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Vision Statement for St. Paul’s, Marfa, Texas
St. Paul’s is an open, loving community
growing in the experience and understanding of the love of God,
acting to share the visible presence and compassion of Christ.
 
Mission Statement for St. Paul’s, Marfa, Texas:
Our mission is to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community
actively sharing the love of God.

Values Statement for St. Paul's Marfa, Texas
To accomplish our mission, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church bases its decisions and actions on the following core values:

Love of God and neighbor by honoring the worth and dignity of every human being including ourselves.
Daily relationship with God all through our lives through prayer and service.
The importance of giving and receiving forgiveness through the generosity of the Holy Spirit.
We value continual learning.
We value the Episcopal tradition of communal worship.
Practicing hospitality by welcoming all and serving and sharing with our communities.
The stewardship of God’s creation and all its inhabitants.


 


HOWDY 

I’ve spent much of yesterday and last night watching....fill in the blank from words I heard (thugs?, terrorists?, rioters, protesters, etc).... storm the nation’s Capitol. I imagine you did, too. Frightening, angering, painful events — a shock to our souls and the nation’s soul. 

Yesterday was the Feast of the Epiphany, a  celebration of the “revelation,” of light, of love, of Jesus for and in the world. 

Much we’ve not wanted to see what has been revealed yesterday. Ours was  a sad epiphany.

The story that Christians read for Epiphany is from the Gospel of Matthew. It is a story of a beautiful revelation, a star leading those longing for peace to the birthplace of Jesus. And it is a story of imperial treachery. If you haven’t read it recently, open your Bible and read Matthew 2:1-12 

Based on this passage, the Epiphany story, we are warned that the birth of the peace and justice is intertwined with the reality of imperial violence. As the beloved community comes into the world, evil kings will lie and murder — do anything — to stop the possibility of God’s dream made manifest here and now.

So what do we do? 

Diana Bass Butler suggests....Be like the magi. 

The wise men were, indeed, wise. This is the time to pause amid the yelling and figer pointing and remember the light of the star. Remember the angelic song of peace. Remember the longing of our hearts for a governance of grace. And remembering, we continue on following the star. We can kneel, worship, be overcome with joy. Even through Herod lies, God’s presence does not absent itself. Love is still here. 

And then — once we let that truth fill us — we do not go home the way we came. Because there will always be some Herod whose fear leads to violence and death. We will leave this Epiphany by another road. 

I don’t know where that other road will take us. But we can’t continue on the road we’ve been traveling. If nothing else, I’m glad we, St. Paul's, are on this journey together. 

Yesterday was scary. Yesterday we saw ourselves at our worst. Yesterday showed us what thuggery looks like. It showed us a difference in how a group of white protestors are treated in comparison to black protestors. A woman lost her life. Officers were seriously injured. Critical national work was disrupted. Yesterday broke our hearts. We should never forget yesterday.

So today…
 

Today, we claim the promise of Psalm 30:5, “Weeping may linger for the night, but joy comes with the morning.”

Today, we buckle in and begin the hard work of building democracy again.

Today, we remember that yesterday was not who we are. We are better. We are kinder. We are braver.

Today, we give thanks to the law enforcement officers, reporters, and peace activists who stepped into the danger for the sake of the common good.

Today, we remind ourselves that more holds us in common than divides us as a people, a nation, and a world.

Today, we try to walk the Way of Love again.

We will find our way through this moment, though we may have hard days ahead. None of us will forget what we have seen. I pray we don’t forget what we have learned.


May God’s spirit be among us in these coming days.

 

There is much more, of course, to say, to express our pain, sorrow and  outrage, to work for justice, in the coming days and weeks. Do whatever you need to do to take care of yourself and your families today. Cry, swear, pray, lament. God is with us. Every feeling is holy. Look up for that star. Salvation is at hand.

Our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry urges us to pray:
"....therefore I ask you now to join me in prayer for our nation, praying first from the prayers that accompany Morning Prayer:
 
Save your people, Lord, and bless your inheritance;
Govern and uphold us now and always. 
 
Day by day we bless you; 
We praise your name forever. 
 
Lord, keep us from sin today;
Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy. 
 
Lord, show us your love and mercy;
For we put our trust in you. 
 
