St Alban’s Episcopal Church
Bolivar, Missouri
Saturday-Sunday, July 30-31, 2022

Picnic today (in the rain?)Baptism from several perspectives in the adult class – Rachel Held Evans

Luke 12:13-21 at Eucharist

Luke 12:13-21
Someone in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the family inheritance with me. “But he said to him, “Friend who set me to be a judge or arbitrator over you?” And he said to the man, “Take care! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions. “Then he told the a parable: “The land of a rich man produced abundantly. And he thought to himself, ‘What should I do, for I have no place to store my crops?’ Then he said, ‘I will do this: I will pull down my barns and build lager ones and there I will store all my grain and my goods.’ And I will say to my soul, ‘Soul, you have ample goods laid up for many years; relax, eat, drink and be merry.’ But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life is being demanded of you. And the things you have prepared, whose will they be?’ So it is with those who store up treasures for themselves but are not rich toward God.

So – Did you notice that once again Jesus is being asked to DO something about a perceived wrong? (“Tell my sister then to help me.”) Why doesn’t Jesus get into these disputes? Why does each one turn into a set-up for an unexpected response? How does this parable fit with a common Christian understanding that wealth is evidence of God’s favor? How do you feel about that photo and words from the movie, “Wall Street” and the American cultural/political/business view of “greed?” To what extent do you think that character might be right? Why is “soul” such a lousy translation – or interpretation of the word, “person”? What do we in American Christianity think we mean by “soul?” What does it let us escape? What might it mean to be “rich towards God?”

For the first time in weeks, rain is falling in Bolivar – and in points south as well. I am immensely grateful, as I know you are as well. And it is COOL today – only 75 degrees! The birds are going nuts with delight. The grass is already trying to green up. The leaves on the thirsty little trees have opened right up! (So is the southern deanery picnic rained out? Nope. It’s true that if this continues, we aren’t going to be outdoors in the way we had planned. But then we will simply be INdoors. There will be the same good food and the same fellowship.) It’s easy to see why rain has been a symbol of the Holy Spirit – water cleanses, refreshes, relieves desperate thirst, and saves (literally) plants and animals during a period of drought. Our weather is a perfect introduction to the Adult class tomorrow!

Rachel Held Evans for Tomorrow
Paula Shepard will be leading tomorrow’s conversation on the first chapter of the book, Searching for Sunday – The subject is Baptism. Please read it if you want to join the conversation tomorrow! (You may certainly come to listen even if you have not – but those who have read it will have the floor first!) Here’s a great quote to ponder before tomorrow: “I don’t think it matters much. Believer’s baptism strikes me as something of a misnomer anyway, suggesting far more volition in this circumstance than most of us have. Whether you meet the water as a baby squirming in the arms of a nervous priest, or as an adult plunged into a river by a revivalist preacher, you do it at the hands of those who first welcome you to faith, the people who have -or will- introduce you to Jesus….It’s an adoption, not an interview.” (Evans, page 8)

Jennifer Smith
Please be here if you are able, or send a card to express your appreciation for Jennifer as she retires. We will have a short coffee time to celebrate her ministry among us after Eucharist.



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