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.
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.
“ 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.
Easter Day (April 1, 9:00): This is the most important and quintessential Christian feast. The primary theme is the resurrection: on this day Jesus was raised from the dead, overcoming the power of death and the grave. And all subsequent Sundays, including those in Lent, are but small remembrances of this greatest day. Come, wear your Easter finery and celebrate our Lord’s resurrection and the promise of our own! Immediately following the service, we will hold our traditional Easter brunch, a marvelous time of parish fellowship. At mid-morning, parishioners from St. Peter’s join our friends from Adas Yoshuron Synagogue by hosting at St. Peter’s the Easter Egg Hunt and joining in preparing the Easter Community Meal.
The Great Vigil of Easter (March 31, 7:00pm): This is the first celebration of Easter and is among the most ancient of the liturgies we have. It begins on the night before Easter Day and, despite the late hour, the Vigil can be a wonderful service for older children because it is the epitome of “hands-on” liturgy with wonderful contrasting symbols of darkness and light, quiet reflection and loud rejoicing. There are four main parts to this service the first three of which are done in darkness, lit only by candlelight: a ritual of light in which we light the new fire and paschal candle, a liturgy of the Word when we listen to Scripture readings highlighting God’s saving plan for humanity and, thirdly, baptize new initiates to the faith and renew our own baptismal vows. Then, we come to a turning point in the service as we end the season of Lent and begin the first Eucharist of Easter. The proclamation is made: “Alleluia. Christ is risen!” and the people respond “The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!” at which time we enter brilliant light: candles on the altar are lit, the electric lights are turned on, and we begin to sing, ring bells, shake tambourines and other handheld instruments. The joyful contrast to Lent is unmistakable and as you blink in the light and sing the familiar song of praise you will no doubt see smiles of amazement on the faces around you. This is a moment when we glimpse a bit of heaven and can believe again that the Good News is indeed true after all. This year St. Peter’s is hosting our area celebration; joining in are the congregations of St. John Baptist (Thomaston), St. Thomas (Camden), and Nativity Lutheran (Rockport). Our preacher for the evening is the Rev. Lisa Smith Fry from St. Thomas’ Camden.