24 May

 THE GABRIEL
Parish Newsletter for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church May 24, 2021
Calendar Reminders
Correction: May 24 6:30 PM Bible Study Group, Bsmt Meeting Room
May 29 9:30-11:30 am AA Meeting
MAY 30 10:15 AM Sunday worship: In-Person Service, streamed live on FaceBook
June 7 10:00AM and 6:30PM Circle of Prayer, ZOOM
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm daily: https://cathedral.org/worship/
Collect for 1st Sunday after Pentecost (May 30th)
Almighty and everlasting God, you have given to us your servants grace, by the confession of a true faith, to acknowledge the glory of the eternal Trinity, and in the power of your divine Majesty to worship the Unity: Keep us steadfast in this faith and worship, and bring us at last to see you in your one and eternal glory, O Father; who with the Son and the Holy Spirit live and reign, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Isaiah 6:1-8; Romans 8:12-17; John 3:1-17; Psalm 29 1
    
OUR PARISH PRAYERS:
Intercessor: With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying/chanting:
Intercessor: For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples,
 Cantor:
People:
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
Cantor:
People:
Intercessor: Cantor: People:
Intercessor:
those who live in them,
Cantor:
People:
Intercessor: conserve it, Cantor: People:
Cantor:
People:
Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For Michael our Presiding Bishop, for Jennifer our Bishop, for Mauricio, Bishop Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
Intercessor:
of our sister diocese in Brasilia; in our diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for St. John’s, Mt. Vernon--The Rev. Allen Rutherford; and for all clergy and people,
For Jeffersonville, Clark County and for every city and community, and for Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord have mercy.
Intercessor:
suffering. We remember all who have asked us to remember them in prayer, especially Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John, Fred, Laura and Michael.
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the
For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for
Intercessor:
prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, Cantor: Let us pray to the Lord.
People: Lord, have mercy.
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Intercessor: Cantor: People:
Intercessor: Cantor: People:
Intercessor: reproach, Cantor: People:
For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without Let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.
In the communion of St Paul and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and
FROM THE GABRIEL TEAM:
ONLINE MORNING PRAYER SERVICES: The next service will begin Sunday,
May 30th at 10:15 am. 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.
THE COVID REPORT from Kim Hedges will not be appearing for the forseeable future due to technology issues. To check the information for yourself, go to the following website: Clark County, Indiana (IN) - COVID Vaccine & Risk Tracker - Covid Act Now Sorry for the inconvenience!
VACCINE REPORT REMINDER: THANK YOU to all who have reported in! To those who have not yet been vaccinated, please remember to let us know when you have been able to receive your vaccination. Our record of those vaccinated is excellent.
Intercessor:
one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.
 People:
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MANY THANKS for your continued faithful responses to the need for funds. We all will appreciate your prayers and contributions.
CRITIC OF THE WEEK AWARDS TO BE GIVEN! The parish secretary has noticed (unfortunately, always after publication) that there are increasing numbers of errors in past issues of The Gabriel. The Sr. Warden has agreed to a weekly contest to see who can identify the greatest number of errors in the current newsletter. In addition to mention in the following newsletter, the winner will receive a free seat at the following Sunday morning service, and a free cup of coffee at coffee hour. Please send in your list of errors each week to: stpaulsjeff@gmail.com. 
PARISH OFFICE HOURS : MTWF 10:00-4:30 and Thurs 10:00 to 1:00 pm.
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.
WE ARE BACK!!!
Technology problems have plagued St. Paul’s and her membership all this past week and continue to do so. Nevertheless, the morning of Pentecost found us gathered together in one place, and with singleness of heart we worshipped together, shared the Eucharist, passed the Peace (in our own way), and raised our voices in song. It was wonderful, and the first sounds of our responses and our singing brought tears to my eyes. And it was good. See you next week!
VESTRY MEETING NOTES FROM MAY 20TH
The meeting of the Vestry was called to order at 6:30 PM by Sr. Warden, Walker “Sonny” McCulloch. Members of the Vestry and others present were Steve Fleece, Charlene McAndrews, Susan Madara, Marylee James, Ben Sapp, Clerk Bill McCulloch and Deacon Jim Stanton. Mike Nelson and Bob Madara were also present, representing the Property Committee.
Deacon Jim Stanton opened the meeting with prayer.
