Weekly ePistle June 25, 2014

Thoughts from Lori +

Some of you really observant types may have noticed that my name is listed on the staff page of the service bulletin and other places followed by the initials SSAP. It stands for the Society of St. Anna the Prophet, in which I am a life vowed sister. We are women over 55, lay and ordained; single, married, partnered, widowed. Some of us are retired; some working part-time, some (like me) working full time. The Society is recognized in The Episcopal Church by the Standing Commission on Religious Communities of the House of Bishops. You can read more about the Society on the web.

Anna, you’ll remember, was in the temple when Mary and Joseph brought the baby Jesus to be dedicated (see Luke 2:36-38). She was quite old and, like Simeon, had been waiting for the Messiah. Also like Simeon, she recognized him in the babe. For many Christians throughout the ages, Anna has been a model of faithfulness and discernment; one who is able to recognize Christ wherever and whenever he appears.

The ministry of the SSAP focuses primarily on the elderly and the very young. Our founding chapter is in Atlanta, but we are hoping to establish a chapter here in the Diocese of Chicago within the year. So you can expect to hear more about it in the not-too-distant future.

Meanwhile, let me share with you the basis for our rule of life, which each member writes and updates annually: creativity, simplicity, and balance. Sounds easy, doesn’t it. But I can tell you – at least for me – it’s anything but easy. Every year I struggle with what each of those concepts means to me, and it’s constantly changing. My biggest struggle (for now, anyway) is with simplicity. But then, there is always balance to contend with! The temptation, of course, is to come up with something hard and fast, something structured, defined, measurable. But I’ve found that puts me in a pass/fail mode. Mostly fail. And that mostly leaves me feeling guilty, which does nothing for my spiritual life.

So instead, I use the image of the plumb line – which, by the way, I first heard used many years ago by my friend and Anna sister, Nancy. As a plumb line, my “rule” of creativity, simplicity, and balance then becomes a guide rather than a fixed demand, and therefore a source of grace.

Having such a “rule of life” has a long history in Christian spirituality, and for that matter, in many religious traditions. We human beings seem to need that kind of mindfulness to foster and enrich our relationship with God, with ourselves, and with each other. I commend this practice to you, or one of your own devising. And let’s make this the subject of our Coffee & Conversation on Sunday. See you in church!






Rector’s Family Time Away

I will be away for some family time from July 1st to the 10th to help out with one of our grandsons. Bill will be staying behind this time, not only to take care of our household, but to cover for me here at St. Paul’s. You can reach him either through the church office (815-385-0390), at home (815-322-2972), or on his cell phone (706-957-2447). I’ll still be reachable by email (lori@stpaulmchenry.com). Your prayers for my safe travel will be much appreciated.


Lori +

Fiesta Days!

Friday, July 18th

McHenry Fiesta Days are coming up soon and St. Paul’s is going to have a booth on Friday, July 18th at the Children’s Ice Cream Social. Volunteers are needed and there will be a signup sheet in the Narthex. Can you spare a few hours to help out? We need help with children’s games and handing out prizes.

Summer Parish Picnic

Mark your calendars now for the Summer Parish Picnic – Sunday, August 3rd at 4:00pm. If you were here for last year’s picnic, you already know you don’t want to miss it. But if you weren’t, here’s your chance to get in on the fun and fabulous food. Look for more detailed information in the coming weeks.


June 29 Servants:

Ushers: Bill Lang, Leah Fean
Lector: Jill Harrison
Intercessor: Terri Jaworski
Eucharistic Ministers: Deb Lang, Pam Dietmeyer
Vestry Person of the Day: Deb Lang


Lessons and Hymns
for June 29th, Pentecost III – Proper 8A
by the Rev. William P. McLemore

THE SCRIPTURE LESSONS: The First Reading: The Revised Common Lectionary gives us a choice on the Old Testament reading and psalm. The first choice is Genesis 22:1-14 where God tests Abraham with the sacrifice of his son, Isaac; Psalm 13 reflects the turmoil Abraham must have felt in his heart, “How long, O Lord?” The second choice is Jeremiah 28:5-9 where he says the true prophet foretells peace not war; Psalm 89:1-4,15-18 talks of God’s love being established forever. The Epistle: Romans 6:12-23, St. Paul tells the church at Rome that God in Jesus Christ has freed his people from sin and given them sanctification and eternal life. The Gospel: Matthew 10:40-42 has Our Lord saying, “Whoever welcomes you, welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.”


