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This page was last updated on: January 30, 2004

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The Episcopal Church in the News

Bishop Lee's Choice This article, about how the General Convention has affected the Diocese of Virginia, appeared in the New York Times on 1/4/2004. It mentions the Rev. Martyn Minns, who was a member of St. Paul's for years. He attended seminary, was ordained to the priesthood, and is now the rector of Truro Church in Virginia. (You might need to register to read the article, but it's free.)
Heresy in the Cathedral Did you ever think you'd live to see an ordained Bishop trash the Passion narratives in the Bible, even as the hottest star in Hollywood affirms them? Well, read on! This article from is about Bishop Chane, of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington D.C. It was written by Albert Mohler, President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. (The article refers to Bishop Chane's Christmas 2003 sermon and his speech "Christian Fundamentalism and its Impact and the Impact of Fundamentalism in General on the Future of Global Stability" )

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Mel Gibson's The Passion of The Christ

Official Site
International Fan Site
Outreach Resources
More Trailers (
IMDB Discussion Forum
  • This film will be released on Ash Wednesday (2/25/2004)
  • It is rated "R" for sequences of graphic violence
  • Purchase Advance tickets: Call (888) 227-1152

Great News!
The Passion is coming to Greenwich - Crown Plaza 3 and Stamford - Crown Majestic 6!

Find a Local Theatre
Group Request Form for AMC Theatres

Local Events:
Grace Community Church -- Discussion Groups

Television, Webcasts, etc.
PrimeTime Live: On February 16 Diane Sawyer will interview Mel Gibson.

PAX TV Premiere: The Making of the Passion , On February 22, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT and February 24, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT. (That's CableVision's Channel 23 -- WPXN. For more channels visit www.Pax.TV)

Related Articles:
Conservative Jewish Leader Denounces ADL for Gibson Critique (Marc Morano,
Virtual Hate Crime Against Mel Gibson (James Hirsen,, 11/10/03)
Crucifying Mel Gibson/
Selective Outrage Mustn't Fritter Away Friendship
Michael Medved and Rabbi Daniel Lapin (The American Enterprise)
Mel Gibson's "The Passion" Gets a Thumbs-up from the Pope Peggy Noonan (Wall Street Journal, 12/17/2003)
How the Passion Changed him Jim Caviezel, the Christian actor who plays Jesus, discusses the role. (National Catholic Register, 12/21/2003)
Vatican Officials say Pope didn't comment after viewing 'The Passion' (Catholic News Service, 12/24/2003)
Gibson Film 'Passion' to Debut on 2,000 Screens (Yahoo News, 1/14/04)
'Passion' Follows the Scripture: Gibson's controversial film coincides closely with ancient Jewish writings David Klinghoffer (LA Times, 1/1/04)
Passion of the Christ Soundtrack to be released 2/24/04 (Billboard, 1/20/04)
A Collection of articles, interviews, testimonies, upcoming events (, 1/15/04)  *** This site is updated regularly, so check it often
CathNews Admits Papal Quote True (, 1/23/04)
Guilty or not Guilty? The Passion, Collective Guilt, and Choice (A Messianic Jewish Perspective by Susan Perlman, of Jews for Jesus)

new Bishop Andrew Smith's 12/18/2003 meeting with the congregation of St. Paul's:
Print Version (pdf)   windows media player  real audio 

"Behold, I have placed before you an open door no one can shut."
-Revelation 3:8

February 1, 2004

Open up in the name of the Law... open house... open-minded... open-handed... open-mouthed... open sesame... open-ended... open season... open door.

Just what is an open door? We know from the Book of Revelation, in the letter to the Church at Philadelphia, that it is Jesus who opens, for His church, a door that no one can shut. In another reference to an open door, in Colossians 4:3, we hear Paul ask, "Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly as I should."

I believe that the "open door" that Jesus Christ offers us for 2004 will be, like the open door Paul requested, more opportunities to bring Jesus to others (and to bring others to Jesus). I believe that Jesus is entrusting us with this high and holy calling and that we will step over the threshold. The open door makes my heart glad and fills me with great expectation. I want to encourage you, as members of St. Paul's, that I will believe you will be faithful in the year to come and that you will bear fruit - fruit that will last.

A second way that a door is being opened by Jesus Christ, for us is that He is creating a new church for us. Right now, I cannot say much, but I can be clear that I know He knows what He is doing and that He will soon reveal it to us.

