Weekly Reflection and News: February 20, 2020

Six days later, Jesus took with him Peter and James and his brother John and led them up a high mountain, by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became dazzling white. Suddenly there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. Then Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good for us to be here; if you wish, I will make three dwellings here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.” While he was still speaking, suddenly a bright cloud overshadowed them, and from the cloud a voice said, “This is my Son, the Beloved; with him I am well pleased; listen to him!” When the disciples heard this, they fell to the ground and were overcome by fear. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Get up and do not be afraid.” And when they looked up, they saw no one except Jesus himself alone.

As they were coming down the mountain, Jesus ordered them, “Tell no one about the vision until after the Son of Man has been raised from the dead.”
Matthew 17:1-9

The season of Epiphany is nearly over. We have journeyed with the Magi, lo these seven weeks since the end of the Christmas season. We have traveled from Persia to Bethlehem; we have journeyed from Central America to the Skagit Valley; we have trudged the road of happy destiny from the First to the Twenty-First Century. Are you tired yet?

Moses spent forty days on the holy mountain before he was given the gift of Torah. Elijah spent forty days on the mountain hiding from those who would do him harm before he heard the voice of God in the still small voice. Jesus fasted in the wilderness forty days battling a variety of temptations – the greatest of which would be to stand in God’s shoes – before he returned home to Galilee to proclaim the Good News of salvation to a sin-sick and weary world. Are you tired? Are you hungry? Are you thirsty?

Jesus climbed the mountain with his friends. When he was baptized, the voice of God came to him: You are my beloved; you are One in whom I am well-pleased. Up on the mountain, the voice of God speaks up: This is my beloved. Listen to him!

Listen. There is so much noise in the world. There is so much static in the air. I am tempted to close my eyes, cover my ears, and bleat forth with a hearty la-la-la-la-la – hoping and praying the bleary, dreary drone of this world’s metal on metal screeching will stop. But Jesus taps the shoulder – yours and mine – and says, “Follow me.” And so we leave the din of battle behind and we follow him up and up until we find our head in the clouds. Uncovering our ears we hear it: Silence in the presence of the Almighty. Jesus glistens; we listen.

From here we return to the valley of the shadow. Jesus turns his face towards Jerusalem – his Exodus. He drapes his arms around the shoulders of his friends and says, “Let’s get going.” Those arms draped ‘round us will soon be stretched out for us, nailed to and old, rugged, ugly cross – fashioned from a Christmas tree we so recently gathered beneath with good cheer and joy; you’ll see.

Life is a journey. We have traveled with the Magi. Now let’s walk with our Lord. We need not fear, for He is with us and promises to be our food and drink every step of the way.

The Rev. Keith Axberg

Michael Boss, Carol Boss, and Fr. Paul MooreCarol Boss

Thank you to our church members who participated in our volunteer day at Skagit Habitat for Humanity and those who contributed to the lunch we provided on February 1st.: Father Paul, Michael & Carol Boss, Cathey Frederick, and Sharon Johnson.

It is very much appreciated!

Julie Hagen, Family Selection Committee member for SHFH


Sacramental Records for St. Paul’s Members
Please fill out a copy of the Sacramental Records Form in the Narthex and return it to office. St. Paul’s is trying to keep an updated file of its members for the sacraments performed at the Parish (and off site) such as Baptism, Confirmation, Marriage, etc.

Prayer during Communion
During communion, a member of Mary’s guild is usually available in the Fireside Room at the back of the nave for prayers. If you are interested in being a presence or just someone to share prayer with, speak to Jen McCabe during coffee hour.

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!

Next Choir practice for the month of February 2020 is on the 27th at 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary.

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper
February 25, 2020, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
Skagit Arts Preschool Mardi Gras Parade: 6:15 p.m.

Now is the time! Please see the sign-up sheets in the Parish Hall where you can sign-up to attend, donate needed items, and to contribute to the efforts at the event. Most importantly, plan to come and plan to bring a friend, neighbor or family member to introduce them to our loving and inclusive congregation family. This is the perfect event for first timers to meet all of us and to see what we are about.


Bayshore Symphony Winter Concert
Take a journey along the flowing Moldau River with Smetana’s symphonic poem “The Moldau”. Then, be treated to Haydn’s expressive Piano Concerto #11 with local piano soloist Anita Shuller. Our concert concludes with Dvorak’s well-known and American-inspired Symphony #9, “From the New World”.
$15 suggested donation, at the door. Free for children 12 and under.
Saturday, February 22, 2020 @ 7:30 pm – St. Paul’s

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. until March 8th. (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) 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.
If you had us order a book please pick up an envelope with your name on it in the office. Cost of each book is $11.19.

Serving This Sunday: February 16, 2020
8:00 a.m. Morning Prayer
Officiant: Maggie Bird

9:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist
Presider: The Reverend Paul Moore
Deacon: The Reverend Dennis Taylor
Music Director: Pam Pryor
E.M.: Mary Ann Taylor
E.V.: Mary Ann Taylor
Greeters: Roy & Kim Blumenhagen
*Coffee Hour: Vicki Wesen
Counters: Sharon Johnson, Margie Lauer
Sunday School: Trista Pendergrast
Sound: Ben Worrell
Flowers: Jen McCabe

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