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A Call to Prayer from Maine Bishop Thomas Brown

A Call to Prayer from Maine Bishop Thomas Brown

Bishop Thomas J. Brown issued the following call to prayer for our nation on January 6, 2021:

(Watch on Youtube.)

Dear friends, earlier this afternoon people stormed our nation’s capitol offices and are threatening both our lawmakers and our democratic process, and indeed the very understanding of what it means to live in a democracy.

We have long been a country and a people who have stood for the right and the principles on which peaceful demonstrations occur. And we denounce and we deplore what is happening right now.

The need for us to come together as a country and the need for us to understand each other is very great. But so is the need for leaders to denounce violence in every form.

Earlier this afternoon Presiding Bishop Curry led us in prayers and we have shared those with you, and I invite you to use those throughout this evening as well as in the days to come.

Tonight, I bid you to hold one other close, to light a candle, and join together (virtually or socially distant) along with the Diocese of Maine, the Maine Council of Churches, with Maine congregations, people of faith, and people of goodwill at 7pm for a candlelight prayer vigil.

We will be standing together in the Spirit (even if we are alone on our front porch), unified by our love of neighbor and Creator and by our commitment to establishing a peaceful and just community and nation where grace, dignity, respect, truth and compassion are protected and preserved.

For now, let us pray.

Save us, O God, from violence, discord, and confusion; from pride and arrogance, and from every evil way. When things are dark either in our own lives or in the life of our nation, stir our memory of those who have long-hoped in your Son, Jesus, those who found in him and his cross and rising again, a peace that surpasses understanding. At the same time, as you make us remember, equip us with the courage to work together to make everything and everybody shine with the new splendor of peace and harmony. We pray in your holy names, Amen. And now, may the blessing of God Almighty, the Creator, the Christ and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you this night and forevermore. Amen.

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services at St. Peter’s

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day Services at St. Peter’s

Christmas Eve

We will gather outside in front of St. Peter’s at 5:30 PM for an in-person Christmas Eve service. The usual CDC protocols will be in place: please maintain social distancing between family groups and wear a mask. We will take information for contact tracing. As we have in the past, I invite you to bring your own communion bread and wine. We will have some chairs to share with those who need support, but most of us please plan to stand for the (abbreviated) service. The current forecast is for cloudy skies with rain holding off until later. Hale and hearty, please bundle up and join us for this special Feast of the Nativity.

For those not wanting to venture forth, know that you can watch the Christmas Eve Service at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Portland with Bishop Brown preaching. This prerecorded service will “go live” at 5:00pm from the St. Luke’s LiveStream Page or from the St. Luke’s YouTube Page.

Christmas Day – 9:00 – 11:00am, Private Prayer in the Church

On Christmas Day the church sanctuary will be open for private prayer from 9:00 – 11:00 AM.  The church looks lovely with poinsettias and the crèche in place, and candles will be lit. We will continue to maintain CDC protocols: we will limit the numbers of people in the sanctuary at one time, contact tracing information will be taken, and we ask that you wear a mask and keep 6′ social distance between family groups. But you are welcome to come in, sit for quiet contemplation, kneel at the altar, and receive holy communion from the reserved sacrament.  

A Christmas Day service from St. Luke’s Cathedral will also be available for viewing at 10:00am. You can watch it from the St. Luke’s LiveStream Page.

St. Peter’s Community Speakers Series on Difficult Conversations

St. Peter’s Community Speakers Series on Difficult Conversations

The Community Speakers Series organized by St. Peter’s Episcopal Church is resuming using the media tool Zoom. The first program in this new series will be at 2:00 PM on Sunday, December 13, and is titled Love in a Time of Coronavirus with presenter Manette Pottle. She will speak to her own experiences of the losses, the challenges, and the unexpected gifts of the pandemic, and what she has learned about maintaining relationships. Attendees will be invited to share their own experiences in small groups followed by a short concluding discussion.

Note that the program begins promptly at 2:00, but you can join as early as 1:30 so that you will have time to adjust your device settings.

