June 18, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
News This Week:

  • Father Steve prepares to say goodbye
  • Reopening permission requested
  • Parish Profile goes to the bishop
  • Volunteers needed for work on the church campus

Details below
A Letter from Our Interim Rector

June 17, 2020

Dear Vestry and People of St. Paul's, 

It is the nature of an interim position to be temporary, and the time for my work at St. Paul's will be coming to an end next month. I am thankful for the warm welcome Jen and I have received here and for the introduction to this part of the world. We drove into Key West for the very first time last year. We will leave St. Paul's with affection and gratitude for your kindness to us. 

Although my Letter of Agreement had been extended through September, I asked the Senior Warden and Bishop’s office to leave a couple of months early to attend to personal matters unrelated to St. Paul’s. I am proud of the work we have done together in my time with you and have confidence in the lay leaders who are carrying St. Paul's through the rest of the transition. The Wardens, the Vestry, the Reopening Task Force and the Search Committee are all working very hard. You are well served by these leaders. 

On Wednesday, the Vestry approved the Parish Profile. Once this is approved by the Bishop's office, you will be able to see it and to share it. The position can then be posted, and the Search Committee can begin the exciting work of contacting qualified candidates. The Vestry is working to ensure that St. Paul's is in a strong position to make a call, when God sends the right person your way. And you as a congregation have been most generous during the transition. We ended last year very strong financially and despite COVID 19 are still ready and able to continue the search. 

I plan to continue working with the Reopening Task Force to, if possible under Diocesan guidelines, open the church in July. I dearly hope to say thank you face to face, even if our faces are masked, before we take our leave. My last Sunday with you will be July 12. 

After this, Ray Warren, as Senior Warden, will become the "ecclesiastical authority" until a new Rector arrives. Ray has been working selflessly since January. He has been filling in administratively and improved the workflow of our financial record keeping. I have found his leadership essential during this stage of the transition. 

In addition, Greta Philips-Ford as Jr. Warden has taken on oversight of the facilities. She is on top of the maintenance and repair program, as well as putting together a picture of the long-term capital needs of St. Paul's.

Lisa McCarthy has begun working part-time as an administrator to help primarily with our financial record keeping. Finally, Tim Peterson is deeply committed to the congregation, and during this pandemic has been helping in a wide range of ways to help St. Paul's carry on its mission. 

You are in good hands, and despite the unprecedented challenges of the present moment, are ready to go forward. I am honored to have shared this time and place with you.

In gratitude, 

The Rev. Stephen Carlsen,
Interim Rector

Sunday's Service

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

And also on Zoom.

We are aware that the interplay between Zoom and Facebook caused some sound quality issues last week. We are working diligently to improve the situation and hope this can be accomplished as early as this Sunday.

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

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 .

Good News and Moving Forward

The Vestry on Wednesday approved the parish profile and the document has been submitted to the bishop for approval. Assuming no issues there, it can be published, which opens the path for candidates to be our new rector to begin contacting the committee.

Meanwhile, the re-opening committee presented a plan for re-opening the church for services, and for visits by tourists and townspeople during the week, to the bishop's office this week. The committee hopes that services will be approved for July 5, and if not, for July 12 before Fr. Steve leaves.

Your generosity is 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.
Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren
 To the best of my knowledge nobody knew about Fr. Steve’s impending departure until the middle of last week. And then, as far as I know, he only confided the news to me and Canon Tidy (and, I assume, Bishop Eaton himself). As the information was confidential, I had to keep it to myself for a week. The vestry learned of it Wednesday night.

This is not something that has been rumored or expected. It was a surprise to me, the vestry and almost everyone else, but it is part of a process.

Anyone who has ever had to both sell and buy a house to move, or who has worked on the logistics of leaving one job for another, knows that the timing of changes can be difficult. Steve has not discussed in detail the reasons he wishes to leave now, but as he said in his letter, it is not about St. Paul’s and he will be attending to personal matters. We are all grateful he is giving us plenty of lead time and has given us so much while he has been here.

From day one he - and we - knew his time here would be temporary. Our interim priest’s contract expired at the end of April, but he graciously, in the light of Covid-19, gave us a few crucial months more to get the search committee on its way, prepare for re-opening and guide us through expanded online worship opportunities.

We will make good use of the four weeks we have left. I will be conferring with Canon Tidy about candidates to be the supply priest so that we can still celebrate the Holy Eucharist.

