The Episcopal Church
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
Plymouth Wisconsin

Red Door

The Vicar’s Voice

Dear Beloved of God,

I have been away at the Clergy Retreat at the Norbertine Abbey in DePere. We were blessed with the teaching of Dean Steven Peay. We looked at the Rule of St. Benedict as a way of life. The Rule is short and simple and yet takes a lifetime of practice and discipline. I encourage you to pray the Prayer of St. Benedict below as a Lenten discipline. It comes from the fourth chapter of the Rule. Praying even a small bit everyday will help keep you focused on God this Lent.

Prayer of Saint Benedict of Nursia

O Lord, I place myself in your hands and dedicate myself to you. I pledge myself to do your will in all things: To love the Lord God with all my heart, all my soul, all my strength. Not to kill. Not to steal. Not to covet. Not to bear false witness. To honor all persons. Not to do to another what I would not wish done to myself. To chastise the body. Not to seek after pleasures. To love fasting. To relieve the poor. To clothe the naked. To visit the sick. To bury the dead. To help in trouble. To console the sorrowing. To hold myself aloof from worldly ways. To prefer nothing to the love of Christ. Not to give way to anger. Not to foster a desire for revenge. Not to entertain deceit in the heart. Not to make a false peace. Not to forsake charity. Not to swear, lest I swear falsely. To speak the truth with heart and tongue. Not to return evil for evil. To do no injury: yea, even to bear patiently any injury done to me. To love my enemies. Not to curse those who curse me, but rather to bless them. To bear persecution for justice sake. Not to be proud. Not to be given to intoxicating drink. Not to be an over-detractor. To put my trust in God. To refer the good I see in myself to God. To refer any evil in myself to myself. To fear the Day of Judgment. To be in dread of hell. To desire eternal life with spiritual longing. To Keep death before my eyes daily. To keep constant watch over my actions. To remember that God sees me everywhere. To call upon Christ for defense against evil thoughts that arises in my heart. To guard my tongue against wicked speech. To avoid much speaking. To avoid idle talk. To read only what is good to read. To look at only what is good to see. To pray often. To ask forgiveness daily for my sins, and to seek ways to amend my life. To obey my superiors in all things rightful. Not to desire to be thought holy, but to seek holiness. To fulfill the commandments of God by good works. To love chastity. To hate no one. Not to be jealous or envious of anyone. Not to love strife. Not to love pride. To honor the aged. To pray for my enemies. To make peace after a quarrel, before the setting of the sun. Never to despair of your mercy, O God of Mercy. Amen.

In His Mercy,

Mother Michele+

The Vicar’s Voice

Dear Beloved of God,

We had a wonderful annual meeting hearing all about the ministries of St. Paul’s in 2018. I have highlighted many of our accomplishments in my annual address and would like to add some additional comments I made about our future. I’m not “new here” any more, therefore, it is time to try new things. Some will be fruitful and some will fail. We must try anyway. In doing new things we must be gentle and kind with one another and give each other the benefit of doubt instead of thinking the worst. We need to focus on inviting others to come to St. Paul’s and experience God’s great love for them.

We have some practical things that need to be accomplished. We need to build a storage closet downstairs. We need to sort and clear space for all the new things God has in store for us. We need to create an inviting place for our youth to gather and learn. We need to seek ways to invite our Sharing Closet clients and those we encounter in our fundraising efforts to join us in worship. We need to see to their physical needs, as well as their spiritual needs.

Our Adult Sunday morning study during Advent focused on Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s “Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life”. We heard about Turning, Learning, Praying, Worshiping, Blessing, Going and Resting as a way of establishing “Our Rule of Life”. At our Annual Meeting we watched a short video from our Presiding Bishop telling us about these teachings. You can access this video www.stpaulsplymouthwi.com.

It is an exciting time to be a part of St. Paul’s!! We can see God working in this place with all the different gifts and talents He has given each one of us. We are ALL the Body of Christ, we all have different talents and gifts, we all work for the good of the entire Body. My challenge for each of you is to pray about what this will look like in your life today. Who is your neighbor and how can you invite them to join us in this loving community we call St. Paul’s.

In His Mercy,

Mother Michele+

The Vicar’s Voice:

Dear Beloved of God,

Sunday, December 2nd is the first Sunday of Advent. The season of Advent begins the church year. During this time, when the days are short and the weather is cold, darkness seems to be all around. This is the time when the Church year begins anew. We yearn for the light to return and our days to begin to get longer. We look with expectation and anticipation for the new born baby in the manger, the light of the world. This light comes to us as a helpless tiny baby and shatters the darkness in our lives.

It is also a time when we prepare our hearts for the coming of the King of kings and Lord of lords, when Jesus returns in triumph to make all things new. We take this time to examine our lives in preparation to meet Jesus. To meet him as a helpless child and as the Lord of our lives.

In the hustle and bustle of your Holiday preparations, the baking and decorating and purchasing of gifts, also prepare to meet Jesus. I encourage you pause and take time to seek the Light. Seek Jesus, the light of the world, in everything you do.

In His Mercy,

Mother Michele+

The Vicar’s Voice

It is with thankful hearts that we greet the month of November. This is the month that we focus on all the blessings of our lives. We are thankful for our families, friends and our worshiping community. I am thankful for the hours and hours of time given for our 40th Annual Pancake Breakfast. We served 303 breakfasts that included dining in, carry out and delivery. We made $3321 which includes the craft and bake sale. The people I spoke with were so thrilled to be here. I received an email that said, “My husband and I want to Thank You for the great pancake breakfast. To have it delivered was a real blessing. What a great outreach.” I received a text that said, “I thought the pancakes were exceptionally good today.” We also were blessed to serve many who were able to dine with us because of the wheelchair lift. Someone said to me the cost of the lift was worth every penny because of the joy those who needed it experienced in being part the fellowship and hospitality of the day. I am thankful for the willingness of St. Paul’s to work together to serve one another and our neighbors. In His Mercy, Mother Michele+