Render therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's and unto God the things that are God's. Matthew 22:21
Fr. Scott's sermon discussed the Gospel lesson for the Twenty-third Sunday after Trinity (Matthew 22: 15 - 22 BCP p. 222), which describes when the Pharisees tried to corner Jesus into a position they could use against him. They wanted to make love of God and country mutually exclusive. If our Lord sided with the Jews by saying to only give to God and not pay Caesar's taxes, He would have been killed by the Romans sooner then He was. If He said disobey God and pay the Roman taxes, the Jews would kill Him for not honoring God. A lose/lose situation! Jesus instructs the Pharisees to give Him a coin and asks them whose image is on it. The Pharisees confirm Caesar's image is on the coin. Our Lord then says to give back to Caesar what is Caesar's and to God the things that are God's.
Christians find themselves as dual citizens in this life. In our Epistle reading, St. Paul tells the Philippians that "our citizenship is in heaven" but we also live under the government of the USA. We owe both loyalty and trust in God's infinite plan that the people governing us were put there for a purpose. The New Testament spends a lot of time talking being good subjects. Where the line between following and objecting is . . . is not an easy one to determine. Our Lord is defending the very government that would soon kill Him. As Christians, we can talk about the issues themselves, but we should never align ourselves with a particular party absolutely. History has taught us every time the Church is married to the State, the Church is always the one to compromise.
Our Lord goes on to speak about what God is due. He is talking about the greater responsibility of our greater citizenship. But what if our citizenships conflict? It does not matter what is allowed by the government, if God tells us not to do something then we are bound by the higher law and should follow God's Word. However, when there is not a clear Word from God (the Bible does not directly speak to a topic), where the line is drawn is up to the individual Christian.
We are called to be good citizens in both of our residences. We are to honor and give what is due to our earthly residence, trusting in God's plan for our country. We also belong to a heavenly kingdom that requires more from us and deals directly with our own actions for which we are accountable. We will always be disappointed if we look to government to fix the problems that only God can fix.
Please find Fr. Scott's complete sermon at the 29:10 minute mark at the following link:
After services, we had a full parish hall and a delightful lunch of sausage balls, veggies, fruit, and chocolate/pumpkin cake provided by Teresa and Carol!
We even spilled over into the recently completed Sunday School room!
And the winner of the cutest picture of the week is Amber!
On All Souls Day earlier this week Fr. Scott led a beautiful but somber service.
In his sermon Fr. Scott discussed All Souls Day, part of the Allhollowtide season of All Saints Eve, All Saints Day and All Souls Day. This feast is over a millennium old and its medieval purpose was to pray for the dead so that the dead would spend less time in purgatory. In the Middle Ages, purgatory was seen as a physical place Christians went to if they were not purified enough to enter heaven. Only saved, baptized Christians could go to purgatory and they were assured of their eventual salvation. This was not Hell where unbelievers went and had no path to redemption.
While Anglicans rejected purgatory during the Reformation, we retained the practice of praying for the dead. Why pray for the dead? Because we love them. One great definition of grief is that grief is nothing but love enduring. Praying for the dead gives us an outlet to express our grief to God. In our service we ask God to receive our loved ones into Heaven, for the repose of their soul and for the forgiveness of their sins - all things God promises He will do for those that die in faith. On All Souls Day, we remember and pray for our own dead as well as pray for all the faithfully departed who have no one to pray for them. All Souls Day is a remembrance of that love which still endures in our hearts - we take that love and direct it up to Heaven.
Typically music is not played during the All Souls Day service. However, Sue shared her beautiful musical talents with us during the offertory, playing Dies Irae (God Will Come).
Sue continues to lead our weekly online prayer group on Tuesday at 11:30. Thank you so much Sue for taking the time each week to lead our prayers! If you have a special prayer request but cannot join us, please send your request to Sue. Please contact me (Rosalind) if you would like to join us on Discord.
Please keep Diane and her family in your prayers as her oldest brother passed away this week.
This Christmas St. Peter's is supporting the Marine's Toys for Tot's program.
Below is a link to the Johnson City Toys for Tot's FAQ's. They do not provide a list of recommended toys, instead ask us to use our judgement in selecting toys for 5 -12 year old children. The toys must be new and unwrapped.
Our collection box is in the parish hall in the basement. We will collect toys through Sunday, November 28. Thank you for all your generosity!
Our Annual Congregational Meeting is scheduled for Sunday, November 21 after services. Please plan to attend as we will be approving a budget for next year and electing new members to the Mission Committee. After the meeting we plan to eat pizza and decorate the sanctuary for Advent!
Teresa, Agnes, Claudia, and Mike went to see "The Most Reluctant Convert, The Untold Story of C.S. Lewis" this past week. They report the movie was wonderful and the theater was sold out for the special showing!
Thank you for the report and the pictures! Looks like a beautiful (and comfortable) theater!
The Symphony of the Mountains is having their 'By The Fireside' Christmas Concert on Saturday, December 4 at 3 pm at the Meadowview Marriott Resort in Kingsport. Rose Marie and Earl have invited us to their house for appetizers and refreshments before the concert, starting at 12:30. Please let Rose Marie know if you are coming and what appetizer you plan to bring. Ticket prices for the concert are $25 each (checks payable to The Symphony of the Mountains). Please let Scott know by Sunday, Nov 21 if you are interested in attending so he can reserve the tickets.
Many of us do our holiday shopping at Amazon. Please remember to go to:
and select Saint Peter the Apostle Anglican Catholic Church as your charity to generate donations for Saint Peter's. (Please note the church location will be listed as Blountville as that is where St. Peter's was incorporated.)
There is no additional cost to you but we receive a small percentage of each purchase when we are selected!
Tues., Nov. 9 11:30 Online Prayer Group
Sun., Nov. 14 10 am Christian Education, Fr. Scott
11 am Holy Communion, Fr. Scott
Tues., Nov. 16 11:30 Online Prayer Group
Sun., Nov. 21 10 am Christian Education, Fr. Scott
11 am Holy Communion, Fr. Scott
(cash plate to Fr. Scott’s discretionary fund)
noon - Annual Congregational Meeting
1 pm - lunch and decorate church for Advent
Tues., Nov. 23 11:30 Online Prayer Group
Sun., Nov. 28 10 am Christian Education, Fr. Scott