In you, Lord, is our hope;
And we shall never hope in vain.
     - Morning Prayer II, Book of Common Prayer, p. 98 

Let us pray:
 
Eternal God, in whose perfect kingdom no sword is drawn but the sword of righteousness, no strength known but the strength of love: So mightily spread abroad your Spirit, that all peoples may be gathered together under the banner of the Prince of Peace, as children of one God and Creator of us all; to whom be dominion and glory, now and forever.
     - For Peace, Book of Common Prayer, p. 815  

Oh God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your son. Look now with compassion on the entire human family; and particularly this part of the family, in the United States, and those in our nation’s capital; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
      - For the Human Family, Book of Common Prayer, p. 815

On this day and at this moment, we pray for our nation. We ask God to heal us, to show us the way to healing, to show us the way to be one nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
 
Now, as our Savior Christ has taught us, we are bold to say,
 
Our Father who art in heaven, 
hallowed be thy Name,
thy kingdom come, 
thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. 
Give us this day our daily bread
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us. 
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil, 
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power and the glory,
forever and ever.
Amen.
 
And now, may the peace of God which passeth all understanding keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God and of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.
 
The blessing of God Almighty the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be on you and on this nation and on the entire human family and all of creation this moment and forevermore.
Amen."

On top of everything else....
It is that time of year to consider becoming a member of the Bishop's Committee
and/or a delegate to our Diocesan Convention


Bishop's Committee

The Bishop’s Committee is the elected governing body of the congregation. Along with the Vicar, the Bishop’s Committee is composed of elected members from the congregation, representing a diverse set of skills and gifts for leadership. In the Episcopal Church, the Bishop’s Committee has responsibility for the “temporal affairs” of the congregation, including the care of our buildings and finances, as well as choosing individuals to fill leadership roles in the congregation, and setting the vision for the congregation, along with the Vicar.

Current Members
Keri Van Zyest - Acting Bishop's Warden
Dan Wosonski - Treasurer and Member
Tricia Seifert - Clerk and Member
Joni Marginot

Serving on the Bishop’s Committee includes the following responsibilities:

  1. To pray for our Church and its leaders. 
  2. To regularly attend the worship services of the church. 
  3. To observe the canons of the diocese and the national church. 
  4. To support the Vicar. 
  5. To provide leadership for the congregation. 
  6. To attend monthly Bishop’s Committee meetings. 
  7. To set goals and implement priorities for the upcoming year and beyond. 
  8. To be willing to serve on a committee. 
  9. To formulate and manage the financial operations of St. Peter’s
  10. To oversee the physical plant and the grounds. 
  11. To arrange for elections to the Bishop’s Committee. 
  12. To attend and support special events at St. Paul’s. 
  13. To participate in and support diocesan programs and activities. 
  14. To incorporate new members into church life and help to equip and motivate all members for their ministries. 
  15. To attend a yearly Retreat. 
  16. To make a financial pledge to the life of the Church.

AND – we have fun!!

If you are interested in serving, please contact any member of the Bishop’s Committee to learn more.


Delegate to the Diocesan Convention

The job of a Convention Delegate is to provide a link between the congregation and the Diocese by representing the congregation both at regional and diocesan levels, and by reporting back to the congregation on events, actions and decisions that occur. The dates for this year's convention are October 28-30. If it is held in person, we will meet in Santa Fe. If, due to the coronavirus we cannot meet in person it will be conducted as it was last year, virtually.

SELECTION OF CONVENTION DELEGATES

A lay delegate should be someone who can represent the congregation and vote on its behalf on a variety of subjects. A member of the Bishop's Committee or a retiring warden often makes a good delegate because of intimate knowledge of the workings of that congregation. The Vicar and Bishop's Warden are automatic delegates. We need to elect two other people and one alternate.

YOUR RESPONSIBILITIES AS A CONVENTION DELEGATE

Delegates and warden represent their congregation at the annual Deanery Assembly, and at any other meetings of the region.

Delegates represent their congregation at the annual Diocesan Convention and any specially convened conventions.

Delegates advise their vestry/mission committee and congregation of issues pending before the Deanery or the Diocese, seek their opinions, and report back to them when actions are taken.

All delegates and alternate delegates should reserve the date of their Deanery Assembly and the Annual Convention on their calendars, as well as the dates of any other meetings (such as Deanery steering committee meetings or special hearings).

All delegates should report back to the congregation as a whole as well as the vestry/mission committee after Deanery meetings and after Convention. This can take place in a forum, annual meeting, Bishop's Committee  meeting, or through a column in the newsletter, etc.

Pray about this and see what God is saying to you.

