E-newsletter | November 4, 2021

God Will Wipe Away Every Tear

“For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." 
From the The Revelation to John

Sunday is All Saints Day. The notion of saints can be confusing to us Episcopalians; our thinking is a bit fuzzy on the subject. In our Anglican understanding of sainthood we are all saints; dead or alive and we are part of a Great Communion of souls in a relationship that surpasses life and death and grants us access to God’s eternal presence --- and I think that thought makes us a bit nervous. We take our instructions from our Patron St. Paul for whom all the faithful were referred to as “the Saints.”

The truth of the matter is that saints come in all shapes and sizes, they come in all colors and they come in both male and female as well as in little baby and child size.

When you think on the real lives of our great saints I think we simply see those wonderful souls who learned some way, somehow to see and trust that God is the beginning and the end of all things. 

And in understanding that the love of God brackets all of life in this way, they are free to spend themselves in acts that are virtually dripping of God’s love and hope.

I also believe that God offers that potential to love and live without fear to each and every one of us each and every day. 

And in days fraught with Covid variants and political elections that upset us, living without fear is greatly needed.

When we offer ourselves to this life held in knowledge that God is in the beginning and the end of all things, our ability to feel Christ’s presence and see God’s astounding beauty everywhere increases beyond measure.  

God is constantly at work to offer us the promises of heaven in the here and now. John’s amazing poetic vision in Revelation, which we will hear on Sunday, captures this beautifully. We miss it in our English translation, but John speaks of a world without suffering in both the present as well as a future time. This is astounding to me given the fact that John of Patmos was a prisoner who was exiled for his faith and a pastor whose church and people were suffering daily persecution.  

But still, he saw the world as alight with God’s redemptive glory---he understood God as the beginning and end of all things and so even his imprisonment could not steal his ability to love God and inspire those who knew him.   

“The home of God is among mortals,” he says. God will wipe away every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more—God is constantly at work offering truth and beauty to a hungry world and making all things new. 

All of earth is crammed with heaven, as Elizabeth Barrett Browning has said, and I think that being saint means simply being aware of this unassailable truth and then allowing that truth to guide our lives. Our great saints knew this and it is a knowing that is there for us all to live into.  
It matters not whether we are alive or dead, perfect, or flawed through and through.  

We are all part of the communion of saints. We are all invited to live in the knowledge that God does make all things new and that God truly is the beginning and end of all things.  

Suffering is an unavoidable part of the human experience. But, a life given to God, with hope as its driving force, promises a more compassionate world. And this union with God’s hope reminds us that our lives are a gift—our lives are grace.  

And we can rejoice in that, even as we plunge ourselves into the mystery of our world which can feel so broken, but which can also be a place that is redolent with God’s profound truth, justice, and beauty.  

Grace and Peace,
Mother Stephanie
Time changes this Sunday!
Don't forget to set your clocks back one hour!
We would like to say “Thank you!” for your faithful giving and dedication to St. Paul’s. Without your support, and the support of the parish, St. Paul’s would not be able to have the impact on our community that we do. This week, you should be receiving your stewardship letters in the mail. We ask that you please review these letters and consider them thoughtfully.

Over the past couple of years, everything has been different, to say the least. And with that, we have had to change the way that we do things in order to navigate this ever-changing world. This year St. Paul’s launched with our Online Giving Platform.

For those of you who pledge, the Online Giving Platform can be especially helpful for you. The platform allows for you to set up a reoccurring gift, to be taken directly from your credit card or banking account, at the time of your choosing. A reoccurring gift is not required to be set up for pledges but can make the process easier.
We believe that financial transparency builds trust and is a mark of stewardship, so we want to take a moment to remind you that there is a small cost for this convenience. You’ll have the opportunity to help cover the cost of processing when you give. Please know that this is 100% optional and will be credited towards your , but we appreciate your partnership in making your gift go as far as possible to impact our mission.

If you have any questions about stewardship or online giving, please reach out to Morgen in the office. 
Do you like to sing?

The St. Paul's choir is looking for new members!
Rehearsal is on Wednesday at 5:15 and on Sunday morning at 9:45, followed by the 10:30 worship service. We sing all kinds of music, ranging from Renaissance motets to spirituals, and we have fun doing so!
If interested, contact our Director of Music, Russ Stinson, at russell.stinson@lyon.edu. He'd love to hear from you!

St. Paul’s has launched with a new giving platform with serval ways to streamline the giving process.

Text “GIVE” to 336-891-4231 to receive a link to go to the online giving form. After your first donation, you will be able to text an amount to the number above (i.e. $50) and send your donation that way without going through the form.

The online giving form is always accessible via our website, www.stpaulwilkesboro.org, under the “Give Now!” tab in the upper right-hand corner.

There is a 3% processing fee that is optional. If you choose to cover the processing fee instead of the church covering the fee, the additional amount will be credited towards your amount given for the year and be tax deductible.

Click the button below to try it now!
Download our church app!

Download the “Church by MinistryOne” app to your phone.
Search for “St. Paul’s Episcopal Church”
Click “Select this church” once you’ve found our church.

From the app, you can contact the church, submit prayer requests, find all our recorded sermons, donate and view your online giving history, find information on church events, and receive notifications and reminders from the church.

If you need assistance with the app, please contact Morgen at the office.

