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.

Our psalm for this Sunday is many people's most comforting passage in the Bible: Psalm 23. The Good Shepherd, David declares, “restores my soul.” We should not limit the word soul to mean the non-physical self, as if God cares for only part of us. “Soul” is often used in the Old Testament to mean “life” or the whole person. David celebrates that God restores his life in all of its facets. He brings renewal and sustains our strength.

Our Lord is a restorer, a fixer, a healer. It is a repeated and unavoidable truth of Scripture—we do not follow a God who replaces broken people, but a God who redeems them. He does not wish for anyone to perish, but longs to see each of us renewed and restored. Jesus reveals God to be a Shepherd who will leave the ninety-nine sheep to recover the one that is lost. And when he is reunited with the flock, the Lord rejoices. 

Imagine that—as happy as you are to be restored, the Good Shepherd rejoices even more, but not for the reason we might imagine. When we restore a broken car we rejoice because it is useful again. Many of us have been conditioned to think this way about God. Because of church traditions that emphasize mission or activism or volunteerism, we think God wants to restore us primarily so that he may use us. Not only is this a flawed view of human value, it is also an unflattering vision of God’s power. (Do you really think he needs you to accomplish anything?)

The three stories Jesus tells in Luke 15—the lost sheep, coin, and son— are not about the restoration of usefulness, but the restoration of presence. The return of each lost item provokes a celebration because the relationships between shepherd and sheep, woman and coin, father and son, are restored. Similarly, God rejoices at the restoration of our life not so he may use us, but because he longs to be with us. He delights in being our Shepherd, as we delight in being his sheep.

During this season of Easter, take time to reflect honestly about why you believe God values you.

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 Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 12,2019

Acts 9: 36-43
Psalm 23
Revelation 7:9-17
John 10:22-30
To become a good shepherd is to come out of the shell of selfishness in order to be attentive to those for whom we are responsible so as to reveal to them their fundamental beauty and value and help them to grow and become fully alive.
-Jean Vanier
Drawn into the Mystery of Jesus through the Gospel of John
Tell me, you whom my heart loves, where you pasture your flock?
- Song of Songs 1:7

Revelation 7:9, 14b-17

They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun
or any heat strike them.

Dorothy Day,

 Gandhi, Oscar Romero: 

they knew your hunger and thirst 

as you filled the hearts of each poor one 

throughout this world.

They are the

 love you





every tear 

upon every face.


Let us love you

 as they


Let us

 lay down our

 lives for our friends.



Andrew York

(John 10: 22-30)

Help us to hear your voice, gentle Shepherd,

when the wolves of hate howl and swarm.

Help us to hear your voice when the sounds

of our own anxious cries rise like storm.


Help us to listen to you, gentle Shepherd,

through our raging, our anguish, our grief.

Help us to hear your love’s invitation

as you bid us to dwell in your peace.


Help us to listen, as the high peaks listen for

the snow melt’s murmur of spring.

Help us to listen, as the deep woods listen for

the wind and the song it brings.

Help us to listen, as the still lake listens for

the kiss of the sun at dawn.

Help us to listen, as the low clouds listen for

the whisper of mist on the pond.


Help us to listen, as the soft earth listens for

the rain in the fronds of the fern.

Help us to listen, as the pale moon listens for

the day to make its return.


Help us to listen, as the longing heart listens for

the voice of the friend at the door.

Help us to listen, gentle Shepherd, and listening,

learn to hear you better, and more.



The Kittens

you promise to be with me

when death takes my hand

to lead me into life . . .


but how will i know . . .


when i sneak down

the shadowed alleys,

hoping to find that quick fix for my broken dreams. . .


when I look up

from the muddy bottom

of desolation's ditch,

wondering where are my friends

who promised

('we'll be there!')

to pull me out. . .


when my addiction

to every sales pitch

i see and hear

trips me up and i fall into

greed's gutter . . .


. . . that you are with me then

           and there?


i only need to look behind me -

and there are Goodness & Mercy,

those two stray kittens who follow me

wherever i go,

wherever i am -

just waiting for me to pick them up

and welcome them

into my heart. 


(c) 2007  Thom M. Shuman


9th - Thursday - Gregory of Nazianzus, Bishop of Constantinople, 389
10th - Friday - Nicolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf, Prophetic Witness, 1760

11th - 11:30 - Voices From Both Sides
In the Rio Grande at Lajitas

12th - Fourth Sunday of Easter
9:15 - Bible Study
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 - Fifth 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 - Sixth Sunday of Easter
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - The Holy Eucharist
26th - Sunday - Augustine, First Archbishop of Canterbury, 605
27th - Monday - Bertha and Ethelbert, Queen and King of Kent, 616
28th - Tuesday - John Calvin, Theologian, 1564

30th - Ascension Day
30th - Thursday - Jeanne d’Arc (Joan of Arc), Mystic and Soldier, 1431



1st - 6 PM - Wedding of Philippe Corbe & Javier Cespedes
1st - Saturday - Justin, Martyr at Rome, c. 167

2nd - Seventh Sunday of Easter
9:15 - Bible Study
10:30 - The Holy Eucharist
2nd - Sunday - Blandina and Her Companions, the Martyrs of Lyons,

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 Anglican Church of Kenya…

In our Diocesan cycle of prayer, we pray for All Saints', Grants/Milan, St. Luke's, La Union… 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 Those In Authority

….For Donald, our president, Greg our Governor and Ann Marie, our Mayor, Manny our mayor-elect 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

... we pray for this holy gathering, that casting our nets in faith and hope, we may know the risen Christ who prospers our work and prepares a table for us and empower and guide us to 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 the Brackett family, 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,…for Charlie and Tammy who were married last week that their lives together will be full of strength and truth…for folks who take their jobs seriously...cashiers who smile, EMT'S who travel miles and miles, peace keepers who are courageous and patient, teachers who share generously, drivers who are courteous and careful...…
Ross Bracket, Rachel Held Evens, the victims of Cyclone Fanis

Glorious God, blessing and honor and glory and might be yours forever and ever: Let your Spirit empower our labor as we feed your lambs and tend your sheep, that all people may know the comfort and presence of the Risen One, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, forever 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.


Thank you to Hogan and Moss and Wierd 'ol America or brought joy to our hearts through their music.



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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