30 August

  THE GABRIEL
Parish Newsletter for St. Paul’s Episcopal Church August 30, 2021
Calendar Reminders
    Aug 30
Sept 4
6:00 pm NA Meeting, Parish Hall
9:30-11:00 am AA Meeting 10:15 am Holy Eucharist, with
Sept 5
Rev. Suzanne Barrow. On Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_ videos/
  Collect for 15th Sunday after Pentecost (September 5th)
Grant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Lessons: Isaiah 35:4-7a; Psalm 146; James 2:1-10, [11-13], 14-17; Mark 7:24-37
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OUR PARISH PRAYERS:
With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, whose kingdom we long for, saying “Your will be done.”
For Michael our Presiding Bishop, for Jennifer our Bishop, for Mauricio Bishop of our companion diocese of Brazilia, for St. Andre’s school in Mithon in Haiti. In our Diocesan Cycle of Prayer we pray for St. Paul’s, Richmond--The Rev. Barbara Anne Fisher, The Rev. Barry Cramer; and we pray for all who minister in Christ’s name.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done.
We pray for your Church: For her faithful members and the work they do in your name. We pray for St. Paul’s that the Spirit may lead us to those for whom this community would be life giving. We pray for the followers of all faiths, that they may find a path of love and justice for all your people.
Your kingdom come, Your will be done.
We pray for this nation: For this election season and its national, state and local races, For candidates and those in authority to place people first over dissention and division; For the disunity between groups in power, that they may fruitfully work together.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done.
We pray for the world:
For people who are jobless, and often hopeless,
For people caught in war-torn areas, remembering especially Afghanistan, For people who are hungry, or suffering from weather-related disasters, For peace, and the will to work together to give peace a chance.
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done.
We pray for our community:
For the beauty of this area,
For those who enrich our lives with a rich array of arts For public servants who enrich our common life.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done.
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We pray for those who suffer , especially Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John, Fred, Laura and Robert. For people struggling with COVID, or with other undiagnosed or terminal illnesses,
For people having surgery.
For people caught in drug addictions, and a web of accompanying problems, Comforter of the suffering, warm our hearts and hands to loving service.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done.
We pray for the departed:
For the victims of Covid-19, that we may never forget their lives For loved ones, that we may remember how they touched us, Your kingdom come
Your will be done.
Lord of the Church, hear our prayer and make us one in heart and mind to serve you with joy forever. Amen.
FROM THE GABRIEL TEAM:
NEXT WEEK’S GABRIEL will be sent out on TUESDAY, Sept. 7, instead of Monday. We are
taking a holiday!
NEXT SUNDAY (Sept. 5th ): 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 SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES: The next service will begin Sunday, September 5th 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.
LAY EUCHARISTIC MINISTERS, Dennis and Charlene McAndrews, are 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
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are homebound and would like to have the Eucharist brought to you 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. Please bear in mind that with our return to in-person services, costs begin to escalate and your contributions are still needed.
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.
MEET XANDER WIGGINGTON!!!
Our announcement of Xander’s arrival from The Gabriel of July 19th: “Robyn and Shane Wiggington announce that their firstborn, XANDER WIGGINGTON, arrived on Tuesday, July 13th at 2:48 AM. He was 8 lbs 9 oz., and 20.5” long. We are told he has a head full of dark hair. CONGRATULATIONS, ROBYN AND SHANE!!!!” How we have longed to meet him! Thanks to Robyn sharing these photos, we can at least see him and appreciate what a handsome and charming young fellow he is.
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ANSWERS TO SUNDAY’S HISTORY QUIZ:
1. The first parish established by Bp. Kemper in the Diocese of the NW was St. John’s in Crawfordsvillle in 1835. Name the 2nd and 3rd parishes established and years established.
Answer: St. Paul’s New Albany in 1835; St. Paul’s Jeffersonville in 1836.
2. What year did the Diocese of Indiana change its name to the Diocese of Indianapolis?
Answer: 1902
FROM FR. JOHN ALLEN: Sermon from August 29, 2021
Does anyone other than me remember arriving at the dinner table and being stopped by the question “Did you wash your hands before you came in here?” I have to admit that whenever I come across this passage from the Gospel of Mark that we heard today, I hear that question surfacing from deep in my head. “Did you wash your hands?
