Effective with the Wednesday Morning Contemplative Eucharist on May 26, St. Peter’s will be open at capacity for in-person worship to fully vaccinated persons. We will be able to gather inside unmasked, to sit and kneel and cozy up to one another without regard for social distancing; we will be able to sing, to approach the altar together, to take communion together, and to drink from a common cup.
As you know, health authorities advise that most of those activities are unsafe for persons who are not fully vaccinated. We are mindful that there are persons for whom the vaccine is not yet available, medically contraindicated, or eschewed. If this applies to you, let me know (firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-594-8191) because there are ways we can reach out to you, be with you, pray with you, and bring you communion without endangering you.
Our Sunday morning service will continue to be live-streamed on Zoom, and will be available to all remotely. But beginning on Wednesday, we will ask for proof that you are fully vaccinated for admission to in-person worship. (The CDC considers a person fully vaccinated when it has been at least two weeks since receiving the second of the two shots of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccine or two weeks since receiving the Johnson & Johnson single-shot vaccine.) This proof needs to be shown only once:
- bring your vaccination record card with you to church,
- bring a photocopy of your vaccination card and keep your original safe at home,
- take a picture of your card with your phone and show us the picture when you get to church, or
- scan it to make a pdf or take a picture of it and email or snail mail either of those forms to the church office.
You will surely be able to come up with other ways, but you get the gist: we must see proof that you are fully vaccinated.
For the vast majority of us who are vaccinated, this will be welcome news, but any limits on the lifting of restrictions are painful reminders that covid 19 is still with us. And that affects us all. The CDC, the governor, Bishop Brown and I consider this but an interim stage towards being able to be fully open.
I will say more about these changes in the next weeks as they relate to all our constituencies.
And we will take time in the next weeks after Sunday morning’s service to address any questions or concerns you might have.
Next Sunday, May 23, the Feast of Pentecost, St. Peter’s will resume in-person worship with a festive service of Holy Eucharist outdoors at the church. We have not been able to be together like this since Christmas Eve, and it will be so good to be able to be together again. (In the event of rain, we will move indoors with masks and social distancing.) Please bring your masks, wear warm clothing (it will still be chilly), and BYOC (bring your own communion bread and wine).
Thereafter, St. Peter’s will offer in-person worship for up to 30 people at each service:
- Sundays, 9:00 am, Holy Eucharist, rite II (live-streamed)
- Sundays, 5:30 pm, Celtic Eucharist
- Wednesdays, 7:00 am, Contemplative Eucharist
St. Peter’s will continue to maintain all state and local covid-19 prevention protocols:
- unless we are outside, we are limited to 30 persons in our sanctuary, in order to accommodate social distancing requirements;
- all worshipers must wear masks indoors;
- we will continue to keep contact tracing information;
- we will sanitize our common areas before and after each service, and ensure exchange of air in the sanctuary between Sunday services; and
- Holy Communion will be offered BYOC (bring your own communion bread and wine) and consumed at your place in the pews.
Although many, if not most of you, are already fully vaccinated, know that we will continue to maintain state and local pandemic protocols to ensure the safety of everyone. Remember, children will not yet have been vaccinated, and because we can all be carriers, we want to do as much as we can to protect the most vulnerable in our midst, including our own children and grandchildren. These requirements, of course, are subject to change, but this is what you can expect as of this writing.
Our building will remain closed to all but scheduled users, all of whom have agreed to maintain our covid-19 prevention protocols.
Join Bishop Brown in person or online for a diocese-wide service renewing baptismal promises and ordination vows at the Cathedral Church of St. Luke, Portland on Tuesday, May 18 at 11:00 am.
For those joining us online, you can access the service on the Cathedral’s livestream channel here. Those planning to attend Eucharist in-person, please register here and read more about the street and parking garage options here.
Registration is now open for a five-part workshop called Courageous Communication (aka nonviolent communication) sponsored by St. Peter’s beginning May 14.
