March 25, 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. 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.
Please Bring Palm Branches on Sunday

Those who will be attending the Palm Sunday service this week are encouraged to bring a palm frond with them and perhaps even a few to share. Living in a tropical paradise allows us to re-enact this important day without needing to resort to commercial suppliers.

Join us for Stations of the Cross

Tomorrow and on Good Friday some parishioners will gather to recite the Stations of the Cross at the church at 5:30PM. This ancient devotion recalls the passion and death of Jesus and is particularly appropriate this time of year.

To join, please come to the church a few minutes before 5:30. Be prepared to provide contact information (email and phone number) as required by our reopening protocols.

At this time of hope we remember those we lost in the past year:



Sheila Taylor
(the younger)David Sweeting
Charles ("Chuck") Hammond

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

Easter Services at St. Paul's

Maundy Thursday, April 1, 5:30 PM

Good Friday, April 2, 7:00PM

Easter Sunrise (in the Memorial Garden) 7:00AM

Easter Day (also live streamed via Facebook) 8:30AM

Be sure to sign up in advance for each of the services you plan to attend.
Search Committee Progress Report

From co-chair Lilla Whiteside: " The search committee continues to move forward with interviews on Zoom and has invited two candidates to visit in the next few weeks. Prospects are looking good.
The Bricks Arrived!

The first new set of bricks (since last spring) have been laid. A photo will follow next week. We're now working on the next batch. Please consider joining in this project. 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.

To attend a Sunday service (or a Holy Week service) 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
A BIG thank you to all who showed up and worked at the Riviera rectory! There is still more work that needs to be done - Ken Bagge (our amazing volunteer sexton) spent four days pressure washing the outside - and looks like it has had a new paint job! 

All of the walls, cabinets, and closets received a good spring cleaning including, the laundry room. 

Work continues on the northeast corner of the church (the sacristy/military chapel corner). featured is the chipped out area under the gutter in the center of the wall. 
Ed Hinkle Vacuuming the laundry room at the Riviera rectory
Chipped out area under the gutter in the center of the church wall
A new sign has replaced our old sign at the corner of Bahama and Eaton—a huge improvement—check it out! Thank you to the David and Irene Eyer and Brian Wagstaff.
 
The volunteer group (you can be part of this!) will meet this Saturday at 9:00AM on the Church Property—we will be working in the garden getting everything ready for Holy Week. Please join us for a little sweat and fellowship!
Senior Warden's Report
By Ray Warren

"Just a thought, not a sermon"
Gratitude as a Biblical Imperative

My spouse and I got our first jab of the Pfizer Covid-19 vaccine last Sunday. It was a great relief. And, in a sense, a gift, because the initial appointment had been secured by a friend who is amazing at snagging very limited appointments on the Internet.

In our case, when an appointment was finally secured, we were overwhelmed with GRATITUDE. And we were taken aback about how our world view seemed to change just knowing it would happen.

Like each of you, we tried to carry on during the past year and thought we were doing OK mentally. But apparently, it is only when one can truly see a path to a different existence (something many are still waiting to experience) that the stress of preceding year becomes apparent. Sometime losing the weight of the world makes one a bit unsteady.

On reflection, the more I think about it, the more I realize that gratitude is an important emotion to nourish right now. And the more I think about it, the more I see clear Biblical imperatives to nurture and nourish a sense of gratitude in all things – and particularly in a time that, to many of us, seems like deliverance.

Gratitude is more than relief and happiness. Gratitude involves an acknowledgement that we have received a gift – more often than not, one which we did not earn on our own. It means internalizing the words to the hymn Amazing Grace on an ongoing basis. “Amazing grace, how sweet the sound …”.

Writers of the Old Testament sometimes record the Creator as remonstrating with Israel to remember who delivered her from both bondage in Egypt and exile in Babylon. In other words [paraphrasing, of course],  to “show a little gratitude.”
 
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus healed ten lepers, but only one, a Samaritan (an outcast in Jewish society), came back to thank him. “Jesus asked, ‘Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine? Has no one returned to give praise to God except this foreigner?’ Then he said to him, ‘Rise and go; your faith has made you well’.” Luke17:17-19.

