E-newsletter | August 1st, 2019
336.667.4231
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org
A message from the Bishop
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
I urge you to read the following statement from me and the other members of Bishops United Against Gun Violence.
Sincerely,
The Rt. Rev. José A. McLoughlin
VII Bishop of Western North Carolina

Bishops United Repudiates Christian Nationalism, Systemic Racism
Since last weekend, three young white men--all American citizens, all in legal possession of assault rifles--have murdered more than 30 people in cold blood. Most of the precious children of God who are dead and injured are people of color.
When gun violence makes headlines, politicians supported by the National Rifle Association are quick to call white shooters "mentally ill," while characterizing black and brown shooters as "criminals" and insisting that guns are not the problem. They choose to remain loyal to the gun lobby and its campaign contributions while denying the incontrovertible evidence that more guns mean more deaths.
Common sense measures like universal background checks, assault weapons bans, handgun purchaser licensing, and restrictions on gun ownership by domestic abusers point the way toward sane gun policy that is well within any sensible interpretation of the Second Amendment. They are necessary and long overdue, but they are not sufficient.
This latest sickening cluster of mass shootings has thrust into the headlines the deadly mix of white supremacy and gun violence that is coming to define our era of American history. Anti-immigrant sentiment is on the rise and our government holds asylum-seekers on our southern border in inhumane conditions. The president of the United States uses racist tropes and inflammatory  language to incite crowds against people of color, refugees and immigrants; and hate crime reports have increased for three consecutive years. The hatred and fury that drives mass shootings can also be turned inward, where it fuels the invisible and growing death toll of gun suicides.
As Christians, we must work actively to dismantle the systemic racism that is part of our country's founding narrative and that continues to fuel mass shootings and urban gun violence today. We must insist that both our fellow Christians and our elected leaders repudiate white supremacy and white nationalism and embrace humane immigration policies that follow God's command and the Biblical imperative to welcome the stranger in our midst. And we must refuse to participate in scapegoating people with mental illness, a ploy too often used to distract from the urgent yet simple need to enact common sense gun safety measures.
Seven years ago yesterday, six people were murdered by a white supremacist at the Sikh Temple in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. That massacre, one of two events that galvanized the creation of Bishops United Against Gun Violence (the other was the shooting at Sandy Hook in Connecticut), brought us together across our differences to demonstrate that we believe in a God of life in the face of death. Today we are weary of witnessing the slaughter gripping our country. But we are no less determined to continue speaking, even when it seems our words make no difference; to continue praying in order to gather our strength to act; and to follow Jesus in speaking truth, especially when it seems that truth is out of season.
Bishops United Against Gun Violence is a network of nearly 100 Episcopal Church bishops working to curtail the epidemic of gun violence in the United States. Learn more at  bishopsagainstgunviolence.org  and follow  Episcopalians United Against Gun Violence on Facebook .

Back to School Blessings, Sunday School Open House, and more!
Sunday, August 25th

Join us for a Sunday School Open House at 9:30 am on Sunday, August 25th!

Children and Youth can meet their teachers and see their classrooms which are located on the lower level of the Sanctuary.

We will have DIY Backpack Tag and back-to-school prayer stations, coffee and breakfast snacks in the Commons.

We will bless our Sunday school teachers at the 10:30 service on August 25th!
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Assistan ce Volunteer Meeting on August 27th
Crisis & Step Ahead volunteers are invited to gather August 27th at 10:00am in the Parish House. We will hear from Hospitality House about ways we can help our neighbors especially as winter approaches.
Please check the Sunday Servants schedule on our website and make arrangements for coverage if you are not available.
Thank you!
SPLASH for Diocesan youth
For youth grades 6-12.
Join us for an afternoon of fun on Lake Ridgecrest!

Fun, games, and lunch will be provided. Cost: $10, pay at event.
RSVP to Rachel by August 13th!

