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

I read a sermon by Martin Luther King Jr. that’s been on my mind all week about loving our enemies. King was convinced that overcoming the racism and segregation of our land would only happen through love, but what struck me about his sermon was the scope of his concern. He called upon African-Americans to love their white oppressors not merely as a way of winning freedom for themselves, but as the only way to free racists from their hate.

Here is an excerpt from his sermon where he explains why it is so important for followers of Jesus to love their enemies:

Hate distorts the personality of the hater. We usually think of what hate does to the individual hated or the individuals hated or the groups hated. But it is even more tragic, it is even more ruinous and injurious to the individual who hates.... You can’t see straight when you hate. You can’t walk straight when you hate. You can’t stand upright. Your vision is distorted. There is nothing more tragic than to see an individual whose heart is filled with hate. He comes to the point that he becomes a pathological case.... For the person who hates, the beautiful becomes ugly and the ugly becomes beautiful. For the person who hates, the good becomes bad and the bad becomes good. For the person who hates, the true becomes false and the false become true. That’s what hate does. You can’t see right. The symbol of objectivity is lost. Hate destroys the very structure of the personality of the hater.... So Jesus says love because hate destroys the hater as well as the hated.

Martin Luther King Jr’s words are as relevant today as they were a half-century ago. We must guard ourselves against the distorting power of hate; we must not allow it to take hold of our thoughts. And we must pray for the grace to love those who hate us—not for just for our sake but for theirs. 

Shalom, Y'all,


Gift Giving Opportunities for St. Paul's
New Refrigerator includes delivery and taking the broken one---$601.00 (All Paid--Thank You)
Electric Lawnmower - $250.00 (All Paid For--Thank You)
Cleaning once a month - $90.00 per time

One other inquiry --

I also am looking for storage places for clothes which will not stay very long but it requires space. This is for people in shelters at our borders. It is for Ojinaga, Presidio, Terlingua, Brownsville and McAllen. Any suggestions?


Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 16
August 25,2019

Jeremiah 1:4-10
Psalm 71:1-6
Hebrews 12:18-29
Luke 13:10-17


"Oh Woman, Dear Nameless Woman" (Luke 13:10-17)
Oh woman, dear nameless woman,

Your life isn’t as it should be.

What has held your head down?

What has bent your back and heart

so severely?


What has burdened you so, dear woman,

that you are bent over …

that you are unable to stand straight …

that you cannot look

into the eyes of others?

What has shackled you

in this position?


Is it poverty or abuse?

Has all sense of worth

been stripped from you?

Have the cruelties of life

spit upon you and mocked you?

Have you been used by men to the point

of losing your own name?

Has death taken the very ones

who would have taken care of you?


Oh woman, nameless woman,

how your heart must long

to look into the eyes of others once more;

to seek hope and acceptance and love.

But alas, you cannot, can you?

Your head cannot be lifted.

For whatever reasons,

it is bent low.

You see only the dust of the streets 

and the feet of those

who step over you

and around you

and on you.


Oh woman, dear bent-low woman,

God has brought you to this place,

to this synagogue,

to this person who is teaching

freedom from bondage.

On this day …

yes, on this very Sabbath day

you will be set free 

and will stand tall

once more.


You must sense this hope, don’t you?

You made such a great effort to come.

You risked being turned away

by the leaders

as being one so nameless

that you would be in their way … 

a mere nuisance in their day.

But you have come to this place.  

Dear woman,

is this a last hope for you?


He has called you, 

not by name, but “Woman”.

Even before his touch, 

even before you might stand tall

he proclaims that those things

that had kept your head low 

and your back so bent

be gone forever.


Did you hear his words, dear woman?


Set free from all of the

bent-down bondage!

His eyes are the first eyes 

that you have seen in so long.  

How can you not respond

in the way that you do!

Standing straight … Praising God!


Oh woman, dear nameless woman,

Have you heard his name for you?

"Daughter of Abraham".  

Your great faith has given you

such a glorious name

and this man,

the one they call Jesus,

has seen your faith, 

even in your crippled posture.

