All posts by Jason Franklin

Surviving Social Distancing Playlist Update

Thank you to everyone who has enjoyed the Surviving Social Distancing Spotify Playlist!  We asked the staff to provide one new song and they didn’t disappoint. Make sure and follow the playlist to get song updates. You can listen to it here >>

The new songs added to the playlist:

Life on Mars by David Bowie
Added by the Rev. Nancy Vaders, Director of Outreach

Our House by Madness
Added by Margaret Turner, Director of Stewardship

Higher Love, by Whitney Houston, Kygo
Added by Jason Franklin, Director of Communications

Fight Song by Rachel Platten
Added by the Rev. Lauren Villemuer-Drenth, Director of Children’s Ministries 

Nobody Told Me by John Lennon
Added by Peggy Slater, Afternoon Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon & Garfunkel
Added by Bill Rahn, Sexton and Security

You’ve Got a Friend by James Taylor
Added by Bill Rahn, Sexton and Security

Back in the High Life by Steve Winwood
Added by Ellen Young, Morning Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Fats Waller
Added by Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves, Director of Music for Children and Youth

Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, by Johann Sebastian Bach
Added by Caro Humphrey, Bookshop Manager

Someday We’ll Be Together, by Diana Ross & The Supremes
Added by Amy Schell, Clergy Assistant and Worship Publications Coordinator

The Lord Bless you and keep you, by John Rutter
Added by the Rev. Darby Oliver Everhard, Associate Rector


Holy Week Children’s Chapel

This week Children’s Chapels will focus on helping children understand Holy Week. On Palm Sunday, children are encouraged to bring greenery from their garden to yell, “Hosanna!” as we welcome our king. (Time at 11 am).

On Wednesday, we will continue the Faces of Easter, telling the story of Jesus through Good Friday (time at 9:30 am).

On Maundy Thursday, Children’s Chapel will focus on how this Service is different, the story, and what to look for in the telecast service, which follows. (Time is 5 pm)

On Good Friday, Children’s Chapel will focus on the Good Friday Liturgy, the story, and what to look for in the following service. (Time is 11:30 am).

On Holy Saturday, Children’s Chapel will follow the 10:00 am Holy Saturday Service and will focus on the time from Good Friday until Easter Morning.

On Easter, children are encouraged to pick flowers and bring them to Children’s Chapel. Children’s Chapel will focus on the resurrection and new life!!! (Time is 11 am).

For all the chapels, do not forget to find the egg “hidden” and guess the Bible Story it represents.

Ways to Keep Holy Week at Home

Palm Sunday: gather greenery from your yard. During Children’s Chapel, we will wave it and yell, “Hosanna!” Create a “Holy Week” space in your house (a corner or table) and place the greenery as a reminder of the start of the week. You can make a crown for the king and put it in your Holy Week space. A battery-operated candle can be used for prayer time.

Wednesday of Holy Week: at Children’s Chapel we will hear what has happened and what is to come and Jesus as teacher, healer, storyteller, and messiah. Choose a role of Jesus and put a symbol representing that role on their “Holy Week” space. Letting the children choose the object or picture creates a beautiful chance at sharing.

Maundy Thursday: each family member is encouraged to wash each other’s feet or hands before they eat tonight. Add a small towel to the “Holy Week” space.

Good Friday: this is not the end of the story, but an important part of the story! After the service, create a cross from twigs or other objects at home and put it on your “Holy Week” space.

Holy Saturday: To the “Holy Week” space add a picture of the family that is not there with you. We are learning about waiting and missing those not with us.

Easter: have the children pick flowers or draw flowers. Remove all the items from the “Holy Week” space and replace with flowers. This is a big deal!!! This is amazing!

An Outreach Update

During these unprecedented times, Outreach at St. Paul’s remains committed to being a community partner with our neighbors, particularly our neighbors with housing and food needs. We will continue to safely provide food and financial assistance in the upcoming weeks and here is how you can be a part of these ministries:

  1. We are continuing to partner with the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope Family Shelter. Their food needs continue to grow as they are having all their residents shelter in place. We will provide dinner every Thursday night for the entire month of April. The signups are listed below for each week. We are only dropping off the food to their kitchen, not staying to serve.

