E-newsletter | March 25, 2021

Sacred Journey:
The Need for Holy Week
Keep Awake and Watch with Me
If you had told me a year ago that I, The Reverend Stephanie E. Parker, would be offering up a banquet of Holy Week services on YouTube not once, but two Holy Weeks in a row, I would have likely wondered if you had perhaps lost a little of your mind. Losing our minds is not an altogether unusual occurrence for clergy, as we approach Holy Week, but normally the laity are holding it together a little bit more!
But here we are and how thankful I am that we have this technological avenue during this challenging and difficult time. So in a world where it seems literally anything can happen, I invite you to join us for this sacred journey and invite your prayers as we all work to bring you worship that I hope and pray inspires, even if through the auspices of your various screens before we can gather together in-person on Easter Sunday morning!
This past Sunday we began our sacred passage through Holy Week as we marked Jesus’ final journey into Jerusalem and anticipated the tragic events ahead as we encountered Jesus’ Passion.
One of the Holiest weeks in Christendom, Holy week is still so needed and relevant to our lives. The services of Holy week, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and the Great Vigil (which we will not celebrate this year, but just wait for next year!) are not actually separate services. Beginning at sundown on Maundy Thursday we begin the journey and each successive service is a continuation of the last. 

I marvel when I think about this. This is why traveling the whole journey is so transformative—even virtually as we must. Each one flows into the next, revealing the full story of the week. We artificially separate them night into different segments, but for Jesus these events moved as one continuous happening.   He moved from dinner with a new commandment to love, to betrayal by one of his beloved friends, to the arrest, a long night being interrogated by religious and government authorities to that scandalous cry of “Crucify him!” by the gathered crowd, then having a cross placed on his back for the forced marched to Golgotha for his crucifixion as a traitor to the Roman Government. Jesus’ first peace since Thursday evening doesn’t come until he has breathed his last at about 3 o’clock in the afternoon on Friday. 

And now his faithful followers come into the foreground. We flee in grief and shame only to return to the tomb to find it empty! The Great Vigil leads us from despair to joy as we gather around the first fire, sing our song of hope, share our oldest sacred stories of God’s love, to emerge into the light as we shout the first Alleluia’s of Easter and ring our bells and rejoice in the dark of Saturday night that the Light has shined in the darkness and the darkness did not overcome it! Oh what a night is the Easter Vigil! 

And then of course as the day dawns on Sunday, the earth-shattering truth of the Resurrection continues to burst forth with celebration and song as we celebrate that Christ is Alive and his tomb stands empty! And with great joy we will renew our Baptismal Covenants as we anticipate our post-vaccination future and renewed communal life. Alleluias will resound as we come together to create the Body of Christ and then we will rejoice for a full 50 days in the joy of Easter.
But, until then, we are invited to stay awake and watch with Jesus, to begin our pilgrim’s journey on Thursday and remain steadfast with Jesus through Friday as it appears as though the darkness will win. You, also have the opportunity to faithfully travel the Stations of the Cross by walking the Labyrinth in person in Coventry Chapel from 4-6 on Friday. Through it all we embody the mystery of faith in transformative and indelible ways.

The Maundy Thursday and Good Friday videos will post on each successive day in the mornings by 9:30 AM giving everyone the opportunity to view and worship whenever possible. If you want to keep a close timeline to Jesus’ journey, Maundy Thursday begins at sundown and the Good Friday worship at noon. No matter when you watch and worship, let the journey lead you.

It is in this way, by encountering each event fully, that by Easter Sunday we will not be the same.

Beginning tonight, walk the path with Jesus. Give yourself the gift of fully apprehending the joy and ultimate victory of God’s love as you take the entire journey. What a week this is, there is none other like it.

Mother Stephanie


It's Here!
Holy Week!
Holy Week Worship videos will include Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Resurrection Sunday.
In addition: On Easter Sunday we will gather LIVE-IN PERSON
IN THE CHURCH at 9:30 for up to 60 people.

We are currently FULL for the service, but you still have time to reserve a place on the waitlist for a potential second service at Noon.

Due to COVID restrictions, seats at the services are limited.
Sign up by contacting the office by
email: office@stpaulwilkesboro.org
calling the office at 336-667-4231.

You can find the schedule of services listed below.

