22 June 2020

 St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
June 22, 2020
Calendar Reminders
June 28 11:00 am St. Paul’s On-Line Worship Service—FaceBook Live
https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/li ve_videos/
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
Our First Online Worship Service
June 21st was the occasion for our first online Forum and Sunday Worship Service at St. Paul’s. We want to thank Kevin for his informative Zoom Forum presentation on lessons from Perceval at 9:15 am, and thanks to those who joined in. Thanks too, to those who tuned in to our online worship service at 11:00 We understand there were some issues with the audio that are being worked out this week. Thanks especially to Charlene and Dennis and Kelly and Robyn and Phyllis and Mike for contributing to this new outreach. We are glad to report that a couple of our viewers were from outside the parish!
Collect for 4th Sunday after Pentecost (June 28th )
       A
 lmighty God, you have built your Church upon the foundation of the apostles
 and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief cornerstone: Grant us so to be joined
 together in unity of spirit by their teaching, that we may be made a holy temple
 acceptable to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the
 Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

 The Lessons: Genesis 22:1-14; Psalm 13; Romans 6:12-23; Matthew 10:40- 42.
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.
On June 28th, in the diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for St. George’s, West Terre Haute--Mr. Chuck Stafford, Senior Warden. 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, and Fred.
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, June 28th
at 11:00 am. It will be on Facebook Live https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/
The Vestry reports that, there being no business to conduct this month, the vestry meeting for June has been cancelled.
THANKS SO MUCH to Mike and Phyllis Nelson, who are regularly at the church to care for the plants and trees in the yard, to add flowers outside and care for them, and tend to the HVACs, thermostats, garbage & recycling pickup, and keeping the water lines clear throughout the property—among many other wonderful things that make their visits enjoyable and the property well cared for.
A BIG THANK YOU TO MIKE LANKERT AND BOB MADARA, who came over this week and repaired a loose downspout and filled a large hole along the foundation of the western side of the Education Center with netting and rocks.
INCOME FOR THE CHURCH is slowing down, and we need to ask those who have not kept up their pledges, or provided an offering, to please try to do so. We have kept up our payments so far, and need to continue doing so. THANKS to those who will respond, and THANKS ALSO to all of you who have remained faithful in your pledges and offerings.
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.
  
Words from Deacon Jim: (Sermon from June 21st)
What To Make Of It All?
I Wish He Hadn’t Said That! Matthew 10:24-39
The word Gospel literally means Good News, yet occasionally Jesus says something that we really wish he hadn’t said. Take for instance this passage from the 10th Chapter of Matthew:
‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against a mother-in-law – Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.’
Geez! Doesn’t sound much like the Prince of Peace, does it? Sounds more like someone (take your pick) on TV in the last few weeks screaming intolerance and division. In fact, Luke has a similar passage in which Jesus says ‘Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple.’(!) What’s your initial reaction to these words? Hate? Confrontation? Bloodshed? Peace by means of a sword? A God so jealous he would split a family? Doesn’t sound very Christ-like to me! No offense, Jesus, but I wish you hadn’t said that!
It’s difficult for us to make sense of this passage when for the most part Christianity in the United States is easy. When we drive to church (whenever we reopen, AND WE WILL REOPEN!) do we say to ourselves ‘How fortunate we are to live in a country where we have the right to worship as we please?’ I’m guessing that thought rarely crosses our minds. Christianity in the United States has become a given. Professing Christ will put us in the mainstream, not on the edge, and most likely nothing bad will happen to us as long as our practice of the Christian faith does not intrude on someone else’s. In our ‘middle of the road’ faith we look to God for comfort and safety, a peaceful presence and a reassuring familiarity. We do recognize a responsibility to help those less fortunate than we are, but mostly we do it from the comfort of our homes and the security of our bank accounts. Rarely are we asked to take any personal risks in advocacy of our faith.
The events in the world today provide a critical framework for this passage. Jesus said ‘Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword.’ Well, the world is anything but peaceful and the sword is already here and has been for 400 years, ever since slaves were brought to the Colonies. The discomfort we feel is because it’s becoming harder and harder to run to Jesus for reassurance. It seems through this passage that Jesus does not want to reassure us.
If we look at the life of Jesus, we don’t usually see him on the sidelines. The Jesus who heals and comforts and reassures is out there in the middle of the strife, and if we truly believe that Jesus is ‘the Way, the Truth, and the Life’ then we begin to understand the risks of our baptisms and our calling.
It must be emphasized that Jesus is not Republican or Democrat or conservative or liberal or a card carrying member of any organization or social movement, and we must be careful if we assume that in today’s conflicts Jesus, if he were here, would certainly be on ‘our side,’ whatever side that may be, leading us into battle as we proclaim victory! Remember, during Jesus’ time Israel suffered under the heavy hand of the Roman Empire and there was constant chafing

(occasionally violent, mostly just simmering underneath the surface) against its authority, yet Jesus’ approach to the oppressed and the privileged alike was founded not on retribution but on love. That’s what makes him unique among world-changers.
We see him proclaiming a Kingdom of Heaven on Earth that is a fulfillment of the law and not the by-product of insurrection. We know that Simon the Zealot’s (one of Jesus’ more activist disciples) goal was throwing off Roman oppression in a great popular uprising, a great rebirth of justice led by Jesus God’s Anointed. That doesn’t seem to have been Jesus’ way, and as we try to live out our lives following the example of Christ we are invited to contemplate a view of justice that’s more than just the victory of one group over another, more than just a ‘balancing of the scales’ more than a realigned social order following the precepts of human judgment.
Dear friends, our baptisms into the Body of Christ demands a response when the Body is hurting, and although, yes, Jesus is our friend and comforter, we must always keep in the front of our minds that it is we that do God’s work in the world. If there are risks to be taken in those efforts, we must take them. Yet, following the example of Christ, it is clear that our response cannot grow out of hate or bitterness or rage or a desire for revenge. A true desire for justice grows out of an all- encompassing love and an urgency for the dignity and well-being of our neighbors, especially those neighbors who are different from us! Having been remade in the Body of Christ and baptized in water and the Spirit, what is it in our own lives that, as a result of God’s love, has been life- changing? What new insight or gift have we been given that could only have come by the grace of God? What is it in us that rings so true to our very essence that we would defend it, we would stand on it, we would stand by it, even if it put us in conflict with our friends, our family, our nation? In other words, what has God given us that’s worth the risk? In today’s difficult passage, that’s what Jesus wants to know. And that which is worth the risk will be our Cross to hold high as we make our way in a broken world.
Let us pray for God’s people:
Almighty and everlasting God, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift: Send down upon thy people the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and, that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honor of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen. (BCP P.817)
REJOICE ALWAYS! PRAY WITHOUT CEASING! GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES! FOR THAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR US!
 

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