I have lots of news to share with you today! Our ministries at St. Paul’s continue to move forward!
Today, is the “Feast of Frederick Douglass,” one of our country’s most famous Abolitionists. His Feast Day reminds me that we are co-sponsoring “An Evening at the Abyssinian,” a Black History Program with the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick and the Abyssinian Meeting House at UUCB on Saturday, February 28 at 7:00pm (see the announcement below).
• CHANGES IN 9:30AM SUNDAY WORSHIP: This Sunday is the First Sunday in Lent. The good people of the 9:30am Eucharist congregation will be “giving up paper service leaflets and paper postcards for Lent.” We believe this is a first step in helping our environment to flourish and it makes us more aware of our carbon footprint. As we are more and more concerned with God’s great outdoors, we also have made a change in the name of the 9:30am Eucharist. Every service of worship at St. Paul’s is “Family Worship,” so the 9:30am Eucharist is not the only service for families. Therefore, let me know what you think of this proposed name: “OUTDOOR VOICES EUCHARIST.” Not only does it focus more on the environment. It is also one of our favorite things to do at 9:30 worship: to shout with our outdoor voices, “Holy, holy, holy…” Why not call our worship that very thing? Let me know what you think!
• APPOINTMENTS BY VESTRY – Please help me thank and congratulate these St. Paul’s parishioners who have been appointed by the Vestry: Nancy Whitehouse is appointed as Treasurer for this year. She was former assistant treasurer at St. Paul’s, serves on the Flower Committee, serves on the Christmas Fair Committee, co-chairs the Memorial Garden Committee and offers hospitality for our Sunday Fellowship Hour, among many other ministries at St. Paul’s. Caroline Russell is appointed as Vestry Clerk for this year. Caroline is a lector and Eucharistic Minister, she is also on the Flower Committee and serves as Chair of the Freezer Gourmet for the Christmas Fair, among other commitments at St. Paul’s, notably this Ash Wednesday when she accompanied The Rev. Chick Carroll at the soup kitchen for Ashes To Go.
• NEW COMMITTEE CHAIRS: I am extremely pleased to announce that two people with wonderful gifts have agreed to serve for the next year as new Committee Chairs: Lenita Richard will serve as Finance Committee Chair. Peter McCracken has agreed to chair the Outreach Committee. I have worked with both Lenita and Peter and know their gifts and experience very well. I’m also pleased because I know how deeply committed they are to the work Christ has given us to do here at St. Paul’s and in Brunswick. I couldn’t be more pleased that they have agreed to share their talents and gifts in this way.
• ONE MORE THING….WE ALL ARE MINISTERS AND WE SERVE OUR VARIOUS MINISTRIES! As the Wardens, Vestry and I begin our work together in 2015, I want to share with you one of the important aspects of the Vestry member function. Each Vestry member is asked to serve as a liaison to a “Commission or Committee.” They are asked to attend meetings and contribute to the work of their respective “committee or commission” and then report important items that need Vestry decisions back to the Vestry. As the Vestry has organized our work this year, we have become aware of the need to change our language. We are not committees and commissions in the way that non-religious organizations and businesses operate. We are a Body of Christ and we work together as a community of faith. We are servants of each other and serve for Christ’s sake in this world. As such, there is a more appropriate word for the work we do and the way we are organized: Ministries. This word better reflects our work together as being “servants” since “ministry” comes from the Latin root that means “servant,” ie., “anyone who ministers to the needs of others”…not just those who are ordained! I hope we’ll gradually become more acquainted with this word that more accurately describes what we do in our various “Ministries” at St. Paul’s!
Blessed Lent to you and your family,
P.S. Members of St. Paul’s who sing in the Oratorio Chorale are selling tickets for the upcoming performance of Bach’s –Magnificat–The Best of Bach concerts. Concerts are on Saturday, February 28, at 7:30 PM at St. Luke’s in Portland and on Sunday, March 1, at 2:00 PM at St. John’s in Brunswick. Tickets are available from Bob Patterson, Lucy Leitzell, or Terry Leitzell; by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org; or by calling 577-3931 (Carrie Strasburger).