Wow. Talk about being called out publicly.

If we think about it, gratitude underlies almost all we believe. In the Gospel of Matthew Jesus says “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind’. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37.

But why are we commanded to love God first and foremost and our neighbor right after that? Maybe that too is related to gratitude.

Because gratitude arises from unearned grace and unearned kindness, it can foster a virtuous cycle. The more we focus on gratitude, the more we want to reciprocate – and the more good there is in the world to engender further gratitude. But when we forget our good fortune, or take it for granted, the circle is broken. Gratitude impels us to “pay it forward”. Lack of gratitude makes us mere consumers and not contributors to the common good.

God, who created us, knows what is good for us. Just as a parent wants a child to have fresh air, sunshine and a healthy diet, so God wants us to be part of the creative process for our own well-being – because it is good for us and good for the created order.

When my friend helped me and I secured an appointment I received a gift. I’m not sure how, but I will pay it forward. I know that the woman who helped me get an appointment, (a Jew – not even of my faith) presented me with a gift. There was no contract, but I feel the debt – not to her, but to the universe and to the Maker of the universe. “May the circle be unbroken” indeed.

Please join me between now and the Day of Pentecost on May 23 in focusing on gratitude. What good fortune and unearned grace have we received today? How much have we taken for granted? What can we do to pay it forward?

Maybe then we can circle back in late May and see the results. I’m guessing it might be an Easter season to remember.
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The amount of work being done on our campus, both by volunteers (particularly Greta Ford and Ken Bagge), and by paid professionals (the roof repair workers) is amazing. Before it gets too hot you may want to consider visiting the gardens and campus. Here is a freshly painted bench drying in the sun.

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We made it! The Flagpole fund raised enough to claim the $500 match. Thanks to all who contributed. We're not quite to the point of having enough, however, for a high quality flagpole. So, if you are so moved, to contribute to this effort, send your check with "Flagpole Fund" on the memo line or in the "instructions to seller" in your online contribution.
Time to Let Go Of Commitment Issues!

We know you'll be there for St. Paul's, but saying that the majority of our givers are also bona fide pledgers is also important. Please Join the effort. It's free (pledge only what you plan to give anyway) and it doesn't hurt at all.

Every person counts. You can find more information about pledging here.

Thank you.
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.
Music During the Pandemic

"From the Organ" will present a special organ concert this Thursday, April 1, 2021 on Facebook Live at noon. We hope that this Maundy Thursday concert will set us in the proper spirit for the highest of holy days in the Christian church. Tom Scheck, Ann McFarland, John Penkoske, and Tim Peterson will be playing this month.
 
To view the concert live (the best way!) go to the St. Paul’s Facebook page at noon on April 1 and look for the window saying St. Paul’s is live. Click on that window.


You can also find prior recordings of many 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), Al (Kitty Robert’s partner), Peter Nanos, Joseph Lyles, Joseph Allen Pyles, Danny Sweeting and Cari Varela.


We pray for the departed and their loved ones

Charles "Chuck" Hammond

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

(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 March Birthdays

Dana Dickinson 3/1
Angie Canterbury 3/2
Lemuel Roberts 3/3
Leighton Conaty 3/4
Sam Dickson 3/6
Tiffany Albury 3/8
Iain Wilcox 3/8
Bud Halldorson 3/9
Sandy Lee 3/9
Dave Holfinger 3/12
Stryker Lavoie 3/12
Piper Acevedo 3/16
Marilyn Williams 3/17
Kevin Hernandez 3/18
Alex Lavoie 3/18
Maxwell Mungall 3/20
Susan Birrell 3/21
Bruce Hagemann 3/21
Jane Payne 3/21
Lawson Conaty 3/22
Harrison Simmons 3/22
John Sangston 3/23
Pamela Albury 3/24
Susan Crandall 3/24
Nicole Marius 3/25
Dean Schott 3/26
Carol Burnham 3/30
Ricardo Montano 3/30
Andrea Mungall 3/30

(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 March Anniversaries

Noe & Derek Nelson 3/6
Michael & Lorri-Ann Guay 3/17
John & Lorilee McDaniel 3/17
Reminders
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
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