If you are a “seasoned” Episcopalian, you know that the Junior Warden of a church is often also the person in charge of building and grounds. Our current Junior Warden has been particularly active this summer. One of her latest projects is the renewal of the handsome doors to the sanctuary and parish hall. Temporarily, as can be seen in the attached photo, these doors are being removed to be stripped and revarnished. Other projects include an update of the St. Peter’s sign on the exterior of parish hall, facing the parking lot. Expect to see it installed within the next few weeks – and to sport the new St. Peter’s boat logo (which is also the logo for this web site). She is also collecting donations of various basic tools, so that anyone working on building and grounds repairs or maintenance can readily find what is needed to complete the job. If you have tools you could donate to the church or want to be one of St. Peter’s “building and grounds stewards” who help with specific tasks, contact the church office and the Junior Warden will in turn be in touch with you.
Looking for an alternative worship service? Join us for our meditative 5:30 Sunday Celtic service, with participants are invited to stay for a communal meal following the service. Drawn from the liturgical traditions of Iona and Northumbria, this service 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. The service includes meditative reflections from lay persons about their personal spiritual journeys, as well as readings from diverse traditions that focus on the divine unity of all creation and encourages participation from all seeking to deepen their spiritual journey through shared prayer that seeks to break down barriers between different faith traditions and seekers.
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 considering studying the New Testament book of Phillipians throughout July. 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.
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.