A Note on Sunday’s Music Sunday at 10:30, our Holy Eucharist for the first Sunday in Lent begins with a meditative setting of the chorale “O Lord, Look Down from Heaven” by Bach’s contemporary Johann G. Walther. In observance of the beginning of Lent, we’ll sing the Great Litany in place of the first hymn. This very special set of prayers utilizes repetition to draw us closer to God in worship and reverence; some people make a habit of saying the litany in their devotions daily or weekly. You can find it in the BCP p. 148. At the gradual, we’ll sing “Eternal Father, strong to save,” written by William Whiting about 1860. The well known “navy hymn” speaks metaphorically of our walk of faith as an ocean voyage, especially in times of danger — which during Lent we think of in terms of Jesus’ temptations in the wilderness, and our own in daily life.
The choir anthem at the offertory is “Solomon’s Prayer,” by Samuel Sebastian Wesley. This sets a portion of Solomon’s dedication of the temple (1 Kings 8:30); it is a cry for God to hear our prayers and forgive us our sins. At communion, we sing “Eternal Lord of love,” written by Thomas Cain about 1970. It includes echoes of the Israelites’ 40 years in the wilderness, Jesus’ pilgrimage, and St. Paul’s call for us to die to self and live to the glory of God (see Galatians 2:20, “I am crucified with Christ…”). Our final hymn is “The glory of these forty days,” an ancient text attributed to Gregory the Great (sixth century). Invoking Moses, Elijah, Daniel, John, and above all Jesus, it is a prayer for encouragement in our walk during Lent. The service concludes with a short occasional piece by Bach that is stern, yet uplifting.
TODAY, February 22
7:00 p.m. All are invited to Vespers at the Bowdoin Chapel.
9:30 Outdoor Voices Eucharist
All paperless! We are giving up paper for Lent and for the sake of the environment. Join us for the Great Litany. Church School-Godly Play parable of the Great Pearl.
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 healing station in the vestibule after you have received communion.
Lenten Book for Sale. Our Lenten study book, Episcopal Bishop Michael Curry’s Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus, is available for purchase today in the vestibule for $15-cash, check, or an IOU is acceptable. Limited copies are available. This is a book about “radical discipleship,” in which the author challenges readers to change how we live our lives to become more like Jesus. If we really live our faith, he believes it can change the world. The bishop’s passion, faith, and conviction are contagious. And if you don’t believe that, listen to him for a spellbinding 18 minutes at http://day1.org/5236-bishop_michael_curry_crazy_christians
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Sunday, March 1, 2:00 p.m. The Winter Gardening Workshop series continues with The Local Sustainable Food Scene ‘404’ presented by Seth Kroeck, farmer and manager of Crystal Spring Farm CSA, and Maina Handmaker, director of the proposed Food Shed in Brunswick. Topics covered include: An overview of the local and sustainable food movement in our region. What can home gardeners learn from the organic practices of one of Maine’s largest CSA’s and how can they contribute to sustainable agricultural practices? Sponsored by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Tom Settlemire Community Garden. Free and open to the public, held in St. Paul’s Great Hall.
Sunday, March 8, 2:00 p.m. The Winter Gardening Workshop series continues with Basic Pruning Techniques ‘405’ presented by Tim Vail, Arborist. This will be a hands-on workshop (weather permitting). There will be demonstrations of various types of pruning cuts and discussion of how and when to prune herbaceous and woody plants. Sponsored by the Brunswick-Topsham Land Trust’s Tom Settlemire Community Garden. Free and open to the public, held in St. Paul’s Great Hall.
Recycling Makes Cents!
