27 June 2022

  THE GABRIEL
Parish Newsletter for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
June 27, 2022
     World-famous recording artist, harpist and vocalist Erin Hill will be performing at St. Paul’s:
THIS COMING SATURDAY, 7:00 pm in the Sanctuary!
Free and open to the Public.
Be a sponsor for $25 or a business sponsor for $35
Free-will offering benefits Bliss House.
:.
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Calendar Reminders:
June 27
June 25
July 2
July 3
coffee in the parish hall afterwards!
6:00 pm NA Meeting, Ed. Wing 9:30 am AA Meeting, Parish Hall
7:00 pm Erin Hill Concert in the Sanctuary!
10:15 am Holy Eucharist with Rev. Suzanne Barrow. Join us for
Collect for Sunday, July 3 (Proper 9)
O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons for July 3 2 Kings 5:1-14 Psalm 30 Galatians 6:1-6, 7-16 Luke 10:1-11, 16-20
Hymns for This Coming Sunday:
Opening H82 450 All Hail the Power of Jesus’ Name Closing H82 719 America, the Beautiful
[ DO YOU HAVE A FAVORITE HYMN? WE’RE LISTENING! ]
Prayers of the People
Pray for the coming of the Holy Spirit!
Please say a prayer for the Universal Church, its members and mission. (now, listen...)
Please say a prayer for the Nation and all in authority. (now, listen...)
Please say a prayer for the welfare of the World. (now, listen...)
Please say a prayer for the concerns of the local community. (now, listen...)
Please say a prayer for those who are suffering or in trouble. (now, listen...)
Please say a prayer for the departed. (now, listen...)
Please say a prayer for what’s on your heart and mind...
Lord, hear the prayers of thy people; and what we have asked faithfully, and strengthen us to do thy will. Amen.
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IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT!
Help us publicize Erin Hill! Erin is known throughout the world for her amazing harp playing and gorgeous voice BUT IT IS UP TO US TO LET THE COMMUNITY THAT ERIN WILL BE GIVING A CONCERT HERE ON JULY 2nd at 7:00pm to BENEFIT BLISS HOUSE! PLEASE BE A SPONSOR FOR $25 OR ASK A BUSINESS TO SPONSOR FOR $35. PLEASE RESPOND BY WEDNESDAY!
_____ Yes, I will be an individual sponsor for $25. (Name in program or remain anonymous.) Name: _____________
______ Yes, business sponsor for $35. (Business info or Card in program.) Business Name: ___________________
We WELCOME you to worship! St. Paul’s is a WELCOMING Faith Community and Christ’s Table is open to all. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a long-time member you are a Blessing to us. You are invited to worship with us live on Sundays at 10:15. (Plan on joining us for coffee after the service!) You can also tune in on Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/
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 _ 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 .
MANY THANKS for your continued faithful responses to the need for funds. PARISH OFFICE HOURS: MTWF 12 Noon to 4:30pm Th – no office hours.
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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), let us know at stpaulsjeff@gmail.com
Sermon by Fr. John Allen, June 26, 2022
We watched a movie last week that had an old song that ran through out it. That song resided in my head for some time. From what I hear this may be a common thing for many of us. A few days ago, I walked into a restaurant to have breakfast with some longtime friends and that same song was playing. As I have reflected on this song, I feel that it might have something to say to us this morning. The song was composed by Joni Mitchell in 1968. I thought that its name was “Clouds” but have since found out that it was released with the title “From Both Sides”. I would guess that many of you have heard it.
Rows and flows of angel hair And ice cream castles in the air And feather canyons everywhere Looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and they snow on everyone So many things I would have done But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now From up and down and still somehow
It's cloud illusions I recall
I really don't know clouds at all
In a similar way this song moves beyond CLOUDS to look at LOVE and then to look at LIFE. As we read the Gospels up until the resurrection, it seems that many of the disciples might have had to confess that: It's Jesus’ illusions I recall, I really don't know Jesus at all. Dare I ask to what degree this might apply to any of us?
The encounter in the Gospel reading today reveals the fired-up emotions of the two brothers James and John as they ask Jesus "Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" Did they “really not know Jesus at all?”
