Mars Hill Proclaimer
St. Paul's Episcopal Church June Newsletter 2021
“All shall be well, and all shall be well, and
all manner of thing shall be well.” 
                                                                             Dame Julian of Norwich
    Over the past several weeks, I’ve been impressed by the level and quality of outreach, care and concern I’ve received—as a member of the clergy--from the leadership of the Episcopal Church---both the diocesan and national church. At the national level, it has come through “Credo.” "Initially formed in 2000, the mission of the CREDO Institute is to serve as a collaborative alliance providing resources for Episcopal leadership and wellness programs. Its broader purpose is to ensure the continued growth and vitality of God’s people by promoting the welfare and leadership of clergy and congregations.” 

    Most recently Credo invited me to participate (Zoom) in a series of weekly meetings with a handful of other priests in various parts of the country, led by another colleague who is also a trained pastoral counselor. It was an opportunity to discuss how it’s going with us as we are having to manage with COVID and restrictions in our parishes. We came to realize that we are all struggling in some ways to cope with the realities we’ve been given as we seek the greatest well-being of our congregations as a group, and of every member in our care.  Who, as I’m sure you can attest, are also struggling---struggling with conflicting wants and needs: the desire to stay as safe as possible for loved ones and the desire to get back into church, be able to sing and for parish life to get back to something like it was before. Over and against legitimate concerns about variants of the virus which continue to develop and proliferate and will continue until a strong majority of all humanity is vaccinated and “herd immunity” is achieved. 

    Now is where the hardest work begins---of the long haul to remain patient and hopeful in spite of the struggle. Patient with ourselves and one another and hopeful with and for one another as we trust that---no matter what---we are safe in the heart and hands of God where we can assert with Dame Julian that “all shall be well.”

    Also, just so you know, our diocesan psychologist recommended this week that we all catch afternoon naps (not just The Holy Sunday After Church nap!) and go outside at least three times a day for short (5-10 minute) walks. Sounds like good advice for us all!
Grace and all blessings,
We started meeting weekly on May 4th, both on Zoom and in person. We have determined our purpose, discussed what we know/need to know, funding, and our commitment to present a proposal to the Vestry in about 3 months. We have met in the sanctuary to review what is currently in place, the age of equipment, and the working status of equipment (speakers, lighting, etc.). Our information from the 2010 sound upgrade and quotes from 2019 have been reviewed. We are in the process of obtaining updated/additional quotes, and have invited contractors to visit our sanctuary to aid in these quotes. As we consider what is needed to present a good worship experience both in the sanctuary and at home, we are also being mindful to be good stewards of our funding. If you have specific questions, please feel free to email a member of the workgroup.
Workgroup members are Peg Newby, Lucinda Brunner, Lorraine Langer, Gretchen Schlabach & Mother Barbara.

-Submitted by Peg Newby, Chairperson
JUNE, 2021

Greetings Brothers and Sisters of St. Paul’s,

Now that I am fully vaccinated, I’ve returned to church. The naked tree branches are clad with foliage. Also, I noticed that the khaki winter grass has turned to lush green with an occasional uninvited-spunky-yellow dandelion peeking through suggesting that even the uninvited are welcomed at St. Paul’s. The assorted shades of green are perfect for Ordinary times. 

Interestingly, there is nothing ordinary about our worship service. Much goes into the pre-service preparations so that St. Paul’s can provide the best possible worship experience for those in the church and for those on-line. The Zoom Team (ZT) consists of Mother Barbara (Host) and Lorraine Hannah, Peg, me, and soon, Freyja (Co-Hosts), and we use one or more of our own personal devices (computers, iPad, iPhone). While the musicians (Kathleen, Lynne, Hannah, Lorraine) arrive to set up and rehearse at 9:30am, the rest of the ZT arrive at 9:45 am to ready the usher’s area and check the altar, lectern, and music area microphones (7 personal devices total). We go live and open Zoom to parishioners and the public at 10:00am

To give you an idea of all that goes into our 10:30 worship service, the ZT serves to:

·     Display the screen (me and Freyja): The ZT screen presenters review the specially prepared zoom bulletin (thanks, Susan). Further, we check to determine 1) if liturgical readings are one or two pages, 2) if hymns are on one or two or three pages, and 3) if there are any music lines repeated, so that we can better navigate the bulletin.

