Vision Statement for St. Paul’s, Marfa, Texas
St. Paul’s is an open, loving community
growing in the experience and understanding of the love of God,
acting to share the visible presence and compassion of Christ.

Mission Statement for St. Paul’s, Marfa, Texas:
Our mission is to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community
actively sharing the love of God.

Values Statement for St. Paul's Marfa, Texas
To accomplish our mission, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church bases its decisions and actions on the following core values:
  • Love of God and neighbor by honoring the worth and dignity of every human being including ourselves.
  • Daily relationship with God all through our lives through prayer and service.
  • The importance of giving and receiving forgiveness through the generosity of the Holy Spirit.
  • We value continual learning.
  • We value the Episcopal tradition of communal worship.
  • Practicing hospitality by welcoming all and serving and sharing with our communities.
  • The stewardship of God’s creation and all its inhabitants.


Hogan and Moss and I will be collaborating on a musical sermon. 
Come check it out at 10:30!

One day when a holy person was speaking before a large group of people, someone who was new to their teaching asked a question. Gesturing to those who surrounded the sage, listening very intently,, the man asked, "Are these people you're disciples?

The Holy person answered, "No, not all of these are my disciples; they are rather my audience. My disciples are few!

As we rejoice in the season of Easter, we can reflect on this story and ask, "Are we disciples of Jesus?" One way to answer that question would be to reflect on how we use the Easter gift that Jesus gave to his disciples. On Easter Sunday last Sunday's Gospel, and in the Gospel for this Sunday, Jesus appeared to the disciples and forgave them. With the gift of peace he absolved them of their failure to stand by him in his hour of defeat. He also gave them the task and the power to forgive the sins of others. 

The pages of the Gospels are filled with stories about how Jesus forgave sins and called his disciples to forgive  others. He even put. number on it..."seventy times seven"...or endlessly. Explore that challenge for a moment. How ready are you, how willing and eager, to forgive another for the same injury?

To look at it logically, it would seem to be the sign of a fool to continuously forgive without the assurance that a real conversion or change were going to take place. To believe that no one is ever beyond the possibility fo changing her or his behavior demands not only faith but also hope in the human heart. And to forgive another unconditionally without any assurance that she or he will change requires greater faith and hope. Such hope and faith are beyond the natural; they are Divine gifts. Easter is a feast of hope and faith and an appropriate time to renew our dedication to the daily work of disciples, the work of forgiving one another. Maybe that is why  Easter is a fifty day season to work our way towards living the life of a forgiving disciple.

We are to be ministers of reconciliation, which means we are to forgive as we are to love--with all our hearts, minds, and bodies. Truly only such forgiveness can heal our world. That is not only our Easter gift but our Easter assignment as Christ's disciples. And this Easter question lingers in the air: are we disciples of Jesus or merely his audience?


Shalom, my friends,
P.S. Mark your calendars...A continuation of our Book study focusing on The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault. It will be held on Thursday nights beginning on June 13 and ending on July 18th. It will be held in the Casita in Alpine at 6:30 in the evening. Our own David Mainz will be the facilitator. We have extra copies of the book at the church.

The Third Sunday of Easter
May 5, 2019

Acts 9: 1-6, (7-20)
Psalm 30
Revelation 5:11-14
John 21: 1-19

Art&Faith Matters


Acts 9.1-20: So Ananias Went

Imagine Ananias' dismay. God has appeared to him in a vision (that's not the dismaying part) and has a job for him to do (that's not the dismaying part). He's supposed to go supervise the healing of the man who has been singlehandedly terrorizing all of Christendom (and there's the dismaying part) (Acts 9:1-20). Faithful Ananias has been waiting for God to call on him to do something. No doubt Ananias is ready, waiting, eager, even. Just let me know what you want me to do, God. Here I am. Send me.

And after hearing the work he has been called to do, Ananias says, "God, you have got to be kidding me." I'm sure each of us can think of someone whose name we could insert for "Saul" that would fill us with dread and horror at being called on to heal and baptize. We can only assume that Ananias remembered that God does not see as humans see (1 Samuel 16:7).

And, sure enough, Ananias is remembered for this act. The one that he essentially tried to talk God out of.