A supply priest, however, is not an interim. So, unless the diocese decides to do something unusual, the senior warden will temporarily manage the administrative affairs of the parish. It is not a situation I expected but I will do my best to keep us moving forward.

One of the gifts that Fr. Steve will leave us is the way he nurtured and encouraged lay leadership. I want to continue that and I hope our new priest does as well. St. Paul’s can only be a viable community in the future if there are many hands working cooperatively in our mission.

Change is upsetting. But changes, like the American Revolution, the civil rights movement, the Reformation (and subsequent Counter-Reformation) are often catalysts for improvement.

We are grateful for Father Steve’s leadership during one of the most challenging times in the history of St. Paul’s. Now it is up to us to build our future as a community. His legacy is to have led us to the point where we can do that.

If you have questions or concerns or just want to reach out to me my email address is seniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org
Volunteers Needed!

By Junior Warden, Greta Philips-Ford

As we prepare for the time that we may all be together for worship; we have started a volunteer program. We meet Saturday morning from 8:30 to 12:00 to work on the projects around the St. Paul Campus. 

The majority of the projects are outside—you may work alone or in a group (same family) following the proper safety/health protocol including masks. We are currently working on

  • Painting the fencing around the property
  • Pressure washing Holy Innocents Hall
  • Painting the gazebo in front of Holy Innocents Hall
  • Replacing the cabinet doors on the outside altar
  • Washing down the covered porch areas
  • Pressure wash/cleaning restrooms
  • (Inside the church) spring cleaning of the pews, side altars and polishing brass.

 Once we open for services—we will need volunteers for the services to monitor the proper safety/health protocol and wiping down the pews after the services.
If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to info@stpaulskeywest.org or just show up (wear your face mask) on Saturday morning. (Don't forget one future job will be wiping down after services, so let us know if you are interested in that as well.)
(Bottom picture) Ken Bagge painting the base coat of the fence out front of St. Pauls (the final color will be black)

(Top photo) Sarah Hall and her friend Alena preparing the fence surface for painting. Sarah and Alena are earning their volunteer hours for graduation next spring.
Weekly Events

Tim Peterson "From the Organ"

Each Thursday at noon, St. Paul's music director Tim Peterson presents an informative program on music.

Access the program live each week from the Church Facebook page. After the live session, the program remains available on the Facebook Page to watch on you own schedule.

Morning and Evening Prayer

Daily Morning and Evening Prayer is being offered on Facebook Live at 730 AM and 5 PM on weekdays. Fr. Steve is offering a short meditation during Evening Prayer, Monday - Thursday.

Thanks to 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

(From our resident church historian, Dave Eyer.)  

Judge William Marvin (1808-1902)

( Part Two)

In 1856, Judge Marvin was in New York City. He mentioned to a group of insurance company attorneys that he was seeking money for an “Object of Interest” in Key West. The “Object” was what was to become the Rectory- now Historic Rectory- for St Paul’s Church. He returned to Key West with sufficient funds to build this home for the Rectors of St Paul’s Church for nearly 150 years until 2007.

The Historic Rectory was built about where the baptistry at the Duval St entrances to the present church are located and fronted on Eaton St. To accommodate construction of the current church, in 1914 the Rectory was moved to its present location and rotated to front on Duval St.

Judge Marvin became an expert on Admiralty law. His “Treatise on the Law of Wreck and Salvage” written in 1858 continues to be used as a reference text today. He served as mayor of the City of Key West in 1861. He resigned his Judgeship in 1863 because of overwork. This was during the Civil War (1861-1865). Although a Democrat, he was a strong Union supporter.

In July 1865 Marvin was appointed Provisional Governor of the State of Florida by President Andrew Johnson. He swerved until December and was the senator-elect from Florida in 1866, but the United States Senate refused to seat southern senators from states not yet readmitted to the Union.

In 1866 Marvin served his second term as Mayor of Key West. He married Eliza P Riddle (1824-1901) widow of William H Jewett (1816-1859) on July 11, 1866. It has not been found if they married in Key West or in NY. Soon thereafter, Judge Marvin returned home to Skaneateles, New York.

By the time of the 1870 census, the Judge and Eliza were in Skaneateles. He was unsuccessful in several attempts to be elected to the New York State Senate. During his later years in addition to his continuing interest in politics, he wrote “The Authorship of the Four Gospels”. He and Eliza are buried in Skaneateles.
Judge Marvin was in Key West for only a little more than 30 of his 94 years but he had a profound influence on the St Paul’s Parish, City of Key West, and the State and territory of Florida. 
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 .