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

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September seems to be a month of new beginnings for many. We return from summer vacations, we prepare ourselves for a new year of school, and, for many, a whole new experience, as they move on to new schools or colleges. This also causes our thoughts to begin to turn to a season filled with the joy of holidays and seasonal changes. We are frequently caught up in the midst of many different thoughts and emotions.

The church is surely in the same situation. We focus on the start of Church School and begin to prepare for our annual Pumpkin Patch with visits from some of our local school children. Also, we begin to get excited about the holiday celebrations in our liturgical life. We go through adjustment and change all the time but tend to push it up a notch in September.

I have challenged our vestry to use this opportunity to focus on youth and our youth programs. If we are honest we must acknowledge that we are not a young congregation. Truthfully, if we look ten years from now, things could be in a critical place with respect to church membership. What are we offering our community, and, especially, the young people of our community? Are we willing to volunteer some of our time and skills to make our church community a welcoming place for young people to attend and meet Christ on their life journey? I would expect that the young people of our church and community may have different answers than the adults. Perhaps we need to listen and take notice to understand the needs that are evident in our time together.

The theme of our readings in August asked us to take note of the emphasis we put upon our time and tithe. It is very easy to focus on worldly riches, or the lack of riches, and spend less time on our investment in the heavenly kingdom where we hope to find ourselves taking residence one day. How much time are we giving to God and how much to our personal lives day to day?

The community of the church includes all people. The ministry of the church is ours. Are we all involved in ministry to the community of God and one another, or do we leave the bulk of the ministry to the few who tend to come forth and volunteer on a regular basis? Is it easier to sit in the back and hope someone else will raise their hand? It is interesting to hear how busy we all are when asked to serve on the vestry or teach a Sunday School class. Run a youth program? That is not my gift! We have every excuse going when the church seeks laborers but find ourselves with plenty of time to enjoy those things the world has to offer.

As I stated earlier in my ramblings, September provides us with an opportunity for new beginnings. My prayer is that we see this month as a time when St. Sebastian’s by-the-Sea Church begins anew the commitment we make to our young people, our community and each other. God continues to bless us with some strong leadership and a caring attitude. Are we willing to look toward our investment in the heavenly kingdom as we begin this new season? Will we give back to God what is truly God’s? I invite each of us to pray and ask our Father what He would have us do this year. I expect you may be surprised at His answer. I pledge to pray also as we each seek God’s desire for the community of St. Sebastian-by-the-Sea Church. May He continue to add His blessing to our church and each of us on this journey.

Fr. Norman†

XYZ LUNCHEON
Our next luncheon is Tuesday, September 13th, at 11:30 am. All are invited to join us Bonefish Willy’s at 2459 Pineapple Ave. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!!
BIBLE QUIZ
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Which of the following sports does Paul use metaphorically to describe the Christian life?

A. Fishing
B. Running a race
C. Boxing
D. Both B and C
E. All of the above

(Answer after birthdays)
FOR EVERYTHING THERE IS A SEASON
Dear Fellow Parishioners,

The writer of the book of Ecclesiastes writes, “For everything there is a season….” After much prayer and discussion, Barbara and I have decided that we are ready to retire from full time ministry. I hope to remain as rector of Saint Sebastian’s until December 31, 2016 with a retirement date effective January 1, 2017.

There are many factors we considered when making this hard choice. You will remember that only a few years back I experienced a heart attack. This came as a wake-up call since I had never been a patient in the hospital up to that point, having only visited many of you when you were sick. Being on the other end reminded me that time can be short and uncertain. There are things Barbara and I would like to do, such as spending more time with our grandchildren and family.

We will not be going anywhere as many thought we might be moving away. For the time being, God is leaving us in the Melbourne area to continue to serve as a supply priest to churches that need the help. I have informed the Bishop and he has given us his blessing as we move to the next stage of our journey. I pray that God will continue to bless this parish and the people who worship here as a family. I do pray you will all understand that as I get older, I realize more and more that it is time to pass the baton to the next generation. God bless you all for your love and support.

Fr. Norman and Barbara

BOOK CLUB
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Women's Book Club will meet Saturday, September 17, at Nancy Miller's home from Noon - 2 PM.  Our book for this month is Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. Bring a brown bag lunch, drinks and dessert will be provided. RSVP to Nancy at 725-1598 so she knows how many to expect. We are always happy to welcome new members. Come check us out. If you have any questions, please contact Doreen Yandell at dyandell56@gmail.com or 427-8788.
SUNDAY SCHOOL ROOM RENOVATION
Much thanks to Lauri Stone, Nancy Miller, Karen Jepeal, Bob Sielski, Lisa & Kirk Johnson, Alison Mindel and Doreen Yandell for cleaning, painting and restoring the Sunday School room. It looks beautiful and we are looking forward to the kids' reactions when they come back in September. It is very bright and cheery and will be a wonderful place to spread God's word in a fun environment. Also thank you to Fr. Norman, Shawn & Andy for rehanging the doors, Kayla for cleaning the nursery, and Kay Ives for cleaning all the toys. They are just waiting for some kids to play with them.
FALL IS HERE!
TIME TO START THINKING PUMPKINS!
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Yes, it is that time of year again. Soon, our Pumpkin Patch will be up and running. As you all know, it takes the whole church to have a successful Pumpkin Patch. Here are the important dates to mark on your calendars for September and October.

