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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 

A Prayer by Steven Garness-Holmes
Beloved, you have not given up on us.
Shine your light within us.
Crucified One, you have been here before.
Sustain us with your presence.

Give us the wholeheartedness
to mourn our brokenness
and then to rise and get to work.
Give us the resilience to stay faithful,
even in the shadow of evil,
to do justice and to love mercy.

Loving One, lead us.
Redeem our fear, redirect our despair
and revive our spirits.
Give us hope and dissatisfaction.
Give us strength and patience.
Give us humility and courage.
Give us love that will not quit
in the face of evil.
Be among us, be with us, be in us.

Faithful God, hold our hearts in yours,
and grant us your peace.
Amen.


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+


BISHOP"S COMMITTEE NEWS
To view
the minutes of the December Bishop's Committee meeting (December 6)
and
the Quarterly Annual Meeting (December 13)

CLICK HERE

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 20 @ 7 pm central time

Session 3: Mark 5:1-7:13 

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.


3. Pray for our country.

 

 

The Second Sunday after Epiphany
The Baptism of our Lord
January 17, 2021

1 Samuel 3:1-10, (11-20)
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-17
1 Corinthians 6:12-20
John 1:43-51


 

THE GOSPEL
John 1:35-42

So they went and saw where Jesus was staying,  
and they stayed with him that day.

Jesus asked,

“What 
are you looking for?”

Uh, something.
They weren’t sure what.

So they answered with a question:
“Where are you staying?”

 “Come and
 see.”

They 
came and
stayed with him
in his ordinary place.

And
they found 
what they had been
seeking.

Christ, take
us too to your space.
We want to spend our time with you.
Let us find your radiance,
right here, right now, 
always, in our 
everyday
 lives. 


THE FIRST READING
1 Samuel 3:3b-10, 19

The Lord called Samuel again.

The Lord called Samuel.

And
he thought
 the voice was Eli’s. 

It was the Lord.

When you call us out of sleep, or pandemic,
or in the midst of our turmoil,
let us know you well
and help us
to 
reply,

“Here I am, Lord!”

 
THE SECOND READING
1 Corinthians 6:13c-15a, 17-20

Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit 
within you?

Christ was not leaving us;
he made a home within our hearts.

O Holy Spirit,
 thank you.

Please
allow us to see the light
that you shine 
upon
us

in others.


Anne Osdieck
 
 
 
Marc Chagall:
Le jeune Samuel, 
 
serviteur du sacrificateur 
 
Eli et couchant dans la chambre 
 
de son maître, s'entend appeler par Dieu 
 
Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18 
 
Astonishing by Steve Barton
 
Before genetics, I wonder: How did the Psalmist know
About that knitting of our DNA in utero?
Before geology, how did this ancient, faithful seer
Know we are literally dust from earth, to God endeared?
The writer says we're fearfully and wonderfully made,
The Maker's thoughts so vast there is no way they might be weighed,
And though they number more than all the grains of all the sand,
It's so astonishing I'm with this LORD still at the end.
 

 

Lessons from Almost the Right Picture (Art and Faith 

The lectionary readings from John's gospel and I Samuel for Epiphany2B are stories that are familiar but are perhaps difficult to depict visually. In both texts the action happens in verbal exchanges. This makes for great reading but perhaps less engaging looking. If you search images for the calling of Philip and Nathanael, most results will be a small gathering of men with a tree somewhere in the scene. This composition could be illustrating any number of biblical passages. A search for images of Eli and Samuel will often return an earlier episode of the story - where Hannah brings her young son to the temple to be placed in Eli's care.

So for both passages, there might be value in asking questions of these texts based on pictures that are "almost" the right picture
.


One of the more exotic phrases in the gospel reading is Jesus' concluding remark that Nathanael will "see heaven opened and angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man." An image search based on that phrase will yield picture after picture of Jacob's dream (Genesis 28:12), where, indeed, angels of God are ascending and descending. What might the Genesis text have to say to the John text? 

Jacob is dreaming about this path between heaven and earth, so he is asleep. Is Jesus asleep and dreaming like Jacob? Or is Jesus saying that he IS the "staircase", the connection between heaven and earth that Jacob only dreamed about?

