October 2, 2011

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

New Furnace for St. Mary’s: This week work began on a new heating system for the

Parish. Please pardon the mess!, but it is for a very good cause. The new furnace will be more energy efficient and do a better job at heating the Sanctuary and Parish Hall. We will be able to save money on fuel costs (one of our larger expenses) and lessen the “carbon footprint” of the parish. Your support has been and remains critical and appreciated for this new venture.

The Stewardship Committee will meet Tuesday, October 4th at 7:00 pm to plan our Stewardship campaign for this Fall. Come and help keep St. Mary’s strong in our support.

Worship Discussion: On Wednesday, October 5th at 7:00 pm following choir rehearsal, we will hold a discussion of worship at St. Mary’s. How do you want to worship? What is going well for you? How can we do better? Should we plan as Advent Service of Lessons and Carols and an Advent Retreat for the congregation? These and many more topics will be raised.

The Finance Committee will meet Thursday, October 6th at 6:00 pm. All are invited.

Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: Sundays at 2:00 pm. TODAY St. Mary’s is the lead congregation, as always on the first Sunday each month. We need volunteers following the service to help with the preparation of the “Second Meal.” 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.

The Episcopal Church Women: The ECW prayer committee meets on the second Sunday, October 9th, following the 10:00 am service. The ECW will meet on the third Sunday of the month, October 16th. The ECW is planning a neighborhood Halloween Party on Oct. 31st and would love your help! Please see Celia Braxton for further information.

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. The Fall 2011 movie schedule comes out next week!

 “Reflexion Biblico” en Espanol, Saturdays at 6:00 pm, led by the Rev. Dr. Luis Barrios. More information to come. Mark your calendars!

Peace of Pizza returns Oct. 12th at 7:00 pm, a time for fellowship and conversation with the participants in the New York Intern Program. Come join us!

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: Saturday, 11:00 am – 12:00 pm. See Lysander Puccio for more information.

 Preaching schedule: Oct. 9th, the Rev. Chloe Breyer; Oct. 16th, Earl Kooperkamp; Oct. 23rd, the Rev. Chloe Breyer; Oct. 30th, Earl Kooperkamp; Nov. 6th, the Rev. Chloe Breyer.

Commentaries by Arthur Cash

Exodus 20: 1 – 4, 7 – 9, 12 – 20

We continue our “highlights from the early history of God’s chosen people.” Crossing the desert after their escape from Egypt, the Israelites come to Mt. Sinai, at the top of which Moses received the basic laws of Israel. Today we hear the first of three versions of the Decalogue. The others begin at Exodus 34: 12 and Deuteronomy 5: 6. Our bishops have done a little streamlining of the document, cutting out God’s threats of punishments for the violation of the second law and his explanation of the fourth. To point out the obvious, the first four laws are religious; the fifth is familial; and the rest are social. The list does not include the most fundamental social law – the obligation to keep promises. Promises make possible cooperation; without them there can be no society. I guess God (if I may speak in terms of the myth) didn’t think it was necessary to make a law about something everyone understood. Abraham did not need a law to make a covenant with God (Genesis 15).

Philippians 3:  4b – 14

Paul writes to tell the Christian colony he himself had established at Philippi in Macedonia. He writes from a Roman prison, possibly at Ephesus, though tradition says at Rome itself, where he was martyred. He tells the Macedonian group that his impeccable qualifications for justification under the Jewish law mean nothing to him now. His hope is to obtain “righteousness from God based on faith” (not on good works). He wants to live as much like Christ as possible and to share in his suffering, in the hope of a resurrection after his death.                Paul says he was trained as a Pharisee. Jesus made some harsh criticisms of the Pharisees, and the Pharisees were among those who sought his death. Yet they were the “liberal,” “intellectual” party of the day, the party of the synagogues in competition with the Temple cult. It was the Pharisees who saved Judaism after the destruction of the Temple in the year 70, who established the final canon of Scripture (the Old Testament) and set the synagogue service.

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