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February 2011

THE EPISTLE OF ST. PAUL’S In recognition that all that we have are gifts entrusted to us by God, it is the purpose of St. Pauls Episcopal Church to be a community that works and prays and gives for the spread of God’s kingdom.

FROM YOUR RECTOR Dear Friends, What should a Christian know about Islam, and why? It is a way of life followed by nearly one billion people, known as Muslims, and it guides its believers in spiritual growth, moral conduct and government. It began in the seventh century in what is now Saudi Arabia with the preaching of a man named Muhammad. It spread rapidly. Today most Muslims live outside the Middle East. But whether in London or in Djakarta, Kansas City or Damascus, all Muslims together preserve their worship life, festival days, family structure and education. In this they are rather like the Jewish community who carry on their culture faithfully outside their native lands. Muhammad was born about 570 AD and grew up in a great trading center in Arabia called Mecca. He was a prominent businessman, directing trade caravans all over the Middle East. Muslims believe that when he was about 40 he was visited in a cave by the Archangel Gabriel, the same messenger of God who brought God’s revelation to the young Virgin Mary and to her cousin Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. Gabriel told Muhammad to bring God’s message to the world, which he proceeded to do with fervor. Muslims believe the message Muhammad brought to the world is printed in the Koran (also Quran and Qur’an), Islam’s sacred text, dictated to Muhammad by God over some twenty years. Faithful Muslims believe the Koran has survived to the present day in precisely the form in which Muhammad received it, making it, they believe, the unaltered word of God. It is the source of Muslim law and theology. It has 114 sections called surahs, which vary in length and are written in verses, called “ayas”. It is about the size of our New Testament in length. Islam is split into two groups, both of which believe in the oneness of God and the duty of Muslims to submit to God’s will. The Sunnis make up the vast majority of Muslims. Sunnis study and commit to memory the word and actions of Muhammad as guides to proper conduct in life. Shi’ites, a smaller group, stress the spiritual connection to an Imam (spiritual leader) as a guide to right conduct and thinking. They believe Imams are divinely inspired descendents of Muhammad. The most virulent anti-Western Muslims

are recruited among this Shi’ite minority. A very small group of Muslims are called Sufis, contemplatives who seek a direct personal relationship to God through meditation and other disciplines. The so-called “whirling Dervishes” of Turkey, who dance in great circles, are Sufis engaging in a form of moving meditation. Sufis can be either Sunni or Shiite. The historical leaders of Islam are Muhammad, Abraham, and Moses. There is no central leader in Islam; no equivalent leader to the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Pope. Instead, authority is guided by Islamic law, called Sharia. The universal symbol of Islam is the Crescent Moon (New Moon) with a star. Muhammad preached against the worship of idols, polytheism (belief in many gods), immorality and cruelty. He called for social justice and equality. In the early years of Islam in the Middle East, Muslim civil authority was more tolerant in some respects than the fractious, meddlesome, constant intrigue of the fading Byzantine Christian empire. Muslims approach the Koran in varying ways. Some interpret it literally (very literally) as the precise word of God dictated to Muhammad. Others interpret it allegorically, as a sequence of stories with moral lessons. There are five “Pillars of Faith” among all Muslims. 1) The profession of faith is called witnessing : There is no God but God, and Muhammad is his Prophet. 2) Prayer is done five times every day, always facing Muhammad’s city of Mecca. 3) Almsgiving: Muslims are expected to give 2.5 percent of their earnings to the poor. 4) Fasting: this is done during the month of Ramadan, beginning at day break and ending at sunset. 5) Pilgrimage: At least once in a lifetime Muslims are expected to travel to Mecca, during the twelfth month of the calendar year. continued

What’s happening in February: 10 — Women’s Group, Bunco night 13 — Second Sunday Luncheon 20 — Newsletter deadline 21— Office closed in observance of President’s Day 25 — Last Friday Social

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Attention St. Paul’s Art Guild “The Shirt Off Your Back” Quilt Project Quilters please mark your schedules for the following meetings: February 12 at 10:00AM and February 24 at 6:30PM. Soon I will be collecting all small patches and we will be moving on to the next phase of our quilt. Call Janet Kencitzski at 550-1805 should you have any questions.

