October 16, 2011

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

The flowers on the Altar are given to the Glory of God and in thanksgiving for the life of Janet Arrindel by her son, Radford.

  Stewardship Campaign, 2012: Today we will begin our 2012 Stewardship campaign with Lisa River-Mazza and Celia Braxton speaking on the theme, “What St. Mary’s Means to Me.” Pledge cards will be distributed to the congregation on Oct. 30th. On Nov. 13th we will gather our pledges on a “Harvest Sunday.” Also, this year we will ask you to consider making a pledge for “Mission” so that we can increase our support for Outreach to our community.

 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 Episcopal Church Women The ECW will have a “Cabinet Meeting” today, on this the third Sunday of the month, October 16th. The ECW is planning a neighborhood Halloween Party on Oct. 30th and would love your help! The ECW Prayer Committee meets on the second Sunday of the month, Nov. 13th. Please see Celia Braxton for further information.

Occupy Wall Street Church service today at 3:30 pm, Liberty Plaza (Liberty St. & Bday).

Stop “Stop and Frisk” learn what you can do to stop this NYPD policy; tomorrow, Oct. 17th  at 7:00 pm at St. Mary’s Church.

“Love in Action: The Challenging Life of Dorothy Day” a talk by Jim Forest, Thursday October 20th at 7:30 pm at St. Mary’s Church. This lecture is sponsored by Emmaus House and St. Mary’s. Call (212) 749-9404 for more information.

The Vestry will meet next Sunday, Oct. 23rd following the 10:00 am service. All are invited

 Mariam, Mark and Marx: our monthly Bible Study and current events discussion about JOBS for our community, will convene Thursday, Oct. 27th at 7:00 pm.  Please see Jim White for more information.

 “Reflexion Biblico” en Espanol, Saturdays at 6:00 pm, led by the Rev. Dr. Luis Barrios.

Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first Sunday each month. We need volunteers today to help with the preparation of the “Second Meal.”

St. Mary’s Homeless Street Outreach: Saturdays, 12:00 pm preparation & 2:00 pm Street Outreach. Let us know if you can help & keep Street Outreach in your prayers.

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

 

Commentaries by Arthur Cash

First Reading, Exodus 33: 12 – 23

  God has just commanded the Israelites to enter Palestine and conquer all the Canaanite tribes, yet he has declared he will not accompany them because he is still angry with them (33:2-5). The opening part of our reading is a garbled passage about two matters: Moses pleads with God not to abandon the Israelites, and he asked for assurance that he is indeed God’s agent.  

    As to the first part, God gives in and declares he will stay with the Israelites.

    As for Moses himself, God will show him his glory and allow him to hear God pronouncing his own name. But Moses cannot look upon God’s face, for the sight would kill him. So he places Moses on a rock to watch and listen as he approaches; but at the critical moment, he lifts Mosses up and places him in the cleft of a rock and covers him with his hand as he walks by, removing his hand Moses when Moses can only see his back. It is hard to imagine how the ancient editors could have been so careless as to places this fascinating myth only seven verses after the narrator has declared, “the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend” (33:11; see also 34:10).

    It is hard for me to understand how our editors and translators can have God pronounce his own name

As “Lord,” when the most ancient manuscripts say the God named himself “Yahweh”. “Lord” is a title; “Yahweh is a name.”

   An additional point: John Calvin made a big thing out of God’s petulant declaration, “I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy,” using it to justify his doctrine of predestination.

 Second Reading, First Thessalonians 1:1-10

 Thessalonia was the capital of Roman Macedonia. There seems to be a consensus among Biblical scholars that Paul’s first letter to the Christian colony there is the earliest written of his letters. If so we are hearing today the earliest written work of the New Testament.

    This is a letter of encouragement to recently converted Christians and those who minister to them. Paul does not here depart from his well-know message, that one is saved by faith. “ your faith in God,” he writes, “has become known.” The interesting point is how they acquired this faith. The “gospel” brought by Paul and others through “words” was accompanied by the Holy Spirit that imparted to the people “full conviction.” I think this is how Paul saw his many years of difficult, painful missionary work: that he was an instrument through which the Holy Spirit inspired faith.

 

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