Re-Enlistment Time!
We are returning to live services and it is time to “resurrect” the teams and committees that participate in worship. If you have served in the past or if you would like to join in, please let Morgen at the Church Office know. We have room for any and all who would like to participate as St. Paul's begins the process of gradually moving back towards what we once considered normal. Listed below are the opportunities:

•       Ushers
•       Readers
•       Altar Guild
•       Acolytes
•       Flower Guild
•       Nursery

Again, whether you have served in the past or want to get involved for the future, let us know. All are welcome.
COVID Vaccine Availability
If you or someone you know has not been able to receive the Moderna COVID vaccine, contact Kristen Miller FNP at the Wilkes County Health Department via email: kmiller@wilkescounty.net
She works the late clinic at the health department. Sometimes at day's end there will be a few doses of vaccine left. To avoid wasting any doses she is compiling a "call in" list. The only criteria is the a person be over 18 years old. The email should include your name, phone number and a brief message about being interested in receiving the vaccine. When your name comes up you will be called to come in from 5:30-6:30p on that day.
If you have questions please feel free to contact Joe Fesperman at:
202-821-5885 or by email: joefesperman@yahoo.com.
More from
Dr. Russell Stinson!

The son of Dr. Walter T. Stinson and the late Gwyn Walker Stinson, Russ grew up in Wilkesboro, attended Wilkes Central High School, and was the organist at Wilkesboro Baptist Church.
Following his graduation from Wilkes Central, he attended the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Stetson University, and the University of Chicago. As a college professor for almost thirty-five years, Russ has taught at the University of Michigan, Stony Brook University, the University of Louisville, and, for most of his career, Lyon College (in Batesville, Arkansas).
He has served as organist and/or choir director at various churches throughout the country, including St. John’s Episcopal in Cold Spring Harbor, New York, and St. Paul’s Episcopal in Batesville, Arkansas. He will be retiring from full-time college teaching at the end of May and is thrilled to begin his duties at St. Paul’s, Wilkesboro, starting in June. Russ and his wife Laura will be living in Winston-Salem, very close to where he was a student there about forty years ago. He is delighted to continue as a church musician within the Episcopal Church in his hometown of Wilkesboro.
“You created every part of me, knitting me in my mother’s womb. 
For such handiwork, I praise you. Awesome this great wonder!”
 Psalm 139:13-14

The prayer shawl collection at St. Paul’s is very low.
Prayer shawls are made to provide warmth, comfort, healing, and peace to those who may need it.
If anyone is inclined to knit or crochet a shawl and would like to donate it to the churches shawl collection, donations can be dropped off at the church office.

For further information please visit www.shawlministry.com
Join us for Worship on YouTube or click on the link on our website!
Lamentation and Grief are part of the rhythm of Holy Week on Good Friday. Sheree Sloop and Rebecca Maynard will be holding space in Coventry Chapel for a self-directed walk through the Stations of the Cross on the Labyrinth. All are invited to walk between 4PM – 6PM Friday, April 2, 2021. Please wear a mask and observe social distancing to protect yourself and others during this time of pandemic. Labyrinth walk will be held weather permitting.
Mariettta Carroll has been busy adding some spring color to the containers around the parish grounds.
Some of the earliest bloomers in the garden can be found in our Coventry Chapel and the Labyrinth. We have Hellebores in all shades of pin, cream and wine along with the bead-liked Pieris.
The Japanese Cherry trees are in full bloom near the chapel. Make sure to enjoy them Easter morning!
A note from Ruth Harris:

I am appreciative for the opportunity to lead the Outreach Committee as Joe Fesperman assumes his new role as Junior Warden. Many thanks are extended to Joe for his dedicated service and leadership of the Outreach Committee. Having worked preparing and serving meals at Crisis Assistance and packing bag lunches I know that there is a great need and I'm committed to continuing the work of taking care of our community and neighbors. Last year the Outreach Committee donated to CareNet Counseling, Catherine Barber Memorial Homeless Shelter, Hope Ministries and Food Pantry, Wilkes Prison Ministry, Wilkes Recovery Revolution, Circles of Care, and Student Choice Food Pantry. 
I look forward to your continuing support and any suggestions you may have. Peace.
Ruth Harris 336.984.9690 rharris122@aol.com

Great news! Over the past month we have raised $740 for the Student Choice Food Pantry at North Wilkesboro Elementary School. Rachel Minick started and helps administer this offering. This project provides weekend food for approximately 100 children and is an alternative to the backpack program. The Pantry allows students to "shop" for their own food preferences and provides a special sense of satisfaction and pleasure. 
Your ongoing support is appreciated.  

To donate: Make checks out to St. Paul's and add "Food Pantry" in the memo line.
The Diocese of Western North Carolina is offering a young adult (college aged to late 20's) retreat on May 14 (zoom) and May 15 (in person at Lake Logan). The theme is El Camino: The Road to Emmaus. They will be helping young adults discern answers to questions, such as "What am I called to do?" Where is God in my Life?" and Where does society fit in?". The retreat is free, and lunch will be provided on Saturday. 
The Diocese of Western North Carolina is offering the Dismantling Racism curriculum for six Thursday evenings, via zoom, for high school youth as part of their Baptismal Covenant to seek justice by dismantling racism. Throughout the sessions high schoolers will have the opportunity to look at racism through the lens of faith, our nation's history, our privileges, and our internalized oppression. The purpose of this course is not to "train you" to be "less" racist but to invite you to examine personal experiences and internal perspective on racism in America.
It is offered from April 16 - May 27 (skipping May 20th). They are asking the youth to attend all the sessions if they participate.

