E-newsletter | July 1, 2021
336.667.4231
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org
The 4th of July
And
Kingdom of God 



O God, you have taught us to keep all your commandments by loving you and our neighbor: Grant us the grace of your Holy Spirit, that we may be devoted to you with our whole heart, and united to one another with pure affection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

The above is the Collect for this coming Sunday. And, in addition to Sunday being the 6th Sunday in Pentecost in our liturgical calendar, it is also the 4th of July. July 4th is the seminal moment in this country’s collective consciousness that forms us into a nation.  

This weekend forms the nexus of a great dilemma for faith communities as many will want to hear patriotic music from the choir and sung in the congregation. The dilemma lies in the fact that the Church is meant to be a foretaste of the Kingdom of God; the place in which the false and vituperative human divisions of nation, race, creed, color, and national origin have all been overcome and our primary identity is that of Children of God.

Having said that, we are also citizens of the country in which we live. I believe that as someone who grew up in a military family and who has lived all over the world, I am a very patriotic person. I also deeply believe in exercising my rights as a citizen, especially my right to vote. And further, I know that my understanding of the Gospel, as well as the commandment to love my neighbor, has a deep influence on how I exercise that vote.

At St. Paul’s we will not be listening to national-patriotic music this Sunday, we will be singing and hearing music that sings exclusively of the love and glory of God. But, I think that this is a great opportunity to ponder the tensions of being Children of God as well as Citizens of this nation. 

As people of faith, our lives are meant to be deep reflections of Christ’s love for the least the lost and the lame, but we do so as we live in a world that values power and self-interest above all else. St. Augustine best described this in his classic The City of God in which he uses the analogy of living in two cities, the human city and the city of God.  

The glorious city of God is a place “governed by hospitality where we are meant to live in love and peace in the light of God.” We know this is not always a true reflection of the world that we all occupy and so the human city “is, therefore, at war with itself.”

If we look at citizenship as a faith practice, as a way of being in the world that is God shaped and reflects that deep love of neighbor, we see that we cannot escape wrestling with tough places of faith. Places where our call to follow Jesus run head on into the political and social issues of our present day and world; issues creating deep division and suffering antithetical to the Gospel life. 
 
I remember my Christian Ethics professor talking about how the question of citizenship is broad and diverse. Asking, “What are the responsibilities of citizenship, of not only paying taxes, but keeping informed, voting, speaking up, making political contributions…And where is the state so fallen and corrupted that Christians are called to prophetic witness and living as a faithful counter-society, even to the point of martyrdom?”
 
I am reminded of this every time we celebrate the life of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as a Christian martyr in our Lesser Feasts and Fasts calendar. His life and faith were a perfect example of how our faith can transform how we understand our citizenship.  
 
His understanding of making the Kingdom come on earth transformed our society and is still paving the way of freedom for a whole race that we have systematically and politically oppressed for centuries. We can make no mistake, this was a Christian movement unleashed in opposition to worldly principalities and power. Dr. King’s deep and continuing insistence on peaceful, non-violent protest was born deep in the heart of his discipleship to Jesus and came to its fruition when the President finally signed into the law of the land that this injustice would be no more.  
 
Singing patriotic songs in church won’t change the life of even one person for the better. 
But taking the values of the Kingdom of God out of our church doors every Sunday, as we work hard to love our neighbor, changes everything for the better. 
 
This is how citizenship the Kingdom of God and our nation meet to create uniting moments; how justice and mercy come on earth as it is in heaven. Our history is full of these moments, but they are usually brief and fleeting; it seems to be a fatal flaw in the human condition that we are always in need of the power to dominate others and claim only for ourselves what God wishes for all people.  
 
But each new generation also gives birth to new hope that truth, beauty, and justice will someday once and for all rule the world.  
 
Where in our world and community are God’s people crying out for God’s justice and compassion? 
Where is our political need for domination and power oppressing God’s people? What are the ways we need to wed our love for Christ with the political and societal demands of citizenship?  
 
As we approach this 4th of July I want to share this excerpt from one of Dr. King’s sermons, A Christmas Sermon on Peace which he preached on December 24th, 1967. It is a perfect and poignant illustration of how to love beyond violence and expresses a hope for our nation that I pray will one day come true:  
 
To our most bitter opponents we say: ‘We shall match your capacity to inflict suffering by our capacity to endure suffering. We shall meet your physical force with soul force. 
Do to us what you will, and we shall continue to love you. We cannot in all good conscience obey your unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much a moral obligation as is cooperation with good. Throw us in jail, and we shall still love you. Send your hooded perpetrators of violence into our communities at the midnight hour and beat us and leave us half dead, and we shall still love you. But be ye assured that we will wear you down by our capacity to suffer. One day we shall win freedom, but not only for ourselves. We shall so appeal to your heart and conscience that we shall win you in the process, and our victory will be a double victory.’”  

King was martyred just 4 months after he delivered this sermon; but still God’s justice will not be silenced. 
 
Grace and Peace,
Mother Stephanie

NEW COVID GUIDELINES
Beginning
Sunday, July 4th!





