|Parish Post, September, 2011||September 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, August, 2011||August 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, July, 2011||July 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, June, 2011||June 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, May, 2011||May 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, April, 2011||April 1, 2011|
|➤Parish Post, March, 2011||March 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, Feb., 2011||February 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, Jan., 2011||January 1, 2011|
|Parish Post, December, 2010||December 1, 2010|
Parish Post, March, 2011
“ARE YOU SAVED OR BLESSED?”
That is, are you a sinner in need of salvation, or a redeemed person who celebrates the fullness of life in God’s sustaining presence?
As Barbara E. Bowe points out in her book, Biblical Foundations of Spirituality: Touching a Finger to the Flame, the answer to these questions is Yes!
Throughout the church year we celebrate the ways in which God has blessed us in light of God’s saving grace and salvation for each one of us. During Advent we prepare with expectation for the incomprehensible blessing of God being born into our midst as a human being. We celebrate the birth of Jesus during Christmas—God with us, the Word made flesh. Epiphany gives us the opportunity to see the many ways in which Jesus blesses those around him through his preaching, teaching, healing and exorcisms. When we witness the ways in which Jesus blesses the people he comes in contact with, we get a glimmer of understanding about how richly God has blessed each one of us. Bowe explains that being blessed by God means that we see ourselves, “not as deprived and needy, but as created fully in ‘the image and likeness of God,’ “ and we understand God as “ever present in the midst of the world, creating and sustaining it.”
Lent is the season of the church year when we focus in our liturgy and scripture to learn the ways in which God saves us, and how we are called to live in light of God’s acts of salvation for us. Bowe points out that even though we are made in the “image and likeness of God,” we know, if we are honest with ourselves, that we are “impoverished and bereft apart from God’s saving power.” We are people in need of rescue. And once God saves us, our focus is on obedience, and “fidelity to covenant demands.” The season of Lent also helps us to understand that in the story of our relationships with God, saving theology and blessing theology are so closely woven together in our lives that ultimately we find that God’s acts of saving and blessing are both indispensible sides of God’s great love for us. We come to know that the God who rescues us and saves us from our sins is the same God who blesses us with an awareness of God’s daily presence and companionship in our lives. We are both saved and blessed.
That deprived and needy disciple, Peter, the one who was constantly in need of saving, was also the disciple who was constantly aware of the blessing of God’s presence and companionship in his life after the death and resurrection of Jesus. Peter’s understanding of the interconnectedness of God’s salvation and blessings gave him the courage and audacity to shape the early church with God’s help. Peter’s witness continues to shape us today. I hope that many of you will take the opportunity to join me in a study of Peter’s life of discipleship during Lent. Peter’s story of being both saved and blessed by God provides guidance for our own journeys through Lent as we seek to open ourselves more deeply to God’s mighty acts of salvation and blessing in our own lives and in our life together as this community of St Peter’s.
(If you want to read more about saving and blessing theologies, read Chapter 4, “The God of Blessing and Salvation,” pages 45-54 in Biblical Foundations of Spirituality: Touching a Finger to the Flame, by Barbara Bowe.)
The Lenten Season at St Peter’s, 2011
“I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a Holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy word.”
These words in the Book of Common Prayer outline the importance of the season of Lent for us as we work on becoming stronger disciples of Christ. Our prayer, study and worship together will help us, as the Christian community of St Peter’s, to observe a Holy Lent. The schedule follows.
Tuesday, March 8
Pancake Races, 5PM
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Dinner, 5:30PM to 7:30PM
The term Shrove Tuesday comes from the English custom of being shriven before Lent begins. People went to confession before Lent to confess their sins and to receive absolution before the season of Lent began. But long before Shrove Tuesday took on a penitential tone, people came together to release all of their high spirits before the penitential season of Lent began. The celebration of Mardi Gras an example of high spirited celebration. Our high spirited celebration will begin with Pancake Races.
According to Wikipedia, Pancake Races have been popular in England since 1445. The legend goes that a housewife who was busy making pancakes lost track of time. When she heard the church bells calling everyone to church, she ran out of the house to church with her frying pan complete with a cooking pancake in her hand.
The village of Port Royal is the perfect setting for pancake races! So at 5PM on Tuesday, March 8, while Dave Fannon and his helpers are in the parish house cooking the pancakes we will eat, the ladies will gather in front of the church for our first annual Pancake Race. Here’s the way it works. The contestants will run down the street (Finish line—The Long’s front yard) flipping pancakes in their frying pans! The winner of each race will be the person who crosses the finish line first having flipped the pancake at least five times without dropping it in the street. Pancakes and frying pans will be provided. All you need is your running shoes. We can work off some calories before we eat all of those delicious pancakes, starting at 5:30PM.
