Inclement Weather 3.1.2015

The City of Bloomington has issued a parking ban effective from 9PM on Saturday (2/28) until further notice. Our inclement weather plans are thus activated.

Only the 10AM Celebration of the Holy Eucharist will be held for all who feel they can safely make it to the Church.

All other events (730AM, Evensong, and Youth Group) are CANCELLED.

Stay safe and warm.

Weekly Newsletter 2/27/15

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Rector’s Ramblings

Three Letter Word

I know it is Lent, but it is still not popular to talk about the three letter word.
Talking about it will get you labeled pretty quickly as “one of those”. Now, it
is quite popular to do it, but not to admit that it is, or talk about it.

In case you are wondering the three letter word is Sin, and it does infect us all.
As I was working on last Sunday’s homily, I came across this great passage from
G.K. Chesterton’s Orthodoxy in my notebook

“But I think this book may well start where our argument started–in the neighbourhood
of the mad-house. Modern masters of science are much impressed with the need of
beginning all inquiry with a fact. The ancient masters of religion were quite
equally impressed with that necessity. They began with the fact of sin–a fact
as practical as potatoes. Whether or no man could be washed in miraculous waters,
there was no doubt at any rate that he wanted washing. But certain religious leaders
in London, not mere materialists, have begun in our day not to deny the highly disputable
water, but to deny the indisputable dirt. Certain new theologians dispute original
sin, which is the only part of Christian theology which can be proved. Some followers
of the Reverend R.J. Campbell, in their almost too fastidious spirituality, admit
divine sinlessness, which they cannot see even in their dreams. but they essentially
deny human sin, which they can see in the street. The strongest saints and the
strongest sceptics alike took positive evil as the staring-point of their argument.
If it be true (as it certainly is) that a man can feel exquisite happiness in skinning
a cat, then the religious philosopher can only draw one of two deductions. He must
either deny the existence of God, as all atheists do; or he must deny the present
union between God and man, as all Christians do. The new theologians seem to think
it a highly rationalistic solution to deny the cat.”–pg. 11.

Mr. Chesterton is correct in that we cannot deny the reality of Sin. The question
is how is Sin to be dealt with?

Stay tuned, the answer will be given shortly.

Wishing you a Holy Lent,

Dave+
Remember that my library is open if you wish to borrow a book for Lent.
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Service Schedule
for the week of March 1, 2015

Holy Eucharist Rite I
(Spoken)
7:30 AM
Holy Eucharist Rite II
(Music)
10:00 AM
Evensong
5:00 PM
Other Services:
Morning Prayer
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at 7 AM
Thursday morning at 7:30 AM
Intercessory Prayer
Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday at noon in the Chapel
For Lent
Stations of the Cross at
5:30 PM Fridays
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VOLUNTEER AT MIDWEST FOOD BANK

We will be volunteering at Midwest Food Bank on Monday, March 9th from 6:00-8:00.  Please join us for this fun and rewarding outreach opportunity!  For more information, please contact Chrissy Stoffer at 663-6450 (home) or 735-2161 (work).  Hope to see you there!

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Morning Prayer

Morning Prayer is offered at 7AM on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday, and at 730
AM on Thursday.
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Breakfast Fellowships
The Woman’s Breakfast fellowship meets on Saturday (3/14) at 8:30 AM. All women
are sincerely welcome!
Men’s Breakfast fellowship will meet on Saturday (3/21) at 8:00 AM. All men of
the church are invited.

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Good News Daily
Each week we are glad to offer a set of daily devotional readings from the Bible
Reading Fellowship. These are short devotionals include references to the readings
from the Daily Office Lectionary, and can be customized for each parish. Currently,
we are adding the Anglican and Diocesan prayer cycles, and will be adding a parish
prayer cycle in the future.
Copies may be picked up in one of the entrances, a PDF uploads to the website.
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Stations of the Cross
Stations of the Cross will be held each Friday evening in Lent beginning at 5:30 PM.

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Lenten Reflections
We will use the Good New Daily as our Lenten Reflections this year. However, if
you are interested in another option, we recommend the Nashotah House Lenten Reflections
which can be found online here or ordered via Amazon.

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Lenten Series
Our Lenten Soup, Salad and Study series will kick off on Tuesday, February 24 and
run through the Tuesday in Holy Week. We will gather at 6:00 for a light supper
and finish by 7:30.
This year, since we read the Gospel of Mark in the Eucharistic Lectionary, we will
explore this Gospel with the help of Rico Tice a priest in the Church of England.
All ages are invited to fellowship and study together.

