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. Paul’s Episcopal Church to work and pray and give for the spread of God’s kingdom.
Make us, we beseech thee, deeply sensible of the shortness and uncertainty of life . . . The Burial of the Dead Book of Common Prayer, p. 489 Dear Friends, One cannot tell that we are Christians by the things that do or do not happen to us. We have many treasures as Christians, but freedom from trouble is not one of them. We have no immunity from hard times because we are followers of Christ. We get sick, we lose loved ones, we suffer difficulty in our careers, we suffer from natural disasters, we are lonely, we die, just the same as those who do not believe in God. It is not possible to tell we are Christians by what happens to us. But you can tell that we are Christians by what we do with our suffering. Everyone suffers. But we Christians recognize the cross of Jesus in the suffering that comes our way in life. It doesn’t make our suffering go away, and it doesn’t make bad things suddenly become good. They are still bad. Pain still hurts. But through our pain and the difficulties and unfairness of this life we follow one who knew sorrow intimately, and who knew that pain hurts. We follow him through his death --- which is our own death, too --- into his life, which will be our life in every way. The difficulties of life in this world do not sum up reality for us. And this indeed is a treasure that we do have. It is a difficult thing to talk about this treasure to those who do not know Christ. Those who do not believe just don’t understand us. Would we be more convincing to them if we promised freedom from illness, escape from natural disasters, the absence of personal problems, that people would never disagree, that marriages will not fail, that life’s situations would never go sour? None of these things are true or certain, and our lie would be found out fairly quickly. So what can we do in explaining our faith to an unbeliever, or to ourselves and our fellow
Christians when we are at the end of our rope? We can offer a life that has eternal meaning, that is not determined by the ups and downs of this world. We can offer a life that knows itself to be in Christ in good times and bad. We can talk of a life that can depend on that presence in us, even in our darkest hour. And we can offer a community centered around this life, a fellowship of belief and support, of people committed to Christ and to one another in love. Christianity is about relationships. It is about our connection to God and our connection to other people. The sign of our growing spirituality is when these connections are made stronger through life’s difficulties. It is then that people can “read” our faith, because they can see it in action. And “reading” our faith in action, as we contend (faithfully, valiantly, patiently) against life’s difficulties, strengthens the emotional reserves of the unbeliever who begins to identify our treasure. Metaphysics and the religions of the world have discovered the insight that human beings are designed by God for unlimited happiness, the enjoyment of all truth, and love without end. The spiritual hunger for these holy mysteries is part of our nature as beings with a spiritual dimension. This includes those who believe, agnostics, and those who don’t know belief. This unbounded desire for happiness makes the realities of life darker by contrast. But the difficulties of life in this world do not sum up reality for us. And this is our treasure. Faithfully, Jack
HOLY WEEK SCHEDULE Palm Sunday 8:00AM 10:30AM
8:00AM 9:00AM 11:00AM
Easter Egg Hunt
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SPRING SPRUCE UP
HOSPITALITY AND PARISH LIFE
We see the rebirth of Christ all around us as Spring brings renewed life. Part of our preparation for the celebration of Easter is tending to our church grounds so that dormant plantings spring back to life. Bring your favorite rakes, clippers and gloves on Saturday, April 5th and help spruce up the church grounds. We'll start at 8AM. and with a spirited group we'll be finished by 10AM. If you have some project ideas for the day, call Hamilton at 4490050.
Parish life at St. Paul's is busy! Each week the Parish bustles with activity. The Courthouse Ruritans met in the Parish Hall on March 24th and enjoyed a meal served by members of the Altar Guild. Tuesday mornings Ann Long's Adult Art Class still meets and Tuesday evenings Michelle Pauley leads our yoga class. Our Lenten Programs continue for a couple of weeks and preceded by a pot luck supper. Be sure to join us as we discuss how we hear the voice of God in life. On Friday, March 28th we went on a "Murder Mystery Cruise" to benefit our Shrine Mont Camp fund. Whew. My thanks to all who set up and took down tables for the different events and to all who assisted in any way!
LONG RANGE PLANNING The Long Range Planning Committee hopes to have an agreement with the engineers to complete the sewer connection drawings any day now. Once the drawings are completed, we can proceed with navigating the agreements required for the county and VDOT.
Thanks also to those who provided refreshments after the services in March, Special thanks to Andrea Kent and her class for the 2nd Sunday lunch.
