Alleluia, Dear Ones! Blessings, peace and joy this Friday in Easter Week!
We have been separated for a month now, and my soul aches to be face-to-face with you. I’m so pleased that we do have the live stream going and so many of you have arranged to meet in your ministry groups by way of Zoom. Thank you Susan Tyler for getting us set up and for being the “host” in the background in the large groups to keep us safe from “trolls.” Thank you Cliff Ruprecht for being on call to teach, coach and walk newcomers to electronic media through the process of connecting.
IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO RECEIVE TRAINING ON GETTING CONNECTED, PLEASE EMAIL CLIFF OR ME, the Rector, email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; We want to be gathered with you in worship and to have you connect with the groups that are meeting through ZOOM.
The staff and leaders of St. Paul’s are managing to do our work remotely and on occasion each week, in the Parish Office. That way, we not only accomplish our regular tasks, like preparing for worship and communication and pay bills, we are also making sure the building is tended to. A team of volunteers headed by Hugh Savage has been deployed now and again to bring food to the doorstep of those who are quarantined and those in need. Thank you, Hugh and your team. You all have been sending names of those you love or know to have the COVID-19 virus. We pray for them twice a day in Morning Prayer and Compline. That is one way we are connected with each other, with those who are suffering and with the Great Healer, the Resurrected Christ.
Finally, please accept my deepest thanks for the gifts coming in to my discretionary fund. I am present for most of the day Wednesdays at St. Paul’s, sitting at the Union Street parking lot door. I greet people coming for aid, and have the honor of hearing their stories. I am getting to know many of these neighbors in need very well and they are grateful for the food and gas cards I give them. One couple came for a food card. They told me how relieved they were because the weather is now warm enough to move from their car to a tent. She is pregnant and has a chance to work at Wal Mart in Auburn. She needed a gas card. Another person who came on Wednesday is a grandmother with her two elementary school grandchildren. She’s received custody of them and doesn’t know where her daughter is now. Her husband died and she is having difficulty right now. I want you know that the two major relief organizations in our neighborhood know of my discretionary fund and are able to ask me for financial support in an emergency such as a family becoming homeless and in need of motel shelter.
I’m hearing Jesus calling us in these days after God raised him from the dead. He calls us to remind us, “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) It is a voice that calms us even in our own uncertainty and difficulties navigating life masked, untouched, unconnected, managing school, our children and working from home (if we are one of the fortunate few to have our jobs) “I am the resurrection and the life” is the truth of a God who is deeply with us in this pandemic. I just encountered a new phrase, “God With Us Online.” Yes God is with us in our distress and even online!
And so, we rejoice that God IS with us now and always. I rejoice in your generosity and our phone conversations about the condition of the material poor right here in our neighborhood and how to provide relief in this stressful time. I rejoice that we are engaging more and more with each other online because our prayer life and souls need the daily reminder that we are beloved of God. God hears our every prayer and wipes away our every tear and stands with us even when we reach the end of our rope.
See you in “virtual” Church!
With the love of Christ and the joy of saying “Alleluia!” for the Great 50 Days of Easter,
~~~~~~~~~~~~~The Second Sunday of Easter
April 19, 2020
on the Facebook live feed
The Lectionary Page
Daily Morning Prayer and Compline – Join us every morning and evening on St. Paul’s Facebook Live for Morning Prayer and Compline, 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Make sure you have your Prayer Book with you. If you need a prayer book come by St. Paul’s Wednesday morning to pick one up.
We welcome our assistant Rector for children and youth, Katie Holicky, who joins us starting April 27th. Her first Sunday with us will be May 3. More information will follow about how we’ll connect on that Sunday. We’ll be planning a ZOOM virtual coffee hour to join together and welcome Katie. Details will follow.
Thank You for Keeping up with Your Pledge-Because we will be continuing to pay our bills, we are even more grateful for electronic giving. To make your electronic Easter offering to St. Paul’s go to stpaulsmaine.breezechms.com/give/online or text your gift amount and the word Easter to (207) 407-5069. And we will be receiving mail in our PO Box 195, so feel free to mail your check. Thank you!
You don’t need to have a Facebook account to watch the livestream or recorded videos. You may access a PDF of the service booklet, which includes hymns to follow, and a link to our Facebook page from our website: stpaulsmaine.org.
