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"The Curate" September 2021

Updated: May 18, 2022

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

I’ve had ample opportunity to consider how I personally approach learning. In fact, my doctorate was in Chemical Education, centered around the thesis that there exist certain nuances to learning Chemistry that are unique to that particular subject. Needless to say, I love learning and am a life-long learner. One facet which I hope to pass on to those I have the opportunity to teach, that includes you all at St. Philip’s, is that learning never stops and most importantly to approach every opportunity to learn as if you were seeing it for the first time, as a beginner.

I didn’t have a name for this mindset until I discovered a book one day titled Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki. The idea is to always practice approaching a task, a lesson, anything really, with the mind of a beginner, open to being taught something new. The author writes, “In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few” (Prologue).

Now, lest you think Christianity has nothing to say about this notion of beginner’s mind, hear from the Gospel according to Mark:

People were bringing little children to him in order that he might touch them;

and the disciples spoke sternly to them. But when Jesus saw this, he was

indignant and said to them, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop

them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you,

whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter

it.” (Mk 10.13-15, NRSV)

On the surface this may not speak of the beginner’s mind, however if we ask the question, “What does it mean to be like a little child?” We might surely say that a young child is curious above all, asking more questions than answers received, seeing things for the first time, trying to make sense of the world around them. Think of an infant even, that gets to know his or her surroundings by touching, chewing, tasting. If anyone has an innate beginner’s mind, it is most certainly a beginner in life, a child.

This begs a major question: Have you kept your beginner’s mind? Do you study scripture today with the same expectation to learn new things as you had when you first encountered it? Do you seek to learn more about your own faith as much now as you did when it was new to you? Do you listen to God with the same expectancy of learning something new as you once did? Do you foster your beginner’s mind as a Christian? Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.” Are we such as those little children? Or, do we have it all figured out, experts with few possibilities? Or, are we beginner’s, with many possibilities?

I hope I never claim to have it all figured out, to believe that I have nothing new to learn. I hope that I make decisions to foster my beginner’s mind. I encourage you to consider joining “Practicing Our Faith” each Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. to feed your beginner’s mind, to approach your own faith with the seriousness with which you approach the scripture that speaks of the God of our faith. What might our Lord teach us, if we are teachable?

Faithfully yours in Christ,

Fr. Justin Briggle


The next DOK meeting will be Sunday, October 3rd at 11:45 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

The next meeting will be Monday,

September 20th at 6:00 p.m. in the Parish Hall.

There will be no ECW meeting for the month of September. The next meeting will be Tuesday, October 12th at 10:30 a.m. in the Parish Hall.

September Birthdays

5 Sara Minton

13 David Sullivan

17 Betty Martin

20 Eden & Lennox Raum

23 Clarissa Delany

23 Joy Rhodes

28 Bart Norton

28 Susan Taylor

September Anniversaries

12 David & Linda Brown

July 2021 Year to Date

Beginning Balance $94,612.96 $83,409.68

Income $10,843.29 $107,911.29

PPP Loan Funding — $23,050.00

Total Expenses $21,136.00 $130,050.72

Ending Balance $84,320.25 $84,320.25


Ushers - September 2021

Curt Winkler.

Ushers - October 2021

To be Announced.

Altar Guild Schedule:

September 2021

Sept. 4–10 Team 1 Nancy Waggoner, Sherry Snow

Linens: Joann Evans

Sept. 11–17 Team 2 Becky Myers, Cathy Summers, Julie Law

Linens: Kirsten Knippers

Sept. 18–24 Team 3 Alex Nemer, Vicki Winkler

Linens: Vicki Winkler

Sept. 25–Oct. 1 Team 4 Sara Minton, Kathy Stites, Hilda Garcia-Castillo

Linens: Jeanette George

Lay Minister Schedule:

Sunday 10:30 a.m. Holy Eucharist II

Sept. 5 Carol Ann Chidlaw Proper 18B Sept. 12 Barbara Kolstad Proper 19B Sept. 19 Sparky Kolstad Proper 20B Sept. 26 Phillip Morton Proper 21B

Wednesday 5:30 p.m. Healing Eucharist

Sept. 1 Scott Nicholson

Sept. 8 Phillip Morton

Sept. 15 Sparky Kolstad Holy Cross Day

Sept. 22 Carol Ann Chidlaw St. Matthew

Sept. 29 Scott Nicholson St. Michael & All Angels


Palestine Regional Medical Center Emergency Department Appreciation meal and basket preparation was underway on September 7th in the Parish Hall and kitchen. Thank you to everyone who donated snacks for the baskets!

Palestine Regional Medical Center Emergency Department Appreciation meal and basket preparation was underway on September 7th in the Parish Hall and kitchen. Thank you to everyone who donated snacks for the baskets!


St. Philip’s Episcopal Church Greeting Card Ministry, headed by Marian Rainey, meets once a month to fill out anniversary, birthday, and “get well soon”/sympathy cards for our members. The next meeting is on September 28th at 10:30 a.m.

Join us for Christian Formation at 9:15 a.m. on Sundays. "Practicing our Faith" for Adults & Youth and "Godly Play" for children.


Devotional from Our Senior Warden:

FOOD FOR THOUGHT by Barbara Kolstad, Senior Warden

The devotional below entitled “Hidden Weakness” is from one of my favorite authors of his book that I read on a daily basis and the passage of scripture, Psalm 41:1 he refers to reminds me of the beatitude in Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Before you read his devotional, please consider the following meaning of this beatitude as broken down by one bible commentary. Blessed means happy and this emotion is often dependent on outward circumstances. “Blessed” here is described as the ultimate well-being and spiritual joy of those who share in the salvation of the kingdom of God. Further, “poor in spirit” described as in contrast to the spiritually proud and self sufficient. Finally, “theirs is the kingdom of heaven” is described as the kingdom is not something earned, but it is more a gift than a reward.

HIDDEN WEAKNESSBlessed is he who has regard for the weak. Psalm 41:1 NIV

Weakness in others takes all kinds of forms and some of them are easy to overlook.

Sometimes, of course, a person’s weakness is obvious: a chronic illness, a physical disability, a destructive habit or addiction. Sometimes it is less obvious (but no less real): a tendency to make bad decisions, a personality trait that alienates others, a destructive habit no one knows about. And then there are the weaknesses we may never detect because the person has successfully hidden them from others—and even from themselves. Often those who seem to be the strongest on the outside are the weakest on the inside.

But God sees our weaknesses, and He sees the weaknesses in others as well. And just as He wants to help us deal with our own weaknesses, so He wants to use us to help others deal with theirs. Ask God to make you sensitive to those around you who are weak—whatever their weakness may be—and to help them, both in practical ways and by pointing them to Christ and His transforming power and love.

Final thought - Pray today that God will make you aware of the needs of those around you and show how you can be a help to them that is, the “poor in spirit”. Consider contributing food to the Blessing Box or making a contribution to the Fund for the Poor. Let us live joyfully in all circumstances! -Amen

August 2021 Junior Warden Report:

· Water heater removed and cabinet taken out to be replaced.

· New cabinet in and doors painted.

· Microphone system in Paris Hall North and East wall receptacles not

working properly. Music Store in Palestine closed. Need to find another


· Received notice of Liberty Power holdings bankruptcy. Contact

representative-notice only, no action required.

· High speed internet company dug up ground at N.East corner of

property between curb and sidewalk. Hit gas line, Atmos repaired. Hit

sprinkler system, ground work crew repaired. They will compact dirt

and replace grass.

Phillip O. Morton, RN, Junior Warden St. Philip’s Episcopal Church


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

Parish Assistant: Malane Nix 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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