Senior Warden Notes
This week you will notice that the order of service ("the bulletin") in the link above is in the style of the ones we used when we met in person. Now that we are in the "blended" (part online/part in person) phase of services, it seemed wise to go back to the familiar.
At Fr. Houghton's suggestion, we have also added back the traditional three readings (Old Testament, New Testament and Gospel in addition to the appointed Psalm.) And the readings will be by members of the congregation.
Many kudos to Tim Peterson for formatting the new bulletins. It is one of the many tasks, once performed by others, that he has taken on without complaint and with skill. If you see Tim, do not hug him (we need to preserve his health for the good of all) but give him air hugs and high fives from a distance.
St. Paul’s has been blessed. We had an outstanding priest for a decade. We had an amazing interim, who did exactly what interim’s do - made us face some realities and ask questions. Thanks to Fr. Steve, we are lean and financially strong.
When Father Steve’s time was over, we were blessed by Fr. Tim from Miami Beach, who graciously came down two Sundays (and sent us a sermon for Morning Prayer on the third). And then, Father Haughton, came to us from neighboring St. Peter’s. He has been a joy to work with. His messages each Sunday have been biblically based and heartfelt, and we are so grateful to the other Episcopal parish in Key West for sharing him with us.
Our priest, even if for a short time, is family, and we lift our prayers for Father Haughton's mother and his family in this difficult time.
But one thing that Covid, the long interim period, and the general uncertainty of the times has shown is that St. Paul’s has a deep bench. We are not a team dependent on one all star player. We are a team of people who pitch in and do what needs to be done. I am constantly amazed at the dedication of our members.
We have a clerk for the vestry (thank you, Holle Campbell). Each week Bruce Hagemann not only does the hard work of vetting requests for help from the limited resources of the TRUE fund, but reads morning and evening prayer online multiple days of the week. He is joined by Mary Simmons, Lisa Laskow and (soon) Samantha and Sarah Hall. When there is a need, people step up.
Dave Eyer makes sure that checks written by our accountant each week are signed by two authorized signers and delivered to the office for mailing. This is not a pedestrian task but it happens every week. But more importantly, Dave is a counselor and a font of institutional knowledge.
And I could go on. Susanne Woods is leading an outstanding class in the Education for Ministry (EfM) program that will provide us with trained lay leadership going forward. Phyllis Pita not only serves as teller (counting contributions and making deposits) regularly, she is also the summer “altar guild.” Brian Wagstaff took the lead as chair of our reopening committee. Greta Philips-Ford has transformed our campus with intelligent and fiscally responsible improvements. Ken Bagge has volunteered (VOLUNTERED!) to be our sexton.
Tropical Storm Sally fried the monitor in our office for our on campus cameras. Without hesitation, Perry Hodies offered to buy us another one. We found a small one that worked, and I was going to tell him, "it’s okay we found something". Then I came into the office to find the bigger, better newer monitor that Perry had bought us. (He will probably yell at me for calling him out, but we are grateful.)
Last Sunday, after church, I found Perry inspecting kneelers. He has some good ideas for making some of them ascetically more appealing. (There are actually two kinds, who knew?) Perry has repaired many of the kneelers without recognition. That is the St. Paul’s way. See something, volunteer.
We are a strong family. We have challenges ahead. But please know, St. Paul’s is more than a beautiful place. St. Paul’s is a community. And we are Keys Strong.
Thank you for your continued financial support of St. Paul's.
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.
Church office phone: 305-296-514