Weekly E-News - May 13, 2020

What About Reopening? 
Discerning a way forward.  

Bishop Reed recently extended the suspension of in-person gatherings through Sunday, May 24

On May 25 the Diocese of West Texas will enter Phase 2 by which Bishop Reed is giving permission for churches to resume a modified form of in-person worship as outlined in the diocesan Guidelines for the Phased Reopening of Churches in West Texas. No church, however, is being required to resume in-person worship. Bishop Reed has asked all churches to continue online offerings even after resuming in-person worship. 

Phase 2 applies only to worship. The suspension of in-person gatherings is still in effect for all other meetings such as Sunday School, vestry, Daughters of the King, Open Table, and twelve step groups. Childcare and the preparation and serving of food or drinks are not permitted under Phase 2. 
Some will welcome the Bishop's decision and others will be frustrated by and disagree with it. These differences do not translate into right or wrong. They reveal the ambiguity and complexity of the situation. We cannot answer the question of reopening as simply as yes or no, now or later. We are discerning and "faithing" our way forward as a diocese, a parish, and individuals.

The vestry and I are working on a plan for resuming in-person worship. Under the diocesan guidelines our plan must address (1) cleaning our buildings and facilities, (2) worship and congregants, and (3) volunteers and employees. The guidelines with which we are working and the plan we are preparing will not eliminate the risks of infection but only manage and hopefully minimize them. Bishop Reed reminded the clergy that while no set of guidelines can be exhaustive, "they are exhausting."

After the vestry approves a plan for St.Philip's it will be submitted for diocesan approval. Following that we will publicize the plan and expectations of attendees, volunteers, and employees two weeks before our first in-person gathering. We have not yet set a date for when that might be but it seems unlikely that we would resume some form of in-person worship before June. 

Some will agree with the plan we prepare, others will not. The plan we are preparing, however, is grounded in love and will be an expression of care and concern for the well-being of the people of St. Philip's and the community of Uvalde.  

As I wrote last week, when we do resume in-person worship it will neither look nor feel like what we have done before. We will be using social distancing and other protective measures including masks. We may be in the building but it won't be like it used to be. It will be good to be back but it will also feel strange, unsettling, and maybe even heart troubling

"Do not let your hearts be troubled," Jesus said. He promises us - whether online or in-person, unmasked or masked, holding hands or six feet apart - "Where two or three are gathered in my name, I am there among them.” 

Please let me know if you have questions, or if you need anything or know of someone who does. 

You remain in my prayers and love.  


Worship and Classes 

Connection through love and technology.

Sunday Morning Worship
We are continuing to live-stream the Sunday service through our Facebook page at 10:30 a.m. each week. The Easter prelude video and music will begin at 10:15 a.m. This Sunday, May 10, is the Sixth Sunday in Easter. Please join us.

Sunday School Classes
Sunday School Classes will continue on Sundays via Zoom. Fr. Mike and Ms. Haag will email you the link and password. They can also be found on the Parishioner's Portal of our website. If you would like to join one of these classes and you do not receive the email, please contact Cyndy

  • 9:15 a.m. Fr. Mike's Book Class - The book study will pick up on page 133.
  • 11:30 Children's Class with Ms. Capt and Ms. Haag.

Thursday Compline
Each Thursday evening at 8:00 p.m. we will gather (in our own homes) via Zoom to pray Compline. Please join us as we pray that "The Lord Almighty grant us a peaceful night and a perfect end." Join the Zoom Meeting Here

The Faith of Baby Sea Turtles
reflection by Cyndy Cowley.

Five years ago in our confirmation class Father Mike Marsh cited the courage of baby sea turtles hatching out on some beach then heading to the sea by the miracle of instinct. Understand: “Their mother was in them.”

What is a “call,” anyway? As in a call to arms? Or a call to love? Or a call to prayer? 

To me, the linchpin of our parish prayer is the line, “O Lord our God, you have called us….” 

In our coronavirus cloister mode, hunkering down over Easter, we were blessed by Scripture–Jesus’ words, “Peace be with you.” The incandescent Christ fresh from the holy place yet walking hospital halls with the “sting of death.” If the meaning of Jesus Christ means pay much attention to the positive, I’ve grappled with hope since Easter. “More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of,” said Tennyson. Read More =>>>


What About Camp This Summer? 

Get away to the hill country, the beach, or the mountains.

As you may know the Diocese of West Texas has an extensive camps and conferences ministry and offers a wide range of opportunities in a variety of settings: Camp Capers in the hill country, Mustang Island Conference Center near Port Aransas, and Duncan Park in the mountains of Colorado.

All there facilities will be open this summer but with a modified schedule as follows:

Camp Capers Summer and Fall Dates

  • Senior High Camp B (July 5 – 11)
    For rising 10th to 12th, and graduated 12th graders
  • Junior High Camp B (July 12 – 18)
    For rising 8th & 9th graders
    Intermediate Camp B (July 26 – August 1)
    For rising 6th & 7th graders
  • Primary Camp B (August 2 – 8)
    For rising 3rd, 4th, & 5th graders
  • Mother/Daughter Retreat (September 11 – 13)
  • Mother/Son and Father/Daughter Retreat (October 9 – 11)

Mustang Island Family Camp Dates

  • Session 3 (June 11 – 14)
  • Session 4 (June 18 – 21)
  • Session 5 (June 25 – 28)
  • Session 6 (July 2 – 5)
  • Session 7 (July 9 – 12)
  • Session 8 (July 16 – 19)
  • Session 9 (July 23 – 26)
  • Session 10 (July 30 – August 2)
  • Session 11 (August 6 – 9)
  • Labor Day Family Camp (September 4 – 7)

Duncan Park Summer and Fall Dates

  • Veteran Family Camp (July 5 – 10)
  • DWTX Family Camp 2 (July 12 – 17)
  • Adult Backpacking Camp, led by the Rev. Mike Marsh (July 19 – 25)
  • DWTX Family Camp 1 (July 26 – 31)
  • Book of Nature Retreat, led by the Rev. Mike Marsh (August 20 – 24)
  • Enneagram and Spiritual Practice Retreat, led by Lucy Strandlund (September 3 – 7)
Get more information and details on the St. Philip's website.

May Birthdays
2    Betty Hilderbran
3    Harlee Haag, Darrell Zimmerman
4    Backor McLaughlin
6    Bob Huddleston
7    Mike Stroff
9    Becky Capt
13  Pepper Kinzer
15  Michael Stroff
16  Bobbie Jean Low
18  Brenda Harrison, Steven McNew
22  Lucy Capt, George Harrison
24  Cecilia Capt
26  Yolanda Bird, Sky Lewey
27  Kyle Klein
30  Heath Sutherland

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