Reaching Beyond Our Bounds

March 2022

Reaching Beyond Our Bounds

Help Us Expand Our Connection to People with

New Systems for Sound and Online Streaming

Two years ago when the onset of the pandemic forced us to close our beautiful Nave and worship only online, we had no way to know how long it would be until we could again worship side by side. Thanks be to God, we have managed to do that for most of the past year, beginning last June with services beneath the tent in the Memorial Garden and then with a careful return to indoor worship in November. Last Sunday brought the easing of more pandemic restrictions, and we are again able to sing (while masked) and move through the Nave to greet each other and pass the peace.

We are not yet finished with the pandemic, or it with us. But we have reached a more hopeful point at which we can look back over the past two years to celebrate all we have done to keep alive the vibrancy of our parish. What have we learned? How have we excelled—or fallen short? Most importantly, what lessons and practices do we want to hold on to from this time of challenges and learn-ing?

One pandemic-induced change that has proved to be beneficial is the live streaming of services over the Inter-net. This has enabled people who cannot worship in person to be with us electronically. Unfortunately, our initial sys-tem was intended as a stop-gap measure, and our live streaming through Facebook has proved to be riddled with prob-lems and unreliability.

Thanks to a bequest from the late Jo Belknap, we have the opportunity to expand our online worship capacity with a new live streaming system that will be accessed easily and reliably through the St. Paul’s website. Other churches that have begun using this kind of system have found it to be quite reliable and simple to use. Over the past two years, our live-streamed services have attracted regular worshippers from Maryland, Florida, California, Georgia, Vermont, and Scotland—even with frequent interruptions and shut downs. With a reliable, simple-to-use service, we expect to attract many more.

The system to be installed consists of two cameras, which will be placed in locations that enable them to show the entire Nave. They will be controlled by a volunteer tech “usher” through an iPad programmed and designated for this purpose. Clergy and worship participants will be shown from the front, while worshipers will be shown from the back and also briefly during the passing of the peace.

Our clergy, vestry and staff are excited about the potential that will be brought to St. Paul’s by this new sys-tem. Among other advantages, its use will actively connect more people to our newly designed web site, making it easy for viewers to learn more about our services, programs, and Outreach efforts. Part-time Maine residents will be able continue to worship at St. Paul’s year-round from their second homes. Our services will be able to be seen around the world—wherever there is an Internet connection.

The new system will cost a total of $40,900. We have $27,000 of that in hand from Jo’s bequest. We come to you today with a request for donations that will help fund the additional $15,000. How wonderful it is now to have faithful worshippers across the country and beyond!

Here’s how you can make a contribution:

Give to Digital Upgrade: REACHING BEYOND in the form below.(click on the first down arrow on the right)

 or send a check designated to St. Paul’s with “digital upgrade” in the memo.

In hope and joy, Jan, Cliff and The Rev. Carolyn