Parish Worship 8 and 10:30 (with baptism) no 9:30 service on 5/24
8:00am Worship: Renewal of Baptismal Covenant
10:30am Worship: Baptism of Alexis Weller, children’s procession, Godly Play on Baptism.
Reserved seating in front for people with disabilities and small children.
There is only one place in the prayer book in which the word amen is spelled in all caps. It has a name and it has been passed down to us from the most ancient forms of worship. The Great Amen as it is called means, “let it be so.” I like to think it that it means the gathered faithful are saying, “Yes! We are in one accord!”
It appears at the end of all our prayers and collects in the prayer book. But it appears in all caps “AMEN” at the end of all Eucharistic Prayers. All caps symbolizes its powerful assent of the gathered people to our salvation story and the restorative power of Christ’s Body and Blood for us to carry on his work day by day.
One day I was teaching the meaning of the “all caps ‘AMEN’” to the children a Grace Church Family Eucharist. Gemma was there with her mom. She was about four years old. I had wanted our children to assent to our Eucharistic Prayer by shouting “AMEN!” with their “outdoor voices” in order to make a permanent impression on them.
Sure enough, every Sunday after that first lesson we all shouted “AMEN” at the end of the Eucharistic Prayer, followed by a few giggles every time. “AMEN” was a big word for a lot of little people and it was fun to shout it together in agreement.
As I think about Pentecost Sunday and Lexi Weller’s baptism I’m remembering young Gemma. Gemma shouted “AMEN” very loudly every Sunday. But it didn’t stop there. Wherever she saw me she would call me “AMEN.” “Hey Mom! There’s ‘AMEN!’” “Are we going trick-or-treating” at ‘AMEN’s’ house?”
Two weeks ago Lexi Weller reminded me of Gemma when Lexi came up to me at The Peace in 9:30 worship and said, “I want to be baptized!” Eyes all sparkling, she had heard me talk about this once-in-a-lifetime special moment that adopts God’s people into God’s household. Like Gemma, she had listened to the teaching of the day and adopted it for herself and came to me after I asked if there was anyone who wanted to be baptized. Our little seven-year-old friend jumped up and said, “I want this!”
We will baptize Lexi into the household of God this Sunday, Pentecost Sunday at 10:30 worship which is the best day of the year because we celebrate the coming of the fire of the Holy Spirit and the birthday of the Church. We will commit ourselves our own Baptismal vows and to helping Lexi grow in her faith. Just like the rest of the baptized, Lexi will be adopted as Christ’s own with water in the Name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. The aroma of the chrism, the holy oil which will be placed on her forehead in the sign of the cross will gently tickle her nose with an ancient scent.
And we all will shout, “AMEN” together.
In friendship and joy,
A Note on Sunday’s Music
Sunday’s music at 10:30 focuses on Pentecost and the Holy Spirit. We begin with “The Celestial Banquet” by French composer Olivier Messiaen, a meditative, almost timeless setting that draws us to worship through the mystery of the Eucharist. Our first hymn is “Hail thee, festival day,” an ancient text that leads us to worship and praise as we give thanks for the Holy Spirit. Before the Gospel we sing “Every time I feel the spirit,” a Spiritual that also celebrates the gifts of the Spirit. During the offertory, the choir sings “Sicut Cervus” (as the deer longs for the water brooks, so longs my soul for you,O God) by Giovanni Palestrina. This setting of Ps 42:1 reflects the work of the Holy Spirit in our hearts, leading to the desire in us to be close to God. At communion we sing “You’re called by name, forever loved,” written by Rosalind Brown in 1989. This is a baptism hymn that draws words from the promises we, or those speaking for us, made on our own baptism. It gives us an opportunity to renew our own vows and remind us of our great hope through this sacrament. Our final hymn is “Go forth for God; go to the world in peace,” written by John R. Peacey about 1970. It is a “sending” hymn calling us to go in peace, love, strength, and joy, through the power of the Holy Spirit. Worship concludes with another organ setting by Messiaen, “Vision of the Church Eternal.” This reminds us that the “birthday of the church,” as Pentecost is sometimes called, is the sign of something that lasts forever, through our Lord Jesus.
May 24 Pentecost Sunday
10:30am worship – reserved seating in front for families and people with disabilities (no 9:30am worship or Church School)
Come early so the children can assemble for the procession at the Pleasant Street entrance. Our procession into the church will include our children waving streamers of red and carrying red balloons to symbolize the fire and power of the Holy Spirit!
We’ll celebrate with Lexi Weller on her baptism.
We’ll hear Jane Burke tell the Godly Play story of baptism.
There will be snacks, and craft materials in the Great Room in case those with young children might need to take a break during the service.
Next Sunday, May 31st, immediately after the post 9:30 Worship snack, the Church School, families who signed up to garden, and all who would like to help, will travel to St. Paul’s plot at the Common Good garden. Please come dressed to weed and plant!
Future dates, mark you calendars!
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 (St. Paul’s, Unitarian Universalist Church, and the First Parish Church).
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.
Sunday, June 14, at Fellowship hour after 10:30 worship, come say good-bye to the Judds. The entire family will be here.
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!
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. Bill Edman has graciously agreed to manage the recorder. After processing, they are available on our web site (Worship and Care ? Sermons). 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. We are also seeking feedback. If you have listened to a recorded sermon: Was it easy to access and hear; was it helpful spiritually? This capability might be particularly useful if dealing with shut-ins (family members, LPV, etc.)
Sunday, May 31. Trinity Sunday and 9:30 Upper Room Holy Baptism. Please join us at 10:30 for the dedication of the Norway maple turned bowl to the Glory of God for the benefit of God’s church, that it may bring joy to those who use it.
Habitat for Humanity – Walk, give, work, pray! Thank you to everyone who supported the 2015 Habitat for Humanity Spring Walk on May 3. Sixteen members of the congregation walked the 2.3 mile course: Carolyn Eklund; Madeleine Msall; Joan Reynolds; Sara Townsend; Jean Mulligan, Chuck Dyer; Karen Dyer; Phil Studwell; Patsy Oehl; Pat Ryan; Nancy Keating, Jane Knox, Robert Knox, Lucy Leitzell, Mike McCabe, and Abigail Murrey. Some were so eager they ran the course, others walked “there and back again” for 4.6 miles. Thanks to Martha Burt and Hilde Bird who provided snacks for the ground-breaking ceremony. And special thanks to the many generous financial sponsors from the parish. St. Paul’s raised over $3,500 to help fight homelessness in our community. Participating churches together raised $33,618 in support of Habitat and its mission. It was a beautiful day in every way. Look for pictures on the Outreach bulletin board. You’ll see joy in every face.
Join our St. Paul’s members for this wonderful retreat!
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.