Category Archives: All Events

Phased return to in person gatherings

Greetings St. Paul’s,

Two months ago, our Diocesan bishops issued a pastoral directive in response to COVID-19 asking the parishes of the Diocese of North Carolina to suspend public worship, in-person gatherings, and in-person pastoral care for eight weeks. As we reach the end of those eight weeks, they have issued a new, four-stage plan for re-opening our churches and returning to public worship. These stages move, mostly, in concert with our governor’s three phases for re-opening the state, and both use specific downward trends in public health markers as indicators for when to transition from one stage to the next. I commend the full document, outlining all four stages, to your reading. 

For the sake of this letter, however, I want to highlight specifically Stages One and Two. They represent “what happens next” and help provide a sense of what our summer will look like at St. Paul’s. As a reminder, the broad strokes of these two stages are as follows:

Stage One:

Where we are now. Worship Gatherings and church meetings are happening online. The Church staff is working from home while pastoral care is offered over the phone and online.

Stage Two:

During Stage Two, worship gatherings can expand indoor participation to 25 people (35 people outdoors) in spaces where social distancing can be practiced. Masks, as well as other tracing and screening protocols, must be observed, and the Holy Eucharist may be offered in the “spiritual communion” paradigm we have become familiar with during Holy Week. The church offices can re-open for staff, but social distancing, sanitation, and mask protocols must be practiced. Also, groups of smaller than 15 may consider gathering in properly ventilated church spaces that are large enough to accommodate appropriate social distancing and using mask protocols.

The earliest we will be transitioning from Stage One to Stage Two in the Diocese of North Carolina is now July 1. This is an estimate rather than a fixed date, but our bishops are hopeful that conditions will allow for it. Which means three things for us today:

1.) Sunday Morning Streaming Will Continue

We have had great success in our live streaming thanks to the talents and dedication of Jason Franklin as well as the generous parishioners who loaned us equipment. It is clear now, however, that live streaming is something we need to figure out how to continue indefinitely. So, the church has already enhanced our internet service, and we are allocating resources to upgrade and expand our video equipment. This will allow for live streaming to remain part of St. Paul’s common life both now and when worshippers start returning to the nave.

2.) We Are Making a Plan for Re-Opening

Part of the Diocesean directive requires each parish to develop a strategy for opening once Stage Two arrives. As you can imagine, this has a lot of moving parts and will require careful discernment. The clergy and staff are currently working on that plan as it relates to both work and worship so that, when it is time to safely re-open St. Paul’s, we will be ready. As July 1 nears, we will let you know more.

3.) The Church Staff Plans to Return to the Office in July

Stage Two marks the first time that the staff may return to work in the office. How we do this safely has yet to be determined, but it will be part of the plan we submit to the Diocese. Again, we will let you know more before July 1.

Finally, I want to recognize that for some of you, this information will feel comforting because there is a plan. However, for others of you, it will feel like the dropping of a boom. Two months ago, we had no idea how long this would last or how pronounced the impact of COVID-19’s would be. The truth is, we still do not, but I know we all hoped it would be better by now. The fact that it is not presents another level of grieving and adapting to another new normal, which takes its toll on our hearts. So, never forget that God is in this with us, and though it may be a while before we are all back together, none of us are in this alone! We are St. Paul’s, and this is what we do.

Easter Peace and much love friends,

Dixon+

Fifth Week of Easter, 2020

Outreach Update: May 16, 2020

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. We will provide dinner every Thursday night for all shelter guests. The signups are listed below for each week. We are only dropping off the food to their kitchen, not staying to serve.

5/28 Dinner: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-528

6/11 Dinner: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-611

6/18 Dinner: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-618

2. On Thursday, May 21st from 5:00-7:00pm you are invited to join the “Drive Through Donation” event at Christ’s Beloved Community food pantry. They will be collecting donations on Thursday May 21st from 5:00-7:00 pm. They will have volunteers who will take it from the cars to keep within all safe social distance guidelines, and volunteers wear masks and gloves. The address for the pantry is 3205 South Main St. Winston-Salem, NC 27127.

If you would like to donate, but cannot drive to the pantry on 5/21 then please email Rev. Nancy Vaders for pickup options at nvaders@stpauls-ws.org. The food list, as well as other details, can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/237024137401394/

3. We will continue our partnership with The Winston Salem Street School, The Porch Kitchen and Cantina and Front Street Capital to provide take-home frozen meals to Street School students and their families. These meals are distributed every Wednesday to students. If you’d like more information about this collaboration and/or are interested in being a sponsor please contact Nancy Vaders at nvaders@stpauls-ws.org

4. The BackPack Program continues to feed hungry children during this time even when they are not in the school buildings. Given permission by the Second Harvest Food Bank, we are distributing our regular bags of food through South Fork Elementary School and Bolton Elementary School cafeterias. To date, six volunteers have delivered more than 1000 packets of BackPack food to the families who arrive at the school for lunches provided by the school system. Our meals help with weeknight and weekend food for these children. St. Paul’s will continue to take this food to the schools through the current school year and will start again when school opens in the fall.

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.