Webster's Dictionary defines "open" as "a state which permits entrance or exit; not closed, covered, clogged or shut." It also says "to be open is to permit freedom of view or passage, in other words, not being enclosed or fenced in."

Jesus opens a door for St. Paul's. It is time for us to step through. We will move on to brightly lit fields and uplands of blessing.

Step by step with Jesus,

The Rev. Christopher P. Leighton,

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Taking It To The Streets!: A Weekend With Phil Zaldatte
February 20-22, 2004

Releasing spiritual gifts and putting them into practice
Registration: $20 in advance; $30 at the door. Lunch included
This program is for youth of all ages (everybody!!) For further information see Dano, Jim or Lisa

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  Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes


*** The first meeting of the New England Convocation of the Network of Anglican Communion Dioceses and Parishes will be held on Saturday, February 21, from 9 am to 5 pm at St. Thomas Church in Taunton, Massachusetts.

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New England Finishers Forum
February 6-7, 2004
Walnut Hill Community Church
Bethel, Connecticut

The Finishers Project represents more than 80 leading North American missions agencies with over 20,000 opportunities in mission short-term, part-time, or full-time. This is an awesome opportunity if you are trying to discern where the Lord may be leading you to serve. No one is exempt from the Great Commission! For more information, or to register by phone, call 203-796-7373. You can also register online at

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Other News this Week


  • Join us for our 6th annual trek to Hartford for the Women of Faith Conference. We've grown from 5 women the first year to 40 last year! Order NOW tickets may be available later, but you won't get to sit with our group! $99 includes all day Friday and Saturday, October 1 - 2, plus box lunches. (Hotel extra). Contact Lori Mattioli at 254-7847 to reserve your space. Invite your friends!
  • On Tuesday, February 10th, at our regular 10:00 a.m. Holy Eucharist & Healing Service, our guest speaker will be Nigel Mumford, Director of the Oratory of the Little Way. Nigel states, "As a drill instructor in Her Majesty's Royal Marine Commandos, it was my job to teach recruits to kill or be killed. It is now my privilege to teach people to heal and be healed. My primary calling is to put people in touch with Christ the Healer, the Lover of Souls."
  • On the evening of February 22, our very special guest will be The Most Rev. Livingstone Mpalanyi-Nkoyoyo, retired Archbishop of The Anglican Church of Uganda. Save the date!
  • Please PRAY for the Vestry during the Vestry Retreat this coming weekend.
  • The Three R's Ministry:
    Recover from addiction and co-dependency
    Reclaim the purpose for your Life;
    Rejoice in the One who is responsible.
    This Christ-centered Recovery ministry meets each Saturday evening at St. Paul's from 5:00 to 7:00.
  • Gaye Forbes is seeking anyone who hasn't helped out at Sunday Hospitality yet and might like to bless us all with yummy snacks! Call 914-834-6195 for details.
  • We are reading Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Life together as a parish. We are currently on chapter 11. You might find this synopsis useful.

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Lenten Concert Trip: Beethoven's "Missa Solemnis"
Sunday March 7, 2004 at 3:00 p.m.

Beethoven's magnificent Mass in D Major, Opus 123 ("Missa Solemnis"), for chorus, soloists, and orchestra, will be performed on Sunday March 7, 2004 at 3 p.m. at Avery Fisher Hall in Lincoln Center, by the Collegium Vocale Gent, with the Orchestre des Champs Elyses.

  • Philippe Herreweghe, conductor
  • Letitzia Scherrer, soprano
  • Birgit Remmert, mezzo-soprano
  • Steve Davislim, tenor
  • Michael Volle, bass

Other benefits for ticket holders:

  • Optional Pre-concert lecture by Christopher H. Gibbs in the Stanley H. Kaplan Penthouse (the Rose Building) at 1:45 p.m.
  • 10% discount coupon for the Performing Arts Shop

Karen Spivey has a block of good seats in the center orchestra section reserved. Tickets are $46.75 each, reflecting a 15% Group Discount. (We will probably be having lunch in the city.)

Please call Karen Spivey ASAP at 656-3357 if you are interested.

Mothers of PreSchoolers Bible Studies

Starting January 7, 2004


Join us and invite your friends for thought-provoking discussion at a MOPS Bible study on Wednesdays beginning January 7th. Choose from two groups:

Bible Basics 101
This course assumes no Bible knowledge, but is also challenging if you have some experience with the Word. The course begins with the reliability of Bible documents and a brief overview of its contents, then challenges you to read selected chapters for yourself and discuss their meaning over eight sessions. Many lively discussions took place during this course last summer don't miss it!