Hospitality and Parish Life Thank you to those who provided refreshments after the services in January. Susie Rice did an outstanding job organizing the New Year's Breakfast. There are still some Sundays unspoken for on the sign-up sheet. Remember it does not have to be elaborate. If you want several families can get together to provide refreshments. You may be reimbursed. The Last Friday Social will be on Friday, February 25 in the Parish Hall. We will serve spaghetti and watch a fun movie. Stay tuned! Yoga classes are on Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm. They are $5 per class. You do not have to attend all the time. Please join us. Anne Cross Altar Guild The flower chart has been posted. Please sign up. The forms are beside the bulletin board. Just fill one in and return it with your wording to Anne Cross c/o the Parish Office. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ We have a new Treasurer. Our thanks to Scott Beaudin for his years of service to our parish as Treasurer. Scott is stepping down in order to concentrate on pursuing his CPA license. Paul Cash has graciously agreed to step up to the plate and serve as Treasurer. All requests for checks or reimbursements should be directed to Paul. His contact information: home phone: 730-8717 or email or Thank you, Paul! * * * * * From the Rector, continued The foregoing is but the briefest of overviews of a great faith that in its finest expression promotes peace and toleration. That this great religious heritage has been kidnapped and twisted by violent extremists is one of the saddest comments upon our times. Faithfully yours, Jack Kindness is more important than wisdom, and the recognition of this is the beginning of wisdom. Theodore I. Rubin

Churchbirds After a few days of cautious inspection, the rest of the neighborhood birds have joined the feisty chickadees in swamping our churchyard feeders. We have seen towhees, tufted titmice, house and purple finches, nuthatches, a sprinkling of wrens, cardinals, a couple of doves — who strut about on the ground just before dark — and the most elegant female Hairy Woodpecker you ever saw. When the feeders get low the birds become upset, but leave it to the chickadees to remind Jack to hurry up and do his duty. They sit in the branches just about his head and fuss till he fills the feeders and goes away. And thanks to Susie Rice for the big bag of Southern States Nyjer seed and feeder, which the gold finches and house finches particularly appreciate. The other day they spelled S U S I E on the ground in sunflower seed hulls in an ornithological expression of gratitude. The chickadees should take note.

THE PARISH NEEDS YOUR HELP Our existing church was built after a fire in 1893. The addition is much newer, Together they present an unending demand for work and servicing. Our Junior Wardens in the past have managed it all admirably. But it is no longer possible for one person to manage without detriment to the building and grounds or to personal responsibilities. We need a new approach, and your present Junior Warden Charles Young, and the Vestry, are seeking the aid of reliable, faithful people to manage the property God has entrusted to us. If enough good people respond, and each agrees to see to one small aspect of our building and grounds, we can make a difference here for God and everyone. The Vestry will soon publish its ideas and recommendations for teams of good people who will help us manage the needs. Please look for further information in your Sunday order of service or on the bulletin boards. Everyone can do a little bit and, working together, we can change a system of responsibility that was set up in the l800s. Please consider helping us with this. In these times it is difficult to afford paying someone to do the routine and emergency maintenance, of which an old building like ours needs so much. The line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? Aleksandr Solshenitsyn