Faithfully, Colleen Hewitt SPAA AND E-SPAA The Tuesday morning art class, SPAA, will continue with our Spring session that will end on April 28th. We will continue to work on various mediums, working with still life set ups and instruction on composition, space, line and values. Positive critiques and discussions will be part of this active class. Our Thursday evening art class, E-SPAA, will start again after Easter on April 24th.. Class discussions along with positive critiques and Plein Air painting sessions are planned. Please call me at either 9942134 or 690-9867 if you are interest or have any questions. Faithfully, Ann Long CONGRATULATIONS ANNE HOLLIDAY We would like to congratulate Anne on being awarded “National Clinician of the Year” from Encompass Home Health. She received a trip to Las Vegas where she was presented with a plaque recognizing a job well done!!
There are many dates to save. Saturday, April 5 is our work day to spruce up the grounds for the spring. Sunday, June 1 the congregation travels to Historic Jamestowne for a picnic under a tent and Holy Eucharist in the Jamestowne Memorial Church. This is very special. There have been many new discoveries since we were there. Saturday, June 28 Ann and Norman Long will hold their Annual River Party for the congregation at their river home in Essex County. This is always fun for all ages. Saturday, July 19 all are invited to the Cross home in Mathews County for lunch, relaxation and to kayak. Watch for details on these and other summer activities. We are in the works of putting together an outing to the Diamond to watch the Flying Squirrels. Once we know the date, the information will be posted in our Order of Service. Faithfully, Anne Cross
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View from the Back Pew
by Scott Harris .
I thought I knew what I was going to write about this month. I had a topic in mind but I kept losing the focus and somewhere along the way what I thought was my article became something completely different. Sometimes when we are faced with a changing tide it is best just to go with it. Over the past few Wednesday evenings our Lenten series has been exploring the revelation of how God communicates with us. It has made for some interesting speakers and conversations and it has given me pause to think about how God speaks to me. As I write this I keep envisioning a red telephone as sort of a hotline connection straight to Heaven. It would be nice if I could just pick it up, tell God what’s on my mind and get his input. That would sure seem to make things simpler. When I was younger I had no trouble talking to God. I would frequently call on him for assistance or to give me guidance on some decision. It seemed natural for me to do that though I don’t know that I ever distinctly heard his voice in return. I think just vocalizing the question or issue seemed to help in knowing what to do. As a young adult I didn’t see the need to speak directly to God any more. I felt like I had all the answers so there was no need to spend time on unnecessary second opinions. Somewhere in my mid-thirties, as many of us do, I came to the realization that I didn’t really have the answers to much of anything. I adjusted my thinking and for the first time in years I started speaking to God again and more importantly listening for his voice in return. It felt odd at first and maybe even a little silly but just as I had as a child, I started telling him what I was feeling, verbalizing my concerns and my fears and asking for his guidance. It would make for a much better story if I could say that God and I have become regular pen pals and that I hear his voice clearly. Unfortunately it just hasn’t been that way for me. I haven’t felt the divine being as a powerful presence watching over my life. For me it has become a gradual understanding that when God is speaking to me it is more often in the form of a whisper than a trumpet and sometimes it is little more than a twinge in the recesses of my mind. It can be a feeling I have inside or the sound of my own voice I hear. Often it is the assurance of a caring advisor or friend confirming what I know needs to be done or action taken. It has been a learning and evolutionary process in many ways. It wasn’t that God wasn’t speaking to me as much as it was that, just as an infant must learn the mechanics of language, I had to learn the language of God, the skill of understanding what I was listening to. The question we are trying to answer each Wednesday night during Lent is “how does God speak to me?” It allows us to talk openly about a process we seldom discuss, but one which we truly long for. We’ve heard from folks that have shared their views and it’s given each of us an opportunity to explore our own experiences. It can be a