Stay safe, warm and well.....Shalom,

Mike+

 
Hymn of the month by Beth Kerzee
 

January 2021 Hymn of the Month

I Want to Walk as a Child of the Light

Words: Kathleen Thomerson, 1970.

Music: Houston: Kathleen Thomerson

"I want to walk as a child of the light.
I want to follow Jesus.
God set the stars to give light to the world.
The star of my life is Jesus.
Refrain: In him there is no darkness at all.
The night and the day are both alike.
The Lamb is the light of the city of God.
Shine in my heart, Lord Jesus.” 

From time to time, a hymn captures our imagination because of its simplicity and transparency. Such a hymn is “I want to walk as a child of the light.” In singing this hymn, we feel the spirit of Epiphany unfold.

Kathleen Armstrong Thomerson (b. 1934) is a native of Tennessee. She wrote the hymn during the summer of 1966 during a visit to the Church of the Redeemer in Houston, Texas, the location providing the origin for the tune name HOUSTON. Her musical education took place at the University of Texas and Syracuse University, with additional studies at the Flemish Royal Conservatory in Antwerp. She has studied with several of the most noted organists of the twentieth century.

Ms. Thomerson directed music at University United Methodist Church in St. Louis and was on the organ faculties of St. Louis Conservatory and Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville. From 2004 through 2013, she served Mt. Olive Lutheran Church in Austin, Texas. In addition to this hymn, she contributed tunes for hymns by Patricia B. Clark in their joint collection, A Taste of Heaven’s Joys: A Collection of Original Hymns (2005).

 

A musician with such a distinguished musical pedigree does not usually compose a gospel hymn of such elegant simplicity. A folk-like melody conveys a text based upon a wide range of scriptural allusions and biblical images.  Methodist Hymnal editor, Dr. Carlton Young notes some biblical passages that support the text: Isaiah 42:6c, “I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations.”; Malachi 4:2, “But for you who revere my name the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing in its wings”; Revelation 21:25b, “And there will be no night there,” and 22:5b, “They need no light of lamp or sun.”

“I want to walk as a child of the light” communicates deep conviction and personal sincerity, while avoiding any hint of pretense. The first-person perspective invites the singer to join Christ, the Light of the World, in discipleship – a journey of faith. The second line of each stanza deepens this commitment:
 

Stanza 1: “I want to follow Jesus.”
Stanza 2: “I want to look at Jesus.”
Stanza 3: “I want to be with Jesus.”

The theology of this hymn outlines sanctifying grace, the perspective of the Christians as they move toward perfection in the faith, becoming transformed in the image of Christ. Each stanza adds greater luminosity to this walk. In the first stanza, “God set[s] the stars to give light to the world.” Christ in turn becomes the “star of my life.” References to stars support the hymn’s appropriateness for Epiphany. Stanza two expresses the desire to “see the brightness of God.” The “Sun of Righteousness” illumines “the way to the Father.” The final stanza extends the journey toward the “coming of Christ,” an eschatological direction toward our future hope.

As in most gospel hymns, it is the refrain that carries the essence of its meaning; and in this refrain, with its scriptural allusions that virtually quote from Revelation 21 and 22, this hymn is distinguished from many earlier expressions of discipleship. While a deeply personal expression of piety, the poet roots her devotional expression firmly in Scripture, avoiding the maudlin and simplistic notions of some gospel songs.

The simplicity of the music and text does not imply a simplistic faith. “I want to walk as a child” reminds us of one of the paradoxes of our faith, that we need to become as a child to fully understand the realm of God (Matthew 18:2-4).

Written by: C. Michael Hawn,University Distinguished Professor of Church Music, Perkins School of Theology, SMU.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QISk0oYYpuk&ab_channel=DioceseofSt.Benedict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lmcz2T5hCsY&ab_channel=DebbieUnterseher

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5PBSab0xF_M&ab_channel=HalLeonardandShawneePressChurchChoral


ANNOUNCEMENTS


It is also a time for discernment.
 
The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande invites you to consider a new way for DRG  Congregations to support asylum seekers as we partner with Episcopal Migration Ministries in  being a pilot diocese for the Neighbor to Neighbor program. 
 
 

Neighbor to Neighbor is a new network designed to connect asylum seekers with Episcopal  congregations in local communities across the US. Led by Episcopal Migration Ministries and the  Rev. Cristina Rathbone, Neighbor to Neighbor seeks to provide a way for Episcopalians to  accompany, assist and support asylum seekers who live close to them, and is committed to offering  congregational groups training and support as their relationships with these newest neighbors  develop and grow. 
 
