What‘s Happening at St. Paul’s 01-07-2022
On Sunday, we will celebrate the Baptism of our Lord. This annual Feast Day is one of three stories of revelation God gives us to confirm that God is with us in Jesus Christ our Savior. The first revelation is God bringing the magi to worship the child Jesus, a revelation to all the nations. The second is the baptism of Jesus found in all four Gospels. Jesus comes up out of the water and a voice from heaven says, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.” The third is found in John’s Gospel when at the wedding in Cana, Jesus changed the water into wine, revealing the first miracle of his ministry.
We will remember our own baptism and our commitment to living the life of ta follower of Jesus by renewing our baptismal vows this Sunday. Not only is baptism a Sacrament that Christ gave to us in order to symbolize our union with his Body, the Church. It is our way that says “Yes” to following a way of life of love, grace, mercy, justice, generosity and hospitality. Jesus shows us this way.
Now that I’ve actually been to the river near Philippi in Macedonia where Lydia and her family were baptized by Paul and Silas, my baptismal promises mean even more to me. Standing next to that river these 2000 years or so later, it is clear to me that God’s promises never age, never become lifeless or rote. New life is breathed into promises like, “Will you continue in the apostle’s teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in the prayers? Will you persevere I resisting evil, and, whenever you fall into sin, repent and return to the Lord?” These two promises are most pressing to me as we struggle to make sense of our lives, our faith and the troubles of another pandemic surge.
I invite you to join in remembering your baptismal promises with St. Paul’s this Sunday at the 10:30 service, in-person or on Facebook Live. If you wish to be baptized, I invite you to share this desire with the Rev. Katie Holicky or me, and we will schedule brief instruction and the Sacrament one day in worship.
We sing these words of baptism that ring the love and peace God, “You’re marked by name, forever loved, adopted as a child of God. Now one with us [the Church], the family of those who know and love the Lord.” I love, “forever loved!”
In the love of Christ,
St. Paul’s Guidance for Indoor, In-Person Worship and Gatherings
(Guidelines subject to change as pandemic unfolds.)
INDOOR IN-PERSON WORSHIP (Digital worship offered as well!)
Based on the most recent CDC instructions,
please follow our guidelines for safer in-person indoor worship:
We will require that you wear a mask. (sanitizer & masks will be at each entrance)
Double masking is recommended by the Maine CDC and the Diocese of Maine. Feel free to take one of our masks for double masking
We will encourage three feet of physical distancing. (Seating will be clearly marked and ushers will help us keep our distance. Please only pass the peace to those near you to limit movement around the Hall and Nave)
We will say the responses, but no congregational singing. (The choir will sing)
We will not come forward to receive the bread or wine; communion of one kind from pews.
We will limit two people or family units in each restroom, masked.
We will not require a limit on the number of people in attendance, and will use the Vestibule for overflow seating.
We will not offer in person fellowship after worship.
- Cumberland County has a high vaccination rate and lower cases than other parts of the state.
- St. Paul’s membership has a high vaccination rate, though we are not requiring proof.
- The Nave and the Hall are well ventilated. (*Bundle up!)
- There will be no congregational singing. (The choir will sing)
- There will be no coming forward to receive bread or wine. (Taken individually while seated in pew)
Introducing 2022 Epiphany Series Videos & World Mission Sunday Celebration
Join The Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion partners for a lectio divina-style study on the Gospel reading. The study spans the eight Sundays of Epiphany, starting Jan. 9 and concluding on World Mission Sunday, with a special recorded sermon in the final session.
The videos are designed to help individuals, small groups, congregations, and dioceses
do the following:
- Reflect on the Gospel
- Remember and honor The Episcopal Church’s international relationships and partners
- Ponder our global interconnectedness and opportunities to see Christ in one another
- Celebrate the many ways the church participates in God’s mission around the world
The link to the videos is here.