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


   Dear Ones,

    As I’ve spoken with many of you by phone to check on you all through this strange time of “sheltering in place,” the common theme that arises over and again is our shared desire to be able to share in Holy Communion again.  Certainly the greatest part of that desire is in the sharing together. But we also miss the bread and wine of the sacrament of Christ’s body and blood. 

    I’ve heard it said that without Holy Communion, it doesn’t feel like “church.” My friend Ruth Meyers, liturgics professor of Church Divinity School of the Pacific points out that historically, and for hundreds of years, the church gathered for prayers all but never received communion. The Mass was said, the bread and wine consecrated and consumed by the celebrant and with prayer, everyone was dismissed to go on with their lives. And the Mass was, in many places, was celebrated daily—without communion. So, Ruth points out—where we are now is not really unusual for us as Christians if we take the long view.

    On the other hand, through participating in the celebration of the Eucharist online from the National Cathedral, I learned about something new and beautiful called an “act of spiritual communion” written by St. Alphonsus de Liguori. This involves expressing our faith in Christ and in his Presence in the Eucharist, and asking Him to unite Himself with us. The basic elements of an Act of Spiritual Communion include an Act of Faith, an Act of Love, a desire to receive Christ, and an invitation to him to come into your heart.

My Jesus,
I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You.  Amen.

  The Act of Spiritual Communion came into popular use after it became normative for everyone gathered to receive communion at the Eucharist---but for whatever reason certain individuals could not receive the consecrated bread and wine. So I offer it to you, to use as part of our Sunday morning Liturgy of the Word and Prayers, in place of the Liturgy of the Table. Even as we look forward to being together again.

Faithfully,
Barbara+
WEEKLY DEVOTIONS
Lectionary Bible Study , 7 PM (Zoom Video or Audio) - Wednesdays

Compline , 7 PM
(Zoom Video or Audio) -
Fridays

Parish Check In , 1 PM
(Zoom Video or Audio)
Saturdays

Liturgy of the Word and Prayers , 9 AM
(Zoom Video or Audio)
Sundays 
FROM THE SENIOR WARDEN
April 29, 2020

To My Dear St. Paul’s Family,
 
We are in our 5 th week of “social distancing” and have at least another 4 weeks to go. Who among us ever imagined we would be fighting an invisible enemy by making ourselves scarce? So far, this strategy appears to be accomplishing the goal of slowing the spread of the virus in our area. I hope and pray that we all come through this time of trial safely.

As we look forward to the time when we can once again gather together, we can be thinking about what our worship life will look like. It seems clear that many of the precautions we are currently taking will carry over into “normal” life. What changes will we need to make to ensure each other’s safety going forward? We humans are notoriously creatures of habit. What habits and traditions will we, as a church, need to let go of? What healthy habits can we incorporate into our worship life to replace those that we have lost?    

In recent years, the church as a whole has grappled with the decline in attendance at Sunday services. We have been encouraged to bring the church out to our neighbors, to serve them where they are. St. Paul’s virtual services and parish “check-ins” have been a blessing during this time of social isolation. I believe the church of the future will need to provide both virtual and in-person services in order to thrive. Mother Barbara has created a weekly calendar of virtual meditations and services. Please participate in them as you are able and provide feedback. Think about which offerings you would like to see continued. Virtual technology has helped us to stay connected in faith and fellowship in this extraordinary time. Could it also be a key component of growing the church of the future?

In Faith & Hope,

Maureen
Senior Warden
FROM THE JUNIOR WARDEN
Greetings brothers and sisters of St. Paul’s –

Although I have served on the vestry several times, this is the first time that I’m serving in the role of the Junior Warden. I was asked to accept this role shortly after I was appointed to teach a new doctoral course at FIU and before COVID. Wow, I must admit I am a bit nervous to serve our church under these circumstances, however I’m also excited by the possibilities. 