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

However, 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 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!





Joe Fesperman
From the Jr Warden: 
A 6-month report

As we have begun to come back together after a challenging 1 1/2 yrs I would like to update the parish on the work that has been done, credit those who have done the work, and offer opportunities for input and involvement.

Grounds work:
1) As I am sure you have noticed in this publication, Diane Peabody has lead the Parish Gardeners to bring more color and variety to our campus. Search out new plantings in the St Francis garden. Look for hostas, columbines, 7 new crepe myrtles, and more. Thanks to her team: Mary and Mike Southwell, Craig Freas, Ann Hannibal, Marietta Carroll, Pam and Drew Mayberry, Dave Barton and Jeri and Wes Martin.
2) A bluebird family has moved into one of the two new birdhouses, occupying one of the 2 suites at the parish house. Thanks, Dave Barton!
3) Adam Bowers and Cedar Ridge provide a broad spectrum of needed services. In addition to weekly mowing and blowing he has cleaned the gutters of all the buildings, removed small trees from the parish house chimney, begun to razor cut grass/mulch borders, spread 10 loads of mulch in the spring, supplied new topsoil for the raised beds and is currently removing dead vegetation and trimming as appropriate.
4) Ken Crouse continues to show his love for the beauty of our campus and has closely monitored the plantings around the chapel and labyrinth, trimming and replacing plants as needed often at no charge.
5) In the spring a drainage issue on the north side of the sanctuary was addressed.

Buildings:
1) In the spring-appropriate surfaces and buildings were pressure washed.
2) With the guidance of Jerry Barker, the long-suffering HVAC unit supplying the chapel was replaced. A new thermostat has been ordered and is in the process of installation. Fans are left on constantly to facilitate air circulation.
3) At this time work is underway to address the plaster issues in the chapel's sacristy. The goal is to have this provide not only space for chapel vestments but double as a room for prayer and quiet meditation. Check on the progress. Hopeful completion by the end of July. Possible surprises for this space: the return of Rev Barber's vesting cabinet and relocation of Josie Guglielmi's Lord's Prayer. Do you know where is latter is now?
4) Several small areas of recurrent plaster peeling, especially on the south side of the west windows are being addressed. The exterior caulking there is being investigated.
5) Labyrinth work: the handrail has been reattached, all the outlets and fountain are now functional. Rust was removed from the front of the altar and new paint applied, thanks to Doug Merritt. All surfaces have been cleaned and recently the floor was sealed. This sealing will not only protect the concrete pavers but has brought new life to the colors. Spend some time there and enjoy.

Things to anticipate soon:
1) Improved office space has been delayed for several years. Current considerations are to move the church office into the library and choir room areas of the sanctuary's ground level. The choir room would move to the teen area. Youth programs would be relocated across the street to the parish house.
2) Fall will bring much-needed reseeding of several bald areas in the cemetery.

A bit more distant: In the spring of 2022 historic preservation consultation will be sought to address of chapel issues of cracked foundation and capstone replacement.

What is needed:
1) Contact Diane Peabody (yale.peabody@me.com) if you have some time or inclination to help with weeding or watering....and perhaps a bit of planting in the fall.
2) If you have painting, carpentry, or plumbing skills you would like to offer should the church need them please contact Joe Fesperman (joefesperman@yahoo.com).
3) Original plans for planting the raised beds have fallen through. If you have interest in planting them with fall crops let Joe Fesperman know.
4) Coming soon you will see a request for your input on office renovations. Be thinking. Visit the current and potential spaces to consolidate your thoughts.

Thanks for reading this long note. Your input is appreciated.
Respectfully,
Joe Fesperman
Let's Create a Homecoming RAINBOW!

Get your first edition, colorful
St. Paul's Homecoming 2021 T-Shirt NOW!


T-Shirts are $15.00 each and all proceeds, after the cost of the shirt, will benefit our Crisis Assistance Ministry.

There are two ways you can order:

Option 1 - You can now order online at the link at the bottom of this announcement that will take you to our at our St. Paul's Homecoming Webstore. Order now through July 4th!

Option 2 - There will be a sign up sheet at church starting this Sunday. The last day to sign up at the church is July 3rd. Please make all checks out to St. Paul's Episcopal Church with the memo "T-Shirt" on the memo line.

The shirts can be picked up at Cook's Sports in Wilkesboro starting July 16th at 12pm until July 17th at 5:30pm, regardless of which ordering option you choose. Shirts that have not been picked up by the deadline can be picked up the next day, July 18th, at the Parish Picnic.

Do not let a lack of funds keep you from sporting this very fashionable item that everyone will be wearing this season. Just contact Mother Stephanie and she will hook you up!

Questions??? Call or text Nancy Scroggs @ 336-262-2223

Save the Date!
St Paul's Homecoming

July 18th

Plan to join us for this very special day of

Celebration!