Baptism of Paul. 12th century mosaic. Palatine Chapel, Palermo, Sicily.
In this mosaic, Ananias completes his assigned task by baptizing Paul. The text is "Praecepto Christi baptizator Paulus ab Anania" ("At Christ's command, Paul is baptized by Ananias."). In this version, Paul is baptized in a water-filled chalice-shaped font, a shape popular in Romanesque churches, as the Holy Spirit in the form of a dove descends from the hand of God. To Ananias' right a liturgical assistant holds a lit candle.

This mosaic probably tells us more about baptisms in 12th-century Sicily than it does about Paul's baptism. But regardless of font shape or lit candles, what we really learn about in this story is the faithfulness and obedience of this Ananias...not to be confused with the other Ananias in Acts 5.


Acts 9:1-6 (7-20); John 21:1-19

Going fishing - Piscatorial Haiku

Seven disciples

decided to go fishing:

found themselves a boat.

They went out at night

hoping that the fish would come

but they caught nothing.


Standing on the shore

the stranger shouted advice:

Try the other side!


The nets are breaking;

It must be the Lord! they shout.

Peter heads ashore.


A lakeside fire,

a breakfast of bread and fish

with their risen Lord.


Jesus asks Peter:

Simon, do you love me more?

Lord, you know I do.


Simon, feed my lambs.

Twice more Jesus questions him:

How do you love me?



even Simon must get it;

love made real by deeds.


He said, Feed my sheep,

take care of my little lambs.

It’s all about love.

© Ken Rookes 2019Acts 9:1-6 (7-20); John 21:1-19


Miraculous Responses

The fishy thing is, Ananias went,

When reason told him that it made no sense - 

Except the Lord had called, and said to go!

Would you? Would you say, "Here I am," and so

Become just like those many others who

Those same words said, though didn't have a clue

Of what it meant? Except, we know; that phrase,

Each time it's said - to us who read - conveys

A risky proposition up ahead,

One where, without God's help, you end up dead.

But Ananias, standing in a line

Of faithful, almost to the start of time,

Responded, and so risked a trip to Saul,

And thus began a church - which fished for all.


Scott L. Barton

(Note: The words, "Here am I" (or "Here I am") by Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Samuel, Isaiah, Mary (Jesus's mother) and Ananias all portend some risky business that the LORD has in store for those who answer.)

2nd - Thursday - Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, 373
4th - Saturday - Monnica, Mother of Augustine of Hippo, 387

5th - Second Sunday of Easter
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - The Holy Eucharist
Musical Sermon with Hogan and Moss

7th - 10:00 - Borderland Ministries
St. Christophers Episcopal Church, El Paso
7th - Tuesday - Harriet Starr Cannon, Religious, 1896

8th - Wednesday - Dame Julian of Norwich, c. 1417
9th - Thursday - Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389
10th - Friday - Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Prophetic Witness, 1760

11th - Voices From Both Sides
In the Rio Grande at Lajitas

12th - Third Sunday of Easter
9:00 - Bishop's Committee
10:30 - The Holy Eucharist

13th - Monday - Frances Perkins, Public Servant and Prophetic Witness, 1965

14th - 10:30 AM - Marfa Ministerial Alliance
New Beginnings Church

16th - Leadership Big Bend
16th - Thursday - The Martyrs of the Sudan

17th - Friday - William Hobart Hare, Bishop of Niobrara, and of South Dakota, 1909
Thurgood Marshall, Lawyer and Jurist, 1993

19th - Fourth Sunday of Easter
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - The Holy Eucharist

20th - Men's Prayer Lunch
11:30 at Mandos
20th - Monday - Alcuin, Deacon, and Abbot of Tours, 804

21st - Young Life Committee
21st - Tuesday - John Eliot, Missionary among the Algonquin, 1690

23rd - Thursday - Nicolaus Copernicus, 1543, and Johannes Kepler, 1543, Astronomers
24th - Friday - Jackson Kemper, First Missionary Bishop in the United States, 1870

25th - Order of St. Luke
9:00 - Big Bend Regional Medical Center

26th - Fifth Sunday of Easter
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - The Holy Eucharist
26th - Sunday - Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605

Here is who we prayed for in church last Sunday.

