Senior Warden Notes
A top goal of your senior warden in the next few months is "continuity". And, I believe this goal is shared by the entire vestry. We are facing many unknowns in the coming months. But, as much as humanly possible, we hope to keep what makes St. Paul's special and adapt to our new realities.
In their initial letter to the Bishop of New York in 1831 the founders of St. Paul's advised that
"the minister would not be required in any year, that he should stay a greater portion of the months of August and September than would be entirely agreeable to himself.
It's not August yet, but we
had to scramble hard to find clergy to lead our services on short notice. It is high summer on the island, and in the midst of a pandemic at that. There isn't a lot of desire, especially among the older clergy who often provide supply minister services, to travel these days. As one told me, "I'm 74 and in light of the current situation, I'm not inclined to travel anywhere."
We are very fortunate to have lined up excellent ministers for the short term. For the next two weeks, the Reverend Timothy Carr from Miami Beach will celebrate the sacrament for us. He is able to do that because his own parish uses a pre-recorded service on Sunday. (So, thanks to the wonders of technology, he will serve two congregations at essentially the same time.)
Beginning on August 9th, the Reverend Lenworth Haughton, the priest in charge at our sister church, St. Peter's in Key West, will celebrate the Eucharist for us. (St. Peter's is not currently engaged in streaming services.) Father Haughton, who lives in Pembroke Pines on the mainland in Broward County, has graciously agreed to drive down for an series of Sundays to help us.
at this point, have a priest for Sunday, August 2nd. While we could possibly find a priest to assist us, the vestry, in consultation with the music director, has decided to conduct a service of Morning Prayer (with, we hope a sermon) that Sunday. (Morning prayer can be entirely read by lay persons.)
Our rationale is that, given the uncertainties of the times, we may
need to have Morning Prayer because of the
absence of a minister in the future. Morning Prayer is a beautiful service in itself and it seems best to utilize it purposefully the first time, so as to be better prepared for the next time (whether voluntary or otherwise).
I can guarantee you that the Morning Prayer service on August 2 will have all the uplifting music and heartfelt prayers to which our members and friends are accustomed.
At this point I do not have word on when we might be allowed to open the church building. As you know, things are actually going backwards on the pandemic front. Nor do I know when the bishop will approve our parish profile to allow the search process to go forward. But I have confidence that will be soon.
We are a community and a family. A lot is unknown. But we know that as St. Paul's has weathered storms, fires and depressions, we will weather this as well.
The buzz about the lay leadership training program known as EFM (Education for Ministry) to be offered this fall is growing. If you are interested, Please email or call Susanne Woods a
You may also find out more at
. There are fees involved in participating but some financial help may be available for those who need it. Most important is a commitment to the group for at least one year (32 weeks). This program will accommodate those who are not resident in Key West when it begins, via a virtual component.
We are so blessed to have good, loving people who are generous with their time and talent. Your generosity is also important, and keeping St. Paul's afloat during the storm of Covid-19 .
Pledges and contributions can be made electronically via the church
. Pledges and gifts can also be mailed to the church at 401 Duval Street, Key West, Florida, 33040. God bless each of you for your support.