The mission of St. Paul's Episcopal Church is to explore and celebrate God's infinite grace, acceptance, and love.
We aspire to worship weekly, pray daily, learn constantly, serve joyfully, and live generously.
Weekly Communicant
June 11, 2020
From the Rector
Preaching Paul
Most Christians I know either love Paul or hate Paul. Those who have never developed a strong opinion about the self-proclaimed “apostle to the Gentiles” may not have been thoroughly exposed (subjected?) to his writings. Paul has earned a reputation as both someone who built up the church and who tore down many of its members. His writings provide a foundation for the Christian faith and an impetus for Christians’ scorn and derision. How we make sense of Paul in the twenty-first century is a challenge for us all.

Every Sunday for the next fourteen weeks, we will read a passage from Paul’s best-known work, his Letter to the Romans. Although the lectionary skips over a few passages, we will, for the most part, read straight from Romans 5 through Romans 14. During that time, I will be preaching fairly often, and I plan to preach mostly from the epistle text. Partly that is because I look forward to the opportunity to preach sequentially from such an important work in the New Testament, but it is mainly because Paul’s letters seem particularly important to the church right now.

Paul wrote to encourage, rebuke, sustain, and instruct congregations where he could not physically be present. The community would gather and listen to an appointed orator read out the apostle’s words, but they were always delivered in absentia . At times, Paul expressed the pain of being absent from his beloved congregations and wrote of his yearning to be with them again. Still, despite the distance between them, Paul recognized that the work of building up the community of faith must continue even when he was prevented from seeing them, and he believed that he had an important role in building it up through his letters.

Paul wrote to churches that were torn apart by racial or ethnic divisions. Paul wrote to communities in which economic disparity and church-sponsored partiality were common. Paul wrote to people who faced the threat of arrest, imprisonment, and death at the hands of the Empire. Paul wrote to leaders who were discouraged and to families that were struggling. Paul wrote to seasoned Christians who did not know how to make sense of what was happening in the world around them and to new believers who were unsure whether the decision to follow Jesus had been right. In many ways, Paul wrote to us.

This summer, I am taking a class on preaching Philippians, which is another of Paul’s letters. In our class, we have discussed why preaching from Paul is so difficult. Narrative texts, like the miracles or parables of Jesus, are often easier for preachers because storytelling is a gentler, more natural way to communicate with a congregation than doctrinal exhortation. Plus, Paul has a reputation for using his authority to subjugate women, to condemn LGBTQ individuals, and to promote slavery. Nevertheless, I think it is possible for us to benefit from Paul’s words and ministry without either ignoring or weaponizing his inflammatory remarks.

One of the authors we have read in our class is Nancy Lammers Gross, who invites us not to say what Paul said but to do what Paul did. When preachers prooftext or summarize or analogize Paul’s words, they may come up with a faithful exposition of a first-century text, but they often miss the chance to strengthen the church for the challenges they face. That is what I hope to do by preaching Paul for the next several weeks. I will not go so far as to announce an official sermon series because I trust that the Holy Spirit may lead me in a different direction as early as this weekend, but I suspect that Paul has much to say to me right now, and I hope that he will allow us to hear God’s message for the church today.

Yours Faithfully,

Sunday Morning at St. Paul's
Sunday Morning Worship

On Sundays at 8:45 a.m. , worship is livestreamed to our YouTube channel. By tuning in live, we have the opportunity to join together in spirit and form a virtual congregation.

St. Paul's YouTube channel:

This Sunday's Bulletin:
Adult Forum: Eucharist and Pandemic

As the pandemic stretches on, the absence of weekly Communion is being felt more and more profoundly. Why can't we have Communion over the livestream? How can we be spiritually fed without receiving the bread and wine? Join us as we explore the theology of the Eucharist and the innovations that have arisen during the pandemic.

Eucharist and Pandemic
June 7: What is Communion?
June 14: What isn't Communion?
June 21: What might be Communion? 

