Last Sunday, we said farewell to Ann Broomell with a lovely litany done by Ann, the congregation, and me at all three services, followed by a reception for her. Ann believed that part of leading us in this interim period was to have a “good leaving”, which she did with grace and smiles, allowing us to move on. The Rev. Bill Blaine-Wallace, along with the Rev. Al Niese and the Rev. Ben Barnes, will provide new leadership over the next several weeks.
Pat Ryan or I will be in the office Monday through Friday from 9:00 am to 12:00 noon for a number of weeks. Please drop in, say hello, provide advice, or volunteer for one of the needs we see in this next transition period. Personal contact with you will sustain us.
Pat and I recognize that some parishioners may be experiencing significant emotions following the discernment decision and the departure of Ann Broomell. Bill Blaine-Wallace, our priest for the next few weeks, will offer a “listening post” on the next two Monday and Tuesday evenings (March 18-19 & 25-26), 6 to 8pm, in the rector’s office. The listening post is a time for parishioners to be in conversation together about the changes and transitions that are presently shaping our life together. Bill also is available some evenings for individual conversations when and if parishioners desire or need to meet with him. Bill’s cell is 781.307.8288.
All of this is part of our onward journey, as we pray:
“Christ, you are before us.
This is what gives us courage to go on.
It is you who directs.
It is you who beckons.”
(Iona Abbey Worship Book).
For a full schedule of Holy Week at St. Paul’s please click here.
We begin this week’s hymnody with “Come, thou fount of every blessing,” is a favorite call to worship that gives us encouragement as we recall the overflowing grace that God has poured out for us through Jesus. We will hear about pouring anointing oils in the Gospel, and the gradual hymn “Fairest Lord Jesus” is a reflection of Jesus’s “beauty”– a thought that inevitably leads to images of his passion (Isaiah 53: “He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to him…”) that we will be considering at length in a few days.
Similarly, the communion hymn, “O wheat, whose crushing was for bread,” draws the ideas of the breaking of grains of wheat to form flour, the breaking of bread at communion, and the broken body of Jesus (see Isaiah 53:5), together in a moving way. We conclude with “Lord, dismiss us with thy blessing,” which returns us to thanksgiving for grace, as we go out newly restored through the word and sacrament.
At the offertory, the choir sings the spiritual “Steal Away to Jesus,”
a simple reminder of the uncertainties of our present lives, and reminder of where are treasure truly lies.
The organ music this week is by Bach: the two-part Invention in E, and the (little) Prelude and Fugue in G Minor.
This Week in Church School
This week in church school the children are hearing Isaiah’s words of hope for the Hebrew people, and thinking about the ways in which God creates new things in our own lives. Each class is celebrating God’s creation in a different way: preschoolers will make watercolor flowers, K-2 will make a trail mix to remind them of the long “hike” the Hebrew people took in the desert, and the 3rd-5th grade class will create a celebratory banner to hang in their classroom. Rite 13 examines the stories of Lent, and J2A takes a brief hiatus in its confirmation class, which has its last session next Sunday.
This Sunday’s Announcements
This morning we welcome The Rev. Bill Blaine-Wallace as celebrant. Rev. Blaine-Wallace will also celebrate all services during Holy Week here at St. Paul’s. He is the Multifaith Chaplain at Bates College, and served at Emmanuel Church in Boston for thirteen years. For almost three decades, Bill has acted as a family therapist, spiritual director, and a hospice administrator.
Healing Prayer is offered today at the 8:00 and 10:30 services. If you wish to receive a prayer on your own behalf or for another, proceed to the vestibule following communion.
An Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) has been installed in the hallway outside the Sacristy. Training on this lifesaving device and CPR is this afternoon at 1:00.
The Ven. Mary Lee Wile is away this weekend attending a Conference for Archdeacons and Program Directors in Baltimore.
Winter Gardening Workshop will be held today, from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. in the Great Hall. Today is a Fundraiser for the Tom Settlemire Community Garden with William Cullina, Director of the Coastal Maine Botanical Garden talking about Native Plants.
