St. Paul’s Epistle





I’ve spoken to members who are feeling what I’m feeling – St. Paul’s is coming back! COVID has made many people reluctant to return to activities such as church and social events. Yet, there is a new energy here. We’re doing more and wanting to do more. I must confess I enjoyed evenings off and the slower pace that the pandemic created. Now, I’m busy several nights a week and more of the day on Sundays. I may have enjoyed the slower pace, but what brought me to the Episcopal Church was being with people who care about one another and about outreach. Worship, Fellowship, Education and Outreach – these make up the foundation of any healthy church. Over the past few months as the pace of activities has increased, I have found that activities of our church feed my soul and that encourages me to do even more.

Our church did find a way to worship, continued our outreach, and get together for fellowship and learning during the pandemic, but as one parishioner said as he looked around the room filled with people, “This is what it’s about, online can’t replace this!” This is true. 

Yet, online participation in worship and education has found a new place in our life together. Our morning prayer group can even attest to it as a time of fellowship. We have built relationships that would not exist without it. Our morning prayer participants join us from places across our state – and often from other states. It is a wonderful way for us to start our day. We worship, we pray, and we visit. And, we have room for more. You can join us by Zoom by clicking on the link for morning prayer found on our website.

The majority of what we do here that brings life to our parish happens in person. Being together on Sunday mornings where we can visit with one another before or after the service, attending dinners, choir practices, classes and helping with the community meal all lift up our spirits. Our worship has more energy and our hearts are glad whenever we come together. 

There is a prayer at the end of morning prayer that reminds us why this true. I will close with it:

  • Almighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplication unto thee, and hast promised through thy well-beloved Son that when two or three are gathered together in his Name thou wilt be in the midst of them: Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy servants as may be best for us; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

Whenever we come together at St. Paul’s, God is in our midst. This is where we can find strength & renewal, comfort & support, joy, and happiness.

God’s Peace,



Lenten Studies

Feeling devilish?

Join us for a Lenten study of C.S. Lewis’ classic The Screwtape Letters. Led by Cathy McDonald and Nelson Barnett, we will meet on Sunday afternoons from February 26th through March 26th @ 2pm. Participants are asked to provide their own books (available from Amazon and other vendors). Please join us for a wickedly good discussion!

Lenten Book Study via Zoom

All are invited to participate in a Lenten book study via Zoom discussing the book Lies We Believe About God by William Paul Young. The Rev. Katherine Wren of St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Blytheville will lead the study. It is not necessary to have a strong background in theology to participate! Participants will read selected chapters each week and then discuss on Tuesdays, beginning February 28th and finishing before Holy Week. Email if you are interested in joining us or have any questions.

-The Rev. Katherine Wren

Lenten Luncheons

St. Paul’s, First United Methodist, First Presbyterian, Lyon College, and St. Mary’s Catholic Church are joining together to offer a Lenten Lunch series on the five Wednesdays in Lent beginning on March 1st at Lyon College. Before lunch we will participate in the Stations of the Cross liturgy followed by a brief mediation. We will begin at noon and will finish before 1:00 pm. On March 1st, lunch will be held in the Beven’s Room at Lyon College with a devotional by Father Jon Miskin of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, March 8th will be held in our Parish Hall at St. Paul’s with a devotional by Pastor Katie Pearce of First Methodist Church, March 15th will be held at First United Methodist Church with a devotional by Chaplain Maggie Alsup of Lyon College, March 22nd will be held again at First United Methodist Church with lunch provided by First Presbyterian Church and a devotional by Pastor Elizabeth Brinegar of First Presbyterian Church & March 29th will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church with a devotional by Father Jim McDonald.


Submitted by Cathy McDonald

I spent most of my “growing up” years in Fort Smith, Arkansas which is also where my mother grew up. My maternal grandparents lived in Fort Smith. My grandmother was from Van Buren and my granddaddy was from Louisiana. My father is also a native Arkansan from Little Rock. His parents were from Beebe and Searcy. I have deep roots in Arkansas. I have one brother, Drew, who lives in Fort Smith with his wife, Paula, who is originally from Newport. 

