E-newsletter | August 5, 2021
336.667.4231
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org

Letting Go

“Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Then the religious authorities began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves.”


These feel like dangerous and troubled times and people are caught up in fear and anxiety. For many, it feels as though a way of life that has been a birthright for generations is under constant threat. On the surface, life plods along, just as it should.  

This fearfulness is held at a fragile arm’s length away by going about the ordinary business of life. People go to work, have dinner with friends, observe national holidays, and in the midst of it all, people pray and pray that somehow God will intervene and this difficult time will end.  

Does this sound familiar? I could perhaps be talking about the times in which now live, but I’ve actually just described the situation in Palestine as Jesus was making his way to Jerusalem.  

Then as now, in the midst of our own deeply troubled times, Jesus stands before the hungry multitude in a world often starved of peace by war, fear, oppression, and hopelessness. And he offers us the bread that gives life. He offers us the good news that Jesus feeds us in both body and soul. He dramatically demonstrates that his power and grace transcend our limited understanding and that God’s abundance always out measures scarcity.  

 Jesus offers us what we need. But, living out of places of fear and anxiety we are often blind to what we really need and become lost instead in what we think we want.  

Jesus comes to us with a message of hope. But, if we remain transfixed by our fears we are in great danger of falling into despair and turning a dark and foreboding eye on the world in which we live as well as on the others with whom we share it.  

When Jesus withdraws from the crowd, he demonstrates that he offers his gift of grace without issuing a claim to worldly power. The irony here is that they want Jesus to become a mirror reflection of the very kind of power that currently drives their own fear.  

The crowd cannot seem to grasp that the true glory of God has nothing to do with worldly power. It seems that they, like us in our own anxious times, want immediate and definitive action, even as we will hear soon, even violent action, rather than risking to trust that God is alive and at work in our troubled world.  

What is behind our driving and often inexplicable desire to put aside the true nature of our merciful God and attempt instead to wrestle the control of the world back into our own incapable hands? 

I believe that there is an old and deep fear that drives our almost inescapable need for control. The fear that I’m referring to is born from the dark and threatening suspicion that life is utterly unpredictable and unstable and that danger is around every corner.  

These are the messages that bombard us in the media and tell us that prestige, knowledge, wealth, influence, military might or nation can create a safety zone that protects us from vulnerability.  

But, when we are faced with events like the COVID epidemic and surge of the Delta variant, the death of a loved one, the loss of our livelihood, a threat to our health, or the chaos of natural or manmade disasters, our carefully contrived illusions of control become unraveled---these slumbering primal fears are released from their nighttime prison and begin to have power over us even in the bright light of day. 

 These are the times in our lives that try us. These are the times that we often become consistently anxious and angry and these times find us grasping wildly to regain control, control even over God. 
 
Jesus shows us the true nature of God. Jesus teaches us again and again that God’s greatest desire for us is joy and peace---both of which far surpass their paler imitations, which we call happiness and absence of conflict.  
 
Jesus teaches us how to navigate the fractious human condition without resorting to denial, vengeance, or violence, even in the midst of deeply troubled times. He teaches us to put away our fears and our need for control and hold instead to God’s promise of hope. Jesus tells us in the gospels time and time again, “Be not afraid!”  
 
By his very life, he teaches us that our vulnerability is the very thing that opens our eyes to the true nature of God. He charts the way through fear for all of us and demonstrates time and again that vulnerability is a threshold over which we can step into greater compassion, understanding, and peace.  
 
Yes, these are dangerous and troubled times. Then as now, Jesus stands before the hungry multitude in a fractious world and he offers himself as the bread that gives life. 

This is an extraordinary reality that is most often hard for us to grasp. But time and again he shows us that the way through our deepest fear is to let it go once and for all. And as our hands release this stranglehold on fear, they fall wide open; perfectly poised to receive the true bread of life. 

Grace and Peace, 
Mother Stephanie 


LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR!

GET VACCINATED!!

PROTECT YOUR COMMUNITY!

