On the Fourth Sunday of Advent, St. Paul’s held its first (hopefully annual) ad-hoc and impromptu Christmas Pageant with volunteers (and draftees!) of all ages. It was a joyful retelling and re-enactment of the Christmas story. The participation of the entire congregation made it a wonderful fellowship experience. Pictures from the pageant can be found here and the video of the service can be found here.
The Brotherhood of St. Andrew Smithfield met for their monthly meeting
Sept. 1st in Lawrence Hall. Dinner was provided by John Branch. Memorial table settings for brothers Ken and Lloyd were on the main table in honor of their dedication to the Brotherhood.
Plans for the upcoming kickoff picnic and a short lesson were the main topics covered.
The Brotherhood meets first Thursday of the month at 6:00 and all men and youth are invited to attend.
Dear St. Paul’s,
It is with great joy that I write to you today, as I prepare to become your next rector
beginning November 8. Having had the pleasure to interact with your Search Committee,
Wardens, and Vestry I have felt the spirit of hospitality, welcome, and love that you all at St.
Paul’s embody. I am so looking forward to getting to know and work with you more and more as we begin our journey together. It seems so fitting that we begin our shared ministry at the onset of our Advent season.
I am sure for many of you it has felt like a long, possibly even arduous season of waiting
and preparing… having had to say goodbye to your beloved Rector of a decade, Fr. Jim
Melnyk, having taken on the intentional work of finding a new church leader, and finally,
prayerfully entering the discerning process of calling that person all while in the midst of a
pandemic. And, for your invitation and acceptance of me as that new rector, I could not be
more thankful and honored. Having the opportunity to serve the Episcopal Church in the
community where my husband Drew and I have chosen to raise our children and root our
family is a blessing and a privilege. We are so thrilled and excited to begin growing in faith
and fellowship alongside each and every one of you.
My hope and prayer is that as we begin our time together, especially during our approaching
season of Advent, we can continue to prepare space in our lives, in our hearts, in our minds,
and in our souls to see how we as St. Paul’s, as baptized Christians, and as members of our
larger community, are being called to this new chapter in our spiritual journey. Take time and space to enjoy the excitement and delight that comes as we embark on a new chapter together, while honoring the places we have come from and things we may have left behind.
As we enter this season of preparing, I encourage you to come and see (or call) me during
my office hours (9 am to 5 pm, Tuesdays through Thursdays). I also love to walk and chat (for those who would like social distance and/or exercise) or have a coffee and chat (for those who would like caffeine and sustenance). I am so thrilled to begin sharing this journey with you as St. Pauls’ continues to be a welcoming, hospitable, and loving presence in our community. I will keep you all in my prayers, and I pray you keep me in yours as we prepare to begin our ministry together.
Your sister in Christ,
The Rev. Kate Byrd
In preparation for Bishop Rodman’s visit, we will have a Workday on Saturday, October 9, beginning at 10:00 AM. Our goal is to pick up and organize all the rooms in the church and spiff things up so that we can celebrate with the bishop, knowing that St. Paul’s looks its best. If we have good participation, we should finish by 12 noon. We will soon publish a work checklist so that you can choose your task. Thank you in advance for your help. With your support, St Paul’s will shine on October 17th.
Key tasks for the workday include the following:
Flood lights on LH, Office, Bell
Landscape Lights: around church, front door, church sign
St. Francis Garden: Trim bushes, clean bricks
Wipe down hand rails on ramp to office
Get rid of dirt daubers outside of office
Make sure brochures are in labyrinth
Ask landscape crew when trimming bushes to trim all the way up over benches
Paint front door
Clean out cigarette butts outside office and memorial garden
Library: collect books for donation
Nursery: Books, put items back
Organize Narthex (brochures)
Check for cobwebs
Fix wallpaper in Music office
Glass film for Music office windows
Check back of nave to make sure books are straight
Put Our Lady of Guadalupe picture in back of Nave on easel
Straighten kindergarten room for meeting
The Rt. Rev. Samuel S. Rodman will be joining us at St. Paul’s on Sunday, October 17th. He will be preaching, celebrating the Eucharist at the 11:00 service, and he plans to meet with your Vestry. We do not have any baptisms or confirmations scheduled, but a couple of folks have expressed an interest in reaffirming their Baptismal Covenant. If you would also like to be reaffirmed, please let me know as soon as possible (919-306-1643 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Reminder – The open plate offering on October 17 will be designated for Bishop’s Sam’s Discretionary Fund (checks made out to the Diocese of NC or
to St. Paul’s. Write “Bishop’s Discretionary Fund” on the memo line).
