At the end of the 2013 Convention of the Diocese of Maine, Bishop Lane congratulated the delegation assembled on the high quality of discourse when we debated topics. He told us that he was proud of our assembly and that the discourse lacked rancor and divisiveness that is so often the model in secular and religious settings alike. During the convention the Executive Director of Maine Council of Churches (MCC) addressed the body and thanked our bishop for his participation in the recent MCC event, “Civil Discourse on Same Sex Marriage.” He pointed to the principles of Civil Discourse that all members of MCC are invited to adopt.
I thought I’d include them in this Friday email because I already have seen groups at St. Paul’s use something similar. I wanted to share it so that more ministry small groups might adopt this method, if they haven’t already. It is a covenant that can be used for small groups in religious or secular settings.
We might even discern that we are a parish called to be leaders in modeling civil discourse!
A Covenant for Civil Discourse
Maine Council of Churches, Adopted by the board in 2009 and signed by more than 80 candidates and campaign officials by September 2012. Those signing the covenant pledge:
1. To act respectfully toward others, including those who oppose me/us in public debate, and to attempt to understand others’ point(s) of view. I/we would extend this attitude of respect to all those engaged in civil discourse in America.
2. To refrain from personal attacks, while maintaining the right to vigorously disagree.
3. To refrain from making statements which characterize my/our opponents as evil.
4. To refuse to make untrue statements in defense of my/our position.
5. To value honesty, truth, and civility while striving to find workable solutions.
6. To expect any person, party, campaign or organization working on my behalf, or to whom I contribute money, to meet these same standards for civil discourse.
Your sister in Christ,
Notes on the 10:30 Music
We begin Sunday’s 10:30 service with “The God of Abraham Praise.” It is a Jewish text by Daniel ben Judah, who in turn drew it from a doxology [song of praise] by Maimonides (12th century). It was translated by Thomas Olivers and published in 1772. Olivers was moved to render it for use in Christian worship after hearing it at a synagogue. At the gradual we sing a classic by Fanny Crosby,”Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine,” first published in 1873. Its message of encouragement draws us to remember the promise that God loves us. At communion, we sing “For the bread which you have broken,” written by Lois Fitzgerald Benson in 1925. It points to the sacrament’s message of promise and faith, and encourages us to a response of service. We conclude with the ancient hymn “O what their joy and their glory must be.” It was 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.
Today at the offertory the Junior Choir sings the anthem Jubilate Deo by D. Wagner.
Bob Judd, Music Director
Living Our Future
James Hornor will give the sermon at all services this Sunday regarding stewardship.
“…commitment to a church is not simply a matter of showing up at certain times (though of course showing up matters). Financial commitment, volunteering, and taking on leadership roles are also important. It’s also being connected enough to grow.
“As a leader in my church I need to be visible and connected in the community while balancing my own needs and schedule. Perhaps the question I should be asking myself about my attendance and those of others (in as much as it’s any of my business) is whether we are present often enough so that we are able to grow spiritually and do the work that God is calling us to do.”
By Jeremiah Sierra. For the rest of the article and other articles, visit Episcopal Church Vital Practices website:
Rev. Carolyn Eklund
Parent/Guardian Retreat this Sunday at noon
We will hold a retreat for parents and guardians to discuss the status of our church school and youth groups. With Carolyn’s arrival, we are ready to talk about what’s working well, what needs we have to address, and any other thoughts about where our programs are headed! Childcare and food will be provided, so please join us!
This Sunday’s Announcements
This morning we welcome Janet Davis as guest organist and James Hornor who will give a sermon on stewardship.
Nametags As we greet Emily and Carolyn, please wear your nametag. If you need one, a signup sheet is posted in the Great Hall near the kitchen window. Magnetic closures are for those who prefer them but these are not to be used by someone with a pacemaker or other implanted electrical device.
Parenting as a Spiritual Journey Meets from 10:30-11:15 in the Library. Linda Ashe-Ford leads the group, which follows the book of the same title, written by Rabbi Nancy Fuchs-Kreimer. (Don’t worry- no reading between classes is required!) The group considers the spiritual aspects of seemingly mundane activities and seeks to re-envision family life within the lens of spirituality. Please consider joining this welcoming, casual group.
St. Paul’s Earthcare Commission wishes to test the congregation’s interest in learning about and/or getting involved in making storm inserts. These inserts can significantly reduce window heat loss. Fairly easy to make they consist of wooden frames cut to order covered with a clear shrink film. A window insert made by Lucy Leitzell is on display along with signup sheets in the Great Room. Earthcare Commission will meet this Sunday at 9:30a.m.
On the second Sunday of the month the plate offering is designated to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.
Frontline Forum The Frontline Committee returns with a forum following the 10:30 service on Sunday, November 17th to discuss the information we received from parishioners about individual and group ministries outside, and inside, of St. Paul’s. This information will be presented graphically accompanied by a summary outlining our thinking of what we learned. Our new rector, Carolyn, will be participating in this discussion, and we will outline our plans to how we will proceed from this point in our process of exploring where the frontline of St. Paul’s should be. We hope you will able to join us. A second forum will be held on the following Sunday, November 24th, following the 8:00 service.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program is now serving lunch six days a week! St. Paul’s partners with First Parish on the third Saturday to run the kitchen. Volunteers are needed. If this Saturday does not work for you, there are other Saturdays as options. If you can help on Saturday, November 16, please sign up on the sign that is posted on the bulletin board in the main hallway, or contact James Ford at 841-9377 or email@example.com. If you interested in any of the other Saturdays, or would like to help in the food bank or food pantry, let James know.
Apple Pies Sign up for yours today. The signup sheet is in the Great Hall. Pies are $13 each and ready for pick up on Nov. 24. Cabot Cheddar Cheese ($7 per pound) is also available for pre-Thanksgiving delivery.
Do you like to sing in choirs, but are a little short on time? How about joining the St. Paul’s Christmas Eve choir? We’ll be practicing our Christmas music Wednesday nights between November 17 and Christmas. Contact Bob Judd to learn more! 619-4642
The Tuesday Bible Study continues meeting at 12:30 in the library. For those interested in fellowship and conversation, bring your lunch and join us at noon. The topic for this fall is the Parables. On November 12th we will study the parable of
the Workers of the Vineyard. Each session will be complete and is not depend on the previous one.
Wednesday Night Bible Study continues meeting 5:30-6:30, in the Library. This group uses a study guide by John Stott, and facilitation of the discussion is shared by group members. The group is studying 1 and 2 Thessalonians.
Church School Teachers Needed! We have some immediate opening in the Lambs class (preschool level) for teachers. The curriculum is prepared and classrooms are set up for you each week, and no previous experience is required. Please see Emily Keniston for more information.
Teacher’s Meeting Coming Up! There will be a teacher’s meeting held upstairs in the Family Service space at 11:30 on November 24th. The meeting is open to all teachers (new and old) as well as those considering teaching in the future. We will discuss the schedule for the upcoming trimester (which runs from Dec 1st through March 2nd), our church school ethos and best practices, plus we’ll address any questions and concerns people bring to share. Please see Emily Keniston with questions.
Donating automatically? Still want to put something into the collection plate? At each entrance, there are “I Give Electronically” slips. Please feel free to take one and place it in the collection plate.