Through the grace of God, I have come to recognize God’s presence in our new normal. The vestry has discussed pressing church issues, i.e., PPP, bylaws, pledging, technology, fellowship, etc. I’ve been impressed with the breadth, depth, and sensitivity of each vestry conversation.  I’ve been awed by our Rector, who seamlessly and effectively changed her face-to-face ministry to a technology ministry in nanoseconds with the help of our Director of Music (DOM). I never thought I would hear words like download, upload, space, You Tube, Sound Cloud, web site streaming, megabytes, hard drive, Zoom, etc., being uttered by a Priest.

Additionally, I appreciate that our office staff continues to keep us updated with weekly emails, digital bulletins, and monthly newsletters among other things. Thanks to the diligent work of our DOM and staff, our St. Paul’s web site ( http://www.stpaulsdekalb.org ) is updated daily and is becoming OUR PLACE TO CONNECT with each other and the Episcopal church at-large. You can find videos/audios of our priest’s sermons and reflections, as well as, music from our adult/youth and children’s choirs. You can also find the ministries schedule and our Rector’s weekly office schedule among many other things. 

Moving away from technology, I’ve been fascinated with the Garden team as they have planted their seeds in hopes of an abundant crop. Last, but not least, I’m mesmerized by our Treasurer’s work with the numbers on the monthly budget sheets and the work on the PPP.   

Just like the disciples’ eyes were opened on the “Road to Emmaus” (the third Sunday of Easter/Gospel of Luke), my eyes have been opened over the last couple of months. It is very clear to me that God is working with and through us at St. Paul’s during these unprecedented times. 

Gretchen
Junior Warden
Taizé Gatherings
 Evenings of prayer,
meditation, and music!

April 20, 2020

Dear Friends in Christ,

I hope that this note finds you happy and healthy during this season of Easter. I would love to hear how you are faring with sheltering at-home/self-isolation/quarantine.  I am curious to hear how your celebration Easter without the benefit of a church building was for you. If you are so inclined, please share your experience of Easter-or any stories of being at home-by replying to this newsletter. I wonder if you are experiencing an “up-side” to quarantine? If so, what is it for you? Have you returned to or started any new spiritual disciplines during this time?  Barbara+ and I have gone back to sharing the  Order of Compline  together in the evening. You are welcome to join us via Zoom Friday evenings at 7:00 p.m. We both have our own morning, noon and evening prayer routines that we try to fit in daily. “Try” being the operative word for me!  I sometimes forget but am doing better since using a lovely little book by J. Phillip Newell,  Celtic Benediction  to help remind and guide me to be intentional with my prayers. Barbara+ is following this season’s devotions found in volume 3 of  The Divine Hours: Prayers for Springtime, by Phyllis Tickle,   and, of course, meditate with the music of Taize. Whatever you are doing for your personal spiritual care, I hope that this unique time of history is more of a retreat than forced isolation for you; a time when you find the Sacred in the simplicity of everyday life in your own home. 

The following poem was going to be one of the meditations for this month’s Taize gathering with the empty tomb, the Feast of the Resurrection and Earth Day in mind. I think it is also fitting for these times of isolation where God’s Earth has been allowed to breathe a little easier with less pollutants, congestion and more quiet time for all of Creation-we human beings included, to slow down, rest and reassess.   

This adaptation of Joan Sauro’s poem is from:

Whole Earth Meditation.  

The Spirit of God breathes everywhere within you,
just as in the beginning,
filling light place and dark…
green earth
and dry.
 
Just as God renews the face of the earth.
 
God breaks through at the weakest point,
When the mind releases its grasp
And the heart is laid bare
That place of least resistance.
 
God’s love grows,
fullness
upon
fullness,
where you crumble enough to give what is most dear.
Your earth.*

May your Season of Easter be filled with sweet Alleluias! 
God’s peace to you and to those you love.  
We’ll keep you in the loop!

