September 30, 2012

 Good morning and welcome to St. Mary’s Church !

Structural Violence in the Global Frontier, Oct 6, here at St. Mary’s Church                                            “Central America, Mexico and The United States”     

A reflection about the impact of anti-immigration legislation and the dangers that surround the Mexican and Central American in-transit migrants. All are welcome.For more information go to http:jornadasmigracion.blogspot.com/

Save the Date,Sunday October 21st noon to 5: pm Celebration of our Justice & Peace Ministry and (Jim White’s 65th UN-Birthday) and a fund raiser for our Discretionary

Space and Ministry Needs: Please join us for a parish discussion on space needs in relationship to the various ministries here at St. Mary’s Church, Sunday October 7, during the coffee hour in the Undercroft. This is an essential part of our self study as we journey together during this interim period.  All are welcome.

Coffee hour donations:Fellowship after service is such an important part of our Sunday worship. Would you consider chipping in to help provide baked goods for Sundays? Look for the donation jar by the coffee.

Directory Update: We are updating the church directory and need your latest information! Even if you think we have your correct info, please see Fr. Tom Pellaton after the service to confirm.

Time to collect your recipes for the St. Mary’s Cookbook!  Please fill out a recipe card and turn it in to Lisa Slocum ASAP…

This week’s movie for September 28: nothing but a man (1964, drama, ur)  a railroad worker who settles down to marry a preacher’s daughter finds that the system is rigged against him. an understated classic.  w/ ivan dixon,  abbey lincoln.  must see.

 Bulletin announcements: If you need an announcement listed in the bulletin for the next Sunday, please email Gwen at allowances1@gmail.com by 5 pm Wednesday.

 Commentary on the Readings by Arthur Cash

First Reading: Esther 7: 1-6, 9-10; 9: 20-22

  The Book of Esther is a fiction that probably was passed off as history. It seems likely it was written to give an Israelite meaning to an ancient pagan feast of Purim that the people had been celebrating. The story tells how Esther, the young queen of King Ahasurerus Purim that the people had been celebrating. The story tells how Esther, the young queen of King Ahasurerus (Xerxes I) and her uncle-gardian Mordecai saved their people from a plan to wipe out all the Jews in the vast Persian Empire. Behind the story is the ancient enmity between the Amelekites and the Jews (I Kings Ch. 15). Mordecai will not do honors to Haman, an Amelekite. Haman, out of hatred, buys from the king the right to carry out the massacre of Jews. But the king recalls that he is in great debt to Mordecai who had once saved him from an assassination. Then Esther, at great risk, cleverly turns the king against Haman on two counts: Haman’s planned massacre would have “damaged” the king presumably in lost taxes and soldiers and serving subjects; and Haman had planned the death of Mordecai, now the king’s favorite. The ending is bloodier than our reading suggests, for the Jews, permitted to destroy Haman’s people who had planned to murder them, put hundreds to death.

Second Reading: James 5: 13 – 20

   James is encouraging his people to stay close to God, to praise him when all goes well, to ask his help in times of trouble. The passage provides the basis for the practice by Catholics and others of anointing the dying and forgiving their sins.

   In the middle section of our reading, James seems to be cheering his people on: look, you can pray so that God responds. Look what Elijah did? Prayed for rain and got it, and he was “a human being like us.” This is, to say the least, ingenuous. The story of Elijah’s ending a drought by praying for rain is a terrifying story. Elijah engages in an enormous contest in rainmaking, one man, Elijah himself, against 450 prophets of the god Baal. None of them can bring rain, but Elijah succeeds by means of an elaborate and miraculous ritual sacrifice. Then he has all 450 Baal prophets killed! He tells Ahab to hurry home before the rain, and then runs in front of the chariot all the way (First Kings 18: 17 – 46) See how easy it is for us ordinary humans to win God’s favor.

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