The Sharing and Caring Support Group, for caregivers and those living with grief, will meet Monday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m. Guest speaker, Rev. Frank Strasburger, will lead a discussion concerning his current book. All are welcome. Facilitators: Barbara Blanchard and Sandy Meyer
Lenten Film Series/Pot Luck Supper. Lenten Film Series/Pot Luck Supper. Jesus of Montreal has twice been placed second on the List of Canada’s Top Ten Films of All Time. The film is about a group of actors who take on a time worn Passion Play and turn it into a challenging look at Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. The actor playing Jesus, especially, struggles with being Jesus night after night and an unemployed actor during the day. Those in the play see their lives take on the roles they are playing. Join with others to share a meal and look at the direct impact of Jesus’ life in an urban setting. Discussion leader: Rev. Mary Lee Wile Hosts: Tim and Anne Banks
Becoming an Episcopalian: Bishop Lane will be at St. Paul’s on April 14 to confirm and receive new Episcopalians and recognize those choosing to reaffirm vows made at an earlier time in their lives. EXPLORE classes are preparation for those making that commitment or for anyone wanting to learn more about the Episcopal Church. The classes conclude on April 7. Deacon Mary Lee will present the Baptismal Covenant from 12:15 to 2:15 p.m. A light lunch will be provided.
The Bishop is coming! On April 14th, Bishop Stephen Lane will be present to celebrate the Eucharist at two worship services–our 9:30 Family Worship upstairs in the new church school/choir space, and 10:30 in the main sanctuary. He’ll be confirming teens and adults that day at the later service and will be present for a reception after 10:30 worship. Please join us for this very special day!
Luncheon date rescheduled! “Ladling for Dollars,” the Iona pilgrimage fundraising luncheon originally scheduled for this week (3/17) has been postponed until after Easter. More details about the event will be forthcoming after the holiday.
St. Paul’s is on its second season of hosting the Gathering Place in the Great Hall during the colder months of the year. The Gathering Place is unable to use its current location due to building issues for the next few months. We have agreed to host the Gathering Place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 9-3, meaning that we are extending our welcome to the three middle days of the week. WIC, the Federal nutrition program for Women, Infants and Children will meet in the Great Hall two Monday mornings a month starting on March 18. The children’s music program that has rented the Great Hall from us for some time continues in that space.
The Enthronement of the Archbishop of Canterbury on March 21 will be broadcast on BBC television, radio and online. For more information: www.archbishopofcanterbury.org & www.bbc.co.uk.
Easter Flower memorial envelopes are available in the pews. Please PRINT the necessary information and place the envelope in the plate or return it to the church office by Sunday, March 24.
Maundy Thursday (the Thursday of Holy Week) is the day in which we commemorate Jesus’ last supper and arrest in the garden of Gethsemane. In keeping with that tradition, it is customary for churches to strip the main altar of decoration and place any reserved sacrament in a “garden of repose,” a beautifully decorated altar outside the main worship area, where it is kept until Easter morning. Members of the parish are then asked to “keep watch” over the body of Christ as it rests in the “garden”–taking turns praying or meditating near the garden from the end of Thursday’s service (roughly 8pm) until midnight that night. If you would like to take a turn keeping watch, sign-ups are available on the church bulletin board in the main hallway. You may sign up for one half-hour shift, or the entire evening until midnight. Please consider joining in this deeply meaningful commemoration of Christ’s agony in the garden.
Pat Ryan or I will be in the office Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon for a number of weeks. Please drop in, say hello, provide advice, or volunteer for one of the needs we see in this next transition period. Personal contact with you will sustain us.
Pat and I recognize that some parishioners may be experiencing significant emotions following the discernment decision and the departure of Ann Broomell. Bill Blaine-Wallace, our priest for the next few weeks, will offer a “listening post” on the next two Monday and Tuesday evenings (March 18-19 & 25-26), 6 to 8p.m., in the rector’s office. The listening post is a time for parishioners to be in conversation together about the changes and transitions that are presently shaping our life together. Bill also is available some evenings for individual conversations when and if parishioners desire or need to meet with him. Bill’s cell is 781.307.8288.