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  • Writer's pictureParish Office

"The Curate" May 2021

Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

I pray that you are all having a continued blessed Easter season. We celebrate our Lord Jesus Christ’s Resurrection for fifty days, “The Great Fifty Days” we call them, culminating in our celebration of the Holy Spirit’s descent upon the disciples on The Day of Pentecost. As we consider Pentecost, oftentimes referred to as the Church’s birthday, it seems appropriate to think about beginnings. That first Pentecost marked a kind of beginning of the early church.

As we see more of our residents find access to a COVID-19 vaccine, we begin to see a light at the end of this seemingly endless tunnel. For those of you who have joined us in-person for worship you will have noticed some of that light as our guidelines loosen ever so slightly. We’re in a position to think about beginnings, really beginning again as we approach the light on the other side of the tunnel. I say beginning again because we were on a growing trajectory when the pandemic hit us; our attendance numbers were steadily climbing, our choir was really starting to grow and learn new things, Christian Formation was growing, our ministries were thriving, but those have all diminished. St. Philip’s finds itself in a place in need of a restart, if you will. And quite frankly, that’s an exciting place to be. It’s a bit like a child gleefully staring at a box full of Legos of all colors and piece types with only their imagination as a limit to what they will build. Well, we of course have boundaries and limits, we are Episcopalian after all and love the Liturgy that nurtures and feeds us to do the work God calls us to do.

So, how shall we begin again? I’d like to suggest that we look at another question first: What’s important to us as Episcopalians in Palestine? Or maybe, what should be important to us as Episcopalians in Palestine?

As your Rector, I’m thinking about some things we could do to be more welcoming to younger families, even those with young children. In other words, I’m examining concrete steps to demonstrate to someone who walks through our doors on a Sunday morning with young children that we love them and have thought about them joining us before they arrive, that we’ve got resources available to help them as parents. That might be some members who are willing to serve as nursery workers when (I’m avoiding saying “if”) the need arises. That means at least two of our members that attend regularly and who have completed Safeguarding God’s Children being willing to step up. If that’s you, contact me ASAP. It might also mean having a space that is welcoming to young children in the Nave, during worship. Some parents do want their children with them during worship, it’s how children learn what’s important. Sometimes a new parent needs a community to love them and offer a helping hand, literally, during Holy Eucharist. A family may have

moved to Palestine recently and have no friends or family until they meet you on a Sunday morning.

I would also like to form an Outreach Task Force to look at how we should be serving our community. I don’t know what that looks like, but I’ll bet many of you have some ideas of how St. Philip’s can be the hands and feet of Jesus in Palestine. If you are especially interested in this, contact me ASAP.

We’re coming up on the celebration of the Church’s birthday at Pentecost, the celebration of a new beginning. Let us consider how we at St. Philip’s might begin, again. This is an exciting time to allow God to utilize our varied gifts and talents and to be Jesus to our neighbors.

Continued Easter Blessings,

Fr. Justin Briggle


The next DOK meeting will be on Sunday, May 2nd, at 11:45 a.m. in the Parish Hall. Masks and social distancing required. The meeting will also be available via Zoom, with details to follow.

To be announced.

The next ECW meeting will be on Tuesday,

May 11th, at 10:00 a.m. in the Parish Hall with

limited seating. Masks and social distancing required. Also available via Zoom with details to follow.

May Birthdays

2 Danette Gouras

2 Ronald Strominger

4 Robert Snow

5 Martha Garcia-Castillo

5 Chris Gouras

15 Hilda Garcia-Castillo

15 Deborah Morton

18 Margo Elkouri

21 Gary Thomas

23 Mark Christopher Ellis

25 Kirsten Knippers

26 Alec Law

May Anniversaries

20 David & Stephanie Sullivan

March 2021 Year to Date

Beginning Balance $79,887.17 $83,409.68

Income $26,813.75 $59,707.79

PPP Loan Fundin $4,977.55 $4,977.55

Total Expenses $18,964.84 $55,381.39

Ending Balance $92,713.63 $92,713.63


Please consider contributing for Altar Flowers on a Sunday morning in Thanksgiving for an anniversary, birthday, or other blessing or in memory of someone. Contact the church office

to sign up for your Sunday.

We wish our organist, Joshua Lang, well as he wraps up his time serving here at St. Philip’s and embarks on his next


In thanks for Ginger Brown on Administrative Professionals Day.


Junior Warden Report for April 2021:

• Martin replaced weather stripping on Parish Hall Door. Opens and closes well now.

• Discussed forming Safety Committee with emphasis on proposed

security system for church.

• Installed first filtered bottle filling station with drinking fountain in Parish Hall.

· Ice Maker in line filter replaced and machine back in service.

• Began installation process for 2nd filtered bottle filling station with

drinking fountain in site of existing water fountain.

· Martin replaced pew cushions, hymnals, and BCPs in Nave.

Phillip O. Morton, RN

Junior Warden of St. Philip’s Episcopal Church


Rector: Fr. Justin Briggle Cell: (512) 799-9365

Parish Assistant: Ginger Brown Treasurer: Melissa F. Cox

Sexton: Martín Rodríguez Organist/Choirmaster:

Vestry Members


Bill Fraser

Phillip Morton, Jr. Warden

Tucker Royall

Bob Snow


Barbara Kolstad, Sr. Warden

Pat Redding

Mike Tisdale

Nancy Waggoner


Melissa Cox, Treasurer

Alex Nemer, Clerk

Vincent Salaz

Joan Strominger

Normal Office Hours: Monday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m.

Closed Federal and Occasional Church Holidays

Phone: (903) 729-4214 Fax: (903) 729-8691

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