In Lent we reminded of the need for self-examination as an essential part of our spiritual life. In Easter, we celebrate those ways that Lent has prepared us to celebrate the new life that is given to us in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This year, we will explore both of these with Desmond and Mpho Tutu’s The Book of Forgiving: The Fourfold Path for Healing Ourselves and Our World. Discussion sessions will take place on scheduled Thursdays at noon (in-person) and 7pm (via Zoom).
Supplies: The Book of Forgiving; A journal for writing exercises recommended in the book; A rock of your choosing (see p. 11, last page of Introduction)
Our meeting and reading schedule is as follows:
Thursday, March 24th, 12pm Parish Hall; 7pm Zoom (Introduction – Part 1, Chapters 1-3)
Thursday, April 7th, 12pm Parish Hall; 7pm Zoom (Chapters 4-5)
Thursday, April 28th, 12pm Parish Hall; 7pm Zoom (Chapters 6-7)
Masks are required during worship, regardless of vaccination status.
Only those serving behind the altar rail (clergy, lectors, etc.) will be visible to the cameras streaming the service. The congregation in the pews will NOT be on camera.
Please do not attend church if you are sick.
Lectors and clergy who are vaccinated will be able to speak with masks off when they are at the altar, Officiant’s seat and lectern.
The Peace will be shared contactless except for with those who are in the same household.
Communion will be only in one-kind (bread only).
Our priority in reopening the church is the health and safety of our members while maintaining the integrity of our worship. We request that you bring any questions or concerns about our protocols and worship directly to the Rector and Wardens.
Our protocols are determined first by the New York State Department of Health and our Bishop. It is the responsibility of our Rector, in consultation with our Wardens, Vestry and other health professionals within our community that we determine how we adhere to these guidelines within our own context. We know the guidelines are always shifting, however our space does not change. Due to the size of our church, we may need to adhere to wearing masks longer than others, for example.
Please be patient with us as we move ahead. We know there will be bumps in the road! It is very important to all of us that we maintain the opportunity for those who desire it to worship with us remotely. It will take some time to get that at the quality we know we can provide.
After a year off, JuneFest is back – though in mini form due to the ongoing pandemic.
Support St. A’s by shopping our plant, bake and tag sales Saturday (June 5) and Sunday (June 6) from 10am to 5pm. The donations are rolling in, the plants are potted and delicious recipes are being baked!
We also have some fun raffle items to win!!!!
Donations may be dropped off on the porch of the Parish House. We are accepting:
Children’s Games & Gaming Systems
Sports & Exercise Equipment, including bikes
Cookware and small appliances
PLEASE NO GLASS, CERAMICS, CAR SEATS, CRIBS or CLOTHING.
The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, Michael Curry, and Forward Movement are inviting churches to participate in the Good Book Club’s study of the Gospel of Mark during the season of Epiphany (January – February).
St. Augustine’s is excited to join this study to immerse ourselves in God’s word during the season when we reflect on how God has been revealed to us in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
How to participate
All you really need to participate is to get your hands on a Bible. Mother Jenny recommends the Harper-Collins NRSV Study Bible. The translation we most frequently read and study in church is the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). You can also find a number of apps for your smartphone and online resources for reading the Bible.
Good Book Club Study on Saturdays – Join us via Zoom at 4:00 pm. January 9, 16, 23; February 6, 13. Click here for Zoom Link; Meeting ID: 303 597 2920 Password: 1857
Rector’s Bible Study, 10:45 am – 11:30 am – This group will meet after our Sunday worship and an abbreviated Coffee Hour on January 17th, February 7th and February 14th.
The schedule of readings begins on January 1st, the Feast of the Holy Name. A schedule/list can be found below.
Follow St. Augustine’s on Facebook for regular updates and insights.
Participate in a free Webinar taught by Montreal Theological College Principal (and Andrew Owen’s Godfather!!) The Rev. Dr. Jesse Zink on Tuesday, January 12th at 7pm. Information can be found here.
Dust off your Bibles and join us as we read Exodus during the Epiphany season! There are daily readings that make keeping up and following along easy. We will have opportunities to join in webinars and our own parish conversations. Here is what to expect:
Daily readings will be posted on our “This Week at St. A’s” calendars on our website and eNews.
Any Bible you want to read is just fine! If you need a Bible, contact Mother Jenny and she will give you one!
Register for what we can expect to be an excellent introduction to Exodus taught by Montreal Diocesan Theological College Dean Jesse Zink on January 13th.
Join Mother Jenny for some online discussions:
Session 1 – 1/26 @ noon and 1/27 @ 7pm
Session 2 – 2/10 @ noon and 7 pm
Session 3 – 3/3 @ noon and 7 pm
No biblical literacy required! Just join us and dig into it with us!
WHERE: Zoom (see link and connection information below)
Join us for a Christmas Eve Festival of Christmas Lessons and Carols. We will hear readings from Holy Scripture and sacred music as we celebrate the saving work of God and the miracle of the Incarnation in the birth of the Christ Child.
Music offerings will include music from our “A St. A’s Christmas” album and new recordings from St. A’s Virtual Voices.
Please invite your friends and family to join us for this wonderful service. All are welcome!!
Meeting ID: 303 597 2920 Passcode: 1857 One tap mobile +16465588656,,3035972920#,,,,,,0#,,1857# US (New York) +13017158592,,3035972920#,,,,,,0#,,1857# US (Washington D.C)
Dial by your location +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington D.C) +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago) +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma) +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston) Meeting ID: 303 597 2920 Passcode: 1857 Find your local number: https://zoom.us/u/amwCxnOae
WHAT: Drive-thru, Socially-distant Birthday Party for Jesus
WHEN: Christmas Eve, December 24th @4PM
WHERE: St. A’s Church Lawn
How do we celebrate birthdays pandemic-style? With a drive-thru birthday party!! Join us for a quick festive celebration of Jesus’ birthday! We will have decorations set up! Party favors to give out!
What do you bring to a Birthday Party for Jesus?
Your voices – “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear [behind a mask, of course]!”
Happy Birthday signs to show us or put on your car windows.
Birthday Cards for Jesus! We will collect these.
Birthday Presents for Jesus!! (Here’s his gift registry from the Croton Caring Committee. Gifts given to Jesus will be given to families in our village receiving assistance from the Healthy Start Program! We need: Cereal, Oatmeal, Pancake mix/syrup (one of the major Elf food groups), Breakfast Bars, etc.
How is this going to go down?
Please arrive at St. A’s in your cars just before 4pm. We will have folks helping you find parking spots to line up in front of the Church.
Depending on weather and what is permitted to keep us safe, we will either participate from our cars or scattered around the lawn, masks on, singing a couple of songs and saying some prayers.
Families will be invited to bring up their cards and presents for Jesus and given a goodie bag.
I can’t be there at 4pm on Christmas Eve! Can I still participate?!!!
YES!! We have a bin on the Parish House porch (next to the Christmas Tree) where you can drop off food donations! When this Christmas storm passes, we will put our festive nativity back out. But for the safety of the Holy Family, we let them in the Parish Hall until the rain stops.
Starting in November 2020 we will engage in holy scripture in a new way. We will become scribes and write the Gospel of Mark as we read it. We hope this will be a new way for us to encounter the Bible as we engage our senses in a different way with God’s word. This practice will continue into January. Whether you use a pencil and notepad, your computer, or fancy pens with a dedicated journal, we hope you will share your journey with us. There is no right or wrong way to do this! This schedule helps with a pace of no more than 10 verses per day. Slow down or charge ahead! Post pictures of your verses on our Facebook page and Instagram account. #gospelsbyhand #stacroton
An Unofficial Letter from Bishop Assistant Mary D. Glasspool
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
In this issue: Church and State
What I wouldn’t do to be a fly on the wall (a fly who could be in multiple places at the same time) to listen to a host of sermons this Sunday! What a gift of a Gospel Lesson! (And I, too, will be preaching, so I will have to tame my own excitement.) Giving to Caesar (or “the emperor” – but Caesar is so much more delicious!) the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s can be expounded in so many different ways and certainly seems to be low-hanging fruit right now.
For the early Church, the task of interpreting Jesus’ statement: Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s was an ongoing one. How is the Christian to relate to political structures? If the church can at times support and at times must resist the state, the answers are never simple nor are they final. The struggle resumes with every new situation.
From this wrestling Jesus was not exempt. In fact, in his decisions he was, finally, alone – because both church and state conspired against him. It was both the political and the religious leaders who did him in. One can hardly imagine a heavier demand: called upon to obey God, not simply in the face of political wrath but without the support of the community of faith. But it still happens.
If we think this passage provides us a basis upon which to argue any aspect of the separation of church and state – we’re wrong. We’re wrong because, like Jesus, we’re always left with that struggle in how we live out our lives. The issue of the relationship between church and state was a very real issue in First Century Palestine – and it is today – and it most probably will always be a living tension. What we can learn from this Gospel Lesson lies in learning from Jesus, himself. Jesus was not concerned with politics – he was concerned with justice. He didn’t want to bring the kingdom of God into Roman-ruled Palestine. He wanted Roman-ruled Palestine to help bring in the Kingdom of God. Jesus’ vision was not just another version of political and cultural organization, supplanting the Roman state with a Jewish state, or even, 1800 years later, a United States.
Jesus weaned people away from the spirit of power and awakened them to the power of the Spirit. Jesus wanted to wake people up to the possibility that there was so much more available to them: more love, more joy, more justice, more power – through a right relationship with God and neighbor. Give to God what is God’s does not imply a separation of church and state. It is a radical mandate for a re-evaluated life and a renewed creation.
The truth is that the church, itself, is in danger of perceiving Jesus as the Pharisees did. Like the Pharisees, we still sometimes think that Jesus had some kind of hidden agenda that we should be able to co-opt for our own benefit. We’ve tried to make Jesus into a liberal or a conservative, a Marxist or a Capitalist, a Baptist or an Episcopalian, a rebel or a dreamer. But Jesus was none of these. What Jesus was and is, is the living Son of God, the Christ, the Savior – and that is a category which lies far beyond the scope of any political correctness.
It wasn’t a well-rehearsed script. It wasn’t merely for the purpose of political exposure or power. It was truly for the purpose of risky dialogue and engagement with humanity. Jesus didn’t suffer and die on the cross, didn’t conquer death and rise again, doesn’t offer us redemption and eternal life so that our pet agenda can get passed at next week’s Long-Range Planning Meeting. Jesus came and lived and struggled and loved and ministered and died and rose again to show us a way of life beyond the strictures of both institutional politics and institutional religion. That Way, that Truth, that Life, is Jesus, himself.