Bishop Provenzano is a member of Bishops United Against Gun Violence, which has issued a Call to Action in the wake of the recent school schooting in Florida. Last week, the Bishop asked all of the parishes in this Diocese to pray for those who died and for those who mourn, and, as some of you noticed, we added a line to The Great Litany this past Sunday for this purpose. I also addressed the Parkland School shooting in my sermon in the context of the presence of evil in the world. It is not my practice to be political or overly personal in my sermons or in my Eblasts, and I am hesitant to do so now, but I cannot in good conscience let this past without notice, and I want to offer a word of explanation. What I did not mention in my sermon is that I am the oldest of five children and that I have lost two siblings to guns—both “accidents,” under questionable circumstances, by legally-owned firearms in the hands of people who should never have been allowed to own them. I was raised in the rural South in a gun-culture, and I know that there are many responsible gun-owners who use their firearms appropriately and safely. I also know that one does not need an AR-15 to hunt deer. Guns, gun violence, and our country’s inability to appropriately address this issue, as other Western countries have done, are, in my opinion, a blot on the soul of our nation and on its people, and I am quick to include myself in that judgment. While I do not vote for political candidates who have pro-gun positions, to my shame I have also not been active in advocating for change and I have passively watched as more and more people die. Why this particular shooting has hit me harder than all the others is difficult to say—perhaps because my children are now the age of some of the Parkland School victims. Whatever the reason, it is clear that this is not just a political issue, or just a social issue, or just a civil rights issue, or just a Constitutional issue, it is a moral issue, and it is therefore incumbent upon the Church and upon Christians to weigh in. Whether you agree or disagree, the conversation is necessary, and I invite you all to join it. As a start to that conversation, I also invite and encourage you to read the Call to Action by Bishops United Against Gun Violence at http://bishopsagainstgunviolence.org/bishops-united-urges-assault-weapons-ban-prayers-of-lamentation/.
There are lots of announcements below, so please do read them carefully and prayerfully. See you Sunday.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
PRAYER DAY RESCHEDULED
This Saturday, February 24, was to be the first of our Prayer Days in the Prayer Covenant with Bishop Provenzano; however, for a variety of reasons, it must be rescheduled. Fr. Wallace will post the new schedule as soon as possible.
HELP NEEDED FOR ST. PAUL’S WIFI PROJECT
Michael Eckblad and Ken Schwartz are looking for an extra three or four able-bodied volunteers to help string network cable around the church property this Saturday, February 24, from 10:00 am to approximately 4:00 pm. No prior experience is required, and everything will be prepared in advance so we can knock it out quickly with enough hands! Lunch will be provided. Please contact Michael Eckblad (firstname.lastname@example.org, 718-404-2698) to volunteer.
NEW VESTRY MEMBER
At its regular meeting this past Saturday, the vestry reluctantly accepted the resignation of Tony Gini whose family obligations have made it untenable for him to continue. The vestry will miss Tony’s quiet, steady, and thoughtful presence, and St. Paul’s is sincerely grateful for his service. The parish by-laws state that the vestry elect a new member to fill the unexpired term, and we are happy to announce that Ananda Ambrose has been duly elected. Please take the opportunity to congratulate Ananda and thank her for her willingness to serve.
LENTEN RECYCLING EFFORTS AT ST. PAUL’S
St Paul's St Francis Guild is asking, that for Lent, all parishioners make an extra effort to be more mindful of the proper disposal of items used during Coffee Hour and items they take in to the church. Please also speak to your children about how to properly dispose of their waste items. With this effort, we hope to better ensure that recyclable materials actually get recycled. Our goal is to generate no landfill waste as a result of our sharing a coffee and snack together. And we look to the act of sharing of bread and wine during Holy Communion for its grace and intentional avoidance of any waste production.
One of the mission purposes of the St Paul's St Francis Guild is to:
Reduce impacts on the environment within our community at St Paul’s, and offer support to do so in our personal lives; to work towards a community that participates in environmental restoration, lives more lightly on the earth, and celebrates our relationship with God’s Creation.
For those who want to make more of a personal Lenten effort to reduce plastic waste in their lives, the Church of England (whom we are in Communion with) has asked their parishioners to make an effort to give up plastics in their lives and has issued a helpful guide for each week of Lent. This Church of England chart that can be found online at this address: http://exeter.anglican.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/Plastic_Free_Lent.pdf
Prayer For the Conservation of Natural Resources (from the Book of Common Prayer)
Almighty God, in giving us dominion over things on earth, you made us fellow workers in your creation: Give us wisdom and reverence so to use the resources of nature, that no one may suffer from abuse of them, and that generations yet to come may continue to praise you for your bounty; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
LENTEN CLASS CONTINUES
Anglican Identity and Spirituality
Father Wallace is teaching a five-session class exploring Anglican identity and spirituality each Sunday afternoon in Lent from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, in the library (note the slight change in time). Each session will be relatively self-contained, so you may attend any or all of them as your schedule permits. The book for the class is The Anglican Way: A Guidebook by Thomas McKenzie, copies of which are available from Fr. Wallace.
