E-newsletter | October 28, 2021

We’ve Come This Far by Faith

If you are reading the E-news you already know that St. Paul’s is a very special place. Imperfect yes, but with 176 years of history behind us, we are bound to have hit some rough patches. But in my time here I have also had the privilege to hear your stories and share conversations and many of your stories are about how you came to be part of this community of faith. These stories always resonate with a familiar sentiment, “I came in and I just felt welcomed and at home.”  

I hear it in many different ways, but hospitality and belonging are at the heart of what people find here. That is why it is painful when we fall short, but it also gives us so much hope for the future.

Even in this time of COVID, with a great many of our number watching online, we can flourish. We are a place where people entering our doors or discovering us on YouTube, find welcome and companionship in good and bad times; where the hunger to know more about God is fed. 

Week after week we are pulled, as by gravity, to worship together and give thanks to God for mercy, hope, and love, all of which are God’s gift to us all.

Each Fall we begin our time of Financial Stewardship, and what we want to celebrate this year is that even in challenging times, we are an oasis, an outpost in a time and world when it feels hard to understand events in our lives and global community. St. Paul’s is an island of refuge in a world full of increasingly adrift people. We want to celebrate how far we have come by faith and stake a claim on God’s promise of joy in the right here, right now!

Our parish has long been a place of solace and hope, a place of community and hospitality for people who may not even yet know that they long for what we offer. People come into our fellowship and are greeted by liturgy, amazing music, and proclamation that helps them begin to connect with the tradition of the church and the message of Jesus; things they find they desperately want in their lives.

Even in our imperfections, we come alongside one another in grief; we gather for funerals and surround mourners with words of hope and new life. And every Thursday our Parish House is open to members of the wider community; people eager for a place of non-judgmental assistance where help can be found and empty stomachs filled. Our conflict did not get in the way of this sacred mission and we persevered through COVID, refusing to let people in need go waiting or wanting.

Hospital visits, Bible study and fellowship, Adult Forums, and spiritual growth--our Financial Giving makes all of these things possible. You are already a generous community of faith. In We’ve Come This Far by Faith we are learning how to take the gifts that are already a part of who we are and we are working to let them grow and take us even deeper in faith and love of neighbor; being steadfast in the face of challenge. A beautiful dance is happening in which we all play a role, in which we all have a part.

Offering all of these holy and sacred opportunities to all of God’s people requires a substantial investment of resources that provide Clergy, musicians, church staff, bulletins, air conditioning, janitorial services, capital repairs, instrument tuning — these are not romantic, but they too are at the heart of ministry. In fact, they are the frontline, on the ground, where-the-rubber-meets-the-road kind of ministry.

We, like every other church in the world, are in a time of transition. Our life together looks different and if we are not careful we can begin to drop into scarcity thinking, we can lose our way and fail to see the opportunity and invitation before us.  

This is not a time to circle the wagons, this is the time to celebrate the exhilarating invitation to discover what new thing God will do among us and through us! When we were both at a crossroads in our ministries, the Holy Spirit moved to bring us together in a lovely symmetry. This to me is a sacred intersection. The place where our future was forged as priest and people and we staked a claim on a joyful future together.

Having come this far by faith, this is the moment when we reach courageously for a future of celebration and vitality that is the promise of our union. Over the next four weeks, we will be thinking about these and other things and we will ask you to pray and consider what of your financial gifts you want to share to help us forge ahead into the future. God is with us and we are transforming every day into the greater likeness of God’s Abundant and Generous Life.  
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
This is the last week and we still want 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.
Sunday November 14th

Please join Ken and Devvie Asel on Sunday, November 14th following the 10:30 service.

We will gather in the Labyrinth and remember their beloved daughter Kadie with the Burial Office and afterward we will join the Asel's in the Parish House to visit and share a covered dish.
Prayer Request List Reset

Both our short-term and long-term prayer lists will "reset" THIS 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.

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 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. Our goal now is to provide safe, accessible space for the parish, rector and staff.

The discussion is now centered on moving to the ground floor of the sanctuary that currently houses the library and choir room. We have consulted an architect and we are busy reflecting on his input as we move forward.

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.
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

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 31 - Mike & Mary Southwell

Oct 31 - Edward Southwell (8:30)
Oct 31 - Denise Sturdivant (10:30)

Oct 31 - Julie & Amelia Koch

Oct 31 - Jeff Beard (8:30)
Oct 31 - Ryan Minick

Oct 30 - Richard Shepherd
Oct 31 - Craig Freas
Nov 1 - Maia Cook
Nov 3 - Timothy Murphy
Nov 3 - Rose Mary 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.

RESET: Sunday, October 31st
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, Josh Jones, 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 31, 2021
Deuteronomy 6:1-9
Moses said: Now this is the commandment--the statutes and the ordinances--that the Lord your God charged me to teach you to observe in the land that you are about to cross into and occupy, so that you and your children and your children's children, may fear the Lord your God all the days of your life, and keep all his decrees and his commandments that I am commanding you, so that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe them diligently, so that it may go well with you, and so that you may multiply greatly in a land flowing with milk and honey, as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, has promised you.
Hear, O Israel: The Lord is our God, the Lord alone. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might. Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart. Recite them to your children and talk about them when you are at home and when you are away, when you lie down and when you rise. Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead, and write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Psalm 119:1-8
Beati immaculati
1 Happy are they whose way is blameless, *
who walk in the law of the Lord!
2 Happy are they who observe his decrees *
and seek him with all their hearts!
3 Who never do any wrong, *
but always walk in his ways.
4 You laid down your commandments, *
that we should fully keep them.
5 Oh, that my ways were made so direct *
that I might keep your statutes!
6 Then I should not be put to shame, *
when I regard all your commandments.
7 I will thank you with an unfeigned heart, *
when I have learned your righteous judgments.
8 I will keep your statutes; *
do not utterly forsake me.
Hebrews 9:11-14
When Christ came as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation), he entered once for all into the Holy Place, not with the blood of goats and calves, but with his own blood, thus obtaining eternal redemption. For if the blood of goats and bulls, with the sprinkling of the ashes of a heifer, sanctifies those who have been defiled so that their flesh is purified, how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!

Mark 12:28-34
One of the scribes came near and heard the Saducees disputing with one another, and seeing that Jesus answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?” Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ —this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.” When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” After that no one dared to ask him any question.
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org