November 19, 2020
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 8:30 AM on Sunday. See below for how to attend by either mode of participation.
Do You Want Giving Envelopes for 2021?

We are in the process of ordering contribution envelopes for next year. The numbered envelopes were very helpful to our tellers in the past. When a check was not in an envelope, and the donor did not write her or his account number on it, the tellers had to look up the number manually. That is somewhat alleviated by a check reading machine we now use. It recognizes the bank account number and populates the proper account information.

The envelopes, however, are still especially important when one gives cash and wants us to keep a record of the cash contribution. There is no way to assign loose cash in the offering plate to any particular giver.

Overall, giving envelopes are helpful to our tellers (counters) and may be very helpful to some donors. But, the envelopes are not free and we do not want to order them for those who may not want them. If you WOULD LIKE to receive new envelopes for 2021, please email the church office or call the office and leave a message with your name and desire to have the envelopes. The order will be placed soon, so please let us know right away.

The default procedure will be to order envelopes for those who used them regularly in 2020 unless the person advises that she or he does not want them for 2021. If you have not used them this year (other than one or two times), or have not had them in the immediate past, please let us know if you want them for 2021.

Hero Sought to Save A Christmas Tradition

One of the favorite holiday traditions at St. Paul's is the annual Christmas light Conch Train tour. The event is organized by volunteers. This year, Michelle Garcia, who has organized the tour before (thank you from the bottom of our collective hearts, Michelle) will not be able to do so.

Many feel this is a fairly safe activity. Conch Trains are outdoor spaces and masks are required. The Key West Christmas parade has been canceled and church service attendance will be limited. This might be the one chance to safely fellowship, but this won't happen without an organizer.

The volunteer organizer will primarily be responsible for making arrangements with Historic Tours of America and keeping a list of attendees. The church office can, and will, serve as a point of contact and will help with logistical support. Anybody want to save Christmas from the COVID-19 Grinch?

If you are ready and willing to spearhead this event, please contact the office. (305-296-514 or by email at
Please Join Us In Our New "Parlor" For a Chat

Please consider joining our new Facebook Group, Members and Friends of St. Paul’s Key West.

The “Group” is different from our Facebook “Page.” The group is designed to partially replace the time we had together at coffee hour and other church events. It is designed to be a new living room where we talk in a more open and intimate place to exchange ideas, news and even jokes. Help us build community by joining and sharing your own thoughts, needs and insights. When you join you may be asked to answer three short questions. This is to protect the integrity of this PRIVATE Facebook group. Please complete the questions and rest assured that, once in, you will be among friends.

Procedures to reserve your space at services

This information is important

Currently, a limited number of people are allowed to attend services in accordance with diocesan protocols. If you would like to attend, you will be asked to sign up in advance. Contact information will be required.

To attend a Sunday please send an email to 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.

To allow for a proper count, and to allow volunteers to prepare for your attendance, please complete your reservation by 2 PM on the Thursday before the Sunday you wish to attend. Please remember that you must wear a mask for the entire service and please arrive 10 minutes before the service begins.

The check in form now allows for attendees to indicate on the Sunday they attend if they will attend the next Sunday. Unless there is a change in circumstances, you do NOT have to notify the office if this option is utilized.

Please remember if you are at risk or have been exposed to the virus to NOT attend right now. We are all together, whether via Facebook or in person, and we worship together both ways.
Sunday's Service

Join us Sunday for Holy Eucharist at 8:30 AM. 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 8:30AM.)

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. Follow the directions above.

