November 5, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

This Week's News Highlights

Note. An earlier version of this newsletter contained some formatting errors due to "repeated frames". Hopefully this is a more readable version. Our apologies for the previous errors.

Our Service This Week

Holy Eucharist on Facebook and for those are person will be at 8:30 AM on Sunday.
Watching Tropical Storm Eta

As we go to press on Thursday night, the Sunday service is "on". But Tropical Storms are fickle and Eta has yet to redevelop. That makes predictions problematic. Forecasting models do better with well formed storms. Please stay tuned to the church Facebook page to determine if the services will be canceled. Your safety (and the safety or our supply minister) is of upmost importance. And the decision by the wardens will be based on the forecast by professionals as that time.

News about the parish profile

The parish profile is in its final revision. Very soon we will be able to advertise and receive resumes from rector candidates.

Procedures to reserve your space at services

This information is important. Baring an emergency, please do NOT just show up on Sunday without making a reservation. For the safety of all, we need to have your information (as far as possible) in advance. We all look forward to the day when Covid-19 allows us to open the doors wide. In the current situation, however, we must do what we can to protect each other.

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.

Please note that you need to notify us EVERY week you want to attend. We do not currently have a system to automatically roll over regular attendees. So please notify the office each week you can attend.

(Note: We do have some space this week if you want to send your reservation on Friday.)

On the other hand, you do not need to wait until the same week to reserve a seat for an upcoming service. Feel free to go ahead and email your information as soon as you are confident you wish to attend. The sooner we have a good count the better.
Sunday's Service

Please be aware that Tropical Storm Eta may affect services. Please check the church Facebook page for updates on Saturday evening or Sunday morning.

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.

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.

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

Junior Warden's Report
By Greta Philips-Ford
Due to weather, the Volunteer group will not meet on Saturday. We will re-group after the storm. In the meantime, we have been working on budgets for the upcoming year and prioritizing projects.
Funds are still needed for the Sanctuary Roof $25,000; South Tower $30,000.00; base-board around Holy Innocents Hall $4,500.00; and Old Rectory foundation (under the kitchen) $50,000.00 and the Garden (replace broken bench; lighting and irrigation control box). The prices listed above are estimates for the projects. If you are interested in helping to save and preserve our historic landmark and spiritual home, please send funds with notation in the memo line or email with whichever project you wish to support.
Storm notwithstanding, thank you! Thank you to the volunteers who have painted, scraped, dug, planted, donated funds and used their many carpentry/plumbing/electrical skills for the benefit of our spiritual community.
As an example of our capital needs, the masonry pictured to the left presents a real and present danger to those below and to the structural integrity of the tower itself. God bless those who have contributed to remedy this situation. With your help we can proceed with remedial action.

If you are interested in helping to save and preserve our historic landmark and spiritual home, please send funds with notation in the memo line or email indicating it is for the restoration capital campaign. If you wish to specifically pick one of the projects, please note whichever project you wish to support. Funds donated for these important capital projects will not be used for everyday operating expenses.
Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren
Please do not come by the office to visit. In accordance with diocesan requirements, the office is closed

Yes, our administrator is there to enter necessary data. A teller is there one day a week to count contributions and prepare the deposit. We have a staff meeting with our two employees (very socially distanced, with masks) once a week. But the office is NOT set up to handle casual visitors.

In addition, when pandemic restrictions are finally lifted, please remember what we had done with a 40 hour a week administrator is now accomplished with a 16 hour a week employee. Lisa is beyond belief dedicated and efficient. But please try to imagine in your own mind doing 40 hours worth of work in 16 hours. Believe me, she is a wonderful loving Christian woman. But we are asking a lot of Lisa. Please let her do her (incredibly difficult) job.

The leadership and staff love you! If you want to talk, let me know. We’ll meet in the memorial garden or in front of the church. But, please, let our administrator keep us on track with our administrative responsibilities.

This was a difficult week. It appears that the diocesan reopening committee is considering whether to “close” St. Paul’s again due to the infection rates in Key West. And, indeed, the rates are not good. When the governor invalidated Key West’s mask requirements it was inevitable that case would go up. Our argument back is that the people of St. Paul’s are not generally patrons of the lower Duval bars that have chosen to ignore best practices. (And for those of you returning for the season, they are the minority. Most Key West restaurants and bars are being very diligent about safety protocols.)

Our services, with universal mask requirements, complete social distancing spacing, no singing, and no touch are just about the safest thing a person can do in Key West these days.

I spent more than half a day pleading with the officials in the diocese to let us worship. They are good people. I trust them to listen. Moreover, I am an institutionalist. I believe in the connected nature or our church.

But I know that St. Paul's has done everything possible to make is possible for those who wish to attend services to worship safely. To hold us hostage to what bar owners on lower Duval choose to do is neither just nor reasonable by any moral compass. Ultimately, I do not live in Miami. I am not a Conch, but I live here full time and I am Key West proud. I trust and hope a way can be found out of this difficult situation.

Having said the above, I implore you to NOT come to church if you feel sick in any way or feel you have been exposed to the virus in any way. God willing, we will be here every week.


I am not a member of the clergy. I am very aware of that. But if have a need, please email me. I will do my best to work within our wonderful community to find somebody to provide spiritual comfort. Please remember that for the first part of the American experience ordained clergy were at a premium, and the church learned to rely on its lay resources. God, in God’s providence, has given us the sacred order of priests. But God has also designated each Christian as a steward and caregiver of each other. Our interim period does not mean any of us are alone. We (all of us) are the Body of Christ.

Please remember, if somebody does not get our newsletter, it is available on our church website. Go the church webpage. Click on the box denoted "Our Newsletter",
Once on the next page, click on the box for "Back Issues". The current and past issues of the Epistle can be found there. If somebody is not getting our emails, please direct them to the webpage to view the newsletter and ask them to write the editor so we can check on their subscription status.

Thank You Tim, John and Tom
Tim's musical offering will now be once a month. (Editor's note: in these pandemic days Tim fulfills many roles as our only full time employee). Many thanks to Tom Bond and John Penkoske for joining Tim for a fantastic program this week. Stay tuned for news of the December offering.

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 Lisa Laskow, Mary Simmons, Samantha Hall, Sarah Hall, Tim Peterson and Bruce Hagemann 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 (Tim Peterson's sister-in-law and brother)
Mickey Malgrat

We pray for the departed and their loved ones:

Genevieve Sylvis and Ena Haughton.

"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
Dave Eyer is conducting research. His history column will return.
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.