E-newsletter | June 17, 2021

Deeper in Faith, Further in Community

As you have likely heard me say before, God created us to be in community, and of that, I have no doubt. God formed us for community with God’s self and then promptly taught us that we could love God best by loving one another in the very same life-giving ways that God loves us.  

Through all of the Law, the Prophet’s, and Jesus’ earthly ministry we are called again and again to not only gather as God’s people, but to create communities in which and through which God’s love is fully known and experienced. We are meant to do this in positions of leadership, through fellowship and participation in the life of the parish, and then go back out into our everyday lives and pour God’s love for all out into the world in which we live. 

These are high-flying words, and we preacher types are fond of soaring rhetoric, but the need for us to give of ourselves, to push beyond the fulfillment of our personal desires alone, is a pressing call of the Gospel.

As we begin to come together again as the people of God at St. Paul’s in Wilkesboro, I have started to wonder who and what we will be post-Covid. And how might we use everything we’ve learned about the world and our place in it during this time of separation to shape who we become in the future?

These are big questions and I think it will take time for the answers to emerge. But it occurs to me, that the first step is to start by making intentional, thoughtful commitments to experiencing our faith community in a fresh way, to leave old assumptions in the past, and embrace the newness that emerges. In addition, we can begin to learn to see our own faith as something that can shape not only our private lives, but as something that actually touches the lives of those with whom we live and work, play, and worship. 

In my own journey, way, way back when, I started with the simple heart and desire to “make the world a better place” and then, after much seeking, I found the Episcopal Church to be the perfect, fertile place for me to begin to wed my hopes for a better world with my deep love of God (up to this point Church had not been a place where I found this to be true!). 

In the less than perfect, but absolutely wonderful community of St. Mark’s in Brunswick, Georgia, I was given the opportunity to study scripture in a deeply intentional way, I began to learn the process of understanding the world I lived in through a theological lens, simply put, I began to be able to identify “where God was in all of this” whatever “this” happened to be at the time. 

I was invited to share in the ministries of the parish doing everything from cleaning out closets during Spring clean-up to discovering my call to participate in the Healing Prayers ministry, lector, chalice bearer, as well as taking opportunities to do social justice through feeding the poor or advocating for AIDS victims and so many things in between.  

In addition to my full life of business ownership, traveling the world scuba diving, and just generally enjoying living on a beautiful sunny island of the coast of Georgia, my life was given a new wonderful dimension. And though my life was full, something was missing in some serious, but undefinable way when I arrived to join my life with that of St. Mark’s parish.

But when I threw myself deeper into the life of my parish, my whole life gradually became “charged” with an energy that propelled me beyond my own fears and limitations into an understanding that all of us have something to bring to the table (pun intended!). No matter what age, no matter what life circumstance or present hurdle we can live a God-shaped life---not a perfect life, but a God-shaped life.

A God-shaped life is one in which we find forgiveness for ourselves and others, we find hope in times of despair, we are able to share joy and sorrow in equal measure, and we see that all of us working together are greater than the sum of our individual parts and through that, we can join with God is doing marvelous things and even mundane tasks can be infused with purpose when we let God into every thought and action (if you don’t believe me just ask some Benedictines or explore true Celtic Christianity).  

So what is my point, in case you are wondering! I guess I wanted to share a little piece of my own journey as we begin to come back together because my story is just one among many. What is your story of going deeper? Where have you started to see things differently, experiencing faith and life more expansively and generously? Have you looked deeply and explored your own story yet?

All any of us need to do is take one little step. For me that step began with the simple act of showing up in church and then, little by little, letting my participation in the parish grow. I found God in Spring cleaning (a true miracle if there ever was one) and I was offered the chance to participate in doing God’s justice—one humble outreach event at a time; the Gospel began to redefine my life as well as the world around me.  

As Mother Theresa is reported to have said, “We cannot do great things, only small things with great love.” To me this describes the whole arc of the journey---maybe the first small thing is to do something as simple as coming to Adult Formation for the first time or offering yourself in some small way to our common life. It all sounds very ordinary, but you’ve heard me say many times how much God loves the ordinary. As you comfortable doing so, come back to worship and see where God is leading you…

Grace and Peace, 
Mother Stephanie

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




LOTS of Fellowship
Mark Your Calendars
Genesis Bible Study
August 11th
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.
St. Paul's Little Free Pantry

Thank you to those who have recently donated to St. Paul's Little Free Pantry. Due to the surplus in food donations, our pantry box is currently full.

