July 9, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Rector's Message

(Our interim will be leaving us after Sunday's service. Here is his final reflection on his time with us.)

Some of my favorite things about my time with you at St. Paul's:

  • Jumping in the bouncy house on the first day of Sunday School.
  • Getting Clover to let me pet him.
  • Hearing the choir after the season began.
  • Working with such committed lay leaders, too numerous to mention them all. I would single out the Sr. Wardens, Wendy Niven and Ray Warren, as particularly lavish in the time they have committed to St. Paul's.
  • The quiet of the 7:30 Sunday Service.
  • The variety and liveliness of the 9:30 service.
  • The responsiveness of the congregation while preaching.
  • The community of the 9 am healing service.
  • The consistency of saying Morning Prayer with Bruce Hagemann.
  • The changing rhythm from off season to in season.
  • Helping people get married, bury their dead.
  • Baptizing Sophia and Joey.
  • The generosity of the St. Paul's community in supporting the congregation financially in a time of need.
  • Working with Tim on liturgy and parish life.
  • Praying with the Tibetan Buddhist monks.
  • Being able to celebrate the Centennial of the church building with you all.
  • Working with volunteer, Ellen Cantrell, and then with the new part-time staff member, Lisa McCarthy. You will be impressed with what Lisa is offering St. Paul's in the office.
  • The beauty of the gardens.
  • Opening and closing the church, each week.
  • Meeting people from all over the world.
  • Fishing with Patchy, Blue, Mugsy and Pauli.
  • Sunsets from Ft. Zachary Taylor.
  • Kayaking, and now sailing, in the surrounding waters.
  • The quiet of the early morning in Key West.
  • My introductions to Key West history.
  • Observing the passion for St. Paul's future in the congregation and community.
  • The way St. Paul's has adapted in the time of COVID19 to sustaining the life of the congregation, communally and financially.
  • Learning to be a digital community and finding real connections together.
  • Clover interrupting our Facebook Live services.
  • Saying Evening Prayer with a devoted group of e-worshipers.
  • The warmth of the welcome by so very many.

Jen and I thank you for making us a part of your lives over the past year. We give thanks for your hospitality and look forward to hearing good things from you in the future. We will miss you.
Sunday's Service
Join us Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM on Facebook.

And also on Zoom.

To view the service on Zoom (go to Zoom.com to sign up for a free account) use this link .

If you don't have Facebook or Zoom connections, you can call into the audio part of the service by calling any one of these numbers:

312 626 6799   
929 205 6099
301 715 8592
346 248 7799
669 900 6833
253 215 8782

(Note, if you don't have toll free long distance calling you might incur a long distance charge for these numbers. )

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

The T.R.U.E Fund - A St. Paul's Outreach to the Community -Needs Your Help!
Many years ago some of the women of the church organized a fund to help people with unexpected emergencies. Before services were suspended, it was the tradition of our parish to take up a special collection for the T.R.U.E. Fund (Temporary Relief For Unexpected Emergencies) on the first Sunday of each month.

For many years the T.R.U.E. Fund was administered by Sandy Highsmith and others. When they retired after many faithful years from that effort, Father Larry Hooper administered it himself (on top of his many other duties.)

In the past year (and more) Bruce Hagemann has quietly and lovingly administered the fund. It is time consuming work -- involving verifying information and working with social service agencies, service providers and would be clients.

As one can imagine, the Covid-19 pandemic has been brutal on many Key West citizens. And, unfortunately, this blow to the local economy is happening precisely at the time we are unable to pass the plate on Sunday to provide relief. Below is a message from Bruce. Please read it, pray and consider how you can help this truly important outreach effort.

From Bruce Hagemann:

"The Covid-19 pandemic has altered everyone’s life in one way or the other. Unfortunately, it has affected a certain population in Key West very hard. With most of the population in Key West living paycheck to paycheck, this has had a very severe impact on people that are employed in the tourism sector. Even though these individuals may have applied for unemployment assistance, the time to receive these funds can take weeks or even months. Fortunately, the TRUE fund was able to assist these individuals. I have been able to work with several social agencies in the Key West area as well as the Housing Authority to assist these individuals with their monthly rentals. I am asking if possible, to help with the TRUE fund this month. Your generous donations are greatly appreciated."

