31 Aug 2020

 St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
(Tuesday) 1:00 pm Inquirer’s I Meeting in Parish Hall.
(Thursday) 7:00 pm Inquirer’s 2 Meeting at 321
9:30-11:30am AA Meeting
11:00 am St. Paul’s On-Line Worship Service—FaceBook Live https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff /live_videos/
Sep 6
August 31, 2020
 Calendar Reminders
 Sep 1 Class
Sep 3 Class
Sep 5
Diocese of N. Indiana (St. James Cathedral) 10:15 AM Sunday https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC CKWYmjR8F8_Eu1dOKZ1jdA
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm
daily: https://cathedral.org/worship/
Collect for 14th Sunday after Pentecost (September 6th)
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: Exodus 12:1-14; Psalm 149; Romans 13:8-14; Matthew 18:15-20 1
      
Our Parish Prayer List:
We pray for our Bishops, Michael and Jennifer; for the people of our companion diocese of Brasilia and their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mauricio Andrade; and for the people & Diocese of Haiti, and for St. Andre’s in Mithon.
In the diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for St. Paul’s, Richmond--Ms. Barbara Eastman, Senior Warden, The Rev. Barry Cramer. We also pray for our own parish of St. Paul’s, that our work here may be life-giving for others and for us, and that the Holy Spirit will guide us to those for whom our community would be life-giving.
For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples,
For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it,
For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering. We remember all who have asked us to remember them in prayer ... Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Gus, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John, Fred, Kacey, Star, and Bill. We also pray for Annette, for her daughter Jackie, and for their family.
For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them,
We pray for the victims of COVID-19: The sick, those who have died, the families who have suffered loss of loved ones, of jobs and other incomes, and of the companionship of friends. We pray for comfort in anxiety, for healing in physical and emotional pain and illness, and for courage to trust and work for a safer and more compassionate world.
In the communion of St Paul and all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our 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.
From the SPTW team:
ONLINE MORNING PRAYER SERVICES: The next service will begin Sunday, Sept. 6th at 11:00 am. It will be on Facebook Live. https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsJeff/live_videos/ Every week, folks are checking out the broadcast, during and after the service! Please join us, and tell others about the service.
We have two Inquirer’s Classes for new members that began last week: Group 1 met in the Parish Hall at 1:00 pm on Tuesday, and Group 2 met at 7:00 pm at 321 (the rectory) on Thursday. Please let Deacon Jim or the church office know if you wish to join either group. Confirmation by the Bishop will be on October 11, 2020.
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We would love to have more volunteers to participate in the online Sunday Morning Prayer service, as readers, and/or as officiant. If you are interested, please let me know, or leave word with the parish office.
MANY THANKS for your faithfulness in sending in your pledges and offerings. We have kept up our payments so far, and need to continue doing so.
Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern for the health and well-being of our parish and its members by making phone calls and being willing to help those of us in need! Our parish is blessed by so many caring members. If you have needs during this time of uncertainty please let us know!
Beginning the week of September 7th, office hours will return to MTWF 10:00-4:30 and Thurs 10:00 to 1:00 pm, as before.
If you have something you’d like to add to the next SPTW, please email the team at stpaulsjeff@gmail.com by Sunday afternoon. Please put SPTW in the subject line.
The Covid-19 Report August 31, 2020
From Kim Hedges
These are the numbers for Clark County, Indiana: +The recommended positivity rate is 5%.
+The recommended infection rate is 0.3.
    Date
  Cumulative Positivity Rate
   Infection Rate
    New Cases
   Total Cases
 24Aug 9.1 25Aug 9.4 26Aug 9.4 27Aug 9.6 28Aug 9.5 29Aug 9.5 30Aug 9.5
Med 34 1601 0.98
Med 24 1625 .98
Med 19 1644 1.00
Med 33 1677 1.00
Med 13 1690 0.98
Med 20 1710 1.00
Med 22 1732 9.7
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MUSIC VIDEO TO WATCH arrived in our parish email Friday. It is beautiful...mj
God Loves Me Too, Music Video
Inbox
Brian Falduto <brianfalduto@brianfalduto.com>
Hi there!
I hope this e-mail finds you well. I recently came across your church/organization in the midst of some continual efforts between my team & I to push out a music video I released this Summer. I feel the project speaks for itself in a lot of ways but the general summary to perhaps grab your attention is that it includes a message of love & acceptance (particularly geared towards queer youth of faith but universal in a sense as well) that we are hoping to get to as many eyes & ears as possible. From my understanding, your church/organization is dedicated to building an open & affirming community where all gender expressions & sexual orientations are welcome. I thought this tune might resonate with those in your community working towards that mission & I was curious if maybe you'd be up for passing it along as you see fit. Ideally, the song will preach affirming & inclusive options to those out there who don't know about them yet but I figure if we can get it to those that relate to the story here, it can have a large impact that way as well.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRT6Swj8khs (Control/click)
Thank you so much for any time spent listening/sharing. And thank you for creating inclusive environments that "little me" would've never believed existed. It sounds like we have similar goals of making it so that people don't feel like they need to change who they are to earn God's love & acceptance. And that's a beautiful thing!