Lynne
Liturgist/Pastoral Assistant


Suggested readings:

The Divine Hours (Volume Three): Prayers for Springtime: A Manual for Prayer.  Tickle, Phyllis. Image, 2006
 
Celtic Benediction : Prayers for Morning and Evening . Newell, J. Philip. Canterbury Press, 2000

Whole Earth Meditation: Ecology for the Spirit.  Sauro, Joan. LuraMedia, 199 2

*adapted, lgj
Music Ministries

 The Adult/Youth and Children's Choirs and Instrumentalists will continue to share anthems (songs) for the season of Easter with you from current, and previous audio/video recordings, in hopes to bring you some contemplative moments of peace along with moments of hopefulness.
In the spirit of the Liturgical season of Easter and Spring
The choirs share the anthems below - church website music page
kidschoir2 oct2019

Giovanni Palestrina

Michael Ekbladh

The Children's Choir

Robert Powell
Meet our new Assistant
Director of Music, Hannah Buckle!

The St. Paul’s music program is excited to share that Hannah Buckle has been promoted to Assistant Director of Music, and will also continue as our church’s primary pianist/accompanist.

Hannah joined the St. Paul's music program in the fall of 2016. Since the age of 6, she has performed and competed in numerous competitions in Illinois. 

She received her Bachelor of Arts in piano performance from Northern Illinois University at the age of 19, where she studied with Dr. William Koehler.

In addition to performing as a solo pianist and collaborative accompanist, Hannah has an equal passion for teaching. She owns and operates the Hannah Buckle Piano Studio here in DeKalb. Hannah maintains an extensive teaching schedule with her own private students in DeKalb, in addition to teaching at Harmony Music School in Sugar Grove. 

Hannah has accompanied many soloists and ensembles that include; NIU’s Opera Theater, NIU Flute Studio recitals, Rockton Middle School Choirs, Kiwanis Community Talent Show, Elwood House and many others.

Hannah continues to be our church’s principle accompanist. Her advanced technical and artistic piano skills as well as her leadership skills have enhanced the rehearsals and performances of our adult/youth and children's choirs, the overall music for our worship services, in addition to the new and exciting Taizé Gatherings here at St. Paul’s.

We are very fortunate to have Hannah on our staff and we are very excited to promote such a talented pianist and artist into our music program!

This fall, Hannah will be attending Midwestern University where she will be working on a Doctor of Occupational Therapy degree. 

Hannah enjoys running and ran in the 2016 Chicago Marathon. She also enjoys watching cooking and baking shows, and she like to cook for her family.

Hannah Buckle, Assistant Director
of Music and Pianist/Accompanist

Kathleen Johnson, Organist
A Note about Church Communications and Technology

During these unprecedented times, I’ve been tasked to focus on extensive communications and technology work related to zoom, online streaming, website updates, you-tube email blasts, etc. I am working closely with Mthr. Barbara.

This past month St. Paul's added a copyright and streaming license to our church website. I will share more specifics in next month’s vestry report and parish newsletter.

Lorraine Langer, Director of Music
TREASURER'S REPORT
April 30, 2020.

I want to thank all of you for sending in your pledges. These are difficult times, and we will get through them with your continued support. Sending checks by mail works very well: I collect and deposit them once a week. You can also sign up for online giving through Realm: https://onrealm.org/StPaulEpiscopal/SignIn .

On March 1 we had $36,172 in our Heartland Bank account. During March we took in $8,774 and spent $19,990, leaving us with $25,046 in that account. Our expenses have not dropped by much since the covid crisis hit: we continue to pay our full payroll, and we still need to maintain the building and grounds. 

As of March 27, our Endowment Fund was worth $1,838,359. This was close to the most recent low point in the stock market; the value has recovered somewhat since then. The Building Fund was worth $16,434. 

The Discretionary Fund could use your help. The pandemic is creating a lot of need in the community.

We are applying for a loan under the federal Payroll Protection Program. This loan will be completely forgiven as long as we spend the money on wages and utility bills. To be clear about this: if the loan is approved and funded, we will not have to repay it. However, this program is very popular and there is no guarantee of funding. I will keep you all informed.

Thank you very much.

Rick Johns,
Treasurer
ON LINE GIVING USING REALM
Even though we aren’t able to hold face-to-face services because of covid-19, we still need to pay our staff and maintain our buildings. We need you to fulfill your pledges and support the church financially.

St. Paul’s is using a web-based program called Realm to manage various church functions. One of the most useful aspects of Realm is the ability to set up pledge payments or regular donations from your bank account to St. Paul’s. You will no longer need to use your weekly donation envelopes or mail in checks. 