PROCESSIONAL HYMN: No. 401. “The God of Abraham Praise.” This hymn was written by Thomas Olivers and is based on an ancient Jewish creed called the “Yigdal.” It has thirteen articles that praise God in every way imaginable. Translated into English, it begins with these words, “Extolled and praised be the living God, who exists unbounded by time.” The tune was written by a Jewish cantor, Meyer Lyon, thus the name, “Leoni.”

THE SEQUENCE HYMN: No. 539. “O Zion Haste.” The author of this hymn, Mary Ann Thomson, was born in London, December 5, 1834 and became the wife of a librarian in Philadelphia, John Thomson. She wrote many poems and hymns published and used widely in the Episcopal Church. She died in Philadelphia, March 11, 1923. She says the hymn came to her while tending to one of her children, sick with typhoid fever, but it was three years before she could come up with a suitable refrain: “Publish glad tidings: tidings of peace, tidings of Jesus, redemption and release.” James Walch (1837-1901) wrote the tune especially for this hymn.

PRESENTATION HYMN: No. 615. “Thy Kingdom Come On Bended Knee.” This Hymn was written by Frederick Lucian Hosmer on June 12, 1891, for the commencement exercises of Meadville Theological School in Pennsylvania. It is based on the first petition of the Lord’s Prayer. Hosmer was an ordained Unitarian minister who served as minister of a number of Congregational churches. He had a deep sense of the kingdom of God ushering in justice and healing, as we see in the fourth verse: “the day to whose clear shining light all wrong shall stand revealed, when justice shall be throned in might, and every hurt revealed.” The tune, “Flavian,” is a melody from Psalms Hymnbook of the sixteenth century and harmonized by Richard Redhead (1820-1901)

COMMUNION HYMN: No. 379. “God is Love, Let Heaven Adore Him.” This hymn was written by Timothy Rees, the Anglican Bishop of Llandaff, a distinguished speaker in English and Welsh and respected hymnographer. This beautiful hymn covers many aspects of God’s love and is appropriate for reflecting on Chapter 13 of St. Paul’s letter to Corinth. Cyril V. Taylor composed the tune, “Abbot’s Leigh,” in May of 1941 when he was working for the Religious Broadcasting Department of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).

RECESSIONAL HYMN: No. 551. “Rise Up Ye Saints of God.”This hymn was written by William Pierson Merrill on a ship sailing across Lake Michigan. The hymn has been set to no less than 12 different tunes in 24 years and “Festal Song” is the one that has become the most popular in the United States. This tune was composed by William Henry Walter, an organist at several Episcopal and Presbyterian Churches. The hymn forms appropriate music with which to leave church thinking about God’s love and our love in return. “Rise up, ye saints of God! His kingdom tarries long: Lord, bring the day of truth and love and end the night of wrong.”



Please contribute to the beauty of our worship by dedicating the altar flowers. The suggested donation is $35, and your dedication may be “in memorial for…” or “in thanksgiving for…” There is a calendar of Sundays on the bulletin board in the narthex where you can sign up. Your dedication will be listed in the Sunday service bulletin on the appropriate date. Thank you so much for adding to our worship in this way.


Don’t forget!

Summer Diaper Drive

The summer months are vacation months for many of us, including schools, organizations, and charities. Consequently, there is little activity for donations and diaper drives. But as you know, baby’s bottoms don’t take vacations EVER. St. Paul’s Diaper Bank is in need of children’s diapers, especially size 5’s. Here’s the great news! St. Paul’s Church will be conducting a diaper drive on behalf of the Diaper Bank in June, July, and August. Please help us by bringing your diaper donations to church on Sunday mornings. We will also accept monetary donations. Checks should be made out to the “St. Paul’s Diaper Bank.” Let’s make this a huge success! Remember, every little bottom counts.

From the cartoons created by
the Rev. William P. McLemore
1965 – 2014.

1979 08 26


101 Reasons to be Episcopal
Reason 75

“No matter where in the world I attend
an Episcopal/Anglican church,
I am always home.”

Joan Carr
Diocese of British Columbia