Especially in times of political, racial, and social division, we want to consider and practice how to listen with compassion, speak with gentle clarity, and stand our ground in love. We recognize such courageous communication as a hallmark of many traditions (and of those with no such tradition) and we are looking to engage a sense of shared community with our neighbors in the Midcoast of Maine.
Sessions will be held on Zoom from 9:30 to noon on Friday mornings, from May 14 to June 11, with breaks provided.
- Each session will be facilitated by Peggy Smith, a licensed trainer in nonviolent communication. Click here to learn more about Peggy.
- Peggy advises that participants print off emailed materials since having hard copies, along with paper and something to write with, will facilitate discussion.
- Recommended donation for the facilitator is $130 per person, but pay what you can and know that no one will be turned away for nonpayment. Make checks payable to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with “Courageous Communication” in the memo line and mail them to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 11 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841. All monies will go for the facilitator. Alternatively, you can donate to the facilitator by following the Give Donation link on this website. (Select one-time donation, restricted gift, and write in “Courageous Communication”). Please submit donation no later than June 10.
- The Workshop has a ceiling of 30 persons.
- Participants may withdraw at any time. But registration will be considered closed to new participants on May 21. The Workshop requires time to build trust within small groups, and continuity and commitment are important ingredients to the Workshop.
- Register for the Courageous Communication Workshop by emailing the parish office (email@example.com). Include your name, contact information, and statement of desire to join Courageous Communication. A mailing from the facilitator with Zoom details will constitute your registration receipt.
For more information, please contact the parish office: firstname.lastname@example.org or 207-594-8191.
Sunday, April 4, 1:00 PM
Come to St. Peter’s and pick up a take-out dinner at 1:00 PM. Dinner is free to the public and all are welcome.
Please wear a mask and maintain a safe physical distance.
Sponsored by Adas Yoshuron Synagogue. (594.4523; email@example.com)
The Community Speakers Series organized by the Pastoral Care Committee at St. Peter’s is offering another program in the series on Difficult Conversations titled “Helping You Cope with Care for One with Dementia.” The program will be Sunday, April 11, at 2:00 PM via Zoom.
Click on the button below to join the Zoom meeting on April 11. PLEASE NOTE that the “doors” to the Zoom meeting will be open at 1:30 p.m. You are invited to enter beginning at 1:45 p.m.; the program itself will begin at 2 p.m. as advertised.
Cheri Blouin, LSW, director of social services for Knox Center and Quarry Hill, will be our presenter for this program. Both these facilities have specialized units for those afflicted with dementia and multiple forms of memory loss. Since 1997, she has conducted a local support group for area residents who have loved ones coping with Alzheimer’s disease or related dementias. The group is affiliated with the Alzheimer’s Association of Maine. Due to the Covid pandemic, the support group is currently using a Zoom platform.
There will be a time for questions and for open sharing followed by a short concluding discussion.
Future programs will cover end of life issues and family conversations. These topics surround difficult and sensitive issues that are important but often avoided in conversations even with close family members. Future dates in 2021 will be announced later.
The programs are free and open to the public.
The forty days of Lent are a time when Christians join Jesus in the wilderness. It serves as a time for us to return to the Sacred Presence, to the God who has never left us, even if we have left God. Lent is a time to renew classic disciplines of prayer, fasting, and almsgiving (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.
In 2021, of course, Lent will be different, since the pandemic prevents our gathering for many of the services and activities that we’ve come to expect and count on. Online worship will continue until it is safe for us to be in church together in significant numbers for extended periods of time. And, as long as that is true, Communion to Go will be made available to all who want it.