LENTEN FOOD DRIVE
The Sunday School invites you to bring donations for their annual Lenten food drive. Bins will be placed in the back of the church throughout Lent to receive your donations. As usual, the food will be donated to the food pantry at First Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn Heights. The children will deliver the food and stock the shelves on Good Friday. Of particular need are the following foods: peanut butter, tuna fish, Vienna sausage, canned vegetables, apple sauce, pasta, rice and canned soup. Please make sure that the donations are unopened and have not expired. If you have any questions, please feel free to speak with Jean Del Colliano. As always, thank you for your generous donations!
It is traditional for Christians to make their Confessions during Lent. If you have made your Confession before, simply schedule a time with Fr. Wallace. Confession is a spiritually fulfilling Lenten Discipline, drawing you closer to God. For those who have never made their Confession, or have not done so for many years, some instruction is required in order to prepare properly. Please see Fr. Wallace.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! ST. PATRICK’S DAY PARISH DINNER
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Please join us on Saturday, March 17th, for the 2nd annual parish St. Patrick’s Day party. Corned beef & cabbage, Irish beer & fun, 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm. Suggested donation: $15 for adults and $5 for kids, no family more than $30. All proceeds will go to support Episcopal Charities. A sign-up sheet will be posted in the parish hall. See Keith Edwards if you would like to help.
NOTES FROM THE HYMNAL
It has been St. Paul’s practice for many years to change to the Merbecke setting of the mass during Lent. John Merbecke (c1510-c1585) was a musician and theological writer, who became organist at Windsor Chapel (1541), a position he apparently held for life. Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer, the primary author of the first Book of Common Prayer in 1549, invited Merbecke to provide simple music for the singing in holy services. The Book of Common Prayer Noted (meaning that musical notes were provided) was published in 1550. Merbecke’s music was superceded within a few years, and in the following, religiously turbulent times, his music fell out of favor and most copies of the B.C.P. Noted were lost or destroyed. Merbecke’s settings were not rediscovered until the 19th century. They appeared in the Episcopal Hymnal 1940 and are retained in our current Hymnal 1982. Merbecke’s melodies are simpler and more restrained than some others of the Hymnal’s liturgical chants, and they are often deemed appropriate for use during Lent. We sing Merbecke’s settings of the Kyrie, Sanctus, and Agnus Dei.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS AT SACRED HEART & ST. STEPHEN’S CHURCH
Fr. Guy Massey has invited members of our parish to join him for Stations of the Cross and Benediction at Sacred Heart & St. Stephen’s RC Church during the season of Lent. The schedule is:
Stations of the Cross: Fridays, 7:00 pm
Benediction: Saturdays, 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm.
Sacred Heart and St. Stephen’s Church is located at 125 Summit Street, between Hicks and Henry Streets. The schedule and prayer intentions for the services may be found at http://sacredhearts-ststephen.com/
THIS COMING SUNDAY
The Second Sunday in Lent
Solemn High Mass: 11:00 AM
Sunday's Appointed Readings
The Old Testament—Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16
The Epistle—Romans 4:13-25
The Gospel—Mark 8:31-38
Organ Prelude: “Tranquillamente e dolente,” from Three Liturgical Preludes—George Oldroyd
Entrance Hymn: “Forty days and forty nights,” Aus der Tiefe rufe ich, #150
Anthem at the Offertory: Jesus So Lowly—Harold Friedell
Communion Hymn: “If thou but suffer God to guide thee,” Wer nur den lieben Gott, #635
Dismissal Hymn: “Eternal Lord of love,” Old 124th, #149
Organ Postlude: Arioso—J.S. Bach
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Sunday, March 25, Palm Sunday—11:00 Solemn High Mass with Blessing of Palms and Procession
Thursday, March 29, Maundy Thursday, 7:30 pm—Solemn High Mass
Friday, March 30, Good Friday, 12:00 pm (noon)—Mass of the Pre-Santified
Saturday, March 31, Easter Vigil, 7:30 pm—Solemn High Mass
Sunday, April 1, Easter Day, 11:00 am—Solemn High Mass
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Clinton & Carroll Streets, Brooklyn.
718-625-4126 • email: email@example.com • Donate
The Rev. Dr. Sean M. Wallace, Interim
Alex Canovas, Music Director
Nathan Taylor, Organist