RSVP at: https://form.jotform.com/diocesewnc/SPLASH
Youth Families: Pick up a copy of the fall schedule in the Commons this Sunday!
Birthdays:
11- Anne Marie Reid
12- Maggie Shupe
13- Joe Hilton
16- Nancy Scroggs

Anniversaries:
14- Bill & Karen McElwee
17- Doug & Bonnie Merritt
17- Whit & Jeanne Loflin
Prayer List
Please remember in your prayers: All who are ill or unemployed and those who are on our prayer list.
Illness
Jim Andrews, Ken Asel, Joe Barber, Pam Baugh, Dot Beamon, David Blair, Nancy Blair, Connor Bosson, Wayne Boyd, Jacob Brown, June Canter, Ken Canter, Ron Canter, Billy Coles, Rancene Cook, LaMar Creasman, Ann Davis, Mike Duncan, Becky Forester, Craig Freas, Ernestine Freas, Gail Gattis, Mike Graf, Ruth Gray, Edward C. Griffith III, Peggy Harris, Janet Hartzog, Larry Hendley, Margo Hurd, Steve Jackson, John Jacobson, Joan Knox, Maggie McCann, Susan McManus, Ann McNeill, Doug Merritt, Donna Moore, Becky Mullins, Tom and Penny Musson, Bertie Pardue, Ryan Rigby, Bob Skees, Carolyn Stephens, Fanny Triplett, Marie Waddell, Robin Walsh, Bob Webber, Cole Younger

Armed Forces
Let us pray for the safety of all our troops , especially Rob Beauchaine, Matthew Cage, Alex Cline, Philip Cooney, Karl Duerk, William Grant, Edward C. Griffith IV, Jacob B. Hall, Brandon Moore, Russ Necessary, Zach Necessary, John W. Pardue, Charlie & Lauren Pendry, Adam Pinkerton, Philip Southwell, Mark Stone, Patrick Szvetitz, Jackson Triplett, Levi Walker, Jason Westmeyer, Nathan Wyatt, and all others who serve in Iraq, Afghanistan and throughout the world.

Please send to the church office the addresses of troops with connections to
office@stpaulwilkesboro.org , especially those abroad.
The Lessons Appointed for Use on the
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Isaiah 1:1, 10-20

The vision of Isaiah son of Amoz, which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah.
Hear the word of the Lord,
you rulers of Sodom!
Listen to the teaching of our God,
you people of Gomorrah!
What to me is the multitude of your sacrifices?
says the Lord;
I have had enough of burnt offerings of rams
and the fat of fed beasts;
I do not delight in the blood of bulls,
or of lambs, or of goats.
When you come to appear before me,
who asked this from your hand? 
Trample my courts no more;
bringing offerings is futile;
incense is an abomination to me.
New moon and sabbath and calling of convocation--
I cannot endure solemn assemblies with iniquity.
Your new moons and your appointed festivals
my soul hates;
they have become a burden to me,
I am weary of bearing them.
When you stretch out your hands,
I will hide my eyes from you;
even though you make many prayers,
I will not listen; 
your hands are full of blood.
Wash yourselves; make yourselves clean;
remove the evil of your doings
from before my eyes;
cease to do evil,
learn to do good;
seek justice,
rescue the oppressed,
defend the orphan,
plead for the widow.
Come now, let us argue it out,
says the Lord:
though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be like snow;
though they are red like crimson,
they shall become like wool.
If you are willing and obedient,
you shall eat the good of the land;
but if you refuse and rebel,
you shall be devoured by the sword; 
for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
Psalm 50:1-8, 23-24

1 The Lord, the God of gods, has spoken; *
he has called the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.
2 Out of Zion, perfect in its beauty, *
God reveals himself in glory.
3 Our God will come and will not keep silence; *
before him there is a consuming flame,
and round about him a raging storm.
4 He calls the heavens and the earth from above *
to witness the judgment of his people.
5 "Gather before me my loyal followers, *
those who have made a covenant with me
and sealed it with sacrifice."
6 Let the heavens declare the rightness of his cause; *
for God himself is judge.
7 Hear, O my people, and I will speak:
"O Israel, I will bear witness against you; *
for I am God, your God.
8 I do not accuse you because of your sacrifices; *
your offerings are always before me.
23 Consider this well, you who forget God, *
lest I rend you and there be none to deliver you.
24 Whoever offers me the sacrifice of thanksgiving honors me; *
but to those who keep in my way will I show the salvation of God."


Luke 12:32-40

Jesus said to his disciples, "Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
"Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.
"But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour."
St. Paul's Episcopal Church | 336-667-4231 | office@stpaulwilkesboro.org | https://stpaulwilkesboro.org