On Sunday, July 1st, St. Peter’s will again kick off the Independence Day week with a special service of civic readings and American song at the 9:00 a.m. service. Officials from the City of Rockland will be among us as readers and hymns and choir music will highlight our heritage as a nation. This service will also mark the St. Peter’s Choir’s capstone event for the summer services. They will then be in recess as a choir, but will instead be worshipping in the pews with the congregation. They will return with music for Sunday worship after Labor Day.
St. Peter’s Junior Warden and Building & Grounds Committee have been busy. Walk around and see some of the repairs and updates completed recently. They include: 1) Getting the City to trim the potential “eye-poking” tree limbs that were hanging into the parking lot; 2) New, safe steps outside the kitchen; 3) lifts on thresholds throughout and wheel chairs are now able to come through the elevator without obstacle; 4) a welcoming, accurate and attractive new sign at the church door; 5) a temporary fix to the large sign on the outside of the parish hall to block out the old service dates. As the Junior Warden says, “So much done, so much more to do, keep your eyes open for more!”
Suhaila Tarazi, the director of Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, reports that Ahli is implementing an emergency response to receive trauma cases and has configured an emergency wing with 24 additional beds. The staff is on extended shifts to treat the injured and wounded. Ahli surgeons are treating serious wounds and complex limb injuries. Ahli Hospital needs immediate and substantial financial support to respond to the catastrophe in Gaza. They need to obtain emergency medicine and medical supplies and fuel for generators. Suhaila wants you to know that while the resources of Ahli Hospital are stretched to the limit, the hospital staff is working around the clock, treating and healing victims of the violence. This includes many children who have family members, friends and neighbors who are dead or injured. These children are suffering, and Ahli Hospital is providing them compassionate counseling and psycho-social therapy.
Tuesday Bible Study – The morning group meets at 9:00am in the Parlor and previews the next Sunday’s readings. Their practice is to dwell on what the Scriptures speak to the heart. Such Scripture reading is both ancient & contemporary. Consider opening yourself to God in this gentle way.
The evening group meets at 6:00 pm and is about to study the New Testament book of Phillipians throughout July (and possibly beginning in June). The rector will lead these sessions. This is a small, thoughtful, questioning, and open group. No advance preparation is necessary. Please consider joining them – and call the church office to confirm the date the Philippians study will begin. The group will take a summer recess in August.
Bible Study for Everyone – if you would like to follow along with our Sunday lectionary readings on your own, copies of a short Commentary and study aid called “Synthesis CE” are available in the Narthex to help you prepare for next week’s readings.
Looking for a worship service? We have introduced a Sunday evening Celtic worship service at 5:30 pm. Our Celtic worship, drawn from the liturgical traditions of Iona and Northumbria, combines meditative silence and music, simplicity of utterance, and faithful commitment of care for the earth. This way of prayer, of opening oneself to God’s love, God’s forgiveness, and God’s hope – to the fullness of God’s presence in our lives – is hundreds of years old but speaks with immediacy to the yearning of our hearts now. This service encourages participation from all seeking to deepen their spiritual journey and through shared prayer to break down barriers between different faith traditions and seekers.
Ongoing Group : A Centering Prayer group meets the 2nd and 4th Saturdays at 8:30 – 9:30 in the reception area outside the Rectors office (second floor of the the office wing) Newcomers are asked to arrive at 8:15 am for an overview of how the Saturday session functions. The group observes about 20 minutes of silent meditation; then exchanges reflections; and ends with another period of centering prayer. If you are looking for a way to enter into a deeper relationship with the Holy, a path that goes beyond rational thought into the heart of the silent Word – consider joining the group. The group will help to ease you into ways of thinking and entering into silent meditation to find a deeper relationship with your soul and God. If you don’t know much about Centering Prayer, you can also go online and Google “Centering Prayer” to learn more. For more information, contact Mary Alice Bird through St. Peter’s office, 594-8191.
“ Jesus is Here. Right Here. Right Now.” Each spring the Episcopal Diocese of Maine has a one-day Conference that offers members and friends of diocesan churches an opportunity to gather for a day of learning, worship, sharing and growth. This year it will be Saturday April 28 at the South Parish Congregational at 9 Church Street, Augusta. Early comers can arrive at 8:30 year for coffee. The first of three sessions of workshops begins at 9:30. At 11:15 there will be a plenary session at which Bishop Stephen Lane will make remarks and lead a worship service. The last session ends at 3:15 p.m. Participants are asked to bring a bag lunch. Morning snacks and refreshments provided. To register (there is no registration fee for this event) and see the list of workshops, visit www.tinyourl.com/2018ST.
Sunday, May 13, at the 8;00 a.m., 10:30 and 5:30 Celtic Service we will be celebrating mothers – all the important mothers in our lives. We will giving out red and white carnations to remember our own mother, ourselves if we are a mother, or those special people who have been surrogate mothers for us – most particular Mary, the mother of Jesus. Mother love is a universal spiritual archetype, so regardless of your faith journey, we invite to join us in this celebration of the compassionate love of mothers.
In celebration of Earth Day, on April 22nd at 1:00 pm at the Strand Theater, Rockland, St. Peter’s is sponsoring Behold the Earth, a documentary film by local filmmaker and conservationist David Conover. A discussion will follow the screening, led by film co-producer Manette Pottle with Maine pastor and spiritual storyteller Peter Panagore and local conservation leaders.
Behold the Earth provides an original opportunity to expand the community of U.S. environmentalists – it poses the question, “Could a journey into Creation determine the future of the church?” A music-rich documentary, Behold the Earth explores America’s estrangement from the outdoors through conversations with E.O. Wilson, Cal DeWitt, and Theo Colborn, as well as a new generation of Creation Care activists within America’s Christian communities asking tough questions about church engagement with environmental issues. Four time Grammy-award winning musician Dirk Powell leads the arrangements of traditional American tunes and hymns, with Rhiannon Giddens and Tim Eriksen.
“Behold the Earth began 12 years ago with a hunch that the environmental must be a broader conversation that involves a lengagement and richness that is possible with a substantive moral component. So he contacted faith leaders, eminent scientists, and a younger generation of Christian evangelicals and environmentalists.
Behold the Earth premiered to a sold-out house at the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital in March, 2017, and has screened since at both film festivals and in secular and Christian communities across the country. Andy Peterson, CEO of Different Drummer and creator of the Justice Film Festival, describes Behold the Earth as “a meditative and spiritually engrossing documentary film with deeper themes of redemption and action – calling viewers to engage in protecting God’s creation. An important and timely film that uniquely outlines the role of the church in the climate change conversation.”
Suggested Donation $10.For more information about the screening, the Strand Theatre at 594-0070.