E-newsletter | April 15, 2021
336.667.4231
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org
Easter: Days of Grace

As we continue to travel the Great Fifty Days of Easter, I continue my reflection on living an Easter life. Easter is always a wonderful time to reflect on all of the many blessings God offers. Perhaps especially as we are seeing the light at the end of the tunnel after the terrible days of the Coronavirus. At any time, but especially when life is hard, intentionally naming those things for which we are thankful is so very important. A blessing for which I give thanks everywhere is always is the gift of Grace. God’s grace of course is eternal and stretches far beyond the 50 glorious days of Eastertide, but the season of Resurrection is a lovely time to think on such things.

I love that our sweet salvation resides firmly in God’s loving hands, this is ultimate Grace. Our salvation is just that-- a merciful and life-giving gift from God. For too many years our “salvation” has been erroneously linked to saving ourselves by appeasing God. A greater misapprehension is hard to imagine.

Salvation is something God does for us and is accomplished daily and eternally through God’s love for us. As I said in a sermon during Lent, we are saved from fear, we are saved for hope. Salvation is not now, nor has it ever been attached to being rescued from eternal damnation. God saves us from our own worst tendencies so that we can love more, forgive more, and spread more joy. Jesus shows us through his every act of healing, love, restoration and forgiveness how we can put away all of the ways we harm ourselves and one another.

The simple truth is that it is God saves us daily and offers us a blessed state of Grace. Grace…it is such a blissful state of being that it could have only been born of God’s limitless love for all of us. The only thing we need to do, especially right now, is just rejoice and say, “Thank you!” And then maybe roll around in that thanksgiving like my dog Rocco does when he joyfully and jubilantly rolls in the grass—a picture of pure, unadulterated love of life!

One of my favorite authors, Frederick Buechner, says it best. I offer you this snippet from his book Wishful Thinking, a Seeker’s ABC[i] and if you are looking for a wonderful little book to pick up this is one I highly recommend…From Mr. Buechner:

After centuries of handling and mishandling, most religious words have become so shopworn nobody’s much interested anymore. Not so with grace, for some reason. Mysteriously even derivatives like gracious and graceful still have some of the bloom left.

Grace is something you can never get but can only be given. There’s no way to earn it or deserve it or bring it about any more than you can deserve the taste of raspberries and cream or earn good looks or bring about your own birth.

A good sleep is grace and so are good dreams. Most tears are grace. The smell of rain is grace…

The grace of God means something like: Here is your life. You might never have been, but you are because the party wouldn’t have been complete without you. Here is the world…beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don’t be afraid. I am with you. Nothing can separate us. It is for you that I created the universe I love you.

There is only one catch. Like any other gift, the gift of grace can only be yours if you reach out and take it…maybe being able to reach out and take it is a gift too.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound…Let’s give thanks to God and celebrate God’s grace each and every day. Christ is Risen, Alleluia! Alleluia!

Happy Easter,
Mother Stephanie

[i] Frederick Buechner, Wishful Thinking, A Seeker’s ABC, HarperSanFranciso, 1993.


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Congratulations Episcopal U Participants!
Congratulations to the wonderful group that just completed 6 weeks of Episcopal U. We studied our Liturgical theologies and practices and enjoyed six weeks of enlivening conversation.

Our next adventure in Adult Formation will be a study of the Book of Genesis, going deep into the true purpose and rich texture of this seminal piece of Hebrew literature. Look for information about when and where in an upcoming issue of the Enews!

Sign Up for Worship!

On Sunday, April 18th, we return to our two service schedule with worship at
8:30 and 10:30.

Spaces are limited in both Chapel and Church so each week please email
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org
or call
336-667-4231
to sign up as soon as possible to insure that we see you there!

And the Restrooms are open for use!

*Please note that due to an on-going technical issue with St. Paul's email, we will not be able to reply with your confirmation at this time. But, your space will be reserved and if there are any difficulties, we will notify you by telephone. Thank you for your patience while this issue is resolved.

