Newsletter

The Newsletter is published monthly and is available for parish members and friends of St. Paul’s.  The current newsletter appears below.  At the end of the current newsletter are the archived files.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church
301 S.E. First Street
Evansville, IN 47713
812-422-9009

September Newsletter

A Special Day Planned on August 29th

One Service at 9:45 a.m.

Mortgage Burning

for Begley Annex

Sunday School Kick off

Finger food reception

Adam’s Pantry:

HOT! HOT! HOT!  So hot you could fry an egg on the sidewalk!  Well, we just thought July was hot…..We broke temperature records again for the third day at least. Even though it was hot and we had to move our giveaway day up one week because Thunderfest had been scheduled for the 3rd Saturday, we still served 94 families – which covered 275 people. We are now also getting government commodities, which means more food for our clients. We at Adam’s Pantry just can’t say enough thanks to all of you.

Many blessings to all of you.

Share on the Second

Dear Parishioners,

Our Food Pantry has been very busy these past summer months and our shelves have many “holes” to prove it! Since the last report we served 57 people.  Since this Epistle is coming early, we have not had a full monthWe will make our offering at the altar on September 12th and could use these items in particular:

  • spaghetti sauce
  • spaghetti noodles
  • pork ‘n beans
  • peanut butter
  • canned vegetables

Thanks for being faithful throughout the summer!

VESTRY CORNER

The St. Paul’s Vestry met on August 12, 2010.  Faith receipts were significantly lower in the month of July, putting us $7,000 below budget. This is not entirely unexpected for the summer months, but we hope that receipts will rebound in the future.

Emily Phillips, our Treasurer, has been working on some new software that will allow us to better assess seasonal fluctuations in income and expenses, rather than simply dividing our annual figures by 52 to assess our status for a given week. Unfortunately, the computers currently in use at St. Paul’s are seven years old, and cannot handle the extra megabytes required by the new software.

Our new website is up and running, and is truly awesome in the finest sense of the word. We invite all congregation members to check it out.

Buildings & Grounds are generating a grant proposal for obtaining funds to refurbish the kitchen. Stay tuned for updates.

August 29 will be a single, combined service, at which we will celebrate the Burning of the Mortgage.

Two of the Vestry members, Dave Black and Bob Jeffers, have put together a wonderful slide show with narration [called a Mission Minute] to be presented at the next Diocesan Convention. We hope to present it to the congregation at the next annual meeting, or perhaps sooner during Coffee Hour.

After prolonged discussion, we decided to take no action at present on renovating our heating andr conditioning, as there remain some doubts whether continuing with our boilers or using the a/c ducts for heating will serve our needs best. Our current boiler system should last through the coming winter, and it is better to wait until after Buildings & Grounds have taken care of more urgent matters.

We received an estimate for a new railing around the crypt for $3,200. We decided to wait until we have approval from the neighborhood historical society before going ahead with this project.

A 3 month long sabbatical for clergy who have served 6 years or more in a parish is a tradition in this Diocese and in the Episcopal Church of North America. Many secular professions, e.g. physicians, make similar allowances for periodic continuing education. A previous Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsay, used to set aside one day per week to do nothing but read theology. Although this idea had merit, various canonical and secular problems inevitably and invariably interrupted his studies on that day. Taking a longer time completely away from the day to day problems of a parish provides a better opportunity for our Rector to enhance his professional and spiritual growth, so that he can better serve our congregation upon his return. The Vestry unanimously passed a resolution supporting and encouraging Father Richard to begin the application process so he can take a sabbatical in 2012.

The Vestry approved the expenditure of $1,800 to purchase 3 new computers for the offices in the Begley Building.

The Vestry approved a motion to allow Buildings & Grounds to spend up to $5,000 on various necessary projects before requiring Vestry approval.

Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost, Year C Proper 15   August 15, 2010

O Lord, we pray: speak in this place!  In the yearning of our hearts and in the thirsting of our souls, by the words we hear and in the thoughts we form, speak, O Lord, and set our hearts on fire.  Amen.

I have to be honest.  Sometimes, I would just as soon show up for church, drowse through the readings, and give a thin, desultory sermon.  But when an urgent, edgy Gospel passage like this one comes along and I sit bolt upright, fully awake.  A reading like this means there is no drowsing and not to be anything casual about the sermon.

Jesus wants to set us on fire.  That’s how he puts it, right off the bat.  “I came to start a fire, and how I wish it were kindled right now!”  He came with the traditional biblical mechanism of judgment and purification.  “Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth?” he says.  Do you think I’ve come to smooth things over and make everything nice?”  No way.  I’ve come not to bring peace, but division.  “From now on, when you find five in a house, it will be three against two, and two against three; father against son, and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother….”

And if we try to pretend we don’t understand what he’s talking about, Jesus has a pretty strong rebuke for us.   “When you see clouds coming in from the west, you say, ‘Storm’s coming’ – and you’re right.  And when the wind comes out of the south and you say, ‘This’ll be a hot one,’ you’re right.  So if you know how to tell a change in the weather, don’t tell me you can’t interpret the present time.