It is no doubt that the past year and a half have been turbulent. During a time where we had to physically remain apart from each other, we tried to come together as a community the best we could through virtual services. Thankfully, as more people continue to get vaccinated, the world has slowly started to return to normal. This does not mean that the virus is gone or is no longer a danger to us. We would love to maintain being able to meet in person, but another outbreak of COVID could stop all of that.

Serious illness from COVID is NOW PREVENTABLE.
The DELTA variant was preventable. We ask you, in the nature of loving your neighbor, to get vaccinated.
If the vaccine is not an option for you, masks are REQUIRED to be worn during services.

Our goal is keep everyone safe.
Crisis Assistance Resumes TODAY!

Our Crisis Assistance team will resume providing lunches starting today, August 5th from 11:30am-1:00pm. For now, the lunches provided will be bagged.

Starting August 12th, St. Paul's will begin offering free COVID-19 vaccines during the Thursday lunches.
CARD & LETTER CAMPAIGN

As you know, Jim and Rose Andrews, long-time members of St. Paul’s, relocated to Cary, NC, just as we began returning from COVID restrictions. As such, we did not get an opportunity to say goodbye and give them our best wishes.
This is your invitation to send Jim and Rose a card or letter to offer your best wishes or just to say, “We miss you!”.

Please contact the office for their address, or pick up a campaign handout in the commons.
The Homecoming Celebration was a massive success! Thank you especially to Carol Canter, Gwen Temple, Ruth Harris and Bev Cook for their amazing work it making it a reality!

And a special thank you to everyone who came out to join us in fellowship and purchased T-shirts to benefit Crisis Assistance!
Do you have keys to the church?

Please contact Morgen at office@stpaulwilkesboro.org and let us know which keys you have!

If you have keys that you no longer need, please return them to the office.







COVID GUIDELINES






Vaccinated persons are no longer required to wear face masks during worship, even during singing.

UNVACCINATED INDIVIDUALS MUST WEAR MASKS

And, if you are most comfortable wearing your mask in worship please do so.
Our hope is to see more and more of you here each Sunday and our desire is to help everyone feel safe and welcome.

We also encourage everyone to get vaccinated to prevent the spread of variants like the Delta strain. Having enough people vaccinated to reach "herd immunity" is the only way to prevent more virulent and dangerous versions of Covid from proliferating.

We are working on scheduling a vaccine clinic at St. Paul's so please stay tuned to the E-news for that schedule. It will happen during the course of our Thursday Assistance gatherings.

Love you neighbor--get vaccinated!


Updated 7/28/21


SIGN UP TODAY!


Signup sheet and envelopes are in the commons.
Cost: $40 for one vase and $80 for two.
Sign up for one or both vases.



Standing order with City Florist, who will bill the church monthly. If you want something special for your two vases, call City Florist with your request. In that case, if you pay them directly, let them know your flowers replace our order.
If you want to “do your own thing” sign up for both vases then let Kathie Smith know at least a week before your chosen Sunday, so that the standing order can be canceled.




Attention ECW Members:








If your contact information has changed since ECW last met, please contact Morgen at the office.
ECW will be hopefully returning by the time the summer is out. Stay tuned!
Mark Your Calendars
NEW DATES!
Genesis Bible Study
Wednesdays
12-1

IN THE PARISH HOUSE



Beginning
September 1st
through
October 6th
Sign Up begins on August 15th!
Please call or email the office to let us know you will be participating.

The First book of the Bible contains so many of our best known and most beloved stories, many of them familiar since childhood. But do we really know the power and purpose of these stories as intended by their original Hebrew writers and storytellers?
Join Mother Stephanie on a 7 week adventure through the first nine chapters of this beautiful scripture and learn that the human journey is never far from the presence and love of God.
Contact the office at office@stpaulwilkesboro.org to sign up!
Join us for Worship on YouTube or click on the link on our website!
CARE & FEEDING FUND
Offering Hospitality in Time of Need
Thank you for your generosity! $1390.00 so far...
And thank you to Gwen Temple and Carol Canter for fulfilling this needful ministry!
Hospitality is a primary call of faith community. We all have times in our lives when circumstances overwhelm our basic needs and that is when the the care and feeding of our members becomes a paramount need.

