8:00 AM-- HOLY EUCHARIST, RITE I
10:00 AM-- CHORAL EUCHARIST, RITE I
11:15 AM-- COFFEE HOUR in the COMMON ROOM
11:45 AM-- ADULT FORUM in the LORING ROOM
Deuteronomy 30: 15-20
Psalm 119: 1-8
I Corinthians 3: 1-9
Matthew 5: 21-37
O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept our prayers; and because in our weakness we can do nothing good without you, give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
This Sunday is the Sixth Sunday after Epiphany. We continue in the season of Epiphany, reading from the early parts of Matthew's gospel. This Sunday, we continue reading from the heart of the Sermon on the Mount with some very difficult teachings: those who hate are guilty of murder; those who lust are guilty of adultery. It is clear that Jesus raised the bar on ethical and moral standards and we should hear that in his teaching. It is also clear that Jesus raised the bar on grace and forgiveness, which we must also remember as we study this part of Matthew's gospel. In our reading from Deuteronomy, Moses speaks similarly to Jesus, offering clear distinctions between, "the ways of life and prosperity, death and adversity." In our reading from I Corinthians, Paul reminds us how it is easy to imagine ourselves rooted in the person who has given life to our journeys of faith-- in the case of the Corinthians, Paul or Apollos-- but he rejects such a view in order to remind us that it is God who ultimately gives growth to our spiritual lives. These are challenging and deep readings, and they guide our worship on Sunday.
This Sunday we welcome the Rev'd John Sugden as our preacher. As a chaplain at Boston Medical Center, he offers a unique and profound understanding on finding God in difficult and unexpected circumstances, including tragedy, sickness, and death.
February is Black History Month, and at least one piece of music each Sunday celebrates and honors the contributions and legacy of African-Americans in our church. This Sunday, our sequence hymn (or gospel hymn) will be the spiritual Precious Lord, take my hand, taken from the Episcopal Church's African-American hymnal, "Lift Every Voice and Sing." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., named this as his personal favorite hymn, giving even more meaning to its preservation and singing.
Adult Forum continues with our February series. This week, the Reverend John Sugden will offer a different perspective on our subject, talking about his experience as a chaplain at Boston Medical Center, on the front lines of offering help to underserved populations. Join us at 11:45 in the Loring Room. Next week, we conclude subjects to honor the profound influence and leadership of African-Americans in the Episcopal Church. We will combine history and music, studying and singing together some of the great hymns and spirituals of the Black church tradition.
The final Sunday before Lent is Sunday, Feb. 23rd. Each year, we prepare for the solemnity of Lent and the joy of Easter on the Last Sunday of Epiphanytide. Our worship mimics the celebration of Easter in many ways, while our gospel reading of the Transfiguration offers us grace and direction as we begin our journey down the mountain and to Jerusalem.
Shrove Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and the holy season of Lent lie just before us:
The Last Sunday in Epiphany, Sunday, February 23rd, at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Shrove Tuesday, February 25th, at 6:30 p.m.
Ash Wednesday, February 26th at noon and 7:00 pm
Palm & Passion Sunday, April 5th at 8:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m.
Easter Vigil, April 11th at 7:00 p.m.
Easter Sunday, April 12th at 10:00 a.m.
See you Sunday!
Adult Forum in February
In honor of Black History Month, Adult Forum will highlight and celebrate February in a different way each week.
Sunday, February 2nd— The unlikely story of Pauli Murray
The Reverend Dr. Pauli Murry was the first African-American woman ordained a priest in the Episcopal Church. She taught at Brandeis University during her time as a lawyer and civil rights activist. She was the first woman of color ordained as a priest in our church (Diocese of Washington, 1977), after which time she returned to her native North Carolina on a self-described “mission of reconciliation.” She died in 1985, and in 2012 the Episcopal Church added her to the Kalendar of annual commemoration.
Sunday, February 9th— The legacies of historical black churches
The Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts is home to many historically black churches, and we will explore stories of their struggles, triumphs, and contributions to the Episcopal Church and community in Boston. We will approach this from two perspectives: St. Bartholomew's, Cambridge, and their experience of working through issues of race and gender at a historically black church, especially their experience of being more conservative than the wider Church; and, Trinity Church Copley, which in 2014 began to face issues of racism in its own history.
Sunday, February 16th— Spiritual stories from Boston Medical Center
The Rev'd John Sugden serves as chaplain at Boston Medical Center and will talk about his work with an unpredictable and ever-changing group of patients in crisis. BMC is a safety-net hospital serving the very poor and a Level I trauma center.
Sunday, February 23rd— Spirituals and Hymns from the Black Church
In a combination of teaching and group singing, we will explore a collection of spirituals and hymns. As we have done in recent months, this Adult Forum will combine learning with the music: it will include history about the texts, authors, and places that the songs were written, and it will also offer us the opportunity to hear and sing those same works.
Pictured here last Sunday, our confirmands were offered a hands-on introduction to the work that goes into preparing for each service of Eucharist. Special thanks to John Burruss for providing an informative and engaging tour of the sacristy to our confirmands last Sunday. This provided an excellent opportunity for these young people to understand better and "try on" our Episcopal worship tradition, as the pictures indicate!
Shrove Tuesday Tue. Feb 25th at 6:30 p.m. at Good Shepherd
Games and Frivolity
Burning of Palms
Burial of the Alleluias
with Imposition of Ashes
February 26th Noon and 7:00 p.m.
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Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand, I am tired, I am weak, I am worn; Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light, Take my hand, precious Lord,
Lead me on.
-- Lift Every Voice and Sing,
#106 Traditional Spiritual