On Sunday mornings at 10 a.m., Adult Forum is livestreamed on our YouTube channel . Tune in live or view archived video any time.
St. Paul's Headlines
All Parish Read

This summer we’re inviting you to join our first-ever All Parish Read. We hope every member of our congregation will join us in diving into a good book.

We'll be working our way through the book  Being Christian by Rowan Williams. This simple and beautifully written book explores four essential components of the Christian life: Baptism, Bible, Eucharist, and prayer. Plan to order the book from your online retailer of choice as St. Paul’s bookstore is closed.

We are assembling small groups for those who wish to discuss the reading over Zoom. Our reading discussion schedule will be:

June 14 - Introductions & Introduction
June 21 - Baptism
June 28 - Bible
July 5 - Eucharist
July 12 - Prayer

We want to hear from you!
Let us know that you're participating and, if you wish, sign up for group discussion:
Fruit for Sunday Suppers

On Sunday, St. Paul's will offer a grab-and-go meal for Sunday Suppers at Trinity United Methodist.

Fruit is tricky to come by in bulk right now, so we're inviting individuals and families to bring donations of handheld fruit to St. Paul's by  Saturday, June 13. Please, no bananas or grapes, as they tend to spoil quickly.

Drop off fruit in the designated plastic bin in the Narthex. Contact Emma Mitchell emma (at) with questions.
Young Adult Lunch Bunch

Young Adults Lunch Bunch is back on...digitally! If you are between the ages of 20 - 35 and miss eating and chatting with your friends after church on Sundays, each week in June we will be recommending a locally owned restaurant to support through take-out.

This week, St. Paul's own Chef Kaitlyn has personally recommended you to pick up KD Chicken & Waffles in Fayetteville. You can find their menu here and their phone number for pickup is (47 9) 879-1378. Around 12:30 p.m., drop in the Young Adults Lunch Bunch Zoom to share some food and fellowship.

Zoom meeting link:
Password: 019748
EfM Graduates

St. Paul's celebrates four EfM graduates this year: Jim Norys, Susie Norys, Margaret Ann Gilmore, and Diane Siegler.

Education for Ministry is a four year program of study, worship, and theological reflection. It includes an in-depth study of the Old Testament, New Testament, Church history, and modern theological thought. If you are interested in taking part, there are limited spaces. Please contact  Trent Palmer at trentpalmer (at) or (479) 530-0947 to inquire.
Dick Johnston Children's Camp

Camp Mitchell may be closed this summer, but Dick Johnston Children’s Camp will be taking place virtually! Children (8-12 years of age) who attend this camp have had one or both parents experience incarceration. 

Our plan is to send care packages to each child (currently 26 kids). Packages will include a Bible, 10 books for their summer reading enjoyment, 5 art projects, a camp t-shirt, and a backpack which may be used for school whenever kids are able to return to the classroom. We will also be funding one session of swimming lessons in their own communities if available. Previous counselors and session staff have volunteered their time to conduct online sessions with the kids during their week of virtual camp July 19-24. 

If you would like to be involved by donating supplies or writing letters this summer or through the year to these amazing kids, please contact Kristi Palmer at kristipalmer2016 (at) or at (501) 940-1591.
Living Room Conversations

Becoming Beloved Community of St. Paul's invites you to join us in dialog. During the month of June 2020, we will be offering a series of Living Room Conversations to address issues related to the coronavirus in our own community. These small group, host-trained virtual gatherings welcome multiple points of view and will occur in a comfortable setting.

The sessions will be offered via Zoom Video Conference. The cohost will contact you 3-5 days prior to your session with the zoom connection instructions. The topic for our June conversation is: "Denial: Loss and Grief in the Time of Corona."

