E-newsletter | July 8, 2021
The Way of Love…
 Is About the Way We Live…

The Collect for this Sunday reads: O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your people who call upon you, and grant that they may know and understand what things they ought to do, and also may have the grace and power faithfully to accomplish them; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

And our Gospel will detail the horrible and senseless story of the capricious beheading of Jesus' cousin, John the Baptist. We will be reminded why it takes strength and courage to accomplish God's will for the human family. John upset the status quo, he dared to call powerful to account for bad acting and it cost first his freedom, and then his life.

Understanding our vulnerability as people who want to bring the kingdom of God is seminal to understanding Jesus and what Jesus asks of those of who want to be faithful disciples and follow him in the Way of Love. He tells us that in order to create God’s Kingdom here on earth--- right now, right here that even our highest and best loyalties will be challenged. 

Jesus alerts us all that to follow him is the hardest most demanding thing we will ever do, but our reward is to gain a freedom unlike we have ever known before. Even if we are lambs that get slaughtered by the wolves of hatred, bigotry, greed, unchecked power, or malice, as John the Baptist was, Jesus promises the lives we lead will be one of immense freedom—freedom from fear, freedom from the burden of always worrying about what others think of you, freedom from conforming to societal or religious norms that oppressed others. This is a true gift indeed, even, when like John, you end up with your head on a platter.

The story of Herod offering up John the Baptist's head on a platter because of his lascivious lust for his step-daughter is truly egregious, but no more so than the excesses still on display in a culture that lusts for power over mercy and grace. 

We may never suffer a fate like John’s, but we forget the cost of discipleship when our faith becomes a way only to protect ourselves, a comfortable haven that saves us from the perils and hardships of this life; denying the world’s pain and rejecting how we, as bearers of God’s Love might relieve it, is a deep wound on the heart of the God. When we lose our courage and fail to speak courageously, as the prophets do, we neglect to bring the reign of God, the end to suffering, to the little parts of the world which we inhabit. God still loves us, forgives us, but we have rejected the opportunity to wed our lies to God’s hope for the world.

In her book, The Time is Now, A Call to Uncommon Courage, Benedictine Nun Joan Chittister says, “Where there are no prophets (no followers of courage), there can be no special revelation.” She reminds us that revealing God to a hurting world is what following Jesus is about. She tells us that we are not meant to be about ourselves, about the preservation of an institution, or preservers of the past. She says, we are here as messengers of God. We are meant to be heralds, to be watchdogs; we are lovers and followers of Jesus who calls all of us to remember the poor, save the women, embrace the outliers, consort with foreigners, and wrestle the Law to the ground of compassion. [The call to follow Jesus] is a most demanding, dangerous calling. But without it, we will never become our whole selves.” 

The question becomes, what higher loyalty are we going to forgo to inaugurate the kingdom of God? Whose respect are we willing to lose to speak to justice, mercy, and compassion in an uncivil society. We are in increasingly difficult times in which the evils of oppression and the degradation of our natural world and the dehumanizing of races, nationalities, sexual orientations, gender identifications, and people of certain religious affiliations are being unleashed a little a time. If we are not vigilant we will be like the frog, who as legend has it, if placed in boiling water and he will jump out immediately, but when placed in a pot of lukewarm water he will sit there unmoving as the heat rises and he is boiled to death. The dignity of many human beings is being slowly boiled to death because we do not perceive that the pot is boiling.

Sunday by Sunday we are reminded to pay attention! We are reminded that in order to follow Jesus we must love NOW, create justice NOW. Jesus’ desire for justice and compassion for those being marginalized and oppressed is always immediate. In the Gospels, he never asks those who are being denied a place at the table to be patient and wait as we so often do. We are all invited to follow Jesus—now, today, with nothing but the most basic of protections so that not only we, but all others may live in the Kingdom of God. I pray we will all find the courage to do so!

Grace and Peace,
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

Prayer List Reset

Deadline next Wednesday, July 21st @ 4pm

Please help us update our prayer list. Email or phone our Parish Administrator, Morgen Love, to remove, edit, or edit your prayer request. The prayer list will "reset" on July 21st with all names removed unless the status is updated.
Please remember in your prayers: All who are ill or unemployed a those who are on our prayer list.

Save the Date!
St Paul's Homecoming

July 18th

Plan to join us for this very special day of


Reconnect as we
gather as

ONE Community


ONE Service at 10 AM

followed by
Bring a Covered Dish!
Bring your friends!
Join us for



LOTS of Fellowship

Ham will be provided, please bring your favorite covered dish to share!

Did We Say, "Invite your friends!"
Don't forget about the Homecoming RAINBOW!

Raised for Crisis Assistance!

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 chose. Shirts that have not been picked up by the deadline can be picked up the next day, July 18th, at the Parish Picnic.

