To the Glory of God and for the Common Good, we make God's love known now and for generations to come through worship and service to all.
A Season of Growth and Change
Dear Friends in Christ,
Sunday past we celebrated the Feast of Pentecost and the coming of the Holy Spirit and gave great thanks for the gift of God's Spirit and renewed our Baptismal Vows.
In this season ahead, the Season after Pentecost (sometimes called the long green season), we continue to grow in the Spirit, with seeds planted by Easter's life and joy. With growth comes change, and we continue to give thanks for our growth and life in God's Spirit. On June 5th we will celebrate growth, particularly the ministry of education. At our 10am Holy Eucharist we will give thanks for our children who have completed a year of Sunday School education and for their wonderful teachers, leading them and loving them on behalf of us all. Particularly, we will give thanks for Ms. Cheryl Beitzell's 30 years of unbroken service teaching Sunday School at St. John's - we are so fortunate and blessed. We'll also give thanks for and acknowledge Dcn. Ann McAlhany's completion of a four year course of study in Education for Ministry and applaud her graduation. In the evening we'll then welcome alumni choristers, formed in years past by our music program, to join current choristers in our final service of Choral Evensong for this year's season at 4pm.
I hope that you can be present for these festive occasions. St. John's supports and nurtures people, young people especially, in wonderful ways. For the past several years our Sunday School and Youth programs have been guided by the thoughtful, kind-hearted, faithful, and creative leadership of Anne-Marie Miller. Under her leadership, our Sunday School moved to a lectionary based curriculum that is adapted for all different age groups. With it she has helped to unify our Sunday morning as children and parents hear and respond to the same texts. She has sought additional training for our teachers, bringing lessons from Godly Play into our classrooms. She has found new scripts for our Epiphany Pageant and directed them ably, working with many volunteers. She has recruited, supported and coordinated all our teachers. She has created special liturgies for our children and families in Holy Week to make the meaning of those holy days more accessible to children. She has initiated parent book groups and coordinated family nights and intergenerational fun nights for the parish. Anne-Marie also came on staff as our fledgling youth group was coming of age. She reviewed many curriculums, chose and implemented for St. John's "Confirm not Conform" to prepare our first group of teen confirmands in many years. She recruited teachers and co-taught material. She organized mission trips for our youth group and our first-ever youth pilgrimage to the ecumenical community of Taize, France. It was at this point that Anne-Marie began full-time work as a hospice social worker here in Bangor. With her full-time work and three children of her own, Anne-Marie began to share her position at St. John's with a head youth leader. We have been incredibly fortunate this past year to be so ably assisted and led by Diana Meakem. Diana came to Bangor as a graduate student at the University of Maine and looking for a church, she came to St. John's where she felt God's presence in our worship and our community. In the course of a year she became a member of St. John's, was Confirmed in the Church, became a youth leader, and joined the staff to support and coordinate our Jr. and Sr. youth groups. She has been a dynamic and engaging member of our staff and we're grateful for the time she has given us. This spring, both Anne-Marie and Diana individually felt called to give more time to their primary responsibilities. The only way to answer this call has been to resign their positions leading our Sunday School and Youth Groups. Thankfully, they both wanted to continue with the program through the end of the school year, and will conclude their responsibilities in June. This will give them the satisfaction of closing the school year and gives us all the opportunity to say thank you collectively to them for the incredible difference they have made in our corporate life.
Please come to worship at 10am on
June 5th, Youth Sunday, when along with thanking our teachers, we will say a special thank you to Anne-Marie and to Diana for their leadership, support, creativity, faithfulness, hard-work - for the difference they have made in our corporate life together. And parents and teachers, please also come for an outdoor casual kick-off to summer at my home on
June 17 at 5:30pm (childcare available) when we can say thank you again and more personally for the difference these educators have made in our children's faith lives.
And may God's Holy Spirit continue to grow seeds of hope and faith in us all, bringing His growth and life to our hearts, our homes, our lives, our world. May the Season After Pentecost be a blessing to us all.
Hopes for the Future
As some of you may know, I will be ending my work in our children's ministries at the end of June. I am very sad to end this time in my ministry, but look forward to seeing how our program will grow in the future. It has been a real challenge to organize our programs with only a few hours each week-- hard personally to find those hours, but also hard to maintain and grow our children's programs within those hours, even with the dedication of our many wonderful volunteers. It is my hope that we will be able to focus resources on this important area of ministry in the future.
It has been a privilege and an honor to walk with our children on this critical part of their faith journey. Their prayers, thoughts, joys and sadness have shaped my own faith. Working with our wonderful teachers and nursery workers has likewise been a great joy to me and it has been very hard for me to make the decision to step away from this work.
