“Sing, ye faithful, sing with gladness” (Hymn 492)-“make a joyful noise unto the Lord”(Psalm 98)-and thank everyone who makes music at St. Paul’s:
the Junior Choir, that will sing at the Family Service this week, and rehearses weekly;
the Chancel (adult) Choir, that sings most Sundays and rehearses every Wednesday;
Bob Judd, our Organist and Music Director;
Lois Kwantz, who directs the Junior Choir, and subs for Bob occasionally;
Susan Brown, who plays keyboard and teaches songs at the Family Service;
and everyone in the congregation who praises God with music every week.
We all sing hymns old and new, intone the psalms, and sing the Sanctus, Gloria, Agnus Dei, and the Fraction Anthem as part of the 10:30 liturgy. Composers in the 1982 Hymnal (there are indexes in the back) include Johann Sebastian Bach (20 hymns and 200 sacred cantatas), other well-known classical composers such as Beethoven (1 hymn), Handel (5), and Mendelssohn(6), Ralph Vaughn-Williams (an Anglican favorite with 27 hymns), and those who are famous for a secular music career such as Arthur Seymour Sullivan (6), the composing half of Gilbert and Sullivan (can you hear “The Captain of the Pinafore” in the distance?). Wonder, Love and Praise, a hymnal supplement that we purchased in 2012, has many contemporary composers and sources as varied as Brazil, the Chippewa tribe, Finland, the Taize Community, and Zimbabwe. And you can-and should-sing this music wherever you are!
This Week in Church School
This week in church school the children are learning about Paul’s visit with Lydia, an early Christian woman who put her great wealth and hospitality to work for the church. Lydia, the owner of a luxury purple dye factory, understood immediately the importance of welcoming all God’s children into our community. To commemorate her exemplary life, the children will be making themselves t-shirts stenciled with purple dye. Be on the lookout for some happy, but possibly purple children in your midst today!
This Sunday’s Music
This week we begin with “O worship the king,” a hymn celebrating creation and suitable for Rogation Sunday. This is a day when we remember especially the beginning of the growing season and planting crops. The Gradual hymn, “Wade in the water,” gives a foretaste of today’s Gospel, the story of the Jerusalem pool and “troubling” (disturbing or stirring up) its water, after which the first person to enter would receive healing. Wade in the water means that God is stirring the pool, ready to heal. Our communion hymn is “Let all mortal flesh keep silence,” an ancient meditation on the Eucharist that also alludes to the heavenly kingdom in echo of another of the day’s readings. We conclude with “I want to walk as a child of the light,” a joyful declaration of faith and trust that encourages us with the words “I want to follow Jesus” at the end of each verse, and thus sets our goal for the week (and even the life!) ahead.
The choir sings the spiritual “Every time I feel the spirit,” a joyful piece that calls us to constant prayer.
At 8 a.m. this week we’ll sing “O worship the king” and “Let all mortal flesh keep silence.”
St. Paul’s recently activated a process that allows parishioners and others to donate funds and to securely maintain their annual pledge via St. Paul’s web site. Vestry members are available to answer any questions you may have. Alternatively, The Messenger has a detailed FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions and Answers) regarding on-line donations. We encourage parishioners to consider supporting St. Paul’s via on-line donations. That being said, it is not required; your paper checks will continued to be graciously accepted.
This Sunday’s Announcements
We welcome the Rev. Shirley Bowen as our celebrant this morning.
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.
Small group ministry is very strong here in St. Paul’s. The Vestry would like to celebrate these vital ministries. At the time of the Birthday Prayer, members of one of the small groups will be asked to come forward. This Sunday we celebrate the Ministry of the Frontline Committee. All who are a part of this Ministry, please come forward along with those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
Family Service conversation. Today after Family Worship. Join us for a conversation about if and how to continue Family Worship over the summer months–we’d love your input! Grab a cup of coffee in the upstairs kitchen, and join our informal discussion led by Senior Warden Terry Leitzell and Christian Formation Director Kristin Agudelo. Discussion will be held immediately following the Family Service, at about 10:10 a.m.
Members of the Frontline Committee will be hosting two Q&A sessions on Sunday, May 12th, at 9:20 in the Great Hall and again at 10:30 on the 2nd floor. This is an opportunity to learn what “Frontline” is all about. We’ll tell you about Bishop Lane’s challenge, the book we’ve read, talk about what comes next and invite your questions, comments and ideas. Don’t miss this opportunity to talk about who we are, as Episcopalians and as the Church, and how we might challenge ourselves in ways that both deepen our faith and joy, and also meet the changing spiritual needs of our community.
