Welcome!

Saint Joseph’s Episcopal Church, aka “the little church with the big red doors”, is located on Main Street between Ninth and Iredell Streets in Durham, NC, across from Duke University’s East Campus. Our community life is rooted in the sacraments, daily prayer, study of the Scriptures, and fellowship with members, friends and neighbors inside and outside our walls. Following the example of our patron Saint Joseph, we want to make our church home a place of warm hospitality grounded in God’s love, and to take that love out into the world.

Announcements for this week

The Fourth Sunday of Advent

If you are a newcomer or a visitor — welcome! Please fill out a contact card found in your pew. Let’s get to know one another! St. Joseph’s is a place of worship, prayer, fellowship and study. We normally pray Morning Prayer at 7:30 a.m. and Evening Prayer at 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Please join us for prayer and fellowship whenever you can. The “poor plate,” located by the baptismal font at the entrance to the church, funds our fellowship and outreach ministries. Thank you for your gifts!

Vicar’s schedule: Karen’s normal “work days” are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Sundays with a Sabbath on Mondays. In the event of a pastoral emergency, she is available on her cell phone, 919-951-8739.

Collection for St. Joseph’s community in need: Over the past years we have collected items for Urban Ministries in the large basket in the back of the church. In reality, we have a number of needs in our immediate community. We invite you to bring any of the following items and place in the basket at the back of the church…these items are part of the offerings of our life and labor.

Diapers (size 1)

Gloves

Coffee (ground)

Knit hats

Toilet paper

Men’s socks (warm)

Paper towels

Men’s coats

Like to sing? Then join the choir! We will rehearse on Sundays from 9—10:15. All that is required is a sense of pitch, a commitment to the group and a desire to serve God through music. For more information please contact Lyn Francisco, choir director at mariaefrancisco@gmail.com.

Liturgy and Meeting Schedule

Monday, December 22 (St. Thomas the Apostle)

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Followed by breakfast
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, December 23

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Followed by breakfast
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, December 24 (Christmas Eve)

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Followed by breakfast
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m. (in parish hall)
Christmas Hymns 5:45 p.m.
Choral Holy Eucharist 6:00 p.m.

Thursday, December 25 (Christmas Day)

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Followed by breakfast
Holy Eucharist 10:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Friday, December 26 (St. Stephen)

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Followed by breakfast
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, December 28, The First Sunday after Christmas

Holy Eucharist 10:30 a.m.
Fellowship following

All are invited to Maurin House (1116 Iredell Street) for suppers on Fridays and Sundays at 6:30 p.m.–Daily Holy Eucharist at 6:25 a.m. Mondays-Fridays–Evensong at 6 p.m. Sundays.

Twentieth Sunday after Pentecost — Rev. Nils Chittenden

Sermon preached by Nils Chittenden for St Joseph’s Episcopal Church/Episcopal Center at Duke

Deuteronomy 34:1-12
1 Thessalonians 2:1-8
Matthew 22:34-46

Even though I have lived in the States for almost five years now, my go-to source for news and current affairs remains the dear old BBC. I value its objectivity, its relative gravitas and the familiarity it brings to an ex-pat.

Obviously, the BBC needs to move with the times, and reflect the contemporary context, but I have to confess that my heart sank just a tiny bit when I saw an article the other day entitled ‘Six Reasons Why the Indian Rupee is in Freefall’.

Six Reasons why the Indian Rupee is in Freefall?
What is this? Is the BBC Buzzfeed now?

Well, this is the way things are going, you know. Part of the success of Buzzfeed is that it serves up these bite-sized chunks – we feel more in control of the prodigious amounts of information if we quantify it. ‘Six reasons why…. whatever’ gives us back a feeling of control, of manageability, of our time being corralled into discrete little packages, where we are spoon-fed stuff without us having to expend a whole ton of mental energy in the process.

You see, although my heart did sink a little when I saw the BBC going down this road, I am quite happy to waste far too much time on Buzzfeed as well. And I actually do have sympathy for us wanting to be spoon-fed our news and current affairs, because the amount of information, media, choices…. STUFF…. is such an overwhelming flood that it contributes to us feeling deeply unsettled, if truth be known.

Although the ‘Six Reasons How Numbered Lists Can Make Your Life Easier’ stories are apparently a new phenomenon, they’ve actually been going from time immemorial. Let’s not forget that a prominent celebrity once came down from a mountain in the east of present-day Egypt, with an article entitled ‘Ten Ways You Should Be Nice to Everyone and Keep the Wrath of God at Bay’. Continue reading

Sunday Morning Forum 2: Concerning the Service of the Church

Learn more about Sunday Morning Forum.

The Holy Eucharist, the principal act of Christian worship on the Lord’s Day and other major Feasts, and Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, as set forth in this Book, are the regular services appointed for public worship in this Church. BCP p. 13

What is being assumed in this statement?

  • Christian worship is not a “flat” undertaking; the Eucharist is the principal act, the point from which all other worship derives.
  • If someone said they worshiped God in their work or play—say, gardening or building something or playing golf with a friend—is that worship? How might such activities be understood in relation to the Eucharist?
  • Worship is an “act”? But who is/are the agent(s) doing the action? Us? God? Both together? Do you see worship as primarily a passive or active undertaking, or both?
  • It’s expected that the Eucharist be celebrated on the “Lord’s Day” (Sunday) and other major feasts. What is the significance of the “Lord’s Day”? How do the day and the rite reinforce each other?
  • Daily Morning and Evening Prayer, while not the principal act of worship, are included with the Eucharist as the regular services appointed for public worship. How does the Daily Office tie together our Sundays with our weekdays?
  • Worship as described here is assumed to be public. What are the implications of that? Continue reading

Sunday Morning Forum 1: Introduction to SMF

Learn more about Sunday Morning Forum.

Background

General desire for more Christian education, formation, reflection, and nourishment.

6-week trial last spring — some positives; some negatives.

St. Joseph’s: lots of activity; very little breathing space!

Are we on the same page? Where have we been? What are we doing? Where are we going? (Individually and collectively) Continue reading