This Sunday, you will see a flyer inside the worship leaflet at both services describing how to give electronically at St. Paul’s. It is an easy procedure and I’ve enrolled in it myself. I now have committed my $72.00 per week pledge to be taken weekly from my bank account. I have found electronic giving to be extremely convenient.
There is also a “teaser” announcement on the flyer, “Watch for New Outreach Opportunity.” This “teaser” refers to an important action that the Vestry has taken to commit ourselves as a parish to funding outreach projects from our annual budget. The Christmas Fair has been our primary focus for outreach fund-raising, but it has not been part of our annual budget and the revenue has been difficult to predict from year to year.
I am very pleased and proud that members of the Outreach Commission proposed to the Vestry at our May meeting a commitment toward a plan to tithe giving for outreach that includes funding from the Christmas Fair plus funding from our operational budget that creates a tithe in three years.
The Vestry unanimously approved the following resolution at our June meeting. I want to thank the Vestry members and Outreach Committee members for making this commitment to reaching out into the community to support those in need.
VESTRY RESOLUTION REGARDING OUTREACH FUNDING
“On behalf of the Congregation, St. Paul’s Vestry commits to fund Outreach at 10% of our annual operating budget by the year 2017. Christmas Fair net proceeds will continue to be restricted to the Outreach budget and will appear in the annual operating budget effective 2015. The Christmas Fair proceeds will be supplemented by pledge income in the annual operating budget beginning in 2015”
The resolution calls for us to have a goal of tithing at 10% of our annual operating budget by 2017. For 2015 we will aim for 3% of our annual operating budget (Christmas Fair proceeds which will be placed directly into the Outreach line in the budget plus whatever is necessary from pledge receipts to get there). In 2016 we will aim for 6%, and in 2017, 10%.
We plan to stress this resolution in our Stewardship efforts, seeking increases to meet our goals.
The actual percentages will be set by the Vestry during our annual budget process
Thanks to those who answered the call for Coffee Hour hosts! We now have hosts through August. Look for more opportunities in this ministry in the fall.
Guest organist this week will be our own Lois Kwantz. Our first hymn at 8 a.m. worship on Sunday is the classic “O God, our help in ages past.” This hymn was written by Isaac Watts and published in his book of Psalm paraphrases in 1719. It is a versification of parts of Psalm 90, the “Song of Moses, man of God.” Its majestic themes of God’s faithfulness and sovereignty, and our need for his continual protection, have provided comfort and encouragement to worshipers for millennia. At the Gradual we sing “Eternal Father, strong to save,” written by William Whiting about 1860. It is well known as the “Navy Hymn,” with its repetition of prayer for those “in peril on the sea.” Many additional stanzas can be found that extend the theme to land and air travel. (See in the blue hymnal no. 579, for example.) It is also a celebration of the Trinity via themes of water. The tune, “Melita,” was written for the navy text; its title alludes to the island of Malta, where Paul was shipwrecked but providentially saved (Acts 28). At communion we sing “O God of Bethel, by whose hand,” written by Philip Doddridge in 1736. It is a prayer for protection and guidance, We conclude with “Praise the Spirit in creation,” written by Michael Hewlett about 1970. Its theme is the Holy Spirit, sent to lead us to mission, proclaiming God’s work and greatness to a world in need.
THIS WEEK AT ST. PAUL’S
Check out our website for more details! www.stpaulsmaine.org
Also on our website are the instructions for electronic giving. Please consider enrolling for a convenient way to provide consistent financial support to the church.Just a friendly reminder to keep up with your pledge this summer.
TODAY, August 10
We thank Lois Kwantz for being our organist today.
9:30 a.m. Family Eucharist. Jesus walks on the water. The disciples saw him walking on the sea and were very afraid. They thought it was a ghost! Jesus teaches us not to be afraid.
9:30 a.m. August 17. Outdoor worship! Family Eucharist and Baptism will be outside in the Pleasant Street courtyard. Please sign-up to come early to help set up chairs, banners and Table! (We’ll be inside if it rains hard!)
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.
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!
Summer Sunday Worship Schedule
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.