Happy are they who fear the Lord *
and have great delight in his commandments!
They have given freely to the poor, *
and their righteousness stands fast for ever;
they will hold up their head with honor.
Psalm 112: 1, 9
Our Psalm for this Sunday lists the attributes of those who fear the Lord. They will be happy. They also “give freely to the poor.” In Adult Forum we’ve been talking about our wealth and resources. We’ve also been talking about giving of our resources, especially giving them in ways that would alleviate poverty. We’ve had some thought provoking discussions.
This verse suggests giving of your resources in a “free” way. That’s hard, isn’t it? We don’t want someone to scam us. How do we know the money will be used for what the person asked and not for something of which we might disapprove? And why are people poor? Isn’t being poor a result of a person’s actions and behavior?
Over and over the Bible, both in the Hebrew Bible and in the teachings of Jesus, we hear the command to give freely to the poor or to sell all of our possessions and give to the poor. It seems so ludicrous to do just that, doesn’t it?
First of all, there is something about parting from our possessions and giving up control of what someone else does with those precious possessions. Doing so requires trust and faith. People probably will misspend the money or might misuse our possessions, because we humans are not perfect. But it is the act of freely letting go that is pleasing to God. That act says we are not in control; we have handed over a portion to God.
Secondly, it is important to continually examine what is enough. There are two recent stories I heard about wealthy people who gave up everything. They were unhappy, even midst all of their wealth. So they gave it up. Read about Eleanor Steele and the Foundation she created. Read about Joshua Fields Milburn and Ryan Nicodemus and their minimalist lifestyle. Both of these stories provide some perspective on what is enough.
Blessings as you finish your week!
My Schedule: Next week, I will be in Corbin on Thursday, February 13, and my Sabbath day will be Friday, February 14. Please feel free to contact her any time, however, by calling 859 -429-1659
Lazarus at the Gate is an eight week series on economic discipleship. This week Doug Thelen will lead us in a session on Living Economic Discipleship. Next week, Dania Egedi will lead us in a session on The Giving Circle.
Sunday, February 9
10:00am – Adult Forum and Godly Play
11:00am – Eucharist
2:00pm – UK Opera at Our Saviour Richmond to benefit St. Agnes’ House
Wednesday, February 12
4:30pm – Confirmation
6:00pm – Worship
Sunday, February 16
10:00am – Godly Play and Adult Forum
11:00am – Eucharist
12:30pm – Vestry
Living Compass Adult Faith and Wellness. During Lent, I will lead us through the Living Compass Program, designed to help us assess our lives, plan for change, strengthen our faith, and wellness. If you plan to participate, please let me know by February 16, so I can order the materials. You can find more information about the program, including the Living Compass Assessment at http://www.livingcompass.org/adult/program.html/
Confirmation Classes continue on Wednesdays at 4:30pm through February 12. Classes are open to everyone. The February 12 session will focus on the sacramental theology of the church, including Baptism, Eucharist and other sacramental rites. This will be the last session.
Godly Play: There will be Godly Play classes this Sunday. If you are interested in assisting with these classes on an occasional basis, please let Anne Day Davis or Dura Anne Price know. You will observe the classes for 4 sessions and once you have received this training, you may be called upon to assist as you are available. Let the children deepen your faith!
On this Sunday, February 9, 2pm, enjoy some great music by the UK Opera Theatre and benefit St. Agnes’ House. Concert is part of the second Sunday series at Our Saviour, Richmond. Suggested donation is $5.00.
2014 Church Calendars are available on the shelf in the parish hall. A donation of $2.00 is suggested.
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.
We will celebrate African-American History Month at our service on February 16. Celebrating these months reminds us that people of all cultures belong to the Worldwide Anglican Communion.
Flowers for the altar: Donations for flowers for the altar are accepted for any Sunday of the year. Please place your donation in the envelope, marking whether they are in honor of or in memory of someone.
A message from Bp. Doug Hahn concerning St. James, Prestonsburg – On Tuesday, January 28, St. James, Prestonsburg, was vandalized. The violence done to the altar and church were very disturbing to the parish, and indeed to all of us who treasure our sacred spaces.
The young man who committed the damage has been caught and his family has reached out to us. We are currently working with the appropriate systems of justice and juvenile care to make sure that the young man finds the help that he needs and that the process of restorative justice will be honored.
In the meantime, I invite you to join me in making a financial gift to the ministry of St. James. Thank goodness insurance will cover most of the physical damage, but our financial gifts will be a sign of solidarity and grace with this small but vital ministry in Prestonsburg. In service to God and on our behalf, this parish coordinates feeding ministries that affect hundreds of people in Eastern Kentucky.
If you wish to join me in financial support, you may make an online gift through the Diocese of Lexington website, designated, “St. James Prestonsburg” or you may send a check with the same designation.
I also invite you to send your words of support to the parish by emailing Sr. Judy Yunker at firstname.lastname@example.org or by a note to St. James Parish, 562 University Dr, Prestonsburg, KY, 41653
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