Spring Rummage Sale
is Saturday May 21 from 8 AM to Noon. Men, women, and teens are welcome to help be cashiers, helpers on sale day, or clean-up on sale day. If you are able to offer an hour or more of your time, it will be much appreciated. If you have any questions, please feel to call the church office or see Nancy Henry or Claudia/Jim Blanchette.
Alumni Choral Evensong, Sunday, June 5, 4:00 pm - The Choirs of St. John's will be joined by choir alumni to sing T. Tertius Noble's Evening
Service in b minor and Sir Edward Elgar's anthem,
Give Unto the Lord, a setting of Psalm 29 that the great English composer wrote for the Festival of the Sons of the Clergy - an annual service (begun in 1655) at St. Paul's Cathedral, London held to support the families of Anglican clergy. T. Tertius Noble was born in England and served as Choirmaster at Ely Cathedral and York Minster before immigrating to America to be Organist/Choirmaster at New York City's Saint Thomas Church.
Meals Ministry in Need of Volunteers
Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord,
and he will repay him for his deed. Proverbs 19:17 ESV
What is The Meals Ministry?
Through a team of volunteers, we provide meals to church or community members in times of need. The Meals Ministry supports the Pastoral Care team by living out the word of God to glorify Him through serving one another.
Who Do We Serve?
We serve our church families and individuals in times of need. ... after the birth of a baby... after surgery or hospitalization... during times of crisis.
How Do We Serve?
We provide a full meal for the family. Sometimes we will provide more, sometimes less, it depends on the needs of the family. All coordination will be done by email and phone calls. (This may change in the future and we may look at using mealtrain.com)
What Are The Meal Guidelines?
We desire to provide a complete healthy meal and deliver it to the recipient. The meal can be store bought, homemade, frozen or just about anything! The meal does not have to be fancy or gourmet. Anything given with love will be appreciated.
How often do I serve?
We are looking for 3-4 volunteers to cover each month. During that time, we ask you each to be prepared to provide a meal. Communication with your meal partners for the month is important. You could set up a schedule for the month if needed. For example, if there are 4 people on for the month each person could take a week...Or you could just be assigned to the month and we could contact you to check your availability when a meal is needed.You would need to prepare the meal and either deliver the meal or make arrangements for the meal to be delivered. I will set up a calendar with each person assigned to a month.With enough of us, I hope to only have each person committed to 3 months throughout the year. Coordination of delivery will be passed through Mo. Rita who will have contact with the families in need. This way if there is a certain day or time the family prefers we can accommodate their needs.
How Can I Help?
The meals ministry is an excellent way to serve others, share Jesus, and make a difference in someone's life. The purpose is to help someone in need by providing a ready made meal. In times of need, it is an incredible blessing to see a friendly face and receive a meal. If you are willing to help, please sign up on the sheets provided on the bulletin board in the undercroft. You may also contact Lisa Romero at: Cbearzmommy@yahoo.com
In addition, we try to keep several meals (main courses) on hand in the church freezers. If you would like to help us keep the freezer stocked, we would like to ask that you commit to making one entree a month for a year and bringing them to church on a Sunday. Please label your dish with your name, the date it was made and the recipe if at all possible. Meals can be placed in the meals ministry freezer located at the rear of the parish kitchen
Please let me know if you are interested in helping this ministry in supporting outr church community.
Please feel free to contact me with questions or concerns.
In His name,
St. John's Dinner Initiative
You're invited! Please join us for Parish Dinners. The next dinner is on June 29th at the home of our Vestry Clerk, Cynthia Oakes.
Dinner for 8 will include a prepared meal, conversation with fellow parishioners, and a chance to get to know one another and build fellowship. A sign-up sheet will be available at Coffee Hour. For more information, please contact Alisa Wing at 631-6211 or firstname.lastname@example.org. We hope to see you there!
Good News 1/4
Editor's Note: At General Convention 2015, the Episcopal Church resolved to develop a process to create, consider and adopt a new Prayer Book. Another resolution gave parishes greater opportunity to design and use liturgies locally. As our Church focuses on worship, liturgy, and language, we at St. John's can engage and contribute to this larger conversation. Your reflections on worship and liturgy are especially encouraged in the year ahead. To offer them to the wider parish, please speak with the Rector. In this endeavor, Bruce Mallonee, parishioner and recent Senior Warden, starts us thinking about the incredible value found in our inherited rites. Below is the first installment of a four part series he shares with us on Rite I.
