October 9, 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 theParish.  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 Episcopal Church Women: The ECW prayer committee meets today, the second Sunday of the month, 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. 30th and would love your help! Please see Celia Braxton for further information.

Stewardship Campaign, 2012: next Sunday, Oct. 16th, we will begin our Stewardship campaign with members speaking on the theme, “What St. Mary’s Means to Me.”

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. Oct. 14: Bagdad Café (1988 excellent & quirky comedy/drama, PG, lonely German woman ends up in a desolate motel and decides to make it brighter; she meets resistance); Oct. 21: Thor (2011 action/adventure, PG-13, god of thunder must live among humans to learn humility); Oct. 28: Harry Potter Halloween Marathon (first three movies, 5:00 pn start) (2001-4 action/adventures, PG, orphaned boy wizard tries to survive the many challenges of two worlds)

 “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. Topic: “Who is your Diva?” Come join us!

Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first Sunday each month. We need volunteers 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.

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.

Rev. Kooperkamp is preaching at Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Baltimore today.

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

 Commentaries by Arthur Cash

First Reading, Exodus 32: 1 – 14

I suppose the story of the making of the golden calf was needed to show human weakness. The difficulty in the story is the figure of Aaron. In the parts of Exodus written by “J ” and somewhat expanded by another author, “JE“, Moses’ brother Aaron is a great hero, Moses’ chief helper in the escape from Egypt, the founder of the priesthood from whom all legitimate priests are descended. Into this account has been inserted a story by another writer called, “E,” an ancient folk tale in which Aaron is the leader of Baal cult. The patched-together narrative that comes down to us fails to reconcile these contradictory views of Aaron.

For me, the most interesting part of our reading is Moses’ plea to God not to destroy his people. It is not unlike Abraham’s convincing God not to wipe out the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah while good people are living in them (Genesis 18:22-32). Both are audacious stories that show humans and God as more or less equals in discussion, and then show humans to be more compassionate and forgiving than God.

Second Reading Philippians 4: 1 – 9

 Paul, expecting to die, says farewell to his people at Philippi. He is at peace and writes to help his people find peace. The woman leaders, Euodia and Syntyche are to reconcile their differences. All are to put their minds, not only upon moral virtues such as honor and justice, but upon all the blessing of their lives, whatever is excellent, true, or beautiful.

There is an ongoing controversy among Biblical scholars about the order in which Paul’s letters were written. But it seems likely Paul did not die after the Philippi letters, but lived to continue his great mission.

       

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