There are many in our church family that could use and appreciate a meal. Since COVID, our Feed My Sheep Teams have been inactive.

Until such a time when we can get those teams up and running we are starting a Care & Feeding Fund.

We have received $1390 worth of donations towards our Care and Feeding Fund. A special thank you to those who contributed.

If you would like to donate to this fund by writing Care and Feeding Fund in the memo line of your check, we will purchase food and deliver to our parishioners in need.

Donations can be mailed or dropped off by the church office. And again, please make all checks out to St. Paul’s with the memo of Care & Feeding Fund.
Thank you!

Carol Canter
Gwen Temple
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.

A special thank you to those who have made and donated shawls in support of our ministry.

For further information please visit www.shawlministry.com


The Aug/Sept/Oct issues of Forward Day by Day are now in the mailbox by the front door of the office, as well as the May/June/July issues.





UPDATE

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

Click button to go directly there
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Serving in August 2021
Readers

Aug 8 - Laurie Love (8:30)
Aug 8 - Dick Sloop (10:30)
Aug 15 - Robin Shumate (8:30)
Aug 15 - Joe Fesperman (10:30)
Aug 22 - Mary Southwell (8:30)
Aug 22 - Cindy Smith (10:30)
Aug 29 - Lisa Beard (8:30)
Aug 29 - Denise Sturdivant (10:30)
Altar Guild

Aug 8 - Laurie Love & Ramona Curtis
Aug 15 - Mary Lankford, Sharon Greene, & Bonnie Merritt
Aug 22 - Pam & Drew Mayberry
Aug 29 - Mary & Mike Southwell
Birthdays:

Aug 5 - Randall Faw
Aug 5 - George Forester
Aug 6 - Bill Harris
Aug 7 - Tonya Bottomley
Aug 7 - William Locke Griffith
Aug 8 - Fern Brinkley
Aug 10 - Pamela Curely
Aug 11 - Anne Marie Reid


Anniversaries:

Aug 5 - Paul & Susan Hubbard
Aug 5 - Wes & Jeri Martin
Aug 9 - Mike & Jean Adams



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.
Please remember in your prayers: All who are ill or unemployed and those who are on our prayer list.
Short-term
Laurence Virgil Hawkins, Kris & Tara Riley, Jeff Smith
Long-term
Robert Baugh, Christina Floyd, Nancye Johnson, Kitty Owens, David Temple
Armed Forces
Let us pray for the safety of all our troops, especially Cole Griffith, Zach Necessary, Walker Pardue, Philip Southwell, Mark Stone, 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 August 8, 2021
1 Kings 19:4-8
Elijah went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.” Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.



Psalm 34:1-8
Benedicam Dominum
1 I will bless the Lord at all times; *
his praise shall ever be in my mouth.
2 I will glory in the Lord; *
let the humble hear and rejoice.
3 Proclaim with me the greatness of the Lord; *
let us exalt his Name together.
4 I sought the Lord, and he answered me *
and delivered me out of all my terror.
5 Look upon him and be radiant, *
and let not your faces be ashamed.
6 I called in my affliction and the Lord heard me *
and saved me from all my troubles.
7 The angel of the Lord encompasses those who fear him, *
and he will deliver them.
8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; *
happy are they who trust in him!

Ephesians 4:25-5:2
Putting away falsehood, let all of us speak the truth to our neighbors, for we are members of one another. Be angry but do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not make room for the devil. Thieves must give up stealing; rather let them labor and work honestly with their own hands, so as to have something to share with the needy. Let no evil talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building up, as there is need, so that your words may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with which you were marked with a seal for the day of redemption. Put away from you all bitterness and wrath and anger and wrangling and slander, together with all malice, and be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ has forgiven you. Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and live in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.




John 6:35, 41-51
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org