Manette is a member of the St. Peter’s community and a documentary film producer with a passion for justice and transformative story-telling. Most recently, she produced the documentary Picture a Scientist, about gender bias and discrimination in the sciences, and was a producer of the evangelical environmentalism documentary Behold the Earth. Prior to film production, she produced the Camden International Film Festival, and for many years operated a sustainable landscaping company and farm in Appleton. She earned her B.A. in photography and critical theory at Yale University.

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 will be in 2021 and will be announced later.

Prepare the Way this Advent

Prepare the Way this Advent

Advent, the season of waiting and preparation for the celebration of Jesus’ nativity, begins on Sunday, November 29. Here are just a couple of examples of the devotional activities, events and resources available online.

An Advent devotional calendar.

Advebt Calendar“With ev’ry passing day, as sunlight disappears, the dusk descends, and prayers ascend for strength to calm our fears”

The hand-drawn Advent calendar that so many look forward to each year from creators Tom Mousin and Merry Watters is available for 2020. Get it here.

Each day on their calendar offers a Scripture reading and a suggested devotion.
You also can subscribe to receive a daily e-mail on the calendar’s devotions, using the link above.

#AdventWord

Other Advent Calendars and Devotions

Way of Love Advent calendar. This Advent calendar accompanies the Journeying the Way of Love Advent curriculum, and offers daily suggestions for engaging in seven “Way of Love” practices: Turn, Learn, Pray, Worship, Bless, Go, Rest. The calendar can be used as a stand-alone resource to keep nearby and refer to every day.

American Friends of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem (AFEDJ) Advent calendar offers a glimpse into the lives of Holy Land Christians. Beginning on December 1, AFEDJ will launch a Holy Land Advent calendar to offer a daily glimpse into the lives of Holy Land Christians and the humanitarian ministries of the Episcopal Diocese of Jerusalem. Start each day of Advent with a splash of joy by opening a door to a photo or a brief video and news from one of the Episcopal ministries in the region. Find the calendar at www.afedj.org/advent.

 

Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Free Community Thanksgiving Dinner

Our community Thanksgiving Dinner will be from 12:30 PM to 2:00 PM on Thursday, November 26.  It will be the same traditional meal, including roast  turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing, squash, cranberry sauce, and lots of pies, but all served as a take-out meal. We will follow the same Covid-19 procedures used by Loaves and Fishes and will serve the meal at the parish hall door by the parking lot.

If you are considering helping or want to provide food, please contact coordinator Lucia Elder at 207-446-2502. If you would like to support this community meal with a donation, you can do so electronically on this website, using this link. You can also send a check, made payable to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church with “Thanksgiving Meal” in the memo line, to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 11 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Online Service for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Online Service for Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Please join us online on Monday, October 11, at 10:00 AM, for a special online service for Indigenous Peoples’ Day. You may watch at any time, but if you’d like to pray with us as a congregation, we invite you to begin the service at 10:00.

The service features liturgy crafted from indigenous resources, a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Bradley Hauff, Missioner for Indigenous Ministries for The Episcopal Church, and music by Hawk Henries of the Chaubunagungamaug band of Nipmuck and The Burnurwurbskek Singers from The Penobscot Nation.

Click here to watch the full service on YouTube.

Click here to download the worship bulletin.

Click here to just view the sermon.

Feast of the Transfiguration

Feast of the Transfiguration

Beauty isn’t all about just nice loveliness. Beauty is about more rounded, substantial becoming. So I think beauty, in that sense, is about an emerging fullness, a greater sense of grace and elegance, a deeper sense of depth, and also a kind of homecoming for the enriched memory of your unfolding life. (John O’Donohue)

This evening marks the Eve, or beginning, of The Feast of The Transfiguration – when Jesus took with him Peter, James, and John and together they went to a mountaintop, where Jesus was transfigured (his divine nature was revealed) before the disciples. (See Luke 9:28-36.) It’s one of my favorite feasts — because it’s all about getting a glimpse of that which truly is — about an emerging fullness, a substantial becoming.

This summer the dog and I have been visiting Crescent Beach a lot — for walks, swims, painting sessions. And when I did this I thought about how the water and rocks shape one another, that there’s a conversation between them. Their substantial becoming are beautiful and transfiguring to me in just the way O’Donohue suggests.

May you find your life open to transfiguration, too.

Lael