January 21, 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. (Please be alert for any emails from the parish between now and Sunday as the diocese is considering further measures, including potentially closing the churches again, to deal with the pandemic.) 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.

Search Committee Update

We have received notice that the Bishop is nearing completion of his review of initial applicants and will be communicating with the Search Committee soon. Advertising for the Rector position also remains active so more resumes are expected. The process is moving forward.
Updates on the Annual Meeting Set for January 31

The Vestry has designated Sunday, January 31, as the date for the annual meeting. It will be held at both the church sanctuary and via Zoom for qualified electors. For an explanation of "qualified electors" and "communicants in good standing" click here.

If you are considering attending in person, please know we will go out of the way to ensure safety. Many of the reports that are usually read will be recorded and available in advance. (We probably won’t read them or play them during the meeting itself to reduce the time together.)

We’ll swing the windows of the church wide open. Though that will increase the noise from the street, it will make the interior space essentially an exterior space. We’ll also have socially distanced seating available on the side porch for those who prefer to listen from outside the structure. Please dress appropriately as the HVAC won't be on and Key West can be either hot or cold this time of year.

If you are a qualified elector and would like to attend via Zoom, you must indicate your desire to do so prior to the meeting by emailing either the Senior Warden or the Church office (phone 305-296-5142). The zoom meeting invitation will be sent only to those pre-registering for the meeting.

Every annual meeting involves electing three Vestry members, electing Dioecian Convention delegates (if appropriate) and election of directors for the Memorial Fund. (The budget is already adopted by the Vestry per Church canons, but will be explained at the meeting.)

This year there will also be an agenda item to amend the by-laws to specifically provide for electronic meetings in times of emergency. For a copy of the proposed amendment click here.

Please mark your calendars for Sunday, January 31 after the 8:30AM service (approximately 9:50AM) for the annual meeting. 

Please Buy A Brick and Build a Legacy

Brick sales are going well and we'll soon place the first new grouping. Please consider joining in this project.
The cost of a 4 x 8 brick is $100. Each brick will accommodate up to 3 lines and up to 18 characters per line, including spaces. You may order a Donor Brick with an additional donation of $35; this is a duplicate of the brick being placed in the garden. A certificate can also be ordered to send to an honoree describing the brick to be installed.

(Please note that bricks will be installed over time as orders accumulate to reduce shipping costs. Please order now, but allow some time for the actual installation of the brick.)

You can order your brick(s) here.
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.

This information is important

Currently, a limited number of people are allowed to attend services in accordance with diocesan protocols. If you would like to attend, you will be asked to sign up in advance. Contact information will be required.

To attend a Sunday 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

Thank you to the group of volunteers that worked in the Garden last week to remove the overgrown beds. The roots had begun to attach to the porch on the Historic Rectory.
This week’s project will focus on carpet cleaning of the Main Altar and steam cleaning vestry robes/shawls. If anyone has a particular skill or love of operating a carpet cleaner or wardrobe steamer, please join us Saturday morning from 9:00 to 11:00! We look forward to seeing you!

(In the background of the photo of work from last week is our next project—re-painting the Labyrinth/meditation circle.)
Treasurer's Year End Report
By Treasurer Dave Eyer

2020 was a successful year financially for St Paul’s Church.
 
To see a comparison of 2019 and 2020 income and expenditures, where we had shortages and where we had savings, click here to view the full report in a printable PDF format.
Senior Warden's Report
By Ray Warren

There is a lot going on right now.

First, please be aware that the diocese is very concerned about the new variant of the coronavirus that may be more transmittable (though not more deadly or less susceptible to the new vaccines). The Bishop and the diocesan re-opening committee have asked parishes to consider taking additional measures to ensure safety.

St. Paul's vestry met this past week and discussed the matter. We feel that our procedures to safeguard services, including significant social distancing, no touching, no singing, ventilation via the windows and mandatory masks are very effective.

A a further precaution, however, we are probably going to change seating patterns to resemble those we used at Christmas. Once this is implemented (which may not be for another week) please follow the ushers instructions as to which side of the pew to sit. (Attendees in every other occupied pew will be required to move to the far end of the pew to increase social distancing from about seven feet to well over ten feet.)

Please watch for emails from St. Paul's in case the diocese issues further directives or mandates the end of live services again.

---
I highly commend Treasurer Dave Eyer's year end report (above). Because of formatting limitations in Constant Contact we were not able to reproduce it for the body of this newsletter except as a reduced size picture. But please click on the link and read the whole thing.

I am very proud that, in this time of crisis, you, the members and friends of St. Paul's, allowed the parish to reach 93% of our budgeted contribution income. The budgeted figure would have been very ambitious in a normal year. To almost achieve our original goal in these challenging times speaks volumes of the love for St. Paul's that many have.

Unfortunately, even extraordinary faithfulness among parishioners and friends could not change the fact that income from the donation box (for tourists and visitors) the votive candle donations, "plate" contributions from visitors and event income (including concerts) was decimated.

We ended the year on a strong note mainly because utility costs were lower, the Vestry had the foresight to apply and receive a fully forgivable PPP loan (which became a grant) and because we are not currently paying a rector.

Some of our parishioners have already received their first vaccination shots. We can only pray that a renewed emphasis on distribution by government authorities will allow many more to do so in the coming months. Then, hopefully, we can resume activities at a more robust level.

---
Please note from the announcement above that if you wish to attend the annual meeting via Zoom, you need to pre-register. It is not wise to publish a Zoom meeting invitation to the nearly 500 people who receive the Epistle, so invitations (links) will be sent to those who pre-register. Also as indicated above, those who choose to attend in person will find the windows wide open for safety, so please dress according to the weather (hot or cold).

All electors of the parish are invited and encouraged to attend the annual meeting. One of the most important items of business will be the adoption of a by-law amendment to specifically provide for electronic meetings in times of crisis or emergency. The diocese is very keen on each parish adopting such an amendment. You can view our proposed amendment, which was adopted unanimously by the vestry, by clicking this link.

Please Help! If you know of any business or organization that would loan us a projector and screen to hook into a computer for the annual meeting, please advise. We'll need it just for that morning. The meeting will be much better if we can project the Zoom page onto a screen for in person attendees to see.
---

It looks like Covid-19 will take a bite out of our in person Lenten services again this year (as it did last year). Ashes to go is almost surely off the table. If the diocese allows, we do hope to have at least one Ash Wednesday service. (Keep in mind that Facebook Live is always a good way to participate in such services without joining in person)

We really do need to focus on the spiritual aspect of the coming season. If you have ideas for how we can organize electronic and at home devotions, please let me know. I am very much looking for ideas from parishioners. I know these good ides will arise organically if we put our minds to it.

---
I keep hoping that things will calm down and settle down soon. But at the moment there is a lot going on. Prayers for the parish and it's leaders (including our Bishop) are most appreciated at this time.
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.

A Message from Tim Peterson

Remember, you can find prior recordings of 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), Peter Nanos, Al (Kitty Robert’s partner), Mark Simcox, Susanne Woods, Christian Swanson, Crystal Cates, Charles (Chuck) Hammond, Joseph Lyles and the Curry family.

We pray for the departed and their loved ones:

Mark Sandground and Richard Curry.

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

(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 January birthdays

Lonnie Gordon 1/01
Faye Graniela 1/01
Mark Whiteside 1/03
PK Lynch 1/09
Phyllis Sweeting 1/09
Nancy Campbell 1/11
Perry Hodies 1/11
Brittany Mariscal 1/14
Virginia Butler 1/15
Bob Hicks 1/16
Sue Decker 1/17
Lew Ann Cahill 1/18
Barbara Poole 1/19
Elizabeth Curry 1/22
Ruth Lamere 1/22
Juliette Hamilton 1/24
Samantha Langdale 1/24
Jeffrey Burnham 1/27
Richard Curry 1/27
Jeff Minalga 1/28
Julie Waters 1/28
Joshua McCloud 1/29
Carolyn Sangston 1/30
Lorraine Zimmerman 1/31

(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 January Anniversaries

Dave and Irene Eyer 1/02
Wendy Niven and Anthony Sperling 1/05
Jerry and Barbara Poole 1/10
Jeff and Janet Carr 1/12
George and Julie Wallace 1/14
Percy and Betty Curry 1/20
Mary and Dexter Simmons 1/25
Denise and Keith Graham 1/30
Susanne and Dean Schott 1/31
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.