4/16 Dinner:

4/23 Dinner:

4/30 Dinner:

  1. We are continuing to offer financial assistance, particularly with rental assistance, to ensure that folks can remain in their homes during this health crisis. We are partnering with other downtown churches and nonprofit agencies to take referrals for crisis assistance. If you would like to contribute to the crisis assistance fund or learn more about the process, please reach out to me via email at

Thank you all so much! Your generosity and support during these uncertain and ever-changing times has been extraordinary, and I’m so proud to be a partner with you in the Gospel call to love and serve our neighbors.

The Rev. Nancy Vaders
Director of Outreach Ministries

The 2020 Easter Offering

This year’s Easter Offering will benefit St. Paul’s Summer Enrichment program. In its 48th year, this month-long summer program is open to 1st-9thgraders who live in the Boston-Thurmond neighborhood, as well as those who attend Kids Café during the year. This 4-week program runs during the month of July, and is a combined effort of parishioner volunteers and paid programming staff, who provide a wonderful camp experience that nourishes the mind, body and spirit.

Last year we averaged over 80 children per day, serving two meals each day and providing a variety of classes, activities and field trips! Children who are in middle school also get the chance to spend a week at Kanuga’s Camp Bob at no cost to their families.

Please consider giving to Summer Enrichment this year as a part of our Virtual Easter celebration. We will be utilizing a text to give option for the Easter gift, and you can also still mail in a check to St. Paul’s with Summer Enrichment in the memo line. Thank you all for being a part of this incredible program, we couldn’t do it without you!

Enjoy this video of Summer Enrichment 2019 by Todd Davis.

The Rev. Nancy Vaders
Director of Outreach Ministries

Read Write Spell Update

March 24, 2020

Good Morning Read Write Spell Family;
Yesterday Governor Roy Cooper made the announcement that in-school learning will be suspended until May 15th at the earliest. As tough as this news is, we also know that it’s absolutely necessary to keep you healthy. During this time, we ask that you follow the guidelines given by Governor Cooper, NCDHHS, and the CDC. Wash your hands thoroughly and often, avoid large groups, keep 6 feet away from others, and avoid leaving your house for anything but essential errands like grocery shopping and/or medication pick up. Many stores even offer pick-up and delivery options which allow you to place your order online and avoid public spaces altogether. We will continue to update you as soon as new information becomes available, so please keep checking your emails.
We don’t have a clear idea of what this timeline will look like for our tutors and site-coordinators yet; and May seems like an eon to wait. We can’t say what the other side of this will look like, but we ask that you continue to be patient with us and the schools. As more comes to light and circumstances continue to change, there will be a lot of details to untangle within the district and the state levels; and while it is our sincere hope that you will be able to, don’t expect to go directly back to tutoring on May 15th.
We know you miss your tutees. Please know that we miss YOU, too. The Read Write Spell staff and I have been working on ideas to help you stay connected and engaged with your students as we weather through this. We know that you are all incredibly gifted tutors with innovative ideas to connect with your students – and we want you to connect as often as possible during this uncertain time. For inspiration, April’s Tutor’s Digest E-Newsletter will have ideas for how to connect with your students and each other, as well as resources to share; we hope these will be useful to you.
We’ll get through this together, until then, keep your chins up and your hearts hopeful. If you need anything at all, at any time, please email me: I would love to hear from you.
Love and peace to you all,
Executive Director
Read Write Spell

Surviving Social Distancing: A Playlist!

“Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” – Plato

“I don’t know anything about music, In my line you don’t have to.” -Elvis Presley

Yes, friends, we live in strange times, but many great things happen during strange times (tip: open up any part of your Bible.) But your staff and clergy at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Winston-Salem, N.C. want to help.

That is why our Director of Communications asked the staff to each provide two songs for a “Surviving Social Distancing” playlist available on Spotify here:

Have a listen, and on behalf of the St. Paul’s team, we hope it helps you feel connected to us.

