|What’s Happening at St. Paul’s|
This time last year, we were facing a winter of unprecedented uncertainty in our lifetimes: a raging pandemic, with as yet no vaccine to help ward it off. We were cut off from each other, unable to gather for worship, and unsure when we might be able to again.
And yet, look at what we accomplished then and since: worshiping together online and, starting last spring, together outside; holding prayer groups, knitting sessions, Sacred Ground circles and many other activities; continuing to build a vibrant family ministry under Katie’s leadership; coming together with great care to stage two successful fairs to raise funds for the needy; putting the leadership in place to send Carolyn on a much-needed sabbatical; and more. As we think back over the past twelve months, we are struck by how well we’ve sustained our cohesion as a church community. Praise be to God!
These are still difficult times, but it’s fair to say that our footing is a bit more certain, and our ship less tossed by the waves. Most of our parishioners are vaccinated. We are able to come together for worship outdoors. Our programing online continues. Best of all, we have proved we are a church community that can pull together and provide for each other even under dire circumstances. We are loving and giving in the best of times, yes, but also in the hardest.
Through all of it, St. Paul’s has been a place of stability for us, and we hope that’s also the case for you. Not that the storm is necessarily over; not at all. But even if the situation worsens, we know we are here for each other, helping to provide firm footing.
When the Stewardship Committee first met this summer to plan the annual autumn campaign, members settled on a theme of Rejoice, Regather, Give Thanks. It is disappointing that Regather has turned out to look a bit different than we envisioned. As this letter goes out, we are still adjusting to the news that we will not be worshipping in the Nave for an unspecified amount of time. Please know that we are carefully watching Maine’s Covid case count and that we will move back inside as soon as it is safe. We give you that promise.
And we Rejoice and Give Thanks always.
Last year in a stewardship talk, Jan related the story of her first Sunday in Maine in 2018, days after her and Jeff’s move north. She told of the extreme temperatures spawned by a cyclonic bomb their first night here—minus seventeen!—and despite it all the absolute warmth they felt in St. Paul’s that first morning. It’s something we all know and feel: This is an intensely caring parish, with strong, focused leadership, a deep social conscience, innovative problem-solvers, and verve beyond compare.
Our annual giving helps the ship of St. Paul’s ride high in the water, able to take on whatever the currents of life steer our way. We say it often because it is true: Stewardship helps us fund what we love. It gives us the resources to be exemplary, to live into our faith joyfully. Please continue to help us support what we all dearly love—a church community with thriving programs for all ages, many of which inspire us, many of which make us examine our relationship to Jesus Christ in a world that’s more complicated than we ever imagined it could be, and yet still full of light, love, and welcome.
Yours in love,
Cliff Ruprecht and Jan DeBlieu, Wardens
Two Sundays ago, Rev. Carolyn joyfully recognized our canine friends in attendance. God has gifted us with so many forms of friendship, fellowship, and companionship, we are truly blessed – and we look forward to St. Francis Sunday when we will specially bless our animal friends. We are aware of some parishioners who need to have their dogs with them at worship on other Sundays – either for the support they offer or because the dog should not be left alone at home. We also are aware of parishioners who have special sensitivity to the presence of dogs – this can be due to allergies, fears, distraction, or past trauma from an attack. We cannot let the presence or the absence of our animal friends become an obstacle to our worship and communion. And we ask all parishioners to be sensitive to the needs of others in this regard.
– If you need to have your dog with you for Sunday worship, please know you and your dog are welcome.
– If you bring your dog to worship, please keep it on a leash, clean up after it, and sit around the perimeter of the worship space, and try to sit separate from other dogs, so that their natural curiosity and playfulness does not become a disruption. Also, ask your neighbors in the pew whether they mind the presence of your dog, and gracefully move if necessary.
– If you are sensitive to the presence of dogs and need a special seating accommodation to make you feel safe or comfortable during worship, please let one of the clergy, wardens or ushers know, and we will be happy to assist.
And by all means bring your dogs, cats, guinea pigs, stuffies, or pictures of your special animal friends to St. Francis Sunday, October 3rd.