What a beautiful name you now have!

(c) 2013  anna murdock


One certainty

See, today I appoint you over nations and over kingdoms, to pluck up and to pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant. Jeremiah 1:10 


The emergence of a civilization delivers one certainty, 

and only one: 

that it will one day fall. 

This cycle of rising and decline happens slowly; 

a stop-motion animation 

condensed into narrow chapters 

in a one-volume history of the world. 

The boy-prophet, Jeremiah, was appointed, 

according to the ancient text, 

to preside over such comings and goings 

among a handful of middle-eastern nations; 

including his own. 


Nationalism, it seems, matters little to God. 

This unorthodox divinity cares nothing 

for notions of national destiny; 

still embarrassingly popular in our own steadily unwinding era. 

National pride is yet conscripted 

to provide delusional justification for all manner of greedy, 

shameful and violent activities. 

The planet and its people continue to weep beneath the burden. 


The promise of national restoration flashed unexpectedly 

among Jeremiah’s layered images of dark destruction, 

bringing glimmers of hope. 

Two and a half millennia later the darkness is denser, 

and hope’s shadow is all that remains. 

© Ken Rookes

A plea for healing

O Holy Spirit, Love of God, powerful Advocate and sweetest Comforter, infuse Thy grace and descend plentifully into my heart, for in whomsoever Thou dwellest, the Father and the Son come likewise and inhabit that breast. ...O come, Thou Cleanser of all inward pollutions, and Healer of spiritual wounds and diseases. ... Come, in much mercy, and make me fit to receive Thee.

-St. Augustine, 354-430
exerpt from Treatise on the Love of God

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

24th - 7:00 PM - Guitar Recital
St. Paul's
Information from Nick...his teacher....

His name is Jaidan, he is 13 and is from Marfa. He started taking guitar lessons about 6 months ago using a guitar generously donated by Dave at my guitar concert.  (He has since received a new guitar for his birthday and Dave’s guitar is ready for my next student). Jaidan will play for about 5 minutes and then I will play a short solo piece.  The recital will likely not last longer than 15 minutes.


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
9th - Monday - Constance, Nun, and Her Companions, 1878
10th-12th - Clergy Conference
Mesilla Park, New Mexico
10th - Tuesday - Alexander Crummell, 1898
11th - Wednesday -  Harry Thacker Burleigh, Composer, 1949
12th - 6:30 - Book Study in the Casita
12th - Thursday -  John Henry Hobart, Bishop of New York, 1830
13th - Friday - John Chrysostom, Bishop of Constantinople, 407

15th Thirteenth Sunday after Pentecost - Proper 18
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - Holy Eucharist
15th - Wednesday -  Cyprian, Bishop and Martyr of Carthage, 258 & James Chisholm, Priest, 1855

Here is who we prayed for in church
last Sunday.

Any changes, please let us know.



10th Sunday after Pentecost, Proper 15, Cycle C (August 18, 2019)

Surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, and guided by the perfecto of our faith, let us bring our prayers before God, as I pray, Behold your children, and you respond by praying, and restore us, O God of hosts.

Inspire in your church the faithfulness of the saints. Following in their footsteps, may we lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely and run with perseverance the race which is set before us…Behold your children….and restore us, O God of hosts.

Renew the faith, increase the zeal, and strengthen the deeds of everyone in this congregation. Cast the purifying fire of your Holy Spirit in our midst, so that all we say and do is in accordance with our mission to be a welcoming, prayerful, caring community actively sharing the love of God…Behold your children,…and restore us, O God of hosts.

Establish your peace among the nations, tribes, clans, sects, and communities of this world….Thus we plead: heal, purify, guide and direct the people and the leaders of every human endeavor, in accordance with your will and for our common good.… Behold your children, …. and restore us, O God of hosts.

By your Word, O God, you created the heavens and the earth. By your generosity you continue to cause growth. In your faithfulness you clothe, protect, and sustain your children. We honor you for your creativity and your provision…as we remember what we are grateful for….Behold your children, ….and restore us, O God of hosts.

