Mars Hill Proclaimer
St. Paul's Episcopal Church June Newsletter 2022
Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Through these terrible days of mass shootings and continuing murders of school children, like you, I imagine---I’m praying hard and wondering what can be done, how do God’s faithful people respond to the current pandemic of gun violence? 

      Having just returned from a brief retreat with nothing to do but sit with God, and walk in the woods and prairies of Holy Wisdom Monastery near Madison, WI -- the Desert Fathers (and there were Desert Mothers, too) come to mind.  They were Christians who searched for a new form of martyrdom or witness. Once the persecutions of Christians had stopped, it was no longer possible to witness for Christ by following him as a blood witness. Yet the end of the persecutions did not mean that the world had accepted the ideals of Christ and altered its ways; the world continued to prefer the darkness to the light (John 3:19). But if the world was no longer the enemy of the Christian, then the Christian had to become the enemy of the dark world. The flight to the desert was the way to escape a tempting conformity to the world under imperial rule. There they became a new kind of martyr: witnesses against the destructive powers of evil, witnesses for the saving power of Jesus Christ. Like the Desert Fathers and Mothers, we have to find a practical and workable response to Paul’s exhortation: “Do not model yourselves on the behavior of the world around you, but let your behavior change, modeled by your new mind. This is the only way to discover the will of God and know what is good, what it is that God wants, what is the perfect thing to do.”

    Stepping away from our culture of violence and automatic weapons is just a start. We want to remember Christ’s prayer for us, that we be “in the world, but of it.” (John 15:19)

    One way we can do this is to take respite in our church, “get away from it all” in our beautiful sanctuary on Wednesdays and Sunday mornings. Join in a lunch after Noonday Prayers for no other reason than to enjoy one another’s company. Walk the Church Path which is curated by our members and is thought-provoking and lovely. Sit in the Memorial Garden, which (I hope) will be blooming soon with rose bushes and “pollinators” native to our area.

    We are also welcoming others to join with us in our place of peace: the Bread and Roses Women’s Chorus rehearse and practice on Sunday nights from 5:30 PM to about 8:30. They welcome observers and new members.

    Also, we will be welcoming young bicyclists in the Ulman Foundation’s 4K, who are riding cross-country to raise money for young cancer patients. They will be sleeping at St. Paul’s on Friday night, June 24th. We need volunteers to make dinner (regular, vegan and vegetarian options) for them that evening and some kind of light breakfast before they head out on Saturday morning.

    St. Paul’s offers a respite of peace, beauty and compassion. May it be so for a very long time to come!
Yours in Christ Jesus,
Betsy Pool, a longtime member involved with the life of St. Paul's church passed away last summer. Her ashes were interred privately by her family at that time.

We are planning to celebrate her life at St. Paul's on Saturday, June 18th at 11:00 AM. If you would like to be involved with this service, please contact Mother Barbara.
"In The Difficult Words of Jesus, Amy-Jill Levine shows how these difficult teachings would have sounded to the people who first heard them, how have they been understood over time, and how we might interpret them in the context of the Gospel of love and reconciliation."

Please join our Luncheon Book Study beginning on Tuesday, June 14th at Noon in the Conference Room.
JUNE 1, 2022

Hello everyone,

Here we are halfway through the year. Despite everything going on in the world and this country, I am going to focus on positive events. For instance, Bishop Elect Paula Clark astonishing willpower and work to overcome all that has been thrown at her over the last couple of years. She is always so positive and upbeat when she speaks and is truly an inspiration. She is excited that her Ordination/Consecration is finally scheduled for September 17th, 2022. Her spirit, faith and perseverance are a splendid example for all of us.

As for the opportunity to host BASICS, that is still on hold as they continue to roll out their programs.

Please know that your vestry is hard at work having prayerful discussions on what and how we can continue to share our facilities with the community thereby reaching out to them. We are also going to roll out our plans for a capital campaign in the next month. In our efforts to take care of Saint Paul’s for the betterment of our members and the community we are getting ahead needed repairs and expenses. We are setting up an opportunity for each of us to help commit to the financial commitment that will is expected. For instance, we need to repair the gutters (that are ineffective and therefore causing leaks on the ceiling in the Sanctuary). We also have an aging heating system in the sanctuary and ideally, we hope to be able to make steady repairs in installments rather than wait until all eight furnaces go out.

It is never fun nor easy to ask for money especially in this economy where inflation and sky rocketing gas prices are hurting us all. The key here is that we will be spreading the campaign over several years. A small and steady commitment is sometimes easier versus feeling like we are looking for something huge that is unrealistic and can be scary. The main request is that you would prayerfully consider your commitment. Please know that we are being fiscally responsible and highly conscious of everyone’s situation during these tough times.