HARVEST FAIR UPDATE
Dear People of St. Paul’s,
I am writing to let you know, with great sadness, that the Wardens, Clergy, and key parish advisors have decided that at present it is not safe to host an in-person Harvest/Christmas Fair. So we will not be holding any of the events planned for October 2.
We reached this decision with a great deal of reluctance. It was an especially difficult call, since proceeds from the fair go directly to our Outreach Fund. But with the spike in Covid-19 cases and the prevalence of the Delta variant, it would be difficult for us to put on the fair with the same joy and verve that we’ve always felt. Cases and hospitalizations in Maine are far above the level of last fall, when we held two successful fairs. The traditional lively atmosphere might be swamped by worry that one of us could make a misstep and cause someone to fall ill.
It’s true that most of us are vaccinated, and much safer than the unvaccinated. But by October our immunity might be wearing off. Our children under the age of 12 are still unvaccinated. If the opening of in-person school leads to an increase of cases, it could well be manifesting itself then. There’s an art to living fully in a pandemic, and we are not of the mindset that we all need to huddle in our homes behind closed doors. But we do need to distinguish between safe and unsafe behavior, and we each must decide where the line between the two lies. Holding an in-person fair will push many of our most loyal volunteers out of their comfort zone.
We will be looking toward a future time when a fair can be safely held, as well as working to finding alternatives for raising funds for our Outreach ministry. We are committed to contributing as much to the well-being of our neighbors in need as we have in years past. One way to accomplish that is through cash donations. If you would like to make a contribution to this cause, please send it to the church online or through the mail and mark it clearly for Outreach.
It’s been a difficult year-and-a-half. But life challenges us in many ways, and with God’s help we can find ways to safely support each other and those most in need.
With a prayer for your peace and safety,
St. Paul’s Guidance for Outdoor and Indoor Gatherings*
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, September 26th|
The Eighteenth Sunday after Pentecost
10:30 a.m. Outdoor Picnic Eucharist in the Memorial Garden & on Facebook
Click on the link below to view from home:
To watch on Facebook
for the Worship Booklet
for the St. Paul’s Announcements
Esther 7:1-6, 9-10; 9:20-22
when Weather’s an Issue: Please check St. Paul’s Facebook and emails for weather-related worship updates.
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’ approximately 11:50 a.m.
Please join us using the link to the Zoom meeting sent in the Saturday Worship Links email.
Sunday, October 3th—Blessing of the Animals
Join us as we celebrate St. Francis on Sunday, October 3rd!
We will honor the beloved saint with prayers during worship and with a blessing of the animals in the Garden.
Please bring your pet leashed or in a carrier, a picture of your pet, or a stuffed animal. Wear a mask and practice social distancing.
9:30 a.m. (following 9:00 a.m. worship)
11:30 a.m. (following 10:30 a.m. worship)
Memorial services scheduled at St. Paul’s in September: Due to the surge of the COVID Delta variant in Maine, currently planned and future memorial services will be offered either in the memorial garden under the canopy (weather permitting), indoors in the nave with a limit of 25 family and friends, or postponed until criteria are met for safe indoor in-person gatherings.
Saturday, September 25 at 2:00 p.m. service for Jo Belknap will also be live-streamed to our Facebook live page.
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
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit last year, MCHPP had to close their dining room. Despite this, they have been able to continue to provide meals to those in need. They partnered with a few local organizations to provide remote sites for those who find it hard to get to their main site. From January to July, they have provided 80% more meals this year over last year. Your donations this month will be doubled due to a matching grant that they have received. Please consider sending them a check, in any amount to MCHPP, 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick, ME 04011
St. Paul’s Schedule Sunday
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.
12:00 p.m. Middle & High School Youth in the Garden (2nd & 4th Sundays)
St. Paul’s Zoom Exploring the Sermon 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. Dunstan’s, Ellsworth, St. Columba’s, Boothbay HarborFor the Trustees, Standing Committee, Diocesan Council, and all governing bodies of the Diocese of Maine
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 remembering especially Mark Miguez, relative of Bill Boutte, who died recently.
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
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, Philip, 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.
Click here for this week’s calendar