August 2, 2019
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
We never graduate from
Sunday School!
As part of our transition goals, we are getting ready to launch our Sunday school on September 8. Michelle Garcia has been leading the effort to re-establish Christian formation for children at St. Paul’s. I am grateful for her efforts. See her article below for more information. I prefer the word formation over education , because our goal is not just to provide knowledge of Bible stories and our faith. The purpose for our children is that they be formed—that they grow up shaped by the knowledge that God is Love, and that God loves them, and that we share this love with each other, loving our neighbors as we love ourselves. 

Furthermore, Christian formation is not just for children and youth. If our children are engaged in formation , as adults our work is transformation . All of us have growing to do. The point of learning in faith is not just to learn some new things, to get smarter. The point of Christian formation is to grow, spiritually and continually. After all, our subject matter is God and therefore infinite in scope. Moreover, our spiritual needs change and grow during different stages of life. 

At this point in my own life, I have completed many of my important tasks in life. I have raised and educated children. I have established myself in a profession. I am in the last third of my career. I have a plan to take care of my future financial needs. Yet, rather than feeling like my work is done, I feel like there is a whole new path ahead of me, largely free of the duties of “the first half of life.” Now that I am in the second half, I am being formed in a new and different way. This has led Jen and me to make changes in our lives and careers, to simplify, to focus on our personal growth and, at the same time, to want to work on larger challenges beyond just those of our job or family. I am ready to be formed in new ways, even and especially in the last half of my life. I feel like I have so much more to learn.

God is never in the business of maintaining us, keeping us stable or stuck in place. God is about transforming us. God is not improving us; God is renewing and resurrecting us. We are always dying and rising, things are passing away and all things are becoming new. That is what Christian formation is. Even as our Sunday school for children gets underway. Let no one think that we are excused from being formed and transformed in Christ. There is always more to learn, new ways to grow. We never graduate from Sunday school! 

What kind of formation do you want at St. Paul’s? At this point in your life, what do you feel called to explore and discover? I have some ideas for classes this year, some tentative plans, but I want to hear how you want to grow? What do you want to learn and reflect on? What will help you grow? Please email me with your ideas, xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx Fr. Steve
Children are a Heritage from the Lord
Psalm 127:3 xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx By Michelle Garcia
Renewal of our Sunday school program is a ministry very close to my heart. As a young child, I was baptized in St. Paul’s, made my first communion and went on to be confirmed. Both my parents and I were married in St. Paul’s. I attended Sunday school and loved going to church. I have always been drawn to the Lord and St. Paul’s. My faith continues to grow and I want to share that with all whom I meet.

Once I became a mother, I wanted to make sure my son had the opportunity to know the Lord as I have. I became a Sunday school teacher under Mary Dora Breedlove and my son and I attended regularly. He became an acolyte when he was no longer of age to attend Sunday school. I continued my worship and service to St. Paul’s recently becoming a Eucharistic minister. My calling now is to renew the Sunday School program and offer the knowledge of the Lord to our children, the same way my son and I were given that gift. Knowing the Lord and having that peace in my life is what carries me through this difficult world in which we live.

Our Sunday school will begin on Sunday September 8 th with an orientation and festival to follow for all to enjoy. The curriculum we will use is “Brick by Brick”. It’s a hands on program using legos to teach Christian Education. We will be traveling August 24 th to Marathon where we will learn the program along with participating in a safety course. Please join me in this mission to share the wonderful gift of knowing the Lord with our children. Anyone interested in volunteering to teach, help organize the classroom or the festival, please call me at 305-294-1115. I am looking forward to a successful start to the renewal of our children’s program. 
Start the children off on the way they should go and even when they are old they will not turn from it  -  Proverbs 22:6
Summer Construction Update
The crews have left the church for the summer. The Historic Rectory foundation work has been completed. A grant application has been submitted for continued work--we will hear back on that next year. Might thanks to Brian Wagstaff for his leadership on this project! 

The planned concrete work on the Church is almost complete. The leaks inside the nave have been fixed, except for one that the contractor is still trying to chase down. Thank you to Junior Warden, Terry Garcia, for his work on this!

There is still much work to be done on the buildings of St. Paul’s. As part of the financial sustainability plan, we will be developing a capital budget and ways to fund this work over the coming year. 
Music Notes xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx By Tim Peterson
  • Thanks to generous donors, we have covered much of the cost of this summer's organ upgrade: The organ pipes at the rear of the church are being fitted and repaired; they will sit on new chests; and a new blower has been purchased to accommodate the additional pipes installed over the past few years. We would be grateful for a few more donations to cover the cost gap of about $1,500.

  • Operating under the umbrella of St. Paul's, The Southernmost Chamber Music Society has purchased a movable 10' X 12' platform to be located in the parish hall. It will provide unobstructed views of their monthly performances which begin Nov 21st.

  • Come sing with our Family Choir this Sunday, August 4th. We'll meet in the choir room at 8:45 to learn a simple anthem for the 9:30 service. All are welcome!
Know Your History
This week's Centennial Committee history question:

What is the sad story of the origin of the statue of the Blessed Mother with Child (Mary holding the infant Jesus) located near the Lady Chapel? X Answer
Editor's Notes & Reminders
  • Adult Forum, Sundays after the 9:30 Service.
  • Sunday Bulletin here and always on our website.
  • The Epistle is a monthly May - Oct, weekly Nov - Apr.
  • Back issues of The Epistle available here.
  • Send questions and comments to the editor here.