A Message from The Rector:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:1-11
Although it may have been buried in the excitement and richness of the Instructed Eucharist we celebrated Sunday, our Gospel text for this past week was Matthew 5:1-11, the opening verses of the lyrical and beautiful Sermon on the Mount. The opening part of this sermon, the Beatitudes, is iconic, recognizable even to those outside the church; it is moving, elegant—and, perhaps, elusive in meaning.
Holy scriptures are living documents. Scripture is a primary way that we are guided by God, so we take great care in our study and approach, so it is helpful to realize that Matthew presents Jesus as the new Moses. Just as Moses brought the Law from Mt. Sinai, so Jesus brings a new understanding of the Law from the mount next to the Sea of Galilee. And just as the Ten Commandments are the general, big-picture version of the more day-to-day delineated laws found in the Torah, the Beatitudes are a summary of Jesus’ message about bringing the reign of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, laying out God’s particular regard for the lowly and the troubled, the people who are ground down by the system. Jesus presents this big-picture of God’s law. In the rest of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus shows the embodiment of that law of mercy, compassion, and inclusion in his person-to-person encounters, affirming through word and action that the values of the world and the values of the Kingdom of Heaven should never be confused with each other.
The message of the Beatitudes come to life in the words of one of my contemporary heroes, Father Greg Boyle, whose work and life has been carrying Jesus’ insistence on inclusion and love, for even the lowliest, least lovable, and—from the judgement of the world—the least deserving among us. His work is with those affected by and involved in gangs in Los Angeles. (Note: Look for Fr. Greg’s books “Tattoos on the Heart” and “Barking to the Choir” in the St. Andrew’s Little Library—on the window sill in Hamilton Hall. They are great reads!) Fr. Greg just won’t let go of the conviction that God’s love is expansive, generous, and all-inclusive to the nth degree. He insists that the limits we imagine to God’s love are not only limitations of our imagination and faith, but reveal our own self-sick souls.
Fr. Greg brings the Beatitudes amongst us, right here, right now. In a description of his own journey to love and inclusion, he writes that the Beatitudes is a geography, its words fundamentally about finding where to place yourself. He writes, “Greater precision in translation would say, ‘You’re in the right place if…you are single-hearted or work for peace.’ The Beatitudes is not a spirituality, after all. It is a geography. It tells us where to stand.” What Fr. Greg is saying, I think, is that you know who and what you are by where you find yourself—where you spend your time, day by day by day, over the course of our lives.
How do we find ourselves in the right place? The example Boyle gives is from the Gospel story of the man who is paralyzed, desperate to be healed but unable to enter the room crowded with those who want to be near Jesus. The paralyzed man’s friends make a hole in the roof of the building so that they can lower the man right to Jesus. The “geography” of the Beatitudes is one that thinks outside the box and figuring out how to get inside, stands with a friend in need and going the second mile to be a source of change and healing, finds the small places of tender transformation that may be beneath notice and yet change a life.
What I love about Fr. Greg’s stories is that through his many decades he has learned that love, inclusion, and what he calls “radical kinship” can “rip the roof” off the most hardened person. We find that the people he encounters are in so many ways like all of us: protective through the challenges of life, but softened by an authentic kind word and anxious to belong to the human family, hungry to find purpose and respect. Fr. Greg’s method of “tearing off the roof” is often a kind word that may need to be repeated over and over until it can be heard, internalized, and be the source of transformation.
Fr. Greg also knows the need for systemic change: his work has led to the formation of Homeboy Industries which provides services and jobs for ex-gang members. Like any business, HBI must recruit, staff, manage, and meet payroll. But HBI’s geography is located in the Beatitudes, in the unshakeable faith in the transformative power of love, inclusion, and kinship. The work of Homeboy Enterprises is done compassionately, with a wide embrace, person by person.
