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"The Curate" September 2020

Rector's Corner

St. Philip’s Parishioners,

We just celebrated our 14th Sunday in a row of in-person worship at St. Philip’s since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic! That is no small feat! Many of my clergy friends are struggling mightily with the continued delay of in-person worship and my heart goes out to them and their congregations—we have been extremely fortunate! It is my fervent prayer that the precautions we are taking continue to keep all of you safe and to allow us this luxury of viably gathering together as we do.

As I think on this period of time we find ourselves in, which I reflect on quite often as it has completely changed the nature of my own vocation, I discover within myself the harsh reality that I cling too easily upon the negative and readily forget to observe the silver lining of the cloud. We have the opportunity to worship either in-person or online in ways that were not available to us half a year ago! And certainly these ways of worship available to us would have been completely foreign to our brothers and sisters in Christ at St. Philip’s during the Spanish Influenza of 1918.

We have never stopped worshipping our Lord at St. Philip’s during this pandemic, nor do we intend to stop, we’ve adapted to what life has brought our way with a resiliency that should accompany any serious follower of Jesus who has found their faith tested. 2020 was never canceled and neither was our worship of our Lord! Of course, change has been an inevitable aspect to our lives during this pandemic, and yet change is what brings about growth.

I give God thanks for challenges that bring about growth for us all during this unforgettable year, may we find ourselves transformed daily in our lives in Christ as we continue to face hardships that lie ahead. This may yet be the year we’ve learned more than any to take up our cross and follow Jesus.

I leave you with a rather popular poem I ran across last Sunday afternoon, written by Leslie Dwight. If anything, this poem has identified a silver lining in 2020.

What if 2020 isn’t cancelled?

What if 2020 is the year we’ve been waiting for?

A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw —

that it finally forces us to grow.

A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us

from our ignorant slumber.

A year we finally accept the need for change.

Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.

A year we finally band together, instead of

pushing each other further apart.

2020 isn’t cancelled, but rather the most important year of them all.

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Fr. Justin Briggle +


The Fall Assembly for the Daughters of the King Diocese of Texas is September 19th, 8:30 a.m.

to 1:00 p.m., and in the Parish Hall via Zoom. If you wish to attend please notify Deborah Morton. No need to register. Deborah will handle the group. If you want to stay home and attend, Fr. Justin said he would be happy to walk you through setting up Zoom on your computer. It is not hard. You will need to register through the computer.

SMG Zoom Meeting will be September 21st at 10:00 a.m. Details were sent out via email. For questions, email

(Letter from Joan on page 6.)

September Birthdays

5 Sara Minton

13 David Sullivan

20 Eden Raum

20 Lennox Raum

23 Clarissa Delaney

28 Bart Norton

28 Susan Taylor

September Anniversaries

David & Linda Brown

Ushers - September 2020

Curt Winkler.

Ushers - October 2020

To be decided.

July 2020 Year to Date

Beginning Balance $88,004.05 $97,586.72

Total Income $9,165.50 $129,029.61

Total Expenses $23,579.68 $148,711.36

Ending Balance $73,589.87 $77,904.97


Now that we are meeting again for in person worship, please consider contributing for Altar Flowers on a Sunday morning in Thanksgiving for an anniversary, birthday, or other blessing or in memory of someone. To give please call Nancy Waggoner at 903-727-2030 or the Church Office at 903-729-4214.

Altar Guild:

Aug 29 – Sept 4------Team 4 Sara Minton, Kathy Stites, Hilda Garcia-Castillo

Linens: Jeanette George

Sept 5 – Sept 11------Team 1 Nancy Waggoner, Sherry Snow, Lucie Broyles

Linens: Joanne Evans

Sept 12 – Sept 18----Team 2 Becky Myers, Cathy Summers, Julie Law

Linens: Kirsten Knippers

Sept 19 – Sept 25----Team 3 Alex Nemer, Vicki Mayberry-Winkler Linens: Vicki Mayberry-Winkler

Sept 26 – Oct 2 ------Team 4 Sara Minton, Kathy Stites, Hilda Garcia-Castillo

Linens: Jeanette George

Lay Minister Schedule:

September 2020 Reader/Server

Sunday 9/6 10:30 Scott Nicholson

Sunday 9/13 10:30 Phillip Morton

Sunday 9/20 10:30 Barbara Kolstad

Sunday 9/27 10:30 Sparky Kolstad


Dr. C.L. (Sparky) Kolstad leading us in Liturgy of the Word.

Thanks to everyone for helping us keep our Blessing Box filled!

It’s here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to help meet immediate

needs in our community.


