24 January

  THE GABRIEL
Parish Newsletter for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
January 24, 2022
Calendar Reminders
    Jan 24
Jan 29
Jan 30
Rev. Larry Minter. On Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_ videos/
6:00 pm NA Meeting, Educ. Wing
9:30-11:30 am AA Meeting
10:15 am Holy Eucharist, with
  Collect for 4th Sunday After Epiphany (January 30th)
Almighty and everlasting God, you govern all things both in heaven and on earth: Mercifully hear the supplications of your people, and in our time grant us your peace; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Jeremiah 1:4-10; 1 Corinthians 13:1-13; Luke 4:21-30; Psalm 71:1-6
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OUR PARISH PRAYERS:
God of light and life, our prayers rise before you this day in hope and faith.
Bless our global family remembering especially Michael our Presiding Bishop, Jennifer our Bishop, and Mauricio, Bishop of Brasilia. In our diocesan cycle of prayer, we remember St. Paul’s, Columbus--The Rev. Kathy Thomas; and all who minister in your name.
In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
Flame of abundant love, be our Joy in proclaiming your Good News to the world.
We pray for all who are coming to faith, all who wonder about faith, and all who are struggling with faith...
In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
Light of all creation, guide us to lead, teach and nurture your disciples In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
We pray for those in need of food, shelter, clothing, and of God's healing touch. Comforter of the suffering, warm our hearts and hands to loving service. Look with mercy on all who flee from violence and war, for those who are poor and powerless, and all who suffer; and we especially pray for Lois, Virginia, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Delani, David & Michele, Robert, and Charles. In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
We pray for the world, especially where there is trouble and suffering, far away or nearby... In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
Ember of steadfast care, fuel our passion to challenge injustice and violence and to pursue peace and reconciliation
In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
We pray for the land on which we stand, the peoples, creatures, plant life and waters around us...
In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
Star of glory, lead us to care for this fragile earth, our island home, and to heal the circle of creation
In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
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God of radiant light, your love illumines our hopes before we know them, and our needs before we ask.
In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
Kindle your flame within us, that in our prayers and service,
We may know your transforming presence at work in the world around us. In faith and hope
We pray to you O God
All this we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Amen
FROM THE GABRIEL TEAM:
NEXT SUNDAY (January 30th): Holy Eucharist will be celebrated by Rev. Larry Minter. It will be live and in person at St. Paul’s, and on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/
Please join us, during or after the service, and tell others about the service. Also check YouTube for videos of past services: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCynD2CNlCMbJ5YOb1Euce5Q.
Don’t forget—the little red wagon is waiting to be filled with food donations for the Center for Lay Ministries! Please note that the wagon has been moved to the Parish Hall entrance, on your left as you enter.
LICENSED LAY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS, Dennis and Charlene McAndrews, remain ready and eager to bring communion to any who are unable to be present at Sunday services. Whether you regularly attend Sunday service but cannot get here for any reason on a given Sunday, or you are homebound and would like to have the Eucharist brought to you once, or on a regular basis, please contact Marylee at the church office: 812-282-1108, or stpaulsjeff@gmail.com .
Virginia Bushau reminds us that she is making capes and muffs or mittens for those who are in need. If you know any person or organization in need, please let us know at the church office by phone or email, and we will get the information to her.
MANY THANKS for your continued faithful responses to the need for funds. PARISH OFFICE HOURS: MTWF 10am to 4:30pm Th 10am to 1pm.
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If you have something you’d like to add to the next newsletter (including a brief update on what you and/or your family have been doing since last we met together), please email the team at stpaulsjeff@gmail.com by Sunday afternoon. Please put “newsletter” in the subject line.
STATUS OF ROAD WORK ON WALNUT STREET
Today it is very quiet around St. Paul’s. The workers have begun to fill in and cover the holes in Walnut Street and at the intersection with E. Market, and about 85% of the heavy equipment has been moved elsewhere. There is hope for Sunday!
E. Market Street remains closed between Locust Street & Main Street. Work will be taking place in the intersection of Walnut/E.Market, Meigs/E.Market, and Fulton/E. Market. Traffic will be detoured to E. Maple Street.
You will be kept informed of any additional information we receive.
ANNUAL BUSINESS MEETING
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Jeffersonville IN held their Annual Business Meeting after church on Sunday, January 23rd, during and following coffee hour. Sr. Warden Ben Sapp led the meeting through the report, which included end of year statements of Profit and Loss and a Balance Sheet, a review of committees and membership, and reports from Mike Nelson of the Property Committee, from Ben Sapp of the Endowment Committee, and the Sr. Warden’s report. All reports were approved by the church members present. A motion to include the statement “all paperwork and computer records are to remain on site at the church, and all work to be done shall be done at the church” with the Treasurer’s job description was passed. The Sr. Warden and Vestry were approved as nominated. The addition of a Technology Committee was approved. The meeting was adjourned amid excitement and energy for the coming year. Reports will be sent out to church members who regularly support the work of the church; other church members may call the church office and request a copy to be sent to them. They cannot be sent by email because of the different formats of the reports that make their inclusion in a combined computer file beyond our present capabilities.
