As we all are recovering from. . . uh, I mean, still celebrating. . . the Christmas season, please remember that God’s mission and ministry through the Church requires lots of volunteer help. Making a commitment (or re-commitment) to a St. Paul’s ministry makes a great New Year’s resolution. Making a resolution to attend mass more often is beneficial both to the Church and to your spiritual health, and there are many, many opportunities to serve at St. Paul’s, and God’s work needs willing hearts and hands. The bulletin board in the Parish Hall hallway has a list of all the Guilds and service organizations in the church, each with a short description, and it will also be posted on the website. One of the most important ways in which God is present in the world is through the work of his people, both individually and corporately. Please give it your prayerful consideration and speak to me or any of the Guild heads if you have any questions about a particular ministry.
Many of you, very kindly, were complimentary of my sermon this past Sunday and asked about the book I referenced. The book is: Glorious Companions: Five Centuries of Anglican Spirituality by Richard H. Schmidt and published by Wm. B. Eerdmans in 2002. The material I used was from the introduction, but it is an excellent resource if you are interested in Anglican identity and spirituality. As for my sermon, I am honored by all the requests for copies, and I am happy to distribute them via e-mail (someone already pilfered the hard copy from the pulpit!); however, two words of warning: 1), I go off script frequently, and 2), my sermons are edited and formatted for oral delivery, not for reading. There seems to be an interest in perhaps putting some of them on the website, which I am happy to do, but they will need to be edited first for general consumption. Please e-mail me anytime at email@example.com if you would like a copy of a particular sermon.
Some of you have noticed that we are celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany this year on the “wrong” day, and you are correct that Epiphany is a fixed-date feast which should occur on January 6th. This year, however, since the 6th is a Saturday and not in the middle of the week, many parishes are transferring it, with Bishop Provenzano’s permission, to Sunday, January 7, and that is what we are doing as well. To our Epiphany celebration this year, we are adding something new: The Blessing of the Gifts and the Blessing of the Chalk. This is a centuries-old tradition in many parts of Europe and is gaining currency here in the United States. There is a procession to the Crèche where we will, joining The Three Kings, bless and present gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh to the Christ Child. Then the chalk is blessed, and after mass it will be distributed at the door and at Coffee Hour, one piece to each family. The chalk is taken home and a short inscription, which has the year and the initials of the Magi, are written over or near your front door as a house blessing, asking God to protect your home and family during the year. Instructions and the prayer to say as you write the inscription will also be distributed with the chalk. If you would like to read more about this tradition, there are a number of articles online, including this one from the Church Times in 2016: https://www.churchtimes.co.uk/articles/2016/26-february/regulars/out-of-the-question/custom-of-blessing-chalk-at-epiphany. See you at Mass on Sunday.
Sincerely Yours in Christ,
Sunday Schools starts again this Sunday at 9:45.
Sunday, January 28
St. Paul’s Annual Meeting will take place immediately after High Mass on Sunday, January 28, at which we will elect 2 vestry members to full three-year terms and a Junior Warden to a full two-year term. If you are interested in serving God and St. Paul’s by serving on the Vestry, please contact any member of the Nominating Committee: Sandy Miller, Keith Edwards, and Doug Munson.
UPCOMING EVENTS AND NOTICES
Sunday, January 14, 12:30 pm—Special Coffee Hour in honor of our Organist Choirmaster Vince Peterson
Sunday, January 28, 11:00 am—Solemn High Mass, The Conversion of St. Paul and our Patronal Feast, followed by the Annual Meeting.
CALL TO STEWARDSHIP
Please get your 2018 Pledges to the Stewardship Committee as soon as possible
They are needed before the next Vestry meeting, Saturday, January 20, in order to be included in the 2018 budget.
Pledge cards are available from the usher.
THIS COMING SUNDAY
January 7, 2018—The Feast of the Epiphany (transferred)
Sunday School: 9:45 am
Solemn High Mass: 11:00 am
Sunday's Appointed Readings
Old Testament: Isaiah 60:1-6
Psalm 72:1-7, 10-14
New Testament: Ephesians 3:1-12
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
Procession: “We three kings,” Three Kings of Orient, 128
Communion: “What star is this with beams so bright,” Puer nobis, 124
Dismissal: “Songs of thankfulness and praise,” Salzburg, 135
Anthem: Richard Rodney Bennett, “Out of Your Sleep”
AN EPIPHANY POEM FOR MEDITATION AND PRAYER
Earth has many a noble city,
Bethlehem, thou dost all excel;
Out of thee the Lord from heaven
Came to rule in Israel.
Fairer than the sun at morning
Was the start that told his birth,
To the world in God announcing
Ween in fleshy form on earth.
Eastern sages at this cradle
Make oblations rich and rare;
See them give, in deep devotion,
Gold and frankincense and myrrh.
Sacred gifts of mystic meaning:
Incense doth their God disclose,
Gold the King of Kings proclaimeth,
Myrrh his sepulcher foreshows.
Jesus, whom the Gentiles worshipped
At thy glad Epiphany,
Unto thee, with God the Father,
And the Spirit glory be. Amen.
—Marcus Aurelius Clemens Prudentius, 348-310?
Tr. Hymns Ancient and Modern, 1861
St. Paul's Episcopal Church, Clinton & Carroll Streets, Brooklyn.
718-625-4126 • email: firstname.lastname@example.org • Donate
The Rev. Dr. Sean M. Wallace, Interim
Vince Peterson, Music Director