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Saint Peter Episcopal Church

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Shrove Tuesday Pancake Luncheon

Shrove Tuesday Pancake Luncheon

Tuesday, February 25, in the Parish Hall. Mark your calendars now. The ECW hosts this special festive lunch for the community of Rockland, with pancakes, sausage, syrup, fruit and sherbet. All are invited to this traditional feast before the season of Lent begins the next day, Ash Wednesday, February 26. Tickets will be available at the door.

Ashes to Go

Ashes to Go

St. Peter’s will offer Ashes to Go in downtown Rockland during the day on Ash Wednesday, February 26. We will again be joining up with our friends from Nativity Lutheran. Ashes to Go is a practice of bringing the important traditions of our faith out from behind church walls and into the places we need them every day. We especially need reminders of forgiveness in the tough places of our working lives.

Ash Wednesday

Ash Wednesday

The season of Lent always begins with Ash Wednesday, a time to step off the treadmill of our busy lives and consider again what is most important.

The traditional worship for this day can be especially powerful and calls for the imposition of ashes. During this service, you are invited to come forward to receive the imprint of ashes on your forehead, as a sign of your mortality and your dependence on God. In this stark way, we are put in mind of the difference between those things that are passing away and those things that endure, and we recommit ourselves to that which endures.

On Wednesday, February 26, two Ash Wednesday services will be held at St. Peter’s:

  • A contemplative Eucharist at 7:00 AM in the chapel and
  • A Choral Eucharist at 5:30 PM in the main sanctuary.

During the day, you may notice St. Peter’s and Nativity Lutheran clergy and parishioners offering Ashes to Go throughout Rockland and Rockport.

Lenten Activities at St.  Peter’s

Lenten Activities at St. Peter’s

Lent begins a period of preparation for our hearts and minds to witness and testify to the resurrected Christ. The forty days of Lent run from Ash Wednesday (February 26) through Holy Saturday (April 11) and serve as a time for us to return to the Sacred Presence, to God who has never left us, even though at times we may have left God. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of scripture study, prayer, fasting, and alms giving (all done in secret), as a way of returning to our true life. All of this is designed to renew a right spirit within us and to prepare us for a deeper appreciation of Jesus’ passion (what he was most passionate about), his death, and ultimately his resurrection at Easter.

Rector’s Lenten Discussion Group, Lives that Light Our Path. Sunday afternoons at 4:00 PM during Lent (March 1, 8, 15, 22, & 29). Lael will lead conversations on people whose stories have the power to break through in critical, desperate, or unusual times. She has her own list of people whose lives, for her, really tell, and she’ll share those. But you, too, will be invited to tell the stories of lives that speak to you.

Rite of Reconciliation. This rite will be offered on Fridays during Lent, by appointment. The Book of Common Prayer offers two rites for privately confessing sins to God in the presence of a priest and receiving the assurance of pardon and grace of absolution. Such confession may be done at any time, but Lent is a traditional time for reconciliation. Please speak with Lael directly or call the office if you’d like to schedule the rite.

Evening Prayer. A service of Evening Prayer will be held on Fridays during Lent at 5:30 PM in the main sanctuary of the church. This brief, candlelight service of prayer with simple chant and incense is a lovely way to close out the work week.

Other Resources

The Library at St. Peter’s. Our library is located upstairs in the office area next to the rector’s office. There you will find Bibles, scripture commentaries, prayer books, theological classics, devotional books, and more. It is open during office hours (Monday-Friday, 11:00 AM through 2:00 PM) and on Sunday mornings. Books are available to check out and borrow.

Living Well Through Lent 2020. Designed for use as an individual reflection or for group study, this Living Compass resource is a daily devotional that provides a foundation for seeking a deeper experience of Lent, an experience that will help prepare us for the true meaning of Easter. Available in both print and electronic editions. To learn more or to order, visit livingcompass.org/lent.

2020 Lenten Meditations from the Episcopal Relief and Development. This book of meditations was created in collaboration with Grow Christians, a ministry of Forward Movement to support ERD’s One Thousand Days of Love campaign. The meditations focus on the spiritual lives of children and how they can inform the prayers and meditations of all Christians. The devotionals are available from Forward Movement for free, with only a minimal fee charged for shipping and handling. You can order them at this link.

Lent Madness. As solemn as Lent is, it’s also okay to leaven your observance with a bit of fun, and again, Forward Movement has something for you. “Lent Madness” (inspired by “March Madness” and the NCAA basketball tournaments) pits 32 saints against each other in a bracket, as each saint seeks to win the coveted Golden Halo. Throughout Lent, fans vote for their favorite saints at lentmadness.org. You can follow Lent Madness on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date.

Difficult Conversations: Community Speakers Series at St. Peter’s

Difficult Conversations: Community Speakers Series at St. Peter’s

The Pastoral Care Committee of St. Peter’s Church presents a series of programs led by experts on topics related to health, physical and mental well-being, and spirituality.

