Mars Hill Proclaimer
St. Paul's Episcopal Church February Newsletter 2020
Mthr Barbara
From The Reverend
Barbara A. T. Wilson

“Shrove Tuesday,” “Ash Wednesday” and Keeping the Observance of Lent
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. Luke 4:1-13

Judaism, Islam, and Christianity have in common an annual period of days set aside for examining one’s relationship with God, typically by the practices of fasting (abstaining from food for a period of time), the practice of daily prayer and renewed generosity toward those who are needy. In each case, the idea is to renounce our typically self-focused approach (“tempted by the devil”) to life in favor of opening to God for direction. In order for that to happen, most of the world’s religions call on us to interrupt our usual routine for a day or some weeks to make space for God to get a word in edgewise. 

     But little by little, we Christians have become devoted to our creature comforts: the heated car seats, the filet mignon. These things make us feel safe and cared for—if not by God, then by ourselves. Many of us decided there was no contradiction between being comfortable and being Christian (which is true up to a point) and so you can’t really pick us out from the secular population. Episcopal priest and preacher, Barbara Brown Taylor talks about this inexorable degradation of what it means to be a Christian. “They no longer get arrested for championing the poor. They blended in. They avoided extremes. They decided to be nice instead of holy and God moaned out loud .” 1

    So we have available to us the season of Lent, from the old English word lencten, meaning “spring”—"not only a reference to the season before Easter, but also an invitation to a springtime for the soul. Forty days to cleanse the system and open the eyes to what remains when all comfort is gone. Forty days to remember what it is like to live by the grace of God alone and not by what we can supply for ourselves.” 2

    We prepare for Lent by having a meal together on what the Church refers to as “Shrove Tuesday,” where for hundreds of years, all of the butter, and sugar and other delectibles in the house were consumed ahead of the Lenten fast to reduce temptation. On Ash Wednesday, traditionally, all of Christendom keeps a fast. We choose to do without some things, anything that might be getting in the way of our relationship with God. Anything we want immediately more than a renewed relationship with God.

    For forty days, notice how often your mind travels in the direction of whatever it is you chose to give up. Ask yourself why it happens and when it happens. What is going on when you start craving a that Diet Pepsi or that bag of Cheesy Poofs? Are you truly thirsty? hungry? Well, what is wrong with plain water, what’s wrong with being hungry? Are you lonely? What is so bad about being alone? Try sitting with the feeling instead of fixing it and see what you find out. Listen to that voice that coaxes you to stop this silly exercise, asking why deprive yourself? “If you don’t know whom that voice belongs to, read Luke’s story again. Then tell the devil to get lost and decide what you will do for Lent. Better yet, decide whose you will be. Worship the Lord your God and serve no one else. Expect great things, from God and from yourself. Believe that everything is possible. Why should any of us settle for less? 3

Yours in Christ,

1 Taylor, Barbara Brown. Home By Another Way. (pp. 67-68) Cowley Publications. Kindle Edition. 

2 Ibid.
3 Ibid.


Budget Information
The 2020 budget will be presented for discussion

Annual Meeting
Budget approval, new Vestry members and Diocesan Convention attendees voted on, and recognitions given

A light breakfast will be served at both meetings

Friday, February 7 PM 
Please join us for an evening
of prayer, meditation, and music!

A meditative candlelit gathering that is simple, beautiful, and more about praying and listening with the whole self than with the mind only.
Noon -
Imposition of Ashes

6:00 PM
Ash Wednesday Service
Music Ministries
The St. Paul's choirs returned from a much deserved winter break and began the Epiphany season with a "Fanfare for an Infant King" (St. Paul's Choir recorded in 2014) on January 5th, and supported another beautiful and well received (community at large) Taizé Gathering on January 10th. Join us in song, fellowship and worship!
Thursday, January 9, 2020
To Mars Hill:

I would like to say how glad I am to see the first official communication in the Proclaimer from our new warden, Maureen Gerrity. Her tone is positive, warm, and encouraging. — as she herself has always been. She’s just the person for the job right now. Thank you, Maureen. I look forward to hearing from you in the future in the

Moreover, I urge all of us to offer our thoughts and suggestions to her and the vestry through the next year. We are the church. They — the vestry, the warden, and Mthr. Barbara — need to hear and see our responses and suggestions. A letter to the editor is a but one way to renew the vital communication a church needs, but simply talking to the vestry and Mthr. Barbara is what they need in order to know the feeling of the church.

The church also needs your presence. I especially hope you will all come to and participate in our church’s offering of Taize’. While we welcome everyone in the community to Taize’, your presence is most precious of all. I am giving someone a ride to tomorrow night’s Taize’, and if you would be willing to transport someone or two, please call Susan (815-746-4888), who will let Mthr. Barbara know. I know we would like to establish a transportation ministry at St. Paul’s.

I have liked the way Mthr. Barbara has identified our work at and for St. Paul’s as ministries. Not just chores.

In fellowship,
Marilyn Cleland
Mysteries of Taizé: Join us for a new and exciting class at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in DeKalb, on Sundays, 12:15-1:30 PM on Feb 2nd and 9th, 2020. All are welcome!

