The Vicar’s Voice
Dear Beloved of God,
I have been away at the Clergy Retreat at the Norbertine Abbey in DePere. We were blessed with the teaching of Dean Steven Peay. We looked at the Rule of St. Benedict as a way of life. The Rule is short and simple and yet takes a lifetime of practice and discipline. I encourage you to pray the Prayer of St. Benedict below as a Lenten discipline. It comes from the fourth chapter of the Rule. Praying even a small bit everyday will help keep you focused on God this Lent.
Prayer of Saint Benedict of Nursia
O Lord, I place myself in your hands and dedicate myself to you. I pledge myself to do your will in all things: To love the Lord God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength. Not to kill. Not to steal. Not to covet. Not to bear false witness. To honor all persons. Not to do to another what I would not wish done to myself. To chastise the body. Not to seek after pleasures. To love fasting. To relieve the poor. To clothe the naked. To visit the sick. To bury the dead. To help in trouble. To console the sorrowing. To hold myself aloof from worldly ways. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Not to give way to anger. Not to foster a desire for revenge. Not to entertain deceit in the heart. Not to make a false peace. Not to forsake charity. Not to swear, lest I swear falsely. To speak the truth with heart and tongue. Not to return evil for evil. To do no injury: yea, even to bear patiently any injury done to me. To love my enemies. Not to curse those who curse me, but rather to bless them. To bear persecution for justice sake. Not to be proud. Not to be given to intoxicating drink. Not to be an over-detractor. To put my trust in God. To refer the good I see in myself to God. To refer any evil in myself to myself. To fear the Day of Judgment. To be in dread of hell. To desire eternal life with spiritual longing. To Keep death before my eyes daily. To keep constant watch over my actions. To remember that God sees me everywhere. To call upon Christ for defense against evil thoughts that arises in my heart. To guard my tongue against wicked speech. To avoid much speaking. To avoid idle talk. To read only what is good to read. To look at only what is good to see. To pray often. To ask forgiveness daily for my sins, and to seek ways to amend my life. To obey my superiors in all things rightful. Not to desire to be thought holy, but to seek holiness. To fulfill the commandments of God by good works. To love chastity. To hate no one. Not to be jealous or envious of anyone. Not to love strife. Not to love pride. To honor the aged. To pray for my enemies. To make peace after a quarrel, before the setting of the sun. Never to despair of your mercy, O God of Mercy. Amen.
In His Mercy,
Ash Wednesday: March 6
We will celebrate Ash Wednesday with Holy Eucharist & the imposition of ashes at a 6:00pm. at St. Paul’s. We will also have our normal healing Eucharist at Rocky Knoll at 10:00am. Rocky Knoll service will not include imposition of ashes.
Lenten Book Study: March 3-April 14
Starting on March 3 and each Sunday through Palm Sunday, April 14th, at 9:00am we will be discussing the book Sabbath as Resistance, Saying No to the Culture of Now by Walter Brueggemann. In this book, popular author Walter Brueggemann writes that the Sabbath is not simply about keeping rules but rather about becoming a whole person and restoring a whole society. Importantly, Brueggemann speaks to a 24/7 society of consumption, a society in which we live to achieve, accomplish, perform, and possess. Keeping the Sabbath allows us to break this restless cycle and focus on what is truly important: God, other people, all life. Brueggemann offers a transformative vision of the wholeness God intends, giving world-weary Christians a glimpse of a more fulfilling and simpler life through Sabbath observance.
Mardi Gras Pancakes & Desserts: March 5
For many people, giving up desserts or candy is something they do during Lent. Before we start our time of fasting, we are having a meal of eating pancakes & desserts and celebrating Mardi Gras or Shrove Tuesday on Tuesday, March 5. Dinner will be served from 6:00-7:30 pm. Get out your Mardi Gras beads & masks!! This is a great opportunity to bring family, friends & neighbors to share a meal & get to know us. A sign-up sheet will be posted for assistance with this activity.
Nick’s Group: March 20
Wednesday, March 20 from 6:00pm-7:30pm is the gathering of Nick’s Group, a support group for families who have lost a loved one to a drug overdose. Julie Walzack leads this group to help others through the grieving process. If you know of someone who has lost someone to drugs, please tell them about this group. If you have further questions, call or text Julie at: 920-838-2562.
Welcome Table: April 2
On Tuesday, April 2 St. Paul’s is hosting the Welcome Table, which offers a free meal to everyone who comes. 5 desserts are needed & 5 people are needed from 4:30-7pm, to help make the meal, set the tables, serve food & clean up after. Financial assistance is also needed Contact Dawn Bartz or Ann Weeden if you can help.
Lenten Program at Grace Church: Beginning March 15
Lenten Program: at Grace Church will be on Friday nights, in Lent beginning March 15th. We will have Stations of the Cross at 5:30pm, followed by a simple Lenten supper at 6:00pm. At 6:30 the program will be Entering the Passion of Jesus: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Week, author, professor, and biblical scholar Amy-Jill Levine explores the biblical texts surrounding the Passion story. Jesus’ final days were full of risk. Every move he made was filled with anticipation, danger, and the potential for great loss or great reward. Jesus risked his reputation when he entered Jerusalem in a victory parade. He risked his life when he dared to teach in the Temple. His followers risked everything when they left behind their homes, or anointed him with costly perfume. We take risks as we read and re-read these stories, finding new meanings and new challenges. She shows us how the text raises ethical and spiritual questions for the reader, and how we all face risk in our Christian experience. The six-session DVD features Dr. Amy-Jill Levine offering a fresh, timely reinterpretation of the Passion of Jesus. The video segments are approximately 10-12 minutes each. The program will be facilitated by Fr. Karl and Mother Michele
Family Game Night: March 30
Playing board, video or card games with other people is a great way to get to know others at St. Paul’s. It is a wonderful way to bring friends to our church for a fun activity. Even though the Youth Group is sponsoring this event everyone is invited to participate. Bring a favorite snack & some games & join in the fun from 5-7pm.
Lent Madness: Starts March 7
Join in the fun & learn about many saints. Everyone is encouraged to participate in Lent Madness, 32 saints are up against each other in a bracket, each saint seeks to win the coveted Golden Halo. Lent Madness starts Thursday, March 7 and you can find more details of how to vote and read comments on their website: www.Lentmadness.com. You can pick up your official guide, the “Saintly Scorecard” in the Fellowship Hall & view the brackets to see who is winning. The official guide features the biographies of all 32 saints in the bracket for the coveted Golden Halo. The format is straightforward: 32 saints are placed into a tournament-like single elimination bracket. Each pairing remains open for 24 hours and people vote for their favorite saint. 16 saints make it to the Round of the Saintly Sixteen; eight advance to the Round of the Elate Eight; four make it to the Faithful Four; two to the Championship; and the winner is awarded the coveted Golden Halo. The first round consists of basic biographical information about each of the 32 saints. Things get a bit more interesting in the subsequent rounds as we offer quotes and quirks, explore legends, and even move into the area of saintly kitsch. Join in the fun!!