Bless all those who have taught us to live faithfully. Who we remember at this time…May our lives also witness to your Son Jesus, the pioneer and perfector of our faith…. Behold your children, …. and restore us, O God of hosts.

We pray for all who suffer and struggle. May they take comfort in knowing that you are not a God who is far off but you are very near us,….Let us take time and remember before God and one another people and places in need of prayer…Behold your children, …. and restore us, O God of hosts.

Heavenly Father, we humbly commend our departed loved ones into your care. Renew to us the promise you made to all the faithful who have gone before us: Remembering especially….Keep our faith steadfast and firm in your excellent Word, until that day when you bear us in your bosom into your everlasting Kingdom, and make us stand before you with all whom you have upheld by your righteous, omnipotent hand….Behold your children, …. and restore us, O God of hosts. 

 Holy and Righteous God, hear the prayers we offer this day; kindle the fire of your passion in us and baptize all creation with your vision of justice and truth; through Jesus Christ our Savior. 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 the Anglican Church of Southern Africa. In our Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for The Northwest Deanery,,…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 wallTaday I Pray: People get along…Sobriety for my sister…God bring world peace…Children of the 680…Immigrants who ICE stole…Someone to have a Bice day…Today I Hope: …Today will be fun…dad gets jail time he deserves…nephew finds peace…remain friends with Joe, Larie and Gid forever…Ashley will be my friend…Today I Thank: God for Lonn Taylor…spending time with friends…Rudy’s recovery…family together…God to be good to me…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 in the midst of chemotherapy, …for Michael Simpson, 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)…for Ralph…Rudy receiving PT…, 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.


World News This Week in Prayer
There is a Love that is deeper than love, that fills the world, that fuels the world. O, give thanks and sing.

In today’s world, where Saudi Arabia just declared that all atheists are terrorists, and two charity-operated boats full of rescued migrants remain off the coast of Italy, overcrowded and in unsanitary conditions, unable to disembark because of feuding between Italian leaders, while Kashmiris are once again caught between the territorial claims of India and Pakistan, and North Korea again refuses peace talks with South Korea

Holy one, can we – dare we – welcome those who speak with the bravery of Abraham, calling even those who seem as powerful as gods to rediscover their better natures?

We watch as 16-year-old activist Greta Thunberg of Sweden sets sail across the Atlantic on a hyper-efficient yacht, to draw attention to climate change. We read of the court in Belgium that is investigating an orphanage for alleged abduction and trafficking of children from the Democratic Republic of Congo, taking young children from their parents in the guise of giving them a holiday and instead illegally sending them out of the country for adoption. We hear calls for Google to better police the ads they accept, as studies show that Google Maps is overrun with as many as 11 million false business addresses and ads per day.

Holy one, can we – dare we – love like you, forgiving all if there are even a few righteous among them?  

When the Israeli Women’s Under-19 Lacrosse team noticed that their opponents from Kenya were slipping all over the field because they didn’t have shoes with cleats, they didn’t have them removed from the game (even though playing without cleats is against the rules). Instead, they purchased shoes for every single member of the Kenyan team, and delivered them with hugs and friendship.

A group of Palestinian Authority young men wrote a moving message to the family of a 19-year-old Israeli student, after he was killed in a stabbing attack by Hamas-linked terrorists earlier this week.

A man with no family lost his wife in the El Paso, Texas, U.S., shooting two weeks ago, so he invited the public to her funeral – and more than 1000 have said they will attend in support.

Holy one, how can we ever doubt that there are righteous among those near and far to us, among both our friends and foes? There is a Love that transcends the deepest love,  that fills the world,  that is ready to heal the world. O, give thanks and sing. 


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.


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.

Allison's pastoral presence for the Marfa ISD Community.

Lana and Joe and their gift to St. Paul's.

For all those giving support, love and prayers for Dedie.

For Scott's taking care of our new lawn.

For Trisha and Scott and their support of our Borderland Ministries.



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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