Warning, we are a bit proud to be an odd bunch and our music choices reflect that. In fact, any playlist that includes Carly Rae Jepsen’s, Call Me Maybe, and Cello Suite No. 1 in G Major performed by Yo-Yo Ma is practically mental. So listen with an open mind and enjoy.

About the music choices:

Bill Rahn, Sexton and Security
Eye of The Tiger, by Survivor
“Strengthens and motivates”

Let it Be, by The Beatles
“Comforts and Soothes”

AND —- when we get through this (EDITED OUT),

Here Comes the Sun, by The Beatles
“for obvious reasons”

(and then Bill added)

Live is Life, by Opus
“My all time feel good song. Group from Vienna. Please check out extended version in 2015 video from live concert in Vienna. 6 minutes plus and very uplifting. I look at it almost every day.”

Betsy Reiners, Executive Assistant to the Rector and Membership Coordinator
Spiegel im spiegel, by Arvo Part
“The movement of this song makes me feel happy and sad; the bitter with the sweet.”

The Mystery of Love, by Sufjan Stevens
“This song reminds me of all the different love we feel and need.”

Robin Webster, CPA, Parish Accountant
All you need is love, by The Beatles
“This song reminds me of what it really matters in life. This will help get us through.”

Uptown Funk, by Bruno Mars
“This song is upbeat and it makes me happy. It’s hard not to smile when I hear it.”

Kris Cox, ReadWS Executive Director
Viva La Vida, by Coldplay

There Will Be A Day, by Jeremy Camp
“is a song of hope”

Lean on Me by Bill Withers
“because it’s our family motto”

The Rev. Nancy Vaders, Director of Outreach Ministries
Cigarettes and Coffee, by Otis Redding
“This is a beautiful song about the simple joy of sitting at the kitchen table with someone you love and dreaming about the future.”

Time After Time, by Cindi Lauper
“reminds me of the importance of being present, in all the varying circumstances of our lives. It was also my favorite song that played at the skate rink when I was a kid!”

The Rev. Lauren Villemuer-Drenth, Director of Children’s Ministries
Beautiful Day, by U2
“because it reminds us to celebrate the day and see the beauty in all our circumstances.”

Christmas Lullaby from Songs of a New World (not a Christmas song), by Jason Robert Brown (writer-Broadway play)
“because we have the power to make the world better, wherever we are.”

Tubthumping, by Chumbawumba
“because it is impossible to sit still and it is all about getting up when you feel knocked down.”

The Rev. D. Dixon Kinser, Rector
Beautiful Day by U2
“This was the first single off U2’s 2000 come back record. How do we find hope in the middle of trying and difficult circumstances? The answer: gratitude. It’s a beautiful day, don’t let it get away.”

The Rising by Bruce Springsteen
“‘The Rising’ is the title track off of Springsteen’s first, post 9/11 album. While written as a response to those events, it is now seen more broadly as a universal anthem of resilience and hope. Come on up for the Rising! ’Nuff said.”

Amy Schell, Clergy Assistant and Worship Publications Coordinator
Give Me Jesus – Danny Gokey (he looks a little like Nick!)
“I love the gospel sounds of both. One, of course, is a Christian song and the words and the beat are uplifting to me. I usually look for music to be more upbeat than slow and classical. I enjoy slow and classical, but when I need uplifting I look for more.”

Tomorrow is Today – Billy Joel
“I just discovered both! The Billy Joel song I love because the message of hope and love grows in it, as well as the beat and gospel sound, where it’s not present at first.”

The Rev. Nick VanHorn, Director of Youth Ministries
Graceland, by Paul Simon
“This song is about living with mistakes and moving forward. A story of a man reflecting on the past while he and his son are heading toward Graceland. Paul Simon uses the idea of Graceland as a place for redemption which runs analogous with salvation.”

Awake My Soul, by Mumford & Sons
“A song about love and loss but also leans towards an understanding of accepting of mortality. The song concludes by repeating ‘You were meant to meet your maker’ alluding to the idea that mortality is a gift that allows us to return to God.”

