Archives for January 2014

Bishop Lee’s Sermon: Renewal of Ministry St. Paul’s, McHenry, January 15, 2014

On Monday morning this week, as I was contemplating tonight’s sermon and not having a blessed idea about what I would say, I offered up a little prayer that God might send me an idea.  Well, while I don’t advocate thinking about God as a divine Santa Claus just waiting to grant my every wish, I have to say that no sooner had I made my little prayer, than I opened the Chicago Tribune to a half page ad for a Lutheran retirement community in Chicago.  Over the smiling face of a very pleasant looking older woman the headline read in big, bold letters:  St. Paul’s House knows.  Knows what?  The smaller, fainter type underneath the headline listed all the things that the caring staff apparently knows about the woman in the picture — her children and grandchildren, how she met her husband, that she used to sing in a big band, that she likes bacon and eggs for dinner, that she enjoys flower arranging.  In other words St. Paul’s House is a place that cares enough about its residents to know them, the details of their lives, what matters most, that every life — as the ad put it at the bottom of the piece — every life is a tapestry. [Read more…]


Thank you – all of you – for the wonderful event last Wednesday.  It was a true celebration and rededication of the parish, and a perfect time for my official installation as your Rector.  In addition to the presence of our Bishop and two of his senior staff (Jim Steen and Dent Davidson), [Read more…]

Lessons and Hymns for Sunday, January 26, 2014

by the Rev. William P. McLemore

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS:   Acts 26:9-21 – After his conversion experience Jesus tells Paul “I am sending you to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light.”  Psalm 67 tells of God as the light of the world and adds, “Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations.”  Galatians 1:11-24 is where St. Paul recounts his conversion with the ending comment, “The one who formerly was persecuting us is now proclaiming the faith he once tried to destroy.”  Matthew 10:16-22 – Jesus sends out the twelve disciples “like sheep into the midst of wolves.”




PROCESSIONAL HYMN:   No. 255.  “We Sing the Glorious Conquest.”  This hymn was written by John Ellerton on February 28, 1871, for the commemoration of the Conversion of St. Paul in the SPCK’S Church Hymns, 1871.   The words both recall the dramatic conversion of Saul and calls for us to respond with our own vocations and callings.,  The tune, “Munich,” is an old German melody harmonized by Felix Mendelssohn (1809-1847).


THE SEQUENCE HYMN:  No. 661. “The Cast Their Nets in Galilee.”  This hymn is a portion of a poem written by a compassionate man who was born and resided in Mississippi, William Alexander Percy (1885-1942).  He graduated from the University of the South in 1904 and earned a law degree from Harvard in 1908.  As an Army officer, he helped rebuild Belgium after World War I and returned to his home state to supervise relief operations in a flooded portion of Mississippi.  Percy began writing poetry in 1911.  The flowing tune, “Georgetown,” was composed by David McKinley Williams (1887-1978) who served 27 years as choirmaster at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in New York City. 


PRESENTATION HYMN:  No. 127.  “Earth Has Many a Noble City.”   This hymn was written by the 4th century, Marcus Auerelius Clemens Prudentius who has been called “The Christian Pindar.”  He was born in northern Spain and converted to Christianity late in life.   It details the story of the wisemen, the star, and their gifts to the magi.  This ancient hymn is sung to the tune “Stuttgart” from an early German chorale which was later adapted by William Henry Harvegal (1793-1870).


COMMUNION HYMN:  No.  321. “My God, Thy Table Now is Spread.”   The words of this hymn have been altered somewhat since it was written by Philip Doddridge in the mid-eighteenth century.   This is his original last verse: “Revive thy dying churches, Lord, And bid our drooping grace live; And more that energy afford, A Saviour’s Blood alone can give.”   The newer words soften the anguish and gore of the earlier.  The tune is “Rockingham,” and is an old English melody adapted and harmonized for the words of this hymn.  This is the sixth time we have sung this hymn in the last six months so we expect an enthusiastic rendition of it by choir and congregation!


RECESSIONAL HYMN:  No. 533. “How Wondrous and Great.”   This is one of the nine hymns written by Henry Ustick Onderdonk for the Hymnal of 1820.  It is a paraphrase of the Song of Moses and the Lamb, Revelation 15:-3-4.  This hymn also reflects the missionary spirit of Epiphany: “To nations of earth thy light shall be shown.”  The tune, “Lyons,” closely resembles a Haydn minuet.

Lessons and Hymns for this Sunday, January 12, 2014

by the Rev. William P. McLemore

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS:   The prophet Isaiah describes the chosen servant of God who “will faithfully bring forth justice” (Isaiah 42:1-9).  Psalm 29 gives images of the “voice of the Lord.”  The reading for the Epistle is Acts 10:34-43 which includes a portion of the sermon of St. Peter regarding John the Baptist’s part in the story of Jesus.   Matthew 3:13-17 relates the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist.

[Read more…]

Second Sunday Breakfast, January 12, 2014


is this Sunday, January 12th

between services, so starting at about 9am


Women’s Wednesday, January 8, 2014


7pm in the Parish Hall.

Refreshments provided by Lori

Thoughts from Lori+, January 8, 2014

Most of the time we can go from day-to-day without thinking too much about our mortality.  At least, I can.  Mostly because I live a privileged life by almost any standard one can name.  We live in a very comfortable home, have plenty of food and clothing, two cars; in short, more than we need.  And we are grateful, as well we should be.

[Read more…]

Lessons and Hymns for this Sunday, January 5, 2014

by the Rev. William P. McLemore

SCRIPTURE REFLECTIONS:   The Old Testament reading is Jeremiah 31:7-14 where the prophet predicts that God will bring the tribes of Israel to the promised land and “my people shall be satisfied with my bounty.”  Psalm 84:1-8 also talks about the journey to the promised land where people will be happy in Zion.  The Epistle, Ephesians 1:3-6,15-19a, tells that God “destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ.”   Three readings from the Gospels are suggested for this Sunday.  Two are from Matthew and tell of the birth of Jesus and the visit of the Wise Men.  The other is Luke 2:41-52 where Jesus, 12 years old, gets away from his parents and they find him conversing with the rabbis on the temple steps. [Read more…]

Thoughts From Lori+, January 1, 2014

Peace and blessings to you and yours at

this coming of the new year.

Bless us, O Lord, and bless the time and seasons
yet to come.
Teach us to number our days aright,
that we may gain wisdom of heart.
And fill this new year with your kindness,
that we may be glad and rejoice
all the days of our life.


[author unknown]

Men’s Breakfast, January 4, 2014

Note Venue Change: Windhill Pancake Palace

Saturday, January 4th at 8am