April 22, 2012

                          A Blessed Easter and Welcome to St. Mary’s Church!

 We celebrate Earth Day and St. Mary’s “Urban Farm” this morning! Welcome to Dr. Serene Jones, President of Union Theological and to our guests joining us for the cere-mony today. Please refer to the commentary on page 4 of this bulletin for information about the Rogation Procession at the conclusion of the service. Also, we’ll have a potluck meal of vegan and vegetarian foods in the Undercroft. Happy Earth Day to You!

The Episcopal Church Women’s Prayer Committee will meet today following the 10:00 am service. Dr. Betty Readon is the convener today. All women are invited.

The Coalition to Preserve Community will meet Monday, April 23rd at 6:30 pm at St. Mary’s Church to discuss opposition to Columbia University’s expansion in West Harlem.

Mariam, Mark and Marx, a monthly Bible Study and current events discussion, will be held on Thursday, April 26th at 6:00 pm. Please see Jim White for more information.

 The Men’s Monthly Prayer Group will meet Saturday, April 28th at 8:00 am. All men are invited. We’ve made a very good start this year, so let’s keep it going, gentlemen!

Spring Finale Concert: Sunday, April 29th at 3:00 pm, the Harlem Chamber Players present a program of Foote, Saint-Saëns and Schubert here at St. Mary’s Church. Hosted by Eric K. Washington; $15 General Admission, $10 Students/Seniors. Visit www.harlemchamberplayers.org or call (212) 864-1492 for more information. Tell your family, friends and neighbors about this fantastic day of music in our community.

 The Vestry will meet next Sunday, April 29th at 12:00 pm, following the 10:00 am service.

 Stop and Frisk: On April 30th, Prof. Cornel West, Rev. Phelps of Riverside Church, Ms. Nellie Bailey of the Harlem Tenants Council and Rev. Kooperkamp and 30 others defendants will be on trial for an act of civil disobedience against the NYPD policy of Stop and Frisk. Keep them in your prayers and come show support if you are able. The trial will begin at 9:30 am, Criminal Court, 100 Centre Street, Part C, 2nd Floor. STOP “Stop and Frisk!”

May 1st: Occupy the Streets: Occupy Wall Street plans a large mobilization on May Day for economic justice for the 99%. 2:00 pm, March from Bryant Park to Union Square; 5:30 pm, Solidarity March from Union Square to Wall Street. A Day of total Economic non-compliance.

Cropwalk: May 6th: We are collecting donations for the Church World Service Cropwalk, a program to feed people all around the world beginning right here in West Harlem. Please help out with a generous contribution. Please see Bonnie Phelps or Lisa slocum for more information.

Additional Announcements:

 Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first and fifth Sunday each month. Also: St. Mary’s Homeless Street Outreach: Saturdays, 12:00 noon preparation and 2:00 pm Street Outreach. Please let us know if you can help and keep the Homeless Street Outreach in your prayers.

 Movies at St. Mary’s: 6:00 pm on Fridays. Come for the fellowship, the popcorn and the FUN!!  Also, we need volunteers to help.  April 27th: CLAASICS DOUBLE FEATURE: the thin man (1934, crime comedy, ur, 91 mins.) myrna loy, William powell & asta the dog investigate a murder & drink martinis. The prince and the showgirl (1957, comedy/romance, ur, 115 mins.) marilyn monroe and laurence Olivier in the movie ‘my week with marilyn” was based on.

Reflections on Today’s Scripture Lessons by Arthur Cash:

First Reading Acts 3: 12 – 19

Peter has just preformed a miracle “in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth.” He has healed a crippled beggar. A crowd of astonished people has gathered. In his address, he blames the people for the death of Jesus, but then seems to take away the blame: they acted in ignorance. In fact, they carried out the event God had foretold, the suffering of the Messiah. Nevertheless, they have sinned and must repent. Peter foreshadows Calvin: God causes people to sin when it suits him, but then holds them responsible.

Second Reading: First John 3: 1 – 7

John the elder (probably not the gospel writer, as I explained last Sunday) here seems to contradict what he said in last Sunday’s reading; Jesus’ atonement, he said, is not only for “us,” but “for the sins of the whole world,” Yet in this passage, no one who knows Christ or has seen him or known him sins. By contrast, “No one who sins has either seen him or knows him.” In short, the sinful are those who have not been exposed to Jesus Christ. So what can it mean that Jesus died to take way “the sins of the whole world”? I do not understand our reading.

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