April 8, 2021
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

This Week's News Highlights

Our Service This Week

Holy Eucharist on Facebook and for those in person will be at 8:30AM on Sunday. See below for how to attend by either mode of participation. Please consider the current state of the pandemic in making your decision about attending this service, or any other, in person. Facebook Live continues to be a safe and meaningful way to join in worship each Sunday.
We had a successful Holy Week!

With the help of faithful volunteers, St. Paul's observed Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and two services on Easter. It was quite a schedule for the music team (Tim Peterson and Dean Warden) and for Fr. Haughton.

Volunteers (including Dave and Irene Eyer, and Greta Philips-Ford) decorated the nave. Readers read the lessons and the passion (according to St. John) and a select few members of the choir (singing with masks on the outside porch) made it a special week. The altar guild outdid itself with polished brass and mended and crisp altar linens.

Let's end the "low Sunday"

The week after Easter is often considered a "low Sunday" as the "C & E" people (those who attend church only on Christmas and Easter) may not be back, and some regular members take a break as well.

We noted that during Holy Week this year, however, that many of our regular members abstained from attending in person - perhaps because of the anticipated crowds of visitors. So, this is an ideal time for locals (including seasonal members and friends) to return. Safety protocols remain in effect and there will be room for all.
Exciting News - Clergy candidates visit St. Paul's

One of the rector candidates invited by the Search Committee arrived today for a three day visit to Key West. During this time the candidate will meet with church lay leaders and community leaders. There will be a tour of the church, opportunities to mingle with Search Committee members and opportunities to see what we, as a community and a fellowship, are all about.

Next week another candidate will visit with a similar schedule and third one may also visit.

Whether this step results in the selection of our next leader is in the hands of Divine Providence. But after a very long interim process this is happy news and reason for hope.

New Bricks Installed!

A new set of bricks, representing love, remembrances and faith as expressed by parishioners, was recently set in the Memorial Garden. (The latest grouping is pictured.) Please consider joining in this project. You can order your brick(s) here.

Proceeds help preserve our iconic church and grounds for future generations.
Sunday's Service

Join us Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 8:30AM. Sign up in advance to attend in person (see above) or join us on Facebook.

To join via Facebook, go to the church Facebook page at the appropriate time and look for the window showing that "St. Paul's Key West is now live". Click on the window. (You may need to refresh the page a few times if the "live" window does not appear promptly at the appointed time.)

Did you know you DO NOT need to have a Facebook account to view the service or visit our Facebook page? Simply use the Facebook page link to go directly to our Facebook page (even if you don't have your own Facebook account). Follow the directions above.

You can open or download the bulletin for the Sunday service here.

To attend a Sunday service (or a Holy Week service) please send an email to info@stpaulskeywest.org indicating the following information:

  • Your name and the names of any family or household members who will attend with you.
  • Your email address
  • Your cell phone number

Email is greatly preferred, but reservations can also be made by calling the church office at 305-296-5142. If nobody answers please leave a message with the information.

(Walk-ins will be accommodated if space allows but please pre-register whenever possible.)
Junior Warden's Report
By Greta Philips-Ford
With many of our volunteers being fully vaccinated, and with vaccines now available for anyone over 18, it's time to reach out to ALL of your friends, neighbors and family and make sure they get their vaccines. It can be as easy as helping them register online for an appointment or providing transportation. If you know someone in need of an assistant or you need assistance, please contact the office.
A BIG THANK YOU to all of the volunteers that helped during holy week washing, polishing, setting-up and breaking down.   It was great to see and feel the Christian energy back on campus!
Photo showing the Altar Guild polishing brass and setting the linens on the altar. Thanks to Phyllis Pita, Lisa Laskow, Kim Grizzle-Malgrat, Kathleen Bratton and Valerie and Haley Standard.
 The linens are beautiful with the exquisite cross pattern lace handwork edging the cloth.

Ken Bagge has completed another much needed project! 
The wooden deck on the kitchen entrance to the Historic Rectory was in desperate need of repair. Ken is holding one of the main support boards that has rotted! Thank you Ken for keeping us safe!
Senior Warden's Report
By Ray Warren

Change and Progress

I am sad to report that the mother of Lisa McCarthy, our hard working parish administrator, passed away on Wednesday morning. Lisa received word that she needed to go to Ohio on Easter Sunday. She was able to get there before her mother passed peacefully. Our thoughts and prayers are with Lisa and her family.
---
Due to Lisa’s unexpected absence I’ve been covering the office this week – answering phone calls, responding to emails, getting bill payments in the mail, etc. Layered on that is the visit by a rector candidate this week, including meetings, greetings and arrangements. Please bear with us if responses to non-emergency matters are delayed a bit this week and next. We’ll get things back on track as soon as possible.

- - -

The (hopefully) impending selection and installation of a new rector will also mark the phasing out period for my leadership. Once the rector is in place, I will revert to being her or his “wingman”. I’ll be an advisor and supplemental support for the rector’s priorities until January next year (when I roll off the vestry entirely). But I won’t be the “ecclesiastical authority” for the parish. As excited as others may be about that change, nobody will be more excited than me.

I’ve had a chance to learn virtually every single aspect of how the parish operates administratively. Indeed, I had no idea how little I knew about day to day operations until I assumed the role of secular leader nine months ago.

I hope as a volunteer in the future to leverage that experience as an aid to the rector, the administrator and the vestry. But, I am convinced that a healthy parish cannot be secure if daily operations are based on the expertise of one or a few people. I’m quite human, subject to sudden incapacity (and the constant mortal danger of being a cyclist and pedestrian in Key West). One of my goals for the coming months is to bring on more volunteers to give us a strong team, not dependent on any one or two people for daily operations.

