October 8, 2020
St. Paul's Episcopal Church

This Week's News Highlights

Service time has changed

Please Note That Our Sunday Service time has changed to 8:30 a.m. for the foreseeable future. In addition to live services for a limited number of participants, Facebook Live broadcasts of the service will continue.
No local service on October 18, but a special service indeed

We will conduct services on Facebook and in person on Sunday, October 11. But on the following Sunday, October 18, the entire Diocese of Southeast Florida will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the diocese, and the start of the diocesan convention, with a special online Eucharist featuring both our own bishop, the Right Reverend Peter Eaton, and our Presiding Bishop, the Most Reverend Michael Curry.

The service will be at 10:00 a.m. Details on how to view the service will be included in next week's Epistle and on our church Facebook page. We will not have our own service on the 18th. Services will resume on October 25th.

"We are family" - part three

While funerals are still not allowed in the diocese of Southeast Florida (in order to protect everyone) we are allowed to inter ashes in our memorial garden with ten or fewer present.

On October 8th a service of committal of the ashes of longtime member Sheila Taylor was held in the memorial garden. Her daughter, several parishioners and friends were present. We are extremely grateful to the Rev. Debra Maconaughey from St. Columba's in Marathon for driving down to officiate.

The family hopes to have a true memorial service for Ms. Taylor when conditions allow. But the committal of her ashes to the ground with a proper Episcopal service was important. As a parish without clergy, we were fortunate to have dedicated and giving clergy like the Rev. Maconaughey in our midst.

We are more than one parish. We are part of a large Keys community. And we are Keys Strong.

No word on the parish profile

We are still awaiting word from the diocese in Miami about our parish profile.

Procedures to reserve your space at services

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 info@stpaulskeywest.org 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 p.m. 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

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
The St. Paul's is blessed with a beautiful historic building and wonderful volunteers to maintain it. But some projects are going to require a whole community effort. We have to believe that what we have is worthy of preservation for the future.
This beautiful part of our architecture has already dropped large sections of concrete.

If it collapses entirely the consequences would be significant.

We can, and we will, do the necessary repairs because after 100 years St. Paul's is a historic beacon in Key West.
Please stay tuned for how YOU can help save and preserve the historic landmark that is our spiritual home.

In the meantime, thanks to the volunteers who have painted, scraped and used their carpentry skills for the benefit of us all.
Senior Warden Notes
Ray Warren
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the idea of “a calling”. I’ve heard more than a few times in the past three months that I’ve “been called” to be senior warden. Needless to say, I’ve not been receptive to the idea. Most of us are uncomfortable with the idea of being “called”, especially when we feel unworthy.

But as the months have passed, I’ve come to a new understanding of what the term “calling” means.

“Calling” certainly doesn’t mean “worthy”. I have learned that you can be utterly unworthy and still be called to service. God doesn’t only call canonical all stars like Jerimiah or Huldah. God, who oversees everything, calls people for everything - including bit parts and everyday extras. There simply aren’t enough Mother Teresas in the world to do everything that has to be done. So, sometimes God just goes with the labor pool at hand.

Being called is a bit more than a polite invitation. When we are placed in certain situations there is only one answer. (True, we could theoretically say “no”, but saying no to God doesn’t work from a Christian perspective. Whatever else, Christianity is all about saying yes to God.)

Whether God thinks you are able to handle 10 talents, 2 talents or 1 talent (details in Matthew 25:14–30), it’s not a good idea to hide those talents in the ground. If you have something to contribute, then succeed, fail or offer a mixed bag, but it’s always better to give it your best shot – even if you know you’re pretty much out of your league.

St. Paul’s is blessed with talent (in the modern English sense, instead of the ancient monetary one). I’ve seen it. I can feel it.

In the past we have been a very rector directed parish. And, thank God, we’ve had wonderful rectors. But two things are clear: 1) In this interim time, it is up to us, the laity and 2) even when we have a leader, a church as complex as St. Paul’s (historic but with a high maintenance building, seasonally variable membership, etc.) is too much for any one human. We will have a leader at some point. But she or he cannot do it all. We must be ready to shoulder our part of the burden.