Additionally, in order to keep one another safe, we all need to covenant to keeping these practices:

  • Perform a self-check of symptoms before attending any service. Anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, who is experiencing a temperature higher than 100.0 (F), or who might have been in contact with someone who has the virus, should not attend any service.
  • Masks that fully covering both nose and mouth are required for all in attendance at any service and must be worn at all times in the Church and on parish grounds.  Additional masks will be available.
  • At least six feet of physical distance between those who do not share the same household is necessary at all times. Pews will be marked with safe spaces for seating that allow for adequate social distancing between households.
  • Hand sanitizer stations will be available for use. 
  • Pre-registration is necessary to keep the congregation size within guidelines.
  • At this time, all other spaces within the building, including the nursery, offices, etc. will need to remain closed.  
  • Between services, when applicable, the Church will remain vacant to allow for adequate air exchanges to take place and surfaces will receive a thorough cleaning.

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Prayer List
Please help us update our prayer list. Email or phone Parish Administrator Morgen Love to remove or edit your prayer request. Prayer list will "reset" on May 1st with all names removed unless the status is updated.
If a person on our Prayer List has a chronic condition please let us know and we are creating a separate prayer list so that our prayers can be more focused and specific.

Please remember in your prayers: All who are ill or unemployed and those who are on our prayer list.
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.
Join us for Worship on YouTube or click on the link on our website!
Ongoing Ministry Opportunities Below!
Listed below are on-going opportunities to give, participate, and serve at St. Paul's. We don't want these ministry activities to become "wallpaper" as they do change slightly from time to time so check in each week and see what invitation to serve might be calling your name!


SHAWL MINISTRY
“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

Support the Student Choice Food Pantry at North Wilkesboro

Over the past month we have raised over $740 for the Student Choice Food Pantry at North Wilkesboro Elementary School. Total increase will be reported next week! 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. 
Thanks to everyone who participated in the Lenten virtual fundraiser for the Student Choice Food Pantry at North Wilkesboro Elementary. Your generosity has raised $740 for this worthy project that sends food home on weekends to families who are food insecure.  Should you feel so lead, contributions can continue to be made out to St. Paul's.


To donate: Make checks out to St. Paul's and add "Food Pantry" in the memo line.


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.




UPDATE

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

Click button to go directly there
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Serving in April 2021
Readers

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. 18 - Pam & Drew Mayberry
Apr. 25 - Mary Ann Caplinger & Tom Carnes


Birthdays:

Apr 15 - Reba Whittington
Apr 15 - Joan Bumgarner
Apr 17 - Bob Will
Apr 17 - Sheree Sloop
Apr 18 - Tony Lyall
Apr 18 - Alexander Wansley
Apr 20 - Stan Dudek
Apr 21 - Luke Richardson
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.
Illness
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, Mary Warren, 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, SR Zing, Darroch, 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 18, 2021
Acts 3:12-19
Peter addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you.
“And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.”

Psalm 4
Cum invocarem
1 Answer me when I call, O God, defender of my cause; *
you set me free when I am hard-pressed;
have mercy on me and hear my prayer.
2 "You mortals, how long will you dishonor my glory; *
how long will you worship dumb idols
and run after false gods?"
3 Know that the Lord does wonders for the faithful; *
when I call upon the Lord, he will hear me.
4 Tremble, then, and do not sin; *
speak to your heart in silence upon your bed.
5 Offer the appointed sacrifices *
and put your trust in the Lord.
6 Many are saying, "Oh, that we might see better times!" *
Lift up the light of your countenance upon us, O Lord.
7 You have put gladness in my heart, *
more than when grain and wine and oil increase.
8 I lie down in peace; at once I fall asleep; *
for only you, Lord, make me dwell in safety.
1 John 3:1-7
See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is. And all who have this hope in him purify themselves, just as he is pure.
Everyone who commits sin is guilty of lawlessness; sin is lawlessness. You know that he was revealed to take away sins, and in him there is no sin. No one who abides in him sins; no one who sins has either seen him or known him. Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous.

Luke 24:36b-48
Jesus himself stood among the disciples and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet. While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you—that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org