--To set up on-line giving through Realm, you must first log in to the Realm website: https://onrealm.org/StPaulEpiscopal/SignIn .
--If you have not logged in before, we will send you an email with instructions on how to get your account set up. Look for it soon after you read this in the Proclaimer.

--Here is a video presentation of how to set things up once you have logged in to Realm: https://player.vimeo.com/video/232536659


--Here are some step-by-step instructions:

1. Log in to Realm
2. Click on “ Giving ” in the box on the left side of the page
3. Click on the blue “+Give ” button
4. Enter how much you would like to give, then click on “ Give Multiple Times ” (or “Give Once”), then on “ Continue
5. Click on how frequently you would like to give that amount. “ Monthly ” for example. Then click on “ Continue
6. You can then choose to give through a credit card or through your bank account.
               --I recommend using your bank account because the fees are lower (1% as compared to 2.7% for a credit card).
               --it helps us if you check the box for contributing an extra amount to offset processing fees
7. Enter the necessary information, then click on “ Give ” at the bottom of the page to finalize your work.
8. Thank you very much! St. Paul’s relies on your generosity.


--If you would like my help in setting things up, please email me (Rick Johns) at mitrick.a.johns@gmail.com . You can also text or call me at 815-217-4849.
LOBSTER BOIL POSTPONED
Due to the ongoing covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, we have decided to postpone Lobster Boil until late summer or fall. Even under the most optimistic of scenarios, the committee felt that it would be impossible to put together a Lobster Boil for our scheduled date of May 16. We will reassess the situation as it develops in coming months. We also need to find a time when lobsters are available at a good price. Here is a website with some information on that: https://lobsteranywhere.com/seafood-savvy/best-time-buy-lobster/ .
GARDEN TEAM
St. Paul’s Garden is ready for Spring!

Our beds are prepared and in the process of being planted. We spread our compost, used our new flame weeder to destroy the weeds. 

Crops planned for this year include peas, which are up and growing; onions, kale and collards, green beans, pole beans, beets, lettuces, spinach, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and herbs. Our raspberries are growing with leaves emerging and have been mulched. Many of our seeds have been donated from local companies and we are thankful for their kindness and faith in us to use those seeds to feed those who are hungry.

The flower beds are in process and we are attempting to clean and maintain the beds around the front entrance of the church. The bistro set is being painted and prepared for a place to meditate or have a coffee with a friend.

Our team works in the garden singly or in pairs, practicing social distancing and washing our hands. We invite all who are interested to participate in our gardens. 


Kris Borre
FELLOWSHIP
Fellowship has certainly taken on a new face. No longer are we sitting next to each other at coffee hour, going out for fellowship dinners, and enjoying events in our building. Our outreach projects are also on hold. When do we see these things happening again?? In the meantime, I think we have done an admirable job of doing fellowship at a distance. Our Low Sunday virtual brunch was fun. The Saturday afternoon Zoom gatherings provide us a time to see each other’s faces and share information. The Sunday morning worship time gives us another chance to be in fellowship. I am thankful that Mother Barbara is coordinating these events. Of course, there are parishioners who aren’t able or comfortable doing computer meetings. I encourage us to keep in touch by phone or snail mail. I am so grateful for my St. Paul’s family, and look forward to our next contact, whatever form that may take. 

Peg Newby
A WAY TO GIVE
Give DeKalb County is a 24-hour fundraising event to support nonprofit organizations in or serving DeKalb County. Donations can be made online by credit card, debit card, ACH transfer, or Mobile Wallet from midnight to midnight on May 7 at GiveDeKalbCounty.org . Starting April 16, donors giving by check can print a donation form from the website, complete the form indicating the organization(s), and donation amount(s), then write a single check for the total amount payable to “DCCF.” Checks can be mailed to DeKalb County Community Foundation, 475 DeKalb Avenue, Sycamore, IL 60178.

