On Sunday, April 26, we will celebrate Jesus as the Good Shepherd, and will commission the members of St. Paul’s VISION/MISSION Statement Team at 10:30 a.m. worship: Emily Levine, Kevin Miller, Jean Mulligan, Jim Hornor, Johanna Wigg, Cliff Ruprecht. Susan Tyler and I are ex oficio members. Our task is to develop a statement of St. Paul’s vision and mission to clarify our identity as a Christian community and to discern what God is calling us to in the world. We will be interviewing parish members of our ministries and then crafting a statement to be used in our bulletins, website and social media communications. The statement they craft will be presented to the Vestry for acceptance at our September Vestry meeting. Following that, we will introduce it to the parish and incorporate it in our planning for the Giving Program and all other ministries.
As we move forward following God’s call, please pray with us,
Almighty and everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with the St. Paul’s VISION/MISSION Statement Team for the discernment of our identity in Christ and God’s call to us in the world. Guide the conversations to inform our vision. Inscribe the words in our hearts that call us to mission for Christ’s sake in this world. Make us the Body of Christ that seeks to be sent forth, “a people, forgiven, healed, renewed, that we may proclaim your love to the world and continue in the risen life of Christ our Savior.” Amen.
Because Earth Day was this week, I want to share with you an article that caught my attention on my Twitter feed. It was written by Chicago Tribune ecosystems reporter, Mary Schmich click here This article includes a quiz that helps households and individuals become more aware of our use of God’s resources. She writes, “In honor of Earth Day 2015 on Wednesday, we present a short survey designed to help you think about your habits and how you might try a little harder.” The tune of “All creatures of our God and King” is in my head right now. I just sang the fourth verse to myself, “Dear mother earth, you day by day unfold your blessings on our way, O praise him, Alleluia! All flowers and fruits that in you grow, let them his glory also show: O praise him, O praise him, Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia!”
In gratitude and praise of God’s creation…And God said, “That’s good!”
A Note on Sunday’s Music
On Sunday at 10:30 we musically mark “Good Shepherd Sunday” at several points. We begin with a setting of “Brother James’s Air,” the familiar melody for Psalm 23, arranged by twentieth-century American composer Searle Wright. Our first hymn is “Christ is made the sure foundation,” an ancient hymn in praise of Jesus, the foundation, headstone, and cornerstone of our faith. Its spirited tune is by seventeenth-century English composer Henry Purcell. Before the Gospel we sing “My shepherd will supply my need,” a paraphrase of Psalm 23 by Isaac Watts (1719). It draws together the great psalm of comfort and Paul’s beautiful declaration of assurance (Philipp 4:19), “My God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” The anonymous tune is from nineteenth-century America. At the offertory, The choir’s anthem is a lovely and calming setting of Psalm 23 composed by our own Cam Smith. During communion, we sing “Shepherd of souls, refresh and bless,” written partly by James Montgomery, who supplemented an anonymous text from about 1800. It meditates on the eucharist that feeds us, the flock, and also evokes Jesus’s declaration that we do not live by bread alone, but also “by that word of grace.” Our final hymn is “Lord, You give the great commission,” written by Jeffery Rowthorn in 1978. This is a great call for us to take up the causes of Christ and do mission in the world. Our service concludes with an organ setting of Psalm 19 (“The heavens declare the glory of God”) by eighteenth-century Venetian composer Benedetto Marcello.
TODAY, April 26
9:30 a.m. St. Paul’s Family Worship, where we praise God with our outdoor voices! This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday. Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd cares about his sheep.” And that means he cares about YOU. He calls you by your name!
10:30 a.m. Church School: Both Eagles and Lions/Lambs Church School Classes Godly Play story of Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
10:30 a.m. The Commissioning of the Vision/Mission Statement Team at 10:30 Worship.
Members: Johanna Wigg, Jean Mulligan, Jim Hornor, Kevin Miller, Cliff Ruprecht, and Emily Levine. Ex officio members: Carolyn Eklund, Susan Tyler.
7:00 p.m. There will be an Inter-Faith Service of the religious and faith traditions at the Bowdoin Chapel. The theme of the evening will be “What makes a Life Worth Living?” All students will address that question. There will also be many musical and instrumental offerings. Following the service there will be a Reception and Refreshments in the McKeen Center. All are welcome to attend.
Saturday, May 2, 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. What is 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. Digital photos may be emailed to email@example.com, jpg 1024×768 preferred. (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.
Sunday, May 3 Please support Habitat for Humanity with the St. Paul’s Team.St. Paul’s gives strong support to our local 7 Rivers chapter of Habitat for Humanity, an ecumenical Christian housing ministry committed to eliminating substandard housing. 16 parishioners have signed up to walk 4.4 miles for the spring fundraiser. Everyone is invited to the ground breaking ceremony for the newest faith-build at the building site at Hope Lane at 2:45 (the halfway point of the walk). You can also support the cause with prayer, pledges of money, food donations, and/or with your feet. For online pledging, go to https://secure.toolsfororgs.com/habitat7rivers.org/runwalk/sponsor.php?7HFH-FTA
Information about parishioners seeking pledges of support can be found on the Outreach bulletin board. If you’d like to join the team of walkers or provide snacks for the reception, please contact Madeleine Msall at 607-4049.
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Thursday, May 14 Ascension Day Evening Prayer will be offered at 5:30 p.m.
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.
Window Dresser Project St. Paul’s Church will once again be the sponsor church for the 2015 Window Dresser Project. Many of us that took advantage of these window inserts are quite happy that we had this added protection this winter. If you are interested in more information about these inserts or would like to have your windows measured, please make contact at the following email: email@example.com. Measuring is scheduled to begin in June with our build scheduled for the week of September 28.
The Sacrament of Holy Baptism is a once-in-a-lifetime ancient rite that symbolizes God’s loving and permanent claim on us as God’s children. If you, or a family member or friend have talked about being baptized and wish to receive this Holy Rite, please contact the rector, the Rev. Carolyn Eklund. BAPTISMS WILL BE JOYFULLY CELEBRATED ON PENTECOST SUNDAY, May 24.
All Parish Worship Sunday, May 24 for Pentecost Sunday. 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. No 9:30 a.m. Worship.
Organic cucumber seeds were planted by Eagles and Lions classes. We hope to transplant on April 31 into St. Paul’s plot at the Tom Settlemire Community Garden. (This will potentially be an all-ages-event.) We’re looking for more families who would like to take turns weeding during the summer months. Please speak to Jane Burke.
There will be no Church School classes on May 24, Pentecost Sunday’s All Parish Worship.
June 7, Church School picnic is scheduled, which is the last day of Church School for the summer.