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.


We had a very good conversation last Sunday. I greatly appreciated people sharing their hopes and fears and concerns in an honest and compassionate manner. For whatever reason, I left the meeting thinking of two different ways of viewing a church: a family or a store.

If church is a family, then you relate to it as a son or daughter, mother or father, brother or sister. Deeply biblical ideas, I might add. When the Bible talks about Christian community, these are the metaphors it falls back on.

If a church is a store, then you are nothing more than a consumer. There is a retail outlet and a customer, a provider and a receiver.

It strikes me that these are the two ways that people can view a church.

Family...or store.

If it’s a family, they stick with it. Work through it. Stay in it. There are deep blood ties. It’s not about what you get, but what you give. Isn’t this what we are doing at St. Paul’s?

If it’s a store, then it’s a consumer decision. Who has the best prices? Most convenience? Quickest access?

The great danger, of course, is when churches intentionally posture themselves as “stores” in competition with other “stores”. This is not only biblically misguided, it is theologically heretical.

And will not serve in the long run.

While our front door is open wide, 24/7 to be sure, we must never fail to remember that who we are at our most foundational level is “family.”

And we need to make sure we help people become that family.

By doing that, we are living out our mission.

Remember.....Our mission is to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God.

Don't forget, over the next two Sundays, we are using the loose plate collection to gather money to give to Bill Smith in thanksgiving for his ministry over the next two Sundays! You certainly can write a check if you wish.

Shalom, Y'all,


Our Book study focusing on The Wisdom Jesus by Cynthia Bourgeault begins one week from tonight. 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 (510 N. 2nd St.) at 6:30 in the evening. Our own David Mainz will be the facilitator. We have extra copies of the book at the church.


A celebration of thanksgiving for Bill and Gail Smith who have made the drive form Sanderson for almost 28 years to Marfa and provided beautiful music from our organ.

We will begin with the Eucharist at 10:30 and followed by a pot luck lunch.


Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 10
July 14,2019

Amos 7:7-17
Psalm 82
Colossians 1:1-14
Luke 10:25-37

Psalm 82
The Writing (That Could Be) on the Wall

“Rescue the weak and the needy

And deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”

Write all these words like graffiti

On the church so the hearts of the land might be quickened.


God has taken his place in the divine council; 

in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

“How long will you judge unjustly 

and show partiality to the wicked? Selah

Give justice to the weak and the orphan; 

maintain the right of the lowly and the destitute.

Rescue the weak and the needy; 

deliver them from the hand of the wicked.”


They have neither knowledge nor understanding, 

they walk around in darkness; 

all the foundations of the earth are shaken.


I say, “You are gods, 

children of the Most High, all of you;

nevertheless, you shall die like mortals, 

and fall like any prince.”


Rise up, O God, judge the earth; 

for all the nations belong to you!


+ + +


Amos 7, but also 8-9
Who's the Crazy One?

If you ask me, this shepherd

was inviting his audience to skin him alive -

especially given his X-rated

vision of Amaziah's wife's fate.

But maybe the one who's plumb crazy

is the One who saves the people

from locusts and fire, while pointing 

to the very center, the ruling class,

who are supposed to watch out for everyone.

There are consequences for all

when the needy are trampled on,

and the poor are brought to ruin.

So "Wake up," calls Amos, still.

But read to the end to remember:

The LORD is crazy about his people,

And will not them pass by.

Scott L. Barton


"Help Me to Be an Oxymoron" (Luke 10:25-37)

Good Samaritan.

I searched 

and the word


doesn’t appear

in my Bible.


Good Samaritan.

It’s much like 

jumbo shrimp

or freezer burn,

you know.

The two words

don’t seem to go together

for we read

that there is nothing good 

about a Samaritan.


But maybe, just maybe

that which Jesus asks

from each of us

is to become an oxymoron!

Perhaps Jesus' teachings and example

proclaim that two opposites

will become kingdom words.


