In my daily devotional book, “Daily Prayer for All Seasons” by Church Publishing the Easter devotion for the end of the day includes a line called “Confession and Assurance of Pardon.” Instead of a prayer, there is a paragraph to explain why we don’t say a confession during Eastertide. This is what is written, “During the joyful season of Easter the Confession of Sin is omitted in [the] order for worship to emphasize the celebration of redemption and new life that are characteristic of this season.”
Some of you have noticed that we haven’t been saying the Confession these last few Sundays and have asked me why not. I think this explanation says it best. We are no less sinners in these 50 joyful days of Easter. But how wonderful it is to live with an emphasis on the celebration that we are thoroughly redeemed and may always, ALWAYS start anew in the life of Christ in the fullness of his joy. Thanks be to God. Alleluia!
The Assurance of Pardon is equally joyful and hopeful in my book of devotions. The passage to explain this assurance is from St. Paul’s Letter to the Romans. “We know that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be destroyed, and we might no longer be enslaved to sin…so you must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Jesus Christ.” Romans 6:6, 11
May this week between Christ’s Ascension and the Day of Pentecost bring us deep joy and assurance of pardon, that “our joy may be full.”
Your friend in Christ,
Pentecost Sunday, May 24
Parish Worship 8 and 10:30 (with baptism) no 9:30 service on 5/24
Bring your flames to St. Paul’s on Pentecost! Pentecost celebrates the beginning of the church when as it is told in Acts “the Holy Spirit descended upon them in a violent rushing wind that was heard throughout the city. Small flames of fire rested upon their heads, and they began to speak in other languages.” Download the attached photo and bring it on your smart phone or tablet on Pentecost, May 24, and help us demonstrate the power of the Holy Spirit. 9:30 folks please bring your flames this Sunday too! 5/17
A Note on Sunday’s Music
Music at the 10:30 service includes themes of the feast of the ascension. Our first hymn is “Hail the day that sees him rise,” written by Charles Wesley in 1739. It is an extended song of praise meditating on aspects of Jesus’ place at the right hand of God in heaven, where he intercedes for us continually. Before the Gospel we sing “When Christ was lifted from the earth,” written by Brian Wren about 1970. It is a meditation on Jesus’ place in heaven as savior of all, no matter what age, gender, class, race, or nation. “May we, accepted as we are, yet called in grace to grow, reach out to others, near and far, your healing love to show.” Amen! At the offertory, the choir sings “Jubilate Deo,” by Mary Lightfoot. It is a joyful song of praise reflective of Psalm 100, “Be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands.” At communion we sing “Come now, O Prince of Peace,” written by Kon-yong Yi about 1990. It is a prayer of unity and reconciliation, calling for our Lord to work among us in many ways. Our final hymn is “Alleluia! Sing to Jesus,” written by Chatterton Dix in 1866. It takes themes of ascension in praise of Jesus and his place as Lord of lords, King of kings.
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.
Please welcome George Lopez our guest organist to St. Paul’s.
9:30 a.m. St. Paul’s Family Worship, where we praise God with our outdoor voices! We will learn what it means to “feel the Spirit in my heart” and why Jesus sent his Holy Spirit to his followers.
10:30 a.m. Church School: Eagles and Lions/Lambs will be celebrating Jesus’ Ascension with a JESUS-IN-A-GLOWING-CLOUD craft, and the Godly Play PENTECOST presentation.
Tuesday, May 19 at 5:30 p.m. Parish-Wide Potluck with Pat and Tom McCabe. The youth group is sponsoring this potluck and slide show presentation by Tom and Pat McCabe about their time in the Peace Corps and Tanzania. Please plan to join us! A sign-up sheet for the potluck is up on the hallway bulletin board. Donations toward the 2016 youth group journey to the Dominican Republic will be gratefully accepted.
Thursday, May 21, 1:30 p.m. The Lay Pastoral Visitors Thornton Tea will take place on Thursday, May 21 in the Country Kitchen at Thornton Hall. For all our Visitees and Thornton Oaks residents.
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
June 7. Church School picnic. The last day of Church School for the summer. Graduation Sunday. If you have a graduate from elementary, middle school, high school, college or graduate school please let the office know. We will be recognizing them on Sunday, June 7 at the 9:30 and 10:30 services.
Friday, June 5, 2015, 7 p.m. Come one and all! Let’s fill the hall! Healthy Oceans Healthy Mainers. Why Addressing Marine Environmental Phenomena Makes Good Economic Sense. Marine Biologist and State Rep. Michael Devin on the issues of ocean acidification, marine debris, and rising sea levels. Unitarian Universalist Church, One Middle Street Brunswick. Sponsored by Three Churches Earth Care.
Friday, June 19, 5:30-7:00 p.m. A Night in the Dominican Republic. Great Hall, St. Paul’s Church. Please mark your calendars for a special evening of food, entertainment and fun for all ages! This is a fundraiser for the high school youth group’s 2016 journey to the Dominican Republic. Teens, parents and youth group leaders will prepare and serve authentic dishes from the Dominican culture, in a festive atmosphere that will include activities for children and musical offerings for all. Tickets will be on sale after Sunday services, beginning in late May early June. Please come help us celebrate and support our journey!
No Women’s Group Thursday, May 21.
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.
Diaper Drive. St. Paul’s is a drop off site for the United Way Diaper Drive from May 4 until June 26. Look for the large box at the parking lot door. uwmcm.org/Diapers.
Sermons. Is there a sermon you wanted to hear a second time? Perhaps you were away and missed a sermon of particular interest. Effective May 3, we have begun recording sermons for audio download. Bill Edman has graciously agreed to manage the recorder. After processing, they will be available on our web site. If anyone is interested in sharing the job with Bill or if interested in processing the recording (computer skills needed; it can be done at home), please contact the rector, wardens or the office.
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.
God’s Story/My Story: A Diocesan Retreat for Adults June 12-14 a weekend on beautiful Lake Megunticook, at Camp Bishopswood near Camden, Maine. Come away for awhile and enjoy a retreat in a natural setting, surrounded by wonderful people. Encounter the great sweep of the biblical story – creation, compassion, forgiveness, freedom, redemption and joy – and look for the echo of God’s big story in your own life story. There is limited space available in single and double rooms, and plenty of space in the cabins. Retreat cost (including 2 nights lodging, meals) is $85 to $105. Financial aid is available via the online registration form at www.tinyurl.com/AdultRetreat2015. Register by May 28th.