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

Junior Warden's Report
By Greta Philips-Ford
We are currently working on a “12 of Days Christmas” virtual run/walk fundraiser for needed repairs in early December — start your training and costume! We will be sending out information once the route and details are worked out. (Hint: You’ll want to think of good Christmas costume to be photographed in at various locations in Key West.)
The drip board (on the base of Holy Innocents Hall) work has begun. The boards were completely rotten; so before they caused further damage – we removed the rotten boards on the base on the front and left side. We will re-paper with Tyvek waterproof paper on the base before installing the composite board. The composite board was left over from the decking job so our costs should be under $500.00 to complete the whole building. This project has been done with volunteers and Ken.
We had more water damage after the rains during (and after) Hurricane Eta. Part of the wall in Tim’s office fell down from concrete spalling. We need major funds to repair the roof; south tower and sacristy. But before we start into any of these projects; we need to fundraise. This will involve both major gifts and small fundraising projects. No stone will be left unturned.
So, don’t forget a buy a brick! It will make a wonderful Christmas stocking stuffer for the individual that doesn’t need another dust collector! You can purchase a brick with a special message to be placed in our Memorial Garden. The bricks will be identical to the highly popular bricks purchased for the Centennial Celebration. Stay tuned for a link to order yours in next week’s Epistle.

Another easy way to raise some cash is for everyone shopping on Amazon to select St. Paul’s as their charitable organization thru Amazon Smile. Amazon Smile is a way for customers to support their favorite charitable organization every time they shop with Amazon.  Amazon will donate 0.5% of eligible purchases to St. Paul’s—no fees, no extra cost. The funds are automatically deposited into our account. 

Details on how to assist St. Paul’s at no expense to you will be forthcoming. We are working with Amazon to set up our account. Please DO NOT sign up just yet. There is an account with a similar name to our parish in the Amazon records, but it is not linked to our church. We hope to have this worked out by next week. Stay tuned.
Senior Warden's Report
By Ray Warren

In the Junior Warden’s column above are at least two major gems that make me so proud to be part of St. Paul’s.

1) Notice that what would be a major expense (replacing boards on the Holy Innocents church office building) will cost less than $500 because of the work of volunteers (Greta included), and our volunteer grounds engineer, Ken Bagge. We can’t just write checks these days. But we can roll up our sleeves and work. In the history of this island people have often had to do so. We are following in that tradition.

2)  Members are also busy thinking of ways to fund the structural repairs that must be made. Holle Campbell and Sarah Kindinger have been real inspirations in the Amazon Smile and Memorial Garden brick projects. Again, the “can do” spirit. Please do stay tuned next week when we hope to have full information on how you can participate in both projects. (And the Amazon Smile effort costs participants nothing.)

Money is needed, but labor and ideas are equally important. To those of you who will help, who will hatch new ideas, and who will support what is being done, THANK YOU, not only from our current congregation, but for future generations who will look to St. Paul’s for inspiration.

To offer volunteer time and labor please contact Greta as She can usually find things to do at almost any daylight time of the week you may have available. And volunteers meet regularly to work on church projects on Saturday morning at the church beginning at 9AM and lasting for a few hours.

Speaking of repairs and maintenance, I have to give a huge shout out to member Mary Petersen who, upon hearing the need, responded with a significant contribution specifically for the repair and restoration projects. I know she will be one of of many.

One member recently told me he has a strong interest in the Historic Rectory. Be assured, you can designate which project you wish to help fund. And, indeed, shoring up the foundation of the Historic Rectory is near the top of the list - as are repairing the church roof (especially over the sacristy) and repairing the south tower (which is in real danger of serious structural damage.)

These things will happen with a combination of visionary support from those who can give significantly, and full support from those of us who must give more modestly. I feel confident the entire Key West community will come together to save St. Paul’s if we show our own commitment.

Funds received for “building restoration” will go toward preserving and repairing our historic structures and the memorial garden. They will not be used for operating expenses. Please consider being part of a legacy of caring to make this effort work. Moreover, if you have a background in grant writing (and finding grant sources) or otherwise want to help the capital campaign, please contact me or the church office.

On a more immediate note, the Vestry discussed the 2021 budget this week that will be presented to the Annual Meeting in January. I expect a version of it will be adopted by the Vestry in December. It is based on the bedrock assumption that our members will remain faithful.

We have major financial shocks to absorb. Our diocesan assessment will rise by 17% (due to a good year in 2019, but to be paid with a Covid-19 hampered income in 2021). Insurance went up again. (a continuing theme in Key West) and we’ll have significant priest search process (and relocation) expenses.
We will handle it. You, me and the people who join with us next year. But the most important thing all of us can do now is to make sure St. Paul’s ends this year in good fiscal condition.