April 15 - Covenant
April 22 - God the Artist
April 29 - Historical Lens
May 6 - White Privilege
May 13 - Internalized Oppression
May 27 - Reconciliation

The May/June/July issues of Forward Day by Day are now in the mailbox by the front door of the office.
Feb/Mar/Apr issues are still available.


New Vestry Minutes have been added. February's minutes are now available!

Click button to go directly there
Serving in April 2021

Apr. 1 - Cindy Smith
Apr. 2 - Dick Sloop
Apr. 4 - Tana Myers
Apr. 11 - Jeri Martin (9:30)
Apr. 18 - Jeff Beard (8:30)
Apr. 18 - Beverly Cook (10:30)
Apr. 25 - Edward Southwell (8:30)
Apr. 25 - Denise Sturdivant (10:30)
Altar Guild

Apr. 1 - Mary Ann Caplinger & Tom Carnes
Apr. 2 - Pam & Drew Mayberry
Apr. 4 - Mary Lankford, Sharon Greene, & Bonnie Merritt
Apr. 11 - Mary & Mike Southwell
Apr. 18 - Pam & Drew Mayberry
Apr. 25 - Mary Ann Caplinger & Tom Carnes


April 1 - Elizabeth Freas
April 1 - Connie McNeill
April 1 - Rebecca Tilley
April 2 - Patrick Zander
April 5 - Doug Rhodes
April 6 - Pam Baugh
Prayer Requests

Prayer requests can be made by emailing the office at office@stpaulwilkesboro.org
or by calling the office during regular office hours.

Bulletins are printed on Thursday mornings and requests submitted after that time will not be in the printed bulletin for that week, but may still be spoken. Prayer requests received by noon on Wednesday will be included in the weekly e-newsletter.
Prayer List

Please remember in your prayers: All who are ill or unemployed and those who are on our prayer list.
Hilda Absher, Jim Andrews, Pam Baugh, Robert Baugh, Bella, Nancy Blair, John Brame, Thomas Dellinger, Mike Duncan, Tina Duncan, John Farris, Karen Hennig, Paula Jameson, Doug Johnson, Margo Hurd, Ken Love, Misty Millsaps, Becky Lowe Mullins, Tyler Olender, Denver Owens, Iris Parker, Kris Riley, Tara Riley, Jordan Samuel, Rebecca Shaw, Karen Shupe, Linda Sloop, Jeffery Smith, Delores Weaver, Bob Webber, Donna Webber, Joyce Wheeling

Armed Forces
Let us pray for the safety of all our troops, especially Dr. Matthew Cage, Edward Colville Griffith, Zach Necessary, Walker Pardue, Philip Southwell, Mark Stone, Lt. Col. Patrick Szvtitz, Jason Westmeyer, and all others who serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.

Please send to the church office the addresses of troops with connections to
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org, especially those abroad

The Lessons for April 4, 2021
Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24
Confitemini Domino
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; *
his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let Israel now proclaim, *
"His mercy endures for ever."
14 The Lord is my strength and my song, *
and he has become my salvation.
15 There is a sound of exultation and victory *
in the tents of the righteous:
16 "The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! *
the right hand of the Lord is exalted!
the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!"
17 I shall not die, but live, *
and declare the works of the Lord.
18 The Lord has punished me sorely, *
but he did not hand me over to death.
19 Open for me the gates of righteousness; *
I will enter them;
I will offer thanks to the Lord.
20 "This is the gate of the Lord; *
he who is righteous may enter."
21 I will give thanks to you, for you answered me *
and have become my salvation.
22 The same stone which the builders rejected *
has become the chief cornerstone.
23 This is the Lord's doing, *
and it is marvelous in our eyes.
24 On this day the Lord has acted; *
we will rejoice and be glad in it.
1 Corinthians 15:1-11
I would remind you, brothers and sisters, of the good news that I proclaimed to you, which you in turn received, in which also you stand, through which also you are being saved, if you hold firmly to the message that I proclaimed to you--unless you have come to believe in vain.
For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. For I am the least of the apostles, unfit to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me has not been in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them--though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me. Whether then it was I or they, so we proclaim and so you have come to believe.

Mark 16:1-8
When the sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Jesus. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. They had been saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” When they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled back. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man, dressed in a white robe, sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has been raised; he is not here. Look, there is the place they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” So they went out and fled from the tomb, for terror and amazement had seized them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org