Any changes, please let us know.

For The Church

….We pray especially for Justin, Archbishop Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Michael, our Bishop, and Michael our Vicar.

In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we pray for the Nippon Sei Ko Kai - The Anglican Communion in Japan…

In our Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for St. Christopher's, Hobbs… We Also pray for St. James, Alpine, St. Stephens, Ft. Stockton, Santa Inez, Terlingua, Chapel of St. Mary & St. Joseph, Lajitas, and the Marfa and Alpine Ministerial Alliances…. For Connor Travis and the ministry of Young Life….for any person of faith no matter where they are on their spiritual journey

For Those In Authority

For Donald, our president, Greg our Governor and Ann Marie, our Mayor and the mayors of our surrounding communities…. our elected officials in Washington and all who exercise authority at any level of government. For all who struggle to make a more just society…


For People and Places in the World

..for peace, that the Spirit will inspire human hearts to turn from violence, and work together to defeat the common enemies of disease, ignorance and poverty…. For the people of Chabad of Poway synagogue….For refugees and displaced persons, that God will guide to safety all who have fled violence and persecution, and help them find welcome in new communities, for all who live and work in places of war and violence, For women and men and children who have been victims of sexual assault and sexual exploitation… for those whose lives have been turned upside down by various disasters: that God will help them rebuild their lives, give them strength to face their challenges and touch the hearts of many to assist them…,for all those in the military, especially those who come home broken in body, mind, and spirit …may the hearts of those reporting the news be drawn to what is true and right….

For St. Paul's

Fill our faith community with joy and fellowship, as we live out our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God…


For Those Who Have Asked For Prayers From Our Community

….Betty, Bill & Gail, Patty, Holly,  D'Ette, Merit and the Fowlkes family, James, Shere, Kevin and Jay, Lesly, Lila, Linda King, Melodie, Mimi, Pat & Mary, the Vana Family… FOR Vijaya, Frank, Larry, Jack Risen, Kathryn Anschutuz, Sue Ellen Kelly, Brian Hutchins who have cancer… FOR David and  Catherine in the midst of chemotherapy, …for Michael Simpson, Dale and Lee Ann, FOR Helen Bates, Gene, and Rucker who are in Hospice care….. for James and Brian Neal, Jacob, Linda & David, for Jenny, Megan and Elizabeth, for David who has MSA, for Dara and and Liam who are seeking custody of Torin, ….for Ralph and Theresa recovering from surgery…for Ross Brackett, for Jerry Miles, for Ben Foster and his family…

Prayers of Thanksgiving

… first responders throughout the world,…For Marfa’s first responders and those in our surrounding communities… for the Border Patrol who live in our communities…the United Nations and its agencies, peace-keeping forces, and relief and aid organizations,  for all who plant seeds of peace through prayer and action both near and far,  for those heroes both known and unknown who show compassion and courage for people in the face of trouble,  for people simply being good neighbors, for teachers, educators and administrators in our schools….for love and hope and peaceful moments in the day,…
Laura Lynch de Vries, Raye Foster, the person who was murdered in Chabad Synagogue yesterday and their family and friends who will miss them

Receive our doubts, O God, and let the Risen One visit us and fill us with your joy, that we may be grateful witnesses of Christ’s resurrection, sharing the liberating breath of your Holy Spirit throughout creation, for to you is glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.



Climate Change

O God, Creator of all thats is -
of seas and clouds, rains and rivers,
grass and trees, insects and fish,
humans, animals, birds and reptiles,
of all life connected, sharing this one earth -
we are aware that our way of living
is profoundly affecting the earth's climate,
that many people are in danger of flood and drought,
that some are greatly impoverished,
and the whole fabric of life is in danger.

to those who make international policies,
give wisdom and courage;
to those who direct industry and commerce,
give a concern for the common good;
to those who struggle for justice,
give strength and hope;
and to us all
give the grace and strength to change our ways
for the good of all that lives
and for your glory.


For the Building Committee who continually looks after our campus.



The Rev. Michael Wallens
Vicar - Saint Paul's Episcopal Church
P.O. Box 175, Marfa, Texas 79843
Office - 915.239.7409  |  Cell - 214-862-7292

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