|What’s Happening at St. Paul’s|
One Lenten season years ago, I was helped by daily meditations written by a Benedictine monk, Albert Holtz, O.S.B. He took us “Lenten pilgrims” through daily meditations on the rule of Benedict. I’ve included his book in my daily reading this year because he gives lessons of encouragement that I need as the challenges of a year-long pandemic weigh heavily on many of us.
I want to review the meaning of the word “encouragement” as I hunger for signs of it daily. It comes from the Old French word encouragier. “Heart” is at the center of this word with the definition, “to make strong, hearten.” One of the Benedictine rules Brother Albert Holtz shares in his book is “Rule of Benedict, Chapter 7, Humility.” My hope is that this little paragraph from the monks will give each of us “encouragement” as we travel the Lenten road in 2021, having lived through one of the most difficult years of our lives and mourning the over 500,000 deaths of our citizen neighbors.
“Scripture has it, ‘Anyone who perseveres to the end will be saved,’ and again, ‘Be brave of heart and rely on the Lord’…[The faithful] are so confident in their expectation of reward from God that they continue joyfully and say, ‘But in all this we overcome because of him who so greatly loved us.’ Elsewhere Scripture says: ‘O God, you have tested us, you have tried us as silver is tried by fire.’” (Pilgrim Road: A Benedictine Journey Through Lent, p.137)
And so, my friends, we persevere in each other’s good company as the body of Christ. We persevere as, without measure, we receive God’s Spirit. We persevere because he so greatly loved us. We persevere in prayer and as we share in each other’s sorrows and joys. We persevere quite exhausted, but not walking away from our calling to praise God without ceasing in all circumstances.
The sun is shining today on a cold February morning. But the smell of a skunk woke me the other night. That made me smile because one of the first things I learned after I moved to Maine was that skunks are the first signs of spring. I thank God for skunks who give the gift of encouragement!
I’m looking forward with hope as we begin to contemplate a warmer season in which we may be in-person outdoors and as we hope for the coronavirus to be so thoroughly vanquished that we will be gathering in-person going forward together into a renewed future.
In hope and encouragement,
Sunday, February 28
The Second 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
Click on the links below:
for the Worship Booklet
for the St. Paul’s Announcements
Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16 Romans 4:13-25
Mark 8:31-38 Psalm 22:22-30
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.
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).
Help Needed with St. Paul’s Research
Charla A. Spann is researching and documenting information on all the different types of Fiber/Fabric used at St. Paul’s. Currently, she is focusing on the Altar Hangings and other Fabrics used at the services – Chasubles, Stoles, Banners, etc. Anyone who can share information on the history of any of these items, please contact Charla at email@example.com.
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.
All Parish Hymn Sing – First Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m.
Join the All-Parish Hymn Sing on Zoom!
A reminder and link will be emailed.
Zoom Meeting ID: 895 0389 3668 , Passcode: 520194
Third Sundays from 4:00 -5:00 p.m. – Zoom Soup and Scripture Chat
March 21, Mark 11:1-11April 18, John 10:12-18
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.
Remaining Dates: Tuesdays— 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.
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal dioceses of Dallas, TX and West Texas as they provide emergency relief to individuals and families impacted by the recent ice storm, low temperatures, and power outages. To learn more or to contribute to their efforts see episcopalrelief.org Contributions can also be mailed to Episcopal Relief & Development PO Box 7058 Merrifield, VA 22116-7058
Mid Coast Hunger Prevention Program
This is the second week in Lent and we are called to observe Lent with acts of mercy. Giving to MCHPP to help those who are food insecure and to The Gathering Place and Tedford Housing for people who are without adequate shelter are local ways to help.
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.
From the “Dio Log”
The Episcopal Diocese of Maine Newsletter
Ash Wednesday Imposition of Ashes was celebrated outdoors in Downtown Winthrop, at the Windham Post Office, and in St. Paul’s parking lot in Brunswick. As the Rev. Eleanor Prior of St. Luke’s Cathedral, Portland told WMTW about this year’s Ash Wednesday celebrations, “It’s maybe especially meaningful this year, not just personally, but as a people, we realize who we really are and what we need to do.”
Brunswick Police Department gave a shoutout on Facebook thanking St. Paul’s, Brunswick for their generous donation of winter bags. The bags will be placed in patrol vehicles for officers to distribute to those they interact with who are in need during these cold winter days.
(Posted on Brunswick Police Department Facebook)
“The Brunswick Police Department would like to thank St. Paul’s Outreach Commission for their generous donation of winter bags! These bags contain warm gloves, hats, scarves, hand warmers, food, gift cards, and non-perishable snacks. They are being placed into each Brunswick Police patrol vehicle. When officers interact with someone in need during these cold winter days, they will be given a bag full of these warm items. Thank you St. Paul’s Episcopal Church!”
Pray for Emmanuel Lutheran Episcopal Church in Augusta.
Pray for our Justice Commission and all ministries of racial justice.
Pray for Anderson, Andrew, Cedric, Jason, Michael, Richard, and all in the military.
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, Luke, Richelle, Jen, and all essential workers
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