Your faithfulness has preserved us “body and soul” as a parish so far – despite the loss of income from weddings, the boxes in the church, votive candles and “plate” offerings from strangers who would attend our services. The year end is very tight and I am asking you to remember St. Paul’s in your year end giving.

Please have a blessed and safe Thanksgiving. 


Sr. Warden Ray

Jr. Warden Greta


Church office (and administrator Lisa McCarthy):

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.

Tim's Online Musical Offering Will Return the First Thursday in December

Remember, you can find prior recordings of 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 730 AM and 5 PM 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), Mickey Malgrat, Peter Nanos, Zane Wruble (daughter of Kathleen Bratton), Mark Simcox (member of our chamber group, SCMS), Mark Sandground (husband of Judy Sandground), and Craig and Cheryl Cates

We pray for the departed and their loved ones:

Adrienne Shryock (mother of Sarah Kindinger)

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

(Send your prayer requests to 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 November birthdays

Jane Burchett 11/04
Mike Benfield 11/05
Ashley Cyrillien 11/06
Brian Howard 11/13
Charles Hammond, Jr. 11/14
Michelle Garcia 11/15
Nathaniel Harris 11/16
India Hall 11/18
Lorilee McDaniel 11/18
Jeff Hillard 11/19
Wally Senney 11/21
Lilla Whiteside 11/23
Manuel Acevedo 11/26
Shirley Albury 11/26
Joan Sammy 11/26
Sandra Highsmith 11/27
Sheri Sampson 11/27
Kristy Smith Callaway 11/30

(If your name is missing from this month's birthday list please send a note to so we can add it.)

We Celebrate November Anniversaries

Ronald & Sabrina Acevedo 11/01
Harvey & PK Lynch 11/08
Tim Peterson and Brian Wagstaff 11/09
Billy & Pamela Albury 11/17
Kip Colligan and Tiffany Hendry 11/22
Laurence & Alona Marius, Sr. 11/29
Lilla & Mark Whiteside 11/30
History and a Bit of an Editorial

By Dave Eyer

(Resident parish historian Dave Eyer reflects on the past and future of St. Paul's and Key West )

Over the years older Conch parishioners talked about events in the Parish Hall in the 1950-60s intended for young people of the Key West community and St Paul’s Church. I did not see this written anywhere until the obituary of Patricia “Patsy” Jones Archer, age 82, appeared in the “Key West Citizen” this past Saturday Nov 14.

The obituary said that Archer was a 1956 graduate of Key West High School and that she met her husband to be, Leland Allen “Corky” Archer, at a St Paul’s Episcopal Church social.

Donald Curry, a 1959 KWHS grad, recalls there was a church service early every Sunday evening followed by food and a dance or other activity in our Parish Hall. He recalled a few names of then young parishioners who attended, including Patsy and Mary Ann Matchett. Those days are gone. Or so it seems.

About a year ago I asked a young women, a very recent KWHS graduate often at church services (prior to the pandemic), if she had children would she raise them in Key West. Her answer surprised and shocked me. She said she did plan to marry in the future and have children. She described herself as really not “outdoorsy”. She said that for the non-outdoorsy young Key West woman there is little to do that does not involve alcohol. She was not interested in that. She did not see how she could raise her children in Key West.

Perhaps you are a follower of the diary of then 20 year old St Paul’s parishioner May Johnson in 1896 being printed daily in the “Key West Citizen”. May had lots of things to do including dancing at La Brisa with her friends 4-5 evenings a week. Nothing May did with her friends seemed to involve alcohol except probably communion at St Paul’s Church.

We have few young people but we do have some. Maybe we would have more if we had events for them in combination with other churches in the Key West community.

(Photo: The old Key West High School, now Key West City Hall)
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
Back issues of The Epistle are available here.

These communications are currently edited by Senior Warden Ray Warren. Send questions and comments to the editor here.