Y ou can contribute to the T.R.U.E. Fund by sending a check with TRUE Fund written in the memo line to St. Pauls, 401 Duval Street, Key West, Fl 33040 or on our parish  giving page . I f you give electronically be sure to indicate in the notes section that the contribution is for the TRUE fund.

Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren
OK, I must be honest. Things are sort of overwhelming now. This can be hard for Episcopalians. We are the people of order and structure.

Good luck with that in the age of Covid.

But I am reminded of the words of our "God sent" gifted presiding bishop: "We are the Episcopal branch of the Jesus movement" . And Jesus never promised us a garden party.

A few things in the midst of the storm.

It is traditional when a minister leaves for the members of the congregation to collect a "purse", that is a fund to thank her or him which the priest takes for their own use. Many of you were very generous so that Father Larry received a good purse. I am asking you to be generous for our departing interim, Father Steve.

Steve and Jen could not have known what faced them when they arrived on our island. Through change, plague and renewal our minister gave us 100%. The job of an interim is hard. He or she must change things. And we are better for his prescient leadership. (See Dave Eyer's Treasurer's report below.) Without Steve we'd be in crisis. Thanks to hard decisions (which had consequences we all grieve, but which were necessary) we are healthy and ready to move forward.

Our family will contribute to Father Steve's purse. If you would like to join us please send you check to 401 Duval Street, Key West, Fl 33040 or visit our church giving page . Be sure to note "Rector's Purse" on your contribution. I must advise that this is not tax deductible. (But, then, neither was the widow's contribution of her single "mite" to the temple. Luke 21: 1-4)

I know we are asking for a lot - regular support, T.R.U.E fund and now this. But, we also have much for which to be grateful. In my case I'll use the money I've saved by not going out to eat in a pandemic. Let us send Steve and Jen off in a manner which their sacrifices for us inspire.


Speaking of sacrificial giving, I know so many of you have done just that. But I have to offer a special shout out to Greta Philips-Ford and Tom Ford for their exceptionally generous special contribution to cover the entire cost of the installation of two new trees on the property. The Lignum Vitae and Satin Leaf will bless us for years. Moreover, planting them fulfills a legal obligation to the city of Key West to replace removed trees. Nobody asked Greta and Tom to bear that expense. But we are so grateful for their generosity.


On a more somber note, I understand that Susanne Woods only has a couple of responses to her wonderful and generous offer to mentor an EFM (Education for Ministry) class this fall. This is an amazing opportunity for St. Paul's but there must be enough interest to proceed. (And this is not for clergy, this is for lay folk like us!)

I cannot recommend EfM highly enough. Participants learn contemporary scholarship about scripture, history and theology, but they also emerge as leaders with a mature theology and spirituality. Invariably, EfM graduates find a new focus and meaning to their Christian service, and the congregations in which they serve are enriched. I have high hopes for this group as a companion to a new rector at St. Paul's.

Please email or call Susanne if you might be interested: Susanne.woods@gmail.com , 3 05-407-7003 . You may also find out more at http://efm.sewanee.edu/about-efm/about-efm . 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).


Finally, I feel compelled to comment on the "Know your history" column by our amazing resident historian, Dave Eyer. In this particular case, the subject is Stephen Mallory, who, after an amazing career as a Unites States Senator (during which he built up the federal navy) followed Florida into rebellion.

History is not made by perfect people. Acknowledging that one of our prominent historical members was a Confederate is in no way an endorsement of the terrible things that movement represented. (And I say this as a descendant of a Confederate veteran who also sponsored the bill creating the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday in the North Carolina legislature.)

The Civil War history of Key West is complicated. Key West did not actually succeed at succession until 1982 with the founding of the Conch Republic. Like Alexandria, Virginia, Key West was a federally held port for the entire civil war.

While the majority of the city's white population no doubt had southern sympathies, there was a significant unionist element personified by Walter Maloney, one of our most prominent citizens before and after the unfortunate war.
Throughout the war, local officials worked with the federal authorities and the history of St. Paul's has always included many people from diverse backgrounds.

Among those who worshiped here (before and after the war) were Cubans (both black and white) and African Americans (many of whom were of Bahamian descent). When St. Peter's was founded in 1875 many African American members chose that congregation, but not all. St. Paul's has always been open to all - and always had members from all races.