Best,
Brian Falduto (He/Him/His)
www.brianfalduto.com
@BrianFalduto
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 Maple Leaf Academy is currently enrolling children from 6wks - 5yrs in its 21st century STEM/STEAM Program. Implementing science, technology, engineering, art and math to educate our early learners. Also featuring Full Day Preschool for children ages 3-5. Hours of operation are from 6:00a - 6:00p. Located in the old Maple School Building in Jeffersonville, IN - 201 Charlestown Avenue. Visit our website at www.mapleleafjeff.org. Phone - 812-913-2441
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FROM FR. DON HILL
Nancy and I will offer one or two programs a month based on our 2017 Pilgrimage. We have identified 24 possible programs. Our first program will be offered on Monday September 28th at 7 pm on Zoom. It will be an introduction to our sabbatical and the first major stop of our Pilgrimage "Philadelphia - Birthplace of the Episcopal Church" as we know it. We are looking forward to sharing what, for us, was a life changing experience
A few days before the program I will send out an invitation to the zoom program with a link to access our gathering.
If you are interested, or know of someone who might be interested, have them send me their email address so I can send them an invitation.
FROM DEACON JIM: (Sermon from August 30, 2020)
What To Make Of It All
Get Behind Me, Satan! Matthew 15:21-28
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION! Chapter 1, Verse 1 of the Gospel according to Real Estate Agents!
Location also plays an important role in today’s Gospel reading from Matthew, adding drama to an already tense time in the life of Jesus and the Disciples.
For some time, now, Jesus has been preparing the Disciples for life without him, as he looks ahead to the culmination of his earthly ministry on the Cross, and although Jesus has dropped many hints as to his future, the Disciples are, as usual, clueless to the larger realities swirling around them. Well, today they find out, and Jesus has chosen a strange venue for his revelation. He has taken them out of their comfort zone in the familiar Galilean countryside to the large and very metropolitan Greco-Roman city of Caesarea
 Rev. Dr. Sheiler Stokes, Pastor Bethel AME Church
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Philippi on the extreme northern border of Israel, nestled at the foot of the imposing Mt. Hermon, the highest mountain in the Middle East. The Disciples, I’m sure, felt totally out of their element. Besides the ornate palace built for Herod’s son Phillip the cityscape was dominated by the huge temple to the pagan god Pan, and it was at this site, in the midst of thousands of Greek citizens making their way to their temple to make offerings to their ‘all- powerful’ god that Jesus asked his Disciples ‘Who do people say I am?’ Fortunately, for once, Peter got it right on the first try. ‘You are the Son of God.’ A pretty brave statement considering the tremendous opulence and power bearing down on them. And it’s in that context that Jesus drops the bomb: ‘Guys, we’ve been together over two years now, and I want to tell you that we’re heading for Jerusalem where I’ll suffer and die at the hands of the Romans, but I’ll be raised to life three days later.’ Probably not the news they were expecting, whereby Peter exclaims ‘Never, Lord, never will this happen to you!’ and Jesus responds ‘Get thee behind me, Satan, for you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of man.’
Of all the reasons to appreciate the Christian faith, not the least among them is that we have Peter to humanize our spiritual journeys. Peter is so human, and his actions, even when he stumbles, are so genuine, we find ourselves saying ‘Yep, that’s what I’d have done, that’s what I’d have said if I’d been there!’ I’ve always had sympathy with Peter’s reaction and wondered why Jesus’ rebuke was so harsh? To call him Satan? In last week’s reading (by the way, thank you, Steve, for that beautiful reflection on ‘Who do you say I am’) Jesus praised Peter, called him a rock, in fact THE rock on which to build his church. Well, today Peter’s acting like a rock: strong, steadfast, protective. ‘Let them just try and hurt you; they’ll have to get through me first!’ But there’s another way to read this in which Peter doesn’t come off quite so heroic: ‘No, Jesus, not this time. You’re the Messiah and you’re here to restore the House of David and purify Israel. How’s getting yourself killed going to accomplish that!? Sorry, but this is wrong!’
