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

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I was recently visiting with the wife of a retired Brigadier General. He had died a number of years back. She recently had a stroke. When I went to visit her at a rehabilitation center, her speech came with great difficulty as she struggled to share her words and thoughts with me. She would get very frustrated while I patiently waited for her to get the words out. While sitting with this dear lady, I was reminded of the fragility of life and the difficulties that can come our way when we least expect them. There was a time in her life when she was independent and able to do whatever she needed but now is totally dependent on others to take care of her basic needs.

So what I am trying to get at? March is usually the month when things begin to change. The weather starts to remind us that spring is on the way. The grass and flowers are growing and many begin to plan vegetable gardens and outside cleaning. In the midst of this change, others are dealing with the fragility of life. The writer of Ecclesiastes reminds us that there is a time for everything under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die; a time to plant and a time to pluck up what is planted. . . Each of us enjoys life in our season.

For many in the church, this is the season of Lent. Lent is a time for us to take an accounting of our life and be assured that it is going in the best direction we can take it. Our relationships with friends and family and especially the church are very important. What are we doing to strengthen those relationships? We will soon see the season of Lent come to a close with the celebration of Easter. Easter, in itself, is a reminder of the special quality of life. A life that is alive in the Lord is a life that is filled with promise and joy. I hope we each will remember to strengthen our life with those things that are important.

The last time I visited this lady she recognized me as a priest in the church. Her face lit up knowing that God was concerned for her wellbeing and was there with her. She exhibited a strong faith as we talked more and more of God working in her life in this very difficult time. When I offered to pray with her, I thought she would jump out of her chair. We held hands and offered our lives to God right there in that place. I know she was able to feel the presence of the Lord as the words were spoken. When my visit was done, she made me promise to return and pray with her again. As a matter of fact, she asked if I would come every Thursday. I believe my visits give her a new look at life. She no longer feels alone in her room but she knows that God visits on a regular basis.

That is how it can be for all of us who make sure that the relationships in our life are important and dear to us, especially our relationship with God. Lent is a time when we celebrate that special relationship we have with God. May God bless you in all things and especially as you treasure those you love.


Fr. Norman†


Our next luncheon is Tuesday, March 8th, at 11:30 AM. All are invited to join us at Brano’s Italian Grill, 1940 Highway A1A, just south of the Lowes in Satellite Beach. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall.


Our Seder Supper will be held on March 23rd beginning at 6 PM. The Seder is one part of the present day Jewish seven-day Passover celebration and is an important part of history. Passover goes back to the time when God, through Moses, led the Israelites out of their slavery. The elements of a traditional Seder meal symbolize historically significant features of the Israelite experience. Please join us for a great experience and meal. There will be a sign-up sheet in Smodell Hall and the cost is $7.00 per person to cover the meal expenses.


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While Jesus was dying on the cross, who mocked him, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself”?

A. Priests
B. Scribes
C. Elders
D. All of the above

Answer after birthdays and anniversaries


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Joy is prayer. Joy is strength. Joy is love. Joy is a net of love by which you can catch souls. God loves a cheerful giver. One gives most who gives with joy. The best way to show our gratitude to God and people is to accept everything with joy.

A joyful heart is the inevitable result of a heart burning with love. Never let anything so fill you with sorrow as to make you forget the joy of the Christ risen.

—Mother Teresa


We sing and say “hosanna” every Palm Sunday but hardly ever in between. So what does that word mean?

That first Palm Sunday, crowds spread their cloaks before Jesus as people had before Jehu to proclaim him king (2 Kings 9:13). They waved palm branches in greeting — a traditional sign of celebration (Leviticus 23:40). And, of course, they shouted, “Hosanna!”

This was an exclamation of “a people in distress [addressing] their king or their god,” explains Bible scholar William Barclay. Drawn from Psalm 118:25, hosanna is Aramaic for “save now.” By the time of Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, Barclay says, hosanna may have “become to some extent only a cry of welcome and of acclamation, like ‘Hail!’; but essentially it is a people’s cry for deliverance and for help in the day of their trouble.”

“Hosanna!” is the plea of an oppressed people to the one they recognize as their true king: Jesus, their Savior.


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Gabriel (Gabe) Clark Johnson was baptized on February 7th, 2016, in a private ceremony. Welcome to the family!!

