|What’s Happening at St. Paul’s|
May we all observe a holy and peaceful season of Lent this second time around in a pandemic. Thank you for adapting to the way we observed Ash Wednesday. Thank you, Susan McCracken, Jean Mulligan and Lay Pastoral Visitors who made deliveries of the Ash Wednesday bags. Thanks to the parishioners who wrote daily meditations for the “Lenten Meditations” book this year. We are the Body of Christ, faithful, generous and cheerfully adaptable. We are nurturing each other in the faith with much grace.
Our St. Paul’s Vestry met at the end of January for our annual Vestry retreat on Zoom. During the retreat we acknowledged the joy, praise and lament of this year. We acknowledged the craving we all have to be together in physical space and our ache to be in the building. Our hearts are with the children who wish to run around in the Great Hall during and after worship. As we assessed this last year, Vestry members agreed that we responded very well to the immediate challenges of having a closed building by offering many digital ways to worship, pray and be in community.
Vestry members were awed by the swift movement to fund the Rector’s Discretionary Fund for the non-profits who had to gear up on a moment’s notice to serve our neighbors. We expressed pride in the great generosity of members to fund the food/gas card ministry that helped our neighbors in need for six months.
One Vestry member likened our experience this year to traveling in a ship in a rough storm. We agreed that the St. Paul’s Body of Christ served as “glue holding the ship together in the storm.” We grappled with these questions, “What is your greatest hope for 2021?” and, “What do you need to be the Church God needs you to be in 2021?” Our resounding reply was, “We will be going forward into the church and are aware that ‘back to normal’ is probably not realistic.” I believe that the real work of God’s transformation has already begun, which is the good news of this pandemic for us. But we will need to take time to mourn the real losses and disappointments.
We know that we can’t let our guard down, for the virus is still spreading. Still, we rejoice every time someone reports that they have received the vaccination. My heart makes a joyful leap! As the warmer temperatures approach, we can begin to look forward to more in-person gatherings outdoors and even now our leadership can give thought to a planned, stepped approach to in-person worship following the most current guidelines for safety as we hope for lower and lower infection rates in the fall.
I am hoping with you. God bless us this Lenten season.
Sunday, February 21
The First Sunday in Lent
9:30 a.m. Family Worship
Rev. Katie Holicky and musician Susan Brown will lead us in a time of song, prayer, story, and sharing with our friends!
Here is the link for the Zoom gathering.
Click here for the 9:30 Family Worship Booklet
10:30 a.m. Spiritual Eucharist, The Great Litany
Click on the links below:
for the Worship Booklet
for the St. Paul’s Announcements
1 Peter 3:18-22
Explore the Sermon over coffee on Zoom
Sunday, 11:30 am
Join in for a facilitated virtual gathering to check in with each other and explore the morning’s sermon.
Click here to join.
Soup and Scripture Chat on Zoom
Sunday, 4:00 pm
We’ll discuss Mark 8:31-38 and have a conversation about what Peter was up to…
Click here to join.
Lenten Meditation Booklets are available!
You may pick up a copy during Parish Office Hours.
If you’d like a book mailed or delivered, please contact the church office (email firstname.lastname@example.org).
Upcoming Worship & Activities
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.
February 21, First Sunday of Lent 9:30 Family Worhsip10:30 Spiritual Eucharist, The Great Litany
February 20 (back-up date February 21) – Ice FishingDrop-in 11:00 a.m.—3:00 p.m.—Ice Fishing Outing at Pleasant Pond. Contact email@example.com for information and to sign up.
Third Sundays from 4:00 -5:00 p.m. – Zoom Soup and Scripture Chat
THIS SUNDAY, February 21, Mark 8:31-38
March 21, Mark 11:1-11
April 18, John 10:12-18
First Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m. – Zoom Hymn Sings
Next Hymn Sing is March 3
Zoom Lenten Program Offered by the Society of Saint John the Evangelist
Believed to be the last Gospel written (by whom is a bit of a question, although many believe that John is John the son of Zebedee), the Gospel of John is beloved by many. Because it is not one of the Synoptic Gospels, which tell what Jesus did, John’s Gospel dwells more on who Jesus is, most obviously in his “I am” statements. The author’s self-proclaimed purpose in writing this Gospel is explained in John 20:30-31: “Jesus did many other miraculous signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.”
Many people love John’s Gospel for its beautiful poetic language, its “spirituality of love and intimacy,” and its frequent use of symbolic language and metaphors, but those very things that are unique about the Gospel also can make it difficult to understand.
The Society of Saint John the Evangelist (SSJE), an Episcopal monastery in Massachusetts, is offering a Zoom “eight-week retreat and course of study” that “will provide an overview of the Gospel of John and introduce participants to its major themes.” Br. David Vryhof is the presenter. Here are all the details you need to know to sign up.
Dates: Tuesdays—February 9, 16, 23, March 2 (not March 9), 16, 23, 30, April 6
Time: 7:30 p.m.-8:15 p.m.
This is such a special opportunity, and it’s free. I hope many of you will participate.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program
Last week I received a thank you letter from Karen Parker, Executive Director of MCHPP, thanking me for my contribution. I hope many of you received the same letter. If you didn’t, here is some information on why you should contribute.
MCHPP was started thirty-five years ago at St. Paul’s. They provide food for food insecure families in our region. Last year 1 in every 8 people in Maine faced hunger. One Friday in November their food pantry served ninety-four families, the largest in their history. The need will likely increase throughout the winter.
Your donation, in any amount, will go a long way to assist them in providing nutritious food for those in need. This includes children going to school in a hybrid situation and senior citizens struggling to pay for heat, medicine, and food. Their mailing address is MCHPP, 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick, ME 04011. Thank you, Bill Edman.
Pray for St. Michael’s in Auburn.
Pray for the the spouses, companions, and families of clergy in the diocese.
Pray for Anderson, Andrew, Cedric, Jason, Michael, Richard, and all in the military.
Pray for those who have died remembering Pat Ford’s brother, Peter Eddy, who died last week.
Thanksgiving for the birth of Theodore “Teddy” Hartman born February 16 to Juliet and Jody Hartman, brother of Lucas and Hannah, grandson of Bill and Helen Nicita.
We pray for:
Christy, Ryan & family, Ray, John, David, Judi, Nick, Bob, Kathy, Skip, the Blackburn family, Willow, Ann, Jim, Lollie, James, Dave, Caroline, Jeffrey, Carol, Roger W, Harlan, Shirley, Rob, and Rick+
Jennifer, John, Reeve, Victor, Travis & family, Ben, Diane, Nate, Priscilla, Garrett, Elliot, Marcia, Lynn, Bill, Bob, Paul, Sue, Nan, Clare, Cameron, Barbara, Carol, Chris+, Christy, Michael, Ryan, and Jacob
Matthew, Herb, Gair, baby Thomas, Jason, Annie, Terry, Mark, Donelda, Sudie, Pat, Marie, Michael, Debbie, Carol, Robbie, Ron, Hope, Therese, Lois, Bob, Sally, Virginia, Steve, and Luke
Call or email the parish office if you would like a name to be placed on the prayer list. The names will be removed after three months unless otherwise notified.
Click here for this week’s calendar