This past Sunday we introduced the Epiphany Blessing of the Chalk tradition, and I very much appreciate the way everyone embraced a new, yet still quite old, idea. Several of you sent pictures of your families writing the inscription over your doors, and I encourage everyone to send me pictures if you have them, even if only of the inscription. Drew took some pictures of the actual Blessing of the Gifts and the Chalk during the mass, so all of that together will make a very nice collage for our Facebook page.
There are lots of things coming up at St. Paul’s, which require your prayerful consideration and faithful attendance. This Sunday, we say goodbye and farewell to Vince Peterson, our organist-choirmaster for the past seven years; we welcome our new Director of Music, Alex Canovas, and our new organist, Nathan Taylor, on January 21st; the Annual Meeting is on January 28th; and all that is followed hard on the heels by Ash Wednesday on February 14th. It is not too early to begin thinking and praying about your Lenten Rule, and Bishop Provenzano has asked us to join him in a Covenant of Prayer. I will write more about both of these in future eBlasts.
In the meantime, as I mentioned in a sermon several weeks ago, the work of prayer is one of the obligations of being a Christian, and you should be praying for St. Paul’s—every day—especially during this period of change and transition: praying for your parish leadership; praying for the transition team; praying for the Search Committee, which hasn’t even been formed yet; praying for the parish discernment process; and, yes absolutely, praying for your new Rector. Praying, praying, praying: every day. There is no such thing as too much prayer, but there is a great danger in too little.
Keep the faith. What else is there really? See you Sunday.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Sunday, January 28, immediately after the 11:00 am mass
On the agenda is the 2018 budget and the election of a Junior Warden for a full two-year term and two vestry members to full three-year terms. The list of the members in good standing who have seat, voice, and vote at the Annual Meeting is posted on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall. Please check to see that your name is there. If you believe the list is in error, please contact Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the church office.
2018 PLEDGE ENVELOPES
See Doug Munson if you have not received your 2018 pledge envelopes or if you have any questions.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND NOTICES
Sunday, January 14, 12:30 pm: Special Coffee Hour in honor of our Organist Choirmaster Vince Peterson
Saturday, January 20, 9:30 am–11:30 am: Regular Vestry Meeting in the Library
Sunday, January 21, 11:00 am: High Mass, and the first Sunday of our new Organist, Nathan Taylor
Saturday, January 27, 10:00 am-12:30 pm: Acolyte reorientation/training followed by a pizza party
Sunday, January 28, 11:00 am: Solemn High Mass, The Conversion of St. Paul and our Patronal Feast, followed by the Annual Meeting.
Ash Wednesday, February 14; Ashes will be imposed at all three services.
7:30 am, Low Mass
12:00 (noon), Low Mass
7:30 pm, Sung Mass
FORMER PARISHIONER IN THE NEWS
Paul Dilley, a former parishioner, is in the news. Paul and his mother Julie were members here for many years and served St. Paul’s in various capacities. The New York Times Science section for Jan. 9, 2018, discloses the important role Paul is playing in the research on an ancient Christian manuscript.
A 1500-year-old parchment codex from Egypt contains the New Testament book The Acts of the Apostles, plus additional unidentified writings. The text is in Coptic, the language of Egypt and of the Coptic Christian Church until the Arab conquest in the 7th century BCE. The codex belongs to the J. Pierpont Morgan Library in New York, which acquired it 50 years ago. But no one can read the text because the pages of the codex were fused together by a fire hundreds of years ago. Brent Seales, a computer scientist at the University of Kentucky, developed a scanner that can read such documents, and Paul Dilley of the University of Iowa proposed that it be used on the Morgan codex. This experiment is in progress. Dilley is eager to discover what other scriptures were paired with the book of Acts; this might assist in tracing the chronology of the formation of we know as the New Testament.
Paul did graduate work on early Christianity and other ancient Mediterranean religions a Yale, where he received a Ph.D. in 2008. Paul earlier taught at Penn State and today is Assistant Professor of ancient religions on the Classics faculty at the University of Iowa.