In the Tintoretto painting at left (Jacob's Ladder. 1577-78. Venice: Scuola Grande di San Rocco. http://www.scuolagrandesanrocco.it/), Jacob is asleep at the bottom of the picture. Angels are moving between Jacob and God, pictured at the top of the stairs. Through his use of perspective and the number of stairs painted, the artist has put God in heaven far away from Jacob on earth. Does Jesus' comment speak to the distance - or rather the closing of the distance - between heaven and earth?


Similarly, the painting by Georges de la Tour at right may help illuminate the story of Samuel's call, though it is generally identified as a different subject. The scene shows a young person standing before an older man whose eyes are closed. In the older man's lap is an open book. The painting is titled "The Dream of Joseph", though some scholars are unconvinced that the identification is correct. They point to the fact that Joseph is usually identified by carpenters' tools. Joseph is rarely (never?) depicted as a man of books. The correspondence of composition, however, might highlight notable differences in the stories.

One of the reasons why the subject attribution seems suspect is that the youth in this picture does not seem to be Gabriel, God's angel messenger. Yet if this is Samuel, he is, indeed, being called to serve God. What does this say about those who are called by God?

Consider, too, the gesture of the left hand of the Samuel/angel figure. What does this gesture say to you? Is it a gesture of waking and warning? Or is it a gesture of confusion or maybe even acceptance - "Here I am..." What title would you give this painting (c. 1640. Musee des Beaux Arts, Nantes, France. http://www.museedesbeauxarts.nantes.fr/lang/en/Accueil/Collections/ArtAncien)?

Sometimes the "almost" can help clarify what is, what isn't and what might be. 


O Lord, you have searched me and known me.
– Psalm 139.1

 

Known
A Blessing

First
we will need grace.

Then
we will need courage.

Also
we will need
some strength.

We will need
to die a little
to what we have
always thought,
what we have allowed
ourselves to see
of ourselves,
what we have built
our beliefs upon.

We will need this
and more.

Then
we will need
to let it all go
to leave room enough
for the astonishment
that will come
should we be given
a glimpse
of what the Holy One sees
in seeing us,
knows
in knowing us,
intricate
and unhidden

no part of us
foreign
no piece of us
fashioned from other
than love

desired
discerned
beheld entirely
all our days.

– Jan Richardson

 


punctuation (psalm 138:1-6, 13-18)

i remember those
          (all too many) days
                   when the
             ?
   appeared at the end
                   of this verse,
       my worries and fears
                         always
           trying to boldface it;

there was that one
    time though, when the
                           !
        ran up and sang out,
    clear as a bell, that
              shivery afternoon,
         with the wind at my back,
                 standing atop
                          Dun I;

yet,
         it is there
                on still as snow,
                   as well as shattering, days;
                in my wondering,
                  and wandering, journey;
               in the shadow of my best self,
                   and trying to trip up my worst;
         however prosaic,
     seemingly forgettable,
              so grammery,
                            but just what i need
'I come to the end--I am still with you'
                       .
© 2011 Thom M. Shuman




Unknowing and Loving
 

Now all rational creatures, angels and men alike, have in them, each one individually, one chief working power, which is called a knowing power, and another chief working power called a loving power; and of these two powers, God, who is the maker of them, is always incomprehensible to the first, the knowing power. But to the second, which is the loving power, he is entirely comprehensible in each one individually; in so much that one loving soul of itself, because of love, would be able to comprehend him who is entirely sufficient, and much more so, without limit, to fill all the souls of men and angels that could ever exist. This is the everlastingly wonderful miracle of love, which shall never have an end. 

-The Cloud of Unknowing 14th century
chapter iv, ed. James Walsh, SJ


Meditation Three (Integration)
Self-knowledge for the Sake of Others
If most of us remain ignorant of ourselves, it is because self-knowledge is painful and we prefer the pleasures of illusion. As for the consequences of such ignorance, these are bad by every criterion, from the utilitarian to the transcendental. Bad because self-ignorance leads to unrealistic behavior and so causes every kind of trouble for everyone concerned; and bad because, without self-knowledge, there can be no true humility, therefore no effective self-naughting, therefore no unitive knowledge of the divine Ground underlying the self and ordinarily eclipsed by it.

