“God’s call always involves service to others. It always leads us beyond ourselves and our own needs and desires. It is never solely for us, but always has some benefit for other people. There is no genuine call from God that does not include this dimension.” (Br. David Vryhof of the Society of Saint John the Evangelist).
St. Paul’s has a wonderful history of reaching out to the Brunswick/Topsham communities and beyond to follow that call to service. The Rev. Carolyn Eklund will bring her own history of outreach at Grace Episcopal Church, Plainfield, New Jersey. Grace established Plainfield Community Outreach, Inc.(PCO) a 501 (c)(3) non-profit that provides an extensive education program of after-school tutoring, ESL classes, and dinner & homework help for grades1-6, in addition to a feeding program of 1,000 lunches per month. PCO is supported by government grants and private contributions. Here’s a link to PCO’s website: http://www.educateplainfield.org/index.html.
As Carolyn Eklund brings together her history of service and St. Paul’s active service ministries, I sense the beginning of a marvelous partnership.
A Note on Music at 9:00
Our first hymn Sunday is Luther’s classic “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.” It dates from 1529. Stanzas 1-3 were inspired by Psalm 46; stanza 4 arose directly from Luther’s persecution experience. The text expresses trust in God’s protection amidst the battle that Christians wage against the devil. The closing line of the text provides great encouragement: “God’s truth abideth still; his kingdom is forever!” Luther himself composed the tune. At the gradual we sing another classic, “O what their joy and their glory must be,” written by Abelard in the early twelfth century. It’s an encouraging meditation on the saints who have “run the race” before us and the glory of the nearer presence we look forward to in heaven, as alluded to in our Epistle reading from Hebrews 12. At the communion we sing “Heal me, hands of Jesus,” as a reminder of our Gospel story of healing. It was written by Michael Perry in 1982. Its four prayers are “heal me, cleanse me, know me, fill me,” worthy of daily meditation. We conclude with another classic, “Glorious things of thee are spoken,” written by John Newton (who also wrote “Amazing Grace”) in 1779. Its first line is from Ps. 87:3, but it includes many scripture references in meditating on God’s kingdom and our part in it. The last stanza was omitted from 1982, but is a favorite of mine: “Savior, since of Zion’s city I through grace a member am, / let the world deride or pity, I will glory in your name. / Fading are the world’s best pleasures, all its boasted pomp and show; / solid joys and lasting treasures none but Zion’s children know.”
The anthem at the offertory is “Cast Thy Burden upon the Lord,” from Mendelssohn’s Elijah. “Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee. He never will suffer the righteous to fall: He is at thy right hand. Thy mercy, Lord, is great, and far above the heavens. Let none be made ashamed, that wait upon Thee!”
The organ music includes two twentieth-century German pieces: Hermann Schroeder’s “Meditation” and a setting of “A Mighty Fortress” by Helmut Walcha. See if you can hear the canonic setting of the melody in the postlude!
This Sunday’s Announcements
We welcome the Rev. Jonathan Appleyard 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 Cooks for Crisis Meals. 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.
In the office Sr. Warden, Terry Leitzell, will be in the office Tuesdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Jr. Warden, Pat Ryan, will be in the office Thursdays from 9:00 a.m. to noon. Christian Formation Director, Emily Keniston, will be in the office on Wednesdays.
Outside repairs: You probably have noticed on-going repairs to the outside of our building. Portions of the church’s protective wooden skirt are rotten. Work is underway to remove those portions, repair them with plastic fill or high quality wood, seal and paint. Some of vents are also in bad shape. They too will be replaced.
Sound System – If you missed last Sunday’s sermon for whatever reason or are a LPV bringing St. Paul’s to shut-ins, last Sunday’s readings of the Epistle and Gospel, and the accompanying sermon are now available on St. Paul’s website. They can be accessed and played on most any laptop or mobile smart device. This is not yet a regular feature, but we wanted to share this capability with you.
Classroom Set-up Day Wednesday, August 28th will be our official “classroom set up day” at St. Paul’s! There is much to be done – bulletin boards to set up, school supplies to organize and lots of fun and fellowship to be had! If you are available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and would like to help, then please email Emily Keniston at email@example.com .
Sound System – Audiophiles Sought. Have you ever seen yourself as being a music producer for The Beatles, Dr. Dre, or Guy Lombardo? Here’s your chance. Over the past weeks we’ve been testing our new recording capability at various services. We are seeking someone who would be interested in operating the recorder. The job would involve turning the recorder on/off at selected services, editing and labeling MP3 or WAV files, and uploading them to our web site – most of this can be done at home on a computer. Interested? Please contact the office, Paul Womer, or the wardens.
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.
Summer Sundays Worship Schedule: For 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.
Opportunity knocks! Please sign up! Our church school depends on the adults who lead it. We currently have teacher 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! Sign-up sheets are in the hallway. For more info, please contact Emily (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Teachers Meeting and New Teacher Workshop At 10:30 on September 8, all teachers are invited to a “check in” meeting about the upcoming church school year. We will review timing and structure of Sunday mornings, safety protocols, registration and attendance, schedules, and will address any questions or concerns. Directly following the meeting we will do an overall teaching workshop for those new to our program (or those who would like a refresher). This will include a discussion of our church
school “ethos”, a tour of the space, and an exploration of learning styles and children’s spirituality. Please contact Emily Keniston at email@example.com for more information.
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.
Free CD recordings of the St. Paul’s inaugural organ recital by Sean Fleming last November are now available! Come to the office and ask for one.
The kitchen stove will be replaced shortly. If there is anyone, including organizations, who would want it. Please let the office know.