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.

See opportunities for making a difference at St. Paul's at the end of this letter

As our culture becomes increasingly post-Christian, there are some who think an overwhelming display of God’s power is necessary to reignite interest in faith. Some also believe this is necessary to strengthen their personal faith. If God would just show up and do something BIG, they say, then I would have more faith

Power, however, is not always enough to draw a person closer to God. Consider that an overwhelming number of Americans still say they believe in an all-powerful God. Despite the buzz in the culture, atheists are only a small fraction of the population. So, if most people believe in God’s existence, why do so few actually follow or worship him?

Consider the healing of the man in Gerasenes. After years of uncontrollable self-destruction, a brief encounter with Jesus found him “clothed and in his right mind.” We are told that when the townspeople heard what Jesus had done, and when they saw the man healed, they were afraid. Then they pleaded with Jesus to leave their region. The healed man, however, begged to go with Jesus.

The different responses to Jesus in the story are instructive. The townspeople had seen Jesus’ power, and they wanted nothing to do with him. He was dangerous, uncontrollable, and a threat to the stability of their town. A display of God’s power alone was not enough to draw them to Jesus. The healed man had a very different reaction. He longed to be with Jesus because he had seen more than God’s power—he also saw his goodness

If we see only God’s power but not his goodness, he becomes a dangerous deity unworthy of love. If we see only God’s goodness and none of his power, he becomes a benevolent pushover unworthy of respect. Only when we see both his power and goodness does he become a God we desire to be with.

Shalom, Y'all,


Gift Giving Opportunities for St. Paul's
New Refrigerator includes delivery and taking the broken one---$499.00
Electric Lawnmower - $250.00 (All Paid For--Thank You)
Cleaning once a week - $90.00 per week

One other inquiry --
There is a church outside of El Paso who has collected materials of all sorts for Otra Vez in Terlingua and a shelter for Asylum Seekers and those who have been deported (many unaccompanied children). I need a truck and a driver or some way to rent a truck. Any suggestions?


TODAY - 10:00
Memorial Service for Lonn Taylor
at the First Christian Church....
the White church ....kitty-corner to St. Paul's



Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 15
August 18,2019

Isaiah 5:1-7
Psalm 80: 1-2,8-19
Hebrews 11:29 - 12:2
Luke 12:49-56


The present time

Some Haiku

Kindling the fire,
the one that burns so fiercely
divides day from night.

Division not peace.
Inevitable conflict:
darkness versus light.


Baptism the door,
not to comfort or respect;
life fulfilled by death.


Households will be split;
the ones who serve the kingdom,
the ones who do not.

I, disloyal son,
dared to defy my father;
wounding more than one.



The cloud, it rises
in the west to bring the rain.
The north wind scorches.


Register the wind,
read the signs of earth and sky;
interpret the times.

Luke 12: 49-56

49 “I came to bring fire to the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 I have a baptism with which to be baptized, and what stress I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! 52 From now on five in one household will be divided, three against two and two against three; 53 they will be divided: father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against her daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.” 54 He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you immediately say, “It is going to rain’; and so it happens. 55 And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, “There will be scorching heat’; and it happens. 56 You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time? 

It’s hard to see how anyone would want to hurt
a sweet and gentle Jesus, much less crucify him.
People would listen to him politely, kind of bored,
and then let him wander along with his harmless little teachings.

On the other hand,
it’s not hard to imagine the distressed Jesus being crucified,
with his wild cry and protest against the forces of evil,
his single-minded devotion to the kingdom of God’s rule,
his fidelity to the poor, the sick, the sinners.
His message and person was so compelling, so liberating
that he couldn’t help but cause division.


This Jesus makes us uncomfortable.
Yet, he shows us that there is something more
than our comfort at stake.
The realization of the kingdom of God is of higher consequence
than our peace and comfort.
Jesus knew what time it was.
And we are bound to the death and resurrection of this fiery voice
that couldn’t be tamed, or silenced by death,
but that lives on,
making itself heard in places of death, poverty, and suffering.
And while we aren’t always comforted by this voice,
we are pulled into the adventure of his mission.
We are divided from that which leads to death,
and united to his wild proclamation of God’s rule,
however strange that cry might sound.


