This week is the First Sunday in Lent. A season of reflection as we travel with Jesus to Jerusalem, as we follow in those footsteps that lead to the cross. This week we hear the story of Jesus’ temptations in this wilderness (Matthew4:1-11) These temptations happen in the narrative right after his baptism by John. The wilderness is a place of temptation and danger. It is also a place of opportunity. At the end of the temptations, we hear that Jesus was waited on by God’s angels. Wilderness can force us to look at our situation in a different light. It can call us to look at the temptations that separate us from the Love of God. This Lent we have several opportunities to look at what might be separating us from God. The study guides, cards, and art provide opportunities where we can deepen our faith. This morning I was working with the Office of the Bishop on the details for my new letter of agreement with St. Paul’s. I was discussing my time here and what other support the church needs to continue and expand our programs. The card for today from Sanctified Art “Seeking: Is this the fast that I choose?”: was “Are you using your time wisely” How many times have we all gone down the proverbial rabbit hole? Are there practices we can take on – perhaps for only Lent, that can lead us into deeper relationships with the God who is Love?
Masks Sacramento has started the anticipated winter surge in COVID cases – along with an increase in flu and RSV cases. The community level of Covid-19 in Sacramento County is medium based on cases and hospitalizations, according to the most recent update from the C.D.C. on Jan. 12. The Public Health department recommends wearing masks when indoors. Our COVID response guide includes following health guidance so at this time we will be masking except when eating and drinking.
Livestream of the service This week we will, technology willing, again use two platforms for sharing in our worship: YouTube and St. Paul’s Facebook page. St. Paul’s YouTube channel can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UcjU73KRrR_-y3gc9n_gr80A Our Facebook page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/StPaulsSacramento/ Ingathering–
Project (Re)Start Thank you to everyone who donated! We now have all the components to create 10 cleaning bins with some extras that we can use to replenish the bins as they are needed.
Ash Wednesday – Ashes to Go! Thank you to everyone who made Ash Wednesday a success. We had four stations for Ashes to Go. We were outside both the J street and 15th street doors, at Mercy Cancer Center, and we facilitated Ashes to Go at the Dignity Health clinic at 3000 Q street. We interacted with well over 200 people who are drawn to God’s love. I wonder how we can reach out to our community on days other than Ash Wednesday?
Hopes Space Our monthly support group for Family Caregivers will meet Fri March 3rd at 11 am. This is a hybrid meeting, so you can participate at church or on Zoom using the information below. Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89412167306?pwd=RW5TMEViOVluRkgxUjIyMFNWUE0zdz09 Meeting ID: 894 1216 7306 Passcode: Family Dial by your location +1 669 444 9171 US +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) Meeting ID: 894 1216 7306 Passcode: 965357
Book Group: This Here Flesh continues Monday evenings, 6:30pm on Zoom. “By listening to another person’s stories—about God, about their greatest hope, about their deepest pain—we learn about their experience and reflect anew on our own.” Books and copies of the schedule are available in the narthex this Sunday. We will meet for an hour, reflect on what struck us in Cole’s stories and share our own related stories, using story sharing practices. If you have questions or need a copy of the book email Karen at firstname.lastname@example.org We will be meeting on Mondays through May 15, except for Holy Week. This week we’re talking about Place and Wonder. You’re welcome to join whenever your schedule allows.
Zoom information for this group: Join Zoom Meeting https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81226569092?pwd=VUVpRU82Q2ZyNkJCT210dTE2aU1rZz09 Meeting ID: 812 2656 9092 Passcode: Learn Dial by your location +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose) +1 646 558 8656 US (New York) Meeting ID: 812 2656 9092 Passcode: 580581
Save the Date - Soundbath Evensong Our next Soundbath service will be Sunday March 12 at 5pm. If you’re interested in singing, please let Justin know. More details coming soon. .
Living Compass We have the Living Compass Lenten mediation booklets available. You can pick one up starting this week. If you would like one mailed to you, please e-mail the church at email@example.com
Join the Journey Through Lent A poster that leads us on the path through lent to Easter. Each day on the journey there are short activities and suggestions to prepare for Easter. It is like an Advent calendar – but without the chocolate! They can be picked up in the back of the church. S
anctified Art Lenten Material We have several offerings from Sanctified Art. We have a devotional booklet “Seeking: honest questions for deeper faith.” The devotional booklets can be picked up in church or can be mailed to you. In addition, there are cards for each day of Lent that offer a question to ponder as well as a daily prayer. The cards for the first week of Lent are available to be picked up at the church.
Living Compass Lenten Group sponsored by Trinity Cathedral Please join us for our Living Compass Lenten Book Group, a seven-week discussion of Practicing Compassion with All Your Heart, Soul, Strength, and Mind. To sign up for the group, please email the Rev. Anne Dryden McKeever at firstname.lastname@example.org to receive the Zoom link and arrange to receive your free copy of the booklet either at church on a Sunday or via postal mail. We’re grateful to our Diocesan Partners in Ministries of Health for providing these booklets to us at no cost. And we give thanks for Susan Hotchkiss, who will handle technology for us. When: Noon - 1:30 pm Mondays, February 20, 27, March 6, 13, 20, 27, and April 3. Where: Zoom
Midweek Noon Services Come join us on Wednesdays and Fridays for midweek Eucharist at 12:10. We use the lessons assigned from Holy Women, Holy Men. It is a great way to learn more about the “saints” of the church. The “noon” services start at 12:10 pm.
Save the Date for WordFest! Psalms: Lament, Listen, Laugh Saturday, May 6 | 10:00 am – 2:00 pm Zoom Only Back by popular demand! If you are a lay reader or lay preacher, or just love to learn about scripture, join us for WordFest. This year, we are examining the Psalms – understanding them, and learning different ways to share them effectively in worship. Registration details to come. Zoom: $10 per person
Air Purifier in Parish Hall There is now an air purifier in the Parish Hall. As we start reusing the Parish Hall it is important that we keep good air circulating. One way to do that is with a large-room air purifier. When using the Parish Hall please turn on the air purifier. It has the option of turning it on with a built-in timer, so we don’t have to remember to turn it off. I would recommend turning it on Sunday morning and setting the timer for 4 hours.
Getting the Word Out One way of letting others know about St. Paul’s is to “Share” the livestream of our worship services that are on St. Paul’s Facebook page to your individual Facebook page or to start a “watch party” on Facebook. It’s a very efficient way of sharing access to our worship and liturgy with others. If you are not able to join us at 10 a.m., the service will be recorded on both our YouTube page and our Facebook page so you can share in the service as your schedule allows.
Keeping up Appearances The grounds can always use a bit of sprucing! If you have a little free time to pick up litter and sweep the walks it would be greatly appreciated.
Giving We will again be blessing the gifts given this week at the “Offertory” and together we will pray a “Doxology” of gratitude. I am so grateful for your ongoing support to cover the financial expenses of St. Paul’s, so we are able to continue our vital ministry." Gifts can be sent to: St. Paul’s Episcopal Church P.O. Box 160914 Sacramento, CA 95816 Should you not wish to mail checks or don’t have access to stamps, please use your bank’s Bill Pay feature to set up your recurring gift. This works well for us, and we pray over these gifts every week asking God’s blessing upon them and that we be wise stewards of everyone’s generosity.