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 Tenth Sunday after Pentecost

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. Karen will be on vacation from August 14 through August 21 inclusive; however, in the event of a pastoral emergency, she is available on her cell phone, 919-951-8739.

There will be no Wednesday Holy Eucharist this week since Karen is on vacation.

Announcing the return of the Sunday Morning Forums! This fall we will have informal gatherings in the parish hall before worship. If you have a topic you would like to have discussed, please talk with Tyler or Karen. If you are interested in collaborating with others to help lead one or more of these discussions, please let them know that as well. Last Easter-tide we explored topics such as inclusion and accessibility, Taizé, faith, food and gardening.

Bishop Michael Curry will be our celebrant and homilist on Sunday, November 23. Please talk with Karen if you are interested in baptism, confirmation, reception or reaffirmation of baptismal vows on that day.

Liturgy and Meeting Schedule

Monday, August 18 (William Porcher Dubose)

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 19

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 20

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, August 21

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Friday, August 22

Morning Prayer 7:30 a.m.
Evening Prayer 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, August 24, the Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost

Holy Eucharist 10:30 a.m.
Fellowship following

Sixth Sunday after Pentecost — Rev. Karen Barfield

Psalm 139:1-11, 22-23
Romans 8:12-25
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43

In the name of the one, holy and living God:
in whom we live and move and have our being. Amen.

The bearded darnel is a devil of a weed.

Known in biblical terms as “tares,” bearded darnel has no virtues. Its roots surround the roots of good plants, sucking up precious nutrients and scarce water, making it impossible to root it out without damaging the good crop.

And here’s the real kicker…

Above ground, darnel looks identical to wheat, until it bears seed. Those seeds can cause everything from hallucinations to death! (Talitha Arnold in Feasting on the Word, Yr A, Vol 3, p. 260)

So, a farmer sows good seed in his field, tends the field with great care and diligence only to discover when the wheat begins to bear grain that an evil one has come and sown poisonous weeds in his field!

This morning I am here to struggle with you with this text — not to provide any easy answers. Continue reading

Homecoming June 22

Saint Joseph’s will have homecoming Sunday, June 22, with worship at 10:30 a.m. and a festive meal in the parish hall afterward. The Reverend C. Waite Maclin of Portland, Maine, and rector of St. Joseph’s from 1962 to 1965, will return to preach.

Please download an invitation for more information!

Sunday morning forum

Announcing our Sunday Morning Forum! During Easter season, St. Joseph’s will hold informal class gatherings from 9:00 to 9:50am in the parish hall prior to worship. All are invited to participate.

April 27
Inclusion and Accessibility
May 4
Taizé Worship
May 11
Death and Dying
May 18
Faith, Food, and Gardening
May 25
Christian Pilgrimage
June 1
Science and Faith

If you are interested in collaborating with others to help lead one of these discussions, please contact Rev. Karen or Tyler Hambley.

The Presentation of our Lord — Rev. Karen Barfield

Psalm 84
Luke 2:22-40

In the name of the one, holy and living God. Amen.

Here in this holy place
we are safe to rest for a while.
For palpable is the movement of the Holy Spirit among us.

We gather today in the loving embrace of the Triune God:
confident in God’s care of us –
the God who nourishes us out of [Her] goodness,
who leads us like a Shepherd to the true and living waters,
and who teaches us to love through [Her] everlasting love.

Surely it is God who saves us…
we will trust in Him and not be afraid.

How often do we stop long enough to rest for a while in God’s loving embrace, confident in God’s care for us? Continue reading

3 Epiphany — Leigh Edwards

Isaiah 9:1-4, Psalm 27, 1 Cor 3, Matt 4:12-18
 
“The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light” (Is 9:1).
 
These words from the great Prophet Isaiah are a pivotal communication of our Lord’s work in the world. They are stirring, and come bellowing off of the page: Those who walked in darkness have seen a great light.
 
Think about darkness and about light. We live in a world today where darkness is something hardly ever seen. Lights litter our cities, our streets and our homes. We light our cars and put lights in our children’s rooms. Darkness is a rare – and sometimes coveted – thing. What does it mean, then, for Matthew to say that these people have walked in darkness, when many today seek darkness in the wilderness as a prize and a rest from the lights of our lives? Who, we ask as people who spend almost every hour in light, are these people who walk in darkness? Surely not us. Surely not this city.
 
“The people” – Matthew writes, showing the fulfillment of Isaiah’s prophecy in Jesus – “who walked in darkness have seen a great light.”
 
We must ask, then, who are these people? Wherefore this darkness? And, importantly, whence this great light? Continue reading

2 Epiphany — Rev. Karen Barfield

Isaiah 49:1-7
John 1:29-41

O God, who has come as a Light to the world,
illumine our hearts and our minds
that Your glory may be revealed to the world through us. AMEN.

“What are you looking for?”

Jesus asks this question to two disciples of John the Baptist.

Jesus was walking down the road and walked past John the Baptist and two of his disciples. At that moment John the Baptist proclaims of Jesus, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”

When Jesus notices that these two disciples have fallen in line behind him, walking the road with him, he turns and asks them this question: “What are you looking for?’

All of us sitting here today could very well ask each other the very same question.

“What are you looking for?” Continue reading

Baptism of Our Lord — Rev. Karen Barfield

Acts 10:34-43
Matthew 3:13-17

In the name of the one, holy and living God: Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifying Spirit. Amen.

It is a curious question that has stumped many over the ages: Why was Jesus baptized?

If Jesus was without sin, and John’s baptism was about repentance, why in the world was Jesus baptized by John?

John himself tried to stop Jesus, protesting: “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?”

But, Jesus answers: “Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfill all righteousness.”

Perhaps Jesus was baptized because as God became human to live and die as one of us, Jesus was baptized as we are. Continue reading