Here’s a question: what is the most common, the most pervasive, the most insidious sin we deal with in our lives, even as faithful Christians? Murder? Nope. Stealing? Not even close. Envy? Closer but still a distant second. The answer is... hubris, acting like we know better than God. It was the reason Adam and Eve got kicked out of Eden, and it’s hounded and vexed people of faith ever since. ‘Well, I would never go against the will of God!’ Well, nobody would intentionally, and that’s why it’s so insidious; hubris rears its ugly head in those times when as humans we seek to control our lives and our futures. Nothing wrong with that, right? There are times when we need to act in our own best interests, otherwise those dependent on us might go without. On the other hand, there are times when control is illusory, when we need to ‘Let Go and Let God.’ It’s in between those two polar opposites, ‘Seeking control’ and ‘Letting Go and Letting God,’ it’s in the middle where we live our lives and where our will and God’s will tend to get confused. And in those situations where it seems like our hearts are in the right place but in reality it’s ‘All About Me,’ that’s the sin of hubris.
Having grown up in the Methodist Church, nobody I knew wore clerical collars, so when I joined the Episcopal faith and was eventually ordained a deacon, putting on a clerical collar for the first time and looking at myself in the mirror was a humbling experience. I
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remember the first time I wore a collar in public. I had taken Kathy to a medical appointment and I was sitting there in the waiting room, totally self-conscious, sneaking peeks around the room to see who might be looking at me. An older couple across the way looked in my direction and smiled and I thought ‘what nice people, probably Catholic, respectful of the Men in Black. So nice to see.’ Then there were a few others who glanced my way and I thought to myself ‘I can’t just sit here, I need to respond, I need to reflect Christ’s love, that’s what ministers do, right?, this is a tough world and I need to be a beacon of warmth! So I put on my warmest, most gracious God-Loves-You-and-I-Love- You smile and lit up the place with light and compassion. Come to find out it wasn’t me everyone was looking at but reruns of Seinfeld playing silently on a TV above my head. I’ll pause a second here and let everyone enjoy my embarrassment. A totally humiliating experience and rightly so. I wasn’t trying to be conceited, in fact I tried very hard to be humble and to be worthy of my ordination. But I was following a narrative in my head that was all about me. I was determined to be pastoral; they were watching TV. Peter wasn’t trying to go against Jesus; I’m sure disobedience was not on his mind. But he responded out of his own understanding instead of God’s and in the process showed us how the sneaky sin of hubris can infect even the deepest faith.
Hubris is difficult to recognize and even harder to deal with, because it throws us up against our own natures. Humans naturally seek independence; we’re willful beings. A few years back lots of people wore bracelets inscribed with WWJD: What Would Jesus Do? That was supposed to be a handy guide to helping us make faithful decisions in our lives. The problem is nobody knows what Jesus would do! Peter might’ve been expecting a ‘Good boy, Peter, your faith is much appreciated!’ Instead, Jesus calls him Satan! WWJD is a mystery but actually Jesus has an antidote to hubris. In today’s reading he says ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.’ For most of this spiritual journey through Matthew’s Gospel we have the image of Peter following faithfully behind Jesus. Today we see him standing in front of Jesus barring his way. I would like to suggest this as an image to help us in those times when we want to be both faithful and responsible. In those times when we’re called upon to choose Path A or Path B and we can’t discern God’s will and we don’t trust our own, may we prayerfully visualize the decision we’d have to make? In this vision, what would following God look like; on the other hand, what would standing in front of God look like? If Path A brings forth the comfort of walking in the footsteps of the God we trust, then Path A may very well be the path to take. If, in our vision, we see Path B as standing in the way of God, then Path B might be the path to avoid. Hubris can plague us even in our best of intentions. But God’s love can grace us even at our worst.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION. Jesus and the Disciples have logged many miles and visited many places in their two and a half year together and now Jesus takes them to far-north Caesarea Philippi to prepare them for their final journey, the hundred-mile southward trek to Jerusalem and the Cross. He chooses this large Greek city because he knows the Disciples will be knocked out of their comfort zones, and that’s the whole point. Jesus doesn’t want the Disciples retreating into the familiar. He doesn’t want them trusting their own footing, and he surely doesn’t want them plodding ahead of him; he wants faith to be a continual challenge, he wants their hearts and minds open to what’s over each hill and
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around each bend; Keys to the coming Kingdom, lessons in discipleship, courage and, yes, suffering.
We’re invited to come along, to join the group as they head toward their fate, to test and steel our faith against life’s crosswinds, to find our stride as modern Disciples. We’re invited to join with Jesus as he prepares us for faithful service in a needy world, and, by the Grace of God, all we’re asked to do is follow.
REJOICE ALWAYS, PRAY WITHOUT CEASING, GIVE THANKS IN ALL CIRCUMSTANCES, FOR THAT IS THE WILL OF GOD FOR YOU!
Jesus foretelling his death to the disciples
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