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January 2018 ~ St. Sebastian's by-the-Sea Newsletter

†Greetings from Rev. Garry Edwards
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XYZ Luncheon
Our next luncheon is Tuesday, January 9th, at 11:30am. All are invited to join us at Young’s Buffet in Palm Bay. The sign-up sheet is in Smodell Hall. See you there!!

†Annual New Year’s Day Historical Walk
The annual New Year’s Day historical walk through “old” Melbourne Beach begins 10AM at the River Pier located at the west end of Ocean Avenue by the park.

The FREE walk is easy and lasts a little over an hour. Historical photographs will be shown along the way. The event ends with a tour of the 125-year-old Community Chapel, the beginning of Christianity on the beach. A reception will then take place across the street in the historic Community Center.

For more information please contact Frank or Annie Hellen at 321-723-2655.

†Epiphany Service
You are invited! Holy Trinity Episcopal Church in Melbourne is hosting an Epiphany Service on Saturday, January 6 at 5:00pm in the main Church. Come and join the Magi as they follow the light of the star, leading us to the love and salvation of the Christ Child. The Rev. Brian Turner from Church of the Blessed Redeemer will be our guest preacher! There will be contemporary and traditional music which will fill you with the praise of God. Holy Trinity is located at 50 W. Strawbridge Avenue, Melbourne, FL 32901. If you have any questions, please call our church office at 321-723-5272. We hope you join us in this celebration!

†Book Club
The Women's Book Club will meet on Saturday, January 20th from Noon - 2PM.  Our book for January is A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle.  Please RSVP to Deb List at The plans are to bring a brown bag lunch and the host provides drinks and dessert.  Watch the Sunday bulletins for further information as there may be a change of venue.

†Kairos Prison Ministry
DWe would like to thank all of you who supported the last Kairos Prison Ministry (Nov 16 - 19). It was all we could hope for:  41 men completed the four-day short course and received the small wooden Kairos cross, presented with the words “Christ is counting on you.”  “And I on Him” - the response. The inmates were either renewed or converted. The following is a sample of the comments that the individuals made at the end if the weekend:

▪I broke down my wall (isolation). Found Peace, the fruit of the spirit mentioned in Galatians
▪This was my first time here (in this chapel) over 8 years. I’m glad!

▪There are gangs here. I belonged to one. Now Kairos is my gang.
▪I thought y’all were “golf refugees” looking for new entertainment! Now I know you had a real purpose.
▪Your stories (witness) made me cry. To be soft and cry is good for a man.
▪I am/was a Rastafarian (from Jamaica). Thanks for this opportunity to clear my thinking. 
▪I always believed that a Pentecostal and a Catholic couldn’t mix – now I know we all are one!
▪I see all my peers, who are now the Body of Christ, raised together. I see new life here.
▪Just to find that people are praying for us – even children! Thanks to God!
▪I had serious expectations – but not even close to what I received!  We are all family of God - Brothers!
▪The love I received! The words in these letters! They were so pure, so loving! Made me cry!
▪It changed me! I have a lot to change! Hard times right now!
▪At last, a change in my life – after two years here.
▪We found love, peace, forgiveness –Taking home a different self, the Joy of knowing God.
▪Our table family learned how to forgive and find peace, how to come together to share and care.
▪We learned we are not alone. We know we have Christ within us!  
▪We learned about peace, friendship!
▪We take away love of the Holy Spirit. Peace of mind.
▪We found understanding, acceptance, fellowship – there are a lot of “hard heads” with soft hearts!
▪We found friends, hope, family. If we can find these here in prison, we can find them anywhere!
The take away from this weekend for us is after 9 Kairos weekends in this prison in the past 4 and a half years, even with the normal attrition, the number of inmates, that are active in Kairos, is still growing. When we first started to go into the prison, we were told that the general prison population would not allow them to meet and have bible study and sharing groups. Now they can do so freely. Some of the old gang leaders are now leading faith meetings in the dorms. They are attracting others that have not gone to Kairos. We hear the inmates talking about converting others to Christ. Christ is having a growing presence in the overall population. In Kairos small groups the prisoners share about their life with Christ.
So many of you supported the weekend with your prayers, cookies and money. As you can see from the inmates that were quoted above, this just could not have happened without you. The Inmates were so impressed that you cared about them and supported the weekend. The actual cost of the weekend is about $5000. We need about 4000 cookies and endless number of prayers. You all really were big supporters of all 3. We thank you and I’m sure God is glad to see where your heart is as you did your part.
In Christ,
Walt Koenig and Gary Conner

†Prayer for a New Beginning
Dear Lord, touch me with your Spirit of truth so I may be honest about my sins and failures. Forgive me for treating your covenant lightly and at times ignoring it completely. Help me truly seek and know forgiveness for all the hurts I’ve caused, for harboring ill will and for any hardness of heart I may have. Please renew a right spirit within me that I may become more Christ-like and that my life may daily reveal your love and light. In your name. Amen.

†From the Correct Perspective
A child sat at his grandmother’s feet as she embroidered. Looking up, he saw a mishmash of threads and ugly knots but no discernible picture or words. “Nana,” he said with concern, “that’s not very pretty.” “Come up here,” Grandma invited, “and look at it from this side. You have to see it from my perspective.” “Oh!” the boy exclaimed then. “It’s beautiful!” Seeing the world from our human, earthly viewpoint, we can’t grasp the masterpiece that God is completing. But when we finally see it from his perspective, we’ll discover that the threads and knots all contribute to a beautiful work of art. That work won’t be finished until Jesus returns, but in the meantime, may God grant us an occasional glimpse of the work in progress — from God’s side!

†The Freedom of Forgiveness
Martin Luther King Jr. called forgiveness “a permanent attitude,” as opposed to “an occasional act.” Maintaining a forgiveness mind-set leads to peace and freedom.

Author and pastor Max Anders experienced that freedom in seminary. After cheating on a Hebrew final, he was distraught and confessed his sin to God and the professor. “I felt deeply cleaned. Pure. Holy,” Anders writes in
21 Unbreakable Laws of Life. “I wanted to laugh and cry at the same time. I wanted to run and jump and dance. The burden was lifted. … I was free!”

By contrast, he writes, “If we don’t ask for forgiveness when we wrong someone, we lose our moral authority; the debris of sin begins to accumulate in our hearts, choking our conscience …. Others know when we sin against them, and if we don’t make it right, it hurts our reputation as well as God’s.”

†Reserve the Date
Purchase your ticket now for the Taste of Barbados! Saturday, February 17th, from 4 – 10PM, here at St. Sebastian’s. The $30 per person ticket includes a Barbados rum tasting and dinner. For more information see Fr. Garry or Lauri Stone.

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†Get Out Your Calculator
• Begin with 66, the number of books in the Bible.
• Add 13, the number of Paul’s books in the New Testament.
• Add 7, the number of churches in Asia Minor (Revelation 1:4).
• Multiply by 3, the Trinity.
• Multiply by 12, the number of tribes in Israel.
• Multiply by 12 again, for the Apostles.
• Add 600, Noah’s age when the flood came.
• Add 3, for Noah’s sons.
• Add 30 the age of Jesus when he began his ministry.
• Finally, add 33, the age of Jesus at his crucifixion.
• Now, press the equal sign, turn the calculator around and read the number upside down. You’ll see the source for the solution to all of life’s problems.


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The church office is open Tuesday through Friday from 8:00 – 1:00 PM.

Phone number -(321) 723-3015,
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Web site:

In case of
emergency, you may call:
Fr. Garry Edwards at 1-646-232-6916