March 25, 2012

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

 The Vestry will meet today at 12:30 pm. All are invited.

 All who wish help plan a farewell for Rev. Kooperkamp are asked to come to a meeting from 12 noon until 12:30 today . Please see Dorothy Ross for details.

 Manhattan North IPC Lenten Services: Wednesday Evenings at 7:00 pm; Evening Prayer followed by a Fellowship meal.

  • March 28: St. Ambrose, 9 West 130th Street (just off Fifth Ave.)

Lenten Book Study: “Becoming a Blessed Church” Mondays at 7:00 pm (soup included!); Please see Rev. Kooperkamp for a copy of the book. Suggested by Dorothy Ross, Thanks!!

Movies at St. Mary’s: 6:00 pm on Fridays. Come for the fellowship, the popcorn and theFUN!!  Also, we need volunteers to help. March 30th: silly sequels DOUBLE FEATURE: Kung fu panda 2, 2011, pg, & big momma’s house 3, 2011 pg 13, J. Black & A. Jolie voice the panda-monism; Martin Lawrence plays dress up-for a cause.

 

The Men’s Monthly Prayer Group will meet on Saturday, March 31st at 8:00 am.

 Holy Week Schedule:

    * Palm Sunday, April 1st: 10:00 am Bagpipe procession in the neighborhood.

* Tenebrae: April 4th: 6:30 pm A service of Psalms and Scripture for Holy Week

   * Maundy Thursday, April 5th: 6:30 pm Footwashing, Holy Communion and all        night vigil at the altar of Repose

    * Good Friday: April 6th: 12 noon – 3:00 pm A service of prayer and meditation

    * Holy Saturday: April 7th: 12 noon A short service of prayer in the garden

     * Easter Sunday: April 8th: 6:00 am sunrise service and vigil

                                                          8:00 am Holy Communion and hymns

                                                        10:00 am Festal Eucharist and Holy Baptism

                                                          2:00 pm Ecclesia Easter in Marcus Garvey Park

 

Eccelsia: Marcus Garvey Park: St. Mary’s is the lead congregation on the first and fifth Sunday each month. We will 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. Also: Socks are NEEDED; keep on “socking it to us!” and if you are able, bring new socks we can give to people during Outreach. Thanks to all who have helped out in this effort!!

Support our Occupy West Harlem! Come to 615 West 125th Street and support the occupiers protesting Columbia University’s expansion project. Stop on by and keep this occupation in your prayers. Also: Monday, March 26th 8 – 10 pm “Open Forum on Columbia’s Expansion Plan in West Harlem” Mathematics Hall Room 203 on the Columbia campus. Columbia students invite community residents to join as they pursue a collaborative approach to expansion based on honest communication and fairness.

St. Mary’s “Urban Farm” is growing and greening! This week the “Urban Farm” project made a huge leap forward with new mulch and soil for the beds. Our “Urban Farmers” Stanley Dennis, Billy Adams, Freddie Brown Carter, Stephen Thake, Kym Roberts and others have started planting seeds. Today the St. Mary’s Sunday School will join too! Give God thanks for such incredible and inspirational people to work on this project.

Reflections on Today’s Scripture Lessons by Arthur Cash:

First Reading: Jeremiah 31: 31 – 34

I find this passage of such critical importance to my religion that I keep a permanent bookmark here in my Bible. At the return of the Jews from Babylonian slavery, Jeremiah announces an individualism that would have been inconceivable to earlier generations. No longer will children be made to suffer for the sins of their fathers and grandfathers, “but all shall die for their own sins” (31:30). God transforms the very nature of covenants, for he establishes a new covenant with every individual, one that frees her/him from dependence upon priests and rabbis and traditions and rules. God will write his law in every heart, will allow everyone to know God’s forgiving nature. Jeremiah’s vision of God’s connectedness to individuals prepared the way for Christianity.

Second Reading:  Hebrews 5: 5 – 10

  Hebrews is called a letter, but it is really a treatise on Christian theology. No one knows by whom or for whom it was written. It gets its name only because on the outside of one ancient manuscript is written, “To the Hebrews.”

In this treatise we find the earliest expression of the doctrine of Christ as our only High Priest.  When Hebrews was written, the Temple at Jerusalem had been destroyed and Jewish priests had been replaced by rabbis. Hebrews reintroduced the idea of the priest into Christianity. The model was not Aaron, Moses’ brother and the first Jewish priest, but rather Melchizedek, the mysterious priest of Salem many centuries before Aaron who brought food to the wayfaring Abram and blessed him (Genesis18-20). To show that Jesus’ priesthood is according to the order of Melchizedek, our author quotes lines from Psalm 110. Melchizedek, he continues, “a priest of God Most High,” did not derive his authority from any organized religion, but directly from God. Our author sees him as a mysterious, messianic figure: “without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever” (7:2-3).

 

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