Hymn Singing: A Deeper Look, Part 1

Dear Parishioner’s of St. Philip Episcopal Church,

Now is a wonderful time for us to refocus our minds on what hymn singing is all about. While those of you attending in person as congregants are not allowed to sing, due to our current restrictions, those of you at home can. We recently began publishing hymn numbers for Holy Eucharist in the bulletin so you may do so. I want us to take a deeper look into the texts and the tunes of the hymns we know and love.

You see, hymn writing is a work of art. You can either start the creative process by working with a text, an existing tune, or write your own new tune, or new text. The original source of the text can vary greatly. Some hymn texts come from Psalms, others from scripture, some are original poetry, and others are a mixture of any of the above. Numerous hymns were originally in a different language. Whether German, Latin, French, etc., all of them had a translator at some point so we could enjoy singing these foreign tunes to vernacular text.

All hymn texts have two attributes: rhyme and meter. The meaning of rhyme is obvious, but meter not so much. Let us look at meter in one of the hymns from a few weeks ago, number 544 in The Hymnal 1982, the text “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun” set to the tune Duke Street. This hymn text comes from the great hymn writer, Isaac Watts. The meter of the hymn is 88.88, commonly known as “long meter (LM).” The eights refer to syllables in the phrase. Let us look at the first eight syllables: “Jesus shall reign where’er the sun.” And the second eight: “doth his successive journeys run.” The third eight: “his kingdom stretch from shore to shore.” And the last eight syllables: “till moons shall wax and wane no more.” See how the 88.88 pattern matches the metrics in the syllables in each phrase? Keep in mind the original texts are rarely set to rhyme and meter. That is something the hymn writer must do; rearrange the text/words to make it fit rhyme and meter. To see an example of this, compare hymn text 404 “We will extol you, ever blessed Lord” to the Psalm it is based off of, Psalm 145. Compare that text to the hymn and you will observe the craftiness required to turn a non-metrical and non-rhyming text into a singable hymn! Now, the meter must also match the tune that the composer/author wishes to use. We will go into that in the next edition of this article. Stay tuned!

Joshua Lang,



ECW Update:


I feel somewhat remiss in my duties as President of the Episcopal Church Women. We are all going through many uncomfortable changes with this Covid-19 Virus.

I have checked via the church diocese to try to understand how ECW can continue on as our new meeting year approaches. The answer was uncomfortable but not impossible. We will need to meet online in some form or fashion. I am diligently trying to grasp this new challenge myself. Please bear with me in my efforts to get and keep us together.

I have been attending church online with many of you and in person most recently. I understand your concerns and fears. The church itself is set up and I feel extremely comforted by all the efforts done for our safety. Each week I have noticed an increase in the numbers attending. It was comforting to see two of our doctor parishioners in person this past Sunday. I must say if they feel safe, who else would better know!

I am endeavoring to add each of you to my email list, so we can stay in touch better. I am also making an appointment with Father Justin to add Zoom to my laptop computer. We will all endure these challenges together.

May God keep you wrapped in his loving arms.

Joan Strominger


Junior Warden Report for July-August:

July 2020

1. A/C unit supplying hallway between old kitchen and double doors to Children’s

Chapel froze up. Contacted Palestine Heat and Air for evaluation. Noted compressor

functioning. Recommend replacing complete system as it is many years old. Vestry

approved and job completed.

2. Flood lights in Nave not working. Cfl bulb defective; replaced bulb with incandescent. Will replace with LED asap.

3. Concern with water bill monthly as bill had much increased . Contacted Water

Depart ment - Rate increase in October explained reason as no change in decades.

August 2020

1. Leak in Narthax reported. Water coming down from overhead light onto table with

electronic thermometer damaged. Fr. Justin placed thermometer in container of rice to de-humidify. Functions well now. In investigating how water descended onto light, it was realized that maybe the recent “driving” rain and wind may have blown water through the louvers on side of bell tower. In the event there was a leak on top of the bell tower, Alex Nemer was contacted and requested a drone mission with video

evaluation of top of bell tower to identify any potential source. None identified.

2. Medallions around the hand rails on North side of Church are loose. All have been

re- cemented and finishing nails applied as needed. Will paint next.

3. Sanded discolored grout on North steps.

4. Removed old door sweep on South Parish Hall door and replaced with new to prevent vectors from entering.

5. Narthax overhead light bulb not working. Plan to replace with LED asap.



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

Parish Assistant: Ginger Brown Treasurer: Melissa F. Cox

Sexton: Martín Rodríguez Organist/Choirmaster: Joshua Lang

Vestry Members


Joan Strominger

Gary Thomas

Terry Thorn, Sr. Warden

Jamie Ward


Bill Fraser

Phillip Morton, Jr. Warden

Tucker Royall

Bob Snow


Barbara Kolstad

Pat Redding

Mike Tisdale

Nancy Waggoner

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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