This may seem to be similar to the question that the Pharisees asked Jesus about his disciples’ hands that we just heard. There is, however, a marked difference. I always felt that my mother was truly concerned for my health. On the other hand. it appears to me that the Pharisees were playing the “got you game”. I also feel that they were doing this in order to distract the people from the ministry that Jesus was actually engaged in. Distraction is a very common tool in misdirecting a people for your own gain.
As I have shared before I had an uncle who was a magician. Sometimes called an illusionist. The cards, the coins, the persons and above all the elephants that appear to disappear, really don’t. It is an illusion. This is generally accomplished by causing the viewer to believe something that they are told so that they are distracted from the true action. A typical action is for the illusionist to hold one hand up which we are told is holding a coin. We are then told to watch it carefully. Which for the most part we dutifully do.
While the illusion is actually accomplished by the other hand, which we are by implication told not to watch. The flourishes and great movement by the hand that we are told to watch distracts us from the supposedly “empty hand” that is carrying out the illusion.
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Similarly, the Pharisees were trying to distract the people by their confronting questions. This is what Jesus was addressing in the quote from Isaiah (29:13ff) that we heard quoted in the Gospel today:
“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
Words are yes, often necessary to compliment or to further explain actions, but the actions are what most often carry the day. There is a quote, popularly attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, that goes “Preach the Gospel at all times, and if necessary, use words.” Edgar Guest offers a poem with a similar theme that begins: “I'd rather see a sermon than hear one any day; I'd rather one should walk with me than merely tell the way”.
We have from Jesus, many comforting words, and at times some not so comforting ones. But even more importantly, we have the actions of Jesus through which to understand in more depth the meaning and power of his words. For me the most profound words of Jesus are: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends.” These words are then so profoundly demonstrated as he hangs upon the cross for us.
Jesus does not limit his words in our reading today to pointing out the errors in the words of the Pharisees. He holds before us the verbal image of what truly defiles when he says: “it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly.” All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.
The Epistle for today offers us a more developed meaning of the word “WORD”. There “word” is used to convey the total message of Jesus – words and actions. This is apparent when we hear that it is “In fulfillment of his own purpose he gave us birth by the word of truth”. This again is captured dynamically in the last paragraph in which we are told not to be misled by tongues. The last sentence of the reading today reminds us yet again that: “Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to care for orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world”. In other places Jesus uses in place of “caring for” others the word “love.”
This seems to be an appropriate time to turn to that key word embraced by Jesus - “LOVE”. In particular let us look at how Jesus affirmed the words of the lawyer who approached him in the scene leading to Jesus telling the story of the Good Samaritan. Here in the Gospel of Luke we find that the “lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it? So, he answered and said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind and your neighbor as yourself”.
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We are well aware that the English word “LOVE” has quite a variety of meanings for us. I would like to look particularly at Love not as an emotion but rather as an awareness. An awareness that is expressed in the way that it was presented in the Gospel reading for today. Love is how we care and relate to others and ourselves.
Oscar Hammerstein created Emile, a French plantation owner, in the play and movie South Pacific. When he first sees the spunky Nellie, he sings:
Some enchanted evening, you may see a stranger You may see a stranger across a crowded room And somehow you know, you'll know even then That somewhere you'll see her again and again.
Emile continues to grow in his awareness of Nellie which is expressed in how he cares for and about her. And the key turning point that brings a joyful ending to the play is when Nellie comes to know and care for Emile’s children and so is able to finally embrace all of him.
With this depth of caring in mind, shall we revisit our Biblical text again?
“This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me;
in vain do they worship me,
teaching human precepts as doctrines.’”
It is not only God to which these words can apply. I believe that it should apply to all of God’s creation. This is especially true of the phrase: “This people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me” as it applies to others people in God’s creation. When the phrase “Black Lives Matter” came on the scene, some expanded it to “All Lives Matter”. Yet if this is so, why is there the hesitancy to wear masks to protect ourselves and others from a deadly virus? If “All Lives Matter” then why do we seem so uncommitted to actively acting to mitigating climate change and the rising sea-level that will displace and even kill countless other people?
Taking this to heart, let me end with a prayer that I have used in previous sermons:
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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