Weekly Reflection and News: January 23, 2020

When Jesus heard that John had been arrested, he withdrew to Galilee. He left Nazareth and made his home in Capernaum by the sea, in the territory of Zebulun and Naphtali, so that what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Land of Zebulun, land of Naphtali, on the road by the sea, across the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles— the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and for those who sat in the region and shadow of death light has dawned.”

From that time Jesus began to proclaim, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”

As he walked by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea—for they were fishermen. And he said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” Immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went from there, he saw two other brothers, James son of Zebedee and his brother John, in the boat with their father Zebedee, mending their nets, and he called them. Immediately they left the boat and their father, and followed him.

Jesus went throughout Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and curing every disease and every sickness among the people.
Matthew 4:12-23

“Repent, for the kingdom of God is near.” The word “repent” carries a lot of religious baggage that unfortunately is negative in character. By that, I don’t mean that we just don’t like to repent and so it comes across as negative, I mean that we see the word repent as a turning away, but we do not see it as a turning toward. We see it like turning off the lights and leaving ourselves in darkness, or turning off the TV and finding ourselves in silence. Those disciplines of self-emptying are important, but they are never the final step. We empty ourselves of our self-centeredness so that we can discover others, and in discovering others, we find God.

It is not surprising that immediately after Matthew’s record of the beginning of Jesus preaching calling us to repent, Jesus calls Fisherman away from their nets to a new kind of fishing, fishing for people. Repentance calls us away from selfishness to a new kind of humanity. It calls us out of our ego into our spirit where we can truly love one another, and in loving one another we find that we love God and are loved by God. The call of God does not call us away from ourselves, but rather into the fullest expression of ourselves in relation to one another and God.

Following Jesus means to repent, and that repentance turns us toward life.

The Rev. Paul Moore
Priest at St. Paul’s (email)


You are invited!
Skagit Habitat for Humanity is pleased to announce the completion of the first two homes in the Batey Street neighborhood in Sedro-Woolley. These homes were built in a unique partnership with Habitat volunteers, the two Habitat families and students in the Sedro-Woolley High School Geometry in Construction program. Join us in celebrating these two families as they complete their journey to homeownership.
What: Home Dedication Ceremony
When: Saturday, January 25, 2020 from 3-4 pm
Where: 1205 & 1303 Batey Street, Sedro-Woolley

Following a short program, guests may tour the homes and refreshments will be served. An invitation flyer will be posted in the office window and on the bulletin board in the Parish Hall. You may also contact Carol Boss (360.399.7927) if you have questions or would like additional information.

Children’s Ministries help needed…
If you love kids and you love to worship, our new children’s worship ministry needs you! We are in need of volunteers to serve in various areas and roles. For more information, please see or e-mail Cathey Frederick at mamaotter45@gmail.com. A successful background check (done at no cost to you) and Safeguarding God’s Children Training will be required to serve in any capacity. Please pray about volunteering!

Faith Over Fear: Four-Hour Ally Training
Saturday, February 1, 2020 -1:00 PM to 5:00 PM
Trinity Lutheran Church: 6215 196th St SW, Lynnwood, WA 98036

The Faith Over Fear four-hour Ally Training will give you tested strategies to use in response to these challenging questions – and the fears that underlie them. Participants will learn about: Islamophobia and Its Impacts, Islam and American Muslims, Effective, Values-Based Messaging, and How to Respond to Difficult Questions. (Register Here)

Save the Date!
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper: February 25, 2020, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
In the recent tradition of fun and successful Shrove Tuesday Pancake Suppers, your Stewardship Committee is making plans for 2020. Please set this date aside in your calendars. There will be opportunities for you to give of your time and to let your talents shine! More importantly, it will be an opportunity to invite your friends and family to come and meet our welcoming and friendly church community. More details to follow!


Choir today!
The next Choir practice for the month of January 2020 is on the 23rd at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Inquirer’s Class – SUNDAY!
To inquire, to question and explore, fed by curiosity and the desire to know. Come find out about all things Episcopalian. Fr. Paul will be teaching this 6-session class on Sunday afternoons at 2:00 p.m. beginning on January 26th. (There will be no class on February 16th). Classes are an hour-long except for the last one, which will be an hour and a half. Attend all sessions for full impact, or as many as you wish, if unable to make them all. If you are thinking about officially joining the Church, this is the class you need; however, it is open to all.

Lenten Series based on Barbara Brown Taylor’s book
Wednesday Evenings in Lent (March 4, 11, 18, 25, April 1 & 8) we will gather at 5:30 p.m. in the Parish Hall for some rich community and conversation on An Altar in the World: A Geography of Faith. Order your book wherever you buy books or sign up on the sheet in the Parish Hall and we will order a copy for you. Come & see.

Serving This Sunday: January 26, 2020
8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
Officiant: Pat Kostanich

9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
Presider: The Reverend Paul Moore
Deacon: The Reverend Dennis Taylor
Music Director: Pam Pryor
E.M.: Penny Worrell
E.V.: Mary Ann Taylor
Greeters: Keith & Barb Axberg
Lectors: Tom Worrell, Marilyn Allen
*Coffee Hour: Sherri Greenleaf, Jen McCabe
Counters: Sharon Johnson, Margie Lauer
Sound: Ben Worrell

E.M. is Eucharistic Minister.
E.V. is Eucharistic Visitor.
* Sign-up sheet is in the Parish Hall.