There is now a note posted on the pantry box that states:
"Please do not leave any donations here expect for food put inside the little pantry. Take all other items to your favorite thrift store."

While we appreciate all donations, items left outside the box, especially food, will draw the attention of animals.

If you have donations that will not fit in the box, please do not leave them outside. We appreciate your understanding and cooperation.
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.

From the Senior Warden:
To Make a Call, Vestry Moves to Discern Next Rector

Thanks to all of you for your input as we make this very important decision on behalf the parish. Please continue to hold the vestry and Mother Stephanie in your prayers as we gather on this Saturday June 19th.

Mark Williams, Senior Warden

Doug Merritt - dougmerritt62@gmail.com
Richard Barber - rbarber3185@yahoo.com
Carol Canter - ccanter123@gmail.com
Ramona Curtis - curtiser@charter.net
Beverly Cook - jambev@aol.com
Joe Fesperman - joefesperman@yahoo.com
Doug Morris - dam72961@gmail.com
Gwen Temple - gt1116@gmail.com
Mark Williams - markawlms@aol.com
Jim and Rose Andrews have recently moved and took the next steps for them on their journey. If you would like to send a letter or post card to them, it can be addressed to:

750 SE Cary Pkwy, Apt 109, Cary, NC 27511
UPDATED 6-10-21
We must still wear masks, especially for congregational singing, and we must still refrain from the Common Cup during Eucharist, but all other restrictions are lifted.

WE MISS YOU! We invite you to come back and join us for in person worship! Services will be held at their regular times of
8:30 and 10:30.
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! $1250.00 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.

Over the past week, we have received $1250 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 June 2021

June 20 - Jeff Beard (8:30)
June 20 - Joe Fesperman (10:30)
June 27 - Laurie Love (8:30)
June 27 - Dick Sloop (10:30)
Altar Guild

June 20 - Drew & Pam Mayberry
June 27 - Mary Anne Caplinger & Tom Carnes

June 18 - Tate Pratt
June 19 - Justin Marrow
June 19 - Angela Searcy
June 21 - Tom Carnes
June 22 - Sandra Elledge
June 22 - John Hall
June 22 - Heather Murphy
June 22 - Alvin Searcy

June 17 - Carl & Sandra Elledge
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, 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 June 20, 2021
Job 38:1-11
The Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind:
"Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?
Gird up your loins like a man,
I will question you, and you shall declare to me.

"Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?
Tell me, if you have understanding.
Who determined its measurements—surely you know!
Or who stretched the line upon it?
On what were its bases sunk,
or who laid its cornerstone
when the morning stars sang together
and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy?

"Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb?—
when I made the clouds its garment,
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
and prescribed bounds for it,
and set bars and doors,
and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stopped'?"

Psalm 107:1-3, 23-32
Confitemini Domino
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good, *
and his mercy endures for ever.
2 Let all those whom the Lord has redeemed proclaim *
that he redeemed them from the hand of the foe.
3 He gathered them out of the lands; *
from the east and from the west,
from the north and from the south.
23 Some went down to the sea in ships *
and plied their trade in deep waters;
24 They beheld the works of the Lord *
and his wonders in the deep.
25 Then he spoke, and a stormy wind arose, *
which tossed high the waves of the sea.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and fell back to the depths; *
their hearts melted because of their peril.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards *
and were at their wits' end.
28 Then they cried to the Lord in their trouble, *
and he delivered them from their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper *
and quieted the waves of the sea.
30 Then were they glad because of the calm, *
and he brought them to the harbor they were bound for.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his mercy *
and the wonders he does for his children.
32 Let them exalt him in the congregation of the people *
and praise him in the council of the elders.
2 Corinthians 6:1-13
As we work together with Christ, we urge you also not to accept the grace of God in vain. For he says,
“At an acceptable time I have listened to you,
and on a day of salvation I have helped you.”
See, now is the acceptable time; see, now is the day of salvation! We are putting no obstacle in anyone's way, so that no fault may be found with our ministry, but as servants of God we have commended ourselves in every way: through great endurance, in afflictions, hardships, calamities, beatings, imprisonments, riots, labors, sleepless nights, hunger; by purity, knowledge, patience, kindness, holiness of spirit, genuine love, truthful speech, and the power of God; with the weapons of righteousness for the right hand and for the left; in honor and dishonor, in ill repute and good repute. We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet are well known; as dying, and see-- we are alive; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing everything.
We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return-- I speak as to children-- open wide your hearts also.

Mark 4:35-41
When evening had come, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side.” And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was. Other boats were with him. A great windstorm arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?” He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm. He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Have you still no faith?” And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org