Why should you download the church app?
Even if you are not interested in online giving, we encourage everyone to download the app as it is another line of pertinent information to be shared between the church and the parish.
A special thank you to everyone who donated items during our clothing and coat drives. Our Clothing Ministry now has items they need to better serve our community.
Plans are moving forward to upgrade the parish office space. We are in discussion with an architect who is planning a revision that is focused the ground floor of the sanctuary that currently houses the library and choir room. These plans will insure accessibility, staff safety, and confidentiality of visitors among other needful improvements.

Masks will be worn for inside worship and other inside activities for the foreseeable future.

In small group gatherings of vaccinated individuals it is appropriate to have a discussion as to whether you want to wear masks or not. But please wear masks if even one member of the group prefers this important safety measure.

Please help us put an end to this Pandemic by getting vaccinated.

Love yourself, love your neighbor, get vaccinated!


Assistance Ministries on Thursdays!

Our Assistance team is back in business! A special thank you to all of those who come out and volunteer their time.
Crisis Assistance and Step Ahead will be holding lunches from 11:30am-1:00pm on Thursdays. For now, the lunches provided will be bagged.

Sponsor our Sunday Flowers to Honor Your Special Memories and Occasions!

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.

You can now access the flowers sign up form online! Click the button below to sign up today.
The form can also be accessed via the app.
Join us for Worship on YouTube or click on the link on our website!
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!
Offering Hospitality in Time of Need
Thank you for your generosity! $2230.00 so far...

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 $2230 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!
“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

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 Oct/Nov/Dec issues of Forward Day by Day are in the mailbox by the front door of the office.
(Including the large print!)


New Vestry Minutes have been added. August minutes are now available!

Click button to go directly there
Serving in Nov. 2021
Altar Guild
Nov 07 - Mary Lankford, Sharon Greene, & Bonnie Merritt
Nov 14 - Laurie Love, Ramona Curtis, & Tom Carnes
Nov 21 - Pam & Drew Mayberry
Nov 28 - Mary & Mike Southwell

Nov 07 - Lisa Beard (8:30)
Nov 07 - Tana Myers (10:30)
Nov 14 - Laurie Love (8:30)
Nov 14 - Jeri Martin (10:30)
Nov 21 - Robin Shumate (8:30)
Nov 21 - Nancy Scroggs (10:30)
Nov 28 - Edward Southwell (8:30)
Nov 28 - Jenny Nelson (10:30)

Nov 07 - Rebecca & Hannah Hartzog
Nov 14 - Keyonni Staley & Drew Mayberry
Nov 21 - Jenny Nelson & Drew Mayberry
Nov 28 - Amelia & Julie Koch

Nov 07 - Glenn Smith (8:30)
Nov 07 - Ron Myers (10:30)
Nov 14 - Jeff Beard (8:30)
Nov 14 - David McNeill (10:30)
Nov 21 - Bill Harris (8:30)
Nov 21 - Sandra Elledge (10:30)
Nov 28 - Mike Adams (8:30)
Nov 28 - Tim Murphy (10:30)

Nov 04 - Raymond Stone
Nov 04 - Eden Burkenbine
Nov 04 - Elijah Burkenbine
Nov 07 - Charles Forester
Nov 08 - Sandi Street

No anniversaries this week!
Prayer Requests

Prayer requests can be made by using the app under "contact us" and then the "prayer request" tab, or by emailing the office at office@stpaulwilkesboro.org, or 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.

Rick Brockner, Jeff Smith

David Temple, Donna Webber

Armed Forces
Let us pray for the safety of all our troops, especially Micha Duerk, 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 November 7, 2021
Isaiah 25:6-9
On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-aged wines strained clear.
And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;
he will swallow up death forever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.
It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

Psalm 24
Domini est terra
1 The earth is the Lord's and all that is in it, *
the world and all who dwell therein.
2 For it is he who founded it upon the seas *
and made it firm upon the rivers of the deep.
3 "Who can ascend the hill of the Lord? " *
and who can stand in his holy place?"
4 "Those who have clean hands and a pure heart, *
who have not pledged themselves to falsehood,
nor sworn by what is a fraud.
5 They shall receive a blessing from the Lord *
and a just reward from the God of their salvation."
6 Such is the generation of those who seek him, *
of those who seek your face, O God of Jacob.
7 Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in.
8 "Who is this King of glory?" *
"The Lord, strong and mighty,
the Lord, mighty in battle."
9 Lift up your heads, O gates;
lift them high, O everlasting doors; *
and the King of glory shall come in.
10 "Who is he, this King of glory?" *
"The Lord of hosts,
he is the King of glory."
Revelation 21:1-6a
I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying,
"See, the home of God is among mortals.
He will dwell with them as their God;
they will be his peoples,
and God himself will be with them;
he will wipe every tear from their eyes.
Death will be no more;
mourning and crying and pain will be no more,
for the first things have passed away."
And the one who was seated on the throne said, "See, I am making all things new." Also he said, "Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true." Then he said to me, "It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end."

John 11:32-44
When Mary came where Jesus was and saw him, she knelt at his feet and said to him, "Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died." When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who came with her also weeping, he was greatly disturbed in spirit and deeply moved. He said, "Where have you laid him?" They said to him, "Lord, come and see." Jesus began to weep. So the Jews said, "See how he loved him!" But some of them said, "Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?"
Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, "Take away the stone." Martha, the sister of the dead man, said to him, "Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead four days." Jesus said to her, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, "Father, I thank you for having heard me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me." When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, "Lazarus, come out!" The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, "Unbind him, and let him go."
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org