“When I invested in a band of sheep last fall…..I had no notion of what I was letting myself in for in the way of emotional involvements.” (E.B. White in One Man’s Meat, essays about his saltwater farm in Maine in the 30’s and 40”s). “They differ in their attitude toward the shepherd. Some sheep enjoy having you mincing around, arranging flowers and adjusting the window. Others are annoyed beyond words.”
As our rector candidates pray to discern a call to St. Paul’s, they will consider those emotional involvements. A rector I know well told me once that he could not make truly close friends in his parish because he always had to be ready to be a pastor to his parish friends and acquaintances. A new rector will invest in St. Paul’s band of Christian sheep and will develop bonds of one sort or another with each of us–as a pastor, teacher, leader, or a friend. Those bonds and relationships will be complex and will differ for each of us. I know that each of you is ready for that to happen. Several Vestry Members are traveling to home parishes this weekend to learn more about our candidates and to see the bonds they have built with their current parishioners. Next week, the Vestry will begin the final stage of the discernment process as we follow where the Holy Spirit leads.
E.B. White’s sheep looked to him for food, shelter, and to some extent for guidance. But he also knew when to step back and let his sheep grow, flourish, and produce new life. I pray that our new rector will have that wisdom.
9:00 Music Notes Today’s 9 a.m. worship begins with “We know that Christ is raised and dies no more,” written in 1967 by John B. Geyer. Its theme is our new life of Christ through the sacrament of baptism (resonating with Sunday’s epistle reading from Colossians (2:6-19). From verse 3: “The God of splendor clothes the Son with life. The Spirit’s fission shakes the church of God. Baptized, we live with God the Three-in-One. Alleluia! A new creation comes to life and grows, as Christ’s new body takes on flesh and blood…” At the gradual we sing “Eternal Spirit of the living Christ,” by Frank von Christierson (1935). Its prayer for guidance to teach us how to pray supports our Gospel reading (Luke’s version of the Lord’s Prayer, 11:1-13). At the communion we sing the Taizé song “Ubi Caritas,” “Where there is love, there God dwells.” Finally we sing “At the name of Jesus,” written in 1870 by Caroline M. Noel. It is a succinct setting of the gospel message that Jesus came, lived, died, and rose again, for the purpose of saving us. It takes as its starting point Philippians 2:10, “at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
Organ music today celebrates God’s love (prelude: “My Song is Love Unkown,” set by Vaughan Williams; see the hymn text in the blue hymnal, 458) and God’s majesty and joy (postlude: Prelude and Fugue in C Major, by J. S. Bach).
This Sunday’s Announcements
We welcome the Rev. Edward Greene as celebrant for the 9:00 service this morning.
We welcome the Rev. Ellen Shaver as celebrant for the Family Service this morning.
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 Adult Formation. All who are a part of this Ministry, please come forward along with those celebrating birthdays and anniversaries.
Hymn Sing, Tonight, 7 to 8 p.m. in the church: come sing your favorite hymns in a relaxed setting. All are invited: bring a friend or neighbor. Light refreshments follow.
Our new sound system has been installed. We think, and hope, everyone will be pleased with the results. The system has multiple adjustments for congregation size, weather, ambient noise, etc. All clergy have upgraded wireless microphones. We also now have the capability to record services, in whole or in part. The speakers in the Great Hall can connect to our movie projector or mobile devices such as iPads, iPhones, iPods and “boom boxes” (if they still exist). As you can imagine, there will be a learning curve and adjustments as we become familiar with this system. Please bear with us. Here’s one: For lay readers, the on/off switch on the lectern’s microphone is gone – simply begin speaking. Please say a prayer of thanks for those parishioners who donated generously to help make this happen.
Your Help is Requested: Security continues to be an issue, with doors remaining unlocked when no one is present. Please make sure the doors are locked if you are among the last to leave. If you don’t have a key, contact either of the wardens.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program: This note is for people living in the greater Brunswick Maine Community. As you may or may not know, I have been volunteering at the Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program for the past year. I have helped them pilot a Saturday lunch program. The pilot has been quite successful. Mid Coast Hunger has received a grant that will allow them to provide lunch EVERY Saturday starting this fall! This is great news, however, with that, human resources are needed. I have heard many people say that they would like to volunteer, but they work Monday – Friday. Now you can! Please contact me, James Ford, if you are interested. It could be just you, a group of friends you know or other family members that you recruit to do it with you. We average from 10-12 volunteers per lunch with the time 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Shifts could be split if folks prefer. I am not asking for a weekly commitment. You can do it weekly, but I am looking for folks that might want to volunteer monthly, or every other month. Please give this effort serious consideration. Mention it to your friends and family and contact me with any questions. (207) 841-9377 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks.
Summer Sundays Worship Schedule: For July, August, and through the second Sunday in September (9/8), the 9:30 Family Service will continue, and the 8:00 and 10:30 services will be combined at 9:00 a.m. We will have two supply priests, one for the 9:30 Family Service and one for the 9:00 service.
Summer pick-up choir. This summer we’ll have a “pick-up choir” for the 9 a.m. service: we’ll sing a simple anthem that we practice for a few minutes prior to the service. Come along at 8:15 and join in! No stress involved, no long-term commitment required. FMI: Bob Judd, 619-4642.
We need church school teachers! Please sign up! Our church school depends on the adults who lead it. We currently have many slots to fill for the fall. We make it easy for you to teach–pre-made lesson plans and crafts, a team of co-teachers, and a curriculum that has built-in support for those of us who are a bit rusty on our Bible basics. Grab a friend and sign up as a team to teach one trimester! For more info, please see Terry or Pat. Sign-up sheets are in the hallway.
Pledge Reminder. Please remember to keep pledge payments up to date over the summer. Consider the option of on-line giving at the St. Paul’s website.
CD recordings of the St. Paul’s inaugural organ recital by Sean Fleming last November are now available! Let Bob Judd know if you’d like one. Email email@example.com or phone 619-4642.
Lemonade and Cookies: Volunteers are needed to serve lemonade and cookies after the 9:00 service. Many slots are open through the summer. Please sign up for this important time of fellowship.