This discernment time will help us to dream together about how we could best welcome people into the work of loving our newly arrived neighbors as ourselves through the ministry of accompanying asylum seekers. 

Welcoming our neighbors as we would welcome Christ is more than a political issue; it is a question of our identity as followers of Jesus, as members of the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement, and as people who made promises at our baptisms: 

Will you seek and serve Christ in all persons, loving your neighbor as yourself? 

Will you strive for justice and peace among all people, and respect the dignity of every human being? 

To these questions, we answer together with a resounding, “We will, with God’s help.” 

During this time of discernment, we will actively invite God’s help to enter into our decision about joining Neighbor to Neighbor. There is no single right conclusion to this process. Reaching out to asylum seekers who have moved close to you is just one small way to make the world a better place. We believe it is an essential way and that, grounded in real-time relationship, it honors the incarnation power of us all. But there are as many ways to help usher in God’s Kingdom as there are people on this earth, and it is important that you find the way that works best for you and your community. 

If St. Paul's chooses to join Neighbor to Neighbor, we will embark together on a series of trainings including: a course in anti-racism that has been specifically designed for accompanying asylum seekers, Safe Church training if needed, neighborhood mapping instruction, and an introduction to trauma- informed service. First, however, we ask that you take a little time to listen and learn and speak your own truth in the knowledge of God’s love for all. 

If this is something you feel called to ponder, please let Fr. Mike know and we will set up a time for a group to go through the process of discernment. 

NEXT WEDNESDAY




For January 13 @ 7 pm central time

Session 2: Mark 2:1-4:41

In advance of the next class, I encourage participants to:


If interested, please sign up at stpaulsmarfatx@gmail.com or michaelwallens@gmail.com.




The needs of paying the the church bills, funding our ministries, and proclaiming the Good News continues during this Pandemic. Please consider making a monthly gift.
 

AND


THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!---to all of you who have contributed and continue to contribute to our virtual collection plate. Some of you have made it a monthly donation through our "Donate Button. Either way you have done it....it is greatly appreciated. 

For those of you who have not checked out how easy it is to donate on line....
Go to our website-http://stpaulsmarfa.org- Go to the bottom and find the "Donate" --click on it and fill in the blanks.... OR go to https://www.dioceserg.org/donate and continue to support our mission and ministry. 

ALSO---Thank you, thank you, thank you for all who have mailed in pledges and donations
.



Things to do to benefit the church and the community during the Coronavirus Restrictions

1. THE MARFA FOOD PANTRY IS EMPTY! -  Keep bringing food donations...our doors are open 24 hours and you will find a basket at the back of the church.

2. Pray for Rudy and Allison.


 

 

The First Sunday after Epiphany
The Baptism of our Lord
January 10, 2021

Genesis 1:1-5
Psalm 29
Acts 19:1-7
Mark 1:4-11


Still Waters

(inspired by Matthew 3:13-17, Mark 1:4-11, Luke 3:15-17, 21-22)

 

like water skimmers, 
we simply glide along 
the smooth facade of our lives, 
till you come running up, 
diving right in, 
coming up with rivulets 
caressing your big grin, 
as you splash water 
in our eyes so we can 
see; 

we drift along 
just below the surface, 
occasionally coming up for air, 
hoping you cannot spy us 
hiding in the shadowed pools, 
but you step in 
with your waders on, 
tying the special fly 
the Spirit made for you, 
casting, casting, casting, 
again and again, 
until we take that first bite 
of your grace 
and we are hooked; 

throwing caution to the wind, 
you drive out onto our frozen souls, 
setting up the shack, 
chipping through the ice, 
dropping your line in the hole, 
patiently waiting 
(while you pass the bread 
and bottle around 
with your two buddies) 
to pull us into 
the warmth of your heart. 
 
