July 23, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
This Week At St. Paul's

Our celebrant again this Sunday will be the Rev. Timothy P. Carr. Fr. Carr is the rector of All Souls Church, Miami Beach, where he has served since May of 2019. Prior to that he was the Priest-in-Charge of St. John’s Church, Boonton, NJ, where he was named Citizen of the Year in 2017.

Father Tim showed his dedication last week when he proceeded with the service despite having no hot water in the historic rectory. Fortunately, we discovered the offending tripped breaker and expect his stay this week to be far more comfortable.
Sunday's Service

Join us Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM on Facebook.

Please note, we are temporarily discontinuing the Zoom stream to maximize the quality of the Facebook stream. We are exploring ways to increase our bandwidth and connectivity to offer additional streaming platforms.

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.

We will host a Zoom "coffee hour" so members can say "hi" and chat. Please join you fellow parishioners on Zoom at the completion of the service (approximately 10:15 AM) using this link . (Go to Zoom.com to sign up for a free account)

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

Junior Warden's Report
 By Greta Phillip-Ford
Work continues around the property despite the rain so we have re-directed some of our projects to the indoors. We are looking for the strip of wood missing in the pew shown in the photo. If anyone knows where it may be safely stored, please let us know so we can make the necessary repair. This is not a "new" event. I would guess the piece fell off about a year or more ago.

The volunteers continue to meet on Saturday from 8:30 to 12:00; please let me know if you are interested. (Email me at j uniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org .) You do not need to work the full 4 hours--any time you give is much appreciated.
Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren

A reminder that we hope to have an Education for (lay) Ministry program starting in late September via Zoom. Sewanee Theology Seminary sponsors the fascinating content, but the interaction of the group makes it work. Interested, or even just curious, contact Susanne Woods at  susanne.woods@gmail.com   or 305-407-7003.

This is such a great opportunity for spiritual growth. I do hope many of you will consider taking advantage of it.

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Another reminder that we are collecting a "purse" - a monetary gift -- for our departing interim rector, Fr. Steve Carlsen. To contribute send your check to the church office (401 Duval Street, Key West, Fl 33040) or utilize the church giving page . Be sure to note "rector's purse" on the check or as a note on your online gift. Keep in mind that this particular type of donation is not tax deductible, but it is a loving thing to do for a family who gave us so much.

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If you know of somebody who is signed up for this newsletter but who is not receiving it, please advise them to look in the "promotions", "updates", "junk", "spam" or similar folders in their email program. Many programs, including gmail, often characterize our mailings that way. Last week a church member discovered the missing newsletters in her "promotions" folder. (We are depending on getting this word out via friends and word of mouth as, by definition, those needing to hear it may not be able to read about it.)

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Bruce Hagemann thanks everyone who has contributed to the T.R.U.E. Fund, but notes that the needs are great. Your (deductible) contribution can avert eviction or hunger for a hard pressed Key West resident or family. Be sure to mark "TRUE Fund" on your contribution for this purpose.

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And, in these days of closed offices, how do you reach parish leaders? Here is a list.

Sr. Warden Ray Warren : seniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org

Jr. Warden Greta Philips-Ford : juniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org

Epistle Editor : editor@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

Tim Peterson "From the Organ"

Tim continues his weekly Organ recitals and informational streaming from the organ bench on Thursdays at noon.

Next week Tim will return to his regular offering of hymn settings as chorale preludes.

This has become one of St. Paul's most popular offerings. Check it out this coming Thursday.

You can find prior weeks recordings of Tim’s concerts on St Paul’s Facebook page , or on YouTube .

Please Join in Morning and Evening Prayer

Daily Morning and Evening Prayer is being offered on Facebook Live at 730 AM and 5 PM on weekdays.

Thanks to Lisa Laskow, Mary Simmons and Bruce Hagemann for volunteering to officiate some of the days.

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.
Know Your History

(Dave Eyer is taking a research break this week. This post was compiled from public sources by Ray Warren)  

As we face a potentially life threatening pandemic, it is useful to remember that Key West once faced such a calamity on nearly a yearly basis. Until the discovery that mosquitoes caused yellow fever (and subsequent efforts to avoid the mosquitoes and/or control them) yellow fever was an almost yearly plague upon the island. At least two of our former rectors fell victim to the fever.

The Rev. J. L. Steele , who served from 1874 to October 13, 1878, was a well loved and respected leader. In December of 1875 the Bishop of Florida visited Key West. At that time St. Paul’s was bursting at the seams and there was some discussion of establishing new parishes to serve the growing black Bahamian and Cuban populations. (This is before the construction of the current church, which dates only to 1919.) Both St. Peter’s (serving mostly local black Bahamian citizens) and St, John’s (to serve, in Spanish, a largely Cuban congregation) were organized during that visit.

(Note, black members were never required to leave St. Paul’s, and some stayed after the organization of the new parish. St. Paul’s has always been multi-racial, though most of the parish's black members elected to attend the high church Bahama inspired services at St. Peter’s once it was established.)

It fell on the Reverend Steele to minister to all three congregations until St. Peter’s and St. John’s obtained their own ministers. Adding to those duties, he also taught a parish school for boys, which he taught himself without any assistance. In the words of on chronicler, “the vestry felt unable to render financial assistance; nonetheless Dr. Steele, feeling that the undertaking could no longer be deferred, added the school to his already crowded program".

When Father Steele died in October 1878, he was buried in the city cemetery in a plot given by Livingston W. Bethel, a prominent Key West attorney who was, at that time, the Mayor of Key West, and an active supporter of the parish.

Steele's wife, Kitty had died in the previous January. The Journal of the Convention of the Diocese of Florida recorded that “he and his most estimable wife, whose death preceded his by nearly a year, conjointly united the parish around them, and won the hearts of all classes and conditions alike. The death of Dr. and Mrs. Steele alike, was felt to be a calamity to the whole city of Key West, a large portion of the population of which, with heads bowed and hearts stricken with grief, swelled the procession that escorted their remains to their last resting place.

After a short interim period, in which a newly ordained local priest associated with St. John’s served all three parishes, the Reverend Charles A. Gilbert , who had visited Key West in 1873, was called to the be St. Paul’s (and St. Peter’s) rector, Unfortunately, his ministry was of short duration. On November 8, 1880, he died at his post of duty of yellow fever.

“Only two years and a few days had intervened between his death and that of his worthy predecessor, who died in the same rectory of the same disease” . The Bishop felt that Mr. Gilbert's resistance had been lowered by excessive work as he had served both St. Paul's and St. Peter's parishes and had assumed the oversight of the schools.

Once again Mayor Bethel (who would go on that year to be elected Lt. governor of Florida) provided a final resting place for a St. Paul’s minister.

The tombs of the two rectors (pictured here) and Kitty Steele (the wife of the Rev. Steele) can be visited in the Key West city cemetery. It would be years before the true cause (and cure and preventative) for yellow fever were discovered and that ancient plague dismissed from life in Key West.
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
Back issues of  The Epistle  available  here .
These communications are currently edited by Senior Warden Ray Warren. Send questions and comments to the editor   here .