September 18th - Sign Up Sheets for all pumpkin patch activities will be in Smodell Hall.
October 8th - {Saturday} The Pallets will be set out on the lawn. WE NEED PEOPLE WITH STRONG BACKS who can lift pallets out of the truck and place them on the ground. Do you know any high school students or other young people who could help? We give community service hours!
October 9th - Stuff Goody Bags in Smodell Hall after 10:30 service.
October 15th - {Saturday} PUMPKINS ARRIVE! WE NEED folks to unload pumpkins, serve water to workers and sell pumpkins following the unloading. Alison has already gotten the Scouts and their parents to help out.
October 16th through October 31st - WE NEED SELLERS EVERY DAY AND SOMEONE TO PICK UP DAMAGED PUMPKINS AND PLACE IN DUMPSTER EVERY TWO TO THREE DAYS.

Sure hope I can count on all of you!
Pumpkin Patch Patty Over And Out {aka Judy Divine}
ST. FRANCIS CENTER FOR RESTORATION
We had a wonderful turnout for Fr. Matt Linn's workshops on near death experiences. It was truly an ecumenical evening with over 6 denominations in attendance. We still have 3 books that have been paid for by a parishioner for anyone who would like one. See Renee' Koenig or call 728-8222.
 
Taize begins again Monday, Sept. 12th, 7:15 PM. Confirming our Bishop's sermon last month, Taize offers a place to really connect easily with the spiritual around us. There is silence, quiet meditative music and reading to help us focus on the holy. We use the traditional Taize songs from France and Debbie Bruckart lends her voice and guitar to lead us.
CHARIOTS & HORSES
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses,” proclaims Psalm 20:7 (NKJV). “But we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Do these antiquated modes of transportation make this verse irrelevant to us? Not if we broaden our notion of chariots and horses. Some trust in fancy cars, boats, bikes or snowmobiles for status or entertainment. Some trust in big houses, expensive furniture or high-end fashion to feel important. Some trust in investments or a promised inheritance for security. Some trust in food, painkillers or alcohol to feel good — for a while. Some trust in military might, academic degrees, sports, relationships and so much more. Let’s help one another trust instead in the name — and trustworthiness — of our God. Even the psalmist didn’t do so alone; verse 7 says “we.” We need friends, Christian mentors and, above all, the Holy Spirit to assist us. In God we’ll find our answers, our strength and our purpose.
THE PROVIDENCE
OF GOD
LABOR DAY POEM
The seed was sown long months ago, And through the winter’s cold and snow, We trusted that God’s care would bring The green and tender blade in spring, Which cherished by the sun and rain Of summer, now has yielded grain In autumn, when the reaper leaves His cot to cut and bind the sheaves …

So God’s great mercies thus abound; His love still brings the seasons round; His blessings fill our happy fields, And all our land its increase yields: So if we serve him as we should, Our Lord will give us all things good; And he who doth the ravens feed Much more will give us all we need!

— Author unknown
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If a task is once
Begun,
Never leave it till
It’s done.
Be the labor great
Or small, do it well
Or not at all.

MODERN DAY MIRACLES
At the mention of miracles, we often picture the biblical kind: a dead person brought back to life, a small amount of food feeding a crowd, sight restored to a blind man. Yet even today we look for unexpected healings or an earthquake victim found alive after days amid rubble. But consider someone born with poor eyesight who, thanks to technology, can work as a professional proofreader or create intricate digital paintings. Consider someone with a prosthetic leg who can run and even win races. Consider someone who, thanks to a donated heart, kidney or blood, continues to live. Consider friends in the United States and Europe who can connect in “real time,” offering support during a crisis. Technology — whose source is the human brain created by God — makes possible a new, modern-day type of miracle. When used for good, it can overcome barriers, allowing us to celebrate life and serve one another. Miracles, indeed!
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SEPTEMBER ANNIVERSARIES

4th, Walt & Renee´Koenig
12th, Gary & Ionie Lane
24th, Mike & Dorothy Dagley
24th, George & Donna Smodell

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS

4th, Connie Collins
4th, Andy Mindel
5th, Fred Zeit
10th, George Toler
11th, Marty Hindsley
12th, Kayla Mindel
13th, Ralph Miozzi
18th, Rob Dickman
20th, Joyce May
24th, Carlene Gaillard
26th, Marilyn Carter

Bible Quiz Answer: D (See 1 Corinthians 9:24-27)

†~ 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)