Carolyn asked us to write about “hospitality” this summer, and I was delighted — radical hospitality was at the heart of General Convention!
The “hospitality” resolutions that made the news, of course, were those dealing with marriage equality, but there were a lot more resolutions that extend the hospitality of the Episcopal Church. One deals with supporting the full inclusion of disabled persons; another addresses ministry to people with mental illness and their families. Another resolution calls us to the “challenging and difficult work of racial reconciliation…”
We were also called to both befriend and be with the poor (much as St. Paul’s does with The Gathering Place). A further resolution asks that we assist immigrants by being centers of information, services, and accompaniment, while yet another deals with education for undocumented aliens. These resolutions demand radical welcome of both neighbor and stranger.
We passed other resolutions dealing with such issues as youth and young adult ministries, digital evangelism, church-planting in Latino communities, human trafficking, and criminal justice reform – all of which express a deep desire that the Church offer hospitality and hope to everyone.
A task force was assigned to study the Church’s response to substance abuse, addiction, and recovery, in part to ensure that those who cannot / do not consume alcohol feel fully welcomed. (St. Paul’s is already on board with this one: Carolyn has been awarded a New Initiatives Grant to study alcohol and substance abuse issues.)
A resolution drafted by Maine’s deputation authorizes the use of the “Order for Celebrating Holy Eucharist” for use as a principal Sunday service, encouraging liturgy in the local context so that people feel welcome and comfortable. And resolutions were passed to begin the process of both Prayer Book and Hymnal revision. Serving as deacon at the daily Eucharist during Convention, I was awed by the lively variety of ways the Episcopal Church already celebrates both liturgically and musically. Here’s a brief sample of a call to worship:
St. Paul’s belongs to a Church that is alive, diverse, committed to Christ, and living into the promise of those familiar signs: The Episcopal Church Welcomes You!
Mary Lee Wile
TODAY, July 19
We welcome George Lopez and give thanks for his presence with us this summer as our guest organist.
Healing Prayer is offered today at the 9:00 service. 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 to St. Paul’s The Rev. Linda Peyton as celebrant today while the rector is away on vacation. Thank you to Chick Carroll for preaching.
FUTURE DATES. MARK YOUR CALENDARS!
Friday, August 21, 7:00 p.m. A showing of the movie Wall E, outdoors weather permitting.
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.)
Yard Sale The High School youth are having a yard sale August 29th. They are currently collecting items. Please call 721-3203. Nancy Johnson and Ally Collins will arrange a time to collect items from your house. It’s so easy, you don’t have to go outside! Items may also be brought and dropped off at St. Paul’s Church-just let them know with a call!
Camp Bishopswood. There are still some slots available at Camp Bishopswood. St. Paul’s has scholarship money available to assist with the cost.
NOTE: The church office is on summer hours, closed Mondays, open Tuesday through Friday 8:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
BION Teen Camp. BION Teen Camp is for everyone completing grades 6-12. The camp is a collaboration by people from churches all over our diocese. Clergy this year will be the Revs. Kit Wang and Tim Higgins. It’s a diocesan youth event that is located on beautiful Lake Megunticook at Bishopswood from Tuesday to Saturday, August 18-22. Because most counselors are volunteers the cost is $265. Financial aid is available. Registration is at maineyouth.org.
Summer Sunday Worship
for July & August will be at 9:00 a.m.
July 19, 26 Holy Eucharist in the nave with the singing of familiar hymns.
July 12 Outdoors in the style of Family Worship followed by picnic brunch.
August 2, 16, 23, 30 Holy Eucharist in the nave with the singing of familiar hymns.
August 9 Outdoors in the style of Family Worship followed by picnic brunch.
September 6 Holy Eucharist in the nave with the singing of familiar hymns.