Not many of you should become teachers, my brothers and sisters, for you know that we who teach will be judged with greater strictness. For all of us make many mistakes. (James 3:1-2a)
This passage from scripture is one that challenges me every time I read it, for I am also a teacher. I taught for almost ten years in a private Catholic high school, and I am now in my sixth year as a college professor. Teaching is very much part of my self-identity.
Being a teacher is also a great responsibility. In 1996 contemporary Christian music group DC Talk released the single titled “What if I Stumble?” (I have embedded a link to the video on Youtube above.) Each time I listen to this song I get a chill as I can see the students in my life and I worry about the great responsibility I bear. For some of these students the quote from St. Francis that I might be the only gospel they may ever read is quite true. For me, the question never was “What if I stumble?”, but rather, “What do I do when I stumble? How can I keep from causing any great harm to these young souls when my example fails to live up to the gospel message I profess?” I relate all to well to James’ observation that “all of us make many mistakes.” It is a scary burden, for I know I am judged with great strictness.
This, of course, is not just an issue for those of us who are “teachers” or “preachers.” It is a burden all of us who profess the Christian faith must bear. That song from DC Talk begins with the following powerful quote from Brennan Manning, a American priest and author, “The greatest single cause of atheism in the world today are Christians who acknowledge Jesus with their lips and then walk out the door and deny him by their lifestyle. That is what an unbelieving world simply finds unbelievable.” Our examples as Christians are constantly under intense scrutiny, and we know to some extent that is unfair for we are not perfect, but just how far from that Christian perfection do we allow ourselves to fall during the week?
During this week, let us bear in mind James’ warning that we are under great scrutiny by the world around us. We need to engage in self-scrutiny to insure the example we lead is sufficient to be that only gospel someone may ever read, and when we fail to live up to it, which we will, we need to engage in repentance and strive even harder to live up to that example.
News & Notes
Pastoral Needs: If a pastoral need arises, please call the church office at 606-528-1659 and leave a message. Voicemail messages will automatically be forwarded to a member of the vestry who can arrange pastoral care. You may also contact the senior warden, Bruce W. Cory, by phone at 440-227-0035 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
Next Sunday will be a service of Morning Prayer.
Adult Forum: Each Sunday through July we continue a summer series on the Gospel of Mark.
Al-Anon Family Group: An Al-Anon Family Group will meet in St. John’s Parish Hall on Tuesdays from 7-8pm.
Wednesday Fellowship: Gather at 6pm on Wednesday evenings for a service and fellowship.
Fun, fun, fun. The next Family Game Night is Sept. 25, 6:30 – 8:30pm. Bring your favorite games, snacks, and drinks. Pizza will be provided.
Bishop’s Visitation and Confirmation – Bishop Doug Hahn will be visiting St. John’s on October 18. If you would like to be confirmed, received into full communion, or make a reaffirmation of your commitment, please see Bruce Cory. Confirmation classes will begin Sept. 16 at 5:00 pm.
The vestry has voted to keep a supply of 5 $20.00 Kroger gift cards each month available to distribute to people who call for food or fuel assistance. If you would like to contribute toward this outreach, please mark your contribution as “Outreach”.
The Vestry has voted to donate $25 each month to Everlasting Arm Homeless Shelter. If you’d like to contribute, put your donations in the collection box by the guest register or mark your donation and put it in the collection plate.
Hymn Selection Group If you’d like to choose hymns for services, join this group. You will choose hymns for an upcoming service and then meet with the entire group to confirm the final selections. See Billy Hibbitts if you are interested.
Would you like to write Prayers of the People? If you are interested in writing these prayers (there are resources that can help with this task), please let Bruce know by phone or email.
Are you interested in assisting with the Sunday service? Readers, Eucharistic Ministers, Crucifers, Altar Guild Members and choir members are all important for each Sunday service. If you’re interested in serving, please let Bruce know.
United Thank Offering. Remember to get your box for your thank offerings for this ministry of The Episcopal Church. The next collection will be in the fall.
Serving Our Neighbors – See baskets in the parlor.
- Everlasting Arms, Corbin’s shelter for people who are homeless, is in need of men’s and women’s razors, gloves, deodorant and socks.
- The Food Pantry at Corbin Presbyterian Church is always in need of nonperishable food items. Vegetables are especially appreciated.
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St. John’s Statement of Inclusion
St. John’s Episcopal Church, Corbin, KY, is a proudly inclusive Christian community. All members are encouraged to participate fully in the life and leadership of the church regardless of age, race, ethnicity, culture, gender, sexual orientation, economic condition, physical or mental ability. We believe all people are created by God to model the diversity in unity which is the Holy Trinity and we seek to live out that diversity in unity within the faith community.