This week’s memory verse: Great are the works of the Lord, studied by all who delight in them.Psalm 111:2

Pray the week: Lord, You give us great knowledge so to draw closer to You. Grant that we may not be so proud in our knowledge as to loose faith in You.

Faith discovered.
Faith lived.

“I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But it was for this purpose that I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it and will glorify it again.” The crowd there heard it and said it was thunder; but others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered and said, “This voice did not come for my sake but for yours.

This past week we heard news of the death of Stephen William Hawking who was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, and author. He offered the world wonderful scientific insights, theories, and suggestions. We could also connect with his long standing health issues and his courage in moving forward, in spite of challenges. He believed and lived like a person of faith, yet he was not a person of faith. He was an avowed atheist and did not believe in God, heaven, or eternal life. This sermon is not a judgment on his life. Rather, it is an exploration of how we come to and live faith. Can we do at least as much for God as he did for science?

Faith and science are processes of discovery, however their conclusions vary. The ‘scientific method’ is one lengthy testing to find results that are never really final. Science never draws absolute and bulletproof conclusions because a scientist knows that information or thinking might require they back up, re-test, refine, expand, or reject previous thinking. Faith, in contrast, is about making a clear and absolute statement: I believe.

In today’s gospel, Jesus calls the world to faith and to live out faith. For those who seek leadership He sets forth His example that also calls us to leadership. For those who connect with story, he provides analogy and asks us to preach His words. For the scientist, He provides evidence and calls us to testimony. Jesus calls us to get to faith, to accept it, and once there, to live faithfully.

Jesus is drawing near to His death. Hear His words: “I am troubled now. Yet what should I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’?” Jesus was totally tuned in to the will of His Father. He makes an absolute statement of trust, placing His faith in the Father’s will alone, no matter where it might lead, even to his death. Jesus calls us to the same faith through His example. He calls us to act in absolute faith. Not ‘oh, but…’ Instead, ‘yes, Lord.’ Yes and, I will live it Lord!

Jesus gives us the grain of wheat and its lesson. We have to let go of the notions we cling to; we have to let our grains of wheat die so that new revelations come to us. Letting go of what we cling to is an act of faith-filled trust. Letting go is an act of living our faith.

God does not leave us to guess. We have Jesus, first hand testimony, and evidence for our sake, yet some will not hear, accept or live faith. Thanks be, we have come to faith and live it.

Our annual Basket Social & Polish Kitchen will be held on Sunday, April 15th from 12 until 4 PM at the Rotterdam Senior Citizens Center, 2639 Hamburg St, Schenectady, New York 12303

Polish food will be served as well as homemade desserts. Tickets are $2 for admission, and $12 for a sheet of 24 tickets plus a door prize chance. There will also be special raffles for more expensive items such as jewelry and electronics.

We look forward to seeing you!

This week’s memory verse: By wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is establishedProverbs 24:3

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, I dedicate my life and my home to You. Grant that both shine forth with Your joy so that others may know You.

You house,
My house.

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

Today, our Psalm response is taken from the first verse of Psalm 122. It speaks of the overwhelming joy, gladness, happiness that comes to us when we enter the house of the Lord. When David heard the people say that they wanted to go up to the Lord’s house, His temple, his heart leapt for joy; We are all going, we are joining as one to meet the Lord.

Do we know how David felt? Are his words part of our experience? I can say that I know. Our Church and this parish are a place of joy for me. I can proclaim, using the words of Psalm 26: O LORD, I love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy glory dwells. I hope David’s words and this place are joy for you too.

The Psalms mention the Lord’s house at least forty-seven times. Each mention is tied to praise, blessing, and renewal. In 1897, our forbearers sought a place of joy. They wanted to go up to the house of the Lord. When they got there, they wanted to find renewal and gladness. They didn’t. Rather, they found oppression. The vine they believed they were part of had withered; it was no longer grafted unto Christ but onto the political and economic interests of men of power. Psalm 127 instructs us: Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. And so, the men and women of that time determined to rebuild the Lord’s house. They did it, and because they did so, we can all say with Psalm 5: But I through the abundance of thy steadfast love will enter thy house.

