My favorite Bible scholar Walter Brueggemann gives a lecture I found on YouTube on St. Paul’s letter to the Romans, Chapter 12, the best chapter in the bible as a model of the ideal church. He says that Paul, “…enjoins the Church to practice three essential marks of Christianity: hospitality, generosity and not practicing vengeance.” He asked his listeners to imagine, in a world of Pharaohs, Caesars and tyrannical kings and leaders, how radical these Christian marks are. He also named the hunger the Church today has for these practices.

I would like to talk about hospitality in this weekly email. I found a definition that I really like. “The quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.” Christian long to practice this mark! And surely, guests and strangers alike have this same hunger, too!
I can see that our parish of St. Paul’s takes the practice of hospitality very seriously. The Reception Committee is an example of how generous many parishioners are in time of crisis or death by putting forth a generous spread in the Great Hall after funerals. Our Youth Group offers refreshments after the 8am Sunday service. There is always a lovely, generous table full of feed and beverages offered after the 10:30am Sunday service. And volunteers led by Jane Burke our Christian Formation Director lays a spread in the “Upper Room” after the 9:30am Eucharist.

This summer, I’m learning that our hospitality on Sundays is more relaxed. Many of us travel for vacation or are entertaining guests from out of town. Or we move to our summer location. As a result, there have been a few gaps in the sign-up schedule this summer for our one, 9am coffee hour. Summertime is an important time to remember how we offer hospitality because so many people visit St. Paul’s when they are in our area on vacation. Just a warm smile and a beverage in fellowship are simple ways to make a connection with people who hunger for hospitality after worshiping with us.

In this weekly email I would like to invite us to think about how we want to demonstrate our hospitality. Clearly, God is calling us to this practice. How do we want to “treat guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way?” If you feel called to hospitality for Sunday Coffee Hour this summer and beyond, please call or email the Parish Office.

And thank you to the many volunteers who already have responded to this call with generosity!

Your friend in Christ,
Carolyn H. Eklund+

Summer Coffee Hour host needed
August 3, 10 & 31

Summer Worship Survey
Please take a minute or two to give your feedback regarding your worship experience at St. Paul’s. The following link is to a short, seven question survey. Click on the link or copy and past it into a web browser. http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07e995zxt4huo5jwn4/start

Sunday’s Announcements

This Sunday
Healing Prayer is offered today at each service. If you wish to receive a prayer on your own behalf or on behalf of another, proceed to the healing station following communion. The stations are in the vestibule at the 8:00 service, and upstairs in the youth group room at the 9:30 service.

9:30 a.m. Family Eucharist. We’ll hear the story of Jesus’ miracle of the Loaves & Fishes-then we’ll eat homemade Communion bread!!

This Week
3:00 p.m., Friday, August 8th. Pathway Vineyard Church, 94 Pleasant St., Brunswick. Rejoicing Spirits service, filled with music, joyous singing and a brief, meaningful message, it’s a great opportunity to share God’s message of love with friends, family and those with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Come…and see why Rejoicing Spirits is becoming one of Brunswick’s most vibrant new ministries.

5:00 p.m. Friday, August 8th. Art Walk. The Art Walk will feature artists exhibiting in multiple venues (St. Paul’s is one) with opening receptions, along with more than 25 musicians, and a variety of street entertainers.

10:00 a.m. Saturday, August 9th. Backyard Locavore Day. Self guided tour of 6 local backyards, including parishioners, the Studdifords and Banks. Presented by UMaine Extension. See poster on bulletin board for more information.

FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!

6:00 p.m. Wednesday, August 27. Celebration of New Ministry for The Reverend William Blaine-Wallace, The People of All Saints Episcopal Church, 169 Malbon’s Mills Road, Skowhegan, Maine. The Right Reverend Stephen Lane, Bishop of Maine, Presiding.

7:00 p.m. Sunday, August 31st. 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! Phone Bob, 619-4642, for more information.

REMINDERS

Ready, Set, Go to Learn! Is a program offered by Adoptive, Foster and Kinship Families of Maine providing school supplies, a back pack, 2 school outfits, personal care items and a winter coat to children in out of home placements statewide. We also serve children in the local community through the Tedford Homeless Shelter, Sweetser, and the Independence Association, as well as kids referred from local schools. Last year we served over 500 children in need. As a result our supplies were nearly depleted and we are in need of school supplies, personal care items, underclothes, and socks for children ages 5 to 18. Look for an itemized list of items needed and collection boxes in the church the next month. Backpack filling workshops are scheduled for August 4-8, please call Tammy Cutchen, 208-0939 if you are able to help.

Many thanks from the high school youth group to all of you who have donated items for the Haiti Birth Kits, and to one parishioner who has given us a cash donation. We now have what we need of most items; we could still use more receiving blankets and infant caps, as well as infant toys. We will be collecting throughout August. Your generosity is greatly appreciated!

11:45 a.m., Wednesday, August 6. Sharing and Caring Support Group will be going to lunch at The Schoolhouse Cafe in Harpswell (Rt. 123 at Mountain Road) for our August gathering. We will meet at the St. Paul’s parking lot at 11:45 a.m. and carpool to the restaurant for lunch at noon. Please join us as we come together to share conversation and a good meal. Looking forward to seeing you there. Barbara Blanchard, Sandy Meyer, and Susan McCracken.

Summer Sunday Worship Schedule
9:30 a.m.
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!)

The church office is now on summer hours-closed Mondays, open Tuesday through Friday 8:30 till 2:00.

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.