The little stories about little people that Fr. Greg tells become inspiring epiphanies when read through the lens of the small but sneaky and persistent Gospel of radical love, inclusion, and kinship. The Beatitudes lay the groundwork for the Kingdom of Heaven through imperceptible but transformative moments, moments that we choose and embrace in our small and particular lives, average day by average day by average day. The Beatitudes are the geography, the place and the setting for opportunities to say “yes” to rip out roofs and walls—literal or figurative—that shut Others out. You’re standing in the right place when you insist on peace, even when it may be easier and seem justified to stay angry. You’re standing in the right place when you choose to be merciful to someone who has made bad choices and just doesn’t deserve it. You’re in the right place when you stick to what is right rather however discomfiting, and however costly.
May we find ourselves in the place just right—and may we indeed be blessed.
Rich Tradition, Layered Meanings: A New Weekly Column
One of my very favorite cultural icons is the Japanese Tea Ceremony. It is an austere and simple ritual: the host prepares a cup of green tea; the guests drink it. It is a highly prescribed affair: the space prepared just so, the guests sit in a very particular way, there is only one way you should drink the cup of tea. Here’s the magic: when you have a set space, set actions, and set words that are rich in intention, history, and meaning, everything else about that moment comes into sharp focus: the season and the weather, a person’s mood and the circumstances. Ichi go ichi e, “one chance in one lifetime,” is the Japanese phrase that describes the beauty of the Tea Ceremony where the ordinary becomes sublime.
In so many ways, the Episcopal liturgy for Eucharist shares this ichi go ichi e sensibility. We share a simple meal: bread and wine. The sanctuary can be modern or ancient, but will have an altar with candles, a white cloth, a plate, a chalice, bread and wine. The ritual gestures have specific names and are learned by anyone who goes to seminary, and are known to anyone who regularly attends church. The words of the liturgy have been crafted, polished, and standardized through centuries of usage, and are the same whether a person goes to Eucharist in Greencastle, Indiana, Taipei, Taiwan, or Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Knowing about those words, gestures, implements and setting creates a prepared heart and mind, setting the table, as it were, for encountering the Holy One in all the unique joy, hope, and need of a particular moment.
The Instructed Eucharist gave a hint of what lies beneath the surface of worship, but there is so much more. Beginning next week and through Epiphany, Lent, and into Easter this column Rich Tradition, Layered Meanings will present components of the liturgy familiar to you already, bringing them into sharp focus and sharper meaning. I hope to meet you here each week. Do let me know if there are aspects of the liturgy you’d like to know more about.
Yours in fellowship,
Tuesday 4:30 p.m. Bible Study: WHO IS SAVED?
One of the vexing and perplexing questions for Christians (and many others) of our time is the question of salvation. While the Episcopal Church is remarkably varied and fluid in our ideas about God, Jesus, and salvation, the overarching teaching we share is that Jesus’ work was to proclaim God’s saving love to and for all, even those who seemed to outside of the charmed or blessed circle. As my bishop from Southern Ohio, Tom Breidenthal, said in response to a question from a parishioner who wondered who is saved, the general proclamation is that hell is empty.
You may be surprised at this, as you will have heard other teachings from other Christians. To explore this question: Beginning on January 31 we’ll start with a deep dive into John 3:16, which has been shorthand for some groups to claim Christian and salvational exclusivity. We will then read Rob Bell, Love Wins (Harper One, 2011) and discuss the book as well as responses to the book. Following this, we will read C. S. Lewis, The Great Divorce (available in many different printings and dates), which is Lewis’s rendering of what hell is—and isn’t. You are invited to join our group—but if you are interested in the topic and cannot meet Tuesday afternoons, we can form a second study group, even by Zoom in the evenings.
Lenten reading: Holy Week, day by day
For Lent, we will switch gears and read a book that utterly transformed my experience of Lent and especially of Holy Week. We will read The Last Week by Marcus Borg and John Crossan (Harper Collins, 2006), which uses the Gospels to map out Holy Week day by day, noting what happened to the disciples, Jesus, and the others who were participants in the Passion narrative. During Holy Week, we will recall the unfolding of these events. I urge you to read this book during Lent—and if possible to join our Tuesday group—for conversation. And as will our exploration of teachings of salvation, if you are interested in the topic and cannot meet Tuesday afternoons, we can form a second study group, even by Zoom in the evening.