Rev. Nancy Vaders

Director of Outreach Ministries

Questions on the Road to Emmaus: Resources for Small Groups

View the doc here >>

Greetings St. Paul’s!

On the Third Sunday of Easter (Aril 26), I preached a sermon about Jesus meeting his disciples on the road to Emmaus. My suggestion was that, like Cleopas and his companion, it’s time for us to start asking questions about what our life will look like when we return to a new normal as a parish and as a people. Curiosity, it seems, is part of how we discern and participated in resurrection and so I proposed four questions that would help us do this good work. I also challenged our church to start asking them now.

This is a resource I’ve put together to go deeper with these questions. It is a guide to use with your small group, circle meeting, or family devotional time. I’ve given you three options for exploring the questions in one session or four sessions.

This season is hard and sad, but it is also Easter. That makes questions like these all the more appropriate. Resurrection doesn’t ignore the tragic, awful, and painful, instead, it includes it. Because resurrection is a power so great it can bring good out of even the most horrible circumstances, then we, while still lamenting, dare to look for hope.

I hope these questions help us in that process!

Easter Peace,

Dixon+

The link to the sermon is here: https://stpaulswinstonsalem.org/church-from-home/
and the message begins at 28:31

reNEWal Update

reNEWal Capital Campaign Financial Update as of March 31, 2020

PLEDGES COLLECTED TO DATE*: $6,009,534

CONSTRUCTION COSTS TO DATE**: $7,303,142

BORROWED FUNDS: $700,714

MONTHLY INTEREST EXPENSE: $1,752

PROJECTED TOTAL INTEREST EXPENSE: $42,000

As you may have seen in pictures, the 1928 exterior is refreshed and looking beautiful!

Thank you for your support of this campaign!

We continue to receive reNEWal pledge payments and gifts via mail and the website.

Please contact Margaret Turner is you have any questions about your payment schedule.

Outreach Update: New Volunteer Opportunities

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 and May. The signups are listed below for each week. We are only dropping off the food to their kitchen, not staying to serve.

5/7 Dinner Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-57dinner

5/14 Dinner Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-514

5/21 Dinner Signup: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60B094CA9AB28AAFB6-521

2. We have begun a partnership with The Winston Salem Street School, The Porch Kitchen and Cantina and Front Street Capital to provide take-home frozen meals to Street School students and their families. These meals are distributed every Wednesday to students. If you’d like more information about this collaboration and/or are interested in being a sponsor please contact Nancy Vaders at nvaders@stpauls-ws.org

3. Thank you all for the generosity and support you have shown for our Summer Enrichment program through your Easter offering gifts. We raised over $5000.00 and that money will go directly into program planning which includes meals, transportation and field trips. Thank you St. Paul’s!

4. 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 nvaders@stpauls-ws.org

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.

Rev. Nancy Vaders

Director of Outreach Ministries

What to watch in Eastertide

Streaming movies and TV shows was already a way of life before shelter in place, but now that we are all hunkered down at home, binge-watching some good (or not so good) media on your preferred streaming service is more necessary than ever. Here is a list of shows and films, reviewed and curated by the staff of St. Paul’s, that are perfect for watching during this strange season of Easter.

Derry Girls

Type: Television Show
Rating: TV-MA
Watch on: Netflix
Release date: 2018
Seasons: 3
Recommended by: Jason Franklin, Director of Communications

Why it’s good: Set in the 1990s during “The Troubles,” one of the most unstable times in Northern Ireland’s history, the show captures how everyday life continues even during history-defining, traumatic moments. This show is at times hilarious and dramatic. I recommend watching with the subtitles on (even though it is in English) and watch it just for the hilarious nun, Sister Michael (played by Siobhan McSweeney) and the jokes about Protestants and Catholics.

Family-Friendly Alternative: Onward, streamed on Disney+ because it is about brothers on an epic journey to resurrect their father.

Derry Girls, Netflix

Evelyn

Type: Film
Rating: PG
Watch on: Amazon Prime
Release date: 2002
Recommended by: Peggy Slater, Afternoon Receptionist and Administrative Assistant

Why it’s good: Set in Dublin, Ireland, this is a true story about a father (Pierce Brosnan) facing impossible odds to keep his young family together after the government sends his daughter Evelyn and two young sons to an orphanage. The case eventually ends up in Ireland’s Supreme Court. This story starts out on a path of hopelessness and ends in joy – an especially relevant Eastertide message!

Evelyn, MGM Distribution Co. (available on Amazon Prime)

Queer Eye

Type: Television Show
Rating: TV-14
Watch on: Netflix
Release date: 2018
Seasons: 5
Recommended by: Kris Cox, Executive Director, Read Write Spell

Why it’s good: Five friends, known as the “Fab Five”, team up to help out members of the community who are seeking a life change. The Fab Five bring their expertise in the areas of fashion, self-care, home renovation, nutrition, and emotional literacy with the shared goal of empowering each episode’s subject, who they call their “hero.” A very uplifting and positive show!

