E-newsletter | October 21, 2021

Second Sight

Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, "Son of David, have mercy on me!" Jesus stood still and said, "Call him here." And they called the blind man, saying to him, "Take heart; get up, he is calling you." So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" 
From the Gospel According to Mark

I was watching a documentary on Netflix that featured the diaries of Leonardo DaVinci. One of the statements really grabbed me because it stated something that Jesus says again and again as almost a warning after many of his teachings.

DaVinci was speaking about the resistance to his astounding discoveries about science, the human body, and other amazing things. He wrote that in terms of learning or accepting new ideas, there are three classes of people; “There are those who simply see and understand and grow, there are those that see and understand after they have been shown, and those who simply do not or will not see at all.”

I cannot count the times Jesus says, “Let those with eyes to see, see.” I was reminded about Jesus’ encounter with a blind man named Bartimaeus. Jesus’ point was that those of us who have eyes to see do not always grasp the truth that is right in front of us.

Outwardly a Gospel about physical blindness, it is also a story about spiritual blindness. It’s one of only two stories in the gospel of Mark that focus on restoring sight to the blind and these healing passages about blindness form parentheses around Jesus’ teaching about the demands of discipleship. The point being that we are supposed to learn what it really means to see Jesus and offers instruction on what it really means to follow Jesus.

Mark tells us consistently that those closest to Jesus most often misunderstand the purpose of his life and that it is those on the outside, the outcasts, and the wretched who grasp the true mystery and meaning of what it means to follow Jesus.

Through the story of Bartimaeus, Jesus calls us to hear the cries of those on the margins and to see the world and those with whom we share it with news eyes and a new vision. 
Mark’s Gospel continually reminds us that those of us on the “inside” don’t always get it.  

He cautions us that we can become so possessive of God’s grace and mercy that we start to think it is something we can give or withhold at our own discretion. The world is full of “good Christian folks” who are happy to tell us who is worthy of God’s love and who is not.

Jesus’ disciples in the passage above are caught up in the importance of what they perceive their place to be. But it is in fact Bartimaeus, this blind beggar, whom the crowd wishes to silence, who sees Jesus most clearly of all.

It is easy to feel that we would never be like the disciples, but there are places in all of our lives where we are blind to the ways we are possessive of what God seeks to give away for free. The first step in true discipleship is having the honesty the see ourselves clearly and to be courageous in throwing off everything that seeks to keep us blind to the world as God sees it.  

It can be hard to move from where we are to where God hopes we will go. That’s the reality of a faith-full life. People who refuse to struggle with new insight are often resisting God’s call to new life and new understanding. But every day God is calling us to see the world anew through God’s eyes.

That is why we are challenged when God pushes over sacred icons (or cows) in our lives and opens up places of uncertainty, places where what we think we knew is challenged or no longer rings true. The disciples struggle with this constantly as do we. Jesus tells us again and again that following him closely will change us and our eyes will be opened to new truths and new understanding. But here is the hard part: when we allow God’s transformative power into our lives, the demands that new our vision creates can be pretty overwhelming

In the end, if we claim the courage and faith of Bartimaeus, we can become a champion of God’s compassion and mercy for all. It will demand we learn new things, expand our understanding of how God works in the world. This can be a whole lot more demanding than just sticking with what we believe and remain unchanging, but Jesus promises that it’s worth the risk.

Jesus asks us to grow. He asks us, "What do you want me to do for you?"
He calls us from the roadside if we have become outcasts and shamed by others.  And with that very same compassion, he calls us to be healed of the self-imposed blindness of fearing new revelation or our place of position.  

He calls us all to follow him and he teaches us time and again that God’s grace flows freely for all. There is indeed more than one way to be blind, but God in Christ offers healing for all of them.  

Grace and Peace,

Mother Stephanie
For Those Who Attend Virtual Services....
What are your primary reasons for not returning to in-person worship?
COVID-19 concerns
Schedule conflicts
Not interested in returning to in-person worship
And whatever reason you chose, we would love to hear more. Please contact the church at office@stpaulwilkesboro.org or Mother Stephanie at rector@stpaulwilkesboro.org. We are always eager to hear from you!

Thank you to those who have already answered the poll. If you have already done so, please do not answer again. All responses are appreciated.
Online Giving Platform & MinistryOne App

If you missed the trainings this past week, an overview of the app and online giving platform can be found on our website by going to the "About Us" dropdown tab, and then to "Online Giving", or by clicking the button below.