Meanwhile, staff and volunteers have prepared some (real, live, not digital!) materials for your Lenten Journey. Included among the materials is a booklet of selected Scripture, poetry/prose, and prayers. They are arranged around a theme from each of the Sunday gospels in Lent, together with a physical symbol for that theme. For example, the gospel for the first Sunday in Lent presents the story after Jesus’ baptism when he was led into the wilderness to face temptation and a period of fasting and preparation. Among your materials will be a small bag of sand to represent that wilderness. Take it out, tip it into a bowl, play with it, meditate with it. Let this be a guide for your own prayer life during that first week in Lent. The materials are free and no sign-up is needed. You can pick them up at church on Thursdays (11:00 AM – 1:00 PM) and on Sundays (10:00 AM to noon), beginning February 18, along with Communion to Go. The church sanctuary will also be open at that time for private prayer.
During Lent, St. Peter’s will also offer remote or online groups, including:
- A weekly Wednesday morning contemplative service (read more);
- Tuesday Evening Bible Study at 6:00 PM via Zoom (read more);
- Daily prayer with the brothers at the Society of Saint John the Evangelist (read more); and
- Rite of Reconciliation (contact the rector at firstname.lastname@example.org).
Lent can be an especially rich season spiritually. We are a precious community of faith, one body, held together in the Love of Christ. Let your prayer this Lent be yet another way we remain connected in Love.
A program of prayer for Lent.
After the last year in which churches around the world have been closed and congregations scattered, the brothers of Saint John The Evangelist invite you to “Come, Pray.” Join them in the receiving the daily gift of prayer – at home or wherever you find yourself. Across the weeks of Lent, listen in as the brothers discuss the rich and varied ways we pray, together in church and in our personal prayer.
The series is centered on a weekly 20-minute video. The brothers invite participants to explore and experience diverse prayer practices alongside them, joining their regular, live-streamed worship, special services, and online teachings.
You can find out more, access the videos, and subscribe if you wish on their website: ssje.org/comepray
The Community Speakers Series organized by the St. Peter’s Pastoral Care Committee is offering a new program titled “Opening to Grace.” The program will be held on Sunday, February 7, 2021, at 2:00 PM via Zoom. Presenters will be Rev. Abby Pettee and Dr. Kirsten Staples.
Click on the button below to join the Zoom meeting on February 7. PLEASE NOTE that the “doors” to the Zoom meeting will be open at 1:30 p.m. You are invited to enter beginning at 1:45 p.m.; the program itself will begin at 2 p.m. as advertised.
To describe the program, the presenters share this quote from Anne Lamott’s Travelling Mercies, Some Thoughts on Faith: “Grace meets us where we are, but does not leave us where it found us.” Through conversational sharing and discussion we will consider how significant health events and grief can be a catalyst for opening to and receiving grace.
Rev. Abby Pettee, ordained in the Episcopal tradition, has served for the past 10 years as lead chaplain through the spiritual care services department at Pen Bay Medical Center. She is part of an interdisciplinary team of healthcare providers on behalf of holistic well-being. Abby values ecumenism and interfaith dialog on behalf of helping to cultivate safe and empowering opportunities for learning from one another, and partnering. Prior to healthcare chaplaincy, Abby was an inner city mental health care provider and advocate. She has a passion for folks who find themselves on the margins of our society because of mental health difference and stigmatization. Abby enjoyed studying recently at Boston College because of Jesuit values being deeply embedded into her coursework. Service to others and care for the whole person was emphasized.
Kirsten Staples, MD is a board-certified internal medicine physician who has practiced at Pen Bay Medical Center for 20 years. She earned her medical degree at the University of Rochester in Rochester, New York. She was drawn to the University of Rochester’s focus on the biopsychosocial model of caring for patients. After completing her internal medicine residency training, she and her husband moved to midcoast Maine. She had the privilege of caring for primary care patients here in Knox county for 18 years before transitioning to caring for patients in the hospital. She currently is a hospitalist at Pen Bay Medical Center and values working with interdisciplinary teams including spiritual care.
There will be a time of open sharing followed by a short concluding discussion.
Future programs will cover end of life issues, family conversations, memory and cognitive decline. These topics surround difficult and sensitive issues that are important but often avoided in conversations even with close family members. Future dates in 2021 will be announced later.
The programs are free and open to the public.