June 5, 2011

Happy Easter and Welcome to St. Mary’s Church!

The flowers on the Altar are given to the glory of God and in loving remembrance of Margaret “Mimi” Lamb by her sister Angela Margolis.

Welcome to our newly baptized sister, Iris Erika Milnor Schaupp, the daughter of Kristina Milnor and Lissa Schaupp, and her sponsors Linda Jolly and Philip Silver. We also welcome two new members today, Barbara Jackson and Clifford Goff, who have decided to make St. Mary’s their Church home.

Peace of Pizza: Wednesday, June 8th at 7:00 pm. Come for fellowship, food and fun with the members of the New York Intern Program. The theme is “Question Hat.” Come with a question written out to be put in the hat and answered by someone.

The Property Committee will meet on Thursday, June 9th at 5:30 pm.

Spirit and Strife Peer Trauma Support Group. If you are a trauma survivor, please join St. Mary’s in a new ministry to co-create a safe, loving, faith-inspired space in which to develop strategies for resilience and recovery. Meeting: Saturdays , 10:00 am – 12:00 pm. A mutually supportive faith community can be a precious resource for those of us who are living with PTSD, or trauma’s after-effects, which can persist for many years after the event(s). “Trauma means experiencing, witnessing, or being threatened with an event or events that involve actual serious injury, a threat to the physical integrity of ones self or others, or possible death. The responses to these events include intense fear, helplessness, or horror.” -National Trauma Consortium . See Lysander Puccio for more information.

The Episcopal Church Women: The ECW Prayer Committee meets on the second Sunday of the month following the 10:00 am service. The next meeting is Sunday, June 12th and will be lead by Lysander Puccio. The full meeting of the ECW takes place on third Sunday of the month. The next regular meeting will be held on June 19th following the 10:00 am service. All women are invited. Please see Celia Braxton for further information.

St. Mary’s Summer Camp: July 11 to Aug. 4, 2011: Now open for REGISTRATION: call the Church Office at (212) 864-4013 to register. Registration forms are available on the back table. Keep praying for the Summer Camp Program and the director, Ms. Deborah Snyder.

MNIPC Celebration Event: June 10th – All Souls’ Church, 88 St. Nicholas Ave. at 114th Street. 6:30 pm Eucharistic celebration, 7:30 pm dinner. Tickets are $40. Please see Rev. Kooperkamp if you would like to attend.

Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: Sundays at 2:00 pm. St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first Sunday each month. We need volunteers this morning to help us make the lunches for the 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.

Preaching schedule: June 12 – Pentecost: Rev. Earl Kooperkamp; June 19 – Trinity Sunday: Rev. Chloe Breyer; June 26 – The Rev. Earl Kooperkamp

Reflections on today’s scripture readings: Prepared by Arthur Cash

First Reading: Acts 1: 6 – 14
As we have seen, Acts was almost certainly written by Luke. Luke’s gospel ends with the assumption of Christ into Heaven. Acts opens with another version of the assumption, thus coupling the two works. The story in Acts is amore elaborate account. It opens with the disciples asking Jesus, whom they think of as a descendent of David, whether God will now re-establish a worldly kingdom for the Jews. They do not understand they are addressing, not the itinerant preacher, but the resurrected Son of God. The divine plan known to Christ is the opposite of theirs. He transcends all nationalism, all sovereign boundaries. In his last teaching before leaving this earth, he tells his followers the Holy Spirit will come to them, and then their task will be to bear witness “to the ends of the earth” of their experience and understanding of Christ. He is then assumed into Heaven. The disciples return to their host on the Mount of Olives (almost certainly Lazarus, though this is not said), where they will gather for worship with others, notably with the mother and brothers of Jesus. The Mount of Olives is separated from Jerusalem by a steep valley, but is only “a Sabbath day’s journey,” that is, a thousand paces, from the Temple. On a Sabbath, a religious Jew could travel a thousand paces, but no further.

Second Reading: First Peter 4: 12 – 14; 5: 6 – 11
An exhortation to bear suffering as Christ did. Somewhat later than this epistle, the teaching of the Church became more specific: face death rather than deny Christ and you will be saved; deny Him and you will be excommunicated. In AD 249 the Emperor Decius set about trying to obliterate Christianity by killing all who would not forswear it. Many thousands were martyred. When Bishops Cyrian of Carthage and Cornelius of Rome seeing that the Emperor was about to succeed, threw out the Church laws against apostasy and began to receive back those who has renounced Christ to save their lives – a move which some think saved the Church.

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