Here we are, 121 years later. Today, we celebrate along with the words from Psalm 23: I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. More than celebrate, we continue to grow in our joy. How and why?

We continue to grow in joy because our Holy Church teaches that the house of the Lord is not just a temple or a building; it is our homes, it is our places. The house of the Lord extends beyond the walls of this parish church and encompasses our families, or neighbors, our communities, and all who seek to enter the house of the Lord. For those who do not know the greatness of this house, we are sent forth and called to make them part of our family. Repeating the words of Psalm 84 we can call to them saying: Blessed are those who dwell in the Lord’s house, ever singing His praise!

We continue to grow in joy because, as Psalm 92 says: We are planted in the house of the LORD. Being planted there means the house of the Lord goes where we go. Through our faithfulness and dedication to the Lord’s house, our homes and our families become bound together in the house of the Lord. Our homes become mini-models of His house. Our homes become places of praise and joy if we invite the Lord into our family life. Being in the house of the Lord, making our homes His house, and joining our families to Him we have the confidence David had and can say with him: Praise the LORD. you that stand in the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God!

God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

Escape is really popular. Whether we think of our everyday trials and challenges (I wish i could leave this all behind), or amazing escapes after a tragedy has struck (I can’t believe they found them under all that rubble), or the things we do just to get away (TV, music, gaming, virtual reality) we connect with the idea of escape. You might expect a church newsletter to go on about staying connected to reality – a lecture about being responsible and staying connected and involved. Even though it is Lent, we won’t go there. Everyone needs a little escape time, some respite from the everyday. What faith and Church is more about is the fact that our “reality,” the struggles, pains, failings, sins, disappointments, weaknesses we all know too well will not win or overcome us. We have escaped. More than two thousand years ago, God’s plan of redemption altered our reality forever. The reality and power of sin and death was broken through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ that first Easter. Death was defeated. True life, spiritual life, God’s life triumphed. We have escaped sin and death in Him. Over the next weeks, we will complete our Lenten journey, enter into Passiontide, and journey together through the events of Holy Week. We will connect with the brutal reality that changed our reality and provided us escape. Escape from sin and death in Jesus is true life. We are alive to Jesus’s life, sacrifice, and power. The new escaped life Jesus provides us is reason to celebrate! It is reason to respond to God’s open arms and His invitation to draw near to Him. Join us in these weeks and days as we experience the life-giving truth of God’s power. Find freedom, real escape, and transformation. Become part of God’s new life and creation.

Join us for the final weeks of the Lenten season, our Lenten retreat, Passiontide, Holy Week, and Easter – April 1st. A huge thank you to all who supported Souper Bowl Sunday and our Valentine’s Raffle. Need ideas for celebrating lent as a family, check out our suggestions. We look forward to having you in our family!

You may view and download a copy of our March 2018 Newsletter right here.

This week’s memory verse: Knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, but with the precious blood of Christ1 Peter 1:18-19

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, grant that zeal for Your will and way of life might consume me. Grant me the grace of valuing rightly.

Valuing depth and

He made a whip out of cords and drove them all out of the temple area, with the sheep and oxen, and spilled the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables, and to those who sold doves he said, “Take these out of here, and stop making my Father’s house a marketplace.” His disciples recalled the words of Scripture, Zeal for your house will consume me.

What do we value? Today’s scriptures confront us with that question and ask us to consider the value of our salvation in light of everything else.

Paul, in writing to the Corinthians, places three things of value on the table: wisdom (think learning, knowledge, and education), signs (think miracles, wonders that cannot be explained), and Christ crucified (our salvation). He is asking us to figure out what is most important, not in philosophical or conceptual terms – but in reality. What would we give our lives and our all for? And, if we were to give our lives for that thing, which of them would carry us beyond the here and now and into an eternity of bliss? These questions assist in defining our commitment as Christians and the depth of our faith by drawing value comparisons.

