E-newsletter | July 22, 2021
Reverence for Creation
Stewardship of Creation and Our Life of Faith

We live in one of the most beautiful natural environments in the world; mountains, rivers, wildlife as well as our manicured gardens reflect a love of God’s natural order. Summer almost always finds me reflecting on the practice of Reverence for Creation. The reverence for creation is that space where we move beyond ourselves into the beauty and purpose of the natural world. More than "Going Green," reverence for creation is a practice that has invited us into the fullness of God’s life since we came out of the primordial stew.
In the book of Genesis we see that with delight, God proclaims the goodness of creation. Genesis also tells us that we are created in the image of God. This image of God is meant to be reflected in the responsibility we are given over the created order in order to tend and secure its wellbeing. 
We have been given “dominion” over the fish of the sea, and the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves upon the earth in the same way that God has dominion over humankind. 
What we have long forgotten to reflect is that God’s practice of dominion is characterized by mercy, gentleness, compassion, and caretaking. 
We are meant to care for creation the way that God cares for us. Just as God desires our wholeness and joy we were meant to offer the land and the creatures of the land, the sea, and the air this same chance to flourish and be nurtured by a loving hand.  
Joan Chittister reminds us that the Creed also gives a testimony to creation that we, the human creature, have far too long ignored. “God, the Creed insists, created the earth. The earth, like us in other words, breathes the breath of God.” She goes on to say that the simplicity of this statement overwhelms and she asks, “what is it that has been created by God that does not reflect the presence of God? 
What is it created by God that can so cavalierly be destroyed without remorse, without awareness of the divine life within it?”  
Christians revere nature as a creation that is cause for awe, given its power and magnificence, which, in turn, fosters a sense of the human limit and frailty. As God is the Creator, the creation glorifies God; [Creation] witnesses to God’s glory, majesty, power, and goodness. “Human life stands as part of the creation, dependent upon the created order whose purpose is beyond understanding.”
Nature provides the very conditions that make human life possible; we are dependent on creation for our very well-being. But, we should never misunderstand that the earth and all that is in it was created only for the sake of humanity, as if humans are the center of the world and as if all of creation were for our enjoyment and satisfaction. Creation has its own beauty and goodness that demands recognition and has a means and an end that extends far beyond our use of it and its resources.
As Christians, the practice of reverence for creations asks us to examine deeply moral questions that will challenge us to think about many things. There are life-sustaining methods in use for how we interact with the environment and animals, but others that destroy wantonly for the sake of profit without regard for humane or sustainable factors. But often these potential abuses support economies, livelihoods, and the economic prosperity of towns and communities. These are very difficult questions with no easy answers. So how, as Christians, do we begin to think on these dilemmas?
I think perhaps having the courage to ask the tough questions is the first step. Opening our eyes to see that there is in fact a giant divide between God’s desires for our husbandry of creation and how we have ultimately dominated and put it in peril at least helps us begin the journey and exploration of the things great and small that we can do in the immediate time. Recycling, thinking about buying local, humanely raised and slaughtered meats, adopting animals from shelters, and having them neutered and spayed, cease using water bottled in plastic. These are the small, accessible things we can do as we begin to reflect on the restoration of God’s true desired relationship between the human and the rest of the created order. 
How we, as Christians, take care of the natural world reflects our core values as God’s people. 
Reverence for Creation is an invitation to focus our attention on the specific actions that we can take to care for what has been entrusted to us. The world is God’s good creation. Thinking about how we treat the Earth helps the faithful to navigate the narrow path between what is broken in the world and how we can partner with Christ in reconciling all that is broken to God. 
Grace and Peace, 
Mother Stephanie
Mother Stephanie Away

Mother Stephanie is enjoying a week of rest and re-creation. She will be back with us on Tuesday, July 27th, and then take some more time in August.

Enjoy your R&R, Mother Stephanie!
Do you have keys to the church?

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


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!

Updated 7/1/21

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
Genesis Bible Study
September 1st
October 6th

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!
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!

“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.


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

Click button to go directly there
Serving in July 2021

July 25 - Dick Sloop (8:30)
July 25 - Maggie McCann (10:30)
Altar Guild

July 25 - Drew & Pam Mayberry

July 23 - Sandra Oliver
July 24 - Margo Hurd
July 29 - Doug Morris

July 24 - Bob & Jane Will

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.
Sloan Barnhill, Laurence Virgil Hawkins, Kris & Tara Riley, Jeff Smith
Robert Baugh, Christina Floyd, Nancye Johnson
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 25, 2021
2 Kings 4:42-44
A man came from Baal-shalishah, bringing food from the first fruits to the man of God: twenty loaves of barley and fresh ears of grain in his sack. Elisha said, “Give it to the people and let them eat.” But his servant said, “How can I set this before a hundred people?” So he repeated, “Give it to the people and let them eat, for thus says the Lord, ‘They shall eat and have some left.’” He set it before them, they ate, and had some left, according to the word of the Lord.

Psalm 145:10-19
Exaltabo te, Deus
10 All your works praise you, O Lord, *
and your faithful servants bless you.
11 They make known the glory of your kingdom *
and speak of your power;
12 That the peoples may know of your power *
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
13 Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom; *
your dominion endures throughout all ages.
14 The Lord is faithful in all his words *
and merciful in all his deeds.
15 The Lord upholds all those who fall; *
he lifts up those who are bowed down.
16 The eyes of all wait upon you, O Lord, *
and you give them their food in due season.
17 You open wide your hand *
and satisfy the needs of every living creature.
18 The Lord is righteous in all his ways *
and loving in all his works.
19 The Lord is near to those who call upon him, *
to all who call upon him faithfully.
Ephesians 3:14-21
I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth takes its name. I pray that, according to the riches of his glory, he may grant that you may be strengthened in your inner being with power through his Spirit, and that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love. I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

John 6:1-21
Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming toward him, Jesus said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?” He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.” One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, “There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?” Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all. Then Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, “Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.” So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets. When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, “This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.”
When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were terrified. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they wanted to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat reached the land toward which they were going.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org