April 21, 2013

                   Good morning and welcome to St. Mary’s Church

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ms. Lillian Spann and Ms. Enita Hinkson both long time member’s of St Mary’s Church. The service for Lillian Spann will take place Tuesday April 23, at 12 noon; preceded by a viewing in the Church from 10:am to 12 noon. The service for Enita Hinkson will be held on Wednesday April 24, at 11:am, preceded by a viewing in the church at 10:am.  May the souls of the faithful departed rest in peace.  The Rev. Earl Kooperkamp will participate in both services.

Leadership Seminar: Vestry members and any others interested are invited to a leadership Seminar at the Cathedral, Saturday April 27, 9: am-1:pm If you are interested in attending , see Father Tom or the Wardens of the Church.

It’s time for the CROP Walk! Walk or raise funds to stamp out hunger!                                              NYC Walk Day: Sunday, 5/19/2013; 2pm. Starting Location: 86th Street and West End Avenue A portion of the funds raised through the NYC CROP Walk will come right back to the St. Mary’s pantry! Donations received before May 1st will be counted towards the Feinstein Challenge, each bit bringing back more of a million dollar pot!     Get started right away!                                                 Contact 646-499-3908,stmarys.facebook@gmail.com

Current exhibit at General Seminary shows St. Mary’s role in 1970’s struggle for ordination of women as priests in the Episcopal Church, Next week, Sunday April 28    Special trip–with tour of Seminary & exhibit.   Leaving from St. Mary’s at 2:00 p.m.  We can be proud.  Join in the fun. Transportation covered,  Check out:  kellerlibrary.wordpress.com    

 Harlem Chamber Players & Opus 118 Harlem School of Music.  Concert at St. Mary’s Sunday April 28 3:00 p.m. Hear acclaimed students from Opus 118, meet founder and master teacher Roberta Guaspari, the inspiration behind the award-winning documentary “Small Wonders” and inspiration behind Miramax’s film, “Music of the Heart.”

BIBLE STUDY will take place on April 30th at 7pm at the home of Fr. Pellaton, 2186Fifth Ave., Apt. 7D (135th St. and Fifth Ave.) As in the past Fr. Tom will make diner including a Vegans alternative, and the class can bring soft drinks and dessert. We are well into our study of the Gospel of Mark and will continue our journey with the Evangelist.

The next Baptisms will take place on Pentecost Sunday, May 19th. If you or your child or grandchild would like to be baptized please see Fr. Pellaton. In addition, Bp. Chilton Knutson, an assisting Bishop in the Diocese and long time friend of Fr. Pellaton’s will be here for Confirmation Sep. 8, 2013. Confirmation classes have already begun. If you would like to join the class or begin an adult class please see Fr. Tom

                   Commentary on the Readings by Arthur Cash

First Reading: Acts 9: 36- 43

      In Acts, Chapter 9, Peter brings about two miracles, the second of which you will hear about today. Both result in many conversions to “the way.” Throughout Acts, miracles lead to faith, Yet in the gospel of John the risen Christ says to doubting Thomas, ‘have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe” (20:29).

    It is significant that Peter stayed with a tanner. In Jewish law tanners were unclean because they worked with animal carcasses. Aside from law, raw animal hides are vile. They stink and attract vermin. Peter chose to stay in the very pit of society, an act of love toward humanity. Yet the church he helped to establish flourished largely because people of wealth supported it. See the recent work by Peter Brown, Through the Eye of  the Needle: Wealth, the Fall of Rome, and the Making of Christianity in the West 350550 AD. 

Second Reading: Revelation 7: 9 – 17

   Revelation was written to give courage and comfort to Christians who were threatened by their Roman rulers. In 64 CE, the Roman emperor Nero blamed the Christians for the great fire of Rome, setting off vast numbers of arrests usually resulting in death, often by horrible tortures (described by the Roman diplomat and historian Tacitus in Annals.xv.44). Peter and Paul are thought to have died in these persecutions.

In our reading, John is still in the throne room of God. A great crowd of people dressed in white robes appears before God, and one of the elders explains to John that they have “come out of the great ordeal,” meaning they have died under torture, still loyal to Christ. In a wonderful metaphor f washing their robes in the blood of the lamb, we are told they have been forgiven their sins. Now God will dare for them and “will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”

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