St. Paul's Episcopal Church
27 Plains Road (Box 82)
Windham Center, CT.

Vicar - The Rev. John Burton
Sunday Holy Eucharist Service - 9.30am.

Church School for children grades 1 thru 8.

 



   

Holy Week Begins on Sunday March 20

The Bible is, at heart, a love story. It narrates the calling together of a community by God to discover that love is the principle that animates all creation. We are created by love, for love. Love is the meaning and purpose of our lives, and Love was the meaning and purpose of Jesus’ life among us.            

The narratives of Holy Week recount the Passion (Love) story of Jesus’ final days. The services of Holy Week provide opportunities for us to enter into that story through our reenactment of its events. We are challenged to consider how we respond to God’s love not only as individuals but as parts of God’s community the Church.

Palm Sunday  begins as we reenact a story which looks like wishful thinking. The followers of Jesus, living in a time of Roman occupation, hoped that Jesus would be the Messiah, the promised leader who would overthrow the oppressive reign of Rome. Their little parade which we reenact, mimics and mocks the procession in which the Roman governor entered Jerusalem to assert his power and control during the holy day celebrations. Cries of “Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!” proclaim the disciples’ hope that Jesus will lead God’s army to liberate Jerusalem by force. They proclaim that Jesus is Lord and Caesar is not. As our service continues with the reading of Luke’s version of the passion story, the disciples’ hopes for Jesus’ victorious liberation are dashed. Like them, we too learn that God’s kingdom will not come about by force.

Maundy Thursday  The Biblical love story is a story of community. Though the Bible recounts the call stories of individuals, God’s primary concern is always with the community of Israel. Love is nourished in community. The service on this day calls our attention not to Jesus alone on the cross, but to Jesus’ love for those who would carry on in his absence. We gather to remember the Last Supper, which set in the context of a Passover meal, helps us to see the continuity of our Church community with the meals shared by God’s people throughout history. We will dine in the parish hall on a meal of Palestinian style foods and celebrate the Eucharist around our dinner table.
At the conclusion of the meal we proceed to the Church for the stripping of the altar. An ancient ritual, we open ourselves to the disciples’ grief as we, like them, have what is most comforting and familiar to us taken away. The church will remain open all night for those who wish to spend time on this holy night in prayer with the reserved sacrament. The overnight vigil ends with Morning Prayer on Friday.

Good Friday’s focus is on Jesus’ crucifixion. Lest we think that love looks like chocolates and flowers, sweetness and good times, the cross presents a contrasting image, a grown up image of self-sacrificial love. John’s Passion, read on this day, makes note of the disciples gathered at the foot of the cross, a small community of followers. What do they have to teach us? 

Saturday’s Easter Vigil is the most significant service of the week. The assigned lessons (of which three will be creatively told by parishioners) recapitulate the scripture story of God’s people from the creation to the time of Jesus. We join together with the community of faithful men and women throughout history to await together the miracle of resurrection in this service of candlelit beauty.

Easter Sunday  Love wins! What seemed to wishful thinking just a week ago is now revealed to be a prophetic vision. Jesus is Messiah, though God’s method is bringing liberation to his people was not what they expected. Easter celebrates the victory of love, even over death. Not by violence but by sacrificial love will God’s kingdom reign.

 Our calling as Christians is to be transformed by love more and more into an image of love as exemplified by Jesus. This requires practice and a willingness to hear and respond to God’s word to us. The liturgies of Holy Week provide unique opportunities for us to be transformed by the stories of God’s love. I urge you to make every effort to join us.

 

Saturday, March 19

Village Coffee

9:00-10:30

Parish Hall

Sunday, March 20

Palm Sunday Service

9:30 am

Begin in the Garden

Tuesday, March 22

NO Bible Study

 

 

Thursday, March 24

Palestinian Dinner/ Stripping of Altar

6:30 pm

Parish Hall

Thursday, March 24

Church open for Prayer with Sacrament

overnight

Enter thru Parish Hall

Friday, March 25

Good Friday Morning Prayer

7:00 am

Church

Friday, March 25

Good Friday Liturgy

Noon

Church

Friday, March 25

Good Friday Liturgy

7:00 pm

Church

Saturday, March 26

Set-up for Vigil

9:00am

Parish Hall

Saturday, March 26

Easter Vigil

7:30 pm

Parish Hall

Sunday, March 27

Easter Sunday

9:30 am

Church

Tuesday, March 29

NO Bible Study

 

 

Saturday, April 2

Village Coffee

9:00-10:30

Parish Hall

Sunday, April 3

Vestry Workshop

11:30 am

tba

Tuesday, April 5

Contemplative Eucharist

12:15 pm

Church

Tuesday, April 5

Bible Study Resumes

1:00-2:30pm

Parish Hall




St Paul's Newsletter - February 2015
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St Paul's Newsletter - March 2015
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