July 8, 2012

                            Good Morning and Welcome to St. Mary’s Church!

 The Archdeacon for Mission in the diocese of New York, William Parnell, will be coming to speak at the 10 am service on July 15 at St. Mary’s, followed by a Q&A during coffee hour. Please join us as we hear about what is happening with mission around the diocese and come with your questions and ideas!

Tuesday Night Prayer Meetings starting July 10, 6 pm in the sanctuary. Please join us for a time of prayer and worship as we pray for St. Mary’s during this time of transition. All are welcome and encouraged to come.

 Ecclesia:  at 2 pm in 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.

The Spirit and Strife Peer Trauma Support group will be meeting on Wednesday, July 11th, from 3:30-5PM in the Sanctuary.  New attendees welcome.  For further information, please see Lysander Puccio.

Ginormous Flea Market, Saturday, July 14  from 10 am – 5 pm. It’s that time of year again for our food, crafts, books and vintage goods, health screenings, music, Kindle raffle and much much more! Please see Lisa Slocum for more information.

Men’s Shelter in the Rectory has opened. We are now looking for volunteers who can commit to staying one night a month at our new temporary shelter. Contact Lysander Puccio.

 Summer Camp at St. Mary’s Church begins July 9th 2012 applications can be picked up at the Church office see Ms. Gwen, or call (212) 864-4013 for more information

Summer coffee hour sign up: Fellowship after service is such an important part of our Sunday worship. Would you consider signing up to provide baked goods, fruit or some other treat to share on one Sunday this summer? Sign-ups are in the back of the church.

 Pledge statements are now available on the back table. Please make sure to pick yours up!

Time to collect your recipes for the St. Mary’s Cookbook! Fill out a recipe card and turn it in to Lisa Slocum by June 20.

 Movies at St. Mary’s: 6:00 pm on Fridays. Come for fellowship, popcorn and FUN!!  Also, we need volunteers to help!

St. Mary’s Homeless Street Outreach: Saturdays, 12:00 noon preparation and 2:00 pm Street Outreach. Please let Lisa Slocum knows if you can help and keep the Homeless Street Outreach in your prayers.

Reflections on Today’s Scripture Lessons by Arthur Cash:

First Reading: Second Samuel 5: 1 – 5, 9 – 10

 David, ruling the southern Jewish state, Judah, is approached by all Jewish leaders and made king over all Israel. He then captures Jerusalem, the last stronghold of the Canaanites (the Jebusites who occupied Jerusalem were Canaanites). Though fortified, Jerusalem could hardly have been any larger than a village. David built a fort on the promontory south of the ravines. The Jebusites had called it Zion. The soldiers renamed it the city of David (the word “city” originally meant “fort.”) He brought the holy Arc to the fort, and later his allies built him a palace there. I have walked all around this promontory and looked over its cliffs, and I saw that there was no room for anything but a very small palace. He built up the ridge linking the city of David and the village of Jerusalem with earth (the millo). Eventually, after many battles, many internal struggles, many sins, David purchased the threshing floor on the edge of the village of Jerusalem belonging to the deposed ruler of the Jubusites, Araunah. He built an altar on the threshing floor the site upon which in time David’s son Solomon would build the Temple (24: 18-25). In innumerable songs, hymns, poems, and theological works, “Jerusalem,”  “Zion, and “City of David” are symbols of heaven or peace or divine order. It’s wonderful how flexible a good symbol can be.

Second Reading: Corinthians 12: 2 – 10

   Paul has had a mystical experience of great joy. He describes himself obliquely as a man caught up to the third heaven. He does not know whether he went there in or out of the body, and he doesn’t seem to care. Who, after a vision of heaven, would care how it was given? As many Jews, Paul thinks of heaven as layered, image borrowed from Zorasterism. The number of these layered heavens is uncertain, but God, it is always believed, exists in the highest.

Paul goes on to declare that God gave him a “thorn” in his side to keep him sober. No one today knows what he meant. Did he have a chronic illness? Or was he tormented by his own history as young man who had persecuted Christians?

 

 

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