Reconnect as we
gather as

ONE Community

with

ONE Service at 10 AM

followed by
Food

Music

Games

and

LOTS of Fellowship
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.
Mark Your Calendars
Genesis Bible Study
Wednesdays
12-1
Beginning
August 11th
through
September 22

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.
PARISH GARDENERS
Parish Gardeners were able to add two hose reel boxes to our gardens to eliminate the sprawl of hoses and make the garden beds more attractive. One is beside the Labyrinth Garden, and the other is beside of the Parish House Garden.
We have added a few new plants to the shady area along the Azalea Walk - for those of you who aren't familiar with this garden, it runs along the sidewalk that leads from the Gathering Place to the steps down to Cowles St. We've added some painted ferns, hostas, and astilbe:
We are also pleased to see the St. Francis Garden is doing well despite the heat wave and lack of rain in early June. Eventually this garden will fill win as the perennials spread, and passers-by will enjoy a blanket of green and color as the plants bloom in succession:
And lastly, we are so pleased to say the seven crepe myrtles purchased with generous donations from sponsor have been planted. Four along the rock wall next to Cowles St. are pink and the three above the playground are lavender.
Once again we thank: Pat and Dan Bumgarner; Joe and Sarah Fesperman; John and Peggy Harwell; Nancy Scroggs; Ramona Curtis; Marilyn Payne in memory of her parents, Paul and Marjorie Osborne; and Betsy and Jim Almoney in honor of their 15th wedding anniversary.
We are excited to announce that starting Sunday, July 4th at 3pm, Christ the Liberator will be returning to St. Paul's for worship in the chapel. Christ the Liberator services, led by Pastor Brandon Anderson, will be held weekly.
Have any empty egg cartons?

Samaritan Kitchen has an immediate and ongoing need for empty egg cartons. They are fortunate to have a donor of eggs every week that have to be put into cartons to pass out to our hungry neighbors.

You can drop them off at Samaritan Kitchen or bring to Church and Glenn Smith will pick them up and deliver to Samaritan Kitchen.
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! $1290.00 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 $1290 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 July 2021
Readers

July 4 - Laurie Love (8:30)
July 4 - Beverly Cook (10:30)
July 11 - Jeff Beard (8:30)
July 11 - Tana Myers (10:30)
July 18 - Mary Southwell (8:30)
July 18 - Jeri Martin (10:30)
July 25 - Dick Sloop (8:30)
July 25 - Maggie McCann (10:30)
Altar Guild

July 4 - Laurie Love & Ramona Curtis
July 11 - Mary Lankford, Sharon Greene, & Bonnie Merritt
July 18 - Mike & Mary Southwell
July 25 - Drew & Pam Mayberry
Birthdays:

July 2 - Grace Nye
July 2 - Susan Hubbard
July 2 - Alline Skees
July 5 - Elizabeth Graf
July 7 - William Carroll
July 7 - Sophia Shupe
Anniversaries:

July 2 - Johnny & Kathi Johnson
July 4 - Douglas & Denise Morris
July 7 - Craig & Elizabeth Freas
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
Sadie Broome, Lucca Hailey, Doug Johnson, Lorraine Little, Jen & Cliff McElroy, Becky Mullins, Kris Riley, Tara Riley, Chris Shaw, Jeff Smith, Susan Whittington
Long-term
Jim Andrews, Ken Asel, Pam & Robert Baugh, Thomas Dellinger, Tina Duncan, Mary Hawkins, Cynthia Hill, Bob & Donna Webber
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 July 4, 2021
Ezekiel 2:1-5
The Lord said to me: O mortal, stand up on your feet, and I will speak with you. And when he spoke to me, a spirit entered into me and set me on my feet; and I heard him speaking to me. He said to me, Mortal, I am sending you to the people of Israel, to a nation of rebels who have rebelled against me; they and their ancestors have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants are impudent and stubborn. I am sending you to them, and you shall say to them, “Thus says the Lord God.” Whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house), they shall know that there has been a prophet among them.

Psalm 123
Ad te levavi oculos meos
1 To you I lift up my eyes, *
to you enthroned in the heavens.
2 As the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters, *
and the eyes of a maid to the hand of her mistress,
3 So our eyes look to the Lord our God, *
until he show us his mercy.
4 Have mercy upon us, O Lord, have mercy, *
for we have had more than enough of contempt,
5 Too much of the scorn of the indolent rich, *
and of the derision of the proud.
2 Corinthians 12:2-10
I know a person in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows. And I know that such a person—whether in the body or out of the body I do not know; God knows— was caught up into Paradise and heard things that are not to be told, that no mortal is permitted to repeat. On behalf of such a one I will boast, but on my own behalf I will not boast, except of my weaknesses. But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

Mark 6:1-13
Jesus came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could do no deed of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
Then he went about among the villages teaching. He called the twelve and began to send them out two by two, and gave them authority over the unclean spirits. He ordered them to take nothing for their journey except a staff; no bread, no bag, no money in their belts; but to wear sandals and not to put on two tunics. He said to them, “Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave the place. If any place will not welcome you and they refuse to hear you, as you leave, shake off the dust that is on your feet as a testimony against them.” So they went out and proclaimed that all should repent. They cast out many demons, and anointed with oil many who were sick and cured them.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org