St Paul's | Chimes directory
January 9, 2005
I think it may have been in the early 1980's when I first noticed bumper stickers which proclaimed "In case of Rapture, this vehicle will be unmanned." At the time, I simply put it down to another case of falling under the spell of the likes of Hal Lindsey, whose book The Late, Great Planet Earth had been selling well enough to merit mention in Christian periodicals as a theological oddity. I had assumed that once the End Time events predicted in such books had failed to occur, particularly after the fall of the Soviet Union (a perennial favorite in the role of the Beast who would fight the forces of Light at the End), such interest as there was among the populace would disappear. I was wrong. As the huge sales of the recent series of novels depicting the Rapture and the End as it might affect the lives of ordinary Americans shows, there is a frighteningly large audience out there that is eager to believe such fantasies.
These novels, known as the Left Behind series, are best known for there depiction of the Rapture, the event, supposedly based on scripture, in which true Christians are suddenly, silently and instantaneously whisked away from their lives in this world to be with Christ. There then follow a whole sequence of events which supposedly follow the predictions of the End found in the Bible. They culminate in the horrific destruction of all of those who follow the beast by a ferocious Christ as well as the heavenly joy of all of the saved. What is not often pointed out is that the prophecies are constructed out of a whole series of separate passages of scripture in a concoction that did not exist in Christian theology until the Nineteenth Century, and that are considered fanciful and outrageous by most academic theologians and Biblical scholars.
I think that there has been a real failure of theologians and scholars
to expose this whole scheme of history as the bogus construction that
it is. That is beyond this little essay, but just let me point out how
the picture of the Rapture is contradicted by recent scholarship. The
Rapture is based on a few verses of Paul's letter to the Thessalonians,
I Thessalonians 4: 13-18. Paul gives his readers an image of the return
of Christ based on the visit of the Roman Emperor to a provincial city,
the Greek word Parousia is the same.
Notice also that in this passage, Paul assumes that he will be one of the living, which was not correct, and that the Lord's return will be "like a thief in the night" for which reason Paul, like the Jesus of the Gospels, tells Christians not to worry about signs of the End Times. That is actually good advice for us today. However we interpret the Biblical images of the End and the Return of Christ, the best we can do is to live lives of faith, hope, and above all, love, and leave the rest in God's hands.
Rev. Dr. Max A. Myers
The Kingdom Comes, One by One by One
Now when John heard in prison about
the deeds of the Christ, he sent word by his disciples and said to him,
"Are you he who is to come, or should we look for another?"
And Jesus answered them, "Go and tell John what you hear and see:
the blind receive their sight and then lame walk, lepers are cleansed
and the deaf hear, and the dead are raised up, and the poor have good
news preached to them." Matthew 11:1-2
The means by which disease may be prevented
are often simple: clean water, a good mosquito net, a vaccination, nutritious
food, some good advice from a traveling health technician who leaves
behind a few trusted neighbors trained in the provision of basic health
services. It's not --as we say --rocket science. It's usually very simple.
Yes, they were simple things. But they were signs of the kingdom -- Isaiah had said that these and many other sorrows would be conquered, and here they were, in the midst of the conquering. And it was quiet and simple. One by one.
The signs of the kingdom are the same today. Not much
in the way of fanfare. Just one-by-one things, simple things. Things
we can become part of, just by joining with those who visit the sick
we will never meet ourselves, who bring them food we could never bring
them ourselves, who bring healing and strength and encouragement to
the very poor whom we will never see. By ourselves we cannot be signs
of the kingdom to them -- they don't know us, and we are too far away.
"People are homeless, left destitute and need to be fed, clothed, comforted, counseled, and also moved from polluted areas," said Dr. Pauline Sathiamurthy, General Secretary of the Church of South India. "The Church is now engaged in round the clock work feeding adults, providing milk and biscuits for babies and children, transporting tankers with clean, drinkable water to prevent waterborne diseases, and providing the elderly and very young with blankets," said Dr. Sathiamurthy
To learn more about ERD's work in post-tsunami South Asia and southern Africa, visit http://www.er-d.org/ or call 1-800-334-7626,
Vestry meeting opened with prayer led by Bishop Fricker.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m. after Compline was said.
