At our Annual Meeting January 18, the congregation formally welcomed the Rev. Corey Walmer, who is joining Jane Chatfield (a current deacon) as a second deacon for our parish: Corey has been worshipping with St. Peter’s for a number of weeks after relocating to the Rockland area. A therapist (LCSW) with a practice in Rockland, who also provides mental healthcare on Vinalhaven, Corey is a person of energy and enthusiasm, and we are delighted she will be joining us. She will begin serving in worship in January, is already a member of the Implementation Team for our Future Directions, and as we’ll soon see, likes to preach. Welcome Corey
Be Still and Know that I am God. Increasingly the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas has become a frenzied time of parties, shopping and secular activities that often leave no room in our souls to contemplate the coming of Christ to “incarnate” the light of peace and hope within us and our world. A day of quiet retreat gives us time to breathe in the Holy Spirit and re-center our lives, not within our egos, but in the abiding presence, mercy, and love of our Creator.
Setting aside several hours at this time of year can center us in the true meaning of Christmas, hope for peace and healing in our personal lives, our community and the world. Setting aside time to be in God’s presence is a deeply enriching spiritual practice. Join with others on Saturday, December 16, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. to experience this re-centering of your life and soul.
Periods of silence and personal reflection will be Interspersed with readings or reflections. A simple lunch will be provided. You may want to bring a notebook for writing or sketching your own reflective experiences. You are also encouraged to engage in centering prayer during the silent period of the “quiet day.”
December 5, 8, 19, 22 – 9:00 -10:30 a.m. Contemplative Prayer Workshop
– 7:30 pm, Christmas Eve, Carol Sing
– 8:00 pm, Christmas Eve, Festive Candlelight Eucharist with Choir
December 25 – 10:30am, Christmas Day, Festive Eucharist for the Nativity
– 12:30 pm Community Christmas Meal
December 31 — Christmas 1 with services at 8:00 and 10:30
January 6, 2018 – 5:30pm, Twelfth Night, Choral Feast of the Epiphany with Music, Sermon, Holy Eucharist and Reception following in the Parish Hall.
Dec. 12, at Noon in the Parlor: LUNCH AND OPENING CONVERSATION ON OUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEYS IN THE SECOND HALF OF LIFE. Lael, our rector, is scheduling a series of programs in coming months that address the our spiritual journeys as we age. This is an opportunity for us as members of St. Peter’s to invite friends to join us for a light lunch and on open-ended, facilitated conversation (Mary Alice Bird, facilitator) to share thoughts and topics we would like to see addressed in this upcoming series. As aging children, parents, friends, or children – our shared life experiences – whether small or large, practical or theological – all open avenues to deeper communication with God and one another. Lunch provided, but to help plan for for the day, please sign up on the church bulletin board or call the office or let Mary Alice or Lael know you are coming. And bring a friend.
November 2 – All Souls’ Evensong, 5:30 pm, A service of music and prayer to remember deceased family and friends, is particularly dedicated to those whose lives have been touched by suicide: family members, friends, healthcare workers, police, social workers. As a community, we will remember all who have died by their own hand and to share of the mourning of all people touched by the loss of friends, family, and community members. Together we will acknowledge our collective reluctance to reach out to those who suffer, and will stand in witness to God’s redeeming love for all. Although this service will draw on the Anglican tradition of Evensong and the centuries old Christian All Souls tradition to remember those who have died, this service is purposefully intended to encompass people of all faiths., and we invite all persons mourning those who have died to join us for this service of remembrance.
Join members and friends Saturday, October 21st at 5:00pm for the Annual Harvest Dinner. This is a time for fun, fellowship, food, and an opportunity to give thanks. It is also a great time for those new to St. Peter’s or or normally only attend one of the two Sunday services, to have fellowship and conversation about Christian live with everyone connected with the church. The Vestry will provide main dishes; all others, as able, are asked to bring a side dish (salad, veg, bread, or dessert). But don’t stay a way if you have a busy schedule or no longer cook much, there is always more than enough food. It is helpful to let the office (594-8191) know if you plan to attend, so we are sure to set up enough tables.
St. Peter’s invites the community to share a “Blessing of Animals,” on Saturday, September 30th at 10 a.m. on the grounds between St. Peter’s and the adjacent public playground. St Francis loved all of God’s creatures, and so do we. Around the traditional St. Francis’s fall feast day – many churches observe a similar “blessing of animals,'” to honor St. Francis and God’s love of all creatures. This simple service is a meaningful way to celebrate your own relationship with the pets and animals that give deep meaning to your life. It is a particularly enjoyable event for children. So bring your pets (or favorite stuffed animals) and join us a blessing at this brief outdoor service. All welcome! In the event of rain, the service will happen in St. Peter’s parish hall.
Bishop Lane’s response to the events in Charlottesville is among a crop of very fine responses from the Episcopal Church: “… white supremacy is a corruption of our fundamental beliefs as Christians: that all of us are created in the image of God and, in Christ, are brothers and sisters.” You may read Bishop Lane’s entire response HERE Printed copies will also be available in the narthex on Sunday.
St. Peter’s is a great facility for a party celebration” (Cathy Feener, caterer). July 9, from 4 – 7 p.m., John and Mary Alice Bird celebrated their 80th birthdays at St. Peter’s, with about 175 friends. Their caterer noted how the location, parking, and facilities make this an excellent party venue. The Bird party flowed from the large fellowship hall (with beverage bar and entertainment area) into the parlor (with food table) and unto the lawn, where tables and a beverage bar were set up. Looking for charming rental venue, contact St. Peter’s 594-8191 for details.
CONGREGATIONAL UPDATES about ST. PETER’S FUTURE
Sunday July 23: the Vestry and Future Directions Task Force will present an interim report at the 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. services
Additional Updates will appear in upcoming issues of the Rock and communications mailed to the congregation.
For the past eighteen months, the church has been engaged in a discernment process to identify future directions for the St. Peter’s community. This has involved numerous presentations, group discussions, and personal visits. In February, the Vestry appointed a special Future Directions Task Force to develop recommendations for Vestry consideration by September 2017. Their report will be shared with the congregation.