The Rev. Sara Ardrey-Graves, Associate Rector
This too shall pass, by Ok Go
“This song was first recommended to me by a friend who was going to a funeral for a dear friend. To this day, it’s still the song that I think best illustrates letting go and embracing new life at the same time. This isn’t a Spotify link, but the music video they did with band instruments makes me smile:

23rd Psalm, Hylton Stewart (St. John’s, Cambridge choir)
“This Sunday’s psalm is the 23rd Psalm, which is a familiar one we hear often at church. These words of comfort speak to me especially today, when I think about how interconnected we all are, how fragile life can be, and how our good shepherd will always bring us home to green pastures and full tables.”

Peggy Slater, Afternoon Receptionist and Administrative Assistant
“If you don’t have any Beatles, then I think we need Here Comes the Sun and All You Need Is Love. Yes, I will always be old school.”

Ellen Young, Morning Receptionist and Administrative Assistant
I Believe, by Cowboy Mouth
“It’s uplifting in a time of turmoil.”

Jason Franklin, Director of Communications
7, by Prince
“This song is supposedly about the seven deadly sins and I think the lyrics are beautiful, ‘All seven and we’ll watch them fall They stand in the way of love And we will smoke them all.'”

River, by Leon Bridges
“I heard this song once in church and it brought me to tears. It’s about injustice and fear and crying out to God. Very appropriate.”

I’m Good, by The Mowgli’s
“I preached once at my previous parish about both Jonah and Jesus when he’s moody and this was the song I asked the musicians to play after. It’s about learning to value the life you have chosen to live.”

Chris Martin, Volunteer Photographer
Don’t Speak, by No Doubt
“Because sometimes you just don’t want to hear bad news”

Call Me Maybe, by Carly Rae Jepson
“Because even if you’re social distancing, you can still call someone you like”

Dr. Mark Ardrey-Graves, Director of Music for Children and Youth
Evocation to a Friend, The Choir of Canterbury Cathedral
“This song, for 4-part Treble choir, featured at last summer’s RSCM Charlotte Course, sets a lament poem by David Race in which themes of friendship and connection, in the midst of despair and loneliness, are personified as a “bird of hope” – perhaps the Holy Spirit?

Here’s the poem:
In the midst of my despair calls a distant bird of hope
Hanging on the hillside air, single line of silver rope:
O dear friend, call loud and clear, in my desperation hear.
My enemies are heartless, I am nothing in their sight:
My soul cries out in darkness through the everlasting night.
Reach out, enfold me in your care, wipe away the tears of time,
Let my soul unburden here, to rest in time is not a crime:

Be still my friend, I’m with you, the night will pass away, your tears will be the morning dew, your light will shine another day.
O dear friend, call loud and clear, I your desperation hear.”

Troisième Leçon à deux viox pour le mercredy saint, by Catherine Greuillet, Isabelle Desrochers, Philippe Foulon, and Olivier Vernet
“Verses from the Book of Lamentations (1:10-13), sung in Latin, expressively highlight the lament over the destruction of Jerusalem and its allegorical connection to Christ’s suffering and Passion – and give voice to our own inner laments. The composer, François Couperin, saves his most mournful – and hopeful – music for the letters of the Hebrew alphabet (Jod, Lamed, Mem, Nun) that begin each verse.”

The Rev. Darby Oliver Everhard, Associate Rector
I want Jesus to Walk with Me (It’s in the LEVAS 2 #70), by the Bonner Family
“I heard this on Sunday in the live stream of the WNC service and it was beautiful and comforting.

Suite No. 1 in G Major for Solo Cello, BMV 1007:1. Prelude – performed by Yo-Yo Ma (see the Essential Yo-Yo Ma album)
“this is one of my favorites and helps me to center myself on God.”

Dr. John Cummins, Director of Adult Choirs and Organist
St. John Passion, by Bob Chilcott

Requiem, by Dan Locklair

“The choirs really loved performing these works and especially recording the world premiere of Dan’s Requiem. He and his wife Paula are members of St Paul’s.”

