2 August

  THE GABRIEL
Parish Newsletter for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church August 2, 2021
Calendar Reminders
Aug 2 6:00 pm NA Meeting, Parish Hall
Aug 5 5:00 Clark Co. CARES Panel on Recovery, St. Paul’s and on line
Aug 7 9:30-11:00 am AA Meeting
Aug 8 10:15 am Holy Eucharist, with Rev.Suzanne Barrow. On Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_ videos/
Correction: Aug 18 6:30 pm Bible Study, Bsmt Meeting Room
Collect for 11th Sunday after Pentecost (August 8th)
Grant to us, Lord, we pray, the spirit to think and do always those things that are right, that we, who cannot exist without you, may by you be enabled to live according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Lessons: 1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:1-8; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41- 51
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OUR PARISH PRAYERS:
Today, we pray for our church: for Michael, our presiding bishop, for Jennifer our bishop, and for the people of our companion diocese of Brasilia, and their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mauricio Andrade; and in the diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for St. Mary’s, Martinsville--Ms. Peggy Miller, Senior Warden. 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, especially for those who have asked us to remember them in prayer: Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John, Fred, Laura, Michael, and Robert. Comforter of the suffering, warm our hearts and hands to loving service.
We pray to you O 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.
 REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, GIVE THANKS IN ALL
 CIRCUMSTANCES,
 FOR THAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU!
FROM THE GABRIEL TEAM:
NEXT SUNDAY (August 8th): Holy Eucharist will be celebrated by Rev.Suzanne Barrow. Don’t forget—the little red wagon is waiting to be filled with food donations for the Center for Lay Ministries!
ONLINE MORNING PRAYER SERVICES: The next service will begin Sunday, August 8th 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.
MANY THANKS for your continued faithful responses to the need for funds. Please bear in mind that with our return to in-person services, costs begin to escalate and your contributions are still needed.
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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.
CELEBRATION OF THE LIFE OF DORIS WILSON
   On August 29th, lastThursday morning at 11:00 am, the family and friends of the late Doris Wilson gathered at St. Paul’s to say goodbye to Doris, and to remember all that she had meant to us collectively and individually. The Rev. Suzanne Barrow officiated at the ceremony which had been planned by Doris herself, and faithfully carried out by her son Bruce Milliken and all who took part in the service. The hymns selected by Doris reflected her faith, and her courage: we began by singing “In the Garden,” --a wonderfully peaceful reminder of lovingly sharing time with God in peace and joy—and ended the service with “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!” Broken hearts began their mending as a beautiful life of nine-plus decades was honored.
 The flowers remained in the nave, and this past Sunday for the first time in many months we had fresh flowers for our service.
My God grant His peace and rest to Doris, and watch over and bless all who miss her beloved presence.
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 FROM REV. JOHN ALLEN, from Sunday Sermon on Aug. 1sr, 2021
The Gospel for today ends with this sentence: “then Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35) So I thought that I would pick up there.
So how is our hunger nourished? How is our thirst quenched by Jesus? Yes, we know that Jesus did both of these things when he physically walked this earth. There was the feeding of the multitude that we had as our Gospel lesson last week. There was the wedding banquet at which Jesus turned the water into wine. Now those occasions were certainly important to the people who were there but it was not a lasting fullness. BUT what is there for us NOW?
On Tuesdays I participate in the Food Pantry at Calvary across the river. This is a critical ministry for most of those who go there. But they will be hungry and thirsty in the days to come. So, what is it that Jesus is talking about in this passage from the Gospel of John? “Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” We can find some direction in the teaching of Jesus from what we call the Sermon on the Mount. There we are told “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled”. (Matthew 5:6) Righteous essentially means to have the right or more particularly a full relationship with God.
Bishop Curry, our Presiding Bishop offered a guide for maintaining our spiritual hydration. He regularly invites us to a fuller life as “The Episcopal Branch of The Jesus Movement”. Bishop Curry goes on to proclaim that: “We’re following Jesus into a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, with each other and with the earth.”
 We can also find direction in a comment that my daughter-in-law made last week. She had just
 completed a 75-day workout regimen that included drinking a gallon of water each day. She says that her overall health is greatly improved. She also said “you know, drinking that much, I never am thirsty.” Simply stated if we keep well hydrated, we do not feel thirsty.