There is so much richness that can deepen our faith and our commitments—even (or perhaps especially) as we raise questions about what happened and what it all means. I’m looking forward to difficult, wonderful, and ultimately life-giving questions.
Connect With Us
Sunday Worship Online Streaming
We have upgraded our Sunday worship online streaming option.
You will find our worship service being streamed from our Facebook Page or continue to go to St. Andrew’s website and be redirected from the link on the front page.
Rector’s Office Drop-In Time
Rev. Jen has set her office drop-in day as Wednesday of each week from 9:30 – 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. for anyone who would like to stop in and visit. You are always invited to make an appointment for a time convenient for you. Also, she has chosen Mondays as her Sabbath day.
The Fifth Sunday After the Epiphany
Sunday Morning In-Person Worship Service, February 5, led by Rev. Dr. Jennifer Oldstone-Moore, 10:15 a.m.
You can stream the service via St. Andrew’s Facebook Page. Click on this link to view the Live Stream. We will start the Live Stream at 10:10 a.m.
Click here for the service booklet for February 5.
The Latest Updates
FUN AND FELLOWSHIP-FEBRUARY 5 AT ST. JOHN’S!
St. John’s Episcopal in Crawfordsville has invited St. Andrew’s to their monthly Fun and Families event on Sunday, February 5. At 5:30 p.m. we will be treated to pizza and pop; at 6:00 there will be a quiz game by quizmaster (and St. John’s parishioner) Christopher Short, who runs a quiz company that supplies trivia games to 600 locations coast to coast. Our quiz will be tailored to church basement clientele. Come make friends and enjoy fellowship up Route 231. We have a team of four so far and would love more players – and a good name for the team.
FEBRUARY 21: CALLING ALL MUSICIANS, JOKESTERS, SINGERS, MAGICIANS…
On Shrove Tuesday, which falls on February 21 this year, St. Andrew’s will host a pancake supper and talent show. Be thinking about what you might offer–tell a joke or story? Show some artwork? Sing or play an instrument? More details to follow soon.
TUESDAY BIBLE STUDY – 4:30 P.M. IN HAMILTON HALL
Bible Study continues on Tuesday afternoons at 4:30 in Hamilton Hall. On February 7 we’ll continue with John 3:16. NOTE: See more detailed information above about the Tuesday Bible Study.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL YOUTH SUNDAY SCHOOL – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
The youth are up to some fun. Join them by being an occasional volunteer! Once you have completed your Safe Church training, all you have to do is show up – Macie and Jen+ have everything prepared. The youth come into the sanctuary for the Peace.
BUDGET PRESENTATION FEBRUARY 19 AND ANNUAL PARISH MEETING FEBRUARY 26
In order to streamline the Annual Meeting on February 26, the Sunday before the Annual Meeting we will have a presentation immediately following the service on the 2023 St. Andrew’s budget. You are invited to come with your questions and comments. The Annual Meeting will be the following Sunday.
FUNERAL SERVICE FOR MAUREEN CARKEEK
Many of you have asked when we will hold the funeral for our beloved Maureen Carkeek. Rite of Christian Burial for Maureen will be celebrated on Saturday, May 27, at 4:00 p.m. at St. Andrew’s, with a reception to follow.
COMMUNION AT THE WATERS
Once a month Sunday services have resumed at The Waters. The next service will be this Sunday, February 12 at 2:00 – 2:45 p.m. If you’d like to help with this ministry in any way, please contact Rev. Jen or Renee. All are welcome to attend!
ON-GOING COVID PROTOCOL
We continue to respond to both our county’s current CDC designation and to the current variant. Masking is optional. Those who serve bread and wine will mask so that anyone who comes to the altar can feel secure. Decisions on COVID policy have moved from the Reconvening Committee to Rev. Jen and the Wardens.