Do you sometimes struggle with tensions between church and state? What should you do when our faith suggests one thing and our secular authorities another? How might your faith be wordlessly demonstrated in your life? How are you doing in your efforts to heed Jesus’ call to follow him? Come Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. to explore with fellow-travelers on the journey these tough but important questions in the context of Titus chapter 3! FMI: Pam Nugent, 737-2369.
Update from your Vestry/Search Committee: The Vestry met on 4/25 and made final decisions related to our Search process. We expect to begin looking at candidates’ resumes in the next week or so. Please continue to pray for us as we move forward.
Camp Bishopswood: the Episcopal Diocese of Maine runs a terrific, affordable camp on the shores of Lake Megunticook. For more information, see the Bishopswood website: www.bishopswood.org.
BION camp for teens. The diocese has set the weeks for their annual teen faith-based camp for August 20th-24th. Please go to www.maineyouth.org for more details, or call diocesan teen coordinator Jane Hartwell (207-772-1953 x129). Scholarships are available. If you need one, speak to Kristin or call the church office.
And the winner is…Carol Layton, for her delicious mushroom soup! Last week’s “Ladling for Dollars” soup cook-off was a tremendous success, raising nearly $400 for our teen Iona
pilgrimage. Carol eked out a win by one vote, taking home the coveted “Golden Ladle” trophy for being such a “Super Souper.” Thank you to both cooks and tasters for your participation!
Warden’s Office Hours: Pat Ryan or Terry Leitzell 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.
Exploring the Word of the Lord: All are cordially invited to explore the Gospel reading (and occasionally one of the other readings) each Sunday in the Library, 9:30-10:15 with other parishioners. If you are an 8 o’clocker, stay a little after coffee hour; if you attend the 10:30 service, come a little early. No preparation, no homework, no long-term commitment, no Bible experience necessary, all comments are honored and acceptable, and the Bible readings will be provided. Discussions have been animated, and the fellowship has been great. OK to just sit and listen. Try it out one Sunday to see whether it’s for you. Please note: No meeting next Sunday, May 12. Questions? Contact Pam Nugent (737-2269 or email@example.com).
A heartfelt thanks to those folks from Earth Care and Men’s Group who worked together on Wednesday to spruce up the grounds, work on the flower gardens, and prepare the vegetable plot. Your efforts were noticed and appreciated.
Save the date, Friday, May 17, 7-9 p.m., for a fascinating presentation and discussion sponsored by Adult Christian Formation with our very own Jane Knox, choir member and recently retired Professor of Russian at Bowdoin College. The topic is The Rise of Radical Islam in Central Asia/the Caucasus: What Is Our Christian Response? Having taught Russian language and cultural courses, she understands the political, economic, and cultural reasons for the extremism that has developed in that area. In light of the recent Boston bombings, this promises to be a very informative evening, and the question of our Christian response is likely to be with us for a long time. Join us for coffee/tea and dessert at 7:00 and then the program, which begins at 7:30. Contact Pam Nugent (737-2369 or firstname.lastname@example.org) with any questions.
John Borden. On May 26, the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend, there will be a funeral and interment at Trinity Episcopal Church in Topsfield, Mass., at 2:00 p.m.
From the Christian Formation Director Search Committee Kris Agudelo, our gifted Christian Formation Director, will be leaving St. Paul’s this summer. We hope to have someone hired by this summer. St. Paul’s is blessed with a large, diverse group
of dedicated church school and parish volunteers, but the committee will accept applications only from outside candidates for the Director’s position. We believe a fresh staff perspective will infuse new energy. If you know of anyone who is not a member of St. Paul’s who might be interested, please direct them to the position description on the parish website at http://stpaulsmaine.org/wpblog/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/St-Pauls-Christian-Formation-Dir-job-posting.pdf. Thank you for your prayers and support in our work, and we join you in thanksgiving for all Kris has done to ensure that the spiritual needs of the children and youth of our parish are met.
If you enjoy Coffee Hour Fellowship following the 10:30 Worship Service, please consider taking a turn or two during the year. We do not have a “Coffee Hour Committee.” A sign-up sheet is on the small bulletin board in the Great Hall. Juices, coffee and tea and supplies are on hand for the host. However, we rely on the congregation to take turns hosting coffee hour. The host makes the coffee, heats water for tea, and provides a few snacks (there’s always a box or two of crackers in the pantry to augment your offering). Please join our faithful hosts in taking a turn. Don’t know how the coffee machine, etc. works? Just give the office a call/email and we can arrange a training session.