·     Record worship attendees (Peg): The ZT usher has assumed additional duties, too. Beyond a smile, a hello, and full-length bulletin given to those who enter our doors, the ZT usher also counts and records the number of participants in both the sanctuary and on zoom. Additionally, the ZT usher now makes sure that we have the correct contact information for those, who attend in-person. 

·     Read and respond to Chat (Peg): The ZT chat monitor lets the ZT know if there is any chat concerning the zoom experience.

·     Adjust microphones at the altar, lectern, and music area (Hannah and Lorraine): The ZT sound and video monitors oversee the mics at the altar, lectern, and music area. Given the sound nuances in our church, they not only have to mute/unmute those devices on Zoom but also physically turn the volume up and down on those devices at the altar, lectern, and music area. Additionally, the sermon is recorded via iPhone (Hannah and Lorraine) and later edited to publish on YouTube, Facebook and church website.
The ZT mindfully assess if the assigned readers for the liturgical readings of the people are present on zoom or in the sanctuary, and we also monitor to mute participants when needed.

The ZT tries desperately not to be a distraction to those in the worship service. I believe the ZT has come a long way in untangling the complexity of sound in St. Paul’s distinctive worship space related to streaming via zoom with the 7 devices and 6 ZT members. On a personal note, I have really enjoyed this new ministry and have grown to appreciate the problem-solving process. Thank you, St. Paul’s, for your continued patience, support, and kind words. 

In closing, thanks to Peg Newby’s leadership on the sound and vision team as we are beginning to review vendors to make upgrades.  Hopefully, virtually-speaking, there will be a day when one person hits the “GO” button to begin the service and one person hits the “STOP” button to end the service. 

Senior Warden

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

First of all I would like to thank everyone who has sent get well cards; delicious food and or helped me get to doctor's appointments. All of you are much appreciated. My recovery is coming along slowly but surely.

Secondly, as I got to enjoy the Kids Hope 25th Anniversary zoom I realized that it makes perfect sense to mention this great organization now. KHUSA developed a wonderful yet simple and effective concept. One Church One School One Mentor One Child One Hour a week.

At Saint Paul's we work with Lincoln Elementary in DeKalb. As someone who has been a mentor for nine years and then being a director I have seen first hand the incredibly positive effect of this ministry. I have had the honor of working in two separate churches/ schools, so I have also heard how much the social workers and principals at each school are huge fans of the program. The need is so high that sadly there are more kids than mentors.

Due to the fact that there are several steps in the process required prior to becoming a mentor, now would actually be an ideal time for someone to start considering if this is a ministry they feel led to, so that we can be ready for fall.

Here's the link to peruse the website and then please feel free to get a hold of me if you are interested or simply have questions.

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

Book Discussion, 6 PM
Thursdays on Zoom
Beginning June 17th

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

Coffee Hour Sermon Discussion with Mother Barbara
Following the 10:30 AM service
In the pews behind the altar and on Zoom



May 16, 2021

I need to apologize first: I am going to be on the road, driving to Florida to see my mother, when the Vestry meets this month. I can use Zoom from my phone, but there is just no telling how reception will be along the road. So, if you have any questions I can answer in advance of the meeting, please email them to me. Thank you.

As of May 13, our bank balance stood at $36,588.04. We will need to take some money out of the Endowment Fund to cover our June bills; this will be our first withdrawal in 2021.

 We spent $24,860.44 from our General Fund in April plus an additional $1269 from the revolving and pass-through funds. We have spent $93,213.77 in 2021, about 37.1% of our annual budget. For sake of comparison, the end of April is 33% of the year. We took in $3420.80 in pledges and contributions from regular attendees in April. We have collected 47.2% of our expected pledge income so far this year. However, income from regular attendees who don’t pledge and from anonymous open plate donors has been quite low this year so far.

As of April 30, the Endowment Fund value stood at $2,517,904.36. Five percent of the 12 month average is $113,541. The Edward Jones Building Fund has $31,435.80 in it. Our Apache stock holdings were valued at $129.44 on February 22.

As of the end of April, the Music Fund contained $753.93, and the Discretionary Fund has $40 in it. I would encourage people to contribute to the Discretionary Fund—there is a lot of need out there in the community.

Most of our expenses are pretty fixed. A lot of quarterly bills come due in April, especially Property Insurance, Worker’s Comp insurance (annual bill), security alarms, and Grace Place. It was nice to see some spending from the Flower Fund for the first time in over a year! Flowers on the altar are a great joy.

Respectfully submitted,

Rick Johns,
The 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 need singers to help lead Sunday hymns this summer. Let us know if you are interested in singing June-August .
We had a great choir chat via zoom at the end of May. A special thank you to our two wardens, Gretchen and Lucinda, for their cameo appearance and support.
Choir Zoom
We are drafting guidelines (thanks, Freyja) for our return to singing in rehearsals and worship, that will include thoughts and suggestions from the CDC, The Bishops Office, and with the guidance of Mthr. Barbara.
Jan Bach, Composer, In Concert

The DeKalb Municipal Band will open the 2021 summer concert season with "A Tribute to Jan Bach" at 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 8, at the Dee Palmer Band Shell in Hopkins Park, 1403 Sycamore Road in DeKalb.

We celebrate one of our very own parishioners, choir members, friends and family, Jan, we miss you and honor your spirit and talents.

The gardens in the front and back of the church are flourishing this spring! The flowers are lush, the seating area awaits parishioners seeking a quiet moment, and the newly planted vegetables are thriving and growing quickly. Gardener Mary Short is pictured planting irises around one of the trees and Gardener Brad Smith is moving one of many wheelbarrows of mulch. But there are more gardeners here in the mornings, including Rebecca Smith, Jocelyn Prall, Kris Borre and Linda Lorbach, and others. Come join them!
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.

“The reason for this is that it will provide a bit more space and time for Bishop-elect Clark to continue her work and her healing, her occupational and physical therapy, and to do all the things necessary so that she can assume the duties of the Thirteenth Bishop of the Diocese of Chicago,” Curry said in  a video message.

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. To facilitate her rest and recovery, please do not call or visit her for any reason.
We have finished studying Meeting Jesus Again for the First Time by Marcus J. Borg. Beginning June 17, we will be reading Take This Bread by Sara Miller.

Early one morning, for no earthly reason, Sara Miles, raised an atheist, wandered into a church, received communion, and found herself transformed–embracing a faith she’d once scorned. A lesbian left-wing journalist who’d covered revolutions around the world, Miles didn’t discover a religion that was about angels or good behavior or piety; her faith centered on real hunger, real food, and real bodies. Before long, she turned the bread she ate at communion into tons of groceries, piled on the church’s altar to be given away. Within a few years, she and the people she served had started nearly a dozen food pantries in the poorest parts of their city.

Take This Bread is rich with real-life Dickensian characters–church ladies, millionaires, schizophrenics, bishops, and thieves–all blown into Miles’s life by the relentless force of her newfound calling. Here, in this achingly beautiful, passionate book, is the living communion of Christ.

Meetings on Thursdays
at 6:00 PM via Zoom
beginning June 17th
Juneteenth Community Celebration Block Party
June 19,
Noon-5 p.m.

In celebration of this important day, New Hope Missionary Baptist Church has collaborated with B.L.L.A.C.K. Inc. NFP, in hosting a Juneteenth Celebration/Block Party at the corner of Hillcrest and Blackhawk (old Campus Cinema). Residents from the community will gather for fun, fellowship, and food. While this significant milestone is typically noted by Black/African Americans; this gathering will be welcoming and inviting to everyone.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. On June 19, 1865, the Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas bringing the news the Civil War had ended and the enslaved were now free. This was two and a half years after the Emancipation Proclamation.

Join to celebrate our Freedom Day!
We have found that many of the locks for the eight church doors have become worn and have broken easily. In order to increase security, we have replaced all the outside door locks. Only keys marked as Master Keys will open all eight outside doors and only seven of these will be issued. Other keys issued will only open Door 4 in the breezeway facing the Rectory. That way, if someone looses their key, we only have to rekey one door - very much the advice of our locksmith for security and for expense. Keys have been issued to people by the current responsibilities they have. If you have an older building key, you do not have to turn it in.
Food Pantry Collections
People will again be 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.
June Birthdays and Anniversaries


6/7         Sean Sitzes
6/23       Colin Prall
6/23       Tyrique O’Neal
6/28       Kenneth Sitzes
6/30  Theodore & Everett Faulkner


6/6          Deb and Jordan Meyers
6/13        Bobby and Colleen Russell
6/22        Vince and Pat McMahon
6/27        Cliff and Marilyn Cleland

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