What‘s Happening at St. Paul’s 10-15-2021
Week after week, as a deacon, I get to offer the dismissal at the end of the service, usually one of these from our prayer book:
Let us go forth in the name of Christ.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Let us go forth into the world, rejoicing in the power of the Spirit.
Twenty years ago, my cousin Susan and her husband Charles came up from Maryland for my ordination to the diaconate. Over dinner the night before, Charles leaned over and said, “We love our deacon. He’s the one who tells us when it’s time to go. No wonder we say ‘Thanks be to God’ at the end!” Then he winked. He was an active vestry member, and both he and Susan served their church and their community in a lively variety of ways.
So while one might indeed hear “let’s go home” in the dismissal, that “go” is still at the heart of it. We are blessed to be able to gather for worship, whether under the canopy or online or (when it finally becomes safe again) in the nave, but always we are sent away at the end: “go.”
When we “go forth in the name of Christ,” we name ourselves Christians, as followers of the one who taught that what matters most is to love God and to love each other. In my early years of public school teaching, back in the mid-80’s, I hesitated to wear a cross and identify myself as a follower of Jesus because (even then) the only stories about Christians that made the news tended to be about abuse or radical fundamentalism, and I didn’t want my students to think I was one of “them.” – When I finally realized I had fallen into the sin of distinguishing between an “us” and a “them,” I decided that I needed to make a visible statement of faith; I started wearing a cross every day. It didn’t make me any better at loving God and neighbor, but it allowed me to claim my identity as one who tries.
When the dismissal asks us to “Go in peace to love and serve the Lord,” I often hear in the background Jesus’ words from Matthew: “just as you did it to one of the least of these, you did it to me,” a reminder that we serve Jesus by serving others. After all, in today’s gospel our Lord says that “the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Few of us are called to give our lives as Jesus did, or Jonathan Daniels, or Oscar Romero, or Sophie Scholl, but all of us are called to give our lives over in whatever ways God calls us. So, at the end of worship, we’re supposed to go in peace to love and serve. (And yes, don’t forget the love!)
And I think being told to “go forth rejoicing in the power of the Spirit” is my favorite dismissal because it acknowledges that the power of the Spirit will, if we let it, inspire us in our varied callings: to prayer, to creation care, to outreach, to political action, to study, to fellowship. There is after all, one Spirit but a variety of gifts, as our own St. Paul reminds us, and it’s all worth celebrating.
I want to say that this “going” is what keeps St. Paul’s so incredibly vibrant, even through this seemingly-endless pandemic. We come together in the beauty of holiness to worship our Creator, our Lord Jesus, our Holy Spirit – and then, equally faithfully, we “go” into the world. This place, St. Paul’s, is indeed a beacon of hope and healing because of the people who come – and then “go” – so faithfully.
Thanks be to God indeed!
During these uncertain times, the phrase, “walking each other home” comes to mind. When you think about it, that’s what we do at St. Paul’s, we try to walk each other home. We try to be there for each other during good times and bad. We dig — really dig — into the meanings of the gospels. We pass the peace and mean it. We meet in small groups to discuss deep issues. And, important, ours is not an insular community. Rather, we reach out to those around us who are in need by sharing our time and our treasure. We have heeded the words of poet John Donne: “No man is an island.”
The challenges of the pandemic have made for tough walking for every one of us. But we have done so by keeping our heads high and our mission firm. As noted in the Warden’s letter, “we have proved we are a church community that can pull together and provide for each other even under dire circumstances.”
The Stewardship Committee has established the theme “Regather, Rejoice, Give Thanks.” As we consider the meaning of those words, we can step back and reflect upon what this Church means to us. St. Paul’s is, for so many of us, our true north or, as T. S. Eliot wrote, “a still point in a turning world.”
To meet the challenges that lie before us, we are hopeful that the average annual pledge will increase by 3 to 5 percent for 2022. That is an ambitious goal, but ours is an ambitious parish: our faith inspires our confidence. Whatever you can do will be deeply appreciated as we continue, together, to walk each other home. Safe and secure online Giving is available on the Saint Paul’s website. Click here for the Giving and 2022 Pledge Card link. Click here to download a pdf of the 2022 Stewardship letter.
Yours in love and with appreciation,
Bob Jackson and David Treadwell, Stewardship Committee Co-Chairs
1. Masks are highly recommended for fully vaccinated people and required for unvaccinated people.
2. Contact tracing is required.
3. Masks are recommended for congregational and choir singing.
4. Physical distancing is not required.
5. There is no limit to number of people gathered.
6. Please gently ask if a hand shake or hug is permissible.
7. Community groups such as the 12-step groups may meet outdoors.
8. If possible, it is recommended to bring a chair to use.
9. If food and drink are served, servers must be masked. Food is not laid out buffet style, but served on individual plates.
Parish Office is open. (see hours in announcements)
No in-person indoor Sunday worship until surge reverses to May 2021 levels for at least a month’s consecutive days.
1. No more than 25 people in building at a time.
2. Masks are required for all entering building.
3. Contact tracing is required for all entering the building.
4. No more than two masked people or two family units in each restroom at a time.
5. Building is closed to community groups, but open to members.
1. Summer Sunday outdoor “picnic Eucharist” will continue through the end of October in-person in the me-morial garden at 10:30 a.m. Facebook live streaming will be offered.
2. Starting September 12, Family Worship and Family Group begin at 9:00 a.m. outdoors.
3. When heavy rain or thunderstorms are forecast, Spiritual Eucharist from the Nave at 10:30 a.m. will be offered on Facebook Live from the closed nave instead of outdoor in-person Eucharist. The Saturday email and a Facebook announcement will be sent.
4. Memorial services may be in-person in memorial garden (see above for outdoor guidelines) or in-person indoors in the nave for no more than 25 masked family and friends or postponed to a date that fits the in-person indoor gathering criteria.
Sunday, October 17th The Twenty-First Sunday after Pentecost
Worship when Weather’s an Issue: Please check St. Paul’s Facebook and emails for weather-related worship updates. If 10:30 worship is moved into the Nave due to bad weather we will only have the worship team in the Nave, following our current COVID protocols. As followers of Jesus we hold fast to the mission to keep one another and the most vulnerable safe.
Family Ministries Sunday Schedule
9 am Family Worship
Family Worship Bulletin Here
Family Group following worship, ending by 10:15
12-1 pm, 2nd & 4th Sundays Middle & High School Youth Group
St. Paul’s Zoom Exploring the Sermon has resumed after 10:30 a.m. “picnic Eucharist’ at approximately 11:50 a.m. Please join us using the link to the Zoom meeting sent in the Saturday Worship Links email.
We all want to see improvements in the racial disparities in our society, but it can be difficult to have meaningful conversations about these issues. The Sacred Ground program is based on the idea that these conversations can and should be a healing process. This program uses discussion groups led by trained facilitators in order to make this conversation safer and more impactful. Many parishioners at St. Paul’s have participated in this program and experienced its profound effects.
When parishioner Caroline Russell received an inheritance, she gathered with a discernment committee at St. Paul’s to determine the best way to use the funds. Having participated in Sacred Ground, she knew it had the power to touch hearts and be transformational, and it became clear to her that funding Sacred Ground was the answer. Her donation is now making it possible to share this curriculum much more widely in the community.
We are modifying the Sacred Ground program to be applicable to people of all faiths, and are currently recruiting participants for our next round of discussion groups. These conversations will be inter-faith, meeting roughly once every three weeks for a total of ten sessions. We hope you will join us.
Want to learn more or register for the program?
Contact our Sacred Ground Program Coordinator: Andrea.H.Lauerman@gmail.com
Christianity beyond Sunday School
For many of us, our chances to learn about Christianity’s “hows and whys” ended in early adolescence. But our experience of its teachings continues, as do the challenges put to our faith by life and its stresses. Sometimes our childhood understanding feels a bit…thin.
This discussion-based course will focus on key topics in the Christian tradition, such as how the Bible came to be; how Jesus of Nazareth became acknowledged as “savior;” answers to the question, “why do bad things happen to good people;” why there are so many different denominations, etc. We’ll try to come to a more mature understanding of the possibilities offered to us by Christianity.
Parishioner Deborah Goodwin (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame, Associate Professor Emerita of Religion, Gustavus Adolphus College) will facilitate the group. We will meet via Zoom on Sunday afternoons, from 4 – 5:30 p.m., on October 17 and 24, and November 7 and 14. We will use as a companion book, Remedial Christianity by Paul Alan Laughlin (Polebridge Press, 2000; ISBN-13: 978-0944344774), available from online sellers and from your local bookstores, by order.
The class will be limited to 12 people. For questions or to sign up, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
Yuletide Magic Marketplace
Please join us for the grand opening Sunday, October 17th at 9:30 a.m on the 2nd floor of St. Paul’s. The marketplace will be open to parishioners every Sunday through November 28th after both services and by appointment during the week. Find accessories and apparel, holiday and home decor, canned goods, tree decorations and much more! Make a huge dent in your holiday shopping while supporting St. Paul’s outreach program to local charities. You’ll find gifts for everyone from babies to grandparents! St. Paul’s crafters and fiber artists have been busy! Stop by, shop and support the many hours they have contributed to help make your holiday handmade! Note: Appropriate COVID precautions will be in place.
For more information call Carol Martin (207-844-8133) or
Charla Spann (207-844-8220).
