The Frontline Committee, chaired by Terry Leitzell has worked in collaboration with the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Brunswick and First Parish to raise awareness in our town about the book, “The New Jim Crow: mass incarceration in the age of color-blindness” by Michelle Alexander. There was a community forum discussion in April at Bowdoin about the book. A few weeks ago, in an Adult Forum at St. Paul’s, the Frontline Committee held a showing of the Bill Moyers PBS interview with Michelle Alexander.
This Sunday, June 22, 2014 at 9:20am, the Frontline Committee has organized third opportunity for us to learn more about the prison system through a panel discussion in the Great Hall featuring those members of St. Paul’s who minister in prisons. Steve Thomas, Mary Lee Wile and Julia Walkling will be on hand to share their stories and experiences with people who are incarcerated and to raise awareness of the deep, spiritual need and opportunities for restorative justice with those who have been imprisoned.
Andree Appel who has attended a recent restorative justice seminar at Bates College and is a member of St. Paul’s Frontline Committee has organized this panel discussion. Since attending the restorative justice seminar, Andree shared with me some of her thoughts,
“…what has been a revelation to me is how badly perverted our criminal justice system has become, and how unaware I would say most of us are unless we have…interact[ed] with it…I feel that this is also part of what keeps us apart from large parts of the community who so desperately need a community like ours to love and support them. I feel challenged to look at my own prejudices and feelings about those we brand as ‘bad’ people. It’s not easy.”
I invite you to attend this forum Sunday and begin to ask God to challenge you in new ways.
SUMMER WORSHIP HOSPITALITY
On July 6, St. Paul’s invites you, your friends, newcomers and summer vacationers to worship with us Sundays in July and August at two different times: “Come as you are” to the 8:00am Eucharist or at 9:30am when we will celebrate the Eucharist “Family Style.”
I hope that there will be opportunities when members of the parish who don’t know each other, or don’t see each other very often will be able to interact, become acquaintances or rekindle friendships this summer. An important way I would like for us to facilitate broader interaction this summer is to provide ONE “St. Paul’s Coffee Hour” time between services.
It will work like this: If you attended the Eucharist at 8:00am, stay for fellowship time at “Coffee Hour.” If you come for the 9:30 Family Eucharist, come a few minutes early to enjoy refreshments and interact with those who have just worshiped at the 8:00am service. The benefit is twofold: co-mingling with a broader selection of friends and those who host “Coffee Hour” prepare it once!
Wear your nametags, and if you are a Newcomer, if you give us your name, we’ll make a nametag for you, too! If you aren’t sure of someone’s name, just ASK. Even if you think they’ve been a member for years! My prayer is that each person will make one new friend this summer at St. Paul’s.
Your friend in Christ,
Music at Sunday’s 10:30 service begins with a movement from Bach’s suite in E Flat for cello, played by Hannah Judd. Our first hymn is “Christ, for the world we sing,” written by Samuel Wolcott in 1869. It simply reminds us of our call to serve God by sharing the love of Jesus with the world, in every way, at all times. At the Gradual, we sing “Take up your cross, the Savior said,” written by Charles Everest in 1833. Its title suggests that our walk is difficult (and it is!), but the next line reminds us, paradoxically, that it is also easy: “follow me.” Thankfully, we are not blazing a trail: we have a unique guide in Jesus. At the offertory, the choir sings “Just Like John,” a spiritual arranged by Cam Smith that is a prayer (“Lord, help me be ready”) and celebration (“I’ll be in Jerusalem!”) as well as reminder that we have a cloud of witnesses to follow, “just like John.” Our communion hymn, “Will you come and follow me,” is another reminder of our walk with Jesus as followers. It was written for the Iona community in 1989. Our final hymn is “Spread, O spread, thou mighty word,’ by J. F. Bahnmaier (1823). It returns to the theme of mission, through Jesus, Living Word, working through us. The organ music draws worship to a conclusion: Bach’s well known Toccata and Fugue in D Minor. This suggests to me the power of the Holy Spirit, without which all efforts are futile, but with which God will produce much good fruit!
This Sunday’s Announcements
TODAY, June 22
The Rector will be away Monday through Wednesday. If you have a pastoral emergency, please call one of the Deacons.
9:30 a.m. Family Eucharist. Even though school is almost over, we are still “students” of Christ. Our theme is “discipleship.”
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.
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 email@example.com.
7:00 p.m. Hymn Sing in the church with light refreshments following. Please come, and bring your friends! It’s an unstructured time to sing those favorites that you wish we’d sing more often! Bring a list, and be ready for a fun time of worship. Phone Bob, 619-4642, for more information.
Sharing the Word. If you are planning an event such as an Earth Care forum, a book discussion group, or listening to a invited speaker, would you like others to share and participate in your event? Alternatively, perhaps you would like to participate in another’s event being held elsewhere. With the assistance of the diocese, St. Paul’s is now one of the churches in the diocese with the capability to interactively “stream” and receive events (video and audio). Please keep this in mind as you plan your schedule. We also can air selected services (e.g., baptisms, funerals, weddings) in real time via the Internet. Contact the wardens or the office for more details.
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!)