Not only do I believe it would be fiscally imprudent to return to the high costs of full time staff for office and campus care (sexton) functions, I think we are stronger with an involved congregation leveraging the efforts of paid staff.

With these thoughts in mind, I’m asking each of you to think how you offer your talents on a volunteer basis to St. Paul’s. Next week (or soon thereafter, if other news dominates next week’s newsletter) I’ll outline some areas where we need assistance now, and where we’ll need it as post pandemic re-opening continues. In the interim, I want to plant the idea. Please give it some thought.

- - -

Please get vaccinated as soon as possible. As mentioned in the Junior Warden’s column above, if you need assistance setting up and appointment, please contact the office (info@stpaulskeywest.org or 305-296-5142). The sooner we can reduce the range for variants to arise, and strive toward herd immunity, the sooner we can return to more normal activities as a community.
Finally, a bit of light.

Tonight I met one of the candidates the Search Committee has chosen to bring to Key West. There will be one or two others. But the first introduction was very good.

You have a very competent Search Committee. It is diverse - with full time residents, Conchs, and seasonal members. And they are in one accord on the candidates they have targeted. I trust them and so should you.

When I became senior warden I was overwhelmed by the sacred trust of leading such an iconic congregation. I should not have worried.

Our congregation has met the challenge. We are strong. And, by the grace of God, I feel sure we will be gifted with a leader (this candidate or another one) of vision.

When all was done with the meeting tonight, I was the one to close the church.
This is something usually done by our stalwart volunteers - Jeff Minalga, Dave Eyer, Tim Peterson and Bruce Hageman. But tonight it fell to me.

So, I had a magical moment at the end of the day.

Having locked the doors, I stood before the high altar alone, quietly taking in the windows and space in which generations of Key Westers have worshipped, prayed and found sustenance.

Then I turned out the lights. And there was only the sanctuary candle and the fading light to provide illumination - the same candle we had extinguished on Maundy Thursday, to be relit on Easter Sunday.

It will burn now 24/7, to remind us the presence of God, until Holy Week next year.

And, as I stood there in the quiet, I realized that we are blessed, we are in good hands, and that St. Paul's will be okay.
Thank you for those who have Pledged. Thank you to those who will do so this week.

We know you'll be there for St. Paul's, but saying that the majority of our givers are also bona fide pledgers is also important. Please join the effort. It's free (pledge only what you plan to give anyway) and it doesn't hurt at all.

Every person counts. You can find more information about pledging here. Be part of our future.
Contacts:

Sr. Warden Ray Warrenseniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org

Jr. Warden Greta Philips-Fordjuniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org

Epistle Editoreditor@stpaulskeywest.org

Church office (and administrator Lisa McCarthy): info@stpaulskeywest.org

Church office phone: 305-296-5142

Church mailing address: 401 Duval Street, Key West FL 33040. Pledges and offerings can be mailed here or made electronically at the church giving page.
Music During the Pandemic

Stay tuned for the next "From the Organ" concert the first Thursday in May. In the interim, you can also find prior recordings of many past concerts and musical offerings on St Paul’s Facebook page, or on YouTube.
We Pray Each Day

Daily Morning and Evening Prayer is being offered on Facebook Live at 7:30AM and 500PM on weekdays.

Thanks to Bruce Hagemann, Lisa Laskow, Mary Simmons, Samantha Hall, Sarah Hall and Tim Peterson for volunteering to officiate at these sacred moments.

To join in the prayers via Facebook, go to the church Facebook page at the appropriate time and look for the window showing that "St. Paul's Key West is now live." Then click on the window.

"Like" us and turn on live notifications to get a reminder whenever we are offering prayers.

Please pray this week for healing for

Brittany (Sherri Hodies’ daughter), Beth and Jon Peterson (sister-in-law and brother of Tim), Al (Kitty Robert’s partner), Peter Nanos, Joseph Lyles, Danny Sweeting, Carolyn Sangston, Ed Hinkle and Cari Varela.


We pray for the departed and their loved ones

Charles "Chuck" Hammond and Kathryn Heldt (mother of Lisa McCarthy)

"Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant"

(Send your prayer requests to Tim@stpaulskeywest.org for future publication and to be included in the Sunday service. By default requests will be listed for four (4) weeks. But if the need continues, please let us know.)

We celebrate these April Birthdays

Jerry Poole, 4/2
Grace Highsmith 4/3
Ivan Stanke 4/4
Brad Hahn 4/5
Ashley Cook 4/8
Carol Wilusz 4/9
Kay Holfinger 4/11
Derek Nelson 4/11
Mitch Paternaud 4/12
Thomas Reeder 4/12
Joyce Seeney 4/13
Richard Griffith 4/14
Glenda Hoffman 4/17
Diane King 4/17
Sheila Barker 4/19
Chasity Wynter Cyrillien 4/19
Walter Schmida 4/19
Monica McLaughlin 4/22
Roger Sweeting 4/24
Marius Alona 4/25
Damon Byrd 4/26
Marius Laurence 4/27
Stephanie Ford 4/28
Angie Mendez 4/30
Jim Schufreider 4/30

(If your name is missing from this month's birthday list please send a note to info@stpaulskeywest.org so we can add it.)

We Celebrate April Anniversaries

Sheila and Ron Barker 4/1
Bryant Jones and Jennifer Bardy 4/11
Carol and Jeffrey Burnham 4/21
Bill and Jan Malpass 4/22
Bo and Sylvia Hicks 4/23
Chimo and Linda Acevedo 4/30
Tom Ford and Greta Philips-Ford 4/30
Reminders
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
Back issues of The Epistle are available here.

Send questions and comments to the editor of this newsletter here.