line Worship Service—FaceBook Live https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJe ff/live_videos/
Also, for videos of past services go to
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC ynD2CNlCMbJ5YOb1Euce5Q
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm
daily: https://cathedral.org/worship/
Collect for 17th Sunday after Pentecost (September 27th)
O God, you declare your almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity: Grant us the fullness of your grace, that we, running to obtain your promises, may become partakers of your heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 78:1-4, 12-16; Philippians 2:1-13; Matthew 21:23-32
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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. Michael’s, Noblesville--The Rev. T.J. Tetzlaff . 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 those affected by the wildfires on the west coast, and those who are fighting them. For those affected in the Gulf Coast by the recent hurricanes and floods.
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. We also pray for Annette, for her daughter Jackie, and for their family.
For the soul of Ruth Bader Ginsburg; may her memory be a blessing.
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:
VOLUNTEER/S NEEDED: We are in need of one or more volunteers to come by the church on Wednesdays each week to get the yard trash cans, church trash cans, and recyclables out to the parking lot for pick up. Also, to return the trash cans on Thursday after they have been emptied by the City service. Please contact Sonny or the church office. Thanks!
ONLINE MORNING PRAYER SERVICES: The next service will begin Sunday, Sept. 27th at 11:00 am. It will be on Facebook Live. https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/
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Every week, folks are checking out the broadcast, during and after the service! Please join us, and tell others about the service. Also Check YouTube for videos of past services at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCynD2CNlCMbJ5YOb1Euce5Q.
The Inquirer’s Classes for candidates for confirmation have been completed. In-Person Confirmation at St. Paul’s, New Albany by the Bishop will be on Saturday, October 17, 2020.
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 Jim know, or leave word with the parish office.
MANY THANKS for your faithfulness in sending in your pledges. We have kept up our payments so far, but we are beginning to struggle to continue doing so. If you have not made a pledge this year, perhaps you could help us out with an offering sent by mail or delivered to the parish office.
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!
PARISH OFFICE HOURS : MTWF 10:00-4:30 and Thurs 10:00 to 1:00 pm. Also, in case you missed it, Marylee’s new home phone number is 812-725-8179.
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.
STILL COLLECTING SCARVES AND CAPS FOR CHRISTMAS AT SEA for the mariners who work the Ohio River. Today’s scarf was made by Cindy Allen, and donated to our collection awaiting pickup. Contact Kathy Stanton for information on patterns
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The Covid-19 Report September 21, 2020
From Kim Hedges
These are the numbers for Clark County, Indiana: +The recommended positivity rate is 5%.
+The recommended infection rate is 0.3.
   Date
  Cumulative Positivity Rate
   Infection Rate
    New Cases
   Total Cases (Tests)
 14 Sep 15 Sep 16 Sep 17 Sep 18 Sep 19 Sep 20 Sep
9.6 Low 0.85
9.6 Low 0.85
9.7 Low 0.88
9.7 Low 0.89
9.7 Low 0.89
9.7 Med 0.94
9.7 Med 0.94
26 2003 (20705)
13 2016 (20809)
11 2027 (20887)
22 2049 (21000)
32 2081 (21277)
20 2101 (21483)
16 2117 (21716)
                                   FROM DEACON JIM: (Sermon from September 20, 2020)
What To Make Of It All?
The Unfair Landowner! Matthew 20:1-16
There’s a famous optical illusion consisting of a picture that’s half white and half black. If you look at the picture one way you see a beautiful dark vase but if you look it a slightly different way it becomes two faces looking at each other. Jesus said the coming Kingdom of Heaven requires looking at things through a different lens, a different perspective, and today’s story, the parable of the unfair landowner, is a perfect example of viewing our Christian life from a different angle.
As the noted prophet and acclaimed theologian Willie Nelson said ‘On the Road Again, Just Can’t Wait To Get On The Road Again!’ and for the last several weeks we’ve been ‘on
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the road’ with Jesus and the Disciples on this their final trip, a journey that began in far north Caesarea Philippi with Jesus’ stunning announcement that he must go to Jerusalem where he will be handed over to authorities, suffer a horrific execution and after three days rise from the dead. This somber news has darkened the mood of the Disciples as they make the long southward trek that each day brings them closer to Golgotha and the Cross.
No doubt the Disciples had been anticipating a completely different end to Jesus’ earthly ministry, with Jesus ruling the earth from a golden throne with the Disciples his trusted inner circle. Peter, it seems, was especially hard-hit by this turn of events and as Jesus continues to instruct the Disciples, sometimes impatiently, throwing at them parable after parable, what he calls the ‘Keys to the Kingdom,’ hammering home the true cost of discipleship and preparing them for the suffering THEY are in for, Peter steps forward as only Peter can and says ‘I hope you’re not forgetting that All of us have left Everything to follow you! And it’s true! The Disciples have been portrayed as generally clueless but they have been faithful. Peter was a successful businessman who gave up a family, a very lucrative fishing operation and the comfortable lifestyle that went with it. Now that the dark clouds are gathering he wants to know if all this has been in vain.
