Blessings to St. Paul’s Beloved Family Eucharist Congregation!
Important Message Regarding Reopening
We have made this decision after speaking with many parishioners and weighing many factors. The high vaccination rate among us is a key reason that we feel safe in moving back inside. So, also, is the strong desire of many (perhaps nearly all) of us not to return to a strictly online worship format for the winter. Because so many people want this so badly, we believe we will all act with the caution required. We have so enjoyed being able to gather in the garden after a year of worshipping apart! With care we can continue indoors.
There will still be some risk, however. For this reason, worship in the Nave will not look quite like it did in Februrary 2020. The summer tradition of our picnic Eucharist will continue: Worshipers will be asked to bring their own bread from home or to take a wafer provided in a sealed container. Sadly, there will be no cup. We will not be approaching the altar but will remain in our seats for the duration of the service. The choir will be able to sing, but the congregation will not. We see these cautions as worthwhile to enable us to be together again in our beloved worship space.
As with our outside services, we will be collecting the names and phone numbers of those who attend to allow contact tracing if needed. We are asking all worshippers to mask. Indoors, we will also be asking parishioners to sit in family or shelter groups at least three feet apart from each other, as recommended by the CDC guidelines. Because our Nave is small in comparison to the number of members that St. Paul’s is blessed with, distancing ourselves from other shelter groups may be a challenge. We are examining the possibility of providing extra seating in the Vestibule. Please see the November Messenger for more details.
Services will continue to be streamed on Facebook (for 10:30) and Zoom (for 9:00) for those who choose not to come.
For those who do attend in person, don’t forget to layer up! The warmth of being together will offset the chilliness—but extra clothes will help too.
Our worship practices may need to change as the pandemic continues to unfold. For now, though, we are happy to take advantage of this opportunity to gather safely.
In years to come, we will talk of this time the way people talk of wars and pandemics past. We will celebrate the vibrancy of St. Paul’s—how we held fast to following the mission of Jesus to care for each other; how we debated what was safe and what was not; and how we did all we possibly could to provide for our many-faceted needs. For now, we simply give thanks for being able to rejoice and regather.
Yours in love,
Cliff Ruprecht, Senior Warden
Jan DeBlieu, Junior Warden
St. Paul’s Guidance for Indoor, In-Person Worship and Gatherings
Indoor worship begins 11/14
Updated October 19, 2021
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)
- We will require that you sign in for contact tracing purposes.
- 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 at 10:30.
- 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. (*Bundled 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)
- We will continue our contact tracing sign-in upon entering.
- Masks are required for all people accessing the building.
- Sign-in for contact tracing is required.
- St. Paul’s fellowship and committee groups may meet in the building. (Please no food at this time. If you need to take a drink, please replace your mask quickly.)
- Outdoor receptions may not require masks, but masks are recommended. (We will NOT have indoor receptions at this time.)
- No limit on the number of people inside the building.
- Limit to two people or family groups in each restroom.
Join us for Worship
This Sunday, October 31st!
Join us in welcoming Bishop Brown for his visit.
Family Ministries Sunday Schedule
October 31st, Twenty-Third Sunday After Pentecost
- 9 am Family Worship
- Worship Booklet here
- Family Group following worship, ending by 10:15
- 12-1 pm, 2nd & 4th Sundays Middle & High School Youth Group
Update from your Stewardship Committee
Dear St. Paul’s Family,
As of this writing, the response of our St. Paul’s family to the 2022 Stewardship campaign (“Regather, Rejoice, Give Thanks”) has been most promising. As an example, four of the nine vestry members and one of the two wardens have made their pledges to date. Their combined pledges are 19 percent higher than their pledges for 2021. Our leaders believe in.our mission and ministry, confident that we will emerge from the pandemic even stronger than before.
Thanks to all have demonstrated their support by making their pledges for 2022. We hope to maintain the momentum as more pledges come in during the weeks ahead. As a reminder, we ask that all parishioners complete pledge forms by November 7, even those who have automatic withdrawals. Whatever you can pledge during these uncertain times will be deeply appreciated as we walk each other home.
Please click here for a link to online giving.
Yours in love and with appreciation,
Bob Jackson and David Treadwell, Stewardship Committee Co-Chairs
Daylight Savings Time Ends Sunday, November 7th.
Don’t forget to turn your clocks back Saturday night, November 6th.
Mask up St. Paul’s!
9:30 am Sundays
Family Group follows 9am worship on Sundays.
Join as we pray, play, and spend time in story!
Our gathering will end at 10:15.
If you are interested in joining a Family Group please reach out to Rev. Katie.
Please wear a mask, practice physical distance
All Things Youth
Hello St. Paul’s Middle & High School Youth! 2nd & 4th Sundays
12-1pm in the Garden.
Please wear a mask, practice physical distance, and bring your own water and snack should you need them.
Sunday Junior Paper – Click to Read!
Yuletide Magic Marketplace
Yuletide Magic Marketplace
Please join us 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).
An Update from The Sacred Ground Program Coordinator
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
MCHPP Program Support
Brunswick schools are open for the 2021-2022 school year. The good news is that children are be able to receive free lunches; however, it does not solve the entire problem of food insecurity. MCHPP is again running their Backpack Program providing nutritious food to the children to help them get through the weekend when school is not in session. The children can pick up a bag of food anonymously. The food is the type that will not spoil. MCHPP will have to purchase most of the food used in this program.
Please consider writing a check in any amount to MCHPP, 12 Tenney Way, Brunswick, ME 04011. Put Backpack Program on the memo line.