Mike Nelson and Bob Madara were asked to report first on the results of the HVAC systems work performed by Roberts on May 17 and 19. It had been decided to prioritize the Air Conditioners for maintence/repairs first. At the time of the meeting all the A/C work has been completed except for the unit at Centerstone. The units beneath the sanctuary #1-3
had refrigerant added, and it was noted that the heat exchange units have problems which
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will be addressed in the Fall. At 321 a capacitor was changed. In the church basement 1# of refrigerant was added. For the Parish Hall, capacitors were changed on each of the two units and refrigerant was added to each for a total of 9 pounds in the 8 units. Roberts will return in 1 month to check the units to see if there actually are leaks. All 8 units require new heat exchanger in the Fall, and if there actually are cracks in the furnace units we will have to install new units to replace them. We do not have the bill for this week’s services, but Mike and Bob estimate it to be between $1650 and $1900.
Bob and Mike were commended by the vestry for the time and effort they have expended on our behalf.
CORRECTION TO LAST MONTH’S MINUTES: Steve Fleece was also present at the meeting.
Deacon Stanton’s report included Thank-you’s to Susan, Charlene & Dennis, and Ben on helping us to be ready to reopen on Sunday the 23rd for in-person services. He also thanked Ben and Steve for representing St. Paul’s at the College for Congregational Development at Waycross July 18-24. Susan was thanked as well for her completion of an entire liturgical year set of banners for the sanctuary.
Lay Eucharistic Visitor training is scheduled for Tuesday, June 15th, 7:00 pm. Jim and Mary Taflinger (rector Trinity Lawrenceburg) will lead this ZOOM training. Others are welcome to train and serve as LEVs, bringing communion to shut-ins.
Kathy Stanton is preparing an up-to-date reference manual for the Altar Guild. Volunteers are needed.
Changes to the reopening guidelines were sent out today by Bishop Jennifer, and will be incorporated in our services beginning May 23rd.
The Senior Warden’s report included the progress he is making with the health problems resulting from last month’s fall. He then introduced a request for donations from Dare to Care and moved to send them $100. Steve seconded the motion and it was passed.
At the time of the meeting, we had not heard back from Matt Wood about the kitchen floor in 321. He has since inspected the situation and determined that a large portion of the subfloor has rotted away and will need to be replaced, as will the linoleum. The estimate is for $2,850. The estimate was approved by the Sr. Warden, and work will commence on Monday, May 24th.
The refrigerator issue is not resolved yet. The deal to remove the old unit has fallen through. Information on possible purchases of refrigerators was given. Susan made a motion to purchase the 20 cubic foot stainless steel refrigerator from Best Buy, Sonny seconded the motion and the vestry voted to accept it.
Midwest Sprinkler has not yet responded to our request for an estimate to fix the leak in the downstairs office.
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Our technology is up and running for broadcasting services from the sanctuary. Two services have already been broadcast from there.
There is no change in the status of the organ.
Bill gave an oral treasurer’s report which revealed that we remain in good standing with little concern about having a supply priest and musician for the remainder of the year, if possible. All bills are paid to date, including our church insurance.
The next meeting will be held on June 17th at 6:30. This meeting was adjourned at 7:15 pm.
FROM REV. JOHN ALLEN: SERMON FROM SUNDAY, MAY 30TH
Well, here we are together again in person. How do you feel being back in this place for worship? A lot is the same but there are obvious differences. I have spent quite a bit of time anticipating what this day might look like. I guess that this is perhaps the same for you.
Several metaphors for this time have come to mind. The most obvious one to me is that of celebrating a birthday – this Day of Pentecost is often called the “Birthday of the Church”. As I think of this metaphor, it is not about just any birthday. It would be one that has great significance for that particular day and also the future. Try to recall or envision some of your very important birthdays. Maybe it is your 16th birthday when you could then actually embrace getting your driver’s license. Or it might be like your 18th birthday that allowed you to vote in elections or it could also be like your 21st birthday on which you became of full legal age.
Each of these days were brimming with grand possibilities but with each also came great responsibilities. The path forward for St. Paul’s is different from anything from the past. It is trite to say but also true. We knew that things had changed when Nancy and Don left. But the changes that have been experienced in these last fifteen months have been greatly compounded. Nevertheless, like birthdays, they are brimming with grand possibilities and also are filled with great responsibilities.