What is the present time?  Well, it’s late-summer, back-to-school shopping time; it’s almost football and fall-TV-schedule time.  But above all it is God’s time.  In Jesus, God has come close. God has come into the world and entered human life, and from now on we are confronted with a daily choice: will we choose God’s way – the way of life – or will we choose death?  It may feel like a sleepy August morning, but this morning, God has a wake-up call for us, a summons to renew our commitment to Christ and his proclamation of the kingdom of God.  That may make us want the peace of simply withdrawing.

And I don’t want to suggest to you that when Jesus says that in a household of five it will be three against two and two against three, he means we are to make trouble for trouble’s sake, or to incite division for division’s sake.  From the beginning of his life (when Zechariah welcomed him as the one who came “to guide our feet into the way of peace”) until the end of it (when he responded to his disciples drawing swords in the Garden of Gethsemane and one of them cut off the ear of the slave of the high priest) by crying out, “No more of this,” Jesus’ life and ministry were formed by a deep longing and thirst for God’s peace – the peace that means well-being, wholeness, and reconciliation with one another and God.

And this is the heartbeat of our faith – an insatiable passionate yearning for God’s shalom.  Jesus makes it clear today that means being willing to be set on fire – to give ourselves completely to the quest for the wholeness and flourishing of all beings, even if it leads to division with those near and dear.

We all know what it is like to make decisions we know are God-led but that are costly in our relationships.  Most of us can remember being a teen or having one. We can remember the anger and resentment that flashes when a parent discovers that the teen is making poor choices and exercises parental care by setting firmer limits.  It is a hard thing for a parent to do, but setting those limits and abiding by them is the only way to stay true to the commitment to being a good parent – exercising wise stewardship over our offspring’s wellbeing.

Or perhaps we’ve reached a point of sensing that something in our life doesn’t ring true.  On the surface very thing may be placid, but underneath we feel restless and edgy, or as though we’re only going through the motions.  And we realize that inside we are hungering for a change that will help us live in a more authentic way.  We know doing that may create waves.  It may disrupt long-standing relationships.  But a fire has been kindled within and our only choice is to respond. When God speaks, we know we can’t pretend to not understand; we cannot simply go into our shells in the hope of finding peace – a peace that is not God’s peace; a false peace is no peace at all.

Those moments when we must follow God’s will without that false peace are what Jesus speaks of in today’s Gospel.  He knows the risk of paying attention to our passion, and staying true to the longing God has given us for the flourishing of life within ourselves, our families and our communities.  He knows that following that inner longing may mean we must go against the grain, provoke controversy, and refuse to do business as usual.  He calls us to a holy unrest.

Holy unrest is a good term for it, for our refusal to settle for a status quo in which the poor go hungry, the ill can’t afford medicine, landfills overflow, species disappear, and we kill one another at record rates.  That is the vineyard that Isaiah spoke of, the one on the verge of becoming a physical and spiritual wasteland – the one God wishes our help in restoring.

Jesus was willing to live and die and rise for us, stand with us and call us         that we might turn the vineyard around and find the real peace of a life devoted to God’s shalom.  The promise of Jesus’ resurrection as the Christ is that the prayers we say, and the sacrament we share will strengthen us for being a people passionate and fiery, full of holy unrest, moving steadfastly toward the peace that transforms the whole of creation.

AMEN

This sermon was drawn from a sermon by my seminary friend and preaching colleague Margaret Bullit-Jonas.

J2A Announcement

MUMS for SALE! J2A will begin taking pre-orders for mums now!  Please sign up in Webb Hall or see Emma Watson or Ed Jones to order these gorgeous big beauties for just $7.00.  The mums, provided by Smith Greenhouse, come in 9″ pots. Your choice of colors include yellow, white, red, purple, bronze, and coral.  Support J2A, buy your mums today!

Reflecting Out Loud…

If you have not yet had a chance to check out our new and updated web-site, I encourage you to do so.  The year-long project of revamping our electronic connection with the world has produced a site that has a sophisticated look, easy-to-follow links, and up-to-date information.  We are still working to collect photographs of the buildings, our church family at work and play, and the ministries to which we devote ourselves.  If you have such pictures in digital form and can put them on a cd, please do so and get them to Bill Keeney, our webmaster.

Just after you receive this issue of the Epistle, we will be gathering for a SINGLE SERVICE at 9:45 AM on Sunday, AUGUST 29th.  We will have a special liturgy of Burning the Mortgage on the Begley Annex that has been paid off.  Afterward, there will be a Pot-Luck Celebration in the Parish Hall, a jump-house for the youngsters in the courtyard, and sign-up for Sunday School.  We ask that everyone bring small sandwiches or finger foods for the Pot-Luck Celebration.

One of the people we planned to fête on the 29th, Dee Dee Leitch, had a change of plans that will take her out of town and not returning until later that day.  We have switched the Coffee Hour Reception honoring her to the 12th of September.  The Rev. Kate Wilson will arrive in Evansville for her year as a Chaplain Intern at Deaconess Hospital in the next several days and we hope to be able to welcome her to town at that reception on the 12th.

