We invite you to come to our church and worship with us anytime. The Episcopal Church members are held together by our common worship and the loving respect we give to each other. Our worship is Biblically centered and highly participatory; modern, but poetic and of ancient origin.
The sacrament of Holy Communion, the Last Supper Jesus shared with His disciples, continues to be central to our worship and present to us today. All baptized persons are invited to share in this meal of bread and wine.
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Fr. Shevlin's Message
In the parable of the Good Samaritan found in the Gospel of Luke 10:30-37, we find a man who fell into the hands of robbers; they strip off his clothes, beat him and leave him for dead. A priest comes by and crosses the road to avoid him. Also a Levite comes by and crosses the road to avoid him. But then a Samaritan comes by, took pity on him, cleaned his wounds, put the man on his donkey, took him to an Inn, cared for him the night and in the morning paid the Inn keeper to take care of the injured man until the Samaritan could return. Now the priests were considered holy men of God and the Levites were members of the Tribe of Levi, who had special temple duties. So these two men were supposed to be highly respected. But what did they do, they walked away from a man in trouble. The Samaritan on the other hand was not a full-blooded Jew, he was of mixed blood, part Jew part Gentile, and so looked down upon. Most of the Jewish people believed that they were the only chosen people of God. So it was least likely that a Samaritan would help the man who was hurt.
In the story of the Greek woman who had a daughter who was demon possessed is found in the Gospel of Mark 7:24-30. In the story, Jesus went to the area of Tyre, trying to keep His whereabouts a secret, but people found Him, including the Greek woman who begged Jesus to drive the demons out of her daughter. And even though they were not Jews, Jesus healed the woman’s daughter.
These two stories show me that God loves us all. It shows me that Jesus came not only to save the Jews but that He came to save everyone. It doesn’t matter whether we are Jew or Gentile, Black or White, Asian or Hispanic. It doesn’t matter whether we are male or female; Jesus shows us that He called us all to be the chosen people of God.
In Luke 18:1-8 we read about the parable of the persistent widow. There was a judge who was not a just man. There was a widow in the same town that came to the judge to get justice against her enemy. But the judge refused her justice. So instead of going away without getting what she needed, she kept bothering him until he finally gave in; he got tired of hearing her complain.
In Luke 11:5-8, Jesus tells of a man who goes to a friend’s house at midnight to borrow three loaves of bread for another friend who is in need. But the man inside doesn’t want to be bothered and tells his friend to go away. But the friend doesn’t go away; so the man inside finally gets up and gives him the bread because of his persistence.
These two stories are stories about persistence, and boldness. We need to step out in faith and ask the Lord for what we need. Being persistent and bold helps us to understand our need for God and helps us to recognize the work God does in our lives. Matthew 7:7-8 states: “Ask and it will be given to you seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.” With these words Jesus lets us know that if we are persistent we will be rewarded. We must continually pursue God!
In the parable of the Great Feast found in Luke 14:15-24; a man was preparing a great banquet and invited a lot of guests. When the banquet was ready he sent his servants to tell the people the banquet was ready. But everyone had excuses as to why they couldn’t come. The servants came back and told the man no one was coming. The owner of the house became very angry and told the servant to go out into the town and bring back the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame. And after he brought all these there was still room. So the master of the house sent the servant out into the countryside to bring more people to the banquet. The house became full. The master then said not one of the original guests would never taste of the banquet. In those days you sent two invitations to a party. The first one was to announce you were having a party and the second one, to let the people know that the party was ready. In Jesus’ story the guests refused the second invitation. Now, in the Old Testament the first invitation to being called into God’s family came through Moses and the prophets to the Jewish people. The second invitation came from Jesus. The people accepted the first invitation from God but they did not accept the second invitation from His Son. They rejected Jesus as the Messiah. So, God sent His Son out into the villages and countryside or out into the whole world to tell everyone that God’s Kingdom had arrived and was ready for all people.
In John 15:1-8 Jesus teaches about the vine and the branches. Jesus said: “I am the vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in Me that bears no fruit, while each branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.” This says to me that we must become followers of Jesus Christ!! If we do not follow Him and accept Him as our Messiah then we will be cut off from God the Father. He will not be our Father and we will not be His children. But if we accept Jesus as our Savior then we will be the people of God. It says we will be pruned, which to me means we will be made strong. There is a distinction between branches being cut off and branches being pruned; cutting off means separation from the vine or separation from God. Being pruned means the branch bears more fruit and becomes stronger. When God disciplines His followers it makes us stronger and we can become the kind of people God has called us to be.
So the people of the banquet table and the story Jesus tells about the vine and the branches are stories about who His people are. If we accept Jesus as our Savior and live the way He has called us to; then we are His children and heirs to His Kingdom. But if we reject Him and refuse to come to the table He has set before us, then we will forever be cut off from God. He has called us by name and He has invited us to His Eternal Banquet. We have a free will, we can either accept Him or reject Him, He has not called a few; He has called all of us, all the people of the world.
Healing Service and
Soup & Salad Meal follows in the Parish Hall
Announcements & Events
Sunday, February 26th
On Sunday the 26th, the Rev. Susan McCaffrey, Deacon at Grace Episcopal Church of Port Orange, FL will be visiting our church.
There will be a luncheon for members of our church following the Rite II service. At 1:00 p.m., after the luncheon, Deacon McCaffery will begin her talk, which is open to the public. She will share her call, her experiences and her insights while working with Mother Teresa and her order, Missionaries of Charity.
In Calcutta, India she worked at four of Mother Theresa’s homes:
home for the destitute and dying
home for tuberculosis patients
home for orphans
home for lepers
Please come to hear Rev. Susan McCaffrey speak about her experiences and enjoy lunch and fellowship.
If you plan to attend, please use the sign-up at the back of the church to let us prepare for seating and food.
2017 Spring Break Arts & Crafts
March 14th, 15th, 16th
Grades K — 8
10:00am — 2:pm
This year at spring break our church is trying something new. A “Fun Camp” for children in grades Kindergarten through 8th, which will be held on Tuesday through Thursday from 10am to 2pm each day.
There will be one day of music, a day of art and one for dance. In addition, there will be bible study, crafts, lunch and other fun events for all.
All Are Welcome!!
So please invite any children you know to attend the Spring Break Fun Camp. Let’s all work to make this program a success at our church.
Bible Study Classes
Fr. Jim is teaching a bible study class, on both Wednesdays at 10:00 a.m. and on Thursdays at 6:00 p.m.
The course, "That the World May Know", by Ray Vander Laan, consists of reading, video and discussion.
The classes are held in the “teen” room in the parish office building. Please attend one of the classes to learn and enjoy the fellowship.
Saturday of Service (SOS)
As a new outreach program to the community of Okeechobee, we are partnering with the Council on Aging to work with neighbors in our city to address crucial needs. We hope to sponsor at least one SOS day per quarter. Currently, we have two families in need with projects which require basic carpentry skills.
If you are interested in volunteering, please see either Fr. Jim or Kay Mueller.
(Hebrews 13:16 "Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.")
Altar Guild Volunteers Needed!
The church desperately needs volunteers for our Altar Guild! If you would be willing to help out, or you sense God calling you to this ministry, see Hazel Parnis, Deacon Deche, or Fr. Jim immediately or call the church office at