O God …

help me to be 

an oxymoron.

A generous giver.

A compassionate Christian.

A loving neighbor.

A good Samaritan.

Who is my neighbor?
I had the most extraordinary experience of love of neighbor with a Hindu family. A gentleman came to our house and said: "Mother Teresa, there is a family who have not eaten for so long. Do something." So I took some rice and went there immediately. And I saw the children - their eyes shining with hunger. I don't know if you have ever seen hunger. But I have seen it very often. And the mother of the family took the rice I gave her and went out. When she came back, I asked her: "Where did you go? What did you do?" And she gave me a very simple answer: "They are hungry also." What struck me was that she knew - and who are they? A Muslim family - and she knew. ...
-Mother Teresa of Calcutta 1910-1997

Who is my family?

While he was still speaking to the people, behold, his mother and his brothers stood outside, asking to speak to him. But he replied to the man who told him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” And stretching out his hand toward his disciples ,he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother, and sister, and mother.”
Matthew 12:46-50

Who is my friend?
quoted from Life Prayers, ed. Elizabeth Roberts and Elias Amidon
-Yojht Veda, XXXVI,18

O God, scatterer of ignorance and darkness,
     grant me your strength.
May all beings regard me with the eye of a friend,
     and I all beings!
With the eye of a friend may each single being
     regard all others!

Prayer is meaningless unless it is subversive, unless it seeks to overthrow and to ruin the pyramids of callousness, hatred, opportunism, falsehoods.
-Abraham Joshua Heschel    1907-1972
God is very near to you

On the one hand we are called to play the good Samaritan on life's roadside; but that will be only an initial act. One day we must come to see that the whole Jericho road must be transformed so that men and women will not be constantly beaten and robbed as they make their journey of life's highway. True compassion is more than flinging a coin to a beggar; it is not haphazard and superficial. It comes to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring.
-Martin Luther King Jr., “A Time to Break Silence,”
 Riverside Church, New York

Suppose we were to...draw the outline of a circle.... Let us suppose that this circle is the world, and that God is the center; the straight lines drawn from the circumference are the lives of people....The closer those lines are to God, the closer they become to one another; and the closer they are to one another, the closer they become to God.
-Dorotheos of Gaza    505-565
The Last Word
Miss no single opportunity of making some small sacrifice, here by a smiling look, there by a kindly word; always doing the smaller right and doing it all for love.
-St. Thérèse of Lisieux 1873-1897
11th - 7:00 - Talk on the Shroud of Turin
by Dr. Stephen Mattingly
Dr Stephen Mattingly, professor of microbiology and immunology, for 33
years, at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio,
 will speak on "How Skin Bacteria Created the Image on the Shroud of
Turin" which is the also title of his book. The presentation with images
and preceding reception are free and the public is invited to attend by
the event sponsors:  International Woman's Foundation, the Marfa Rotary
Club, First Baptist Church of Marfa, First United Methodist Church of
Marfa and Saint Paul's Episcopal Church. The presentation will be
thoroughly understandable to any layman or woman.

 Dr Mattingly shall address the scientific assessment of the age, social
 circumstances, et al aspects relating to the "Shroud of Turin" on
 Cavalry Officers Club Library and the
 reception will take place at 6pm in the adjacent
Cavalry Officers Club Bar of Building 98
705 W. Bonnie, Marfa.

11th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
The Wisdom Jesus
Cynthia Bourgeault

11th - Thursday - Benedict of Nursia, Abbot of Monte Cassino, c. 540
12th - Friday -  Nathan Söderblom, Archbishop of Uppsala and Ecumenist, 1931

13th - Saturday - Conrad Weiser, Witness to Peace and Reconciliation, 1760

14TH - Fifth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 10
9:00 - Bishops Committee
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
14th - Sunday - Samson Occum, Witness to the Faith in New England, 1792

15th - 11:30 - Men's Hamburger Prayer Lunch
Mando's, Marfa

16th - Tuesday - “The Righteous Gentiles”

