This Sunday is Trinity Sunday when the Christian Church celebrates a doctrine. It is not a Feast Day of a Saint or a biblical story like the Nativity, the crucifixion, the resurrection, the ascension or that great and energetic day of Pentecost.
Trinity Sunday celebrates as one definition calls it, “[Holy Father], for with your co-eternal Son and Holy Spirit, you are one God, one Lord, in Trinity of Persons and in Unity of Being…” Oh dear! Not exactly a “warm and fuzzy” way into the hearts and souls of those seeking something more meaningful in their lives!
There is hope, though! One of my favorite blessings in the Book of Common Prayer is located in the prayers for the sick. It’s one of the most solidly Trinitarian prayers in the prayer book, and surprisingly, the most easy to understand! Let me share it with you. I hope you’ll see how easy it is to connect with. You might even want to share it with loved ones or friends who may be suffering physically or mentally:
“May God the Father bless you,
God the Son heal you,
and God the Holy Spirit give you strength.
May God, the holy and undivided Trinity guard your body,
save your soul, and bring you safely to his heavenly country;
where he lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.” (BCP, p. 460)
In his book, “The New Prayer Book Guide to Christian Education,” Joseph Russell encourages Church School Teachers to help children and adults understand the Trinity by this helpful definition, “…the belief that God is revealed to us in three persons, existing in a mutual relationship of love.”
This idea of being in mutual relationship can only be sustained through love. No one can stand the daily ups and downs of being in the committed relationship of a friendship or any other kind of deep partnering, business or family without love being sustained. The habit of love calls forth respect and provides the opening for reconciliation when wronged.
God gives us this example of love through the example of Christ’s love. Love serves as the connecting “glue” of the three persons of the Trinity, between God and God’s people and between you and me.
I witnessed this mutual relationship of love last evening in the words our deacon The Rev. Chick Carroll said as he, Mr. Ed Bradley of First Parish and in absentia, The Rev. George Hardy, a Presbyterian minister accepted the Tedford Housing Annual Community Partner of Excellence Award for The Gathering Place. In his remarks, Chick described the simple task of volunteering at The Gathering Place. All that is needed is to be respectful of the guests. He shared that many people who come to the day time shelter both at the Adventist Church and Wednesdays at St. Paul’s remark that guests and volunteers co-mingle in friendship and trust. Many days they sit together and no one knows who is a guest and who is a volunteer.
Congratulations to The Gathering Place – to Chick, Bunny Fazekas and Jim Boales who also were present to accept the award last evening! May St. Paul’s be the example of Trinitarian mutual relationship in love for all communities. (Please contact Chick or Bunny to find out more about volunteering!)
Your friend in Christ,
This week’s hymns at 10:30 are oriented to observing Trinity Sunday. We begin with the classic reference to Isaiah 6, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty.” It was written by Reginald Heber about 1820 as a mark and support for the Nicene Creed and its statement of faith that declares the Trinity: God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, three yet one. Our Gradual hymn is “Immortal, invisible, God only wise,” written by Walter Smith about 1865. Its text (a meditation on 1 Tim 1:17, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever”) focuses on God as light, exploring the paradox that too much light can blind us: if we are having trouble finding God, “’tis only the splendor of light” that makes us unable to see the Lord. The offertory anthem is a paean of praise, “Sing a New Song,” by Michael Haydn (younger brother of Joseph). At communion we sing the hymn “Holy God, we praise thy name,” a paraphrase of the ancient text Te Deum Laudamus, found in the Book of Common Prayer (Canticle 7, p. 52; or Canticle 21, p. 95). In its turn, the canticle draws on Isaiah 6 and the prophet’s great declaration of God’s holiness. Our final hymn is “We all are one in mission,” written by Rusty Edwards in 1986. It draws attention to our union, through Christ, in pursuit of our call to witness to God’s great acts of saving grace through our varied gifts and talents.
Our guest organist today is George Lopez. Please greet him after the service!
This Sunday’s Announcements
TODAY, June 15
We welcome George Lopez guest organist to St. Paul’s.
We give thanks to all the men in our lives. Happy Father’s Day.
