Consider, if you will, the following actual Coffee Hour conversation at St. Paul’s:
Parishioner: “Father Wallace, I have a question. I’m confused about something. What are those words you’re saying just before we come up for Communion?”
Fr. Wallace: “You mean, ‘Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who taketh away the sins of the World’”?
Parishioner: “Well, sort of. You’ve been saying that since you came here, but I mean the stuff that comes after that. The new stuff.”
Fr. Wallace: “Oh, you mean, ‘Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof, but speak the word only and my soul shall be healed.’”
Parishioner: “Yeah, that. What is that?”
Fr. Wallace: “It’s from the story in the Bible about the Centurion who asks Jesus to heal his servant. Jesus offers to come to his house, and the Centurion says he is not worthy to have Jesus come to his house, that Jesus only has to say the words and the servant will be healed. It’s the traditional response to the ‘Behold the Lamb of God’ part.”
Parishioner: “Well, I don’t know those words. Are we supposed to say it with you?”
Fr. Wallace: “Yes, it’s printed in the bulletin, along with the instructions.”
Parishioner: (unapologetically) “Oh, no one looks at that. I don’t need it except for the hymns. We know everything already and do it from memory.”
Fr. Wallace: “Well, I wrote about it a couple of weeks ago in the Eblast and explained where it came from and that it was a change for Lent.”
Parishioner: (quite dismissively) “Oh, I never read that.”
Fr. Wallace: (with rather a fake smile and somewhat condescendingly) “Well, then, if I may be so bold, that’s why you’re confused. We don’t do them for our benefit. You really should look at them.”
Perhaps, I could have been somewhat kinder in my response to this person, but the parish office and I spend considerable time each week putting together the bulletin and the Eblasts so that everyone will know what’s happening in the parish and at mass. It’s a bit disheartening to have someone admit, in such a casual way, almost dismissive way, that these things are just ignored. And I do have the impression that this is not just a single, one-off example. I have been surprised by the number of people who seem to read every word of the Eblast and equally surprised by the number who clearly do not read it at all. (And I do see the irony that I am using the Eblast to complain that people do not read the Eblasts; nonetheless . . .) And I still surprised by the number of people to whom I have to say, “It’s in the bulletin.”
This is all perhaps a small dilemma, but one with a simple solution, and the solution is not that people be more considerate in what they say to me; it is to ask that everyone read the bulletin and the Eblasts—thoroughly. Please. This is really the only way our parish has to communicate with the everyone, and it is important, if only so that you know about all the wonderful things that are happening at St. Paul’s and around the Diocese. I know that many of the announcements repeat, but that’s why there are headlines. And there are changes in the mass nearly every week, aside from just hymn numbers, and especially when we change from one liturgical season to another. Each of you, whether you realize it or not, is a liturgical leader. You lead the people around you, and they lead you. And everyone serves as leaders and liturigcal role models for any visitors who may join us. It’s important to our worship life together that you take your leadership role seriously.
OK, enough finger-wagging and sermonizing. See you (with your bulletin in hand!) on Sunday.
FIRST PRAYER DAY
Saturday, March 10, 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
The first of our eight Prayer Days is this Saturday, March 10, as part of the Prayer Covenant with Bishop Provenzano. Prayer is the foundation of our relationship with God, and there are dozens of methods and techniques of prayer. Each Prayer Day will be led by Lilo Carr Rivera and structured as a stand-alone, 2-hour practicum workshop exploring three different types of prayer. If you’ve ever wanted to improve your prayer life, but you weren’t sure how to get started, this is it.
The March 10 workshop will feature:
The Lord’s Prayer—We all know it by heart! Explore how to use this classic chestnut as a template for your personal prayer life.
Centering Prayer—This meditative prayer technique quiets your heart, mind and soul, allowing you to connect to the Divine that is beyond thought and words.
Psalms—Use the beauty of the psalms as a focus for prayer and meditation. Express your personal prayers to God through the psalms.
Future Prayer Day Dates:
April 28, May 26, July 28, August 25, September 22, October 27, November 24
COMMUNITY ACTION NEEDED
Support Landmarking 236 and 238 President Street
This March, 236 President Street will be sold to a developer who plans to demolish the building and replace it with a six-story luxury condominium which will rise over 70 feet, taller than another building on the block. The back of the current building looks across a small garden into the north windows of our Parish Hall. Your wardens have been meeting with residents, the developer, engineers, and lawyers in order to protect the interests and property of St. Paul’s Church during the proposed demolition and rebuilding process. Now, however, there is a last-ditch community effort to landmark the buildings because of their historical importance and to protect the Carroll Gardens neighborhood. There are flyers in the back of the church with information about the history of these two buildings and how you can participate in supporting this initiative.
