May 13, 2012

                       Happy Mothers’ Day and Welcome to St. Mary’s Church!

A Blessed Mothers’ Day to all the Women of St. Mary’s! May God bless you always for all the ‘mothering’ you do in our parish and in the community. And may God also bless and keep in eternal life all our mothers who are now in God’s glory. Also: The Flowers on the Altar this morning are given to the glory of God and in special thanks to all the Strong Women of St. Mary’s Church by Elizabeth and Earl Kooperkamp.

 Transition News: Next Sunday, May 20th is Rev. Kooperkamp’s last Sunday at St. Mary’s. Come and join in the farewell! Also: The Vestry voted last Sunday to bring the Rev. Deacon Christine Lee on to the staff of St. Mary’s Church to serve as the transitional clergy person through the summer. She will be responsible for leading worship, coordinating parish activities and meeting pastoral needs as St. Mary’s enters the transitional period.

Welcome, Deacon Christine!!

 The Finance Committee will meet on Thursday, May 17th at 6:00 pm. All are welcome.

 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.  May 18th: glory (1989, drama, r) moving story of the civil war’s first all-black volunteer company. with denzel washington, morgan freeman & matthew broderick. one of fr. earl’s all-time favorites!

St. Mary’s “Urban Farm” is growing and greening. If you’d like to help, please let us know. Speak with Kym Roberts or Billy Adams.

Prison Re-entry Program:  Monday, May 21, 2012 at 6:00 pm – “How to become a Welcoming Community to Congregants Returning From Prison” Training with Rev. Darren Ferguson and others. Infinity Mennonite Church, 2252 Adam Clayton Powell Blvd – to RSVP please e-mail Darren@interfaithcenter.org This training will be to prepare congregations to be ready to welcome those returning from jail and prison. Each of our welcoming conger-gations is being asked to identify point persons who will serve as a “greeter” for any of our charges that may come to visit you at your house of worship.

Men’s Prayer Group will meet on May 26th at 8:00 am, the last Saturday of the month. Attendance has been very good, so keep coming out to pray with us, gentlemen. Please see Radford Arrindell for more information.

Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first and fifth Sunday each month. We always need some volunteers to help prepare the “Second Meal” following the service.  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.

 

Reflections on Today’s Scripture Lessons by Arthur Cash:

First Reading Acts 10: 44 – 48

    Our reading for this and next Sunday are chosen to prepare us for the reading of the great Pentecost miracle. Today, we jump beyond that scene to hear more about the spreading of Christianity to gentiles. (Bear in mind, “gentile” means any non-Jew, be he or she Roman or Greek or German or what-have-you.) A few pages before our passage can be found the story of the baptism of the Ethiopian eunuch (our lesson of last week). Today we have the conclusion to the story of the conversion of the Roman centurion (commander if hundred soldiers.) A gathering of gentile listeners stands around the centurion and Peter as Peter talks about Christ. When the Holy Spirit falls upon them, Peter baptizes them, another step toward the extension of Christianity into   the world of gentiles.

Second Reading:  1 John 5: 1 – 6

Today we have a continuation of our reading of last week from the sermon-like letter of John the Elder. Last week we heard that magnificent assertion: “God is love.” Here John builds upon the image of God as the father who loves us as children. He gives us a way of returning that love; to obey the father’s commandments The obligation is not burdensome (see Matt. 11: 30), yet “conquers” the world. This may mean a conquest over the Gnostics, or it may mean that we, by obeying, overcome the burdens if this life or it may mean both. I’m not sure exactly how John connects obedience to God with faith in Jesus as the Messiah (in Biblical Greek, “the Christ”) but he seems to say that one entails the other, The remaining lines, mysterious to us, were probably intended for the Gnostics, Jesus came into his authority by water (baptism) and completed his mission by blood (on the cross). The truth of this is testified by the spirit. The Spirit is not some agent that bears the saving secret, as the Gnostics thought, but truth itself.

 

 

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