Welcome to the St. Martin's Prime Timers Web Page!
You are invited you to join us in the Payne Education Center at St. Martin's, we're in rooms 207-209. We meet inbetween the 9am and 11am services from 10:10am to 10:50. We have coffee and snacks and this week more from Paul's second letter to the Corinthians awaiting you.
This week Prime Timer Skip Allen led the class.
Prime Timers Good News
At the beginning of our class we set aside time for members to bring us their good news. For $1 you can have the floor!
John Grant reports that he is a grandfather and that his son got a "real job" where he's been working for over three months! He also asks us to pray for Kile Prado, who was born two months prematurely and has been through a host of problems. John also told us he has been diagnosed with prostate cancer. I know our thoughts and prayers will be with John as he confronts this new challenge. He told us that the survival rate for this disease is now at eighty-five percent! That has to be reassuring news.
Skip Allen mentioned Tony Masraff's Prostate Cancer Research Foundation for a positive story on the subject. Click on the name above for a great Houston story, and stop by Masraff's restaurant on South Post Oak while you are at it! Its just around the corner from the church.
Skip Allen asked us to pray for the family of Beverly Cowl, who died unexpectedly at the way-too-young age of forty eight. Why this is in the "good news" section? The good news is that the family pulled together at this painful time and is coping very well with their new situation.
Forgiving and Reconciling
Skip Allen began our exploration of
2 Corinthians 8:1-15 with some
context. Paul writes this letter around the time of a trip he made to
Jerusalem with Barnabus and Titus, as referenced in
Galatians 2:1-2. Paul initiates collection of a fund to build a new
church in Jerusalem and the Corinthians at first enthusiastically
support the project. As time went on, however, they did not live up to
their original pledges. Paul is in Jerusalem involved in a controversy
over whether Gentiles had to go through "steps" to become Christians,
echoing the Jewish law with its many
Paul uses the example of the Macedonians--people giving generously as they are able--to convince the Corinthians to do the same. While the Macedonians are not as well off as the Corinthians, they come from a Greco-Roman culture of reciprocal giving, and insist on making contributions to the common good. Skip used the example of Tom Sawyer whitewashing the fence as an example here. Paul is making the Corinthians want to contribute and make good on their promises.
Paul reminds the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 8:9) For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. This does not mean that the Corinthians need to become poor, but rather that they contribute as they are able out of their surplus. Skip presented a simple exercise you can do to determine your priorities. List out in dollars 1) your income, 2) fixed expenses, 3) Church contributions, 4) contributions to the common good, 5) discretionary spending. This can let you see in black and white what your actual priorities are.
For class discussion Skip asked if we had any models for giving. Bill Gates and Warren Buffet came up as examples of a new kind of giver, where Mr. Gates is taking a very active role in his foundation to make sure the money goes where he intends. Mr. Buffet will contribute to this as long as Bill Gates continues in this role. Someone else brought up the St. Jude and the generous giving around the time of hurricane Katrina and Rita.
Max Kech then led the class in our healing
prayer and Skip Allen dismissed class after a short benediction.
Rev. B. Massey Gentry
Outreach (inviting and welcoming new members)
Marty Smith - Communications and Web Page
The Prime Timers on Palm Sunday!
The Conversion of Paul by Caravaggio, 1600, oil on cypress wood, for the Cerasi Chapel in Santa Maria del Popolo, Italy. Now in the Odescalchi Balbi Collection, Rome.
St. Paul by Domenico Beccafumi, 1515, oil on wood, at the Museo dell'Opera della Metro-politana, Siena, Italy.
St. Paul on the road to Damascus, St. Martin's New Church stained glass. And, you don't have to go to Italy to see it! St. Martin's Episcopal Church conducts tours of the church every Sunday starting at 12:30pm, and then Wednesdays and Fridays from 10:45am to 12:30pm, with a formal tour from 11:00am to 12:00pm. For more information, or to schedule a tour, call 713-830-4117.
The Lesson for Sunday, August 20th is titled "Reasons for Giving"
Key Verse: 2 Corinthians 9:8
Focus of the Lesson: People give to causes for a variety of reasons. Why should we give of our money or our time? Paul says we are to give in response to God's generosity.
The reading is 2 Corinthians 9:1-15. This text is from the New International Version®.
1There is no need
for me to write to you about this service to the saints. 2For
I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the
Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready
to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. 3But
I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this
matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you
would be. 4For if any Macedonians come with me and find you
unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having
been so confident. 5So I thought it necessary to urge the
brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the
generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous
gift, not as one grudgingly given.
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