Living Room Conversations Sign Up Form: 

If you are interested in participating, please sign up using the above link. Contact  David Kelley  at arksunsse (at) with any questions or difficulties signing up.
Responding to Racist Violence

Our baptismal covenant calls us to seek justice and respect the dignity of every human being. The Episcopal Church has curated resources for Responding to Racist Violence through learning, praying, and acting:

If you are looking for a way to engage locally consider joining St. Paul's Becoming Beloved Community group on Zoom. We meet the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. Email samantha(a) for login details.
NWA New Sanctuary Update

We've learned through our sanctuary network that many undocumented households in Northwest Arkansas are struggling to make their rent payments. Fewer resources are available to these families, as they are excluded from some of the federal and state forms of support (e.g. unemployment benefits, the Economic Impact Benefit).

We are inviting those who are able to make donations to our NWA New Sanctuary Fund. Working together with our partners Arkansas United, All Saints' / Todos Los Santos (Bentonville), Good Shepherd Lutheran Church, and the supporting congregations and non-profits of the network, all donated funds will be distributed directly to households in need.

How to give: 
You can give online using  St. Paul's Tithely page  (**be sure to select the NWA New Sanctuary Network fund from the dropdown menu**). You may also visit the NWA New Sanctuary Network website ( ) and make a donation through their online portal. All donations will go to families in need.
Altar Flowers

Altar Flowers will be prepared weekly for Sunday worship and are available for dedications. We'll share your thanksgivings or remembrances in our prayers. 

To dedicate flowers, please email our Parish Administrator  Joy Poole  at joy (at) 
Rector's Bible Study on Hiatus

The Rector's Bible is taking a scheduled break and will return with a new series on Monday, August 3.
Weekly Giving Summary

Total Income Received:
June 5 - 11, 2020

This Week's Giving 
  • $ 19,119.58

YTD Giving Income
  • $ 600,499.74

Annual Giving Budget
  • $ 1,393,698.00

Did you know? Our 2019 Annual Report and 2020 Budget are available online at
Giving to St. Paul's

Everything St. Paul's does is made possible through your gifts. Gifts in any amount can be made online through Tithely or mailed to our P.O. Box. 

Give online at St. Paul's Tithely page:

St. Paul's mailing address:
P.O. Box 1190 Fayetteville, AR 72702
Volunteer Opportunities
Update: Fayetteville Housing Authority Food Distribution

The St. James Food Pantry and the NWA Food Bank are distributing boxes of food to families at Fayetteville Housing Authority locations every Tuesday.  

It's a growing operation with over 200 boxes delivered each week, and that number is increasing. Pick up is at St. James Missionary at  11 a.m. on Tuesdays  and we are finished by 1 p.m. Delivery is contactless and social distancing is observed. 

Current need is for people who can carry 30 to 40 pound boxes up 2 or 3 flights of stairs .

Anybody interested in joining the St. Paul's team should send an email to  Mac Mayfield  at mayfeildmac (at)
NWA Food Bank

The NWA Food Bank is seeking volunteers to assist in their Bethel Heights distribution center. Volunteers assist with a variety of tasks including building food boxes, assisting with building maintenance and sanitation, sorting produce and protein, and other needs as they arise.

Volunteers must pre-register for shifts, and no drop-in volunteers will be permitted. Masks are required, hand washing is strictly enforced, and temperatures will be taken. 

Sign up for a two-hour shift:

Learn more at  or email questions to Volunteer Coordinator Madison Bigelow at Madison.Bigelow (at)
Little Free Pantry

Many of you have asked how to stay involved and serve others while maintaining physical distancing. The Little Free Pantry is a great way to do that. If you are new to the pantry, or wish to take your pantry gifts to the next level, we have created a handy list of shopping suggestions and "meal kit" ideas. Click to view or download:

The Little Free Pantry is a grassroots, crowdsourced solution to immediate and local need. Our pantry, located just outside the Welcome Center, can be filled with sealed, non-perishable items and accessed 24 hours a day. 
Ongoing at St. Paul's
Community Meals Grab & Go

Lunch Details:
Meals are pick-up only, and distributed outside the Welcome Center on Mondays and Wednesdays from 10:45 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. Hungry people from all walks of life are welcome and needle & condom distribution available.