Outreach and COVID-19

Outreach at St. Paul’s continues to be about the Gospel call to love and serve our neighbors, however, this will look a little different in the days and weeks to come. Because of COVID-19 restrictions, we will not be volunteering in groups or onsite at community non-profits. However, there are several opportunities in the upcoming weeks where we can make a difference in the lives of some of the more vulnerable folks in our community and we will continue to evolve how to help our community.

1. We are going to partner with the Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, the only shelter in our city that can house children and their families. We will be providing dinner for the shelter guests for the next three weeks on Thursday evenings. We need your help to prepare food for 50 and get it to the Center of Hope for dinner service. We will not stay to serve, only drop off the food at the kitchen door. Here are signups for the next three weeks, and please reach out to me if you have any questions at all.

3/26 Signup:

4/2 Signup:

4/9 Signup:

2. We anticipate Crisis financial needs in our community to steadily increase during this time. Job and food insecurities are a byproduct of the necessary precautionary measures taking place to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and assisting those with acute financial needs is an important part of our outreach ministries. Please consider donating to the financial assistance program using this link and clicking on the “outreach ministries” box. Please email me with any donation specific questions or information.

3. We will keep in continual contact with local shelters and non-profits that serve our most vulnerable neighbors so that when opportunities and needs arise, we can be available to offer assistance. As always, please feel free to contact me at and remember that, even in these uncertain times, we are a community of faith that continues to be a part of God’s healing work in the world.

Rev. Nancy Vaders

Director of Outreach Ministries

An Update for St. Paul’s Novice Choirs and Choristers

For St. Paul’s Novice Choirs:

You have hopefully seen and read the email from the parish that went out earlier today concerning the COVID-19 situation. In the interest of continuing our best practices with due diligence, during this time of increased awareness I have decided to temporarily suspend our Tuesday post-rehearsal snacks. Wednesday suppers will continue as usual; you may have noticed the increased presence of hand sanitizer and signage to remind everyone to wash their hands around the church.

For St. Paul’s Choristers:

You have hopefully seen and read the email from the parish that went out earlier today concerning the COVID-19 situation. In the interest of continuing our best practices with due diligence, during this time of increased awareness I have decided to temporarily suspend our Tuesday pre-rehearsal snacks, and cereal cups on Sunday mornings. We will continue to serve bagels in the choir room on Sunday mornings, but we ask that children please have assistance from a grown-up in preparing a bagel, and only use the cream cheese knives once before discarding.

Wednesday suppers will continue as usual; you may have noticed the increased presence of hand sanitizer and signage to remind everyone to wash their hands around the church. Piano keyboard covers will also remain closed.

Kid’s Café (March 4): Update

WS/FCS and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church recently released similar messages with information and resources concerning the Coronavirus (COVD-19). Consistent with those messages, it is important to emphasize that we are monitoring the situation closely, and we will continue to keep you informed regarding any changes to our policies. The general risk to Kids’ Café participants, staff and volunteers, remains low.

Symptoms of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) are much like a cold or the flu, which results in more deaths every year than is currently widely discussed. The same procedures and precautions should be followed for responding to these viral threats.

Health officials encourage that the best protection is prevention and offer the following suggestions, and we encourage conformity among Kids’ Café participants, staff and volunteers.

  • Follow your doctor’s orders: Stay at home and avoid public contact if you are told to do so.
  • If you have a fever with cold/flu symptoms, refrain from Kids’ Café participation until you have been fever-free (without the aid of fever-reducing medication) for at least 24 hours. 
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with tissues, or cough or sneeze into your inner elbow.
  • Keep your fingers out of your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water. If not available, use alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
  • Get a flu vaccination.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Precautionary measures are in place at Kids’ Café to ensure that hard surface areas such as tabletops, closet handles and laptops are routinely cleaned and disinfected.

Additional informational resources are available at:

Forsyth County Public Health – Coronavirus Information

NCDHHS Questions, Symptoms and Travel Information Coronavirus Information

The North Carolina Division of Public Health has established a call line at 1-866-462-3821 to address general questions about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the general public.