Priscilla Wiedl, Jr.
NOMINEES FOR OFFICE
Voting will be held on Sunday, January 30. Please be sure to check the list of eligible voters.
Youth Vestry Representatives
Background information on the candidates for office will be included
in the next issue of the Chimes.
ARE YOU A VOTING MEMBER?
In order to vote at the annual meeting to be held on Sunday, January 30, you must be a "voting member" as defined by our bylaws.
To qualify you must:
The Rt. Rev. J.C. Fricker December 6, 2004
Dear Rt. Rev. J. C. Fricker:
On behalf of over 500 food pantries, emergency shelters, soup kitchens, day cares and senior care centers that help to feed over 100,000 people each month, thank you for the recent donation of $950.00 from your chicken barbecue to benefit the Food Bank of Western NY.
Hunger is a growing problem in Western New York and through your efforts much needed food can be distributed to our les fortunate neighbors.
Again, many thanks for joining the fight against hunger.
GUIDED TOUR OF TWO GREAT CHURCHES
On Saturday, Jan 8, 2005, there will be a tour of both
St. Paul's Cathedral and St. Louis' Church, beginning at 10 am. We will
be celebrating the one-year Anniversary of the joint effort. The tour
is free, open to the public and occurs on the 2nd Saturday of every
month. For more information or to make a reservation call Martha Neri
A DOSAGE OF VITAMIN 'D' !
Bongo, Doumbek, Tubano, Djembe- the names of drums. Each native to various parts of the globe. A Bongo is Latin American, as is the Tubano. Doumbek is from the Middle East, Turkey and Eastern Europe and the Djembe originated in the Great Mali Empire in the 12th century.
Why am I writing about these things here? Well, we own some of these right here at St. Pauls. Between the youth group, the music committee and myself we have purchased eight drums to conduct drum circles and other such programs.
To be a participant in a drum circle is to be a participant in something wonderful and magic! As you play the drum and make music, you also become a part of the music and get a good, healthy dose of Vitamin 'D'. Be on the look out for future opportunities to come and join a St. Paul's Drum Circle.
Deacon Mick Szymanski
The Counseling, Advocacy, Referrals, Education and Services Program has been instituted in the UB School of Dental Medicine. The Program was initially developed to assist seniors in accessing dental care, but has since expanded to assist all age groups.
Often times, limited finances and transportation, dental anxiety and other barriers make it difficult for seniors to obtain needed dental care. Fully staffed by an MSW social worker, 7 MSW students and overseen by a Ph.D. social worker, CARES provides assistance to the over 10,000 patient seen in the School's dental clinic annually.
The School of Dental Medicine offers dental care at 33%-66% less than the customary cost of a private dentist.
If you need dental care or have any questions about what the School and/or the CARES Program can offer you, please contact Dr. Kim Zittel or James Wysocki at 829-2698.
SUNDAY, JANUARY 9, 2005
8:00 am Eucharist
AT THE CATHEDRAL THIS WEEK
Tuesday, Jan. 11
Wednesday Jan. 12
Thursday, Jan. 13,
Friday, Jan. 14
Saturday, Jan. 15,
SUNDAY, JANUARY 16, 2005
8:00 am Eucharist
AT THE CATHEDRAL THIS WEEK
Tuesday, Jan. 18
Wednesday, Jan. 19
Thursday, Jan. 20
Friday, Jan. 21
Saturday, Jan. 22,
The mission of St. Paul's Cathedral is to offer hospitality, healing and hope in the Name of Jesus Christ, in the City of Buffalo and the Diocese of Western New York.
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�2005 St. Paul's Cathedral, Buffalo New York