Prayers and Reflections for This Week
We have heard that the daily reflections and scripture readings provided during Lent were appreciated. The meditations are written by persons from Gobin UMC and Beech Grove UMC. They will be in the newsletter each week and go from Wednesday to Tuesday, except for Sunday. Whether you enjoy these every day or as the Spirit moves you, may this resource continue to bring you spiritual food for the journey. Blessings!
Click here to view the readings and accompanying links.
Non Food Pantry Latest
Saturday, February 25
• Noon to 3:00 p.m.
There will be a drive through distribution and sack lunches will be served. We are very grateful to Kate Berry, Martha Rainbolt, Carl Huffman, Karen Hirt Mannon, and Christiane Wisehart who have worked very hard to obtain supplies for the Non-Food Pantry. Kroger is not able to acquire enough products for us so the items are being purchased from a variety of sources. This is much more expensive. Donations to help offset this extra cost will be gratefully accepted!
Top 3 Needed Items
Your prayers are asked for:
The family of Jack Angleton, brother of Peggy Angleton
Haile Bane, grandson of Joanne Haymaker
Beth Benedix, friend to many of us at Saint Andrew’s
Douglas Butler, brother-in-law of Claudia Butler
Richard A. Butler, father-in-law of Claudia Butler
Adam Cohen, friend of St. Andrew’s
Family & friends of Michael Condra
The family of Bernice Emrick, mother of Karen Hirt Mannon
Bob Fatzinger, brother of Barbara Pare
Nancy Ferriani, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
Katie Gleichman, relative of Jim Ensley
Alan & Vickie Good, father of Tim Good
David Grueber, stepson of Scott Kissinger
Kimberly Heithaus, niece of Joe & Jenny Heithaus
Shandol Hoover, friend of Dave & Sue Murray
Terumi Imai, friend of Jen+
Kaylee, Ryan, and baby
Lisa Breese Kincaid, daughter of Bob & Mimi Breese
Grayson Lyons, great nephew of Peggy Angleton
The families of those killed in the Monterey Park shooting, Sara Nimori & Ross Whitten
Tom Mullen, father of Patti Harmless
Emmanuel Myril, Karen Hirt Mannon’s son-in-law’s father
Michael Oldstone, father of Jen+
Sarah Oldstone, sister-in-law of Jen+
Pamela & Linda
Elizabeth & Natalie Sheffler, daughter & granddaughter of Page & Narda Cotton
Jerry Taylor, friend of Warren & Connie Macy
Sydnor Thompson, brother of Harriet Moore
Diocesan Cycle of Prayer: Diocesan Cooperating Ministries and the people they serve: Alternatives, Inc., Craine House, Damien Center, Dayspring Center, Exodus Refugee Center, Julian Center, St. Nicholas Early Learning Center, St. Richard’s School, The Avenue, and Trinity Haven.
Our companion dioceses: The Anglican Episcopal Church of Brazil: The Most Rev. Mauricio Jose Araujo De Andrade, Primate of Brazil and Bishop of Brasilia. The people and Diocese of Haiti and Saint Andre’s in Mithon.
Anglican Cycle of Prayer: The Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea.
Birthdays: Clay Glessner, February 11.
THE COMMON CUP, INTINCTION, AND FULL COMMUNION
I would like to discuss our returning to communion by wine via the common cup.
Background: The Diocese of Indianapolis has stated that we may return to full communion (both bread and wine), but that receiving the wine can be by common cup only. Several parishioners have had questions about this. Here’s what I’d like you to know at this point.
- The Vestry voted and approved our new COVID guidelines recommended by the Regathering Committee.
- We might use the words “full communion” to indicate that we are finally back to both bread and wine, but it has ALWAYS been true that taking either one is a complete communion. You do not need both to fully commune.
- The choice is yours, Eucharist by Eucharist. You can decide to let the cup pass because you have a cold; if you are worried about others you can pass; you can wait until we return to intinction. Just cross your arms over your chest—or just shake your head and quietly demur.
Yours in health, restoration, liturgical engagement, and literature review,