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Volunteers Needed on Sunday Mornings
Lectors–If you are not on the schedule, but would like to read scriptures during
worship, please let Sandy Kohlhase know which service you attend. She will add
you to the list of volunteers.
Greeters–Additional volunteers are needed to be greeters, at both services. Please
let Pat know, in the office (info@stmatthewbloomington.org or 662-4646) if you are
available, and which service time.
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Formation Opportunity
N.T. Wright, former Bishop of Durham and current lecturer at the University of St.
Andrew’s, is presenting as series of online courses in Christian Theology and Biblical
Studies. The list of courses and their timelines is available at NT Wright online.
Fr. Halt is planning on joining the course on Paul and the Galatians, and if anyone
else is interested in forming a study group, he would be glad to facilitate the
gatherings.

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Readings & Music for March 1, 2015

Hymns: #707, #328, #401

Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 OT 10

When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said to him,
“I am God Almighty; walk before me, and be blameless. And I will make my covenant
between me and you, and will make you exceedingly numerous.” Then Abram fell on
his face; and God said to him, “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You shall
be the ancestor of a multitude of nations. No longer shall your name be Abram, but
your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you the ancestor of a multitude of nations.
I will make you exceedingly fruitful; and I will make nations of you, and kings
shall come from you. I will establish my covenant between me and you, and your offspring
after you throughout their generations, for an everlasting covenant, to be God to
you and to your offspring after you.”

God said to Abraham, “As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but
Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her, and moreover I will give you a son by
her. I will bless her, and she shall give rise to nations; kings of peoples shall
come from her.”

Psalm 22:22-30 Page 611, BCP Deus, Deus meus

22 Praise the LORD, you that fear him; *
stand in awe of him, O offspring of Israel;
all you of Jacob’s line, give glory.

23 For he does not despise nor abhor the poor in their poverty;
neither does he hide his face from them; *
but when they cry to him he hears them.

24 My praise is of him in the great assembly; *
I will perform my vows in the presence of those who worship him.

25 The poor shall eat and be satisfied,
and those who seek the LORD shall praise him: *
“May your heart live for ever!”

26 All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the LORD, *
and all the families of the nations shall bow before him.

27 For kingship belongs to the LORD; *
he rules over the nations.

28 To him alone all who sleep in the earth bow down in worship; *
all who go down to the dust fall before him.

29 My soul shall live for him;
my descendants shall serve him; *
they shall be known as the LORD’S for ever.

30 They shall come and make known to a people yet unborn *
the saving deeds that he has done.

Romans 4:13-25 NT 118

The promise that he would inherit the world did not come to Abraham or to his descendants
through the law but through the righteousness of faith. If it is the adherents of
the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void. For the
law brings wrath; but where there is no law, neither is there violation.

For this reason it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace
and be guaranteed to all his descendants, not only to the adherents of the law
but also to those who share the faith of Abraham (for he is the father of all of
us, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”) — in the presence
of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence
the things that do not exist. Hoping against hope, he believed that he would become
“the father of many nations,” according to what was said, “So numerous shall your
descendants be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which
was already as good as dead (for he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered
the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No distrust made him waver concerning the promise
of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, being fully convinced
that God was able to do what he had promised. Therefore his faith “was reckoned
to him as righteousness.” Now the words, “it was reckoned to him,” were written
not for his sake alone, but for ours also. It will be reckoned to us who believe
in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was handed over to death for
our trespasses and was raised for our justification.

Mark 8:31-38

Then Jesus began to teach his disciples that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering,
and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed,
and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him
aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked
Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine
things but on human things.”

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become
my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For
those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for
my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them
to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return
for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and
sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in
the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Collect for Sunday, March 1st

O God, whose glory it is always to have mercy: Be gracious to all who have gone
astray from thy ways, and bring them again with penitent hearts and steadfast faith
to embrace and hold fast the unchangeable truth of thy Word, Jesus Christ thy Son;
who with thee and the Holy Spirit liveth and reigneth, one God, for ever and ever.
Amen
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Snowmaggedon 2015

A beautiful snowy morning here in Bloomington-Normal!  Up and out at 5:45 to “dig out” the Rectory, and I am thankful for a 4×4 vehicle as our neighborhood had yet to be plowed out in Downs.  Arrived at St. Matthew’s to find that the parking lot has already been plowed and salt is being put down on the walks as I type (thank you Bob).

In any event, a quick update as to the schedule today.  The City of Bloomington has put a parking ban in effect, which limits us to what we can park in the lot at the church.   So, without further ado, I am cancelling all activities other than the 10AM Eucharist.

If you do plan on celebrating the Eucharist at St. Matthew’s please be safe, and carpool if able.

If it is not possible, or advisable, for you to make it to Mass, and you would like to participate in the prayers of the Church, here is a link to St. Bede’s Breviary for the Daily Office.

May God bless you all,

Fr. Dave+