Reverend Barbara A.T. Wilson will offer a class on the overall mysticism of the Taizé experience, exploring how candles, silent meditation, prayers, readings, and song work together to support both an individual and corporate meditative experience that has the ability to soothe our busy lives.
Grace Place NIU Campus Ministry is located at the corner of Normal and Lucinda. On Tuesday evenings they share a fellowship meal at 6:00pm followed by worship time. St. Paul’s has provided the meal once or twice a semester for several years. This involves a team of 4 to 5 people. Each person on the team prepares a portion of the meal at home (or buys their contribution) and the food is delivered by 5:30 by one or more of the team members. Because the meal starts at 6:00, we usually set up the food when we arrive and have it ready to go. The students take care of the rest. We have always been invited to stay for the meal and worship, but it is not expected. St. Paul’s has committed to provide meals on February 4 th (planning completed for this one), March 24 th and April 7th.  Expenses can be reimbursed. Anyone interested in participating in this outreach ministry to our NIU family, please sign up in the fellowship hall or see Jocelyn Prall. 
Spring is just around the corner, believe it or not! And it is time to plan our 2020 gardens! Please join our garden group on Sunday, February 16 during and after coffee hour for a short meeting to discuss the kind of garden we want to grow this year. We will be talking about three garden projects: the vegetable donation garden, the flower garden at the front of the church, and the raspberry garden. The discussion will include what to plant and the best workdays of the week in spring and summer. We also will be discussing sources of seeds and what soil amendments might be needed or desired. We are still looking for donations of straw bales, fruit netting, and hand gardening equipment that can be stored in the shed.

We enjoy our fellowship very much as well as the fruits (and vegetables) of our labor. Come to the meeting on the 16th or talk with Kris Borre, Jocelyn Prall, Mary Short, Rebecca Smith or Linda Lorbach for additional information on joining our work.


All St. Paul’s Readers.   

When:  Friday, February 21st

What:  Discussion of Chapter 6, "The God Who Needs our Salvation" by Andrew Sung Park from The Changing Face of God , edited by Frederick Schmidt (2000)

Where:  home of Mary Short,
3032 Fairway Oaks Drive, DeKalb, IL 60115
ALL  are welcome to join the discussion surrounding how we think about God
On the third Wednesday of each month there is an Episcopal Service of Holy Communion in the OakCrest Chapel. Mother Barbara Wilson of St. Paul's and Father Georges Jalouf of St. Peter's conduct this service on alternate months. On February 19, Mother Barbara will be officiating.
The Way of Love podcasts continue - find them on whatever you use to tune in to podcasts.

Check the Episcopal Church website for more resources to follow The Way of Love.
The Rector's Discretionary Fund Collection

First Sunday of the month, Feburary 2, 2020

Donations allow us to assist people in need in our community.
Food Pantry Collections

Sunday, February 9, is the next collection date, but you can bring items throughout the month .
Thank you so much for your generous gift. We are so very blessed with everyone's love & support -
Julie & Bob
Dear Reverend Barbara AT. Wilson and
the Church of St. Paul's,
I wanted to say thankyou very much for the lovely Christmas Dinner from Hyvee that you provided us and the lovely gifts that you gave us. You all have a deep meaning for my heart. Love always in Christ,
Gail & Lonnie Piper and Jennifer & Kenny
Thank you so much for the Christmas card, and the very generous gift card. I really appreciate it. I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a wonderful 2020.
Brittany Altepeter
Activities & Events

2/2 Sunday 4 Epiphany     
8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services 
9:00 Annual Budget Information Meeting
12:15 PM "Mysteries of Taize"

2/6 Thursday
5:30 PM Children's Choir
7:00 PM Adult/Youth Choir

2/7 Friday
7:00 PM "An Evening of Taize"

2/9 Sunday 5 Epiphany
8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services
Food Pantry Donations
12:15 PM "Mysteries of Taize" Class

2/13 Thursday
5:30 PM Children's Choir
7:00 PM Adult/Youth Choir  

2/16 Sunday 6 Epiphany    
8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services 
11:30 AM Garden Meeitng
12:00 PM Vestry Meeting

2/19 Wednesday     
2:00 PM Service at OakCrest 

2/20 Thursday
5:30 PM Children's Choir
7:00 PM Adult/Youth Choir  

1/21 Friday
6:30 PM Book Club Meeting

1/26 Sunday The Transfiguration
8:00 AM and 10:30 AM Services 
Healing Liturgy

2/26 Ash Wednesday
12:00 PM Imposition of Ashes
6:00 PM Ash Wednesday Service
February Birthdays

February Birthdays

2/3     Maureen Gerrity
2/6     Roy Mason
2/12   Bobby Russell
2/17   Kurt McMahon
2/25   Gretchen Schlabach
2/26   Freyja Rasmussen Johns
St. Paul's Episcopal Church Contact Information
900 Normal Rd., DeKalb, IL 60115 
Parish Office: (815) 756-4888 
The Rev. Barbara A.T Wilson, Rector