18 May 2020

St. Paul’s Parish Newsletter
May 18, 2020
Calendar Reminders
In accordance with the most recent directive from Bishop Jennifer, the earliest we may re-open would be June 14th, contingent upon fulfilment of the requirements listed in the directive. The Sr. Warden and Deacon Jim are working to be in readiness to re-open as soon as it is possible and safe.
Washington Cathedral on line 11:15 am and 7:30 pm daily:
Diocese of N. Indiana (St. James Cathedral) 10:15 AM Sunday https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC CKWYmjR8F8_Eu1dOKZ1jdA
     Apr 12-May 30
May 21 May 31
The Season of the Resurrection
Ascension Day Day of Pentecost
Collect for the Seventh Sunday of Easter (May 24th)
O God, the King of glory, you have exalted your only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph to your kingdom in heaven: Do not leave us comfortless, but send us your Holy Spirit to strengthen us, and exalt us to that place where our Savior Christ has gone before; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen.
The Lessons: Acts 1:6-14; Psalm 68:1-10, 33-36; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:6-11; John 17:1-11
Our Parish Prayer List:
We pray for our Bishops, Michael and Jennifer; for the people of our companion diocese of Brasilia and their bishop, the Rt. Rev. Mauricio Andrade; and for the people & Diocese of Haiti, and for St. Andre’s in Mithon.
On May 24 , in the diocesan cycle of prayer we pray for Trinity, Indianapolis: The Rev. Julia
Whitworth, The Rev. Dr. Ben Anthony, The Rev. Erin Hougland. We also pray for our own parish of St. Paul’s, that our work here may be life-giving for others and for us, and that the Holy Spirit will guide us to those for whom our community would be life-giving.
We pray for the victims of COVID-19: The sick, those who have died, the families who have suffered loss of loved ones, of jobs and other incomes, and of the companionship of friends. We pray for comfort in anxiety, for healing in physical and emotional pain and illness, and for courage to trust and work for a safer and more compassionate world.
We give thanks for all those who give their time and their lives to care for the sick and dying, and also for those who provide necessary services and goods to us all. We pray for their safety and strength to continue their very necessary and life-giving work.
We pray for Hannah as she works with elderly and medically vulnerable in the midst of this pandemic. Prayers that PPE would be adequate and not too uncomfortable during the long shifts.
We pray for: Jesse, Virginia, Beverly, Juanita, Gwen, Mary Sue, Gus, Delani, Nan, David & Michele, Patricia, Sonny, John.
For those who have died, especially for Eurita. Please hold her son Kevin and family in your prayers.
For those who are temporarily away from the parish, we pray: for Mike & Jackie in Florida, especially over the weekend when they expect to travel home.
Lord of the Church, hear our prayer and make us one in heart and mind to serve you with joy forever. Amen.
From the SPTW team:
CONGRATULATIONS!! To DAVID NELSON (Son of Mike and Phyllis Nelson) for his EMPLOYEE OF THE YEAR award at Greater Clark Schools, aired on WLKY this past week. Well done, David!
Thanks to everyone who has expressed concern for the health and well-being of our parish and its members by making phone calls and being willing to help those of us in need! Our parish is blessed by so many caring members. If you have needs during this time of uncertainty please let us know!

