Second Sunday in Lent
Friday 3 March 2023
Dear Members and Friends of St. Paul’s,
This week is the Second Sunday in Lent. This week we hear from the Gospel of John (3:1-17). This reading we hear that a Pharisee named Nicodemus comes to Jesus by night. Nicodemus has witnessed and heard of the amazing works of healing that Jesus has been doing throughout the countryside. He is sure that the only way these things could take place is through God. Jesus tells Nicodemus that they only way one can see the kingdom of God is to be born from above. Nicodemus takes Jesus’ comment as literal and is perplexed. How can we be born again? Can we reenter our mother’s womb as an adult? Jesus is trying to get Nicodemus, and us, to realize that we need to let go of the earthly constraints that separate us form God. We need to look in our hearts to see the work of God in our world. We need to look for the work of the Holy Spirit blowing through our world, blowing through our lives, and calling us to bring about a different world – a world filled with the power of the Spirit not the power of empire.
Our Gospel reading ends with one of my favorite quotes from Jesus, “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” God loves creation so much that he sent Jesus to walk with us. To love us and to heal us. This Lent we are invited to find those places in our hearts where perhaps we are holding onto judgment instead of love. To find those places and heal them. To find ways that we can let the Spirit blow through our lives with God’s love so that we might spread that love into our world.
Program Click here to view/print the program for the service for our Sunday Eucharist. This will allow you to better participate in our worship.
Calling all Singers! Our choir is starting up again! All are welcome to join in and “Make a joyful noise to the Lord.” Choir rehearsals are Saturday starting at 1:00, after the sack lunch distribution. If you would like more information, see Justin after the Sunday service, or e-mail the church and I will forward your e-mail to Justin.
New Website We are excited to announce that our new website is up and running. It is still under construction so watch for additional content as the weeks go on. One new feature is the ability to easily give using this website. Just click on the giving link on any of the pages to set up a one-time or recurring donation. The website is at stpaulssacramento.org.
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 Please sign the project restart cards that are on the back table. Each bin includes a card letting those who receive the bins that they have been put together with love.
Hopes Space S
oundbath Evensong Our next Soundbath service will be Sunday March 12 at 5pm. This service combines the beauty of Anglican evensong with contemporary elements from our Lenten materials from A Sanctified Art and a meditative soundbath. Join us for an experience of healing through song, sound, and silence.
Book Group: This Here Flesh continues on 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 Calling. 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
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.
Lenten Ingathering This lent we are collecting blankets, sleeping bags, and socks for our cold neighbors. Recently Safe Space wound down their ministry, so we now have room to store more to help those who come to our doors. Please consider donating to this expanding ministry at St. Paul’s.
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.
Sanctified 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.
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. You can also give through our website at stpaulssacramento.org/give We pray over these gifts every week asking God’s blessing upon them and that we be wise stewards of everyone’s generosity. Blessings,
The Very Rev. Rik Rasmussen Priest in Charge & Dean of the Capitol Deanery