-Aldous Huxley 1894-1963
The Perennial Philosophy
The Last Word
For me, prayer is a surge of the heart; it is a simple look turned toward heaven, it is a cry of recognition and of love, embracing both trial and joy.

-Thérèse of Lisieux 1873-1897
 
  
The Good Book Club - Week of January 17-23

At first glance, we might be on the side of the Pharisees here, especially these days with pandemic practices of handwashing and sanitizing. As we begin our week with Mark, Jesus and his disciples are eating with defiled hands, “that is, without washing them,” and the religious leaders are aghast. Of course, the religious leaders aren’t worried about COVID-19 germs here. They’re upset because Jesus (again) isn’t following the religious rules. But Jesus counters, “This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me.” In other words, their mouths are writing checks that their actions won’t cash.

Indeed, Jesus makes the point time and again that what truly matters is the state of the soul. The most ardent rule-follower can have a festering heart. It is from there that evil intentions come, Jesus says. “Fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

We then encounter a miracle story that, at first reading, seems un-Christ-like. A woman (a Syrophoenician in Mark and a Canaanite in Matthew) brings her daughter to Jesus for healing. Jesus seems to dismiss her pleas, but the woman counters, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Despite what appears to be Jesus’s reticence to offer healing, the woman’s public proclamations of faith see her daughter healed and Jesus’s ministry expanded. The Gospel of Matthew recalls Jesus as saying, “Great is your faith!”, a reminder to us of the value of faith, even when all seems lost.

At the end of chapter seven, Jesus performs another miracle by healing a man who is deaf and mute. Again, he orders the man and other witnesses to tell no one. The people are bewildered and amazed, uncertain about the true identity of Jesus. Even when Jesus transforms seven loaves and a few small fish into a meal for four thousand, the people still ask for a sign from heaven. In perhaps the understatement of all understatements, Jesus sighs deeply.

Throughout the first part of Mark, we have read numerous miracle stories with people asking who Jesus is, but by the end of our readings this week, Jesus’s identity is apparent. He asks the disciples, “But who do you say that I am?” and Peter answers, “You are the Messiah.” With this pronouncement, we move into the second half of Mark, as the narrative shifts from stories of Jesus’s miracles to his teachings to the disciples. But just as the disciples sometimes have a hard time believing in the miracles, they also struggle with Jesus’s teachings. Jesus tells them that he will undergo great suffering, be killed, and rise again. Peter reminds me of a consummate campaign manager who recognizes that this message won’t sit well with the crowds. He takes Jesus aside, perhaps telling him to soften the words or recast them into more acceptable soundbites, but Jesus isn’t having it. “Get behind me Satan,” he tells Peter. Being a follower of Christ will not be easy, and he won’t add a spoonful of sugar to help make the medicine go down. Deny yourself. Take up your cross. “And those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

Gulp.

We end our week with the Transfiguration, one of the pivotal moments of the Christian story. In all three synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark, and Luke), the Transfiguration follows the confession of Peter that Jesus is the Messiah, the Christ. The Transfiguration is a further revelation of Jesus as the Son of God, as he is transfigured and shines with rays of divine light and joy. The prophets Moses and Elijah appear, and the three talk. Can you imagine the conversation? Peter (again, earnest Peter, bless his heart) offers to stake out the land and build a tent so they may stay there. But we know that we cannot, in this life, stay on the mountaintop. We hear a voice from the cloud, “This is my Son, the beloved,” the type of words we all hope to hear one day, and then they descend the mountain, preparing for the difficult days ahead.

Reflection

1. How often do you say one thing and do another? If your heart is in the right place, does it matter if you act poorly? What does Jesus say about this?

2. Reread the story of the Syrophoenician woman (Mark 7:25-30). What wisdom do you take away from this miracle? How can you apply it to your life?

3. Who do you say Jesus is? Take a sheet of paper or create a word cloud on your computer with all the words you use to describe Jesus. Hang it up near your desk, mirror, fridge, or another place where you will see it regularly, and use some of these different words in your prayers.

4. What do you think Moses, Elijah, and Jesus talked about? Put yourself in Peter’s shoes (sandals!). Would you have offered to build a tent and stay on the mountain? Why couldn’t they stay there?


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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