Transitions are so simple in concept, but so complex in emotions. Anticipation, excitement, apprehension, and, in the best transitions–inspiration! Kris Agudelo provides inspiration to all of us for St. Paul’s transition to a new Christian Formation Director. Kris’ remarkable and often surprising creativity, her energy marked with laughs and smiles, her flexibility to find and use the gifts of others, and her faith are inspirational. And all while training to become a Waldorf school teacher. As Kris steps away from St. Paul’s into her new career at the Merriconeag Waldorf School, we give her prayers of gratitude for her work among us. May the deep peace of Christ go with Kris and remain with her forever.
This Week in Church School
This week in church school the children are learning about Pentecost, the birthday of the church. We’re having celebratory birthday cupcakes and playing a catching game with streamers that involves connecting each of the members in a circle with a big web of red crepe paper. Just as a single filament weaves together all the points in a web, we as a church are bound together by the movement of the Holy Spirit in and among us.
This is our last “This Week in Church School” for the year, as church school folds for the summer. When we reconvene in the fall, there will be a new Christian Formation Director in place. I’ve enjoyed writing these little blurbs for you each week. Please keep praying for the children, teens, and families of our parish, and for their new “shepherd” who will lead them in the fall!
We need church school volunteers! Have you given thought to teaching church school? Please consider signing up for a slot next year. Here are the facts: 1) You are always part of a 3-person team, so you can rotate “on” and “off” Sundays; 2) You can volunteer for one “trimester” (approximately 8-10 weeks) or the whole year; 3) We prepare all the lessons and crafts ahead of time, so you really only need to do about 1/2 hour prep time at home, plus your hour of teaching on Sunday morning; 4) You do not need to remember all your Bible stories in order to teach! Our curriculum will give you all the info you need. Please prayerfully consider whether God is calling you to minister to our youngest parishioners. Sign up the Christian Ed bulletin board in the hallway. For questions about the programs, please speak to Kristin or Terry.
This Sunday’s Music
Songs of the Holy Spirit dominate this week as we celebrate Pentecost and recall the gift of the Holy Spirit. Our first hymn is “O Spirit of the living God,” written by James Montgomery in 1823, and emphasizes the missionary mandate that we receive with the Holy Spirit. At the Gradual, we sing “Gracious Spirit, Holy Ghost,” was written by Christopher Wordsworth about 1860. Its emphasis is on the spiritual gift of love: a loose paraphrase of Paul’s famous “Love” chapter from 1 Corinthians 13. During communion we sing “Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me,” was written by Daniel Iverson for a Gospel crusade in 1926. Its mood is warm and prayerful, calling for the pouring out of the Spirit. Finally, we sing “All my hope on God is founded,” was written by Joachim Neander in the late seventeenth century, and translated by English poet Robert Bridges. It’s a song of praise in creation and God’s sovereignty.
At the offertory, the Junior and Adult Choirs joint to sing “Prayer for Pentecost,” a lovely canonic setting calling for the gift of the Holy Spirit.
I chose the organ prelude, “The Celestial Banquet” by Messiaen, because its mood captures some of the beauty and mystery of the Holy Spirit. On the other hand, for the postlude, I chose Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in D Minor, which reminded me of the relationship of the Spirit with fire in its mood of energy and awe.
Will the church know of my donations? Yes. The church receives a weekly deposit update. This update is compatible with our office management program “Church Windows” and thus keeps our records current. This allows the office to continue to send the periodic updates to parishioners noting pledge, amounts paid, and amount of pledge remaining to be paid. In short, the church knows of the contributions just as it does when a check is written. Is the process safe? According to the US Treasury, automatic deposits and withdrawals are 125 times less likely to have “issues” (misrouting, loss, forgery, manipulation) than paper checks.
Frontline – Extending the Conversation
The Frontline Committee is hosting a second forum — potluck and discussion — on Wednesday, May 22nd from 5-7 pm in the Great Hall. Extending the Conversation: Finding our Frontline will build on the conversation started Sunday. May 12th. Using newsprint unrolled around the Great Hall, we’ll begin by identifying all those places where St. Paul’s parishioners already take the Frontline, asking everyone to write down the ways and places they carry their faith into the world: among the sick or the lonely or children or animals or the poor or the displaced or the elderly or for the sake of the environment or for peace and justice or….The first task of these Holy Conversations the Bishop has asked congregations to have is to know ourselves, to recognize who we are as God’s people in place at this time, to acknowledge and celebrate what we already are and already do. That grounding is what will then let us listen more faithfully to what or where God may be calling us next.
The pot luck will begin at 5, with the discussion starting at 5:45. Bring a dish to share, or just come if you’ve run out of time. Child care is provided. We hope to see you.
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 Outreach Committee. All who are a part of this Ministry, please come forward along with those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
For Families: Summer Church School and Family Service Info. Today is the last day of church school, Rite 13, and J2A until September. Family worship at 9:30 a.m. continues all through the summer without break.
Summer Sundays Worship Schedule. The current three services (8:00, 9:30, and 10:30) will continue at those times through Sunday, June 30. For July, August, and the first Sunday in September (9/1), the 9:30 Family Service will continue, and the 8:00 and 10:30 services will be combined at 9:00. We will have two supply priests, one for the 9:30 Family Service and one for the 9:00 service. Kris Agudelo will be at the Family Service through June 23, although we will celebrate her today as her work comes to an end.
Celebrate and Honor Kris Agudelo!! Today, we will celebrate Kris’ ministry with us at St. Paul’s with an “extra snacks” table on the second floor after the Family Service, and with a combined Celebration/Sunday School picnic in the Great Hall after the 10:30 service. Please come prepared to thank her quietly or noisily, laugh with her, and shout “Godspeed”.
Titus encourages us to “live productive lives” and “provide the urgent needs” of our community. How are we doing on those challenging goals? Come Wednesday at 5:30 in the St. Paul’s Library to discuss! FMI: Pam Nugent, 737-2269.
Thank you from the Iona teens! The teens going to Iona, Scotland are pleased to announce that they have reached their fundraising goal for the pilgrimage. Thanks to all of you who have so generously contributed to their pilgrimage fund through individual donations and support of their various fundraisers. The teens will be leaving on June 20th for 10 days in one of the holiest Celtic Christian sites. Stay tuned for feedback (in the form of a forum and slideshow) from the pilgrimage next fall.
Elder Abuse: Those who attended a recent workshop on Elder Abuse are considering ways to share the information we learned with all of you in the Parish. Some of the statistics are astonishing. Did you know that 90% of abusers are relatives, friends or caregivers? Here are some of the tactics: Uses fear and intimidation; Threats of physical violence; Violence; Refusal to care for the dependent person – withholds food, medication, affection; Use of silence, insults, blame, humiliation; Threats to place in a nursing home; Isolation of victim from friends, supports, family, and normal activities. None of us want to believe it is happening so close to us but it is. Keep your eyes, ears and minds attuned to elders (or anyone who is dependent) with whom you have contact. Listen to what he or she says. Bring concerns to the Church Office.
Do you have our church school costumes? A few months ago, several parishioners volunteered to clean and fix up some of our costumes. It’s time to return them! If you have one of our tubs of costumes at home, please bring them back in so we can have all our costumes in place for the new Christian Formation Director in the fall.
Exploring the Word of the Lord: All are 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. Try it out one Sunday to see whether it’s for you. Questions? Contact Pam Nugent (737-2269 or email@example.com).
If you want Coffee Hour Fellowship to continue, please sign up. 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. 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.
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.