Well, Jesus gives him an answer and as usual it’s an unexpected answer--and as usual it’s an answer cloaked inside a rather confusing parable--and as usual the answer requires us to see things in a different light; but that’s the genius of Jesus, pointing us toward a Kingdom that must be experienced from ‘outside the box.’
In today’s parable a wealthy landowner hires some laborers to work his vineyard and a fair day’s wage is agreed upon. They show up early and work faithfully the entire shift. Around noon, others show up and are put to work. Toward the end of the day, a few more come straggling in. Now, at quitting time, when the master hands out everyone’s pay, lo and behold, everyone gets paid the same! Everyone gets the full day’s wage.
Now, Peter, being Peter, who knows the value of a shekel and who sets a great store by fairness cries ‘Wait a minute! You mean that the people who worked one hour got the same as those who’d been working all day? How can that be?’ And that’s the question, isn’t it, and not just for Peter; It’s a head-scratcher for us, too, right? So, thank you, Peter, for speaking up (not all that hard for Peter), because for anyone who’s ever had to clock in on a job, this doesn’t seem fair, and if this is, somehow, a ‘Key to the Kingdom’ I don’t get it!
Now, it could be that Jesus chose this story because he knew it would push Peter’s buttons; he adjudged correctly that Peter would be on his soapbox regarding a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay. But knowing Peter as he did, Jesus said ‘Look, Peter, you’re upset because you think I slighted the workers that worked all day; perhaps you see yourself in that group because you’ve been with me from the start, you’ve been with me all day, I get that. You’re thinking that if I gave a full day’s wage to someone who showed up right at the end, I should’ve paid those who worked all day a lot more. Well, I wasn’t unfair to them and I haven’t been unfair with you; I promised them a full day’s wage and that‘s what they got. Peter, are you judging my sense of fairness and justice by your own standards? You’ll get your reward, as promised, just please check your ego at the door.’
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Have you ever been to, say, an office Christmas party, and the boss hands out the Christmas bonus envelopes, and there’s this one guy who takes a glance at his own bonus and then sort of cranes his neck so he can see what the person next to him got? Don’t you just hate that guy!? Not only is he nosing in somebody else’s business, he’s letting everyone know he totally distrusts his boss’s ability to be equitable and at the same time generous. Could that be what Jesus was trying to teach Peter? ‘Peter, I love ya’, you’re trustworthy and courageous and you have a good heart, but if you’re going to be happy in the coming Kingdom, you’re going to have to understand that you cannot judge God’s justice by the same reasoning you use to set the price of your fish.’ It’s not always a linear equation. Ask a teacher who watches a student with a high IQ skate through his assignments for his usual ‘A’ while the student next to him with a low IQ struggles and struggles and tries and tries and still comes up short; when it’s time for report cards, ask that teacher what’s fair and equitable. You’re liable to get an answer that can’t be plotted on a bar graph.
Remember, that if there’s one overarching theme that runs through everything that Jesus did and taught in his two + years of earthly ministry, it’s that God’s coming Heavenly Kingdom cannot be experienced in our usual worldly ways and cannot be judged solely by our sense of reason. We have to be willing to look at the world through a different lens, not with the profit/loss eye of the accountant, but the innocent eyes of a child. Peter is looking at this story with the mind-set that working in the vineyard is hard labor and a worker should earn pay for work done, but there’s an invitation here for Peter, and the rest of us, to see this story through different eyes. What if working in the vineyard is not toil; what if life in God’s Vineyard, God’s Creation, is a gift? What if tilling God’s soil, nurturing what God has planted, brings us self- fulfillment? What if waking each morning to a new day is not steeling ourselves for suffering but a moment of grace? What if helping others brings us closer to God? In this new way of seeing things, God’s love would replace dollars and cents and God’s mercy would replace a labor contract.
Are we so set in our belief that everything has to be earned that we cannot accept a gift, even The Gift of Life? How long will it be before we realize that we cannot earn our way to Heaven? Heaven is free for the asking. Always has been; always will be.
Let’s return to our optical illusion which is not really an illusion at all; you just see what you want to see. If you search for the dark you’ll find it; if you search for the light you’ll find that, too. Perhaps we should keep that in mind in those times when we’re in danger of being consumed by all the things in the world that seem to fall under darkness. Jesus says that even in the darkest dark God’s light is present. Even in man’s most horrific injustices God’s justice will prevail if we faithfully seek it. Not a bad message for the Disciples and we modern disciples to take into an uncertain future.
Let us pray a Prayer for 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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 Vinyard Workers questioning the pay
REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES,
FOR THAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU!
Happy First Day of Autumn!!!
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