THANKS TO ALL those faithful who continue to remember to send in their pledges and offerings. Bills are still being paid on time. We are aware that many are living on depleted funds, and appreciate that you continue your pledges and offerings as you are able.
If you have something you’d like to add to the next SPTW, please email the team at stpaulsjeff@gmail.com by Sunday afternoon. Please put SPTW in the subject line. Many thanks.
Resources to bind us together even when we’re apart:
Jesus was an Episcopalian (and you can be one, too).
Go to jesuswasanepiscopalian.org. There you will find a delightful series of 3-5 minute videos that will re-connect us with our faith. These are so well done! You are invited to enjoy these mini-lessons one at a time and at your own pace. You will be heartened by the beauty, elegance and spiritual depth of our rather unique approach to seeking God!
The Episcopal Café.
Log on to episcopalcafe.org but have your cup of coffee with you. There are easy to digest articles and news items of all kinds that will enlighten and challenge, just the thing to get us started in the morning or be a thoughtful lunch companion!
St. Paul’s INSIDE the walls:
While we have had a very active ministry we refer to as “St. Paul’s Outside the Walls,” I thought that this week I would try to share with you what is happening at St. Paul’s INSIDE the walls. As you know from the Bishop’s directives that were forwarded to you by email, Episcopal
churches in Indiana will not be opening before June 14 , if then. There are 45 parishes in
southern Indiana, and it is probably true that there will be 45 different plans for opening up our churches for in-person worship and activity.
What we are doing right now:
1. Trying to digest and formulate implementation of a plan according to the Bishop’s
directives and the possibilities, given our resources. Asking for volunteers to serve on a committee to get this underway and see it through. Charlene and Dennis have volunteered; we need 1-3 more folks on board.
2. Seeing the directives, I am working on helping to get the physical plant ready for the changes. For example, I am slowly moving all the hymnbooks and BCPs into the Chapel where they can be covered until we can use them again. I’m putting as much away in the kitchen and Parish Hall as I can, and trying to cover open shelves. The children’s books and crayons have been put away. Pamphlets and other handouts have been removed or covered. There will only be 2-3 chairs per table in the parish
hall. Once this is complete, the entire nave, kitchen and parish hall will be ready to be
cleaned and disinfected before the church re-opens.
3. The downstairs office area is being treated in a similar fashion, but remaining
functional. The food prep area is disinfected and covered. Boxes and bags of goods have been removed to the rector’s office and church office so that the table and surrounding area can remain sanitized.
4. Life goes on in the office (as you know from the frequent emails you are receiving). An average of 1-2 folks come in almost every day to see that necessary jobs are done: getting the trash out for collection & putting the containers away afterwards, changing filters in the HVAC system, mowing and trimming the lawn, caring for the flowers, trees and shrubbery. Signing the checks to pay our expenses, making the deposit each week. Sometimes just to sit (at 6-foot intervals) and chat for a few minutes. It all matters!
Julian of Norwich reminds us that All will be well and all will be well and every kind of thing shall be well. Or, as St. Paul puts it: We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, who are called according to His purpose (Rom. 8:28).
Words from Deacon Jim:
What To Make Of It All?
A Spiritual Pilot Light
I grew up in a home with a gas stove and I can remember how frequently and how carefully my father would check the ‘pilot light,’ that safety device inside gas-fired appliances whose small but constant flame indicated that gas was flowing safely and smoothly. As long as that ‘pilot light’ was steady and true everything was good. Of course if you blew on it the flame would flicker and if the gas line became clogged the flame would die. During this ‘age of pandemic’ when gale force winds howl and our lives are turned upside down it might be worthwhile to take a look at that tiny flame inside us and take stock of our spiritual well-being. Is our ‘pilot light’ still pointing us forward?
‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.’ (John 14:15-17)
These intimate and reassuring words were on Jesus’ heart during the Last Supper as he and the disciples left the Upper Room for the long, dark walk towards Gethsemane. For some time now Jesus had been personally focused on Jerusalem (and Golgotha) and yet with these final thoughts he sought to comfort his beloved followers even as he prepared them for life without him. We can imagine Jesus’ heavy heart as he bears the loss the disciples are feeling, and we can feel for the

disciples who had been told this day would come but were not ready. I’m sure some must have been feeling ‘Why did it have to end this way!?’
A couple of points:
1. Jesus’ use of the word ‘Advocate’ (that we use interchangeably with ‘the Holy Spirit’) is instructive. ‘Advocate’ actually means ‘one who is called to speak up for you,’ sort of like someone you ask to stand beside you in court. The beautiful 23rd Psalm has a similar thought: ‘Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me.’ In both cases, faithful living following God’s commandments does not excuse us from pain and suffering! We are still destined to ‘Walk through the Valley...’ But with the Holy Spirit, our special ‘Advocate,’ God is with us, giving us courage and hope. We do not have to face life’s pandemics alone!
2. Jesus equates the Holy Spirit with the Spirit of Truth. Spirit = Truth, Truth = Spirit! In fact, Jesus suggests that in his physical absence, we are to find his continuing Presence, his Spirit, in Truth. The caveat is that in our world truth is elusive. Consider our current health crisis. How many times over the last couple of months has our evolving understanding of Covid lead to new, re-defined ‘truths,’ and it seems that instead of working toward consensus we’re being pulled further and further apart by economists and health experts offering their own ‘truths.’ Where is the ultimate ‘truth’ that will reveal the Holy Spirit in these unnerving times?
The hope Jesus offers is that Truth resides within us as a spiritual ‘pilot light’ that wavers when we rely too much on worldly wisdom and burns brightest when we throw off all the noise and return to our basic Christian commitment to ‘Love God, Love Our Neighbor,’ and if the buffeting winds of our daily existence have left Christ’s inner light all but extinguished then the key to its rekindling is to offer comfort to those around us! ‘Do unto others...’ is a powerful spark in times of darkness!
The Good News is that in these stressful times we have the Holy Spirit ‘advocating’ for us and the Truth we seek is found not in wisdom but in trust!
Let us pray the Prayer of St. Francis:
Lords, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen. (BCP P. 833

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