We attended the Central Presbyterian Church my mother grew up in and sat in the same pew every Sunday with my grandparents. My brother and I were surrounded by adults who had been contemporaries of my mother or had watched her grow up. There is a lot of comfort and stability with that, but also the sense that you cannot get away with anything! Church was an important part of our family life and I have many happy memories of growing up in a small town with a close-knit church family. In junior high and high school, I became interested in journalism and writing. I was the editor of my junior high newspaper and the editor of my high school yearbook. 

I began college at Centenary College in Shreveport, Louisiana and planned to major in English literature. After two and a half years I had changed my plans and transferred to the University of Arkansas majoring in elementary education. I ran into a high school friend early in the semester and during the conversation she asked, “Does Jim McDonald know you are here?” I replied that I didn’t know he was there. We had dated a few times in high school casually. A few days later Jim called me and the rest, as they say, is history. Within a few weeks we were dating exclusively and within a few months we decided to marry. Our wedding was at Central Presbyterian Church, performed by Jim’s father Charles McDonald, a Methodist minister and my cousin Mark Linder, an Episcopal priest—quite ecumenical!

After Jim and I married, I changed my major (again) to early childhood education and planned to go to graduate school and teach in higher education. I had a part time job at the Agricultural Engineering lab on the U of A farm as a secretary and shared an office with four graduate students. I had to take organic chemistry and ended up in a summer school class for premed students. I did quite well, and my graduate school “bosses” encouraged me to consider going to medical school. So, I did consider it, until I found we were expecting our first child. Then I decided to instead go to nursing school.

During my pregnancy, we decided to begin attending church and were going to “shop around” for a church home. I didn’t want to be Methodist and Jim didn’t want to be Presbyterian. (Are we both a little stubborn?) We started out at St. Paul’s Episcopal church in Fayetteville, and never went to another denomination. We felt we had come to the right place. We were confirmed and received into the Episcopal Church in December 1981and our daughter Elisabeth Ann (Betsy) was baptized by her Methodist grandfather at St. Paul’s in January. Melissa Kate (Katie) was born in 1984, and Andrew James was born in 1987. Our children grew up attending church. They were there as infants vocalizing in the pew, ran down the aisles as toddlers with me in hot pursuit, grew into singing in the St. Cecilia’s choir (the children’s choir) every Sunday at the 9 am service, performing in the Christmas pageant yearly, and became acolytes as teenagers.

Jim began discerning his call to ordained ministry and began seminary in 2003. We had a daughter in nursing school, a daughter in college, and a son in high school. He started as a “commuter” student and flew to seminary in Claremont, California ten teaching weekends a semester. I told him only he could find a commuter seminary in an “exotic” place like that! He completed the first year of his studies there (which took two years due to his part time status since he was still working full time). In the course of the next few years, Jim changed jobs and we moved from Northwest Arkansas to Little Rock and he took a year off from his studies. He began full time seminary at the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee in 2007. At this point, our daughters had both graduated and our son was in college. I began working full time to support my two “college boys.” Jim did not just have school, he worked in the seminary refectory part time and sang in the seminary choir (a paid position). He read and studied a lot! Sewanee was a wonderful experience for me-- I enjoyed our time there.

I have come to the clergy wife job later in my adulthood, so my habits and vices were already formed! During seminary at Sewanee there were all kinds of seminars on the difficulties of being married to the priest and how to “cope” with it. The day that Jim was ordained as a deacon at Trinity cathedral, my cousin Mark’s wife came up to me at the reception and said, “It’s a wonderful life, you will always have a church family who wants to love you. Be yourself and don’t worry.” I am glad Ticka told me that—I found it more helpful than any of the seminary workshops!

I feel that I have been blessed by Jim’s career change. The church has always been an important part of my life and I am glad to be able to support Jim in his ministry. Both parishes where Jim has served have been wonderful to me and have not expected me to play the piano for Sunday school—which is a good thing for them! Coming to Batesville has felt like “coming home” to me. I am so grateful to our family at St. Paul’s for your love and support for us. You have been gracious and loving when we have stumbled and had adversity in our lives. Thank you!


Please use the following link provided to view photos from the Mardi Gras Party thrown by the Churchmen's Club on March 21st: Mardi Gras Video



Pub Theology will be held Tuesday, March 7th at 6:00 pm at Tavolo’s in their private room. This casual Dutch-treat dinner includes a theological discussion before dinner. If you’re able to come, we would love to have you . . . and bring a guest or two!


