May 23, 2010

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

The Flowers on the Altar are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the power of the Holy Spirit on this Pentecost Day by Dorothy Ross. Also, this morning we cele-brate the recommitment to service of Ms. Lois Coe and ask that the Holy Spirit continue to bless her in her life and work.

Many thanks to our preacher today, the Rev. Megan Sanders for bring us the Word today and for her ministry with the seafarers who come to the Port of New York. May God bless you, Megan, and the chaplains of Seamen’s Church Institute of New York-New Jersey.

Commentaries on the Biblical Lessons: Today we begin putting short commentaries on the Lessons on page 5 of the bulletin. These commentaries are written by our own Arthur Cash to help us understand the lessons at a deeper level. You can read a brief biography of Arthur beneath the commentaries. Thanks, Arthur, for this contribution to our life together.

The Episcopal Church Women will meet today following the 10:00 am service. All women are invited. Also, the ECW is planning a ‘Ginormous’ Flea Market, June 5th (rain date: June 12th) so please see Lisa Slocum or Celia Braxton for more details.

Next Vestry Meeting: Thursday, May 27th at 6:00 pm. All are invited.

Mariam, Mark and Marx: will meet on Thursday, May 27th at 7:00 pm. Come to this monthly Bible Study & current events discussion. See Jim White for more information.

Katrina/Rita Awareness Walk: Saturday, May 29th: Come and join the walk from St. Mary’s Church at 10:00 am to Marcus Garvey Park. For more information or to donate, please call (877) 264-1157, Checks can be made to IFCO/KRDS. Raising awareness & breaking stereotypes about the plight of Gulf Area survivors. Wear a green ribbon!!

World Week of Peace for Palestine and Israel: Friday, June 4th at 6:30 pm we will join with the heads of churches in Jerusalem in their call for Christians around the world to pray with them. After 60 years, “It’s time for Palestinians and Israelis to share a just peace. It’s time for freedom from occupation. It’s time for equal rights. It’s time for the healing of wounded souls.”

The Episcopal Church Women’s Prayer Committee Will meet next month, June 13th, Ms. Glenda White will lead the program. All women are invited.

Manhattan North Inter-Parish Council Annual Celebration Event: Friday, June 11, 2010, Church of the Intercession, 550 West 155th Street; 6:30 pm Eucharist, 7:30 pm dinner. Donation: $40.00 Adults; $15.00 Children (under 12).

St. Mary’s Summer Camp: For children 6 to 12 years old, a great summer of recreation and education. Come join in the fun! Session begins July 6th. Please see Ms. Pearl Harris or call the church office for registration information.

“Greening St. Mary’s Church” This week we changed all the light bulbs in the Sanctu-ary. This cuts the energy usage by 5.3 kilowatts. More “Greening” to follow at St. Mary’s!!
Preaching next week: May 30th, Trinity Sunday, the Rev. Earl Kooperkamp

Day of Pentecost: Commentary by Prof. Arthur Cash

Acts 2:1-11: These miraculous events in Acts led directly to the formation of the Church. The twelve, who have come to Jerusalem for the feast of Pentecost, are gathered for worship in a “house,” that is, a synagogue. The entire group is overcome by the mystical experience you will here about. The ton-gues of flame fulfill John the Baptist’s prophecy that Jesus would baptize with the Holy Sprit and fire (Luke 3:16). Each inspired apostle begins to speak about God’s deeds of power, but what comes out of his mouth is not heard as Hebrew or Aramaic, but as the language of the listener, and the listeners are Jews from many nations and tribes in the Middle East. The miracle suggests the Church of many nations to be formed in due time and the translation of the gospel into many languages.

First Corinthians 12:4-13: Paul speaks to the little group of Christians at the Greek city of Corinth that he himself had established as a local church some years before. There seems to have arisen quarrels among the faithful about ways one ought to worship, Paul pacifies them by assuring them God has given them differing gifts of worship all of which will be accepted. They are like the members of a body, he says, like hands and feet that belong to one body. That body is the Church, into which all of us are baptized. The passage gives us that image of the Church as the body of Christ, a wonderful image because it suggests that the Church is both earthy and mysterious.

Arthur Cash and his wife, Mary Gordon, the writer and Professor at Columbia, divide their time be-tween Rhode Island and New York. Arthur, who has a Ph.D in English literature from Columbia, taught at the university level for 45 years. He retired from the State University of New York at New Paltz, with the highest academic rank in the SUNY system, that of Distinguished Professor. He has written biographies of two 18th century English figures, Laurence Sterne, the author of Tristram Shandy and A Sentimental Journey, and John Wilkes, who established many of our civil and political liberties. His interest in the Bible began with his research on Sterne, who was a priest of the Church of England. His book, Sterne’s Comedy of Moral Sentiments, was the first study to show the influ-ence of Sterne’s sermons on his fiction. Arthur’s formal training in religious studies consists of one, and only one, theology course at Union Theological Seminary. He initiated a course on the Bible at New Paltz and taught it for twenty years. Only days ago, he finished a book and sent it to his agent to find a publisher. It is called, An Old Man Contemplates God and Death.

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