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

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+

The Vicar’s Voice

A Vacation Reflection

Jon and I had a wonderful vacation. We travelled nearly 5200 miles, through 15 states. We saw the beauty and majesty of our country. Everything from corn fields literally as far as the eye can see, to the steep mountains and valleys where there is mystery around every corner. We experienced the high desert with sage brush growing in the most unlikely places, and the great Virginia Oaks of the deep south covered in Spanish Moss. We saw balancing stones and the gravity defying stone arches; and the aptly named Grand Canyon, which neither words or pictures can do justice. We experience the grandeur of nature and we stood next to the most powerful manmade object to date the Saturn 5 rocket that propelled humans to the moon. We experienced the cultures of the First Nations and we got to spend time with our bestie, Bobbi.

Through all our travels we saw people. We experienced the wonderful diversity of nationality and language and culture and the absolute sameness in all the differences. We found the people of this nation and those who were visiting from other lands to be patient, kind, generous and polite. Even in the most crowded tourist places, there was a congeniality among everyone, waiting for a picture to be taken, giving someone a bit of time to take in the vast beauty from the best vantage point, knowing that the same curtesy would be granted to us.

Watching all those strangers we realized that we really all are the same. If you watch long enough in the crowd you can pick out familiar personalities and feel as if you know them. Moms and dads with their children experiencing the awe of creation. Young lovers seeing beauty around them and in each other. Seniors ticking things off their bucket list. Everyone has the same wants and desires, to be seen and loved. When you are on vacation it is easy to relax and let life flow around you. It is easy to enjoy the differences and wonder of it all.

The glory of vacation is you get to do just that, vacate, put your life on hold and clear your mind. I knew our vacation was long enough when I wanted to get back to all that is familiar, back to my loved ones, back to real life.

In His Mercy,

Mother Michele and Jon Whitford