A little over a year ago we announced that we had called a new rector to St. Paul’s. Carolyn began her journey with us in the beginning of November. Only nine months later, and it feels like this was a fit that was meant to be – that the Holy Spirit was with us, and with Carolyn, on the road that brought her here with us.
We were ready for a permanent spiritual presence, a priest for our congregation, a pastor for our members. We wanted someone who approaches challenges with optimism and a sense of humor, and shows open-mindedness. We were looking for someone who could lead us in developing a common vision, both inside and outside the church, the diocese, and community. We wanted a rector who would be supportive of open communion and to have demonstrated interest in welcoming new, younger parishioners.
We wanted a priest who would be open to exploring new forms of worship, especially those involving children and youth. We wanted a priest who would have a passion for the ministry of pastoral care, and would be an advocate for, and support outreach at St. Paul’s. We looked for a priest who leads from a place of empathy and heartfelt prayer, encourages and inspires others in the development of a deeper spiritual life, and who preaches with clarity, relating the Gospel to our daily lives.
The Holy Spirit was indeed with us on that journey, and God blesses us with the gift of Carolyn.
Now, as Carolyn departs on her first and thoroughly well-deserved vacation, it is with pleasure and some astonishment to realize how the Spirit has thrived and grown at St. Paul’s. Summer services, both of them, are fully attended; hymns sung with vibrancy. Our outdoor service in July was a success on several levels (accordion music, balloons, and wide-eyed passers-by on the sidewalk). These are examples of what we can see. Yet, there is more. Following discernment and prayer, the vestry has forged a path ahead for a long-term and robust commitment to Outreach. Our new Christian Formation Director has a fascinating program on tap for the fall – one example is story-telling with Ashley Bryan. Frontline continues to explore our role in confronting “The New Jim Crow.” Parishioner generosity enabled us to install a vapor seal under the church. Plans to improve the heating system at the Barnes Building are now being considered.
Yes, the Spirit was evident when we were in transition, and it continues to grow within and around us. As we enjoy summer’s last few weeks visiting family and friends, spending time on boats or at summer camps, or enjoying an evening barbecue on the deck, we both extend best wishes for what remains of the season.
And as we look forward to an exciting fall, our blessings and thanks to all.
Pat Ryan Paul Womer
Sr. Warden Jr. Warden
Our service at 8 on Sunday begins with an organ prelude on the tune for “My Song is Love Unkown” by Ralph Vaughan Williams. I hope you will meditate on its sublime theme, “My savior’s love for thee; love to the loveless shown, that they might lovely be.” Our first hymn is “The church’s one foundation,” which supports our Gospel reading, declaring Jesus the solid foundation of our faith. The progression of verses is an excellent “sermon in a nutshell,” as well. It was written by Samuel J. Stone in 1866 with a tune by Samuel S. Wesley. For the gradual we sing “He’s got the whole world,” a spiritual that celebrates the global as well as individual, under the care of our great God. At communion, we sing “Ubi Caritas.” the ancient text set to music from Taizé. It may be translated “Where true charity and love abide, God is dwelling there.” Our final hymn is “When morning gilds the skies,” translated from an anonymous German source from about 1800. Its refrain, “May Jesus Christ be praised,” well serves as a constant refrain throughout our days! The service concludes with a setting of “A Mighty Fortress” for organ by German composer Helmut Walcha (about 1950). The tune is shaped ingeniously in a jubilant setting.
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 24
We welcome The Rev. Mary Ann Hoy who is our preacher and celebrant today.
The rector is away on vacation August 22 through September 2. Please call one of the deacons in the event of a pastoral emergency.
9:30 a.m. Family Eucharist. Peter is the rock and he confesses Jesus as the Christ.
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.
The regular Worship Schedule will resume Sunday, September 7, 2014: 8 a.m. (traditional prayer book); 9:30 a.m. (Family Eucharist); 10:30 a.m. (Holy Eucharist with choir).
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
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.
October 4. Save the date. Community story telling event featuring Ashley Bryan.
The Gathering Place, Brunswick’s own drop-in day center for those in need, is in need of coffee donations. Please consider making any donation you can by dropping it off at 84b Union St, Brunswick between 9-3 M, T, Th or F (or during winter months at St Paul’s on Wed) or calling 729 0288. The Gathering Place is a tax exempt 501(3)(c) organization.
Electronic Giving – “I Give Electronically” – To those giving electronically, thank you. St. Paul’s has a steady flow of income during the summer months when folks are often away on vacation, and the job of counting money is easier and faster. Many of you who are donating electronically have commented how easy it is – and there is no need to remember a check and envelope when rushing out the door for church. Some have asked for chits stating “I Give Electronically” to be placed in the collection plate on Sunday morning. In response, “I Give Electronically” chits that were in baskets at the entrances will also be in the pews. So, if you give electronically, please feel free to take a chit and put it into the collection plate for a blessing. Counters will see that the chits are put aside for reuse. And, again, thanks for pledging electronically. It really is easy and it really does help.
New Book Group at St. Paul’s! Starting in September, all women of St. Paul’s will be invited to form a book group. We will read non-fiction and fiction chosen by the participants. These meetings will be held once monthly and will be held in the evening. The first meeting will be informational, with time to share ideas for furthering our love of reading, and for meeting new and old friends. Watch for much more about this including contact information in future Sunday bulletins.
Dedication of the Unitarian Universalist Church. With great joy and gratitude the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick invites you to the dedication of our new building at 1 Middle Street, Brunswick. Sunday, September 7, 2014 at 4:00 in the afternoon. Reception to follow. Clergy and seminarians invited to gather at 3:30 to robe and process. If you plan to process, please RSVP to the church office at 729-8515.
St. Paul’s Teens. Even though church school does not officially start until September 21, Hugh and I are planning to begin meeting on September 7 at 9:30, our usual time. On the 7th, we will be assembling the Haiti birth kits-there will be many jobs: decorating bags, cutting lengths of plastic sheeting and string, filling bags. Tim and Michaelanne Banks have offered their home and watercraft for one more picnic gathering before fall sets in-this would be mid-afternoon on Sunday, September 14. Please let us know if you can attend. On September 14, we will also begin our regular classes. -Myrna and Hugh
Christian Formation Schedule
September 6. 9:30 to 2:30. Retreat at Popham Beach. Contact Jane Burke for more information at firstname.lastname@example.org.
September 14. 10:30. Church School Brunch, Great Hall. All church school students, teachers, and parents/grandparents are invited to come share fellowship, experience a sample of Godly play storytelling, and learn about what is happening in church school this fall. Jane Burke and Carolyn Eklund hosting.
September 21. First day of church school.