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 on behalf of another, proceed to the vestibule following communion.
9:30 a.m. Family Eucharist. Celebrating the Trinity.
Saturday, June 21. 11:00 a.m. St. Mark’s Church in Waterville. There will be a celebration of the ministry of Canon Vicki Wiederkehr who will step down from her diocesan ministry at the end of June. Worship will begin at 11 a.m. followed by a simple reception in the parish hall. In order to make proper arrangements for hospitality and food, the favor of a reply is requested by June 14. https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1gLTU8pXLX_YkEbysU0_xRXhNR8EagGukjaSCEI7J00/viewform
Sunday, June 22. 9:20 a.m. The Frontline Committee presents a forum on Prison Ministry. Parishioners Steve Thomas, Julia Walkling and Mary Lee Wile will talk about their work with incarcerated people.
Sunday, June 22. 6:00 p.m. Andrew Fiori, a landscaper who ended up creating his own nursery specializing in herbaceous wildflowers, ornamental grasses and select hybrids, will be giving a talk here at St. Paul’s. Even at a young age, he found himself fascinated with things like the winter statuesque beauty of seed heads and the delicate tracery of wild grasses. Moreover, he fortunately had a grandmother who shared and encouraged this fascination. His interest, keen aesthetic eye and knowledge as a plantsman about the hardy, robust, low-maintenance and, when possible, local plant material is not only exciting, but very much in tune with what is happening in the world of green or sustainable landscape design the world over. NYC’s High Line gardens by Piet Oudolf or the Centennial Gardens in Chicago are wonderful examples of this new wilder, yet artful, approach to ‘natural’ or sustainable gardening. We will get to see slides of actual gardens; learn about some of the principles and actual realities involved; and ask any questions we might have about how to do it? Where? Why? And enjoy together some simple munchies…..green or otherwise!
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
June 29th. All services celebrating St. Paul’s Patronal Feast: The Feast of St. Peter & St. Paul. Learning about our spiritual gifts to build up the Body of Christ.
12:30 p.m. Vestry sponsored Newcomers Brunch-Rector’s home, 43 Spring Street, Brunswick. If you are a newcomer to St. Paul’s or want to know more about our ministries, please join us. RSVP firstname.lastname@example.org.
7:00 p.m. Hymn Sing in the church. Invite your friends!
The St. Paul’s high school youth group will be collecting items over the summer to create safe birth kits for poverty-affected pregnant women in Haiti, through an organization called Konbit Sante Cap-Haitian Health Partnership. This initiative supports traditional birth attendants (TBAs) who deliver babies at home in Haiti. The contents of each kit includes materials for a safe home birth and comfort items for the newborn baby. Please see handout sheet for items needed. Beginning on Sunday, June 8, there will be a box for donations near the parking lot door. Please look for this box, and donate if you feel called to do so. The group will set an August date for assembling the kits, and you are also welcome to help us with this task. Many thanks in advance for whatever help you can give!
Please Note: On Sundays, the doors to the parking lot will be locked from the outside at approximately noon. As we have had too many instances when the doors remained unsecured all day, ushers will now lock the doors as a matter of routine. Exceptions of course will be made for events taking place on Sunday afternoons. And, nothing in this policy means anyone has to rush home – by all means, stay and enjoy the coffee and fellowship.
July/August Sunday Summer Schedule
A Celebration of Holy Eucharist characterized by relaxed (wear comfortable clothes!) and joyful singing of familiar hymns and language taken from the Book of Common Prayer, present-day version (Rite II).
Joyful, informal worship located in the “Upper Room,” centered around the Holy
Eucharist with song tunes and words that are easy to learn and to memorize. The
language of worship is the familiar “Family Eucharist” prayer. The homily is geared to teach children and adults the stories of the Gospels and aspects of Episcopal worship.
Please Note: The 9:30 Eucharist on the third Sundays in July and August, July 20 and August 17, will be held outdoors in the Pleasant Street courtyard. Please offer to volunteer and come early to help set up chairs and the canopy over the altar and keyboard!
(We’ll be inside if it rains hard!)