I also would like to express that we are keen to get our Kids Hope USA (KHUSA) mentoring program back in full swing. This requires a ONE hour per week commitment to mentor a child at Lincoln Elementary School in DeKalb. There is nothing more rewarding that being there for a child that the school has identified as needing a little extra support. The school has a much larger pool of kids who would benefit from a mentor than we have mentors.  Nevertheless, they are very appreciative of all the mentors we can provide. Please get ahold of me if you have questions and or if you intend to start back in the fall so we can start getting prepared. Thank you in advance.

I would like to thank Jennie C for her dedication to getting us organized. Whether it is the church clean up or the social get togethers. I am looking forward to spending time with each of you over the next few months and listening to you and your concerns.

In gratitude and comforted by Psalm 18 Verse 30 “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless. He is a shield to all who take refuge in HIM.
In Peace and Love,

Senior Warden

Gardening, 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Book Study, 12:00 PM, beginning 6/14

Noonday Prayers
11:30 AM - 1:00 PM
Leader-led prayer
12:00-12:30 PM
Last Wednesday of month-
Catered lunch at 1:00 PM

Gardening, 8:00 AM-9:30 AM

Liturgy of the Word and Prayer

8:00 AM in Sanctuary (Rite I, no music)

10:30 AM
In Sanctuary and on Zoom (with music)
Coffee Hour following

Friday, June 24
Uhlman 4K for Cancer Riders stay at St. Paul's


MAY 15, 2022

As of May 13, our Heartland Bank checking account balance stood at $68,162.89. This is plenty for our current needs.

We spent $27,857 from our General fund in April, and we took in $12,041 from pledges and regular contributions. We also took in $431 from the revolving and pass-through funds, and spent $1,043.  We also spent $15,259 from the Building fund for the new furnace on the roof of the parish hall. This leaves a balance of only $4,206 in the Building fund. However, we have $36,145 in the Leonard and George memorial funds. We have spent $62,789 on the new sound system.

The higher than usual spending in April was primarily due to a $6083 bill for property and workers’ compensation insurance. Also, the high price of natural gas and a cold month led to a large ($1397) Nicor bill.

As of April 30, the Discretionary Fund had $1133 in it, the Music fund had $850, and the Flower fund had $1488. The Endowment fund is valued at $2,092,349.86 and the Capital Fund at Edward Jones is $31,439.38. Our Apache stock was worth $212.50 on February 22.
Jennie and I have had some discussion about how the collection is counted. I would like some vestry input on this. One thing I am concerned about is that we really should count the loose cash and record it each Sunday after the 10:30 service. Other than this, I think we currently have a well worked out system that seems relatively secure. 

Last month the vestry asked Bill Cummings and Roy Mason to do an audit. I have spoken with both of them, but we haven’t actually met yet. I am sending them the diocesan audit guidelines, which I downloaded from the diocesan website. My role in this audit is to supply them with whatever information they need, but otherwise leave them to do their job independently of me. 

In preparation for the audit, I have just finished reviewing the Quickbooks file that Sheila uses for our bookkeeping. We made a few minor changes, and I feel that it is an accurate reflection of our receipts and disbursements.

Last month the vestry asked me to look into the website and how it is paid for. I am sorry to say that I just haven’t had the time to work on this. I would really like to involve the vestry in this. I am distressed that we do not seem to have any copies of vestry meeting minutes from any time before 2022.

I have recently become aware that the small font size on the spreadsheets I send the vestry is hard to read if you look at the PDF document and not the actual Excel file. I will try to fix this for next month.

Respectfully submitted,
Rick Johns, Treasurer
Join us this summer for an impromptu, volunteer, pop-up choir, on the third Sunday of the month!

June 19, July 17, August 21 at the 10:30 AM Service

Come one and all! Open to all parishioners and friends from our greater community. Sunday, June 19th will be our first summer choir anthem sing-along. We will meet at 9:45 AM to rehearse the morning anthem as well as several anthems for the summer.
A few Summer Anthems options to rehearse

Taizé Gatherings Return: Friday, October 7, 2022

Calling all musicians. Please let Lorraine know if you are interested in singing and/or playing an instrument.

Stay tuned for more information on our first Taizé music rehearsal.
Lorraine Langer

Hannah Buckle
Assistant Director of Music/Pianist

Kathleen Johnson
Pipe Organist
Streaming Ministries
Enhancing the Quality of In-Person and On-Line Worship Services
Our new streaming ministries sound and video system continues to enhance our:

  • Intelligibility of spoken and sung worship in-person and on-line;

  • Ability to stream live via YouTube in tandem with Zoom to our Parishioners and community; and

  • Ability to offer an Assisted Listening System (ALS) We are now offering the option for anyone to use "Listen EVERYWHERE" to enhance their ability to hear the service more clearly. This is an Application to download from Apple and Google Play onto your smart phone, iPad, device, etc.) You can listen via BlueTooth, using Earbuds as well as Hearing Aids. Let Mthr. Barbara and Lorraine know if you would like to explore and try out "Listen EVERYWHERE".

The Sanctuary system has a new upgrade and is now essentially complete. We recently added the capability to play music from a computer (CD, Sound track, YouTube, etc.) and have it heard in the Sanctuary (through our new speakers) and via Streaming. This was used recently for the Jan Bach Celebration of Life service.

