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April 2017 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

Search Committee
Please continue to pray for our Search Committee:

Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your church, St. Sebastian’s and so guide the minds, hearts and wills of those who shall choose a rector for this parish, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Miles of Pennies (MOP)
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Miles of Pennies (MOP) provides free Christian literature to needy children worldwide. MOP also designates grants to allow for the distribution of recycled children’s books. St. Sebastian’s By-the-Sea has set a goal to donate one “mile” of pennies to MOP, which equates to $844.80. With our contributions to date totaling $187.77, we have just over $650 to go to meet our overall goal. We will submit our annual donation to the Diocese in May, so please continue to drop your spare change into the colorful collection jars located in Smodell Hall, the Narthex, and the church office. Thank you so much for your support of this important ministry.
XYZ Luncheon
Our next luncheon is Tuesday, April 11th, at 11:30am. All are invited to join us at Squid Lips, 1477 Pineapple Ave (west side of Eau Gallie Cswy). The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!!
ECW Outing to Bock Towers
The ECW is planning a day trip to Bok Tower and Gardens in Lake Wales on Monday, May 8.

The cost is $20 for park admission and the self-guided tour. Park hours are 9 until 5.  We will meet at the church at 8:30 am and car pool to the Gardens. There is a restaurant on site and the menu looks good so we will be eating lunch there. If you would like to go, please fill out the sign-up sheet which will be in Smodell Hall by April 9. If you want to do some research on Bok Tower, they have a good website, just Google it.

All women of St. Sebastian’s by-the-Sea are members of ECW. You do not have to attend the meetings to participate in any or all of the events. But please join us for any of the activities that are of interest to you. Guests are always welcome.

Friendship Dinner
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We would like to invite the members of St. Sebastian’s to join the friendship dinner group. Let me take a minute to explain the activity. We meet monthly at each other’s home for dinner and conversation. It is not a bible study, but is simply to have a good time and get to know our church family members better.  The host provides the entree and the guests bring all the other parts (appetizers, side dishes and desert). Everyone provides their own wine or beer. Valerie and Mike Coles are hosting the next gathering at their home on May 19 for the whole group. There will be a sign-up sheet in Smodell Hall closer to the event. Please consider joining us, it is fun.
A Book and an Evening About Joy!
Once or twice a year, our E.C.W. arranges a ladies' get-together for a workshop/discussion: about our spiritual growth as women of God, and about inviting the Holy Spirit into our lives.  We have done so in the past during Advent or Lent, but this year we have scheduled our workshop for Monday, June 5, 2017, in celebration of the season of Pentecost.  Truly a time of the Holy Spirit and of Joy too.  

The topic we have chosen for our evening together is a book by author Kay Warren,
"Choose Joy Because Happiness Isn't Enough".  Although June 5th is still quite a few weeks away, we are giving ourselves plenty of time to read in advance.  Hence, we will be ordering copies of the book and its companion workbook soon after Easter. There is a sign-up sheet in Smodell Hall for all who would like to participate and would like to have the E CW order the book(s) for you.  The cost for the book is not much, but let us know if the cost is a problem.  There is more information on the sign-up sheet and a copy of the book will be there too for you to look at.  

This will be an evening gathering, beginning at 6:00 pm and ending about 8:00 pm.  No worries if you cannot or do not want to drive after dark, we will be happy to arrange transportation for you. 

Ladies!  See the sign-up sheet for more information...........and save the date!

When We Can’t Find Easter
Easter is the most joyous Christian holy day ... except when it’s not. What do we do when our mood isn’t what we think it “should” be? The kids are sugared up, we’re juggling family gatherings (and maybe conflicts), our everyday challenges remain, and festive hymns — however rousing — fail to lift our spirits. We wonder, “What’s wrong with me, that I can’t seem to find Easter?”

Been there, done that. And it’s okay.
You’re okay.

Jesus’ resurrection doesn’t scoop us out of our troubles, but the death-defying Christ walks through them beside us, on our own Emmaus road (Luke 24). We aren’t alone. When we can’t find Easter, Easter somehow finds us — if not on this designated Sunday, perhaps two days from now, or next week or mid-May. Watch for it; keep your heart open. Christ is risen indeed — and you shall be too.

—Heidi Mann
Expanding Our View Of Service
We often think of serving in terms of Matthew 25: supplying food and clothing; caring for the sick, incarcerated and other “least of these” members of society — serving Jesus in the process. But we also can serve him with our unique talents and by doing things we love.

For example, Ged King, a barber in England, devotes some of his time off to giving homeless people free haircuts. Imagine Jesus saying, “For my hair was long and scraggly, and you cut it” — or “My heart was lonely, and you played music to lift my spirits. I could no longer read small print, and you read to me. I have to work two jobs, and you invited my child to spend afternoons crafting with you. My car broke down, and you repaired it.” Then the King will say, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father …
whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me” (Matthew 25:34, 40, NIV; emphasis added).

Bible Quiz
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By what other name(s) does the Bible identify the disciple we call “Doubting Thomas”?
A. Didymus
B. The Skeptic
C. The Twin
D. A and B
E. A and C
The Peacock’s Symbolism
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The beautiful peacock is likely one of the lesser-known Christian symbols. Based on an ancient myth that its flesh doesn’t decay after death, early Christians appropriated the bird as a symbol of immortality. The molting of its tail feathers each year to be replaced with supposedly more beautiful ones led to use of the peacock as a sign of resurrection and glorification.

Additionally, the eye-like pattern in the peacock’s tail feathers made it a symbol of conscience and of God, who sees all. However, the peacock also represents arrogance as it struts to show off its plumage. During the Baroque period, the peacock was often part of artwork at the 10th Station of the Cross, depicting Jesus stripped of his clothing—atoning, according to some teachings, specifically for our sin of vanity.

Early Christians believed peacocks shriek when they catch sight of their feet, which they consider ugly. Christians took this as a reminder that we, too, should lament our spiritual imperfections that detract from the beauty of life lived in Christ.
Without Jesus ...
Without the risen Savior in our hearts, life is like:
• A chocolate Easter Bunny — empty on the inside;
• An Easter bonnet — easily blown off kilter;
• Last year's Easter outfit — it doesn't quite fit right;
• An Easter lily — it soon withers and dries up;
• A bag of jellybeans — sugary and sweet but lacking substance;
• An unfound Easter basket — full of gifts that spoil and go to waste;
• A colored Easter egg — looks great but cracks under pressure;
• The Easter bunny — always hopping here and there;
• Marshmallow Peeps — becomes hard when opened up;
• Easter parade — a long journey with no destination;
• An unopened Easter card — a message of love unclaimed.

This and That
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†The Friendly Church
A friendly church is one where worshipers greet one another warmly and sincerely.

A friendly church is one where members seek out newcomers and make them feel welcome and important. Visitors hear that the congregation can help meet various needs: spiritual nourishment, Christian education, fellowship, friendship, service opportunities, support and comfort during difficulties and more.

A friendly church has something for everyone. It becomes a loving home where people desire to return frequently for spiritual, social, physical and emotional support.

Are we that friendly church?
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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:
Deacon George – 723-0069 (home); 890-6712 (cell)

Answer: E (See John 20:24, NIV and ESV.)