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Beautiful words but, what does that really mean? “To be in a loving, liberating and life-giving relationship with God, with each other and with the earth?” What do we need to do to more fully follow in this way? When serving a church in Columbia, South Caroline the choir sang a prayer before every worship service. We have used it here as well:
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me Melt me, mold me, fill me use me
Spirit of the Living God, fall afresh on me
I must caution you to WATCH OUT FOR WHAT YOU SO EASILY PRAY FOR! These are beautiful words BUT, when we stop to examine them more fully it is not so much an invitation to the Holy Spirit to pour grace upon us as it is a profound offering up of ourselves to the power of the Holy Spirit. I feel that few of us have stopped to let these words be fully felt. Melt Me? If you ever thought about complaining about the heat of an August day, think about the heat required to melt something. Wax melts fairly easily but, the result is not often very substantial. Metals are what were usually melted in the day of Jesus and that heat is extreme. To be molded by the Holy Spirit means to be formed into whatever the Holy Spirit might chose. Then that vessel which we now are, is to be filled by that same spirit and then used for the work of that same Spirit. Yes, beautiful words and we find a parallel for them in the Eucharistic Prayer that we will use today. There I pray for you saying: “we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus, and we offer ourselves to you in him”.
Or go back and review the opening hymn this morning. The third verse includes these words:
“Cure thy children’s waring madness, bend our pride to thy control; Shame our wanton, selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul”
At the last General Convention Bishop Curry offered us a guide in what he calls The Way of Love: Practices for Jesus-Centered Life
With TURN Bishop Curry said “To Pause, to listen and to Choose to follow Jesus. In Baptism, the candidate and Godparents are asked “Do you turn to Jesus Christ and accept him as your Savior?”
To LEARN: Here we are asked to reflect on Scripture each day, especially on Jesus’ life and teachings. This summer the Gospel readings are primarily from the Gospel according to Mark although there are occasional inserts from the Gospel of John as we have today. The Gospel of Mark is the simplest and most importantly for our purposes today it is the shortest. There are only 16 Chapters. If you only read half of a chapter each day you would finish Mark before Labor Day!
The next element is PRAY: We are asked to dwell intentionally with God daily. The intent here is to move beyond “saying our prayers” to rather seeing ourselves in God’s presence.
WORSHIP is something with which you are probably the most familiar. Here, we gather in community weekly to thank, praise, and dwell with God. Jesus told his disciple in the Gospel of Matthew “for where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them”. I believe that this is true for those sharing our worship through Facebook.
The fifth element is BLESS. In this way we share faith and unselfishly give and serve. This is not about seeking to be blessed but rather to be a blessing to others. The Prayer of St. Francis reminds us that “it is giving that we receive; it I in pardoning that we are pardoned.” We might add to that it is in blessing that we are blessed.
 There are seven elements to this invitation to grow into that Jesus-Centered life. There are: TURN, LEARN, PRAY, WORSHIP, BLESS, GO AND REST.
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The sixth piece is the most difficult for many. It is to GO. To cross boundaries, listen deeply and live like Jesus. Some years ago, the Evangelism Department of the Episcopal Church described three steps for evangelism the as “Go, Listen, Tell”. When it says to GO it does not mean to physically GO to where someone is, but especially to GO to where they are emotionally. Then we are able to listen deeply to who they are.
The last element may sound like it is easy, but it may not be so for you. It is to REST. Here we receive the gift of God’s grace, peace, and restoration. I fear that we too often feel that there is so much to do and so little time to do it. How often do we read that Jesus went away to a quiet place? An in that beloved 23rd Psalm remember that “He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. He revives my soul.” To live like Jesus, we must pause like he did at times.
 As I said earlier, TURN, LEARN, PRAY, WORSHIP, BLESS, GO AND REST is a guide for us to keep spiritually hydrated. I acknowledge that what I have described is not an easy task for us to accomplish individually or as a congregation but, I certainly believe that this pattern of being with God is
 what we are created to do. So, let us end in a prayer that is said at the end of worship in many places. Let us seek to be fed by it.
 Glorious God, Grant that what we say and sing with our lips we may believe in our hearts, and what we believe in our hearts we may practice in our lives through Jesus Christ our Lord, AMEN.
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