With deep gratitude, I thank all of you for the weekly opportunity to share my thoughts about life and our Christian community. The one-to-one responses of many of you filled me with warmth, and occasionally my eyes with tears. We discussed similar life experiences, the freedom to open personal matters to others, and the remarkable timeliness of some questions raised. Those encounters will stay with me.
I wrote a few weeks ago about the wonder of a young child seeing “just a person” when with a friend or meeting a stranger. The wonder is in the child needing almost no information before interacting with a person. As I try to be like a child in this respect, I also know the satisfactions, surprises, and risks of a deeper understanding with those whom I meet and get to know. Mutual trust can reduce those risks. As a Christian, I believe that mutual trust is an essential element in our community and I know that it is widespread at St. Paul’s. Alleluia. Alleluia.
In deep peace and gratitude,
Notes on the 10:30 Music
Our hymns at 10:30 a.m. this Sunday begin with “Tell out, my soul, the greatness of the Lord,” a paraphrase of the Song of Mary (Luke 1:46-55) written by Timothy Dudley-Smith in 1965. The expression of joyful praise, love, and humility accord well with today’s Gospel. At the gradual we sing “How firm a foundation,” from the late eighteenth century. Its anonymous text is drawn from the comforting words of Isaiah 43, reminding us of the power of God, and the assurances of scripture that God will be with us in times of trial. It resonates with the trials of Paul that are described in today’s epistle reading. During communion we sing the Taizé song “Ubi Caritas.” It is an ancient Latin text, translated “Where True Charity and Love Abide, God is there.” We continue with the theme of the love of God with our final hymn, “Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim.” The text was written by George W. Kitchin in 1887. This joyful hymn celebrates the cross as a deep expression of God’s love, through Jesus Christ.
At the offertory, the choir sings the anthem “‘If Ye Love Me” by Thomas Tallis (d. 1585). It is a setting of John 14:15 that reminds us of God’s love through the Holy Spirit, the comforter. Here’s a recording you may wish to listen to as a foretaste. [link to: http://youtu.be/5Qx41wFiRWU ]
Today’s organ music includes “I Call to Thee,” by J. S. Bach, and the Allegro from Mendelssohn’s Sonata in C. The Bach is a meditative setting of a Lutheran melody that hints at Ps. 130, “Out of the depths I cry to you, Lord.” The Mendelssohn, by contrast, is a joyful paean that continues the mood of our final hymn.
This Week in Church School
This week students will explore Luke 18:9-14 and will discuss the concept of “no distance too great.” Students will focus on the idea that there is no distance too great for God to travel, nothing too big for God to do. Older students will be encouraged to consider what distances they go to for others, and for God, in their own lives.
This Sunday’s Announcements
Small group ministry is very strong here in St. Paul’s. The Vestry would like to celebrate these vital ministries. At the time of the Birthday Prayer, members of one of the small groups will be asked to come forward. This Sunday we celebrate the Ministry of the Youth Groups. All who are a part of this Ministry, please come forward along with those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
Nametags As we greet Emily and Carolyn, please wear your nametag. If you need one, a signup sheet is posted in the Great Hall near the kitchen window. Magnetic closures are for those who prefer them but these are not to be used by someone with a pacemaker or other implanted electrical device.
Don’t miss today’s second annual Debut Tasting Following the 10:30 service in the parish hall, loads of brand new dishes await your tasting and voting. We will announce the winners next week, and you will be able to pre-order the winners, and some old favorites to pick up at the Fair. Ensure you get what you want and pre-order; last year the favorites sold out early.
Sunday Forums with the Rev. Bob Patterson. Please join the Rev. Bob Patterson this Sunday for the conclusion to a two-part forum, Faith and Being Disciples. He will explore what faith is and whether there is a connection between it and deliberate discipleship. Please join him as we search for an authentic response to the call to discipleship in ways that honor tradition and learn from it, but are not bound by it. How can we develop a living faith that can help us deal with life’s inevitable tough challenges with integrity and authenticity? The forum will be held in the Great Hall from 9:30-10:15.
Exploring God’s Word will meet Sunday, November 3, 9:30 in the Library. Please enjoy the forums with Bob Patterson in the Great Hall until then.
Parenting as a Spiritual Journey This group meets from 10:30-11:15 in the Library. Linda Ashe-Ford leads the group, which follows the book of the same title, written by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. (Don’t worry- no reading between classes is required!) The group considers the spiritual aspects of seemingly mundane activities and seeks to re-envision family life within the lens of spirituality. Please consider dropping the kids off in their Church School classes and joining this welcoming and casual group.
Apple Pies Sign up for yours today. The signup sheet is in the Great Hall. Pies are $13 each and ready for pick up on Nov. 24. Cabot Cheddar Cheese ($7 per pound) is also available for pre-Thanksgiving delivery.
6 Who Care St. Paul’s parishioner, Bunny Fazekas, has received this award for her work at The Gathering Place. A video about Bunny and her work will air on Monday, October 28, on WSCH6 during the 5 o’clock news. The awards show will air Nov 9.
The Tuesday Bible Study continues meeting at 12:30 in the library. For those interested in fellowship and conversation, bring your lunch and join us at noon. The topic for this fall is the Parables. On October 29th we will study the parable of the Faithful Servant. Each session will be complete and is not depend on the previous one.
All Saints’ Sunday: We will celebrate the Sunday of All Saints on November 3. All who have died in the parish in the past year will be remembered. If you have loved ones you would like remembered, please call the office.
Donating automatically? Still want to put something into the collection plate? At each entrance, there are “I Give Electronically” slips. Please feel free to take one and place it in the collection plate.
Do you love flowers? The Flower Committee is ready to welcome you. Members, working in pairs, arrange flowers for the altar and are generally scheduled for one Sunday a month. Unsure about the task? Abigail Manny, chairperson, would be happy to help you explore this wonderful ministry that enriches our worship. She may be reached at 725-9062.
Thank you very much to Lucinda and Tom White, Nancy Whitehouse, Ed Lumley, Chester, George and Lenita for putting together 24 pies at the pie workshop. Special thanks to Ally Collins for helping Lenita prepare all the pie crusts.
Sign ‘Em Up! A reminder to parents and guardians with children in the Church School or youth group programs: please remember to fill out Church School Registration Forms and return them to Emily or your child’s classroom teacher. It is important for us to have the information contained in these forms. Thank you!
Office Volunteers Do you have a few hours a week to help out in the parish office? Shifts available are Tues., Wed., Thurs. Noon to 3 p.m.. Volunteers welcome office visitors in person and on the telephone. From time to time volunteers may be asked to help with mailings and other projects. Volunteers are encouraged to bring a book, knitting, or something to fill your time.