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE
Sunday, March 25, Palm Sunday—11:00 am, Solemn High Mass with Blessing of Palms
Thursday, March 29, Maundy Thursday—7:30 pm, Solemn High Mass
Friday, March 30, Good Friday
12:00 pm (noon), Mass of the Pre-Sanctified
5:30 pm, Stations of the Cross for Families with Children
Saturday, March 31, Easter Vigil—7:30 pm, Solemn High Mass (Everyone is invited to break the Lenten Fast with refreshments in the library after mass.)
Sunday, April 1, Easter Day & Episcopal Visitation—11:00 am, Solemn High Mass
Sunday, April 1
Those of you with sharp eyes will have noticed in the Holy Week Schedule just above that Easter Day will be our Episcopal Visitation this year. We learned just this past week that Bishop Gerayn Wolf will be joining us on Easter Day, and we are very exciting and honored to have her celebrate the Glory of the Resurrection with us.
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. Live Irish Music presented by Alex Canovas and the St. Paul’s Irish Players. 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.
STATIONS OF THE CROSS AT ST. PAUL’S
5:30 pm, Good Friday, March 30
St. Paul’s continues its tradition of walking the Stations of the Cross, especially designed for families with children, on Good Friday afternoon at 5:30 pm. Everyone is invited.
INVITATION TO DAY OF LAMENTATION AND FASTING
Wednesday, March 14, Cathedral of the Incarnation, Garden City
As part of the response to the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, member bishops of Bishops United Against Gun Violence are holding a Day of Lamentation services on Wednesday, March 14. In the Diocese of Long Island starting at 7 am, Bishop Provenzano will spend 12 hours in fasting and prayer at The Cathedral of the Incarnation, 50 Cathedral Ave, Garden City. At each hour, there will be a collect, and reading of scripture along with the names of the victims. All are invited and encouraged to join him for any or part of the day: 7 am–Day of Lamentation and Fasting begins; 8:45 am–Morning Prayer; 12:15 pm–Mass of Anointing, Bishop Provenzano will preside and preach; 1 pm–Lenten walk; 6:30 pm–Vespers; 7 pm–All are invited for a light Lenten supper at Mercer to break the fast. All are welcome to join.
LENTEN CLASS CONTINUES
Anglican Identity and Spirituality
Father Wallace is teaching class exploring Anglican identity and spirituality each Sunday afternoon in Lent from 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM, in the library. Everyone is invited.
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, a spiritually fulfilling Lenten practice that draws you closer to God. If you have made your Confession before, simply schedule a time with Fr. Wallace. 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.
EPISCOPAL MINISTRIES OF LONG ISLAND ANNUAL APPEAL
The Annual Appeal of Episcopal Ministries of Long Island began this past Sunday, March 4. Episcopal Charities provides the funding needed to establish, nurture, and fund parish-based ministries and strategic community partnerships which affirm the dignity of all people. With your gift to Episcopal Ministries, you join others who are living out the Gospel—feeding the hungry, welcoming the stranger and caring for our neighbors as if for Christ. Information packets and donation/pledge envelopes are available in the back of the church. You may read more about the EMLI project and donate on line at: www.episcopalminitries.org.
NOTES FROM THE CHOIR LOFT
The music at the offertory this Sunday is the intensely expressive anthem, “God so loved the world.” Based on the text from the Gospel of John (3:16-17), it was composed by British composer John Stainer (1840-1901) for his Passion oratorio The Crucifixion (1887). This excerpted choral piece is about the only composition by Stainer that is still widely known, but in his day his hymns, anthems, and larger choral works were staples of the Anglican Church. (About the only trace of him in our Hymnal 1982 is his harmonization of “The First Nowell.”) He held the post of organist at Magdalen College, Oxford, and later at St. Paul’s in London, where he was much admired for his organ improvisations; none other than fellow Victorian composer Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert & Sullivan fame) urged his conservatory students to go hear Stainer improvising.
THIS COMING SUNDAY
The Fourth Sunday in Lent, traditionally called “Rose Sunday”
Solemn High Mass: 11:00 AM
Sunday's Appointed Readings and Sermon
The Old Testament—Numbers 21:4-9
Psalm 107:1-3, 17-22
The Epistle—Ephesians 2:1-10
The Gospel—John 3:14-21
Organ Prelude: “Adagio” from Organ Sonata, Op. 65, No. 1—Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
Entrance Hymn: “All my hope on God is founded,” #665
Anthem: God So Loved the World—John Stainer
Communion Hymn: “Lord Jesus, think on me,” #641
Dismissal Hymn: “Lift high the Cross,” #473
Organ Postlude: “Sinfonia,” from Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, Cantata No. 21—J.S. Bach
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