Queer Eye, Netflix

Anne with an E

Type: Television Show
Rating: TV-PG
Watch on: Netflix
Release date: 2017
Seasons: 3
Recommended by: The Rev. Nancy Vaders, Director of Outreach

Why it’s good: “Anne with an E”, is a take on Lucy Montgomery’s Anne of Green Gables, and it is full of all the same wonderful characters you know from the book, with a fresh take on the story. Like Eastertide, it’s a wonderful journey of wonder, joy and new beginnings!

Anne with an E, Netflix

Love Actually

Type: Film
Rating: R
Watch on: Amazon Prime (HBO or for rental/purchase)
Release date: 2003
Recommended by: The Rev. Lauren Villemuer-Drenth, Director of Children’s Ministries

Why it’s good: It is about love of all kinds and new beginnings (and “Love actually is all around.”)

Family-Friendly Alternative: Balto, streamed on Amazon Prime (rental or purchase) because it is an animated movie based on a true story about a dog who risked his life to save the child he loved and saved the children of the town. It is about facing challenges and is very uplifting.

Love Actually, Universal Pictures

Waking Ned Devine

Type: Film
Rating: PG
Watch on: Amazon Prime (for rental/purchase)
Release date: 1998
Recommended by: The Rev. Sara Ardrey-Graves, Associate Rector

Why it’s good: It’s a hilarious story about a small village in Ireland that discovers one of their own has won the lottery. A charming tale of what it means to take care of one another as a community.

Waking Ned Devine, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Cookie’s Fortune

Type: Film
Rating: PG-13
Watch on: Netflix
Release date: 1999
Recommended by: Jason Franklin, Director of Communications

Why it’s good: Set in a small, southern town, this is a funny story about an eccentric family centered around the death of a wealthy old matriarch. The story begins on Good Friday and features a fantastic cast (Glenn Close, Julianne Moore, Liv Tyler, Patricia Neal.)

Cookie’s Fortune, October Films

Parishioners Create Project Mask – WS

by Nancy Montgomery

In the midst of this Coronavirus crisis, one of the most positive things we can do is to look at the needs directly in front of us, here and now, and take action on something we can control.  An inspiring example of this has emerged in the past few weeks as several St. Paul’s parishioners have initiated and participated in a project which is making thousands of face masks for local healthcare providers. 

On March 20, Melissa Vickers was motivated by a Facebook post about a hospital system in another state requesting its community to sew masks.  She saw the opportunity to do the same thing in our area and reached out to other local contacts to confirm the need.  Melissa got her answer within thirty minutes when she received a request for 150 masks from the birthing unit at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.  With that, Project Mask – WS was born!

Mask production began that very day as Melissa pulled in friends, including Heather Zifchak who, with her mother Elizabeth Morgan, owns Village Fabric Shop.  Heather didn’t hesitate to donate bolts of fabric and yards of elastic and to join arms with Melissa in recruiting a group of volunteers to cut, stitch, and deliver masks.  The ladies created a Facebook group, Project Mask – WS, and as word spread, their Facebook group quickly grew to over 1000 people. 

In one week, mask requests and support exploded as they organized over 400 volunteers in Winston-Salem and made more than 3,600 masks in fulfillment of requests for over 9,400 masks.  Donations for fabrics and supplies also began to pour in, and they raised in excess of $3,500 in donations. Their goal is to pump that money back into the community by supporting local fabric shops and sewing machine retailers. 

Each mask is carefully measured, cut, and stitched according to an approved pattern, and takes under an hour to complete.  Heather adds that each mask receives a special touch from several people.  “The masks are made with love and care by many hands.  Many of us have added prayers both silent and spoken as we prepare the masks for battle.”   After completion, each mask is washed and tumbled dry for sanitizing. Volunteers pick them up on a sewer’s front porch, and they are delivered to fill requests.

The rewards this group is receiving cannot be measured.  As Melissa says, “It is amazing to be a part of this whole endeavor.  Every day we are handing out hundreds of masks, and the feedback we are receiving is heartfelt and appreciative.”  

Heather notes she got involved “…because I couldn’t watch the news all day and night…I needed to use my energy for something good. This project has given me direction and a purpose during this scary time.  I’ve always been a helper, and this is the least I can do to protect local health care providers who are on the front lines fighting this virus.”

With lightning speed, these ladies have harnessed their collective energies to meet a growing need in our community’s response to the coronavirus.  Despite social distancing and shelter-in-place orders, they have organized an efficient operation and have even created an innovative method to stitch 135 masks at a time.  As Heather says, “Take that, Coronavirus!”

Other St. Paul’s parishioners involved are Megan Speziale, Jenny Ryan, Anne Butler, Lucy Paynter, Lisa Rowell, and Stewart Holmes’ mother.  Many others have made donations.  Please consider donating to this project by following directions on the Project Mask WS Facebook page or contacting Katie Sonnen-Lee at ksonnenlee@gmail.com.

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:

Total Eclipse of the Heart by Bonnie Tyler
Added by the Rev. Sara Ardrey-Graves, Associate Rector

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: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-416

4/23 Dinner: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-423

4/30 Dinner: https://www.signupgenius.com/go/60b094ca9ab28aafb6-430

  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 nvaders@stpauls-ws.org

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