St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter March 3, 2020
Calendar
Mar 8 @ 10:15—Homily and Holy Eucharist, Bishop Jennifer followed by a pitch-in lunch
• Ushers: Steve and Pam
• Lectors: Luke and Sam
• Chalicist: Phyllis
• Counters: Sonny and Ben
St Paul’s Outside the Walls – In March we will be making Easter baskets for the youth shelter.
Mar 4 @ 6 pm – Pitch-in and Bible Study (Please check with Phyllis) Mar 4 @ 6 pm– Vestry + Search Committee meeting
Mar 8 @ 9:25 – Conversation with Bishop Jennifer
Mar 8 @ 6:30 – Contemplative Prayer Practice
Mar 8 @ 7:00 – Celtic Prayer
Mar 11 @ 10:30 – Spiritual Companion Group
Mar 15 @ 9:25 – The Kinship Project forum with Kevin
Mar 15 @ 10:15 – Homily and Holy Eucharist, Rev Ben Sanders
From the SPTW team
If you have something you’d like to add to the next SPTW, please email the team at stpaulsjeff@gmail.com by Monday afternoon. Please put SPTW in the subject line. Many thanks.
Vestry Resource Day at Waycross
    
From Bishop Jennifer
Dear Ones,
Federal health officials have asked Americans to prepare for a possible outbreak of the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. While there are no currently confirmed cases of the virus in Indiana, with a few sensible practices, we can play a key role in in sharing responsible information and limiting the spread of disease.
Episcopal Relief & Development is updating this webpage with comprehensive resources about the virus, its cause, and simple measures for its prevention. Among the most important:
• Wash your hands frequently with soap and warm water, including after coughing, sneezing, handling diapers, preparing food or using the bathroom.
• Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
• Stay home when you feel sick.
So that we can play our part in limiting the spread of an outbreak if it occurs in our region, I suggest that congregations consider the following temporary amendments to our liturgical and community practices:
• Clergy and Eucharistic ministers can use hand sanitizer visibly when celebrating the Eucharist or distributing the elements and have it available for worshippers to use.
• Ask worshippers to avoid intinction (the dipping of the host or bread into the chalice).
• Use metal chalices rather than ceramic.
• Remember that the Eucharist is complete when only one element (in this case, the
bread) is received.
• Replace hugs and handshakes at the peace with waves, elbow bumps, bows, or peace
signs.
• Pray for those who are ill and encourage them to stay home.
• Remind coffee hour and feeding program volunteers to wash their hands and handle
food with utensils or food safety gloves.
My staff and I are monitoring this situation closely. If the Indiana Department of Health reports confirmed cases of the virus in Indiana, we will communicate quickly to clergy and lay leaders with additional recommendations.
These times of illness and uncertainty can be trying, but as we take steps to care for one another and our communities, we show God's love to an anxious world. Thank you, as always, for your care for one another and our beloved church.
Faithfully,

 Words from Deacon Jim
Why We Do What We Do 4 - Burying the Alleluia
As we have seen, most of the ways we worship are deeply rooted in Scripture, Tradition and Reason, our 3-legged Episcopalian Footstool, but occasionally something we do has a touch of whimsy. Burying the Alleluia at the beginning of Lent is such a tradition. From now until Easter Sunday the word ‘Alleluia’ will disappear from our worship. People new to our worship experience may find this ritual (ritual with a small ‘r’) a trifle eccentric, given that it seems to be an irreverent moment in the midst of a very somber liturgy, but it serves its purpose; to remind us that Lent is a time to change our focus from outward joy to sober introspection. Of course, praising God is never out of season, but praise comes in different flavors and Lent calls for quiet praise as we discover and re-discover a loving God who is with us even in our troubled souls and our empty spirits.
Many of us through the years have fond memories of our children ‘burying’ the Alleluia; it’s one of the traditions that bind us together as a community. And we look forward to Easter Sunday when we can ‘unbury’ it and give a joyful, full-throated shout to our Lord Jesus Christ who has defeated death. Until then, let us find different ways to express our praise; faithful prayer, attention to the needs of others, emptying our cup of the junk that fills our lives, seeking strength and guidance in the Holy Scriptures, and listening for God’s still, small voice.
A former Bishop once said that for resurrection to occur, something first has to die. Our joyful alleluia is temporarily dead and buried, but by the grace of God it will be resurrected and once again be the perfect word to express our joyful praise to an eternal and loving God!
Rejoice always (but during Lent make it an inward rejoicing)! Pray without ceasing! Give thanks in all circumstances, for that is God’s will for us!

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