LAUGH FOR THE DAY submitted by Jim Stanton, from bulletin bloopers in other churches. It’s nice to see we are not the only ones making mistakes!!
“The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday.”
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FROM Fr. John: Sermon at St. Paul’s for January 23, 2022
Well, I have some good news and some bad news this morning. The good news is that the lessons today give us a pretty clear picture of what Jesus came to do and also what our part in it should be. The bad news is that the lessons today give us a pretty clear picture of what Jesus came to do and also what our part in it should be.
I heard a story recently that helped me to see these lessons more clearly. It seems that a man was reading his paper one morning when a bird flew into the window pane across the table from him. He immediately went out to check on the bird. He soon discovered that it had broken its wing and so was unable to fly. So being a kind person he decided to try to nurture the bird back to health. After a month or so the wing seemed to be healed. He decided to set the bird that he had nurtured go free. With great expectation he took the bird outside to let it fly away. He carefully set it on a low branch onto which the bird grasped firmly. But the bird just stayed there. It did not fly away. It just stayed on that branch. He then put the bird in the palm of his hand and lifted it up. He was hoping that this might help the bird to decide to fly. After several other attempts he came to believe that the bird had forgotten how to fly. What could he do? He wished that he could become a bird and come to teach this bird how to fly.
This illustrates why Jesus came to earth. Jesus came to earth teach humanity to do what it seemed that it has forgotten how to do. Quite simply, Jesus came to show us how to live as God intends us.
In the second lessons today we heard what Paul wrote to the people of Corinth. “Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”. Since, according to St. Paul we are Christ’s body does it perhaps mean that we are to continue to carry out the mission of Christ? And we need to look no further than the Gospel reading for today to see a clear vision of what Jesus said this mission is.
So, Jesus goes to his home town of Nazareth reads from the Prophet Isaiah which said "The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor." After a pause he says: “Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He declares quite directly that this is the purpose of his life. That is the purpose of the life of the Anointed One - which is the Christ.
I believe that St. Paul makes it is abundantly clear that we are also called “to bring good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, and to let the oppressed go free”? In Matthew 25 there are several other examples of what we are to do as disciples of Jesus. “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’ (Matt 25:35-36)
Holding these words in our minds we need to invest some spiritual time during this green season of growth called Epiphany. The investment is in examining what we actually believe. So let begin by taking a look at what the Bible tells us about belief.
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We find Belief as a central word in the Gospel of John in particular. John 3:16 is but one example. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” Belief is also used toward the end of that Gospel where we find: “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.” (John 20:30-31)
A close look at the Greek word that has come to be translated as Believe might shed some light on this. What Believe does not mean is an intellectual agreement with something. It, rather, has its roots in a deep connection with the feeling of having total trust. So, inserting this into John 3:16 it would read “that whoever has total trust in him shall not perish”. In a further note, the Greek word that is translated as Believe is also translated as having Faith depending on its context. The call of Jesus to us is that we have TOTAL TRUST IN HIM! It does not at all have to do with our having an intellectual understanding about Jesus. It has everything to do with the depth of trust that we have in him. I believe that being encompassed by this trust is how he wants us to live.
As I said earlier, the Good News is that the lessons today give us a pretty clear picture of what Jesus came to do and also what our part in it should be. The Bad News is that the lessons today give us a pretty clear picture of what Jesus came to do and also what our part in it should be.
So, we might ask what would it be like to grow in this trust? In Mark 9:24 we hear of a father of a sick child who had been brought to Jesus say “I believe; help my unbelief”. Aside from being concerned about a sick child, I would guess that many of us might make the same request of Jesus. That is to say that we are not starting from square one. Maybe not far from square one at times but certainly a few steps past that point.
For those of you who have made a new year’s resolution to get in better shape, there are some similarities here. It is not that you have no understanding about exercise and eating more healthy foods. And this again is a “good news” – “bad news” situation. We know about it and we have likely failed at in the past. So how do we get started this time?
I ran track in high school. We began each afternoon by running warm up laps. I did not try to start off with a first running stride. I always started with a skip and then stepped out. It was just a way to get my body moving without actually striding out. I never began a race with this technique but it worked fine for me as a way to start in practice.
So, what might this look like for you? A first “skip step” might be to look around at your surroundings. Using Matthew 25 as a guide you might ask of yourself where do I see someone hungry or thirsty or sick or in need of clothes? The next step might require you to move a bit out of your comfort zone by not to looking at them with pity but instead with loving compassion. That is looking through the eyes of Jesus. That is looking as one who has trust that God will show you how to respond. Then you might be able to give them what they actually need. Not just to give them what you no longer want or need. This is a way to test your wings as bird would as it learns to fly. Or maybe we might just say “Lord I believe; help my unbelief”.
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