~ written by Thom M. Shuman
 

1st Sunday after Epiphany (Baptism of our Lord) Mark 1:4-11
by Dan Bolleard

 
As one possessed
----he stood there
in rags
----the mere shadow of what a man should be
Animated
----with no thought
--------as to what the world would say
--------about
--------this gaunt human form
Thundering
----the Message of Life
------------to come
----to a world in death
with all the water
------------swirling
--------about his feet
------------and the rocks
------------of this created
------------universe
Proclaiming the call
----not to himself
But to one
----vague
--------someone
----who was to come
------------someday
until
----Breaking through the reeds
----that separate
the Calm
----of the land living its own
from the Mayhem
--------of the future glimpse
--------at this rivers edge
Came
----no one of note
to heed the call
--------to come
------------to
----------------the water
--------and live
And As The Water Broke
------------With New Life
The Heavens Opened
With a Voice
--------from beyond time
“This Is My Son”
----Rippled Through The Existence of All That Was
----------------and Is
as
----the cooing harmonies of a dove
----------------descend
--------------------upon the shoulder
----of the Christ to be
“Whom I Love”
as the Heavens came crashing 
-----------------back together
----on a world
----unruffled
 
that would never be the same
 

After Eden
by Yehiel E. Poupko

 

Where are the days
especially the six
that gave us light and dark
that we might lose sight
only to see
the waters divide
above and here
to split
and birth
all manner of green
and growth
that we
not yet
might eat
of our work
and measure time
by planets moon
and sun stars blinding
as fish and fowl
took to swim and flight
in fear of all
to come upon land
four legged and more
watching waiting
for the one of two
and arms
who moved to that next day
empty of all
but time and god
and woman too


 


REFLECT ON YOUR BAPTISM
(Mark 1:4-11)
An invitation:
come, in your mind’s eye, and stand
or sit, near water…

Sea, river, creek, lake,
morning, afternoon – stillness,
or wind in your face…

wind sweeping over
primordial unformed deep
and churning chaos…

This is the water
that formed a covenant bow
and flowed from a rock…

This is the water
that sustained in their exile,
Hagar and her son…

This is the water
divided once by Moses
and people walked free…

This is the water
where Naaman dipped seven times
and he was made clean…

This is the water,
that you might walk close beside,
still, cool, restoring…

This is the water
in which John baptised Jesus
and many others…

This is the water,
chaotic, living water,
of your baptism…

This is the water,
challenging how we will live
its implications…
        
Jeff Shrowder


Baptism of Jesus: Mark 1.4-11
by Jan Richardson

And just as he was coming up out of the water,
he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending
like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven,
“You are my Son, the Beloved.”

–Mark 1.10-11

Beginning with Beloved
A Blessing

Begin here:

Beloved.

Is there any other word
needs saying,
any other blessing
could compare
with this name,
this knowing?

Beloved.

Comes like a mercy
to the ear that has never
heard it.
Comes like a river
to the body that has never
seen such grace.

Beloved.

Comes holy
to the heart
aching to be new.
Comes healing
to the soul
wanting to begin
again.

Beloved.

Keep saying it
and though it may
sound strange at first,
watch how it becomes
part of you,
how it becomes you,
as if you never
could have known yourself
anything else,
as if you could ever
have been other
than this:

Beloved.

 
Longing in Love

For this is Christ's spiritual thirst, his longing in love, which persists and always will until we see him ... Therefore this is his thirst and his longing in love for us, to gather us all here into him, to our endless joy, as I see it. For we are not now so wholly in him as we then shall be. … We are his bliss, we are his reward, we are his honor, we are his crown. … For he still has that same thirst and longing which he had upon the Cross, which desire, longing and thirst, as I see it, were in him from without beginning; and he will have this until the time that the last soul which will be saved has come up into his bliss. … and this is the characteristic of spiritual thirst, which will persist in him so long as we are in need, and will draw us up into his bliss.


-Julian of Norwich c.1342-c.1416
Revelations of Divine Love


Love Is God In Me

Yes, love is God in me, and if I am in love I am in God, that is, in life, in grace: a sharer in God's being....

If charity is God in me, why look for God any further than myself?

And if God is in me as love, why do I change or disfigure God's face with acts or values which are not love?


-Carlo Carretto 1910-1988
Love Is for Living (quoted from Carlo Carretto: Essential Writings, Robert Ellsberg)

The Last Word
Christ is bathed in light; let us also be bathed in light. Christ is baptized; let us also go down with him, and rise with him.


-Gregory of Nazianzus c.329-389/390

 
  
The Good Book Club | Week of January 10-16
Mark 4:35—6:56
More miracles and healings are headed our way this week—and, predictably, more doubt and questions. The readings for this week show the divine power of Jesus as he displays his reign over the natural world, from calming the storms to driving out unclean spirits, from healing the sick to raising the dead, from multiplying five loaves and two fishes to walking on water. And still, despite all the evidence in front of them, the people of the day and even the disciples have trouble believing in Jesus as the Son of God. It’s easy for us today to belittle the crowds and disciples for their “unbelief,” but this character trait connects humans through the ages. If we don’t understand it, if something can’t be explained by reason or science or tradition, we question it. How could this be? When confounded by a situation, we dismiss it rather than allow for the possibility of miracles in our midst.

