Mars Hill Proclaimer
St. Paul's Episcopal Church July Newsletter 2021


Dear Sisters and Brothers,
     It’s finally summertime and I am finding myself a bit obsessed with making home and caring for our garden. The latter being a heck of a lot more work than I anticipated!  

Check out this photo of our young sunflowers.

This old joke comes to mind, so I’ll share it with you.
     "Albert took over an old, run-down, abandoned community garden. The beds were overgrown with weeds, there was a shed, but it was falling down, and the greenhouse was just a frame with broken glass. During his first day of work, the vicar stopped by to bless Albert's work, saying, 'May you and God work together to make this the garden of your dreams!' A few months later, the vicar stopped by again. Lo and behold, it was completely transformed! The shed had been rebuilt, vegetables were growing in neat rows and the greenhouse had been re-glazed and was full of plump, ripe tomatoes. 'Amazing!' exclaimed the vicar. 'Look what God and you have accomplished together!' 'Well, yes, reverend,' said Albert, 'but remember what the place was like when God was working it alone?'"

   But isn't that the truth? God asks for our help, all of the time.  I don't think it's too much to say that God needs our help.

   The place where the sunflowers are planted now was formerly all weeds and rock-hard ground. Then Brad Smith came with his rototiller, cleared them out and created good space for planting, and so we did and here they are. They will flower pretty soon, I think---fittingly, on the Garden Street side of the rectory. 
   In the past few days, I've visited two homes that are relatively new to their residents.  One of them is the home of a widow who chose to sell the home she had shared with her beloved husband in order to begin again on her own. The other is the first and only house ever owned by a priest and his wife who've lived in rectories for all of their married life. He just retired and finally, after 40 years of ministry together, they have their very own home at last. All of our lives are made of this---endings and beginnings.  And with us through it all is our God, loving us fiercely and drawing us into new beginnings---resurrections.

   St. Paul's parish has endured many endings over the years. Through all of those endings, good seeds have been planted and nurtured for new beginnings. I believe God is calling us now, raising us up. And, yet, God needs our help to make it happen. Look around. What might you be able to do to help?

Grace and all good,
 We have now completed 3 vendor interviews/walk-throughs, and are reviewing the 2 proposals we received (one vendor withdrew). When looking at these proposals, (in addition to costs), we are considering what we need to make the in-person sound in the sanctuary acceptable no matter where you are sitting, and make the remote (Zoom or streaming) experience equally acceptable. We are now looking at lighting vendors. (The sound vendors don’t usually do lighting.) While the beautiful hanging lamps installed several years ago improved our lighting greatly, more improvements are needed.

The workgroup is committed to moving forward to meet our goal of presenting our recommendations to the Vestry as soon as possible.
Workgroup members are Peg Newby, Lucinda Brunner, Lorraine Langer, Gretchen Schlabach & Mother Barbara.

-Submitted by Peg Newby, Chairperson
From the Diocese:

With the announcement by Governor Pritzker on June 11 that Illinois is now in Phase 5, we believe it is time to begin moving carefully into our new normal. Effective today, we release you from the expectation of restrictions imposed by diocesan guidelines, and instead ask that you and your leadership work together to discern prayerfully and thoughtfully the guidelines you will put in place for your own community.

JULY, 2021

Greetings Brothers and Sisters of St. Paul’s,

Ah, July. It’s the month I call the “tweener”. For me it is between semesters, professional conferences, and property-tax payments. 
This slow and meandering time provides an opportunity for me to turn my attention to God’s guidance. This is especially true in my role of Senior Warden at this wonderful church of St. Paul’s DeKalb. I keep on reflecting upon the lessons I learned during Covid. The worship experience is one lesson that comes to mind. As you all know too well, in March 2020, Mother Barbara pivoted to use Zoom technology to stream our worship services. Within nanoseconds a new ministry emerged, and a small group of staff/parishioners became sound/vision engineers. 
Given my worship role as an acolyte/Eucharistic minister over my years at St. Paul’s, I always had the perfect view of the worship service with the perfect lighting and could hear and see the Word very well. Quite honestly, I lacked genuine sensitivity because I didn’t consider sound and vision to be a substantial church issue until I read the Zoom “Chat” and heard other comments from my parish family.
As our mission statement states, “…everyone’s story matters”. So, let’s hear it. Let’s see it. Let’s read it. Please review Peg Newby’s Sound/Vision report. Brothers and sisters of St. Paul’s with your support, I’m committed to improve our worship experience at St. Paul’s for everyone. I have the privilege of serving on St. Paul’s sound and vision group and am excited about the possibilities!!
Let me know if you have any questions or comments, many thanks.
Senior Warden
Hello Friends,

Hoping you are having a good summer so far. I would be remiss if I didn't give a huge shout out to our small but very dedicated crew of members who have been beautifying our gardens. The weeds were rampant, however, thanks to Mary Short's many hours of weeding we can actually see the flowers. Mary has also created a beautiful space for having an outdoor coffee meeting with a friend. Then we also have Brad and Rebecca Smith, Kris Borre, Jim Wilson and Linda Lorbach who have been working diligently on the vegetable garden. This means that St Paul's is actively participating in providing fresh veggies and fruit to a couple of food pantries. These behind the scene workers are much appreciated and should anyone wish to join them they are happy to teach anyone who feels they don't have the skill set required. We are blessed to have this dedicated team that is blessing those in need on our behalf.  

As far as building and grounds go we are looking into options to replace the original cabinets in the rectory. This is needed because they are falling apart after 57 years of use. We also need recommendations for a painter who can paint the Arch.  

