Sunday we welcome Michael Douglass, executive director of Bishopswood summer camp, located on Lake Megunticook. Michael will talk about all aspects of camp life. Bishopswood is an Episcopal coed overnight camp affordable and open to all youths ages 6-16. The Primary Goals of Bishopswood are to live in community and to affirm the uniqueness of each person as a being created by God in God’s image.

Thank you, good people of St. Paul’s for engaging in the history/story-telling session after All Parish Eucharist last Sunday. I am deeply grateful for Linton Studdiford for facilitating the discussion and for the pre-work he did with me to prepare for it. I LEARNED SO MUCH AND AM STILL LEARNING FROM YOU!
There were more than 60 people in the Great Hall after coffee hour last Sunday as we began the story-telling. You fearlessly took the pencil and wrote many things on the walls. I loved that our Youth Group stayed and put their mark on our “history” wall, too!
I learned a few things from that day and I continue to learn as members engage each other in conversation about memories and by telling stories.

One thing I learned is that about one-third of the people who attended didn’t take a pencil because they felt they were so new to St. Paul’s that they didn’t have much history. There a new people at St. Paul’s like me!

The second thing I learned was that some things I knew about, like the family-oriented worship in the parish hall several years ago, wasn’t written on the “history wall”. It wasn’t mentioned at all as having had impact upon families. There was no mention of sorrow when it was ended. I want to know more about this from you.

The third thing I learned was how divided our community was in the 60s over the Viet Nam War and that there was something listed on the “history wall” about “NO GUNS IN CHURCH”. It made me wonder if it meant no honor guard was allowed for funerals, or did people wear guns on their “person” in church.

We indeed have a history. This Body of Christ at St. Paul’s in Brunswick Maine has been serving Christ in the heart of Brunswick for over 170 years. Wonderful, faithful people have prayed in the worship space for generations. The prayers and spirit of this parish has connected with the Holy Spirit over these years and made “thin places” (as the Celts called them) – places in which regular prayer and worship and praise have made the feeling of connection to the “holy” seem unusually close. I invite you to visit the “history wall” in the Great Hall for the next two weeks and add your stories. And please continue to share what you remember with your friends, whether they are stories of strife or joy, for our stories connect us with each other in a holy way.

Your friend in Christ,

Music Notes

We begin our 10:30 worship on Sunday with an organ meditation on a theme of Tallis (d. 1585) by nineteenth-century composer W. T. Best. Our first hymn is John Newton’s classic “Glorious things of thee are spoken.” The first line of the hymn quotes Psalm 87:3; and scripture is referenced in nearly every line, ranging from the exodus to the eternal city of God that awaits us. We’ll sing it to Haydn’s tune “Austria,” arguably his favorite composition. Our gradual hymn is “Jesus, lover of my soul,” written by Charles Wesley in 1740. This is an earnest hymn of prayer that exhorts us to turn to our only true means of rescue, Jesus: “Plenteous grace with thee is found, grace to cover all my sin . . . spring thou up within my heart, rise to all eternity!” The tune is “Aberystwyth,” by Joseph Parry (about 1850), a beautiful melody that fits the hymn’s mood perfectly. At the offertory the choir sings “Let Thy Merciful Ears, O Lord,” by Thomas Mudd (about 1600). This is a little gem that sets a collect asking for help to pray rightly. At the communion we sing “Rock of ages, cleft for me,” another classic written by Augustus Toplady in 1776. Its themes are similar to “Jesus, lover of my soul,” pointing more directly to our need for Jesus the savior: “could my tears forever flow, all for sin could not atone; thou must save, and thou alone. Nothing in my hand I bring, simply to the cross I cling.” The tune, written specifically with this text in mind, was composed in 1830 by Thomas Hastings, a New York minister of music. Our final hymn is “Hail, thou once despised Jesus,” written by John Bakewell and Martin Madan (18th century). Its exultant mood gives a foretaste of heaven in meditating on the source of spiritual life. The service concludes with Bach’s A Minor prelude.

What’s happening in Church School

The Lions and Lambs will take part in storytelling, stick art and participatory performance (with costumes) about pigs and demons and Jesus.

The Eagles will learn about helping others-and themselves- as they make stress relief kits to share.

This Sunday’s Announcements

TODAY, March 23
9:30 a.m. Earthcare Commission Meeting
12:30 p.m. Christmas Fair Chairs Follow-up meeting

2:00 p.m.-3:30 p.m. Community Garden Fundraiser. Food preservation with Master Preservers Allison Duffy and Kate McCarty.

TUESDAY, March 25
5:30 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. CHILDCARE PROVIDED FOR Lenten Potluck and Book Study, “An Altar in the World” by Barbara Brown Taylor. The Great Hall. Individual presentation by The Rev. Carolyn Eklund “Breakthrough.” Sign up TODAY with Tobey Lee to bring an item for a simple Lenten meal: salad, soup, or bread, and to set up and clean up. More information on our website.

Thursday, March 27
7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Morrell Room, Curtis Memorial Library. The Earth Care Committees of St. Paul’s, First Parish, and the UU invite one and all to the third annual Students Speak. More information on our website.

Friday, March 28
6:00 p.m.- 7:00 p.m. Friday evenings in Lent the Women’s meditation group will meet for soup and conversation. Join us as we explore The Blessing Cup. Soup & beverage provided. See Linda Ashe-Ford for more information.

Sunday, March 30
9:30 a.m. “A Conversation with Dave and Nancy Hawkins: Faith in Hard Times.” Please join Dave and Nancy in the Great Hall while they tell about their journey through the minefield of Nancy’s multiple cancers for more than two decades.

Exploring the Word will not meet so that everyone can join the conversation with Dave and Nancy Hawkins in the Great Hall.

4:00 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Centering Prayer for women. Home of Carolyn Eklund, 43 Spring Street, Brunswick.

Wednesday, April 9, 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. Brunswick Community Forum, “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness” by Michelle Alexander. Sponsored by the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Brunswick, First Parish Church, and the St. Paul’s Frontline Committee. Bowdoin Campus, Searles Hall.

“A Matter of Duty” DVD documentary – For those who have not seen the MPBN production about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and its affects on returning service men and women in Maine, copies are available for sign-out in the Parish Office.

Lenten Meditation Booklets written by parishioners are still available. Please feel free to take one this morning for your Lenten quiet time. Also available is the leaflet of Lenten activities at St. Paul’s. Take one home and invite your family and friends to join us!

Tuesday Bible Class will not be meeting during Lent. The group will resume studying Hebrews, Chapter 6 on April 22.

Please be sure to wear your nametag! If you need one, even if you are a guest or newcomer, please sign up in The Great Hall. Magnetic closure nametags are available.