Bringing Up Boys by Dr. James Dobson.
Would you like a better understanding of the boys in your life (including your husband?) Dr. Dobson explains why boys are the way they are, how to understand their emotional and physical development, how best to motivate them to become godly men, and more.

Registration is required so that materials (and child care if needed) can be arranged. RSVP to Lori 203 254-7847 or [email protected]

This is a great opportunity to invite women who might be intimidated by church, but would be comfortable in a small group. Past MOPS discussion groups have been unexpectedly life-changing for many. (Helps beat the January blahs, too!)

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New St. Paul's E-mailing List


To enable us to reach as many of the Parish as possible in as short a time as possible, we are trying to put together an up-to-date e-mail list. This list would not be shared publicly but would be used only for urgent communication with you by your leaders.

If you have e-mail capability, and are willing to have us share with you in this manner, please e-mail us at [email protected] as soon as possible.

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Pray for those in the Armed Forces

Please remember to keep in your prayers the members of our Armed Forces, especially at this holiday season. Pray for the increase of their faith; pray for their protection and provision. Please hold up before God the needs of their families. Pray for our enemies and those who would harm them and us. Pray for the blessing and peace of God to be upon the war-torn parts of this world. Pray for guidance for our leaders.

You might want to visit these Chaplaincy sites:

U.S. Army: Office of the Chief of Chaplains

U.S. Navy Chaplain Corps

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New Canaan Society Men's Retreat
February 27-29, 2004

The New Canaan Society is hoping to have over 300 men from across the country at their Retreat, February 27-29, 2004, at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York.

Speakers will be Brennan Manning, Jack Deer, and Dudley Hall. Don Moen will lead worship with Dan Fox and the NCS Worship Team. There will be large group teaching, praise and worship, small group break-out sessions, and plenty of time for fellowship.

The cost for this weekend, including all meals and refreshments is $450 double occupancy or $550 single.

You can reserve your spot by calling the NCS Administrator Jessica Collins at 212 366-8667.

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*** Download our St. Paul's Vacation Bible School 2003 Screen Saver for PC Users!

Tien's First Epistle to the Darienites
Sent on April 12, 2003

Dear Saints of St. Paul's: Peace!

Here I am in the Kuwaiti desert waiting to move northward. I've been at the base camp for ten days already. We are waiting for our equipment to arrive; then we'll move north to another "forward base camp" across "the berm", just to move to another "base camp". In the meantime we are training for all contingencies: 1st Aid, convoy, bio-chem protection, etc. - and to acclimate ourselves to the weather and the terrain here.

The average temperature in this season is between 70° and 105°, and it'll get hotter. Sand, of course, is everywhere. Between the heat and the dry sand, we would become "human jerky" if not for all the water we drink (average 8-10 liters a day).

I'm getting more adjusted here; initially, just to get up and walk around was a major effort (we need to have our basic load wherever we go: 2 liters of water, protective mask, chemical suits, along with other miscellaneous stuff, and, of course, our weapons - 20 lbs of equipments. Ephesians 6: "put on the full armor of God.")

It takes me a few days to finally be able to use the "port-a-potty" the stench and the sight can be discouraging but the urges of nature conquered all fear. It's a blessing that we can have showers and 3 prepared meals per day. But we need to do our laundry by hand and to transport our own water. Basically all the modern conveniences and appliances are distant dreams and wishes.

Thank you for all your prayers; I feel them and I have a sense of the Lord's presence wherever I am. What a blessing it is that I'm also able to go to church services: traditional protestant Sunday AM services, contemporary St. Paul-style PM services, and weeknight servicesIn addition, I'm finding out more Christian believers and try to have fellowship with them. God is good!

Even though I'm at a physically unpleasant surrounding, and away from my lovely Cindy, family, and the body of St. Paul's, I'm filled with a sense of honor to serve our nation. Please pray for the Iraqi people, my family members who are yet to know Jesus, and for me performing my Mission from above as well as my military mission. I want to thank you again for your support to my wife Cindy. Knowing my home front is secured, allows me to focus on my tasks at hand. Enclosed please find the only local souvenir that we are authorized to send - sand!

Hallelujah! Christ has secured the ultimate victory.

Tien C.


Vestry member Bently Elliott served as the director of White House speechwriting under President Reagan. He recently had this op-ed piece, Why I am Thankful, printed in The Washington Times.



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St. Paul's Church in Darien, Connecticut. All rights reserved.