The Buildings and Grounds Ministry has carefully put together Grant Proposal to the City of Evansville Endowment Fund for money to help pay for refurbishing the Kitchen.  Complete with photographs and testimonials from other churches involved in the Soup Kitchen Ministry, the Proposal is compelling and we are optimistic about receiving some funding.

As part of the effort to clean up some financial practices that make accurate budgeting and record-keeping. difficult, the Vestry has mandated that beginning immediately no reimbursements will be made for expenditures unless an Expense Authorization form, signed by the chair of the committee or ministry, accompanies the request.  A copy of that form may be downloaded from our web-site.  If you do not have web access and need a hard-copy of the form, please call the church office.  There is also a Submission of Funds form on the web-site which is to be used when turning in money from any fund-raising activities.  These forms will make it vastly easier for Rose Ann to provide us with accurate information on income and expenses and for the Vestry to accurately project expenses during budgeting.

Also on the financial front: our bookkeeping/parish database software has finally exceeded the capacity of our computers (486 machines) and much of our operating and office software is nearing ten years old, so we are working on upgrading the system.  We will need two new towers, a new monitor, and a new laptop.  We hope to have the new computers in place, have them set up on current software, and a wireless network available for the office in the next several months.

Fr. Richard +

St. Paul’s Adult Ed

The Adult Ed Class will kick-off its 2010-11 year on September 12th at 9:15 AM in the Begley Building.  Our first focus for the year will be: “An Invitation to the Psalms,” an eleven week exploration of the various themes incorporated into the Psalms. Each week at least one Psalm will be examined in depth. The Psalms call us to bring all aspects of human life consciously into the presence of God in prayer.

On the 12th the class will explore an “introduction” to the series.  We will meet the author, understand his approach, and explore his goals and hopes from participation in the study.  A fair amount of time will be spent with Psalm 103.

Early in our gathering on September 19th we will hear a presentation by the Reverend Dr. Michael Jinkins, Dean of the Austin Theological Seminary.  The session is entitled: “Word of God, Words of Prayer.”  Psalms 1 and 23 will be the topics of discussion.

Psalm 136 will be the primary focus of our gathering on September 26th.  Dr. Jinkins theme is, “The Prayer Book of God’s People.”

We hope you will join us for this comprehensive study of the themes of the Psalms

Community of Churches Soup Kitchen

It is a pleasure to welcome Evan Moran as our new chef for St. Paul’s Saturday.  Evan will begin his duties with our October shift.  Evan is no newcomer to the soup kitchen.  In his “younger years” he helped out with his mom, Gail.  He also works for Knob Hill Tavern.

In other news, we have received some new quality knives.  If anyone has a knife block they no longer need, please let Jane know.  That way we can keep them in tip-top shape.

As holiday time gets closer, we will need extra help with planning and preparing our special meals.  If anyone can help please let me (Nancy Keeney) know.

St. Paul’s Campus Ministr

St. Paul’s is pleased to announce the following campus ministry activities offered to students who are attending the University of Southern Indiana, the University of Evansville, and Ivy Tech.  If you can help in any way, please contact Anne Loge at 760-2319 or amloge97@gmail.com.  You can also call Jane at the office and leave a message.

Highlights:
  • Alternative worship and dinner will be offered at 6:30 pm. on the 2nd and 4th Sunday of each month in the chapel.  The Reverend Beth Macke will preside over alternative services such as Taize, Celtic Worship, Meditation, etc.  The first service will be in the Taize format on September 12th.  All parish members are invited!  Your presence at these services will show students that St. Paul’s is comprised of caring and supportive people.  Volunteers to host dinner (provide, prepare and serve the food) before the service are greatly needed.  Please sign up in Webb Hall to host one of these dinners.
  • Campus Luncheons—meet with the faculty and/or staff of each campus every Wednesday at Noon in the Student Union/Cafe to share lunch and conversation.  Volunteers are still needed to host these weekly meetings.
  • Friday Night Films & Faith—students and their friends from Ivy Tech, UE and USI are invited to St. Paul’s on the 3rd Friday of each month at 8:00 pm to watch and discuss a favorite movie, share snacks, play games, and just relax after a long week.
  • Tuesday’s at Turoni’s (or a parishoner’s house close to campus)—students and their friends from UE and USI meet at Turoni’s for pizza, beverages, and the Bible (faith-based conversations that are relevant to young adult life!).  Volunteers are still needed to host this activity.
  • Community outreach and volunteer opportunities (TBA) – including, but not limited to, St. Paul’s Soup Kitchen, working the Fall Festival booth, volunteering on mission trips, etc.
  • Other leisure activities—such as disc golf, canoeing, etc. (TBA).


In order to view an archived newsletter , please click on the Newsletter you want and follow the instructions.

2010 July Newsletter 2010 August Newsletter
2010 September Newsletter