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

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While sitting in the office recently, I looked out the window and found myself recalling a song that came out in my late teen years. The lyrics went something like “roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer.” Of course there is more to the song as it mentions something about pretzels and beer, etc., but for now I want to focus on the lazy, hazy, crazy days.

It is common belief that Florida is just too hot in the summer. That may have been true in years gone by, but the more I look at how the climate has changed over the years, it is now a lot hotter in areas north of Florida than it is in our own state. Maybe Floridians survive these hot summers because we know how to deal with the heat. It is more than going to the beach or basking in the pool, we know how to find the air conditioning. Many will spend hours walking in malls or the stores in the area. We run from our air conditioned cars to our air conditioned houses. We find ways to keep cool and not complain about the heat and humidity. After all, that is why we live in Florida. Surely, we slow down considerably so that we can pace ourselves in these warmer months.

Summer might be a good time to take a hard look at our spiritual life as well. Since we aren’t running so fast or filling our lives with so much to do, maybe we can consider what we are doing to further our relationship with God. I don’t know about you but sitting around the pool with a good book is great but what if that book was the Bible or a book on improving our spirituality. Maybe we could begin to accomplish that goal of reading the scripture all the way through. We might take some of that time that we spend lounging around and enhance our prayer life by making a list of the people we know who need our prayer. I am sure they would appreciate our efforts. We might also think about making it a point to attend church each Sunday. After all, the church is air conditioned. It would be a great place to gather and be with family and friends. I am sure it will be a lot more comfortable than standing in the heat on a golf course.

Whatever your plans for these lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer, include time to grow in your spiritual journey. The rewards will be many. May God keep you each safe and sound this summer and touch your lives in powerful ways.

Fr. Norman†

XYZ LUNCHEON

Our next luncheon is Tuesday, August 9th, at 11:30 AM. All are invited to join us at the Dustin’s Bar-B-Q, 411 N Wickham Road. They have an excellent salad bar. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!!

BIBLE QUIZ

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Under what circumstances did strongman Samson become weak?

A. When a curse was spoken against him
B. When he slacked off on his weight-lifting exercises
C. When his hair was cut
D. When he was bound with ropes that had never been used

(Answer after birthdays)

BISHOP BREWER’S VISIT

Bishop Brewer will be visiting St. Sebastians’s on Sunday, August 21st. He will be here to celebrate confirmations, receptions and renewal of vows at a joint service at 9:30 AM. This will be followed by a potluck brunch. Please be sure to check your weekly bulletin for further information.

MEET THE AUTHOR - SUMMER READ EVENT

There is still plenty of time to join us in reading Jerry May’s latest book, Counter Balance Phantom Force. Jerry will be with us on Monday evening, August 22, at 6 PM in Smodell Hall to discuss his book and answer your questions. This evening is open to all the members and friends of St. Sebastian’s. Please join us even if you haven’t read the book, there will be plenty to talk about. Light refreshments will be served and the event is free. You can order Counter Balance Phantom Force, by Jerry May either through Barnes and Noble or Amazon; a Kindle version is available through Amazon. If you would like the author to sign your book, be sure to bring it with you on August 22.

CHRISMONS FOR ST. SEBASTIAN’S

Chrismons proclaim our Lord Jesus Christ through the use of symbols. These are the decorations that adorn our tree at Saint Sebastian’s every Christmas. ECW has been sponsoring workshops to create new Chrismons to add to our tree. Our next workshops are scheduled for Saturday, September 10, at 9:30 AM and Monday, October 3, at 6 PM, both in Smodell Hall. You need not have attended any of the previous workshops to make Chrismons for St. Sebastian’s. Instruction and assistance will be provided by the talented Boyd’s, Jim and Cara. All supplies are provided. The workshop is open to all members of St. Sebastian’s. Please join us for one or both of these workshops. We promise making Chrismons is fun and easy, no experience necessary.

A MONTH OF SUNDAYS

“August is like the Sunday of summer”, an online meme proclaims. But that means different things to different people.

If you see Sunday as the end of a week – a chance to sleep in, do “nothing”, relax and play – then August might be your downtime at the end of a busy summer. If Sunday feels heavy because the onslaught of the workweek is approaching, then August may carry the dread of falling leaves and falling temperatures.

But if you view Sunday as a fresh start to the week, then August, with a new school year and new church programming around the corner, can be exciting. And if you honor Sunday as the Sabbath, indeed “August is like the Sunday of summer”. God invites us to enjoy these holy days and give thanks to him, the Creator of all seasons.

Heidi Mann

MILES OF PENNIES

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The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) of St. Sebastian’s By-The-Sea supports Miles of Pennies (MOP), which provides free Christian literature to needy children worldwide. The MOP also designates grants to allow for the distribution of recycled children’s books. Thanks to your contributions, we have collected $40.92 during the past year to support MOP. Our ultimate objective is to donate one “mile” of pennies, or $844.80. To date, we have donated $187.77 toward that target. Let’s continue to fill the collection jar in Smodell Hall with spare change so we can reach our donation goal of one “mile” of pennies. Thank you so much for supporting this valuable effort.

