| This week marks the transfer of digital worship from my dining room “chapel” and Sunday Morning Prayer to the St. Paul’s Nave where we will begin to offer a digital version of Holy Eucharist. Taking our cue from Washington National Cathedral and our own Diocese of Maine, our worship together online this Sunday will include the familiar language and form of Holy Eucharist with a prayer of Spiritual Eucharist.|
St. Paul’s will not be offering in-person Eucharist for some time. There are reasons for this. First and foremost, the COVID-19 virus is still very dangerous and pervasive, particularly prone to spreading in settings like indoor in-person worship. Secondly, even if we did open to a limited number in the Nave per advanced reservation, that possibility excludes the majority of us and sets up access to the Sacrament for some and not for others. The majority of people in our beloved community are high risk for contracting the virus and, to provide access to the Sacrament for some while others are not able safely to join in worship, is unjust. I’m deeply grateful for the ongoing conversation I’m having with you about your hopes for worship, your concerns for being apart, for cautions we must take, and the questions about the meaning of Spiritual Eucharist.
Last week, during our Worship Team meeting, I shared the prayer that the Diocese of Maine uses after the bread and wine are consecrated. No one partakes of the consecrated elements while all say this prayer:
“In union, O Lord, with your faithful people at every altar of your Church, where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated, I desire to offer to you praise and thanksgiving. I remember your death, Lord Christ; I proclaim your resurrection; I await your coming in glory. Since I cannot receive you today in the Sacrament of your Body and Blood, I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart. Cleanse and strengthen me with your grace, Lord Jesus, and let me never be separated from you. May I live in you, and you in me, in this life and in the life to come. Amen.”
The Spiritual Eucharist is a prayer said by all to acknowledge that God’s grace is with us whether or not we are able to partake in the Sacrament. The prayer reflects our deepest longing and that our hearts intend to receive the Sacrament even when we can’t due to the danger of contagion.
I’ve had conversations with many of you about its validity. Some have asked, “Does it ‘take’?” “Am I still connected to Jesus?” The Sacrament is not magical. It is a simple grace, a gift God gives to us, free and clear of conditions because of God’s favor toward us. There is neither punishment nor removal of God’s grace for not being able to participate in receiving it.
I’m delighted to share that this Sunday, September 20 at 10:30 a.m. our live streaming will be from the Nave. We will offer the familiar form of Holy Eucharist, and Randy will be playing the organ. Yes, it’s a bit jarring not to be worshiping together in our historic and beautiful worship space. Yet, because of the generosity and vision of parishioners and staff to expand our bandwidth for Internet connection, we will gather virtually and share in glorifying God, hearing God’s Word, praying together, and sharing spiritually in the abundance of God’s grace and love.
And, as a sign that God is with us and that God’s people have returned to the altar of St. Paul’s albeit, virtually, I will consecrate the elements at the altar, place them in the tabernacle, and light our beautiful Sanctuary lamp to remind us Christ is with us as he promised, “And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20)
With love and hope,
The Sixteenth Sunday after Pentecost
September 20, 2020
10:30 Spiritual Eucharist
To view please click on the links below.
Worship summary sheet
(one page for easy printing)
Click here to join the St. Paul’s Zoom Coffee Hour
Sunday, at 11:30 am
Exodus 16:2-15 Psalm 105:1-6, 37-45
Philippians 1:21-30 Matthew 20:1-16
The Lectionary Page
Sunday, September 20, 9:30 a.m.
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
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.
Sunday, September 27 at 10:30 —- The pre-recorded “Spiritual Eucharist” will be our St. Paul’s worship, offered by the Diocese of Maine. It will feature members of St. Paul’s and our clergy. This worship service will be viewable on St. Paul’s Facebook page.
The St. Paul’s Stewardship campaign begins this week with the theme Faith Filled Generosity. We invite you to look for the Wardens’ letter coming soon.
On October 11, join us in the Memorial Garden after digital worship for in-person small “distanced” circles to hear about our Stewardship program and enjoy a conversation. Look for more information on making your reservation and the digital Zoom alternative sign up!
Attic Treasures—Thank you
A huge thank you to Jan DeBlieu for organizing the Attic Treasures sale and Nancy Johnson for coordinating donations. This was a big undertaking, especially with the added challenges of moving it out-doors and following COVID-19 restrictions.