A Choral Evensong Service is an Evening Prayer service in which prayers, the psalms, and canticle are sung. It is a beautiful service and, through our use of the Stinson Music Fund we will have four unaccompanied voices lead our service. Kristian Ameigh, Michael Oriatti, Rebecca Ward, and Garrett Russell will be our vocalists. This service will be held on Sunday evening, March 12th at 5:00 pm. We hope to continue to offer this service and expand participation to include our St. Paul’s Choir and congregational participation.  


The Churchmen’s Club meeting for this month is scheduled for March 28th. Information on who is hosting and what time is TBD at time of publishing. Watch out for more information in the weekly announcements.


The Episcopal Church Women (ECW) will meet on Tuesday, March 14th at 6:00 pm at Ellen Massey’s home. Also, the book Surrounded by a Cloud of Witnesses II is available for purchase in the Narthex for $20.


St. Paul’s Care Team will meet next on Sunday, March 26th at 6:00 pm in the Parish Hall. Ellen Massey and Jon Healey will be responsible for our dinner. At February’s meeting, we made plans for hosting the Lenten Luncheon at St. Paul’s on Wednesday, March 8th and passed around cards to send to our members who are on our prayer list. 


Easter will be here before we know it (Sunday, April 9th) and as a reminder it’s a good time to start thinking about Easter Gifts for memorials and thanksgivings. Please send your gifts along with the names you wish to have mentioned by Monday, April 3rd. Also, we are looking for volunteer readers for the following Holy Week services: Palm Sunday Passion Narrative & both Good Friday Passion Narratives. Please contact the office by phone or email if you are available be a reader for any of these services.


If anyone would like to be involved in a puzzle swap, Barbara Terrell, Cindy Allen and I love jigsaw puzzles and have quite a few to donate or swap. We could bring them to the Parish Hall and leave them in the free books area. – Jo Cargill-Krug


Some of our readers have suggested that we feature a recipe of the month to be submitted by you! Feel free to send yours to the church email address at and we will compile it into the next issue!


It’s time to plan our flower donations for the new year. We try to fill the first of the year up to Ash Wednesday first and then the dates after Easter. However, any date can be reserved now. Please call or text Jo Cargill-Krug at 870-613-6981 to reserve a date. Here are some dates available after the Lent season: April 23rd & 30th; May 14th & 21st; and June 25th.





March 5

Cameron Gillespie

Brenda Bittle

March 12

Mike Schmidt

Laura Hance

March 19

Dave Allen

Gary Perkey

March 26

Ardis Gillespie

Nikki Bittle




March 5

Pam Baxter & Paul Hance

David Taverner

March 12

Brenda & Nikki Bittle

Steve Massey

March 19

Fred Krug & Fuller Bumpers

David Taverner

March 26

Bill Olson & Lee Conditt

Jon Healey

Altar Guild: Karen Reynolds & Jo Cargill-Krug

We could always use more volunteers to do altar work. We try to assign teams of two workers for each month’s work. Requires about an hour and a half each Saturday and thirty minutes on Sundays. For more information, contact Jo Cargill-Krug by phone at 870-613-6981 or by email at


1st: Team Wray

8th: Team Bumpers

15th: Team Kipfer

22nd: Team Olson

29th: Team Stalker


Birthdays: Janie Starnes (3/1), Cathy McDonald (3/1), Jo Cargill-Krug (3/3), Will McSpadden (3/3), Sabrina Conditt (3/6), Tim Dunlap (3/8), Maculla Dore (3/8), John Todd Stalker (3/12), Abraham Baxter (3/12), Pam Baxter (3/13), Ann Rhodes (3/14), Susan Dempsey (3/17), Rhonda Mundy (3/17), Laura Hance (3/19), Tim Dozier (3/23), Karen Reynolds (3/27), and Ronald Mergy (3/29).

Anniversaries: Rocky & Diane Willmuth (3/3) and Kristian & Richard Ameigh (3/13).

If you have a birthday or anniversary you would like added to our list, please contact the office at


Jo Cargill-Krug, Editor

Fr. Jim McDonald, Publisher

Nelson Barnett, St. Paul's Historian

Katie Janke, Layout & Design