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View from the back pew by Scott Harris As I sat watching the recent snowfalls, an event that occurred in the winter of 1968 came vividly back to mind. It was a potentially life changing event that involved some luck, a bit of heroism and as I see now, the subtle hand of God. Some of you no doubt recall that we had some significant snow storms in early January 1968. Everything was frozen and the snow piled in our yards and on the roads for days at a time. As I recall we lost power for several days and no one that I knew back then even dreamed of having an emergency generator. After several days and cold nights my parents decided on a Friday night that we would go out to eat. There was a place about seven or eight miles north of the court house on Rt. 301 that we went to from time to time called Bowies Restaurant. They served mostly home style cooking and one of their specialties was fried chicken. As an almost nine year old boy that seldom left the court house community, the fact that they served a bowl of water and warm towel to clean up after finishing their “finger licking good” chicken assured me it was a classy place. After finishing our dinner and staying as long as my parents dared we piled into the car to make the trip home. It was still snowing, as it had been for days, and the roads were covered in snow. I remember the dark sky filled with flakes and my father driving slowly and very carefully as we turned off Rt. 301 onto Rt. 54 for the last half mile home. As we passed one dark house after another and as we rounded the last curve before home I remember seeing someone, a blur really, running out into the middle of the road frantically waving for us to stop. It was our elderly neighbor, Ruth Alexander, wearing only her night clothes, pleading for us to help. My father immediately stopped the car and my mother jumped out to see what the matter was. Mrs. Alexander screamed that her house was on fire and that Mr. Alexander was still inside. Our attention immediately turned toward the house and we could see smoke beginning to seep out of the eaves and the flicker of flames in the window. My mother ran toward the house and yelled back at my father to get the fire department. Not too long ago our county was served with only a volunteer fire department. In 1968 there was no 911 to call for help and precious time was needed for the volunteers to assemble to respond to any fire emergency. As my father pulled into the driveway he remembered that the volunteers were having a party at a home a mile or so away. He backed into the highway reversing direction and headed to get whatever help he could. My brother, sister and I sat in the car as he ran into the house to report the fire. Within what seemed like only seconds volunteer fireman poured out of the house and into their cars headed for the firehouse. We drove as quickly as possible back to Mrs. Alexander’s house hoping that Mr. Alexander was out of the house and that our mother was okay. We arrived just ahead of the fire trucks and as we pulled into the driveway we could see my mother and Mrs. Alexander standing next to Mr. Alexander , a quilt wrapped around his shoulders, watching their house burn down. Fortunately, the quick arrival of the fire department allowed them to save much of the house and eventually it was rebuilt and the Alexanders lived there until Mr. Alexander died a few years later and Mrs. Alexander, until her death in 1991 at the age of 103. I never spent much time after the fire thinking about it really. I returned to enjoying that year’s opportunity for ice skating and sleigh riding. A nine year old’s limited maturity and limited points of reference don’t prepare him to think of the “what ifs” or the likelihood that something terrible could have happened that night. He doesn’t think much beyond how lucky everyone was that we happened by at the right time. Within a few years I stopped thinking about it altogether. After Wendy and I married we moved next door to Mrs. Alexander and occasionally I would sit with her in the yard and talk. Sometimes she would mention the fire and how grateful she was for my parent’s actions that night and she would close her eyes as if reliving that night. She told me that she tried to pull her husband out of bed but was unable to get him up. She ran out of the house as we were coming down the road and she could see our headlights as we slowly made our way. She ran to the road hoping that someone would stop. She told me that as we left to get the fire department my mother was running for the back door asking where in the house Mr. Alexander was. She told me that she stayed outside while my mother went inside. My mother was always quick to say that she wasn’t in any danger when she went inside that house. She said there was some smoke but that the flames weren’t near her. She found Mr. Alexander on his bed unable to get up and too disoriented to help himself beyond holding on to her. Many times as we sat in her back yard, Mrs. Alexander told me God brought us to her that night. She was sure that God intervened on behalf of a blind old man and his wife that didn’t want to lose him. At the time I didn’t dismiss it, I just didn’t embrace that theory. As I sat watching the snow fall several weeks ago I thought about the night of the fire and I thought about what Mrs. Alexander told me. Did God step in as she believed or was it just a fortunate string of circumstances that brought us exactly to her driveway at that moment? Was it a coincidence that the very people who arrived were neighbors that knew her and the layout of the house so well? Was it luck my mother found the strength to pull Mr. Alexander out of the house or that the members of the fire department were all at a party less than one mile from the fire? I’m sure there are some that will say “yes” and I’m sure they truly believe it was a fortunate and lucky turn of events. As I replay that night in my mind I can’t buy that theory. There are too many coincidences and too much luck needed for me to believe that God wasn’t involved. I believe God guided a group of neighbors that night. He brought them together and He gave them the strength to do what needed to be done. Some folks say that miracles don’t happen anymore. I think sometimes we may be looking in the wrong places for them. Faithfully, Scott “The world is moved not only by the mighty shoves of the heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”-- Helen Keller

