25 Nov 2019

SPTW: Nov 25, 2019

 

Calendar

Nov 28: Thanksgiving

Nov 30 at 11 am: Church cleaning and prepping for Advent.

Dec 1 at 10:15 Advent 1, Holy Eucharist & Homily Bishop Jennifer, presiding. A potluck follows the service. Please bring extra desserts to share during the Erin Hill concert.

Dec 1 at 2 pm, Erin Hill concert

St. Paul’s Outside the Walls — Communities in Schools, underwear collection

Dec 8 at 9:25 The Kinship Project, Energy, Stardust, and the Spirit of God

Dec 8 –10:15 Advent 2,

Holy Eucharist & Homily with Fr John, Celebrant.

 

In case you missed it:

We remember the family of Mary Tucker (Debbie), the family of Margaret McAndrews (Charlene and Dennis),Fr John and Cindy (the passing of a friend), Julia Abby (recovering/healing), and Jim Miller (healing).

 

For next week: Ushers, Mike and Jackie L; Lectors, Hannah H and Michael H; Chalicist, Kim H

Counters: Debbie T and Mike N

Church year starts on Sunday – refresher picture below.

Words from Sonny.

Over the past few years St. Paul’s has operated on a “Faith Budget” wherein an

annual budget was created, presented for approval at the annual meeting and the

finance committee prayed there would be income to cover expenses. The feeling

was that your giving was between you and God. Through your generous giving

we sometimes came close to meeting the goals of those budgets. But-----We

never quite met expectations. This past year we had to borrow from the

Endowment funds to meet our apportionment, pension and insurance obligations

to the tune of $22,000. Fortunately those funds were available so that we may

start 2020 with no arrearage.

The Finance Committee is about to put together a budget for 2020 but in this year

of transition needs a better handle on what income will look like. We are,

therefore, asking you to consider your giving to God and tell the Finance

committee what you might expect to give in 2020 so that they may better plan

the budget for the coming year. You will not be asked to fill out a pledge card

committing yourself to a specified amount. We realize that things happen that

changes a person’s ability to donate. You will not be bound to the amount you

specify and it won’t be cast in stone. Please just write your name on a piece of

paper, an amount (per week, month, year), fold it over (put a staple through it or

a piece of tape sealing it from view), mark it “Budget Committee” and place it in

the offering plate. They’ll appreciate it, and keep each one confidential. If you

don’t want to put your name on, just write the amount and mark it confidential.

Thanks from the Sr. Warden and your finance Committee

Words from Deacon Jim

LESSONS LEFT BY DON AND NANCY 2: BUILDING ON WHAT'S ALREADY THERE

When Don and Nancy came to St. Paul's eight years ago, they saw right away that we were already a friendly parish. They noticed how we had been forced to become self-reliant and how we had learned to turn to one another to get things done. Rather than trying to dismantle what was already here, Don and Nancy wisely decided to build on it.

  1. remember my first Sunday at St. Paul's. knew I was to be assigned some study here so Kathy and I decided to attend a Sunday service to get a feel for worship. Boy, were we surprised! The congregation was drawing pictures of trees! Not just any trees, mind you, but shade trees. Shade trees of all sizes and colors. The lesson was obvious but nonetheless important. We needed a symbol to give a name and purpose to our hospitality. Many churches use the image of a handshake to symbolize welcome; we became a shade tree inviting everyone to come in out of the sun, a shade tree that cools and comforts. Now that's hospitality that leads to holiness!

It's true we shouldn't live in the past, but we can draw from it and on it build something lasting. The shade tree served us well but in this time of transition and uncertainty maybe we need to revisit what we're about. What symbol can we use? Perhaps a mighty oak that withstands the fiercest of storms, perhaps a tiny mustard seed that grows into a tremendous plant, perhaps a shining star that pierces the darkness. What image can we think of into which we can pour such words as 'friendly,' 'accepting,' 'inviting,' 'sharing,' 'open', 'nurturing?' What can we build on that gives these words power and purpose? How can we turn simple acts of kindness into doing the healing work of Jesus on earth? Maybe it's time once again to get out the drawing paper and crayons! Blessings.

Words from Father John

Cliff Notes on the sermon for November 17, 2019

The Gospel for Sunday included a question about the destruction and the future of the regal and beloved temple in Jerusalem. Could it be that there is something here that applies to us as well? Is there anyone at St. Paul’s who does not have on their minds some form of the question “what is to come”? The Gospel reading (Luke 21:5-19) advises us no to be distracted but rather hold on to your faith.

The poet, singer and theologian Bob Dylan grew up in a Jewish family and embraced this faith fully making his bar mitzvah as a boy. He later turned to Christianity, but did not move away from his Jewish roots. He knows his Bible and the meaning of its words. We might gain some perspective of our question about what is to come by examining his shortest song. In this song he says “The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind, The answer is blowin' in the wind.”

For many of us who lived at the time that these words were penned, this was viewed as a protest song. Yet if we limit our view of the song to feelings of protest then we will miss the help that is before us. On the surface these words may seem ethereal and as capricious winds of time. If one stops at that point, they fail to grasp the theology presented by the author of these words.

The meaning of: “The answer, my friend is blowin’ in the wind” is rooted in our scriptures. The first occurs in the creation story. In Genesis 1: 2 we find “the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters”. The word for wind, breath and spirit in the Hebrew is the same word - Ruach.

It is also true for Greek, and Latin. In Greek it is pneuma from which we get pneumatic. In Latin it is spiritus, which is obviously related to our English word Spirit.

We see this also in the appearance of Jesus to the disciples in the evening of his resurrection when they had gathered together behind locked doors “for fear of the Jews”. Jesus said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” Jesus breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

This breath/Spirit also at Pentecost which is often called the “Birthday of the Church”. When “Suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and . . . all of them were filled with the Holy Spirit.” So, it seems the Breath/Spirit is ap art of beginnings and new beginnings. It brings in fresh air.

Could this phrase “the answer is blowin in the wind” perhaps have a fuller meaning for us now? It seems to me that the answer to the question “what is to come” is not so much to be found by “figuring it out” as it is to discern the leading of the Spirit for us. This certainly does not mean to take our head out of the process, but rather to use it in support of the guiding of the Spirit. It will require much prayer, patience and cooperation by all.

I don’t believe that anyone here desired, or even expected, two months ago, that we would be needing to confront this situation. Yes, this is a time filled with profound emotions. But it is where we are now. It is a time for us in prayerful reflection to discern our way forward. Remembering the creation story, Jesus’ appearance to his disciples and the Pentecost experience, try to heed the advice of Bob Dylan and remember that: The answer, my friend, is blowin' in the wind. The answer is blowin' in the wind.”

John Allen

 

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