St. Paul’s Church in Troy, NY

On Friday and Saturday (7/18-19) I led a vestry retreat for Christ Church, Cooperstown, NY held at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, NY. The retreat was built around three themes taken from the parish motto: “Seeking Christ, Living Christ, Sharing Christ.” I made three presentations: Presentation one was in natural theology, the second in doctrinal theology and ethics. The last presentation was in Mission.

The Agenda
– A Vestry Retreat: Seeking, Living, Sharing Christ.
– Greetings, introductions : Fri, 7:00p.
Seeking Christ: Fri, 7:30-9:00p.
– I Natural Theology
* Lying & Liars
* “Following a Rule”
* St. Thomas Aquinas: Natural Law (Summa Theologiae, Ia-IIae, 94)
* The Hound of Heaven by Francis Thompson
* St. Augustine of Hippo: The Confessions (Book One: “Our hearts are restless”)
Living Christ: Sat, 9:30-10:15a.
* I Doctrine: The Atonement & Resurrection
* II Ethics: Moral Disagreements: What good are they?
Sharing Christ: Sat,10:20-11:00a.
– I Mission
– Witnessing (testifying)
– Following (“following the game”)
– Discipleship (apprenticeship)
* Dirk Willems RIP 1569

Sat., May 24: St. Paul’s Vestry Retreat at Christ the King Spiritual Life Center in Greenwich, NY. The theme is Christian vocation:

– Schedule
– Our Christian Vocation:
A Vestry Retreat in the Context of the Holy Eucharist.
– 9:00-9:30 AM: Registration and coffee.
– 9:30-10:00 AM: The Liturgy of the Word
– The Collect
– Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the
whole body of your faithful people is governed and
sanctified: Receive our supplications and prayers
which we offer before you for all members of your
holy Church, that in their vocation and ministry they
may truly and devoutly serve you; through our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
* Bible Study on Isaiah 6:1-8 and Matthew 28:19-20.
– 10:10-11:10 AM: The Prayers of the People, Offertory, and
– An Introduction:
– Vocation
– Latin voco, voice; vocare, call, summon, invoke.
– Called to what?
– Called to WHAT?
* Holiness!
* Holy vs. being “pious”
– Is there a universal call to holiness?
* 1 Timothy 2:1-4
* Christian Perfection
* Holiness is Rooted in Baptism.
* Holiness is not only a state but also a task.
– Sharing My Vocation.
– Where or when have you heard a call from God?
– Prayers for the Church, the World, and the Parish.
– 11:20 AM-12:00 PM: The Holy Communion
– 12:15-1:15 PM: Lunch in the Welcome Center Dining Hall
– 1:20- 1:35 PM: Presentation of St. Paul’s Portrait to
Canon Matt Baker, CtK Director.

(in the St. Paul’s Room at the King’s Inn).
– 1:45-2:30 PM: The Parish Vocation: St. Paul’s Troy
– A Collect for the Parish
– Almighty and everliving God, ruler of all things in
heaven and earth, hear our prayers for our parish
family. Strengthen the faithful, arouse the careless,
and restore the penitent. Grant us all things
necessary for our common life, and bring us all to be
of one heart and mind within your holy Church;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
– An Introduction.
– Why should church activities be related to holiness?
* Lumen Gentium
– Sharing Our Vocation
– What should we do?
– 2:30-3:00 PM: Tour of CtK Campus (optional).
– 3:00 PM: Conclusion

– Called by God in Holy Scripture
* 1. God’s call to Abraham. Genesis 12: 1-4
* 2. God’s call to Moses Exodus 3 1-12
* 3. God’s call to Samuel 1 Samuel 3 1-10
* 4. God’s call to Amos Amos 7: 14-15
* 5. God’s call to Isaiah Isaiah 6: 1-8
* 6. God’s call to Jeremiah Jeremiah 1: 4-8
* 7. God’s call to Zacchaeus Luke 19: 1-10

– Bible verses on holiness
* 2 Corinthians 7:1
* 1 Peter 1:15-16
* John 15:4
* John 5:14
* John 8:11
* Matthew 5:48
* Romans 7:18-25
* Romans 12:2
* Philippians 3:15
* Ephesians 1:4
* Ephesians 5:27


Tuesday at noon concert: On May 20 we had cellist Petia Kassarova and pianist Todd Sisley in a performance of duets by J.S. Bach, Robert Schumann, Henry Eccles, Georgi Zlatev-Tcherkin, and William Henry Squire. What a great concert!


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