There is actually a significant history behind the question by those brothers. The idea of calling down of fire upon a Samaritan village is rooted in an event from one hundred and fifty years before that visit. There was a temple in Samaria that was built to commemorate that the followers of Moses had come to Samaria well before they moved south to Jerusalem. That temple was destroyed by the High Priest in Jerusalem because the Samaritans would not accept the supremacy of Jerusalem. This is was likely the final element of the destruction of the relationship between the Samaritans and the Jews.
Destroying their central place of worship was a sure-fire way to get them to really hate you. The Samaritan’s hated the Jews and the Jews thought that the Samaritan’s were a bunch of impure
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people who were not true followers of Moses. For this reason, many Jews avoided traveling through Samaria altogether. They would take a long detour around the whole country to avoid an encounter. Apparently, Jesus did check on local travel advisories and so headed through Samaria. This resulted in some significant discomfort for James and John.
This is where the Epistle for today connects with the Gospel. Remember that it began with these words: “For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.” It appears to me that the reaction of James and John revealed that their “slavery” resulted from being mired in a past era. They were not free to see the Samaritan’s as children of God, but only as those people who did not believe the same way as they did. It is evident that Jesus still had work to do with them. I might ask if perhaps Jesus still has work to do with us as well.
But as Paul Harvey would have said there is a “rest of the story” that links both the Gospel and the Epistle for today. The selection of the Gospel reading today ended with this powerful and challenging statement: “Let the dead bury their own dead” was later followed by: "No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God." Jesus quite clearly proclaims that a singular focus on what is ahead is required of his followers.
I believe as I indicated earlier that one of “Life’s Illusions” is that the past dictates how we will respond in the present. James and John revealed their preoccupation with the past in their invitation to Jesus. But they were not only exhibiting that they were being held as slaves to the past. They were also exhibiting that they were slaves to their emotions. They seem to have been offended by the lack of hospitality from the Samaritans and desired to wipe out their village. They demonstrated another illusion of life and that is the belief that what others say or do to us defines us.
In my past sermons here, I have often used examples from Dr. Kevin Elko a noted speaker and life coach. He tells of a time when he was speaking at a conference in New York and was being heckled by an elderly man in the front row. He recounts this story in his book The Sender.
One time he yelled at me, "You don't know anything!" And finally, the crowd shushed him and he left. But I did not go down and choke him; I didn't even get the urge to. Look, I’m no superman. I’m human. I have an ego, unfortunately, I have to surrender every day to God. But why didn't I have the urge to yell back? Then I figured out why it didn't bother me: I didn't come there for their approval. No, I came there to give them the best talk I knew how to give; a talk I felt they needed to hear.
Did you ever pause sometime in your own life to entertain this thought? God did create me to seek to gain the approval of others or maybe instead for me to seek to live my life the best we that I am able as I work to follow Jesus? This second option is, I believe what it means to be truly free. St. Paul expressed it well in this morning’s reading. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. The desire of the flesh may be to bring fire down on those who offend you or to strangle the heckler on the front row of your life. Neither Paul, nor Jesus ever said that this is easy. But this is what it means to focus forward to follow Jesus.
We are likewise challenged by the words in the Epistle to the people of Philippi: “I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me. (Philippians 3:13-14)
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On of the things that I rejoice in about this congregation called St. Paul’s is that you have to a large degree left much of your past trials behind you so that you can press on to what God has called you to be. As an example, may I ask how many of you held on to the belief that you would hear this organ played in your life time?
I believe that this is so because the fruits of the Spirit were unpacked and enjoyed here. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control”. Without love, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control you would not have the joy and peace that can come from this musical gift. Remember that the fruit of the Spirit like any gift must be unwrapped and used daily to accomplish the purpose for which it is. My prayer is that you will continue to be blessed by embracing the fruit of the Spirit here intended.
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A Hidden Treasure!
Tucked away in the back of the Sanctuary is a lovely kneeling bench for moments of personal worship and prayer. You are invited to spend some quiet time talking to God in the privacy of your own thoughts, needs, celebrations and griefs. You may light a candle as you lay open your heart to the Lord and you can leave with a kit for making your own Anglican Prayer Beads. The bench is available throughout the week. Call Marylee.
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