Mulch will be deployed shortly into our weed free flower beds. If anyone would like to help please get a hold of Rick Johns.

Junior Warden
Gardening, 9:00 AM
Tuesdays at the Garden
(depending on weather)

Book Discussion, 5 PM
Fridays on Zoom

The Choirs are on Summer Break and will resume 9/9/2021

Liturgy of the Word and Prayer
8:00 AM
10:30 AM
Both services in Sanctuary and on Zoom
Zoom Coffee Chat following each service

will be available next month

June 19, 2021

Even though there isn’t going to be a June vestry meeting, I thought it would be useful to summarize our current financial position.

As of June 19, our bank balance stood at $140,083.70. Last week, I moved $100,000 from the
Endowment Fund to our checking account, following advice from our advisor at Edward Jones and members of the Endowment committee.

We spent $18,122.33 from our General Fund in May plus an additional $1406 from the revolving and pass-through funds. We have spent $111,223.35 in 2021, about 44.3% of our annual budget. For sake of comparison, the end of May is 42% of the year. We took in $6064 in pledges and contributions from
regular attendees in May. We have collected 53% of our expected pledge income so far this year.

As of June 19, the Endowment Fund value stood at $2,425,701.35; note that this amount is after I withdrew the $100,000 mentioned above. The Edward Jones Building Fund has $31,436.10 in it. Our Apache stock holdings were valued at $129.44 on February 22. As of the end of April, the Music Fund contained $800, and the Discretionary Fund has $176 in it. I would encourage people to contribute to the Discretionary Fund—there is a lot of need out there in the community.

In May we had a couple of unusual expenses. We had all of the exterior door locks changed. This was done as a security measure: there were just too many keys to the building floating around unaccounted for. Also, we are consolidating memorial plaques in the Durning Garden, and adding a new one in honor of Eva and Henry Leonard. On the income side, we had a substantial amount of money donated to the Puzz George memorial fund.
My records, the bank records, and the Quickbooks records are all in agreement. In general we are in good financial health at the moment.

Respectfully submitted,
Rick Johns, Treasurer
The St. Paul's
Choirs are on
summer break.

Fall rehearsals resume on Thursday, September 9th, and leading the congregation in song for worship services resumes Sunday, September 12th.
We hope you enjoy this video created a year ago with pictures of our
church family and friends. Music from St. Paul's Adult/Youth Choir.

Rain barrels set for the blessed rain that is coming! First zucchini on the vine, peas in full swing and lettuce ready for harvest. Marigolds not only brighten our tomatoes but provide protection from many insects. Our raspberries are producing too! 

We really do need help as many  of those interested are not able to come and work these days. 

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry has announced that after consultation with Bishop-elect Paula Clark and the Rev. Anne B. Jolly, president of the Standing Committee, he has rescheduled Clark’s ordination and consecration for August 28.

Please keep Bishop-elect Clark and her family in your prayers as she continues to heal. Cards may be sent to 65 E. Huron, Chicago, IL 60611.
A transcript is attached of the opening remarks of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry at the Executive Council of The Episcopal Church, which met virtually from June 25 through June 28.
We are continuing to study Take This Bread by Sara Miller.

“Engaging, funny, and highly entertaining . . . Miles comments, often with great insight, on the ugliness that many people associate with a particular brand of Christianity. Why would any thinking person become a Christian? is one of the questions she addresses, and her answer is also compelling reading.”

“Powerful . . . This book is a gem [and] will remain with you forever.”
–The Decatur Daily

“What Miles learns about faith, about herself and about the gift of giving and receiving graciously are wonderful gifts for the reader.”
–National Public Radio

“[A] joyful memoir . . . advocates big-tent Christianity in the truest sense . . . a story of finding sustenance and passing it on.”
–National Catholic Reporter

“Rigorously honest, Take This Bread demonstrates how hard–and how necessary–it is to welcome everyone to the table, without exception.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

Meetings on Fridays (or as agreed upon)
at 5:00 PM via Zoom
There is an opportunity to share to share a unique, free group being offered to the community through Northern Illinois Hospice. It is titled "Creative Expressions for Grief Support" and you can click here for the flyer. This will be a series of eight sessions highlighting the creative and healing arts for grief support and wellbeing. On the tail-end of our pandemic, grief is something that has been too close, for too long. This can serve as a creative way to find comfort and support.

Interested individuals can register for this by going to the website, calling, or emailing Participants can attend all or any combination of the individual sessions, they function as a sequence or as stand-alone. This will be run via Zoom, with links sent out weekly in advance of each session.
Food Pantry Collections
People are again allowed to come in to the Salvation Army pantry to choose their own food. This comes with the need for more volunteers to help individuals who use the pantry. Covid 19 precautions are in place. If you would like to assist, you can call or email Erin Andrews, the Volunteer Coordinator at 815-756-4308 or email at See her letter here.

Vince and Pat McMahon will be setting out the baskets in the Sanctuary for collections to take over the the Salvation Army Food Pantry. The second Sunday of the month is "Food Pantry Sunday."
The Rector's
Discretionary Fund Collection

Donations allow us to assist people in need
in our community.

Remember that donations can be mailed at any time.
July Birthdays and Anniversaries


7/4                Pat McMahon
7/5                Jocelyn Prall
7/21              Marilyn Cleland
7/26              Peggy Dowen
7/29              Susan King
7/31              Steve DeGolier


7/27       Rhys and Jocelyn Prall
7/27       Jimmy and Courtney

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