Drop your returnable bottles and cans off at Don’s Redemption, (Harpswell Rd. behind the Lighthouse Deli) or at the Beverage Rack (on Cushing St.). Tell the folks that the bottles are for St. Paul’s and all funds collected will go to benefit the High School Youth Group 2016 Dominican Republic Journey fundraising. Dave Hawkins has made this arrangement possible. Many thanks from the teens and leaders!
OBSERVING LENT AT ST. PAUL’S
Lenten Daily Meditation Booklets. Plan to pick up your copy at St. Paul’s . Written by members of St. Paul’s these daily readings help us know one another and share in our spiritual journey together.
Sundays, February 22, March 1, 8, 15, 22 . Blessing our Children. Five Sundays in Lent. 10:15 to 11:00 a.m.
A five-part informal small group will begin this Sunday, facilitated by Linda Ashe-Ford; subsequent meetings will be held on the first four Sundays in March, 10:15-11:00 in the Library. Blessing our Children is an important topic for parents, but it is also appropriate for anyone (grandparents and caretakers of all kinds) who deals with children. The group will discuss the biblical history of blessing as well as various ways in which we can bless our children today. Coffee, tea, and simple snacks will be available for this adult time together in an informal setting.
Sundays, February 22, March 1, 8, 15. Newcomer’s class. Four classes for St. Paul’s newcomers offered on Sunday afternoons in Lent. Rector’s home, 43 Spring Street, Brunswick. Refreshments will be served. If you are new to St. Paul’s, new to the Episcopal Church, exploring whether or not the Christian faith is for you, or just recently returned to Christianity, this class is for you. Even if you have been an Episcopalian for many years and wish to refresh your knowledge and discuss questions about the faith, this is the class for you! We will be reading the book, Episcopal Questions, Episcopal Answers: Exploring Christian Faith, by Ian S. Markham and C. K. Robertson. Please contact the parish office, email@example.com to register for the class and order your book.
Tuesdays, February 24, March 3, 10, 17, 24. Lenten Supper, Study and Sharing. Supper (5:30 p.m to 6:15 p.m.) and forum with discussion (6:15 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.). Presenters: 2/24 The Rev Carolyn H. Eklund (Ch. 1-2); 3/3 Emily Levine (Ch. 3-5); 3/10 Jim Hornor (Ch. 6-9); 3/17 Jane Burke (Ch. 10-13); 3/24 Macauley Lord (candlelight reflection). Our Lenten book selection is Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus, by Michael Curry, the Episcopal Bishop of North Carolina. This is a book about “radical discipleship.” He challenges the reader to change how we live our lives to become more like Jesus. That means no more settling into a groove and feeling comfortable. No more conforming to popular culture.
Saturday, February 28, 7:00 p.m. “A Night at the Abyssinian” Join us at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Brunswick for a joint project with St. Paul’s Church and the Abyssinian Meeting House featuring Goldee Green, soprano and local Brunswick orators performing historical African American and Abolitionist works including works of historical black Maine authors.
Saturday, March 14, 9 a.m. to noon. Lenten Quiet Day. “Mortify our Wolves” led by The Rev. Mary Lee Wile. Please plan to stay for lunch.
Pray for the congregations of St. Patrick’s, Brewer and St. James’, Old Town. Pray for Patrick, Jason, Benjamin and Anderson, all in the military.
The flowers on the altar today are given to the Glory of God in loving memory of Jim Manny and Tim Adams, by Abigail Manny.
Victor, John, Jim, Chester & George, Muriel, Justin & his family, Barbara, Eric, Linda & family, Virginia, Susan, Ralph, Betsey, and Tom.
Christy, Nancy, Chris, Mathew, Neil, Rodney, Louise, Jan, Lorraine & family, Hope, Christian, and the George Lopez family.
Lisa, Virginia, Cindy, Norma, Gloria & Ray, Barbara, David, Jane,
Terry, Pete, Betty, Gail, Isaiah, Carol, and Thayer.