very hard thing to admit to ourselves that we need God in our lives. It can be harder still to say it out loud. I don’t know what we will ultimately learn about God speaking to us before our weekly suppers end and I don’t know if there will be tangible benefits at all. I know with certainty though that I hear God speaking to me in my life and that I want to hear him more clearly. I know also that as much as I try to listen, sometimes I’m still a little hard of hearing. Faithfully, Scott “Destiny, I feel, is also a relationship - a play between divine grace and willful self-effort. Half of it you have no control over; half of it is absolutely in your hands, and your actions will show measurable consequence. Man is neither entirely a puppet of the Gods, nor is he entirely the captain of his own destiny; he's a little of both. We gallop through life like circus performers balancing on two speeding side by side horses - one foot is on the horse called fate, the other on the horse called free will. And the question you have to ask every day is which horse is which? Which horse do I need to stop worrying about because it's not under my control and which do I need to steer with concentrated effort?” - Elizabeth Gilbert
SUNDAY MINISTERS FOR APRIL
Lector-8 Lector-10/30 Chalicer Greeters
06 H. Ford S. Heins H. Rice S. Heins/A. Holliday
13 P. Cash PASSION M. Pauley L. ReevesT. Lambert
EASTER SUNDAY 20 J. Sutor (8am) C. Hewitt (9am) H. Holloway (11am) A. Long L. Snively A. Holliday/C. Hewitt H. Holloway/A. Cross
27 H. Brockenbrough C. Heckel T. Moniot D. Walker/M. Young
Crucifer Server Psalm Torches
L. Holloway/G. Temple
C. Kent/J. Farrell
EASTER SUNDAY 20 M. Young (9am) L. Holloway (11am)
C. Kent/R. Young
Altar Guild: Wendy Harris, Susie Rice, Heck Rice, Dale Sayers
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St. Paul’s Episcopal Church P.O. Box 441 Hanover, VA 23069-0441
St. Paul’s mailing address:
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Or in thanksgiving for: ___________________________________
In honor of: ___________________________________________
In memory of: _________________________________________
PLEASE PRINT ALL INFORMATION LEGIBLY!
On Easter Sunday, the Church and the Altar will be vested with lilies. If you would like to give a lily in memory or honor of someone, or in thanksgiving to God, the cost is $8.00 per lily. The deadline for ordering the lilies is Sunday, April 10. Fill out this Memorial order form and return it with your check made payable to St. Anne’s Guild (marked Easter lily) to the church office. Additional forms are available in the Narthex. For more info, Anne Cross, 746-2377.
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Church Office Hours: Monday—Thursday 9:00AM-1:00PM
April 2014 SUNDAY
TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY
1 9:30AM SPAA 6:30PM YOGA
6:15PM Lenten Program/Supper
4 10:00AM Craft Club
5 8:00AM Spring Spruce Up 10:30AM Elizabeth Garner Bridal Shower
6 8:00AM Worship 8:45AM Fellowship 9:15AM Christian Education 10:30AM Worship 12:00PM Fellowship
8:00AM Worship 8:45AM Fellowship 9:15AM Christian Education 10:30AM Worship
7 2:00PM Prayer Group 6:30PM Vestry Meeting
2:00PM Prayer Group
8 9:30AM SPAA 6:30PM YOGA
9 2:00PM Hanover Woman’s Club
29 9:30AM SPAA 6:30PM YOGA
25 10:00AM Craft Club
8:00AM Worship 2:00PM Prayer 8:45AM Fellowship Group 9:15AM Christian Education 7:00PM Ruritan 10:30AM Worship 12:00PM Fellowship
6:15PM Lenten Program/Supper
Deadline for Lily Orders
8:00AM Worship 9:00AM Worship 10:00AM Egg Hunt 11:00AM Worship
30 12:00PM Pastoral Care 1:00PM Clericus
10:00AM Vesting of the Church
St. Paul’s Episcopal Church P. O. Box 441 Hanover, VA 23069
Return Service Requested
Phone: 804-537-5516 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org www.stpaulshanover.org
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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
Dates to Remember April 2 & 9 6:15PM - Lenten Supper/Program April 5 8:00AM - Spring Spruce Up
In The Diocese of Virginia The Right Reverend Shannon Johnston
Bishop of Virginia
The Reverend Jack Sutor
The Reverend Alwin Reiners, Jr.
Mr. Scott Harris
Mr. Hamilton Holloway
April 7 6:30PM- Vestry Meeting
Mrs. Tara Wright
Ms. Sarah Cothern
Organist and Choir Director
April 10 Deadline to Order Lilies
Ms. Andrea Kent
Christian Education Director
April 19 10:00AM - Vesting of Church April 21 OFFICE CLOSED April 30 12:00PM - Pastoral Care
Sunday Services are at 8:00 a.m., Holy Eucharist (Rite I) and 10:30a.m. Holy Eucharist (Rite II). Christian Education for all ages begins at 9:15AM. A nursery is available for the later service. Further refreshments follow all services. Parish office hours for the Parish Administrator are Monday – Thursday 9:00AM—1:00 PM unless otherwise published.