St. Paul’s is a welcoming and inclusive community of about 280 members who come from all over the greater Milwaukee area.
We treasure the richness and diversity God has given our community, as it enhances our understanding of God.
You’d think the disciples would be overjoyed that Jesus is no longer dead. Surprisingly to us who know where the story is headed, their reaction is quite natural. They’re terrified he isn’t still dead. Oh, they’ve heard stories of Jesus sightings. Suddenly in their midst, as they talk of these, he appears. Yet, they still doubt, thinking he’s a ghost. Seeing his scared hands and feet – eating fish in their presence doesn’t help. We don’t figure out resurrection on our own, if at all. Only when Jesus gets into their heads – ours, opens minds do we get it. “Go. Proclaim repentance and forgiveness to all nations. Now you are witnesses of these things.”
CHORAL EVENSONG for the Easter Season
• 4:30pm on Sunday, 26 April 2015
• Featuring the voices of the Milwaukee Children’s Choir
There really is no better way to finish a spring Sunday in Eastertide than praying Choral Evensong with the St. Paul’s family.
Bring the day to a quiet, prayerful close with beautiful music and peaceful contemplation.
He is risen!
God’s redeeming work is done!
Spread the word!
Bring your family. Bring your neighbors.
The Love that is our salvation is no secret! Share the glory!
You most likely grew up hearing about “Doubting Thomas” and were told that if you doubt, you lack faith. If any of you are like me, this caused a lot of anguish growing up. Doubting meant that somehow you were not good enough, you did not pray hard enough or often enough to God to give you unquestioning faith.
Read about our connection to a German gentleman in the April Apostle…click on NEWS…then on the Apostle icon.
On March 20th this year spring arrived. I know because the TV weather guy tells me, and they’re always right. A few days later, I awaken – sun shining, warm breeze, birds singing, trees and flowers budding – yes, it’s spring. Then I open my eyes, look out the window. “It’s snowing. Dang” – well, somewhat close to what I said. And that is like the first Easter – shock and fear. The nightmare continues.
Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there when they nailed him to the tree?
Were you there when they pierced him in the side?
Were you there when they laid him in the tomb?
I am pretty sure, you are familiar with this soul stirring Afro-American spiritual. You will hear it later on in this service.
Twelve years ago, on Good Friday, I was asked by my then rector, Fr. Mann, to carry a large wooden cross into St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Amarillo, TX, while the choir was singing this hymn. It was a life changing experience for me, and each time I hear it, I am transported back to that powerful moment in my life when it finally occurred to me: I am also responsible for what happened to Jesus more than 2000 years ago! I placed the cross in front of the altar, and with tears streaming down my face, I returned to my seat, a changed person. By the grace of God, that was my “moment closest to Christ.”
“Truly this man was God’s Son.” A Roman soldier, a peace enforcer, not a peacemaker, says these words. Does he know what he’s saying? Does he mean it? He could be next up on a cross if someone reports him to Rome. Caesar and, NO OTHER, is God’s Son for him. Jesus is not his people. Is he changing sides?
If you believe in a divine being surely you’d want to know: “what is that being like? How do I relate to this being?” Warning: scripture won’t give you clear, direct answers. Trying to figure you’ll get a clear bead on the divine plan will be tough. Things start okay in Genesis, when God creates – earth, sky, seas, animals, and finally people who, unlike the rest of creation come with free wills, which they immediately test – you remember, that tree thing. For trying it out, the first couple gets evicted. Things quickly deteriorate. Heard of the big flood? God sends it to wipe out and restart creation. Does God really kill Egyptian boys – drowns the army, to help out His chosen, and then commands them destroy a people and take their country? God sounds more like tribal warrior gods who lead Israel’s neighbors. Israel’s God tries to keep the Chosen, chosen. To straighten folks out God sends prophets, who get few positive results. Isaiah cries out for God to rip open the heavens and get down here and fix this mess. Finally God does, once and for all – Jesus – Incarnation, which says this all powerful Almighty Creator stoops to become like us, to relate to us – and clear up some bad rumors about him.
I suspect everyone here today is familiar with John 3:16: “God so loved the world, he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.” You may have learned the verse in Children’s Sunday School, at Vacation Bible School, or memorized it from NFL end zones when some religiously inclined fans held up the citation. You get it.