May 7, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Rector's Message

As we begin to emerge from the most restrictive social isolation orders coming from our civic and church authorities during this pandemic, we are beginning to think in the Diocese, and at St. Paul's, about how to begin to open and reconnect when the time comes.

In our national culture there has been a very American battle between two opposing ideas, between our communitarian impulses and individual rights. In the Church however, we are guided primarily by our Baptismal covenant and by the two great commandments, to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.

As we begin to pray and consider how to reopen when the time comes that we can, I would ask that we begin with this question: how can I keep my fellow members and neighbors safe ? Rather than, what can I do now ?

So much of this crisis calls us to act out of concern for others. For example, we will likely be required to wear masks in church. The mask we individually wear is not very effective at protecting oneself, but it is much more effective at protecting those around us. What we do, we will do for one another, caring for the most vulnerable among us. 
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.
Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren
There is a lot happening at St. Paul's even though we cannot gather in person.

The Search Committee has been revitalized with the addition of several new members. Under the capable leadership of Bruce Hagemann and Lilla Whiteside they are working on the parish profile (utilizing virtual resources) with a goal of calling a permanent rector in a timely manner.

Many thanks to Bruce, Lilla, Tiffany Hendry, Don Curry, Dave Eyer, Clare Keller, Lisa Laskow, Susanne Woods and Kyle Campbell for undertaking this important work.

Junior Warden Greta Philips-Ford, along with the Senior Warden and the Rector, have been interviewing contractors to do both short term necessary repairs to the church building as well as to provide input and estimates for a much larger capital restoration campaign to come.

A dead palm has been removed from the Memorial Garden and a replacement, along with two other new trees will be installed soon. In addition, the partially functioning irrigation system is to be repaired. Junior Warden Greta Philips-Ford is doing an amazing job of getting us through a list of campus repairs.

When you return for onsite worship I think you'll also be pleased by the repaired and refurbished handicap ramp that is about to go into construction.

We are working on webpages to continue the stewardship campaign (securely and confidentially) online and to create a volunteer hub so that we can harness the energy and commitment of members when restrictions are lifted.

At the request of the Vestry, Father Steve has signed an agreement to remain until September 30. This will provide much needed continuity while the search committee works, and we grapple with the effects of both the virus and the resulting economic shutdown.

Our new office assistant - Lisa McCarthy has begun work. Due to diocesan and local government regulations the office is NOT yet open and no visitors can be admitted . But Lisa is hard at work organizing our files, inputting data and ensuring that the day to day operations of the parish operate smoothly.

And, finally, members continue to reach deep and show faithfulness in giving. To answer a frequent question, "yes, all contributions are recorded for those who have pledged or have accounts" - just as if the money was received on Sunday. Money for special funds, such as the Music Fund or Organ Fund is directed to those accounts when the intent is listed.

The address is 401 Duval Street, Key West, 33040 or via our Church giving webpage .

Book Group Tackles A New Title

The St. Paul's Book Group will be starting a new book next Tuesday May 12 at 11, via Zoom:  The Book of Joy: His Holiness the Dalia Lama and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, with Douglas Abrams (2016). This is the record of and the story surrounding a week-long meeting between the great Buddhist and Christian leaders, available in print, ebook, and audio book. New members of the group are very welcome to join. If you are interested, email Susanne Woods at , and we will put you on the list. Connecting to ZOOM is very easy, instructions provided!
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

(While Dave Eyer does more research on May Johnson, we've raided our Facebook posting from last August about " the time St. Paul's went to the movies ".)

The play " The Rose Tattoo " is set in a fictional Italian American neighborhood in a town " between New Orleans and Mobile ." But at the insistence of local resident (and play author) Tennessee Williams, the movie version was filmed in Key West.

In a pivotal scene, the primary character visits her local Catholic Church on the day of a church bazaar to ask her parish priest an important question. (The "Catholic Church" is actually our own St. Paul's - playing a different role, as any good actor would do.)

In addition to street and front step scenes (the bazaar), there is a long exchange in the nave of the church itself - which is very recognizable to this day.

According to one source, "when the movie was shooting in 1954, some local residents were recruited as extras. Paul Toppino said his whole family was in the movie because they were Italian. He was 12 when the movie was made and even has a line in the very first scene".

Anna Magnani won the Academy Award for Best Actress for her performance. The film also featured a very young (and very fit) Burt Lancaster. Here is a link to the entire church scene from the movie. It's amazing how recognizable everything is after 66 years.

If you were around in 1954 and have any memories of the filming send a note to and we'll pass along the information. To learn what happened to the Key West house where the majority of the movie was filmed click here .
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.