The series will open on Sunday, February 23, at 3:00 PM, with the subject of Stress, Coping and Mental Health, presented by Harold Van Lonkhuyzen, MD. The program will cover how people cope with stress to maintain balance and mental health and, additionally, how to have conversations with family members and friends that are supportive and respectful of personal boundaries. The program is not intended to provide individual diagnoses or treatment. Dr. Lonkuyzen is a psychiatrist working in community mental health at Pen Bay Medical Center and Maine Behavioral Health. He works with patients from all walks of life, with all manner of mental health concerns, but especially those suffering from severe and persistent mental illness.

Future programs will cover end of life issues, family conversations, memory, and cognitive decline. These topics involve difficult and sensitive issues that are important but often avoided in conversations, even with close family members.

  • March 29, 2:30 PM, Living with Cognitive Decline & Alzheimer’s, presented by Cheri Blouin, Director of Social Services at the Knox Center and Quarry Hill.
  • April 26, 2:30 PM, Opening to Grace as Death Nears, presented by Abby Pettee, Chaplain at Pen Bay Medical Center and Sarah Dwelley, RN, Palliative Care Coordinator at Pen Bay Medical Center.

All the programs will be held at St. Peter’s. The programs in the community series are free and open to the public. Reservations are not necessary. Beverages and light snacks will be provided. For additional information contact the St. Peter’s parish administrator at 207.594.8191.

Holy Week Services and Activities at St. Peter’s

Holy Week Services and Activities at St. Peter’s

Palm Sunday, April 5, services at 9:00 AM, and 5:30 PM with Liturgy of the Palms, and
reading of the Passion Narrative.

Tenebrae, April 8, 5:30 PM, a dramatic service of readings and music.

Maundy Thursday, April 9, 5:30 PM. Agape Meal/Dinner in the Parish Hall.

Good Friday, April 10,

  • All day, Self-Directed Stations of the Cross;
  • 5:30 PM, Good Friday Liturgy with Eucharist from the reserved sacrament.

Holy Saturday, April 11, The Great Vigil of Easter (St. Thomas, Camden).

Easter Sunday, April 12, 9:00 AM, Choral Festival Eucharist, followed by the parish Easter Brunch.

  • 12:00 noon, Easter Egg Hunt, and
  • 12:30 PM, the Easter Community Meal
Spiritual Direction at St. Peter’s

Spiritual Direction at St. Peter’s

The Rev. Bill Blaine-Wallace, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D., offers spiritual direction at St. Peter’s on the last Tuesday of each month. Bill is an Episcopal priest, pastoral counselor, and spiritual director. He has served as a spiritual director at the Society of St. John the Evangelist and the Episcopal Divinity School, both in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the Bethany House of Prayer in East Arlington, Massachusetts. Bill moved to Maine in 2006 and continues a ministry of spiritual direction. He is author of Water in the Wastelands: The Sacrament of Shared Suffering and continues to publish in the areas of grief and bereavement, pastoral psychology, and spirituality. Bill can be reached at (207) 491-9645 or by email at wblainew@bates.edu.

The Rev. Lael Sorensen, B.A., M.A., M.Div., also offers spiritual direction, usually on the third Wednesday of the month. Lael is currently rector of St. Peter’s. She is an Episcopal priest, hospital chaplain, and spiritual director. She has served parishes in Silver Spring, Maryland, and Wilmington, Delaware, and at Christiana and Wilmington Hospitals and the Swank Center for Memory Care in Delaware. She is currently enrolled in the 2020 Program for Contemplative Spiritual Direction Training at the Alcyon Center in Seal Cove, Maine. Lael can be reached at (207) 594-8191 or by email at rector.stpetersrockland@gmail.com.

The rector keeps a list of referrals for other spiritual directors who work at other locations in the area.

Spring Training in the Diocese of Maine

Spring Training in the Diocese of Maine

Saturday, March 21 at the South Parish Congregational Church, 9 Church Street in Augusta.

Each spring, Episcopalians across the diocese come together for a day of learning, sharing, and growth. Spring Training 2020 will be held on Saturday, March 21, at South Parish Church, 9 Church St., Augusta.

The Rev. Jay Sidebotham, director and founder of RenewalWorks, will be our keynote speaker this year, offering a presentation for everyone who attends. RenewalWorks is a growing movement in the Episcopal Church equipping congregations (and now also individuals) both to assess and grow their spiritual health. Jay will talk about his own experience as a parish priest, and how RenewalWorks can shift the focus of parishes and in dioceses so that we center our common life on discipleship with Jesus Christ and our desire for spiritual growth. There will be time following the presentation for discussion in break-out groups.

After lunch (a fundraiser for Youth Ministry Mission Exchange), everyone will have their choice of one smaller workshop. The day will close with Eucharist.

Find out more on the Diocesan website.