Weekly Epistle - September 11, 2019 


From the Stewardship Committee:

 This past summer I enjoyed a long visit in the Cotswolds and western England, allowing me to worship in many parish Churches, Cathedrals and Chapels.  These sacred spaces were so peaceful, yet majestic, and God’s presence was always palpable.  The travesty I felt, though, was at witnessing the scarce parishioners and visitors that came to worship in these hallowed halls.  With the exception of Holy Eucharist at Westminster Abbey in London, there were rarely more than 20 or 30 souls gathered for services.

As it happens, my next door neighbor in the quaint village of Painswick was the Warden of the local church, also called St. Mary’s, which opened its doors in 1040 AD, and whose Chapel today dates from the year 1377.  She told us that the only way they can maintain the buildings and keep the doors open, are from the generous donations from tourists who walk through during daylight hours (an offering box is located near the Narthex door).  She also lamented that St. Mary’s Church shares one priest with 5 other Parishes in the area.

Wow!  Aren’t we blessed at St. Mary’s of the Hills?!  Neither of those situations mentioned above remotely resembles us, and I feel it is because of our faithful members, visitors, friends, and families who support us consistently and devotedly each year. 

As we ‘Journey Together into our Second Century’, I know there will be many changes at St. Mary’s in addition to the youthful face in the pulpit!  But what I pray will stay the same is that you will truly continue to support the work of our beloved Church through your pledges as well as your energy and efforts and prayers. 

Gigi Poole

2019 Stewardship Committee

 PS: For all our faithful needlepoints who lovingly created and crafted our kneelers for the sanctuary: Your legacy is deeply rooted in our Anglican heritage and will live on.  Without exception, every Church I entered had numerous needlepoint kneelers, mostly done in the mid to late 1800s.  While not nearly as intricate nor beautiful as ours, I have no doubt that they were as lovingly created as ours were.  Thanks be to God!!!!


Psalm 51 is one of the great songs of lament in the Hebrew Scriptures.  In the Episcopal tradition, we hear this ancient hymn every year on Ash Wednesday and a portion of it at other points throughout our cycle of readings.  Join us on Sunday morning at 9:00am in the Barrett Room for a conversation on lament and the powerful text of this Psalm.


Since 1940, Episcopal Relief and Development (ERD) has been the Episcopal Church’s response agency in the face of crisis and catastrophe.  Over the past week, ERD has been working closely with the Episcopal Dioceses of the Southeastern United States and the Anglican Diocese of the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos, meeting the needs of those impacted by this storm.  To contribute to the effort of ERD, visit www.episcopal 


Are you new to the Episcopal Church?  Do you want to learn more about St. Mary’s and how you might put down deeper roots in this community of faith?

Confirmation classes to consider Confirmation or Reception in the Episcopal Church or Reaffirmation of your Baptismal Vows will begin the week of September 8th. 

We will talk about affirming the promises of baptism, the ways that we practice our faith particular to the Episcopal tradition, and how we might more fully live out our faith in daily life.  Bishop Jose McLoughlin will make his annual visitation to St. Mary’s on Sunday, October 13.

If you are interested in joining this group, please contact Fr. Andrew ( so that we can determine the best time to meet. 


Dr. Norman Wirzba, Gilbert T. Rowe Professor of Theology at Duke Divinity School, will offer a lecture series entitled “Sabbath and Sustenance: Living Faithfully in God’s World” at Rumple Presbyterian Church on September 15 & 16.  The Sunday lecture is at 5:00PM and the Monday lecture is at 9:30AM; both will be held in the Fellowship Hall.  These lectures are offered free of charge and childcare is provided.  


The Right Reverend Katharine Jefforts Schori, former Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church, will offer a lecture entitled “Climate Change: Grief, Growth, Gratitude, and Grace” at Grace Episcopal Church in Morganton on Saturday, September 28.  The lecture begins at 7:00PM, followed by a panel discussion moderated by Bishop Jose McLoughlin.  This event is free, sponsored by the Grace Church Foundation and Grace Church’s Green Team. 


Is there an important person or a significant event happening in your life?  Is there an upcoming birthday or anniversary you would like to honor?  Sponsoring the flowers placed at the altar each week is a great way to offer thanks for life’s many gifts.  Many dates are still available for 2019 as well as into 2020.  Please contact Greta Wilson in the parish office for more information and available dates.   



All concerts are at 3 pm unless otherwise indicated.
*September 22 - Ellie Wee and Barry Salwer, cello and piano
*October 27 - ASU Men’s Glee Club 

Recitals with Solemn Choral Evensong begin at 3 pm.
*October 6 – Organ recital and Solemn Choral Evensong

                      Organist: Joby Bell, ASU

All programs are free and everyone is welcome! For more information, please contact the church at (828) 295-7323 or visit MusicfromStMaryoftheHills on Facebook.



Parish Office Hours:  Monday-Thursday, 8:30 am-5:30 pm; Friday 8:30 am-12:30 pm

Sunday,  September 15 – The Fourteenth Sunday after Pentecost

8:00 AM     Holy Eucharist

9:00 AM     Rector’s Forum

10:10 AM   Holy Eucharist

4:00 PM     Confirmation Class-Barrett Room


Monday, September 16

8:30  AM   Morning Prayer and Daily Word

6:30  PM    AA Meeting-Parish Hall


Tuesday,  September 17

8:30   AM   Morning Prayer and Daily Word

10:00 AM   Prayer Shawl Gathering-Library

5:30   PM    Vestry Meeting-Parish Hall


Wednesday, September 18

8:30  AM   Morning Prayer and Daily Word

12:00 PM   Noon Eucharist

12:30 PM   Chinese Art Class with Sue Wilders-Barrett Room or Parish Hall

6:30   PM   AA Meeting-Parish Hall


Thursday, September 19

8:30  AM   Morning Prayer and Daily Word


Friday, September 20

8:30  AM   Morning Prayer


Saturday, September 21

Office closed


Sunday,  September 22 – The Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost

8:00 AM     Holy Eucharist

9:00 AM     Rector’s Forum

10:10 AM   Holy Eucharist

3:00 PM     Concert with Ellie Wee and Barry Salwer

4:00 PM     Confirmation Class-Barrett Room