After Jesus commands the wind and gives permission for unclean spirits to enter 2,000 swine (who subsequently drown in the sea), we hear about Jesus healing the daughter of Jairus as well as a woman plagued by bleeding. Interestingly, both stories include the number twelve (the age of the daughter and the number of years the woman has been sick). Like the numbers three and seven, twelve has a special place in biblical symbolism. Considered a “perfect” number that reflects the authority and power of God’s kingdom, the number twelve appears nearly 200 times in the Bible: Jacob has twelve sons; in Leviticus, God commands twelve loaves of unleavened bread to be placed in the Tabernacle; Jesus first speaks in the temple at age twelve; and of course, Jesus calls twelve disciples. Biblical numerologists have a heyday with Revelation, especially chapter 21, with twelve in a starring role as the number of gates, angels, pearls, and more. Whether the inclusion of the number twelve is happenstance or purposeful in these passages from Mark is up for discussion, but Mark tends to be stingy with details unless there’s a reason.

All of these miracles have set the townspeople aflutter. You can imagine the chatter: “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands!” And we encounter the famous prophet-without-honor-in-the-hometown dig: “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” Haters gonna hate. I’m just thankful there was no social media in Jesus’s day. We get a glimpse of what seems to be frustration from Jesus (“he was amazed by their unbelief”), but he doesn’t let their skepticism dissuade him from his saving mission, and the healings and miracles continue.

Soon we encounter the horrific story of the beheading of John the Baptist. This is the longest version of this story, though it appears in all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke). This gruesome account offers a cautionary tale of the excesses of fear, greed, power, and manipulation. It also marks a turning point in the ministry of Jesus. Just as Jesus’s public ministry began with his baptism by John the Baptist, John’s murder is the beginning of Jesus’s turn to Jerusalem and his own gruesome death. The Episcopal Church and other traditions remember this event in the liturgical calendar on August 29.

We end our weekly reading with two familiar and well-loved miracles. The Feeding of the 5,000 miracle, the only one recorded in all four gospels, offers both an example of Christ’s divinity and a foreshadowing of the Last Supper, as Jesus “looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before the people.” While folks are packing up the leftovers (twelve! baskets full), the disciples head to their boat to cross the Sea of Galilee. When a storm rises, the disciples battle the wind, and Jesus comes to their rescue, literally walking on water to be with them—and us: “Take heart,” Jesus says, yesterday, today, and tomorrow. “It is I. Do not be afraid.”

Reflection

1. The Gospel of Mark contains twenty stories of healing and miracles, proportionately more than any other gospel. Why do you think the author included so many of these stories? How are they important in shaping your Christology, that is, your understanding of the nature and person of Jesus?

2. What do you think about the significance of certain numbers in the Bible? Pick one of the frequently referenced numbers, three, seven, or twelve, and do some research. Why do you think God uses particular numbers and symbols? What is God trying to tell us?

3. In this week’s selection of readings, the words fear and afraid appear six times. Why does fear hold such power in our lives? What concrete steps can you take to live into Jesus’s bold proclamation to “be not afraid” and to live in faith?


Thankfulness and Celebration
and News 


Thank you to everyone who continues to bring food supplies and masks to the church. It is greatly appreciated by the Marfa Food Pantry.
Thank you to all who have gone on line to our virtual collection plate and to those who have kept up your pledges and donations through snail mail.



 

LOOKING FORWARD

TO

"SEEING YOU" 

SUNDAY

10:30

The Rev. Michael Wallens
Vicar - Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
P.O. Box 175, Marfa, Texas 79843

stpaulsmarfatx@gmail.com
Office - 915.239.7409  |  Cell - 214-862-7292

Parish website - www.stpaulsmarfa.org
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/St-Pauls-Episcopal-Church/366568286865722

 
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St. Paul's Episcopal Church · P.O. Box 175 · 101 E. Washington street · Marfa, TX 79843 · USA 

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St. Paul's Episcopal Church · P.O. Box 175 · 101 E. Washington street · Marfa, TX 79843 · USA

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