One of the songs we are going to learn on Sunday at 9:30 is “He is alive! He is alive! The stone is rolled away! Emmanuel, Christ Jesus gives hope to us this day!” by Holly Phares Not just “this day,” Easter Day. But 50 days! Yes, there are 50 days to celebrate Easter. So, Alleluia! He is risen!
In almost every resurrection appearance, Jesus instructs the disciples (of course, this includes the women) to proclaim God’s reign the good news that Jesus is alive and rules over all the earth. The words for last week were “testify,” “proclaim,” “bear witness.” I don’t think it is a coincidence that the feast days of two of our most important modern “martyrs” were last week. “Martyr” means to testify.
On April 4, we remembered the day in 1968 when Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated in Memphis after he addressed the sanitation workers “in their struggle for better wages.”
And we remembered Dietrich Bonhoeffer on April 9. He was sentenced to death and was killed on that day in 1945 after being imprisoned over a year in a Nazi prison. I give thanks to God for our witnesses this first week after Easter, for the challenge of following Christ is always before us, even in our Easter joy.
On Friday, April 17 at 6:30 pm, screening of the award-winning documentary, “Here I Am, Send Me.” The St. Paul’s Adult Formation Ministry is offering this program highlighting Jonathan Daniels who was killed in Alabama defending a young black girl on August 14, 1965. He was studying to be an Episcopal priest when he heard Dr. King’s call to come to Selma, Alabama to march. Mark your calendar, bring a friend and join us for this screening. Our friend, my colleague the Rev. H. Roy Partridge, Jr., Episcopal priest, Special Assistant t o the President of Bowdoin College for Multicultural Affairs and Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology will present his thoughts and lead our discussion about this time in our country and the call of Jonathan Daniels as a follower of Christ. Please join us Saturday! Join in the discussion of discipleship and how Christians, especially our martyrs who follow Christ’s call can be considered to be “crazy.”
On Sunday, April 19 at 7:00 pm, Bowdoin Chapel, a special service honoring NAACP civil rights leader James Weldon Johnson is being held featuring “God’s Trombones.” The Rev. Roy Partridge will be on hand with other preachers to celebrate the work of James Weldon Johnson. There will be a student choir and the choir from Green Memorial AME Zion Church leading the music. This service is open to the public.
In Deep Gratitude:
Before I close, I want to thank all the people of St. Paul’s and others who contributed to creating a most meaningful and moving Holy Week and joyful Easter. Many of you made a special effort to thank St. Paul’s for the beauty and solemnity of this holy season. I thank you all.
In the joy of Easter,
A Note on Sunday’s Music
Sunday’s 10:30 worship begins with “Impression Grégorienne,” an attractive organ interpretation of a Gregorian chant melody by nineteenth-century Belgian organist Alexandre Guilmant. Sunday’s hymns continue to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. The first is “At the Lamb’s high feast we sing,” an ancient Latin hymn that emphasizes the parallels between the great sacrifice of Easter and our celebration at eucharist: “Gives His sacred Blood for wine, Gives His Body for the feast, Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.” Before the Gospel reading we sing “Now the green blade riseth,” written by John Crum about 1928. It’s an extended analogy of the revival of springtime and Jesus’ rising from the dead. At the offertory the choir sings “O Mary, Don’t You Weep,” a spiritual arranged by Cam Smith that celebrates the turn from mourning to joy as Mary (and we) become aware of Jesus’ resurrection. During communion we sing “Come, risen Lord, and deign to be our guest,” by George Briggs (1931). It’s also oriented to the eucharistic feast we celebrate, with special emphasis on Jesus’ post-resurrection appearances. Our final hymn is “Christ is alive!”, written by Brian Wren in 1978. It’s a joyful celebration and declaration of our hope, a hope based on the living Lord. Worship concludes with a suitably joyful prelude and fugue (B flat) by Bach.
This Sunday, April 12
On the second Sunday of the month the plate offering is designated to the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.
9:30 a.m. St. Paul’s Family Worship, where we praise God with our outdoor voices! You’ll see what actually happens to seeds after they are planted. And we’ll talk about Jesus’ disciple Thomas. How did he know it was Jesus?
Church School: Lions and Eagles-Godly Play story “Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene.
Sunday, April 12, Kick off for Habitat for Humanity Walk, Fund-raiser. This year’s 4 mile walk on May 3rd will begin at St. Charles Borromeo on McKeen Street. There will be a refreshment stop and ground-breaking ceremony for the “Faith Build,” the second house of the planned 4 house subdivision on Hope Lane, at the 2 mile mark. Look for volunteers in the church hall after services or contact Madeleine Msall at 607-4049 if you would like to take part.
Monday, April 13, 3:30 p.m. Book Group. The Book Group will meet in the church library. We will discuss Farewell to Matyora by Valentin Grigoriyevich Rasputin. This is the story of the last days of a group of villagers on Matyora, an island community on the Angara River that is to be flooded for a hydroelectric dam. The villagers, despite their differences, band together for one last harvest before they will have to go inland to the new community the authorities have erected. New members are very welcome!
Friday, April 17, 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. Here I Am, Send Me: The Story of Jonathan Daniels. Please join the Reverend Dr. H. Roy Partridge, Jr., Special Assistant to the President of Bowdoin College for Multicultural Affairs and Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology, as we watch this hour-long, award-winning documentary about the Episcopal Divinity School seminarian Jonathan Daniels, followed by discussion. Sam Waterston narrates this documentary that tells the story of Daniels’s ultimate sacrifice to save the life of a young black student during the Civil Rights Movement, for which he is recognized as a martyr in the Episcopal Church. The DVD is gripping, it’s inspiring, and it’s a call to action as the work for social justice continues to this day. Dessert and coffee will be offered at 6:30, and the DVD and discussion will take place from 7:00-9:00.
Sunday, April 19, at 7:00 p.m. God’s Trombones at Bowdoin Chapel. A special service honoring poet and early NAACP civil rights leader James Weldon Johnson is being held Sunday, A Bowdoin student will join the Rev. Roy Partridge, an Episcopal priest, and the Rev. Kenneth Lewis and Bishop Steve Coleman, both African American pastors in Portland, in rendering God?s Trombones, sermon poems published 1927 in the dramatic style of old time Negro preachers. A small Bowdoin choir and gospel choir members from Green Memorial AME Zion Church in leading special music. The service is open to the public.
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Saturday, May 2, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. Pilgrimage. St. Paul’s has a history of sending our youth on pilgrimages. Many other parishioners have also undertaken adventures that they might see in that light. On Saturday May 2, 5-7 p.m., Rick and Mary Lee Wile will facilitate an interactive evening on Pilgrimage, what it means both historically and personally. Participants of all ages are invited to bring food for a potluck, possibly using menus inspired by places they’ve been, and one to three objects or photos to share. (Note: not all pilgrimages are to recognized “holy sites.” For some people, it might be to the birthplace of a favorite musician; for others, it could be to a place of natural beauty. We’ll talk about the difference between “pilgrimage” and “vacation.”) We look forward to a lively evening! Please call the church office 725-5342 to register so we’ll know how many tables to set up.
Volunteers Needed! to work at the soup kitchen on the third Saturday of the month. If interested, please sign up on the bulletin board in the main hall. If you have questions, please contact James Ford, firstname.lastname@example.org or 841-9377.