Wednesday, March 9
Ash Wednesday Service, 7 PM
We begin our observation of Jesus’ death and resurrection by preparing for Easter with a season of penitence. At this service, we receive ashes on our foreheads in the shape of a cross to remind us of our mortality, and complete dependence on God for our lives. Only through God’s saving grace can be we be in a relationship with God. This service offers a way in which we can come together to consider our ongoing need for God’s salvation in our lives, both individually and as a community.
The Six Thursday Evenings in Lent, 7 PM in the Parish House—Prayer and Bible Study
(March 10, 17, 24, 31, and April 7, 14)
We will be studying the life of St Peter, that bumbling, often faithless disciple who went on to become the person through whom God created the community of faith that we know today as church. To guide us through this study, we will be using a book called Peter: Fisherman and Shepherd of the Church: A Transforming Experience with the Word of God, by Stephen J. Binz.
In our Lenten study, we will gather to discuss our insights from the scripture readings about Peter that we have studied and prayer about on our own during the week. We will then spend some time in prayer, using the method of Lectio Divina. This way of praying has five steps. First, we reflect on the scripture, searching for its meaning and what it has to say to us(lectio). Second, we consider how the text is trying to speak to each one of us in our daily lives (meditatio). Third, we pray to God in response to the scripture (oratio). Fourth, we open our hearts to God’s presence as it has been revealed through the passage, a quiet resting in God’s presence (contemplation). Last, we consider how our scripture study and prayer will impact our daily lives in the week ahead (operatio). This sounds complicated, but once you’ve tried it a few times, you may find that you really like praying in this fashion. The book is user friendly, with questions for each chapter to guide you through the reflection on scripture through the five-part prayer. You can easily work through this book on your own if you are not able to come to the Thursday night sessions. If you are interested, we can have an online discussion of the book by using the Internet.
Please let Catherine know if you can participate in this Lenten Bible study, or if you would like a copy of the book to work with on your own. The cost of the book is $12.
The Five Wednesday Mornings in Lent—Healing Service and Eucharist in the church, 7AM (March 16, 23, 30 and April 6 and 13)
The healing service and Eucharist will last about thirty minutes and will give people a chance for quiet reflection, prayer, and communion before the work day begins. People who desire healing may receive the laying on of hands for healing at this service.
Sundays in Lent
During the Lenten season, when we are particularly focusing on our need for God’s saving work in our lives and how we live out the grace we have experienced from God, we will be using Rite I for our worship together on Sundays. Rite I has a penitential tone, which is appropriate for this season. The language is formal and links us with our Anglican heritage.
We will also be using whole wheat bread for the Eucharist during Lent. One loaf of bread, which is then broken into the pieces that we all share together, is symbolic of our unity as individuals in the body of Christ. The recipe we will be using was developed by Trappist monks. It does not crumble, and will not disintegrate in the chalice if you prefer to receive the wine by intinction.
Thomas Cranmer, one of our great Anglican forefathers, writing in the early 1500’s, had this to say about the symbolism of Holy Communion. “For like as bread is made of a great number of grains, ground, baken, and so joined together, that thereof is made one loaf; and an infinite number of grapes be pressed together in one vessel, and thereof is made wine; likewise is the whole multitude of true Christian people spiritually joined, first to Christ, and then among themselves together in one faith, one baptism, one Holy Spirit one knot and bond of love.”
If you have a wheat allergy, gluten free wafers will also be available for communion.
Mark your calendars for the following dates in Holy Week. More details will appear in the April Parish Post.
Palm Sunday, Sunday, April 17th
Tenebrae, Wednesday, April 20, 7PM
Maundy Thursday Service, Thursday, April 21, 7PM
Good Friday Liturgy, Friday, April 22, 7PM
The Great Vigil of Easter, Saturday, April 23, 7PM
Easter Day Service, Sunday, April 24, 11AM
Congratulations to New Acolytes, Readers, Chalice Bearers and Ushers/Greeters
Many of you have volunteered to continue in a particular role of service in worship at St Peter’s, and we are welcoming some new people as leaders in our services. Thanks to each and every one of you!
The word “liturgy” means the work of the people, and so the more of us who participate in creating worship each Sunday, the better!
Training for each of these groups has already begun with acolyte training, and more training will take place during March. Catherine will be notifying you of the dates and times of those trainings.
The readers and chalice bearers are being scheduled alphabetically. If you cannot serve on the particular Sunday for which you are scheduled, it will be up to you to find a replacement and to let Catherine know of the change. You will be receiving a list of those serving in that particular area, complete with phone numbers, so that you can find a replacement easily.
If you have any questions, please call Catherine (540) 898-1586.