If you signed up for a shirt instead of ordering through the webstore, please don't forget to send in your payment with "t-shirt" in the memo line. If you have concerns about payment, please contact Morgen at the church office.

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

Addendum #1, 7/8:
1) The basement of the chapel has been squirrel & raccoon proofed by placing steel mesh in the ventilation ports on the front of the foundation.
2) Many thanks to Monty Shaw for replacing the lights in the front part of the parish house with LED bulbs. These will be more cost effective and can be adjusted using the dimmers near the kitchen entry.
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.

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.
Joe Fesperman
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
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 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 11 - Mary Lankford, Sharon Greene, & Bonnie Merritt
July 18 - Mike & Mary Southwell
July 25 - Drew & Pam Mayberry

July 8 - Gerianne Hannibal

July 8 - Alvin & Angela Searcy
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.
Sadie Broome, Lucca Hailey, Doug Johnson, Lorraine Little, Jen & Cliff McElroy, Becky Mullins, Kris Riley, Tara Riley, Chris Shaw, Jeff Smith, Susan Whittington
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 11, 2021
Amos 7:7-15
This is what the Lord God showed me: the Lord was standing beside a wall built with a plumb line, with a plumb line in his hand. And the Lord said to me, “Amos, what do you see?” And I said, “A plumb line.” Then the Lord said,
“See, I am setting a plumb line in the midst of my people Israel; I will never again pass them by;
the high places of Isaac shall be made desolate,
and the sanctuaries of Israel shall be laid waste,
and I will rise against the house of Jeroboam with the sword.”
Then Amaziah, the priest of Bethel, sent to King Jeroboam of Israel, saying, "Amos has conspired against you in the very centre of the house of Israel; the land is not able to bear all his words. For thus Amos has said,
'Jeroboam shall die by the sword,
and Israel must go into exile
away from his land.' "
And Amaziah said to Amos, "O seer, go, flee away to the land of Judah, earn your bread there, and prophesy there; but never again prophesy at Bethel, for it is the king’s sanctuary, and it is a temple of the kingdom."
Then Amos answered Amaziah, "I am no prophet, nor a prophet’s son; but I am a herdsman, and a dresser of sycomore trees, and the Lord took me from following the flock, and the Lord said to me, 'Go, prophesy to my people Israel.'”

Psalm 85:8-13
Benedixisti, Domine
8 I will listen to what the Lord God is saying, *
for he is speaking peace to his faithful people
and to those who turn their hearts to him.
9 Truly, his salvation is very near to those who fear him, *
that his glory may dwell in our land.
10 Mercy and truth have met together; *
righteousness and peace have kissed each other.
11 Truth shall spring up from the earth, *
and righteousness shall look down from heaven.
12 The Lord will indeed grant prosperity, *
and our land will yield its increase.
13 Righteousness shall go before him, *
and peace shall be a pathway for his feet.
Ephesians 1:3-14
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, just as he chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and blameless before him in love. He destined us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us. With all wisdom and insight he has made known to us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure that he set forth in Christ, as a plan for the fullness of time, to gather up all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In Christ we have also obtained an inheritance, having been destined according to the purpose of him who accomplishes all things according to his counsel and will, so that we, who were the first to set our hope on Christ, might live for the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the promised Holy Spirit; this is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God's own people, to the praise of his glory.

Mark 6:14-29
King Herod heard of Jesus and his disciples, for Jesus’ name had become known. Some were saying, “John the baptizer has been raised from the dead; and for this reason these powers are at work in him.” But others said, “It is Elijah.” And others said, “It is a prophet, like one of the prophets of old.” But when Herod heard of it, he said, “John, whom I beheaded, has been raised.”
For Herod himself had sent men who arrested John, bound him, and put him in prison on account of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because Herod had married her. For John had been telling Herod, “It is not lawful for you to have your brother’s wife.” And Herodias had a grudge against him, and wanted to kill him. But she could not, for Herod feared John, knowing that he was a righteous and holy man, and he protected him. When he heard him, he was greatly perplexed; and yet he liked to listen to him. But an opportunity came when Herod on his birthday gave a banquet for his courtiers and officers and for the leaders of Galilee. When his daughter Herodias came in and danced, she pleased Herod and his guests; and the king said to the girl, “Ask me for whatever you wish, and I will give it.” And he solemnly swore to her, “Whatever you ask me, I will give you, even half of my kingdom.” She went out and said to her mother, “What should I ask for?” She replied, “The head of John the baptizer.” Immediately she rushed back to the king and requested, “I want you to give me at once the head of John the Baptist on a platter.” The king was deeply grieved; yet out of regard for his oaths and for the guests, he did not want to refuse her. Immediately the king sent a soldier of the guard with orders to bring John’s head. He went and beheaded him in the prison, brought his head on a platter, and gave it to the girl. Then the girl gave it to her mother. When his disciples heard about it, they came and took his body, and laid it in a tomb.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org