How to Help:
To contribute, your first step is to email kaitlyn (at)
Morning & Evening Prayer

We've created a dedicated space on Facebook for Morning & Evening Prayer broadcasts. To get there, follow the link below. After you click the button join the group, check to be sure the Notifications button is set to "All Posts," and broadcasts will reliably appear in your news feed. You can invite others to join, too.

St. Paul's Morning & Evening Prayer on Facebook:

St. Paul's Evening Prayer Bulletin:

Read the Daily Office online:

St. Paul's Morning Prayer & Evening Prayer Schedule:
  • Morning Prayer: 8 a.m. M - F 
  • Evening Prayer: 5:30 p.m. M - F
Shared Silence

Every afternoon (not just weekdays) you are invited to an hour of shared silence online, from 4 - 5 p.m.

To log in, visit (If it's your first time on Zoom, you'll be prompted to download the app.)

We begin with an opening reflection and bell and conclude with a closing gong and reading. (Please mute your microphone during the silence--mute button is on lower left of the window.) Feel free to leave quietly whenever you wish if you don't stay the whole hour. No agenda. Just silence.

This Zoom location is available 24/7 if you just want to show up and mute your microphone, or if you want to arrange to meet another friend for online silent prayer.
The Church remains open for personal prayer

Between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday - Friday, the East Ave. doors of our church are open for personal prayer and quiet time.

Parishioners must wear face coverings indoors and practice recommended social distancing in order to keep the most vulnerable among us safe.
Fill the Pews

Join us in a community art project. You are invited to create a cardboard cutout of yourself and symbolically fill our pews.

Though we have limited our opportunities for corporate worship, our church doors remain open during the week for personal prayer. Spend some time at home designing and decorating your cardboard cut out (a waist up representation will sit best in the pew) and share photos of you and your family at work on the project by tagging St. Paul's and using the hashtag #stpaulsfay .

Then, drop by the church, say a prayer, and leave your doppelgänger sitting in a pew. (You may use a hymnal or prayerbook to prop them up.) On Sunday morning, try to spot yourself on our live stream.
Morning Reflections

Morning Reflections are brief, personal thoughts based on the scripture readings for the Daily Office. Each reflection is written by a member of our congregations and emailed around 6 a.m. Monday - Saturday.

To subscribe to Morning Reflections:

To view our Morning Reflections archive online:
Connect Online

Although we cannot be physical present with one another, the internet offers ways for us to stay connected.

Tag us in your posts and use the hashtag #stpaulsfay .

St. Paul's on Facebook

St. Paul's on Instagram

St. Paul's Episcopal Youth Community on Instagram

St. Paul's YouTube Channel

St. Paul's Website
Connect with offline parishioners

Take a moment to reach out to parishioners who have limited internet access and might feel lonely or disconnected from our community. Ask that person how they are doing and how you might pray for them. 

Our online directory can be accessed through Realm. 

Log in to Realm:

Watch our Realm tutorial and get started:
Subscribe to our Mailing Lists

If you or someone you know wishes to subscribe to any of our email lists, we've created some handy links for signing up.

St. Paul's Weekly News

Morning Reflections

Children's Ministry Newsletter

EYC Newsletter
"Whaling" Email Attacks

If you receive an email that appears to be from a member of St. Paul's clergy or staff and asks you to take some kind of action click a link, download an attachment, wire money to a specified account, purchase gift cards and reply with the serial numbers, or perhaps it simply asks you to reply quickly because they need a favor don't fall for it.

This is what's known as a "whaling" scam. Unlike "phishing," whaling involves forging communications that appear to be from the "big fish" in an organization, usually an authority figure. If you receive an email like this and wonder if it might be a real request, do not respond or take action.

As a reminder, nobody from St. Paul's will ever ask you to buy anything, even as a personal favor.