SERVERS FOR MARCH
MARCH 6, HC
LEM, Cookie Davis
Acolyte, Kimberly Fisher
Elements, T. Harrison and Alex Long
MARCH 9, ASH WEDNESDAY
LEM, Linne von Berg
Lector, Pannell, C
MARCH 13, HC
LEM, J. Davis
Lector, C. Davis
Elements, Linne von Berg
MARCH 20, HC
Lector, J. Davis
Elements, Cindy and Eunice
MARCH 27 MP
An Evening with Diana Butler Bass
Diana Butler Bass, who is an author, speaker and independent scholar specializing in American religion and culture, will be speaking at St James’ Episcopal Church in Mt Vernon, VA, on April 14, 2011. She holds a PhD in Religion from Duke University and has written seven books on religious trends in America. If you would like to hear this dynamic speaker, Denise Symonds will be driving up for the talk, and has invited any who are interested to ride with her. You can reach Denise at (540) 786-2817.
Adult Education in Lent – The Hidden Power of the Gospels
Join us at 10am on Sundays in Lent, beginning March 13th as we explore the Gospels in a new way based on the book The Hidden Power of the Gospels by Dr. Alexander Shaia. We will devote 25 minutes of listening to Dr. Shaia followed by discussion. He was raised in the Catholic tradition and has a varied educational background, including a Masters in Religious education and a doctorate in Clinical, psychology. Dr. Shaia’s focus is that each gospel contains a core metaphor and a universal spiritual question:
• The Gospel of Matthew: Climbing the Great Mountain
How do we face change? The First Path
• The Gospel of Mark: Crossing the Stormy Sea
How do we move through suffering? The Second Path
• The Gospel of John: Resting in the Glorious Garden
How do we recover joy? The Third Path
• The Gospel of Luke: Walking the Road of Riches
How do we mature in service? The Fourth Path
Each Gospel was written to a specific Christian community with its own set of circumstances. “Four early communities wrestled with four distinct sets of challenges when faced with four distinct sets of historical circumstances that prompted four deep questions requiring answers.” Shaia goes a step further by connecting these questions to practices that can become part of our spiritual journey which he calls Quadratos. As he writes the “Fourfold inner pilgrimage is a universal spiritual truth whose imprint can be found across time, geography, culture, and religious tradition.” With this study, you will gain a new understanding of the Gospels, their teachings and their background as well as well as developing spiritual practices for continuing the journey.
VILLAGE DINNERS MARCH 2nd (Still only $7 or 3 for $20)
Meat Loaf, Creamed Potatoes, Succotash, Blueberry Cobbler
The re-cycling basket for bulletins, lectionaries, and other papers in the last pew in the church has been a big success. Every Sunday, it is almost full. And now, we can also re-cycle in the rectory! There are three new trash containers in the kitchen. Each one is labeled. One is for aluminum, glass, and plastic co-mingled; another is for paper and cardboard, and the third is for scraps and anything that cannot be re-cycled. They will be easy to pick up and take to the Port Royal dump every week when I take the basket from the church. Liz Heimbach, Junior Warden
ECW stands for Episcopal Church Women!
Beblon Parks, President of the Diocesan ECW Announces 2 Important Dates:
April 14th Prayer & Worship Retreat
May 19th ECW Open Board Meeting
ECW Meets Wednesday Afternoon March 16 at 2 pm
Marion Mahoney, president invites all members of St. Peter’s and their friends to join us on April 16 for a trip to “ Belmont” for a guided tour of the Gary Melcher’s studio and grounds. Cost is $10 per person. Reservations will be made for lunch nearby afterwards. We will leave St. Peter’s at 9:15 am. Let Marion know if you want to go.
May 6th is the Cathedral Flower Mart Bus Trip. See Cookie for more info.
A Harvest Dinner and Silent Auction is being planned for Oct. 29th. Costumes will be encouraged and prizes will be awarded! Watch for the Oct. Jewelry Sale to be held during the Bowling Green Fall Festival. (Save Yard Sale items for later since none is planned for this spring.)
Evening ECW!!! Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Come join us for the first meeting of the Evening ECW on Tuesday, March 22, 2011 at 7PM in the Parish House. This group is forming for those women at St Peter’s who are unable to attend daytime ECW meetings. Come learn about the ECW and all of the wonderful work this organization does. We will be working alongside the daytime ECW to continue the good work of the St Peter’s ECW and also to find some time for a little spiritual refreshment and fellowship as a group. For more information, call Catherine Hicks (540) 898-1586, or Terri Harrison, (804) 742-5188.
Not of my making
Not these flowers, Lord
Which now I set
Before Thy altar place.
But in the quiet
Night and daytime hours
Beneath Thy Love
Of rain and Sun.
They are Thy handiwork
Which now I place,
In token of that same Love
You give to me.
This poem of praise was framed by Emily Holloway and hung in our sacristy for many years.