June 19, 2016

Pentecost 5   June 19, 2016   Acts 7:54-9:3, Acts 9:1-9, Acts 9:10-21  *************************************************************** We pick up again in the story of God, working through the church, continuing all that Jesus began to do and teach… Today’s episode starts with Stephen, first martyr of the church, who is being stoned to death, while a young man named Saul watches approvingly. Stephen has been brought before the council of elders on charges that he spoke against the law of Moses and the temple. Rather than directly rebutting these false charges, Stephen recounts Israel’s history from scripture, building finally to accusing his accusers of imitating Israel’s worst sins. His accusers then become a raging mob and stone Stephen to death… And those stoning Stephen check their coats with the young man Saul… As he’s dying, Stephen sounds a lot like Jesus on the cross, who prayed “Father into your hands I commit my Spirit” and “Father forgive they know not what they do”… As Stephen now says “Lord receive my spirit” and “Lord, do not hold this sin against them…” and… The first severe persecution of the church begins; with Saul, now a leader of the persecution, breaking into homes to arrest followers of Jesus and send them to prison. When we next encounter Saul (in our second reading) he’s looking for Syrian refugees – Christians who’ve fled to Syria fleeing persecution in Jerusalem… members of what he considers the heretical sect of Jesus… Suddenly a bright light from heaven flashes. Saul falls to the ground. A voice says, “Saul, Saul, why do you persecute me?” “Who are you, Lord?” Saul asks. “I am Jesus whom you are persecuting. But get up and go into the city, where you’ll be told what to do.” And Saul, who’s been binding Christians, leading them off to prison – is blinded now by the flash of light…And must be led now by the hand of companions. And now God speaks to a disciple in Damascus named Ananias, saying “go to a house on the street called Straight. Look for a man named Saul, praying there, who has just seen a vision of a man named Ananias laying hands on him to restore his sight. (That would be you, Bud.)” Ananias must already be on familiar terms with Jesus, it seems – since, first of all, he knows who is talking to him. He doesn’t ask (as Saul asked) “who are you, Lord?” when he hears the voice of Jesus. Ananias also sounds comfortable telling Jesus his true feelings, as he says, “Lord, this guy’s one of the worst persecutors of your people!” (Like ‘Are you serious?’) “Go,” Jesus says. “He’s part of my plan. Don’t worry. He’ll do his part for my name…” So Ananias goes. And I bet he keeps talking with Jesus all the way, as he heads to Straight Street for the straightening-out of Saul. Because when he arrives, his tone has really changed. Now he greets Saul, saying, “Brother Saul, the Lord has sent me so you can have your sight back and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” He lays hands on Saul and prays, and something like scales falls from Saul’s eyes. Saul rests a short while, then starts making the rounds of all the synagogues in metro Damascus, preaching...

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Week of June 19, 2016 – Cataumet

ANNOUNCEMENTS Bible Study meets on Thursdays at 1:00pm, at BUMC. We are Walking in the Light of God. We all know we should get more exercise and we know that we feel better when we do. What stops us or causes us to put off walking until tomorrow? Sometimes it takes an incentive such as a supportive friend to walk with. A group is gathering in the parking lot under the Bourne Bridge every Friday at 9:00am. Bring your walking shoes, a bottle of water, and a willingness to be an encouragement to others. We will enjoy the fellowship and the glorious day that God has made. Finance and Church Council meet on Tuesday, June 21 at 6:30.  A group is meeting in Handy Hall so please use side door. OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS Bourne Food Pantry.  Please remember to bring in your food items. They are much needed this time of the...

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Week of June 19, 2016 – Bourne

THIS WEEK IN THE LIFE OF THE PARISH Sunday, June 19th: 11:00 AM Worship, Father’s Day 3:00 PM Mazheika Piano Students’ Recital Monday, June 20th: 6:00 PM Finance Committee 7:00 PM Church Council Wednesday, June 22nd: 6:30 PM Saints & Singers Board Meeting Thursday, June 23rd: 9:45 AM Staff Meeting 1:00 PM Bible Study at Bourne UMC Friday, June 24th: 9:00 AM Walking Group Saturday, June 25th: 9:00 AM Strawberry Festival Rain-Date Sunday, June 26th: 11:00 AM Worship   MAZHEIKA PIANO STUDENT RECITAL: The piano students of our organist Tatsiana Mazheika, will present a piano recital today at 3:00pm, here at Bourne UMC. All are welcome to attend! WALKING GROUP: We meet on Fridays in June at 9 am beside the Cape Cod Canal under the Bourne Bridge. If you have an alternative place you would like to walk, let us know. We are blessed with so many beautiful places on Cape Cod. The fellowship is warm, the conversations are fun and the health benefits are a side benefit! LOOKING AHEAD: Sunday, July 10th – Pool Party at the Jensen’s after church. All are welcome! Dessert and beverage will be provided. Please bring a cold dish to share, as well as a bathing suit and chair. There is a sign up sheet in Crain Hall – name, phone number and please specify food if possible, so there will be less duplicates. Rain date will be July 17th.  ...

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