That Cloud Looks Just Like . . .

by Thom Shuman


she taught your story
to me (and hundreds of other kids),
moving the cloth figures

around the flannelboard landscape,

   making Hannah and David,

                Jonah and Judith,

                Phoebe and Philip

dance before our eyes;


when the widow Gospel

set up house with him,

all the neighbors were surprised,

but then they saw how

anger was remodeled into gentleness,

hollow words were smoothed into promises,

and grudges were set out by the curb

for the garbage collectors to take away;


they were your grace,

that antsy, gabby, constantly texting

knot of teenagers,

who giggled while making

ham sandwiches by the dozens,

and then served them to the street people,

sitting down and sharing their stories,

welcoming the 'least of these'

as if they were family

they hadn't seen in years.


what a crowd!





shower me with their faith,

O God,

that i might be a witness,


15th - 10:00 - Lonn Taylor Memorial
The First Christian Church, Marfa

15th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
15th -Thursday -  Laurence, Deacon, and Martyr at Rome, 258
17th - Saturday - Samuel Johnson, 1772, Timothy Cutler, 1765,
and Thomas Bradbury Chandler, 1790, Priests

18th - Tenth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 15
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
18th -Suhday - William Porcher DuBose, Priest, 1918 & Artemisia Bowden, 1969

19th - Monday - Men's Hamburger Prayer Lunch
Mando's, Marfa

20th - Tuesday - Bernard, Abbot of Clairvaux, 1153

22nd - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
23rd-25th - 6:30 - SERENITY RETREAT

See more information below
23rd - Friday -  Martin de Porres, 1639, Rosa de Lima, 1617,
and Toribio de Mogrovejo, 1606, Witnesses to the Faith in South America

25th - Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 16
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
25th - Sunday - Louis, King of France, 1270

27th - Tuesday -  Dominic, Priest and Friar, 1221
28th - Wednesday -  Augustine, Bishop of Hippo, and Theologian, 430
Moses the Black, Desert Father and Martyr, c. 400
29th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
29th - Thursday -  John Bunyan, Writer, 1688
30th -2:00 - Dale Sherman Memorial
Dallas, Texas
30th - Friday - Charles Chapman Grafton, Bishop of Fond du Lac, and Ecumenist, 1912
31st - Saturday - Aidan, 651, and Cuthbert, 687, Bishops of Lindisfarne


1st Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 17
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
1st - Sunday - David Pendleton Oakerhater, Deacon and Missionary, 1931
2nd - Monday - The Martyrs of New Guinea, 1942
3rd - Tuesday -  Prudence Crandall, Teacher and Prophetic Witness, 1890

4th - Noon - Alpine Ministerial Alliance
4th - Wednesday - Paul Jones, 1941

5th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
5th - Thursday - Gregorio Aglipay, Priest and Founder of the Philippine
Independent Church, 1940

7th - Saturday - Elie Naud, Huguenot Witness to the Faith, 1722
8th Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 18
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
11:30 - Bishop's Committee
8th - Sunday -  Nikolai Grundtvig, Bishop and Hymnwriter, 1872
Søren Kierkegaard, Teacher and Philosopher, 1855

Here is who we prayed for in church
last Sunday.

Any changes, please let us know.


9th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 14, Cycle C (August 11, 2019)

Do not be afraid, children of Abraham; God, your God, is your shield. So, let us approach our God as I pray, Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us; and you respond by saying…We put our trust in you…..

Thank you, dear Creator, for the beauty of earth, sea, and sky. Thank you for blessings without number, and for your great faithfulness...Let us take time and speak of our gratitude for you and what we have been blessed with either silently or out loud…. Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you.

Mighty God, you behold all of the people in the world. May all tribes and nations come to understand that our strength is not found in violence or weapons but in the power of your love…Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you.

Bless the faith communities who gather together to worship you…Fix their eyes firmly on the treasures of heaven which you have stored up for those who love you. Give them firm faith and radiant righteousness, so that through their ministry, many people learn to trust in your promises… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you.

Bless this congregation with deep faith, untroubled hearts, generous spirits, and self-forgetful deeds. Give us eyes to see our treasure in the hearts and souls of those whom you have loved, forgiven and redeemed as we live out our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you. 

For those in El Paso, Dayton and elsewhere, whose lives are forever marked by the scourge of gun violence, for those injured in body and spirit, those left alone and grieving, and those who struggle to get through one more day, let us pray to the Lord… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you. 

For those who fear gun violence and all those who seek to assist and support them, that God will turn hearts to recognize the value of every person and protect everyone from harm… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you.

For those who suffer from the power of nature, especially those whose lives are affected by drought, fire and floods…Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you.

Send your Spirit abroad in the world, so that people in every land may say, “Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord; he is our strength and shield.”… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you. 

Be the strength and shield of all who risk their life in defense of others. Help them act with wisdom, integrity, and competence. When their work is done, let their homecomings be joyful, their bodies and minds be healed and refreshed, their service be honored, and their skills be used in new ways… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you.                                               

Grant healing, hope, and faith to all who are afflicted pain or sorrow. Especially we lift before you the needs of people and places who are in need of prayer…. Give gentle hands and patient hearts to those who care for them… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you. 

Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval We praise you, God, that those who have died and we name at this time….are welcomed home… Let your loving-kindness, O Lord, be upon us…We put our trust in you. 

Hear our prayers, gracious God, offered through the power of the Spirit; and for the sake of your dear Son, grant us all that is in accordance with your merciful will, to your glory and for the good of your creation. AMEN.

Prayers are asked for…..

The Church

Justin, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael, our Presiding Bishop, Michael, our Bishop and Michael, our Vicar….In the Anglican Cycle of Prayer we remember to pray for for the united Church of South India. In our Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for The The Southeast Deane,. 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 Our Leaders

For Donald, our president, Greg our Governor, Manny our mayor-elect and the mayors and city managers 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 the World

…for peace….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:…,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 telling the truth in the most helpful way,…..

For St. Paul’s and Prayer Wall

Living out our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God….On our wall…Taday I Pray: safe travels…Peace…Wisdom, Patience & love…grace…. Today I Hope: More kindness…for the joy of friendship…Today I Thank: Birthdays…Warren…freedom & family & faith& health..Adventure…For the people of St. Paul’s…

St. Paul’s Prayer List

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 Jeanie Olivas, Vijaya, Frank, Larry, Jack Risen, Kathryn Anschutz, 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, Frank, Pat Sims (Stroke)…Rudy and recovery from knee replacement surgery, Bill Smith recovering from surgery….Kathleen….Sandy Olsen recovering from a heart procedure….Rick and Webb Sherrill…for Shannon who is having a difficult pregnancy….

Those who have died

The Rev. John Penn, Dale Sherman, Lonn Taylor, Max

People murdered in El Paso, Texas and Dayton Ohio.


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.


My Sisters & Brothers in Christ,

A Message from Bishop Hunn
August 3, 2019
We mourn the loss of life in El Paso.
We learned today that the Diocese of the Rio Grande today joined the ranks of those other dioceses in the Episcopal Church that have experienced the horror of a mass shooting. Over nineteen people lost their lives today in El Paso, Texas, and over forty more were injured. And so I want to stop and take a moment to talk about three things. 
I want to talk about guns. And I want to talk about violence. And I want to talk about hope. We in the United States have got to figure out what we are going to do about guns. Too often the debate is framed as if it's about everybody having guns or nobody having guns. But we in the Anglican tradition and in the Episcopal Church we are a people of the middle way, of thevia media, and we have got to come together, conservative and liberal, in order to find a way to both preserve our Second Amendment rights while also preserving the safety of our public spaces in this country. We should be able to go to the movies or to the mall or to a restaurant or to school without the fear that we might get shot. 
As the Bishop of a Southwestern diocese let me be clear that I don't feel safer personally if everybody in a movie theater has a gun, and I don't feel safer if everyone in the restaurant is carrying, and I don't feel safer if the teachers have to carry in order to keep the students safe. I don't feel safer if I have to carry a gun in order to feel safe walking the streets of my town or my neighborhood. So let's come up with a solution that's better than that.
I'm also pondering this afternoon the nature of violence itself. We know that violence is primarily caused by pain. And I have pain that is deeply buried in my heart and I don't have any hope for what happens with that pain, sometimes that pain gets swallowed and becomes self destruction, sometimes that pain gets projected out to try to make other people suffer. We all experience that in our day to day lives on a very minor scale. When I feel hurt I might say something to hurt somebody else. When I feel hurt I might swallow that hurt where it builds up until it explodes. So just imagine the kind of pain a person must feel for so long, their lack of self worth, that they might feel that they can  somehow improve their self worth or improve their life by destroying and damaging other people. What we are witnessing is pain, horrible pain, expressed in the form of violence. 
We in the church understand how God came to heal the world. How God came to heal our souls. And how God came in order that we might have life and have that life abundantly. So those of us in the churches can work together to make sure to reach out to young people, particularly to young men, to make sure that they understand the value and worth of their life and if they are feeling pain that we help them understand that their community is there to help heal that pain. And that God loves and values them. Healing can come through Jesus Christ. And we in the church can reach out to help young people in this country understand and know that first hand. 
And finally I want to say something about hope. Frequently we have heard that those who have perpetrated mass shootings were at least partly interested in the fame that might result from them making a name for themselves through this kind of violence. We in the church understand how God loves and values each human being. Imagine a person whose self worth is so damaged and they are in so need of recognition that they are willing to perpetrate great violence in order to find that other people think of them or know their names. We know that God loves and values every single human being. And so in the church we can do perhaps more to reach out to help young people know that God loves and values them. To let them know we love and value them. To provide a way of hope so that people don't feel like the only way they can make a name for themselves is by perpetrating some horrible crime. Jesus said "Blessed are the Peacemakers." And we in the church are called to make peace in our neighborhoods and with our young people. So let's redouble our efforts to reach out to the young people. Not just those who attend our churches, but those in our neighborhoods and those in our schools who may be feeling hurt, who may be feeling hopeless, who may be feeling that are willing to risk their life to inflict pain on other people. 
Let us pray for those who lost their lives today. And let us pray for their families that they might know the hope of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And let us pray for the wounded and for all of those who are caring for them to meet their medical needs and bring about the healing that God promises for us all. 
God is a God of Love. And we in the church are called to bear that love into the world. So let us not just pray for the victims: for the nineteen people who died today, the forty or more prople who were injured today. Let us also roll up our sleeves and get to work to make neighborhoods places that are safe; where everyone understands their worth as a human being, and where no one is so hurt that they feel they must inflict violence on other people. 
God love you. God bless you. Let us pray and work together and let us together keep the faith. 
+ Michael
The Rt. Rev. Michael Buerkel Hunn
Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande


August 23-25, 2019
The Serenity Retreat this year starts on Friday August 23rd ... where we will have dinner together and an open speaker meeting led by Rev. Dr. Ted Wiard focusing on Steps 1, 2, and 3. We are inviting any in the area who can't stay for the whole weekend to join us at 5pm on that Friday for dinner at a cost of $20,  and then the meeting (no charge to anyone who want to come just for the meeting.)
We will be joined by Rev. Dr. Ted Wiard of Golden Willow Retreat and Counseling. 
Ted Wiard, LPCC, CGC is an author, Founder & Executive Director of Golden Willow Retreat. Ted Wiard along with his wife, Marcella, created Golden Willow from a combined vision of compassion and healing towards all life. Ted is a licensed clinical therapist, certified grief counselor, an ordained minister, a New Mexico certified schoolteacher and a certified tennis professional. Ted's passion for working with grief, in its many forms, arose from his own personal losses in which he realized there were very few places that offered support and healing from grief.  While working at Betty Ford Center, Ted counseled individuals and families with clinical and spiritual support through the recovery process, realizing that many individuals rarely touch the underlying conditions that led them to their dysfunctional behaviors. He has written numerous articles on the subject of emotional healing, grief, loss, trauma and the connection verses disconnection of spirituality in grief, loss, life transitions as well as addiction and relapse prevention.  His book, "Witnessing Ted, The Journey to Potential Though Grief & Loss", is a sensitive guide on the six aspects of grief and the journey to a wiser more authentic life.  He is sought out for speaking engagements nationally to offer his inspirational and dynamic message of hope and healing.  
Find out more about Ted's programs at:    and

Anyone in any 12 step program is welcome to join.  We've even had a few who tried out the concept of the 12-Steps at one of our retreats for the first time!

Registration Fees - Includes room, meals, and a "one time day fee for commuters."
(We have a way to receive Credit Card Payments this year.)
Single-Resident from Friday night to Sunday morning $197
Couple- Resident from Friday night to Sunday morning $298
Commuter/Meals Only $100
Friday Night Dinner and Open Speaker Meeting $20
As with all our retreats, Friday night is open to all who would like to join for dinner and the speaker ... or just come for the speaker with no fee!)
5:00-6:00         Registration/Check In
6:00-7:00         Dinner  & Introductions
7:00-8:30         Open Speaker Meeting
Sunday, we always have a 12-Step Eucharist at 10:00 a.m.
Find us at our webpage for links to registration information:
Find us on Facebook (a private group):  Rio Grande-Episcopal Recovery Ministry
Email us with questions at

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.


Thank you to Pat, Allison, Joni and Susan who set up for the Ice Crewm Social. Thank you to all who contributed school supplies and Ice Cream Social Supplies. Thank you to Trish and Chuck, Nancy A., and Deb for their contributions and scooping.Thank you to the First Presbyterian church who contributed in kind supplies and partnering with us. This is from Marshgall Cook at First Presbyterian: I enjoyed the Social so much. I think your congregation has a real gift for hospitality for which I'm very thankful. It's always a joy for me to get to be a part of ministries that meet the needs of families in ways that are meaningful both to them and their kids. Thanks for letting us be a part of it. 

Thank you to Joni who typed up the liturgy for the Vigil. Thank you to Allison, Marshall Cook, Fr. John Paul, Nancy A. and Marfa Public Radio for their participation.


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

Parish website -
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