Some of the organizations that can benefit are Barb City Manor, DeKalb Festival Chorus, KVAL, Love INC, Tails Humane Society, Safe Passage, Hope Haven, Family Service Agency and the Voluntary Action Center.
BISHOPS' MESSAGES
In a video message on April 24, Bishop Lee announced that, in keeping with Governor Pritzker’s extension of Illinois’ stay-at-home order, all in-person worship, meetings and events across the Diocese of Chicago will continue to be suspended through the end of May. I n accordance with the suggestions and guidelines of the  Episcopal Diocese of Chicago , and our Bishop, The Rt. Rev. Jeffrey D. Lee, we are suspending all in-person worship, meetings and events until further notice.  Bishop Jeffery Lee's Video Message
  
On Sundays, it is important to listen in to our Bishops, Presiding Bishop Michael Curry and our own Bishop Jeff Lee. We will put links to their sermons on our webpage each week.
Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Word to the Church:
What Would Love Do?
On Wednesday morning (April 29), Presiding Bishop Michael Curry issued "A Word to the Church: What Would Love Do?"  



In the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic, we are now at another one of those threshold moments when important and significant decisions must be made on all levels of our global community for the good and the well-being of the entire human family," he said.

"We've been trying, making mistakes, learning, regrouping, trying anew. I've seen it. Holy Week and Easter happened in ways that none of us dreamed possible. I've quietly read Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, and Compline online with you. I've seen soup kitchens, pantries, and other feeding ministries carefully doing their work in safe and healthy ways. Zoom coffee hours, bible studies, and small discipleship groups. I've seen this church stand for the moral primacy of love. I've seen it, even when public health concerns supersede all other considerations, including in-person worship. That is moral courage.  Who knows, but that love may demand more of us. But fear not, just remember what the old slaves use to say, walk together, children, and don't you get weary, because there is a great camp meeting in the Promised Land. Oh, I've seen us do what we never thought we would or could do, because we dared to do what Jesus tells us all to do.

ESSAYS OF HOPE
This morning I rose and decided to bake our family’s annual Passover cake. We are not of the Hebrew faith, but have always celebrated Passover informally with our Passover cake. My neighbor gifted us, over the fence, a bag of clementine oranges and I was inspired.

As I beat the egg yolks into a thick lemon batter, adding sugar, orange peel, and juice all while continuing to beat the mix into a thicker froth, tears come. Often Passover may be viewed as a thanksgiving for the saving the Israelite’s boy babies, or as retribution against those who persecuted God’s people. But I have always viewed it not in a way that pits one group against another, but as an act of love and hope. Especially hope. The Passover story reminds us that we have choices to make, to love others or to be fearful, hateful, and just down right mean to those not like us.

The egg batter continues to beat into a creamy yellow batter, thick and sturdy, but light and reflective. A few tears drop and are beaten into its substance. I beat the egg whites watching the foam turn to mounds of soft peaks rising to the top of my bowl. Eggs are symbols of hope, of new life, of spring itself. Eggs are the sole leavening for a Passover cake. Hope rises.

What can be more significant in these strange times of pandemic threat, than sharing the hope found within the Passover cake? With every shared slice I believe that through kindness and love we will emerge a new world, one of compassion not hate. My neighbor will receive a healthy portion of this cake, to be left at his front door with a note of thanksgiving and hope. 

Kris Borre
The Rector's Discretionary Fund Collection

First Sunday of the month
May 3, 2020

Donations allow us to assist people in need in our community. We would like to collect gift cards that could be used for basic necessities and groceries this month.

While there are no gatherings at church,
please remember donations can be mailed.
Food Pantry Collections for May
As The Salvation Army responds to the Coronavirus,  financial donations  are the most helpful. We are able to obtain food and supplies at a better cost in bulk, and they help us support businesses. If you're interested in making in-kind donations of non-perishable foods and supplies, please call 888-369-1349 to make arrangements.
Activities & Events


Activities for April are limited to on line gatherings. Please check our website www.stpaulsdekalb.org
for what is offered.
April Birthdays and Anniversaries


Birthdays

5/4                 Hannah Buckle
5/11               Terry Dickow
5/12               Nan Mason
5/24               Jacob Maas

Anniversaries

5/7                 Dean and Lori Judkins
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