The parish of St. Paul’s welcomes their new Rector, the Rev. Kate Byrd, and her family, Drew (husband), Libbie (4 year old daughter), Thomas and Patrick (19 month old twins), and their two dogs Sissy (Labra-doodle) and Radar (Shih Tzu Bichon). Rev. Kate is a native of Arlington, VA and grew up at Christ Church in Alexandria. As a cradle Episcopalian, Rev. Kate has a long-held love and appreciation for the Anglican Communion and our Episcopal traditions. A graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, VA, Rev. Kate completed her Bachelors of Arts Degree in Sociology and soon after began her Masters of Divinity at Virginia Theological Seminary. During her first summer off from seminary, Rev. Kate worked at Camp Kanuga in Hendersonville, NC where she met her husband Drew. Since ordination in 2014, Rev. Kate has served in Lexington, KY at Christ Church Cathedral (Associate for Youth and Young Adults), Whitefish Bay, WI at Christ Church Episcopal (Associate Rector), and Goldsboro, NC at St. Francis Church (Priest in Charge). In 2019, with the expectancy of twins and her husband’s new position at Johnston Health, the Byrd family moved to Smithfield, Drew’s hometown. A native of Smithfield, Drew is passionate about his hometown, and the two are excited to raise their three children here. When he’s not at work you can find Drew at Health Quest, on the Parks and Rec board, riding his mower around their yard, or doing woodwork in his garage. In her spare time, you can find Rev. Kate on a run through Smithfield’s Greenway, practicing yoga with her toddler, working with the Junior Women’s League, or completing a craft project. All five Byrds, and their two dogs, enjoy hiking at the local parks, going out for ice cream, and soaking up the sun in their backyard. Rev. Kate is passionate about the Jesus Movement and sharing the love of God at St. Paul’s, in the community, and beyond. She can’t wait to meet you and get to know all of your gifts, ministerial interests, and working together.
Our sister congregation, La Iglesia Episcopal San José, hosted their first Covid vaccination clinic on Sunday, May 23 from 2-5 p.m. in Lawrence Hall. The vaccine was free, and sign-ups through the Episcopal Farmworker Ministry as well as walk-ups were accommodated. St. Paul’s provided the location, donated drinks, and supported the clinic with our presence. About 120 doses of the Phizer vaccine were administered. It was encouraging to see the number of teens being vaccinated.
Three weeks later on Sunday, June 13, a second clinic was held to provide the second dose of vaccine as well as first doses for newcomers. Again, the people of St. Paul’s provided support for San Jose’s outreach effort. This second clinic received coverage from WRAL TV, and a link to their report can be found here and a transcript can be found here.
While many of us are already fully vaccinated, we all may know some folks who aren’t. Getting vaccinated is a beautiful way to love your neighbors, and encouraging unvaccinated people to take the vaccine is a close second. The vaccination rate in Johnston County is lagging the rest of the state, and until we reach herd immunity here, the risk of infection is very real.
St. Paul’s Search Committee took a big leap forward this month, finalizing the Ministry Portfolio located at https://www.episdionc.org/clergy-positions/ on the Diocesan website. Information in the portfolio began with consideration of your survey responses, followed by structuring that data, along with fact-checking and opinions of the Search Committee members, into a document that we felt best represented our congregation. A draft was provided to the Vestry, who offered valuable input, which led to the final version that we provided to the Diocese.
Now we begin a new phase in the process of finding a rector. The position will be posted until July 15th at which time, the committee will receive the applications. Please be patient during this period. The search process requires absolute confidentiality, and the committee is not allowed to discuss any information about applicants. When the committee narrows down the field, the bishop will interview the finalists. With the bishop’s approval, the committee will submit a single candidate to the Senior Warden to begin the next stage.
We wait to see who answers our call, hoping that one of those who respond will be the perfect fit for St. Paul’s. Please continue praying the St. Paul’s Search prayer on a regular basis. This provides a powerful support for our work.
St. Paul’s celebrated the Eucharist for the first time in over a year on Easter Sunday with distribution of Communion taking place on the labyrinth. Pictures from the service are below
We are planning to resume limited in-person worship at the 11 a.m. service
beginning April 11, the Sunday after Easter. At present we are limited to 25 people in the church (including the worship team), and the service will continue to be live-streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live. To make sure everyone has an opportunity to worship in person, we will continue to use the dedicated email (email@example.com). Beginning each Monday, you can indicate your desire to come to church the following Sunday, and you’ll receive a confirmation of your reservation by Thursday afternoon.
St. Paul’s is pleased to announce the formation of a Search Committee to identify and recommend a new parish rector. The committee is chaired by Allen Wellons, who is assisted by Linda Armstrong, Leo Daughtry, Nancy Gibbs, Joyce Kilpatrick-Jordan, and Sherrill Weathers, with Don Overby serving as Vestry liaison. Because congregational input and support is of immense importance, the Search Committee will soon be sending each St. Paul’s family a survey that will help begin the process. We ask that when you receive your survey, you complete and return it as quickly as possible. Each Sunday during the search, St. Paul’s will pray a Search Committee prayer in community. The committee asks that St. Paul’s members also include this prayer in their daily devotions. Praying for the work of the committee and for the rector candidates is always important and necessary. More information will follow as needed.