May 28, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Great Things Happening on our Grounds!

Junior Warden Greta Philips-Ford has been extremely busy during the past two months overseeing projects involving the church building and grounds. Here is her report:

·      The Door to the Rector’s Office has been replaced. (This is to comply with best practices that our current interim and future new rector have an office that is always visible from the outside.)

·      A leaky toilet was fixed in Holy Innocents Hall.

[Editor’s note: Now the really good stuff!]

·      A dead date palm has been removed in the Garden and the dead palms on the Eaton side of the Church have been removed.

·      Bids for the repair of the irrigation/lighting system have been completed and selected. Florida Keys Irrigation will start as soon as the replacement palm is planted in the garden. Estimated time frame June 1st-5th to plant the palm….depending on growers’ workforce in south FL due to Covid-19—The palm is currently in the field.
·      A lignum vitae tree has been planted next to the historic rectory and a satin leaf tree has been planted in the memorial garden. This closes out a longstanding legal commitment to replace trees as required by the city Tree Commission.

·       We are still working to replace rotten boards and painting the handicap ramp to the church. The ramp is currently in compliance - 10-foot ramp with 1” grade but needs the repairs. This will be done soon.

·      The raised bricks in various pathways in the memorial garden and other places have been leveled.

·      The wardens and rector met with two contractors regarding cracks in the church walls and leaks. They did an extensive walk through including the bell towers. We are trying to track down drawings for the structural engineer for both construction companies so they can give us a more accurate quote. This will be a major capital item for the future. In the meantime, we need to address the cracks/leaks in the main sanctuary. Filling and painting as cracks appear will buy us some time.

·      We have two bids for the roof of the parish hall to be painted, for porch floors to be painted, and to replace rotten boards on the underside of porch roof. This is a three-part bid so we can determine what we can afford to accomplish this summer. We need to keep the maintenance up on the roofs/decks, so we don’t incur further damage to buildings and parishioners/personnel.

·      We will start painting the pergola and bench in front of the church office as soon as we get the next dry spell. (Anyone interested in joining Greta and her husband—you are welcome! Please send an email to if you want to help with this project.)

·      We will start a volunteer work party—to begin working on painting the black aluminum fencing around the property. People can work independently and spaced out. Volunteers will start this week. Send an email to  if you want to help.
Sunday's Service

Join us Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 9:30 AM 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 can open or download the bulletin for the Sunday service here .

Join Us for 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.
Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren
Wherever you are, please take a moment to send a heartfelt virtual hug to Junior Warden Greta Philips-Ford. As outlined above in her report she has been an amazing energizing force these past few months.

Greta is a long time member of St. Paul's and of the larger community in Key West. But she had taken some time away from active church work. We are so happy she has agreed to devote her considerable talents to the parish again.
The truth is that St. Paul's must change in ways beyond coping with the current health emergency. The vestry realized last year that we could not continue with a full time sexton or a full time office administrator. A part time administrative assistant, a cleaning service and a landscaping company fill some of the need. But going forward it will often be us -- the members -- who must step up and take responsibility for the significant needs of our historic campus.

Our previous rector was proficient in many areas and directed us well. But, in our new future, the laity must step forward. St. Paul's is too big for any one person to "run" on her or his own. We need our new rector to build on the things our interim has begun, like Christian education for children and adults and strategic planning. We can do our part by actively being partners in shouldering responsibility.

Please prayerfully consider how you can be be part of that future.

Next week we want to do a shout out to our high school graduates. They are entering the adult world at an historic time. If you have a graduate in your family or household, please let me know (email me at ). If you can send a photo of the graduate even better.

The Search Committee has turned over a preliminary parish profile to the vestry for comments and consideration. After considering vestry comments, the committee should be in a position to finalize the report soon.

Many thanks to Dr. Brian Wagstaff who will be leading a committee to plan how St. Paul's can reopen to the public, and for religious services, as safely as possible for members and in compliance with our bishop's directives. In addition to Brian, the committee will consist of Kim Grizzle-Malgrat, Lilla Whiteside, Susanne Woods, Ray Warren (ex officio) and Fr. Steve Carlsen (ex officio). This is difficult work and your prayers are most appreciated.

And, finally (on a busy week) thank you for keeping our historic parish afloat in very difficult time. Pledges and contributions can be sent to 401 Duval Street, Key West, 33040 or visit our Church giving webpage . God bless you!
Another Week, Another Great Book to Read

For next week we will read Jon Meacham's  The Hope of Glory: Reflections on the Last Words of Jesus from the Cross.  It is short, around 100 pages, and should help us think about the Holy Week-to-Pentecost period we will have just completed.  We are also changing the time of day Tuesday to 1 pm.  Contact to get the Zoom link. 

Join Tim Peterson's Music History Program On Facebook Each Thursday At Noon

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.

Know Your History

(From our resident church historian, Dave Eyer.)

Emeline “Lena” Eliza Johnson was born in Key West December 11, 1870 and died in Key West March 24, 1932. She was a daughter of Charles Samuel Johnson (1844-1887) and Mary Amanda Watlington (1846-1936).

Lena was a big sister to May Johnson (1876-1951) whose diary is currently being published in the Key West Citizen . Both are daughters of St Paul’s Episcopal Church. Unlike May, Lena never married. She lived with her mother at her home on Division St (now Truman Avenue) all of her life. This can be deduced from the censuses that cover her life span- 1880, 1900, 1910, 1920, and 1930.

Lena's mother outlived her. One can assume that around the time Lena died in 1932, May and May’s retired US Navy Pharmacist husband Stephen (Steve) Douglass moved from Washington, DC to care for May’s aged mother. Lena had an interesting and non-conventional life. She supported herself with her baking and candy making skills. She was listed as a confectioner in the 1920 census with her place of business at home.

Lena had a strong interest in the welfare of the young men and women of the Key West community. She provided a meeting place for the first Boy Scout troop for which she also provided cake and candy. Lena also organized a “Girl’s Friendly Society” where she taught domestic skills, especially cake baking and candy making and the socializing skills her sister May had in abundance.

With the passage of the XIX Amendment in 1920, women gained the right to vote AND seek and hold elected office. In 1927 Lena became the first woman elected to office in Monroe County as a City Commissioner. Politics seemed not to her liking and she did not seek re-election. She appears wearing hats in the few photos of her that we have found. At her funeral, the Boy Scouts served as her honorary pallbearers.
Lena Johnson is honored by the Key West community with a cast bronze bust in the Key West Historic Memorial Sculpture Garden. Lena was a “doer” and a follower of Sister Louis Gabriel’s (the person who caused the Grotto to be built on the grounds of St Mary’s Basilica in Key West) motto -“It’s better to wear out than to rust out”. Lena is one of only five statues of women among the forty busts currently in the garden. 
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.