Knowledge or wisdom will surely not give us eternal life. They are the most ephemeral of things. When we die, all our knowledge and wisdom is gone. We could have a wall full of degrees, but none would be valuable enough to act as a passport into heaven.

Signs and wonders might get us a little closer. At least we would be acknowledging a power beyond ourselves. But, that alone will not get us to heaven. In fact, Jesus saw right through people who would only follow Him while He entertained them with signs and wonders. He also knew that His people had a history of experiencing all of His Father’s signs and wonders, and still wandered away in faithlessness. No, signs and wonders do not hold enough value.

If we set those two things aside as not valuable enough, we are left Jesus crucified. We know that faith in Him is entry into heaven. He is the only assurance we have. So, He should be at the top of our value list. In fact, all our values should flow from His being at the top of our list.

Jesus demonstrates this during His visit to Jerusalem. His Father was His sole value. Love for His Father, and His Father’s will, consumed Him. It was never about the building, the temple, it was about His value choice.

Jesus saw that the people of Israel had their values all wrong. They were focused on paying for form over substance. He is asking them to re-define their commitment and the depth of their faith in his Father. Is it about a building, a place, or setting values correctly? He asks us the same question each day. Lent is about our value choices, and what’s on our list.

This weeks memory verse: For from days of old they have not heard or perceived by ear, Nor has the eye seen a God besides You, Who acts in behalf of the one who waits for Him.Isaiah 64:4

Pray the week: Lord Jesus, thank you for bringing me into relationship with You. Help me to remain close to You and declare You boldly.


He was transfigured before them, and His clothes became dazzling white, such as no fuller on earth could bleach them. Then Elijah appeared to them along with Moses, and they were conversing with Jesus.

The absolute purity, perfection, wisdom, and justice of God make encounters with Him a fearful event. None of us is really worthy of such an opportunity. Additionally, what would we say? How could or would we explain ourselves. His all-knowing presence would see into the deepest parts of our hearts and minds. All would be revealed. We would be crushed in our own sins.

Very few in Old Testament times sought out an encounter with God. Those who knew Him either lived in fear and trembling or ignored Him and went their own way. Yet, God did not let Himself remain distant and unknown.

In Old Testament times, God set forth to walk with men and women. He encountered them, called to them, and led them. Among those who encountered God were: Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham (as we hear in today’s first reading and at other times in his life), Sarah, Hagar, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob, Moses, Aaron, Solomon, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, Daniel, and many of the prophets.

With Jesus coming, all who saw and met Him met God in the flesh. The people who recognized Him as Messiah prior to His resurrection included: Mary, John the Baptist (in the womb and when they met at Jesus at the Jordan), Simeon and Anna, Peter, the Samaritan woman at the well, Martha and Mary, the Thief on the Cross, the Centurion at the cross. After the resurrection, the remaining Apostles and 500 disciples and the two traveling to Emmaus recognized who He was.

We, like those who met Jesus after His Ascension (Stephen, Paul, and Ananias) are also able to encounter God. He remains close and accessible to us

St. Paul offers us the same reassurance he had. He does not say that that we are somehow perfect or worthy of encountering God on our own, but that God has extended Himself to us. He has chosen us and has reconciled us so that we may encounter Him in love and fellowship. By His effort – the graces won by his Son, Jesus – we are able to freely draw close to Him. Our sins no longer crush us. In fact, they have been washed away.

Today we see the three accompany Jesus up the mountain. There, they are treated to the Divine vision; the eternal breaking into the world. Jesus is completely revealed to them. Again, God reaches out to us. The encounter with God did not kill the three. Instead, they saw all God is and all He offers.
This Lent is the chance. It is the time to draw close encountering God, to remain with Him and to enter into His Divine life in new freedom without fear.