Christmas Magic Fair and Outreach
As you consider purchases from the upcoming Christmas Magic Fair, please remember that all proceeds from the Fair go towards St. Paul’s Outreach ministries. Our mystery Christmas angel has set a high bar for us, by already making a large donation; it would be wonderful if the rest of us were able to meet that angel’s challenge! To remind us of how those funds are used in our community, we’ll be running a series of articles supplying the URL addresses for agencies we supported last year, so that we can see the purposes to which the funds are put. The first installment features agencies St. Paul’s has had a role in founding. Take a look, and see how your funding in purchases and donations helps our community to thrive.
The Gathering Place brunswickgatheringplace.org
MidCoast Hunger Prevention Project www.mchpp.org
Seeds of Independence seedsofindependence.org
Tedford Housing Tedfordhousing.org
Please volunteer to help when St. Paul’s hosts the Brunswick/Bath area WindowDressers workshop from November 18-23, 2021. Morning and afternoon shifts Monday through Friday are available and there is one evening shift on Wednesday. There is a signup genius with all the available shifts at windowdressers.org.
Just click on the “VOLUNTEER” link at the top of the home page, scroll down to any “Community Build” link and then select Brunswick/Bath, and choose a time or times that will work for your schedule. You can also volunteer by talking to Dana Baer (207-319-4992, email@example.com). He will be happy to discuss this and answer any questions you may have. If you don’t have time to volunteer, we would also welcome snacks for the volunteers! Thank you.
Vestry’s Nominating Committee (Charla A. Spann, Katy Rivera, Phil Studwell, and Paul Womer) is requesting names of parishioners willing to serve as 2022 Convention Delegates and for a 3 year term as Vestry member. For further details and requirements please contact one of the committee members.
Changes are coming to Zoom software releases that will optimize security and platform performance. Your action may be required!
Beginning November 1, 2021, all Zoom accounts will be required to update their Zoom software to ensure it is no more than nine months behind the current version. Users will be prompted to update their software when using the platform should their version fall behind.
For more information, including how to update your Zoom account, click HERE
Reserving the Memorial Garden: Please contact the church office if you’d like to schedule a meeting in the Memorial Garden to ensure you’re on our calendar and we avoid double-booking. Thank you!
Midcoast Hunger Prevention Program
MCHPP has established satellite food pantries in Housing Authority facilities in our area. The food pantries are fully stocked with fresh produce, dairy products, meat, frozen meals, and eggs. The food pantries are in Bath and Brunswick. This enables clients with mobility and health problems to access good food. There is a cost to this in buying and transporting the food to these locations. Please consider writing a check to MCHPP to help support this vitas program. Any amount will help them and will be greatly appreciated. Their address is MCHPP, 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick, ME 04011.
St. Paul’s Schedule
9:00 a.m. Family Picnic Eucharist in the Garden
9:30 a.m. Family Group in the Garden
10:30 a.m. Outdoor Picnic Eucharist in the Garden & on Facebook Live. Facebook https://www.facebook.com/
12:00 p.m. Middle & High School Youth in the Garden (2nd & 4th Sundays)
St. Paul’s Zoom Exploring the Sermon with Deirdre Good
after 10:30 a.m. “picnic
Eucharist’ approximately 11:50 a.m. Please join us!
Daily Morning Prayer and Compline
Tuesday, Wednesday Thursday, 7:30 a.m. and 7:30 p.m. Facebook Live.
Tuesday 12:30 pm Women’s Bible Study in the Garden (if raining, on ZOOM, ID: 814 5988 6763 Passcode: 032484)
Wednesday afternoon Bible Study, 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. meets in the Garden (or Great Hall if raining)
- St. Philips’, Wiscasset
- For our siblings in common mission in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
- Pray for the Maine Episcopal Public Policy Network.
- Pray for Anderson, Andrew, Cedric, Jason, Michael, Richard, and all in the military.
- Pray for those who have died.
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, Harlan, Shirley, Rick+, Elizabeth, Courtenay, Larry, Courtenay, Patsy, Ward, Mary Ann, Steve, Nancy, Joe, and Robert G., and Larry
Jennifer, John, Victor, Travis & family, Ben, Diane, Nate, Priscilla, Garrett, Elliot, Marcia, Lynn, Bill, Bob, Paul, Sue, Clare, Cameron, Barbara, Christy, Michael, Ryan, and Jacob, Jen and all essential workers, Sandy, Jennifer, Caroline, Carol, Judy, Alice, baby Isla, Cyndie and Bob, Peter, and Olivier
Matthew, Herb, Jason, Annie, Terry, Mark, Donelda, Sudie, Pat, Marie, Michael, Debbie, Carol, Ron, Hope, Therese, Lois, Bob, Virginia, Sally, Steve, Luke, Catarina, Darah, Barbara, Ronald, Ray, Patricia, Steven F, Bill, Dave, Diane, Therese, Sallie, Julie
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.