William Faulkner said "the past is never dead...it's not even past." We need, and will, have a discussion about our past and our future in due course. But rest assured, the Kingdom of God knows no divisions. And we recognize none at St. Paul's.


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  giving page . Or pledges and gifts can be mailed to the church at 401 Duval Street, Key West, Florida, 33040. God bless each of you for your support.

If you have questions or concerns or just want to reach out to me, my email address is  seniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org
Treasurer's Report
First Half of 2020

Dear Friends,

The first half of the 2020 Fiscal Year has passed. Who could have foreseen such a six months as we have experienced? Comparative selected accounts from the Asset side of our Balance Sheet follow:

Operating Fund
January 1, 2020 - $79,209
June 30, 2020 - $91,002
Total First State Bank
January 1, 2020 - $95,199
June 30, 2020 - $151,167

Reserve Fund
January 1, 2020 - $115,000
June 30, 2020 - $115,000
Total Centennial Bank
January 1, 2020 - $238,729
June 30, 2020 -  $228,818

The Memorial Foundation, Damascus Fund, and Cherry-Watson Music Fund have made the payments agreed to when the budget was established in December, 2019. Payments from the three funds have been $59,000 in total for the first half. Ms Lisa McCarthy has come on board as part time administrator mid-way in the half year on an 16 hour a week basis.

Since the church has been closed about March 13, collections from the large donation box, votive candles, and plate offering have ceased. We did not approach the office of the Bishop about a reduction in our assessment because of the strong level of donations received in December 2019 and early January 2020.

We maintain accounts at two banks so that we do not have a balance that exceeds FDIC protection limits. We did receive a loan in the amount of $37,300 from the Small Business Administration (SBA) Payroll Protection Plan (PPP). We expect this loan to convert to a grant to the parish. The funds are included in the June 30, 2020 First State Bank balance listed above.

The parish is in good financial position for several reasons:

1- Parishioners have continued to be generous. We must all be very thankful for this.

2- Expenses have been below budget.

We do have projects on-going. You will see upon your return including painting of our fence and on the Parish Hall porch. We had an exceptional (bad) year as far as leaves from our great mahogany tree and other trees and shrubs. We managed to keep them cleaned up. We completed a major project on the organ that was planned, budgeted, and paid for without church funds.

We are not looking forward to the hurricane season that is already upon us. We will breathe easier about December 1. Who knows what expenses, if any, might be incurred? Hopefully the St Paul’s parish and Key West community are spared. We must be financially prepared for this, however.

We hope you continue to be generous and supportive. We look forward to the time we are all together again in our beautiful church to thank and praise God 

David D Eyer, Treasurer        July 9, 2020

Tim Peterson "From the Organ"

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

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 and Bruce Hagemann for volunteering to officiate some of the days. And to Mary Simmons for doing so in the past. And, ( this is the new part) to those of you who will volunteer in the future!

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

(From our resident church historian, Dave Eyer. Dave concludes his examination of the life of Senator Stephen Mallory, for whom Mallory Square is named.)  

In January 10, 1861, Florida became the third state to leave the United States and later join the Confederate States of America (CSA). Mallory resigned from his US Senate position and soon became the Secretary of the Navy, CSA.

Many books have been written about warfare at sea, on the Mississippi River system, and at Hampton Roads in Virginia during the American Civil War (1860-1865). Mallory’s hand was in all of these theaters of battle.

Fully aware the CSA Army was to get the main support, Mallory knew that technical innovation and undercover support from abroad (mainly England) was the only chance the CSA navy could help the southern cause. Despite numerous innovative strategies (such as refitting the sunken ship the Virginia into the ironclad "Merrimack") the arc of history ended the Confederacy.

After the surrender of the Confederate army at Appomattox Court House, VA, Mallory fled south and was taken in custody by Federal troops in GA. He was confined at Fort Lafayette in New York City Harbor. He received a partial pardon from President Andrew Johnson and rejoined his family in Pensacola in 1866.

Prohibited from further political activity, he supported his family in the practice of law until his death in Pensacola November 9, 1873. His wife, Angela, died in 1901. They are buried together at St Michael’s Cemetery in Pensacola. Angela and Stephen had nine children of whom four lived to adulthood. Their son, Stephen Russell Mallory, Jr (1848-1907) was also a US Senator and US Congressman.
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
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These communications are currently edited by Senior Warden Ray Warren. Send questions and comments to the editor   here .