The Day of Pentecost presented the disciples with grand possibilities that they had neither asked for, nor anticipated. Think back on what we heard in our first lesson a short time ago?
“When the day of Pentecost had come, the disciples were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were
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sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Remember that only a short time back they were gathered “behind locked doors for fear of the Jews”. And now they are rushing out into the streets which are filled with people form every realm of their world. And they are showing anything but fear. So why did they do it? How did they overcome their previous fears? The answer is clearly presented in the line from the Book of Acts that I just quoted: “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.”
But can we, who did not experience that Pentecost event, allow ourselves to deeply reflect on the meaning of these events which we call the Birth of the Church? In so doing we are compelled to ask “how are we going to engage the grand possibilities and as well as the great responsibilities that arise before us”? Now it is true that none of us has had quite the same experience as those disciples had. My thinning hair and that of Jim are most assuredly not the result of being scorched by tongues of fire. The first place to begin this engagement for the future is found in prayer.
Like the passage from Acts we also heard a prayer that points us in the proper direction. The collect for today asks in part:
“O God, who on this day taught the hearts of your faithful people by sending to them the light of your Holy Spirit: Grant us by the same Spirit to have a right judgment in all things,”
I do not say these things lightly. In my over fifty years of ordained ministry and many years before that, I have found that prayerful introspection is the only way to persevere in what is addressed in the Epistle to the Hebrews as: “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31) KJV
There were certainly birth pains in the Birth of the Church. Just read the events and actions included in the Acts of the Apostles. There will undoubtedly be pains in what is the rebirth of St. Paul’s that is being encountered now.
As many of you know, shortly after I finished my time as the priest here during the sabbatical, I went to serve as the Interim Rector of Calvary in Louisville. This was a congregation in crisis in several ways. They had paid their previous rector to leave and were also struggling with the question of the nature of the ministry of an inter-city parish. Early on, I offered the parish in general and the vestry in particular a prayer from page 832 of the Prayer Book entitled “For Guidance”. I will pray it as adapted to the first person singular as it is now a personal prayer for me.
O God, by whom the meek are guided in judgment, and light rises up in darkness for the godly: Grant me, in all my doubts and uncertainties, the grace to ask what you would have me to do, that the Spirit of wisdom may save me from all false choices, and that in your
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light I may see light, and in your straight path may not stumble; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
There are copies of this along with another prayer for guidance near the entrances and exits of this worship space.
There is a corollary to the use of this prayer and in fact all prayer in general. It involves the degree to which we are able to truly believe and accept the message of Pentecost. In the portion from the Gospel of John that Jim read for us we heard Jesus say: “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth”. This is the gift that was given to the disciples at the Birth of the Church. It is the gift that we also continue to receive as we seek to follow in their way. This like all gifts must be used in order to be valued. In this context, I am reminded of the young house wife who spent so much of her time sweeping and cleaning the house for her family that she scarcely had time to be with them. So, her husband bought her a new vacuum cleaner with all of the necessary attachments so that her house work could be done more quickly. She was so thrilled with it that she kept it unopened in its box which she placed in a prominent place in the living room so that all who came in could see how much her husband cared about her.
If you wonder whether you are able to fully engage in deep prayer “with all of its attachments”, recall the words of St. Paul in his letter to the Romans from the reading morning as they questioned their ability to pray: “the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.”
The Pentecost event had profound corporate and individual dimensions. This is also true for St. Paul’s today. We began our worship this morning by gathering together using these words: “See how good and pleasant it is when brothers and sisters live together in harmony. For the Lord has ordained his blessing Peace forevermore.” I did not choose these words which are adapted from Psalm 133, but to me they are an apt description of the community of St. Paul’s. And this is the key for how this community will move forward. Not by the work of only a few, but through the community as a whole. Now that most of the restrictions related to COVID that have separated us from each other we can now become again the community we love.
Many of us can repeat the instructions given on each plane ride: “Put on your own oxygen mask first – and here I paraphrase it slightly for our purposes - SO THAT YOU WILL BE ABLE TO JOIN IN HELPING THOSE AROUND YOU. We are all in this together. And there IS a sweet, sweet spirit in this place.
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 REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, GIVE THANKS IN ALL
 Quote for the Week:
CIRCUMSTANCES,
 FOR THAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU!
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