If you have any questions, please contact Morgen by email at office@stpaulwilkesboro.org for additional information.
Prayer Request List Reset

Both our short-term and long-term prayer lists will "reset" on Sunday, October 31st.

If you have a name that needs to be added to our prayer list, requests can be submitted through our app under the contact page, or through the form below.


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.

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 big thank you to everyone who donated clothes towards our clothing drive! As the seasons change and it gets colder outside, the need of our clothing ministry also changes. Our clothing ministry is in need of winter clothes, specifically: coats, sweaters, gloves, mits, and toboggans of all sizes and genders.

Please consider donating only new or very gently used items to this important cause. We appreciate your generosity and please consider the question: "Would I wear this?"

Let's offer the best of who we are to help our neighbors!

If you have clothing you would like to donate, it can be dropped off at the office.
Plans are moving forward to upgrade the parish office space. In the most recent history of our parish (50 or so years) our Administrative office space has been in flux and Mother Stephanie notes that this is something to be curious about: "Why hasn't there been appropriate and dedicated office space for such a clearly important part of our Parish life?" These are always interesting questions to think on as we move into times of discernment and decision.

The discussion so far has centered around renovating the current Parlier House or moving to the ground floor of the sanctuary that houses the library and choir room. We have consulted an architect and we are busy reflecting on his input as we consider next moves. If you would like to share your thoughts or tour the areas under consideration contact Joe Fesperman via landline 336-667-3594, cell text 202-821-5885 or online: joefesperman@yahoo.com. All inquiries are welcomed.

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.

We will continue to sing, but masks will be required during singing as well.

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

We are at a point when vaccinations are no longer just a "personal" decision. The numbers of unvaccinated persons filling our hospitals and ICU's means that both Covid and non-Covid patients alike are dying for lack of beds and treatment availability.

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.
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! $2130.00 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 $2130 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

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 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 Oct. 2021
Altar Guild
Oct 24 - Drew & Pam Mayberry
Oct 31 - Mike & Mary Southwell

Oct 24 - Lisa Beard (8:30)
Oct 24 - Beverly Cook (10:30)
Oct 31 - Edward Southwell (8:30)
Oct 31 - Denise Sturdivant (10:30)

Oct 24 - Tom Carnes & Drew Mayberry
Oct 31 - Julie & Amelia Koch

Oct 24 - Mike Adams (8:30)
Oct 24 - David McNeill (10:30)
Oct 31 - Jeff Beard (8:30)
Oct 31 - Ryan Minick

Oct 27 - Laurie Love

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.

Ken Love, Wes Martin, Nora McCann, Kris & Tara Riley, Jeff Smith, Tracy Taylor, Joyce Wheeling, Susan Whittington, Randall Woodruff

Dot Beamon, Christina Floyd, Kitty Owens, David Temple

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 October 24, 2021
Jeremiah 31:7-9
Thus says the Lord:
Sing aloud with gladness for Jacob,
and raise shouts for the chief of the nations;
proclaim, give praise, and say,

“Save, O Lord, your people,
the remnant of Israel.”
See, I am going to bring them from the land of the north,
and gather them from the farthest parts of the earth,
among them the blind and the lame, those with child and
those in labor, together;
a great company, they shall return here.
With weeping they shall come,
and with consolations I will lead them back,
I will let them walk by brooks of water,
in a straight path in which they shall not stumble;
for I have become a father to Israel,
and Ephraim is my firstborn.

Psalm 126
In convertendo
1 When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, *
then were we like those who dream.
2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, *
and our tongue with shouts of joy.
3 Then they said among the nations, *
"The Lord has done great things for them."
4 The Lord has done great things for us, *
and we are glad indeed.
5 Restore our fortunes, O Lord, *
like the watercourses of the Negev.
6 Those who sowed with tears *
will reap with songs of joy.
7 Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, *
will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves.
Hebrews 7:23-28
The former priests were many in number, because they were prevented by death from continuing in office; but Jesus holds his priesthood permanently, because he continues forever. Consequently he is able for all time to save those who approach God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.
For it was fitting that we should have such a high priest, holy, blameless, undefiled, separated from sinners, and exalted above the heavens. Unlike the other high priests, he has no need to offer sacrifices day after day, first for his own sins, and then for those of the people; this he did once for all when he offered himself. For the law appoints as high priests those who are subject to weakness, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever.

Mark 10:46-52
Jesus and his disciples came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org