Find our videos on Facebook:
St. Paul’s Celebrates 175 Years of Our Body of Christ
The History Committee of the 175th Anniversary is including weekly excerpts describing our church’s growth. Here’s the first in a series:As we commemorate the 175 anniversary of St. Paul’s Church, perhaps we can look at The Story of the First Hundred Years of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Brunswick, 1844-1944 by Dr. Charles S. F. Lincoln to re?ect on earlier challenges. Quoting from the Foreword: “The Story of St. Paul’s, like thousands of other small parishes in this land, is that of life itself; a story of prosperity and adversity, of aspiration and apathy, of exaltation and depression; a re?ection of the humanity of its people.”
Connecting by Phone – A team led by Hugh Savage and Cliff Ruprecht are standing by to join our Lay Pastoral Visitors to deliver meals to any parishioner in need. They also will connect by phone with parishioners who might feel more isolated by our closing. If you or someone you know would benefit from a call please let us know. Volunteers are also welcome. Please email the Parish Office or call and leave a message on the phone 207-725-5342.
The Work of the Church / Meetings
We are working to find alternate ways to connect digitally in small groups and for meetings. Regularly meeting small groups are starting to meet virtually using the internet and phones if video is not available. Watch your email for more information from your group leaders. Any group leader interested in having your group meet virtually please be in contact with the parish office by email at email@example.com. We have instructions and can walk you through the process. Zoom (video calls) already happening include: Holy Stitchers, Men’s Group, Women’s Group, Prayer Group, Healing Prayer Team, Women’s Bible Study, Finance Committee, Vestry, Rectors and Warden’s meetings, Staff meetings and Church School.
New ways for St. Paul’s to be together in Christ and on ZOOM: Watch for email invitations.
- Zoom Choir gathering every Wednesday from 7pm to 8:30pm
- Sunday morning Zoom family Bible story time from 9:30 a.m. to 10:10 a.m.
- Thursday, Healing Noonday Prayer weekly 11:00 a.m.
The Parish Office
We have invested in the capability to work digitally as an administrative staff from our homes. The Parish Office will be utilized only by the limited few (entering one at a time) who need to keep us updated financially and check the mail. Those who have emergency financial needs may come to St. Paul’s on Wednesday between 10:00 am-Noon to meet with the Rector. When you arrive at the entrance off the parking lot, please use the intercom-the small black box to the right of the door-to let us know you’re there.
Do you have at home records of any St. Paul’s organization? If so, the archivist and the history sub-committee would love to see them. We are trying to build as complete a picture of church life as we can, including details of parish activities. It would be great if you felt you could donate any records; please give them to Charlie Priest (firstname.lastname@example.org) and if you want the records back for some reason, please talk let him know. Thank you!
April 22 is Earth Day
The Earth Day Network has posted ideas for ways to make a difference on Earth Day while at home. Here’s a link to read the article and below is an excerpt with one set of suggested activities you’ll find on the site. https://www.earthday.org/11-actions-for-the-planet-during-a-pandemic/ Do an eco-friendly activity – no matter your age We’re all grappling with changes to our daily lives, and these changes affect everyone. I recently repurposed some of our faith toolkits for in-home use, coming up with some resources for ways to engage people of all ages during the coronavirus pandemic. Take a look – I’m sure you’ll find something to renew your spirit: (Helen Rose, Faith Outreach Coordinator )
- Ages 4 & Up: Reduce Bird Collisions
- Ages 7 & Up: Make a Bee Condo
- Ages 10 & Up: Plan an Invasive Species Clean-Up
- Ages 12 & Up: Plan A Wildflower Garden
- Intergenerational Activity: Watershed Wilma/Wilbur Sculpture
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program – Please consider donating extra food items so that all of our friends and neighbors can have food during this challenging time. MCHPP will see a sharp increase for their services as this crisis deepens. Please bring your food directly to MCHPP, not to St. Paul’s. They will continue to accept drop off food donations but ask that donations be brought between 8am and10am or between 2pm and 4pm Monday through Saturday to minimize the impact to their operations and help reduce the number of people on their campus at any given time. Checks are also needed. Please send checks directly to Mid Coast Hunger Prevention at 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick, ME 04011. Thank you!
How to Help and Where to Find Help in Maine at Maine Helps
Local Brunswick Support Resources: