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April 2016 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

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So what now? We just finished an amazing time in the church year. It began with a journey in Lent when ashes were placed on our foreheads with the words, “remember you are dust and to dust you shall return.” This began a six week preparation time of getting ready for Holy Week. Beginning with the Palm Sunday liturgy and receiving of palms, we started in on the journey that would eventually bring us to the cross of Christ and his death. Remembering our roots in the Seder meal and finally getting passed the dark time of standing at the foot of the cross while we watched an innocent man die for our sins. We were able to bring the new light into the church with our Vigil celebration on Saturday night. Finally we get to the joy and colors of Easter as we gathered on the beach on Easter morning and awaited with anticipation the sun rising in the East. What an experience it is when the sun returns in the morning after the darkness of night has past. But then, I ask the question, “what now?”
Each year we see many faces that we don’t normally see around the church. People come together in anticipation of this new experience with hopeful hearts in the Resurrection of Christ. Each year many walk away disappointed because they weren’t able to find what they were looking for. It was that way even in Jesus’ day. The disciples went back to the upper room and hid in the darkness for fear the Romans would find them and they would receive the same fate Jesus did. The women couldn’t find him at the grave and felt they had lost Jesus forever. Such disappointment seems to accompany Easter every year. 
Yet, along with Mary, many do hear the voice raised above the waves of the ocean that asks the question, “Whom do you seek?” This voice, for many, is accompanied by a recognition that He is alive and not dead as we thought.  Suddenly it all makes sense. The gift of the Resurrection for all who believe is eternal life. A life that will be spent with Christ in the Kingdom prepared for all of us. What a wonderful Easter that is when we can see the true colors and glory of the Easter season. All is not lost but all is gained.
I return to the question I opened with and ask “what now?” For many it will be a time to return to our home and wait for the next Easter in hopes that we receive what we are looking for. For some of us it means that the glory of Easter asks us to service and love. We are called to go forth and share the story of Easter with all we shall meet. Just as Mary returned to the disciples to tell them that He is not dead but alive, so we should be prepared to share our own Easter experience with others. God has a plan and ministry for all of us to fulfill in the season. When we ask the question, “what now,” may our answer be that now I will serve God with all my heart, soul and mind. I pray you all have a blessed Easter season.


Fr. Norman†

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  • Congratulations, Barbara Desrosiers and Nellie Brannan for presenting a wonderful Lenten Program, Art as Prayer. Thank you for sharing your gift and teaching us new ways to incorporate creativity into our own spiritual journey.

  • Thank you chef Doreen Yandell, and her helpers, for preparing our Seder Supper. The presentation was perfect and the lamb was so tender!

  • The Children’s Liturgy and Butterfly release, spear headed by Judy Divine, was once again well attended with families from the community. The kids were delighted to have their picture taken with the Easter Bunny, aka Owen Deao.

  • Our Altar Guild Teams did a fabulous job preparing the Altar (including the portable one for our sunrise service) for each of the services.

  • Last, but certainly not least, thank you Father Norman for guiding us throughout Jesus’ journey from entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to his resurrection on Easter morning. All eleven1 services came with its own special message allowing an opportunity for the family of God to gather in worship and remembrance.


Our next luncheon is Tuesday, April 12th, at 11:30 am. All are invited to join us at the new Bennigans, 3955 W New Haven Ave, just east of Sam’s Club on 192. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall.


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What was the name of Esther’s cousin who raised her after her parents died?

A. Hegai
B. Haman
C. Mordecai
D. Ahasuerus (also known as Xerxes)

Answer after birthdays


April Fools’ Day isn’t a religious holiday, though it may date to Pope Gregory XIII and his new calendar. In 1582, he shifted New Year’s Day from April to January, and people who didn’t believe the change were called April fools.

April Fools’ Day may also be connected to the lightheartedness that comes with warmer weather, as well as to medieval Christian festivals that involved pranks, disguises and a temporarily inverted social order.

Yet, in Scripture, such reversal characterizes the kingdom of God. In 1 Corinthians 1:18-25, St. Paul writes that the gospel seems foolish to people who don’t know Christ, that God uses the “foolishness of our proclamation” to offer salvation to all and that God’s foolishness is wiser than human wisdom. Jesus “foolishly” inverted the social order, saying the last will be first and the first, last.

So if on April 1 — and every day — we live as “fools for Christ,” we’re precisely what he calls us to be!sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen.


Thank you to all who volunteered for the 2016 ECW Annual Spring Card and Game Party. We had 39 ladies join us for a day of fun and games. Once again, the overwhelming attendees (77%) were not members of our church; it was wonderful opportunity of outreach and to shower them with St. Sebastian’s hospitality. This year we asked the ladies to share their comments and recommendations; I would like to share a couple that was representative of their inputs:

“Fabulous food and service.”
“Great chicken salad.”
“Excellent Chicken Salad.”
“I loved the chicken salad and appetizers.”
“The prizes and drawings were fun.”
“Nice to have the men participate as servers.”
“The desserts were wonderful.”
“Dessert buffet was fantastic.”
“What a wonderful day.”
“Fabulous Event.”
“A delightful day.”
“Great time, great food and great fellowship.”

So as you can see from the input from the attendees, our guests had a wonderful time. But that would not have happened without your gifts of time, money, shopping, baking, cooking, setting up, prepping, serving and cleaning up. As a result of all the hard work of our volunteers, ECW made over $1000, which will be used to support church needs and outreach activities. On behalf of the ECW Card Party Planning Team, thank you for your most generous support. – Valerie Lewis Coles

April 4th, 6 PM: ECW Business Meeting, Smodell Hall

April 7th, 9 AM: ECW social outing to McKee Gardens, Vero Beach, followed by lunch. $11.00 entrance fee to the gardens. Sign sheet in Smodell Hall. Last day last to sign up is Sunday, April 3rd. For more info contact Nancy Miller (321.482.3439).

ECW will be hosting a workshop for learning to make Chrismons. Chrismons are the Christmas decorations with Christian symbols on them. Chrismons are what we use to decorate our Christmas tree each year at St. Sebastian’s. The workshop will be open to all members of St. Sebastian’s and our workshop leader will be the very talented Jim Boyd. More information about Chrismons, the history of St. Sebastian’s Chrismons and the workshop itself, including date and time, will be forthcoming.


Sunday, March 13th, was a very special day for our Ruth Chapter of the Order of the Daughters of the King®. During the 10:30 AM Eucharist we welcomed Priscilla Blyseth and Elaine Gumbs as new Daughters. These ladies diligently and joyfully completed their twelve-week study period and have taken their vows of prayer, service, and evangelism. They now wear their silver crosses which were presented to them by our Diocesan DOK President, Barbara Spencer, and are among St. Sebastian's most dedicated prayer warriors.


“Mommy, if Jesus comes to live inside my heart, will I explode?” One of missionary Katie Davis’ adopted daughters surprised her with that question as they headed to the Nile River for some baptisms.

Although Davis immediately replied, “No!” she later realized: “That is exactly what we should do if Jesus comes to live inside our hearts. We will explode with love, with compassion, with hurt for those who are hurting, and with joy for those who rejoice. We will explode with a desire to be more, to be better, to be close to the One who made us.”

—adapted from Kisses From Katie


On, March 18, 2016, The Mauls drove to St. Petersburg FL to enjoy dinner at the annual banquet of the Florida Academy of Sciences (FAS).

First the good news: George was named the FAS 2016 Medalist! The bad news? George has to give the 2017 Medalist lecture.

The conundrum: What does a guitar-playing, folk-song loving, God-believer say? Hmmmmmmm, time to come out of the closet? Fortunately there is a year and a day to think about it and to PRAY.


One by one he took them from me, all the things I valued most, until I was empty-handed; every glittering toy was lost. And I walked earth’s highways, grieving in my rags and poverty till I heard his voice inviting, “Lift your empty hands to me!” So I held my hands toward heaven, and he filled them with a store of his own transcendent riches, till they could contain no more. And at last I comprehended with my stupid mind and dull, that God could not pour his riches into hands already full! —Martha Snell Nicholson

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Deacon George and Donna Smodell would like to thank everyone for the cards and prayers they received the last few months during their recovery.
What a blessing it is to be remembered by so many caring people. God Bless!
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2nd - Jerry & Joyce May
8th - Ernie & Ann Marwick
12th - Marty & Ilona Hindsley
17th - William & Carlene Gaillard


5th - Maggie Leinster
6th - Deanna Dickman
7th - Yvon Richard
10th - Norma Bennett
17th - Lois Peffer
21st - Jim Burley
25th - Kirk Johnson
26th - Dwight Divine

Answer to Bible Quiz: C (See Ester 2:7)


Ken & Gail Picking


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The church office is open Tuesday through Friday from 8 AM – 1 PM.
Phone number - (321) 723-3015, Fax - (321) 723-0009
Email -
Office -
Web site:
In case of emergency, you may call:
Priest: Fr. Norman Desrosiers – 321-243-4815 (cell)
Deacon George – 723-0069 (home); 890-6712 (cell)