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J. Sutor

A. Cross

A. Long

N. Rowland, B. Townes


P. Cash

C. Hewitt

T. Moniot

C. Young, L. Reeves


J. Sutor

R. Evans

C. Dillon

G. Price, A. Cross


P. Cash

R. Wortham

H. Rice

A. Palmer, S. Harris






L. Rowland

B. Rowland

L. Rowland

C. Kent, E. Drudge


E. Heins

S. Reeves

A. Heins

R. Young, M. Young


J. Walker

J. Price

E. Beaudin

K. Walker, E. Price


J. Smith

A. Heins

J. Farrell

J. Farrell, H. Barber

ALTAR GUILD Rita Dillon and Beverly Townes The “Sophomoric Sophomoric” Sophomoric View of a Vestry Member In the fall of 2009, I started to feel unsure about how meaningful my contributions were to St. Paul’s. I felt a little lost, uncertain in which direction I was heading in my Church life. I had been a Sunday school teacher for years, but still wondered, “What else can I do to make a difference?” Like a “real” Episcopalian, I put on my “thinking cap.” I wracked my brain for ideas and options. Should it be Altar Guild, Outreach or Hospitality? So many choices yet joining the Vestry did not even cross my mind. Just as I was about to toss the “thinking cap” aside, I was asked to consider running for a position on the Vestry. Was this coincidence? A psychic moment? A conspiracy? A message from God? I must confess, my initial reaction (which I politely kept to myself) was not favorable: “No, way,” I thought. “I’m too busy with my family! I work full-time! I’ll have to deal with budgets, numbers and maybe even tough issues! I have no special “Church” expertise. This stresses me out just thinking about it!” And so on and so forth. But soon, the negative thoughts, doubts and fears gave way to curiosity and I gave the suggestion some serious attention. Maybe I needed to find out more about this mysterious Vestry and what they did for St. Paul’s. How could I fairly evaluate something I didn’t know much about and never even tried? I knew everyone on the Vestry, all good people. Not scary at all. I decided right then and there that I would run and was elected to the Vestry in January 2010. As it turns out, my “freshman” year was a very positive experience. I’ve learned more about our Church and how it operates. I’ve found a niche in Shrine Mont. Most importantly, I’ve gotten to know my Church family better. Sure the meetings are long sometimes and people don’t always see eye-to-eye, but that’s the beauty of it—we’re Episcopalians! We’re allowed to think freely, reason and express and hold different opinions. Our common mission as a Vestry always remains the same—to serve the best interests of St. Paul’s. As I enter my “sophomore” year, I thank God for nudging me down a different path of faith and service towards the Vestry. I’m also grateful that I was quiet enough to listen and act despite my laundry list of doubts. If you ever find yourself in doubt or just want to know more about the Vestry and the folks who serve on it, please just ask. We’d be happy to talk with you. Faithfully, Nina Rowland

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Noon, Clericus

6:30PM, Yoga



8:00 AM HE 8:50 AM Fellowship 2:00PM, Prayer 9:15 AM Christian Education 10:30 AM HE 11:30 AM Fellowship 6:30PM, Vestry



8:00 AM HE 8:50 AM Fellowship 9:15 AM Christian Education 10:30 AM HE 11:30 AM 2nd Sunday luncheon

2:00PM, Prayer


7:30PM, Region XI, Immanuel, Old Church



10:00AM Quilters 2:00PM, Woman’s Club 4:00PM, Girl Scouts 6:30PM, Yoga


6:30PM, Women’s group









10:00AM Jack @ Bloomfield mtg, Fredericksburg

6:30PM, Yoga

20 8:00 AM HE 8:50 AM Fellowship 9:15 AM Christian Education 10:30 AM HE 11:30 AM Fellowship Newsletter deadline




office closed Noon, Pastoral Care 6:30PM Quilters 4:00PM, Girl Scouts 6:30PM, Yoga


8:00 AM HE 8:50 AM Fellowship 9:15 AM Christian 2:00PM, Prayer Education 10:30 AM HE 5:00PM, Ruritan set 11:30 AM Fellowship up 7:00PM, Ruritan meeting

6:30PM, Last Friday Social




St. Paul’s Episcopal Church P. O. Box 441 Hanover, VA 23069 Phone: 804-537-5516 E-mail: RETURN SERVICE REQUESTED

8 0 5 0 S t . P a u l ’ s C h u r c h R o a d H a n o v e r C o u r t H o u s e

In The Diocese of Virginia The Right Reverend Shannon Johnston…………………………………………………….…Bishop of Virginia The Reverend Jack Sutor ……………………………..…...……………………………...…………….……...Rector The Reverend Alwin Reiners, Jr.………………………………………..…………………………Rector Emeritus The Honorable T. Scott Harris…………………………………………...………………………..Senior Warden Mr. Charles Young……..…….…………………………………………………...………….………Junior Warden Mrs. Brenda Boldin _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ ___ _ Parish Secretary Ms. Sarah Cothern…………………………………………………………….....…..Organist and Choir Director Ms. Andrea Kent……………………...………………………………………...…..Christian Education Director Sunday Services are at 8:00 a.m., Holy Eucharist (Rite I) and 10:30 a.m., Holy Eucharist (Rite II). Christian Education begins for all ages at 9:15 a.m. A nursery is available for the later service. Further refreshments follow all services. Parish office hours for the Administrative Assistant are Monday – Thursday 9:00AM 9:00AM— —1:00 PM unless otherwise published.

February 2011  

Monthly Newsletter

February 2011  

Monthly Newsletter