Additionally, as previously shared, having the addition of two handheld wireless microphones, is making it easier for parishioners to use for reading the Lessons and Psalms, as well as share an announcement from the pews (instead of going up to the lectern), during the service.

The Parish Hall system also has an abbreviated version of the afore-mentioned new upgrade noted in the Sanctuary system, to play music from a computer live into the room and streaming. While we are looking into a more functional work area that is esthetically appealing, it is essentially complete.

The choir has been using the parish hall system for rehearsals via Zoom. And yep, this is available for coffee hour, for the parishioners zooming in from home after the service on Sundays to join in fellowship Just stay on with us to chat!, and essentially any meeting (book group, vestry, staff, etc).

Streaming Ministers:
Peg Newby, Gretchen Schlabach, Katt Scott, Hannah Buckle, Lorraine Langer
YouTube and Zoom Links are below for easy access!
St. Paul's Garden Club truly has been as busy as a bee!

All of our gardening areas have been receiving loving care and attention. On Mother's Day, Mother Barbara blessed our gardens. Lorraine selected a lovely hymn for the event.

Mary Short's beautiful vision for the Durning Memorial Garden is taking shape, and it will be stunning when completed!

The roses in the flower boxes have been pruned, and resurrection lillies have been planted at the front of the church, complementing the day lillies there.

Our new pollinator garden is taking shape. We have planted native perenniel donations, and will continue to collect them as we can. Thank you to everyone willing to donate toward this effort. 

Recently, Kris dug up several Mexican Sunflowers to give to our parishioners. The birds love them!

Our vegetable garden continues to be our main focus. Several of the beds have been prepared and planted with a great variety of vegetables. We have a few more beds that need work, and we are adding an additional raised bed. Rain barrels hopefully will be set up soon.

We are grateful to have Kay Robinson, Master Gardener Intern, to help in our efforts. Unfortunately, some health issues have impacted our team, and we are not at full-force. Nevertheless, we are committed to our effort. 

Our community benefits so much from it.

St Paul's Garden Club hopes to grow more than 500 lbs. of organic produce this season, with God's help. If you know anyone else who could help us too, please let Kris know!

We continue to meet on Mondays and Thursdays at 8 am, or as needed.

Jo Plenger-Schulz 
We are hoping for donations of rose bushes to beautify the Memorial Garden being planted now. Please check with Mary Short if you have questions.
Kids Hope USA will be looking for volunteers again this fall. We will meet with children for an hour a week at Lincoln Elementary School. Check with Lucinda Brunner with questions and for information.
Dear People of God in the Diocese of Chicago:
The words of the prophet Jeremiah come to mind so often these days:

Thus says the Lord:
A voice is heard in Ramah,
lamentation and bitter weeping.
Rachel is weeping for her children;
she refuses to be comforted for her children,
because they are no more. (Jeremiah 31:15)

On days such as this one, we are all Rachel, all weeping, all beyond comfort. Please pray today for the dead in Uvalde, Texas, and in Buffalo, New York. Pray too for those who die daily on the streets of Chicago and other cities, for victims of domestic violence, and for those who die alone and in despair.

We are heartbroken, and I pray that our anguish moves us to action. The Episcopal Church’s Office of Government Relations has provided resources for taking advocacy action and contacting your members of Congress. You can also participate in Wear Orange Weekend on June 4 and 5, and you can donate to support the people of the East Side of Buffalo and the people of Uvalde.

Especially now, as we struggle to understand this unfathomable violence, may God grant us the peace that passes understanding.
Bishop-elect Paula Clark
Diocesan Headquarters
Listed for Sale
The diocesan headquarters at 65 E. Huron Street in downtown Chicago was listed for sale last week with commercial real estate broker CBRE, the diocese’s Bishop and Trustees (B&T) have announced.

The primary goal of the sale is to assure the long-term financial viability of the diocese, trustee Lonn Myers said last year. Most of the proceeds from the sale will be placed in a fund that will function like an endowment and be governed by B&T.

On Wednesday, June 1, the Noonday Prayers featured a collection of poems to deal with the the events in Uvalde. You can click here to find them.
 On Wednesdays the Sanctuary will be open for quiet prayer and meditation at 11:30 AM. At noon, there will be a leader for responsive prayers until 12:30 PM. The Sanctuary will remain open until 1:00 PM for quiet prayer and meditation. On the last Wednesday of the month, all are invited to gather at a BYO lunch at 1:00 PM.
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.

We are again listing flower donation memorials in the bulletin. Watch for the flower chart that will be in the Parish Hall. Or simply send a check with your memorial honoree listed.
June Birthdays and Anniversaries


6/7             Sean Sitzes
6/13           Mary Short
6/13           Colin Prall
6/28           Kenneth Sitzes
6/30           Theodore & Everett Faulkner


6/6             Deb/Jordan Meyers
6/13           Bobby/Colleen Russell
6/27        Cliff/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