17th - Wednesday -  William White, Bishop of Pennsylvania, 1836
18th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita--Last Time
The Wisdom Jesus
Cynthia Bourgeault

18th - Thursday - Bartolomé de las Casas, Friar and Missionary to the Indies, 1566

19th - Friday - Macrina, Monastic and Teacher, 379
Adelaide Teague Case, Teacher, 1948

20th - 6:00 - Charlotte O'Brien - Kody Key Wedding
St. Paul's, Marfa
20th - Saturday -  Elizabeth Cady Stanton, 1902; Amelia Bloomer, 1894;Sojourner Truth, 1883;
 and Harriet Ross Tubman, 1913, Liberators and Prophets

21st - Sixth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 11
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
21st - Sunday - Albert John Luthuli, Prophetic Witness in South Africa, 1967

24th - Wednesday - Thomas à Kempis, Priest, 1471
26th - Friday - Joachim and Anne, Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary

27th - 9:30 - 2:00 - Deanery Meeting
St. Andrew's Episcopal Church, Roswell, NM

27th - 9:30-Noon - Order of St. Luke
Big Bend Regional Medical Center, Alpine
27th - Saturday - William Reed Huntington, Priest, 1909

28th - Seventh Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 12
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
11:30 - Pot Luck Lunch and Celebrating the Ministry of Bill and Gail Smith

28th - Sunday - Johann Sebastian Bach, 1750, George Frederick Handel, 1759, and Henry Purcell, 1695, Composers
29th - Monday - Mary, Martha, and Lazarus of Bethany
30th - Tuesday -  William Wilberforce, 1833, and Anthony Ashley-Cooper, Lord Shaftesbury, 1885,
Prophetic Witnesses
31st - Wednesday - Ignatius of Loyola, Priest and Monastic, 1556


1st - Thursday - Joseph of Arimathaea
2nd - Friday - Samuel Ferguson, Missionary Bishop for West Africa, 1916

3rd - Poverty & Outreach
3rd - Saturday -  George Freeman Bragg, Jr., Priest, 1940
William Edward Burghardt DuBois, Sociologist, 1963

4th - Eighth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 13
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist

Here is who we prayed for in church
last Sunday.

Any changes, please let us know.

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 Pray for the united Church of North India, the united Church of Pakistan and the Anglican Church of Papua New Guinea. In our Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for  Church of the Holy Faith, Santa Fe,St. Bede's, Santa Fe, Church of the Holy Family, Santa Fe,St. James, Taos, Mike Olsen (Rector). 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, 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 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 telling the truth in the most helpful way, for people living in far after a series of earthquakes and aftershocks in California,  for people struggling to move forward after natural disasters…..


For St. Paul’s and Prayer Wall
Living out our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God….
Pray: Jennifer & David, Soul of Danielle, Guidance, Change in USA, Compassion. Hope: Peace & Understanding…Thank: time, love, words, new baby, for my husband…..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)….

Those who have died

Denise Corbe, HelenBates, Lonn Taylor

Lord of the harvest, hear the prayers we offer this day and strengthen us to extend the peace and mercy of your new creation into the lives of all people, working in the power of your Holy Spirit, through Jesus Christ our Savior. 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.

Blessed to be a Blessing, sponsored by the Women’s Ministry of the Diocese, are one-day summer seminars exploring how our faith fore-mothers inspire and empower us to live and share our faith. On July 27 we’ll be at St. Paul’s/Peace, Las Vegas. There will be a third ‘day’ at St. John’s, Alamogordo on August 10. Each day is from 9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. If you live within a 2-hour radius of the event, you are esp. invited to attend. If you live further, pick your favorite location and make it a girls’ weekend by inviting a friend to come and explore a new area and new church. Register online at or contact Cindy Davis ( Cost is $20 to cover lunch and supplies.