CHOIR REHEARSAL

All voice are welcome to join the choir as we prepare for the Bishop’s visit on August 21st. Choir rehearsal takes place after the 9:30 AM service on August 7th and 14th.

GRACE IN, GRACE OUT

The computer acronym GIGO — “garbage in, garbage out” — describes how putting wrong code into a machine will lead to faulty output. Jesus offers a similar lesson in Matthew 15: “What comes out of the mouth proceeds from the heart, and this defiles a person” (v. 18, ESV).

GIGO works the other way, too. If we put good things (including the good news of salvation) “in” our hearts, Jesus’ goodness will shine “out” through our lives. And when God’s grace enters and changes us, we’ll also reach out and share that good news with others.

CHURCH RENOVATION WORKDAYS

We are now in the process of renovating the older portions of the church building. While the Sunday school teachers and other helpers are repainting and otherwise sprucing up the classrooms, we are also in Phase I and Phase II of renovating the old social hall, the Teen room, choir room, and music room. The following phases will address the back hallways, rest rooms, acolytes’ room, sacristies, nave and narthex.

We will be having work days on Saturday, August 13 and Saturday, August 27 to prepare and paint the walls in the Phase II areas. All members of Saint Sebastian’s are invited to come out and help or otherwise just kibitz and join in the fun. We will be working from 8 AM until noon on those days.  For additional information, contact Junior Warden Bob Sielski at
RASielski@att.net or 321-220-0829.

ECW SAVE THE DATES

  • September 12: ECW Business and Planning Meeting
  • October 3: ECW Social Event - Chrismons Workshop
  • November 7: ECW Business and Planning Meeting
  • December 5: ECW Outreach - Christmas Gift Bags

All events are at 6 PM in Smodell Hall

THE GREATEST EXAMPLE

How often we quote Leviticus 19:18: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” It’s not a bad standard to reach for; even Jesus repeated it (see Matthew 22:39 and elsewhere). But in John 13:34, as Bible scholar Dr. Harry Wendt points out, Jesus changes the wording slightly but crucially: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another” (ESV).

Perhaps during his time on earth, Jesus realized humans don’t actually love ourselves very much or very well. So using self-love as the bar by which to measure neighbor-love might be ineffective. Although we may act self-enamored and self-impressed, it’s often just a cover for inner feelings of self-loathing and self-doubt.

After washing his disciples’ feet and before sacrificing his very life for them (and us), Jesus changes the wording — and the example that will lead us: “Love one another not as you love you, but as I love you.” Unconditionally. Unreservedly. Wholeheartedly. Unto death. And into life everlasting.

TIME TO PAUSE

The Hebrew word selah (pronounced “say-lah”) occurs 74 times in the Bible — all but three of them in Psalms. Biblical scholars aren’t sure what it means, but a few ideas have predominated: a musical interlude, a break to ponder or “weigh” the passage just shared, an affirmation akin to “Amen.” Some scholars, noting connections in Hebrew to the word for “lift up,” suggest selah may indicate a place to stop and exalt the Lord.

The website GotQuestions.org advises that we combine these possible meanings: “When we see the word in a psalm or in Habakkuk 3, we should pause to carefully weigh the meaning of what we have just read or heard, lifting up our hearts in praise to God for his great truths.”

In the words of Psalm 24:10 (ESV), “Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! Selah.”

CHRISTIAN SYMBOLS - SEVENFOLD FLAME

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Tongues of fire are a common symbol of the Holy Spirit, based on the Pentecost events of Acts 2. However, when seven flames are depicted together, they also represent the seven gifts of the Spirit as named in Isaiah 11:2-3: wisdom, understanding, counsel, might, knowledge, fear of the Lord and delight in the fear of the Lord (sometimes paraphrased "joy in the Lord's presence").

A SMALL LAUGH

“God warned a man named Lot to take his wife and flee out of the city,” said the Sunday school teacher, “but Lot’s wife looked back and was turned to salt.”

A curious boy then asked, “What happened to the flea?”
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AUGUST ANNIVERSARIES

7th, Kurt & Sharon Belsten
19th, Ken & Ann Fredericks
28th, Tom & Debbie List
29th, Ralph & Sarah Miozzi

AUGUST BIRTHDAYS

3rd, Julia Lee Dulfer
3rd, Joshua Smith
5th, Joe Stempien
8th, Dylan Zito
11th, Eleanor Hillman
12th, Barbara Desrosiers
17th, Jordyn Blumberg
17th, Rudy Dean
18th, Myrna Lisevick
22nd, Karen Jepeal
22nd, Ann Marwick
24th, Sandy Fournier
25th, Jim Boyd
28th, Elaine Gumbs
29th, Helen Kunz

Bible Quiz Answer: C (See Judges 16:17-19)

†~ VESTRY MEMBERS & TREASURER ~

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† ~ CONTACTING THE CHURCH ~

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