We thank you, Almighty God, for the gift of water. Over it the Holy Spirit moved in the beginning of creation. Through it you led the children of Israel out of their bondage in Egypt into the Land of Promise. In it your Son Jesus received the baptism of John and was anointed by the Holy Spirit as the Messiah, the Christ, to lead us. . . into everlasting life. . . In it we are buried with Christ in his death. By it we share in his resurrection. Through it we are reborn by the Holy Spirit.

—Book of Common Prayer


The International Day of Happiness is observed on March 20 (also the first day of spring this year; coincidence?). Jesus said we’ll be happy (or “blessed”) when we’re meek, merciful, pure and so on (see his Beatitudes in Matthew 5:3-12). In other words, happiness results from putting others’ needs above our own.

Research confirms that helping others boosts people’s self-esteem, forges strong friendships, offers a sense of belonging and purpose, decreases stress, increases gratitude and sparks others to “pay it forward.” In fact, University of Texas researchers found that the “activism cure” is a great way to overcome bouts of sadness. So get helping — and get happy!


In Scripture, the number three is thought to symbolize completeness ― above all, in the Holy Trinity. Dating back centuries, Thursday, Friday and Saturday of Holy Week are, in some Christian practices, called Triduum, or The Three Days.

How appropriate, then, to allow three Christ-followers from different time periods to remind us of the wonder God enacted during those three days:

“God put the wrong on [Christ] who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.”
―St. Paul, 2 Corinthians 5:21, The Message

“Through this blessed exchange, in which Christ changes places with us (something the heart can grasp only in faith), and through nothing else, are we freed from sin and death and given his righteousness and life as our own.”
―Martin Luther

“Nails didn’t hold God to a cross. Love did. The sinless one took on the face of a sinner so that we sinners could take on the face of a saint!”
―Max Lucado


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Remember to spring your clocks FORWARD an hour before heading to bed on Saturday, March 12th.


During the Vestry Meeting on February 20th, Fr. Norman announced Mike Coles accepted the position of Senior Warden. Other elected officers include; Bob Sielski as Junior Warden, Jane Conner as Treasurer and Lauri Stone as the Clerk of the Vestry.


We ate, drank and bought raffle tickets allowing us to raised $3,424.80 for St Sebastian's. Thanks to everyone who helped make this such a fun event, especially Dave Azar (the lobster man), Andy Mindel (the grill master), Valerie Coles, Kay Ives and Doreen Yandell. A great big hug to Janie and Gary Conner who lead the cleanup effort and all who were part of that team. Great job everyone, see you next year!

––Nancy Miller


The St. Francis Center for Restoration will hold its annual board meeting on Saturday, March 12th, 2016 at 8 AM in their office located at the church. All are welcome to attend.
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May joy and peace surround you,
Contentment latch your door,
And happiness be with
you now,
And bless you evermore.
May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks,
May your heart be as light as a song,
May each day bring you bright, happy hours,
That stay with you all the year long.

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Sunday, March 19 – Palm Sunday

Services at 8 AM & 10:30 AM

Butterfly “Entombment” after the 10:30 AM service

Wednesday, March 23

9:30 AM - Healing Service
6 PM - Seder Supper

Thursday, March 24 – Maundy Thursday

6 PM - Maundy Thursday Service
7 PM, Thursday until 12 Noon, Friday - Vigil
Please sign up for one-hour prayer times

Friday, March 25 – Good Friday
12 Noon - Good Friday Service
6 PM - Stations of the Cross

Saturday, March 26 – Holy Saturday

11 AM - Children’s Liturgy, Butterfly Release,
and Luncheon
7 PM - Easter Vigil Service

Sunday, March 27 – Easter Day

6:30 AM - Sunrise Service on the Beach
8 AM - Rite I
10:30 AM - Rite II with incense
Flowering of the Cross – 8 AM & 10:30 AM services

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2nd - Mike & Valerie Coles
3rd - Yvon Richard & Maggie Leinster
4th - Roger & Kelley Hunt
10th - Tom & Bridget Hanson
10th - Frank & Annie Hellen Thomas
25th - Arthur & Nancy Miller


10th - Gabe Johnson
13th - Howard Redding
13th - Chuck Zulager
19th - Norma Way
20th - Priscilla Blyseth
25th - Clare Metzel
25th - Frankie Mae Thompson

Answer to Bible Quiz: D (See Matthew 27:41-42.)


Sylvia MacAllister


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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)