Bishops of all six Episcopal dioceses in Texas issue a joint statement decrying the inhumane conditions at our country’s borders


To our state and national leaders,

We are bishops of the six Episcopal dioceses in Texas. All but 700 miles of the almost 2,000 miles of the US-Mexico border are in Texas. All of Texas feels the impact of anything that happens on our southern border.

We feel it through our families, many of whom have ancient deep roots in lands south of the United States. We feel it in our economy, as Mexico is Texas’ biggest trading partner. We feel it in our culture, since Texas was part of Mexico before we were part of the United States. Most of all, we feel it in our souls, for these are our neighbors, and we love them.

We write to decry the conditions in detention centers at our border because we are Christians, and Jesus is unequivocal. We are to pray without ceasing for everyone involved-refugees, elected officials, and law enforcement-while also advocating for the humane treatment of the human beings crowding our border as they flee the terror and violence of their home countries.

We call on our state and national leaders to reject fear-based policy-making that targets people who are simply seeking safety, and a chance to live and work in peace. The situation at the border is, by all accounts, a crisis. Refugees come in desperation; border personnel are under stress.

We call on our leaders to trust in the goodness, generosity and strength of our nation. God has blessed us with great abundance. With it comes the ability and responsibility to bless others.

We do this because Christians are commanded to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. And how we are to treat our neighbors, especially the children, could not be any clearer than it is in Matthew 18:2-6:

“He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea.”

We are to care for the children, cherish them, protect them and keep them safe.

But what if they are strangers, foreigners? The message of God in the Hebrew Scriptures, Leviticus 19:33-34, also is very clear: “‘When a foreigner resides among you in your land, do not mistreat them.  The foreigner residing among you must be treated as your native-born. Love them as yourself, for you were foreigners in Egypt. I am the Lord your God.”

And again, in Matthew 25: 31-40. “I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”  And, in Matthew 25:40: “Truly I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me.”

This is not a call for open borders. This is not saying that immigration isn’t complicated. This is a call for a humane and fair system for moving asylum seekers and refugees through the system as required by law. Seeking asylum is not illegal. Indeed, the people at our border are following the law when they present themselves to border authorities.

Asylum is “a protection granted to foreign nationals already in the United States or at the border who meet the international law definition of a ‘refugee,’ which is ‘a person who is unable or unwilling to return to his or her home country, and cannot obtain protection in that country, due to past persecution or a well-founded fear of being persecuted in the future ‘on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.’”

Congress incorporated this definition into U.S. immigration law in the Refugee Act of 1980. The Refugee Act established two paths to obtain refugee status—either in the United States as an asylum seeker or from abroad as a resettled refugee.

As Christians, we seek to follow the biblical and moral imperatives of our Lord. In addition, the United States has legal obligations through international law as well as our own immigration law to provide protection to those who qualify as refugees.

And while the border authorities can detain asylum seekers, courts have ordered them to do so in “safe and sanitary conditions.” Credible news reports documenting unsafe conditions, especially for children, have made it clear this is not happening in consistent and sustained ways, as resources and personnel are overwhelmed by the situation.

This nation has the resources to handle these refugees humanely. We call on our leaders to find the will to do so swiftly.

 The Episcopal Diocese of Dallas

The Rt. Rev. George Sumner

Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth

The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Mayer

The Rt. Rev. Sam B. Hulsey

The Rt. Rev. Rayford B. High Jr.

Episcopal Diocese of Northwest Texas

The Rt. Rev. J. Scott Mayer

The Episcopal Diocese of the Rio Grande

The Rt. Rev. Michael Buerkel Hunn

Episcopal Diocese of Texas

The Rt. Rev. Andrew Doyle,

The Rt. Rev. Jeff W. Fisher

The Rt. Rev. Kathryn M. Ryan

Episcopal Diocese of West Texas

The Rt. Rev. David Reed

The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Brooke-Davidson

Thank you to everyone who participated in our discussion last Sunday. It was fruitful and enlightening.


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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