Thank you also to all those who volunteered to help and those who donated goods to sell.
St. Paul’s donates all proceeds to our partner non-profits.
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program
School has finally started, though in a hybrid model. This, along with the end to support from a relief bill, is putting more stress on MCHPP to support its mission to feed those who are struggling to put food on their table. Since we can’t donate food items, we can support them by writing a check. For each dollar donated they can supply four meals. A check in any amount will help them. Send your check directly to them at 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick, ME 04011. Thank you!
Indigenous Peoples’ Day
On Sunday, October 11, there will be a Celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. In 2019 the state of Maine enacted legislation to replace Columbus Day with a celebration of Indigenous People. This year our diocesan Racial Justice Commission is pleased to offer a Diocesan-wide worship service for October 11th, in celebration of Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
St. Paul’s will be incorporating some of the content into our own worship on October 11 and will also share a link to the pre-recorded worship service (and service bulletin) created by the Racial Justice Council in collaboration with the Committee on Indian Relations.
You are invited to sing in a virtual choir presenting music during the 201st Convention of the Diocese of Maine (October 17-18)!
The Diocese would welcome singers of any age, especially children, to participate. They also welcome singers who are not members of Episcopal churches, so please feel free to pass along this invitation to musical friends.
Four hymns are being produced, and participants may submit videos for just one or two or all of them.
Here is the registration link
Instructions will follow!
Next week, those who register will be emailed detailed instructions, scores, and a guide track with someone singing your part, as well as links for submitting your videos. All recordings will need to be submitted by September 25 at the latest.
Many Christian communities have a tradition of coming together to help members “raise a barn” or “plant the field”. Roberta and I would like to invite the St. Paul’s community to help us “build the fence”! We have moved to a new home and dog Brenna would like a fenced yard to stay safe from the busy street in front of our house. So, will be installing a cedar fence on the weekend of October 3/4. I have secured a power auger (one-man, not two), and all the posts should already be painted (but maybe not the fence). If you would like to come for an hour or two (or day or two), to lend some physical and/or moral help, we will provide food and drink (in a covid-19 sensitive way) and you will be welcome to tour our new house. In order to keep the number of helpers limited (covid safe), please let us know when you can come. You may leave a message at 689-3109 or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If we already have enough helpers for the time you wanted, we’ll let you know when might be better. We hope there will be a time soon when we can have a better gathering in our new digs, but for now, it’s ‘digs’ we need!
Al Hipkins and Roberta Beal.
Christmas Fair Events
Following up on the Attic Treasures sale in September, we are planning a second in-person event for late November or early December.
This will be a simplified version of our famous Christmas Fair, with limited access to the church and controlled numbers of shoppers allowed inside at once.
More details will follow! Rest assured that if the incidence of Covid-19 in Maine increases, or if events conspire to make it unwise to hold the fair events, they will be canceled or perhaps moved entirely online.
What can you contribute to this major annual effort to help people in need? Please write to Jan at email@example.com if you can help.
There are lots of tasks, for instance:
Help photograph items for a possible online sale, and for advance publicity.
Help build plastic shields to be used between volunteers and customers
Donate to help offset expenses for safety supplies and face shields (mail checks to church with memo “Christmas Fair”)
Help with set up, clean up, and staffing tables.
Pray for the congregations of St. Peter’s in Bridgton and St. Ann’s in WindhamPray for all ministries of racial reconciliation and racial justice.
Pray for Anderson, Andrew, Cedric, Jason, Michael, Richard, and all in the military.We pray for:Christy, Ryan & family, Ethel, Ray, John, David, Judi, Carolyn B., Nick, Bob, Linda, Kathy, Skip, the Blackburn family, Willow, Tierra, Ann, Jim, Lollie, Steve, and JamesJennifer, John, Reeve, Victor, Travis & family, Ben, Diane, Nate, Elijah, Priscilla, Garrett, Elliot, Marcia, Lynn, Peter, Patricia, Patrick, Bill, Bob, Paul, Sue, and JulieMatthew, Herb, Marijka and baby Savannah, Gair, baby Thomas, Jason, Annie, Carole, Arline, Franklin, Terry, Mark, Ronda, Donelda, Sudie,Marie, Michael, and Pat
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