What is your calling? What can you do for St. Paul’s? What can you do for Key West, a community that is hurting as much as any from the pandemic? I cannot answer that. But in your heart, you can. Because God has put a calling there.
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As our seasonal members prepare to return, I am getting a lot of inquiries about “what is it like in Key West in relation to the coronavirus.” Here is some feedback.

Key West was fortunate to be in a protected bubble from the start of the pandemic in March until early June. US Highway 1 had a roadblock and flights in were limited. We essentially reestablished the Conch Republic, complete with border controls. And it worked. There were very few infections until the road was reopened in early June.

Unfortunately, with Miami-Dade and the counties north of that totally in lockdown, when Monroe County reopened in June, people flooded in, often weary of restrictions in their own part of the world, and ready to party. It took about a month, but our own cases then skyrocketed.
Here is a chart of new cases in the time frame from early June until last week. (Figures provided by the Diocese or Southeast Florida. For a bigger view of the graph, click here.)

As you can see things went off the rails about the 4th of July, and both July and August were not happy months. The city responded by severely limiting restaurants and enforcing mask wearing, even outdoors. The governor closed all bars. And that tough (but economically difficult) strategy worked. By late August things were tolerable (and a lot less scary) again. We were able to allow attendance at services (on a limited basis) on September 6th.

Right now, almost all establishments are open. You’ll find Key West to be relatively safe if you avoid places that don't practice proper safety precautions. Instead, enjoy the public parks and public waterfronts (Zachary Taylor State Park, the White Street Pier, Higgs Beach, the Truman Waterfront Park, etc.), practice proper social distancing and wear a mask indoors. Check out this Facebook page for a list of establishments doing the right thing to protect public safety.

We do have some challenges ahead.

School has started with a mix of in person and virtual experiences. The effects of that are probably right on the horizon.

Also, unfortunately, a dedicated group of partiers promises to come down even though Fantasy Fest is officially cancelled. We do not expect responsible behavior to be the norm, so think carefully before joining in what, in normal times, might be considered harmless revelry.

Things can change on a dime. But we can all help shape the future by following the advice of scientific experts and exercising common sense. My belief is that we are all better off in a climate where outdoor activity (and dining) is possible all year instead of being jammed into tight indoor quarters in the cold northern winter. But please, follow your own instincts and the advice of your own medical professionals.
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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.

Contacts:

Sr. Warden Ray Warrenseniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org

Jr. Warden Greta Philips-Fordjuniorwarden@stpaulskeywest.org

Epistle Editoreditor@stpaulskeywest.org

Church office (and administrator Lisa McCarthy): info@stpaulskeywest.org

Church office phone: 305-296-514

Tim is Taking A Well Deserved Break, But the Magic is Available

Our amazing music director, Tim Peterson, has ended his popular weekly music program to work on other projects. Look for more musical offerings from Tim in the coming months. In the interim, you can find prior weeks recordings of Tim’s concerts 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 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

Freddy Varela
Betty Curry
Sherri Hodies' daughter, Brittanny
Beth and Jon Peterson

We pray for the departed and their loved ones:

David Ford, Sheila Taylor, Dink Bruce and Ena Haughton.

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

(Send your prayer requests to Tim@stpaulskeywest.org 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 October birthdays

Danielle Marsical 10/01
Peter Graniela 10/02 
Betty Topino   10/03 
Edward Cabrera 10/04
Richard Pischke   10/08
Fr. Lenworth Haughton 10/08
Aleida Alexander  10/10
Denise Grahamn   10/11
David Horan   10/14
Kim Grizzle-Malgrat 10/15 
Katherine Ward  10/17
Tom Bond  10/19 
Martin Hindsley 10/20
Julie Wallace 10/20
Ross Neagley 10/21
Frankie Grizzle-Malgrat 10/22
Eric Whiteside 10/23
Terry Garcia 10/25
CloeAnn Garrison 10/25
Shirley Sweeting 10/27
Stanley Kuzmech 10/28
Mary Simmons  10/28
Jan Malpass 10/29
Angela Richardson 10/30

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

We Celebrate October Anniversaries

Walter & Joanna Schmida 10/17, Tony & Barbara Tirman-Marcussen 10/25 
Dave Eyer is conducting research. His history column will return.
Reminders
Sunday school is canceled during the virus emergency.
Back issues of The Epistle available here.

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