Rite I: Introduction
A few years ago climbers on Mount Everest found the body of a man who had died attempting the ascent. The deceased man's body had been encased in ice and snow but came partly into view when the ice covering it thawed in warm temperatures.
Both the dead climber and those who found him were from England. Before covering the body with rocks and alerting the authorities, the climbers prayed from the English Book of Common Prayer.
The dead man, who had lain in the ice since the 1920's, would have recognized the prayers. So would any user of the Book of Common Prayer since it was written. So would any of us who use Rite I services in our prayer book.
The Book of Common Prayer was written in 1549 by Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Cranmer (some of us may know him from Wolf Hall). Its composition was a major event in the Protestant Reformation, one of the central goals of which was to allow ordinary people to worship in language they understood.
Archbishop Cranmer's achievement was enormous. By the time the Book of Common Prayer was standardized in 1662, it had become the English-speaking world's single most powerful expression of faith, hope, mystery, longing, and redemption. Its words were more than words; they were the means by which Christians in England built liturgical communities with bonds deeper than any words alone could establish--bonds infinitely deeper than those enjoyed by those who listened without comprehension to a priest reciting a service in Latin.
The Book of Common Prayer is also part of our broader heritage. As the prayer book of Shakespeare, John Donne, and George Herbert; of Jane Austen; of Dorothy Sayers, C.S. Lewis, and countless others, its phrases, rhythms, and inflections have permeated both popular and literary culture. Part I of the most important poem in English of the 20th century, the Anglican poet T.S. Eliot's The Waste Land, is entitled "The Burial of the Dead"--the funeral service in the Book of Common Prayer. When Eliot's admirer, the American novelist Ralph Ellison, died, Ellison's friend The Reverend Nathan Scott--an Episcopal priest and celebrated literary critic--used "The Burial of the Dead" for the funeral.
We don't have to consult literature to hear the echoes of the Book of Common Prayer:
We have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep
...and he shall come again, with glory, to judge both the quick and the dead
And we most humbly beseech thee, of thy goodness, O Lord, to comfort and succor all those who, in this transitory life, are in trouble, sorrow, need, sickness, or any other adversity
....by his one oblation of himself once offered, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world...
We may not always place these phrases but they are indelibly familiar, permanent features of our thought and markers of our life of faith.
The late 20th century brought great waves of liturgical change to the western Christian world, from Vatican II to the revision of our Book of Common Prayer. In practice, Rite I--our historic liturgy--has often been relegated to early services, to gatherings of older parishioners, to congregants who remember its phrases and cadences from youth and young adulthood.
The Episcopal Church enjoys many riches in its use of the1979 Book of Common Prayer. The church will never surrender the service of Compline, diminish the centrality of the sacrament of Baptism to its former secondary status, or lose the deep and joyous liturgical memories all of us have generated together since we began using Rite II. Neither will other churches around the world--the Anglican churches of Africa, the Church of New Zealand with its Maori-inflected prayers--give up the local individuation by which they have kept the Anglican tradition alive in a post-imperial world. In keeping the new, however, we need not lose the old. Without undermining our devotion to the liturgy with which we are familiar, we can renew our appreciation of our own historical expressions of faith and hear anew their insights and profundities. In October, our anniversary month, perhaps we should worship at 10am according to Rite I. Our purpose in exploring Rite I is not to return to the past. It is to bring the past with us, to embrace the catholic side of our heritage, to pray on occasion with our forebears, our grandparents, and our parents, with angels and archangels and all the company of heaven: with all who have gone before and all, yet to come, who may pray in the same exalted and immortal language.
Announcements & Looking Ahead
Attention Sunday School Parents - The next Youth Sunday is June 5th. In preparation of the Youth Sunday, please plan for all Sunday School students to stay for rehearsal after church on May 22 and 29.
Author Carol J. Sherman
will be at St. John's on Sunday May 22nd from 11:30 am - 1:30 pm for a book signing event. Sherman is a resident of Bangor, Maine and will be available to sign copies of her book "You Matter to Me".
St. John's Book Group May Meeting
will be reading Anchors and Flares: a Memoir of Motherhood, Hope and Service by Kate Braestrup, a Maine author. The book is available in paperback, hardcover, kindle and some library copies. The meeting will be at Cass Wright's, 1 Hawthorn Rd., Orono, at 7:00pm on May 24th. Questions? Call Cass at 866-1060
The St. John's Knitting Group will be meeting on May 25th at 1 pm at Sylvia Ross Home
located at 758 Broadway in Bangor. Please go to the front desk upon arrival to inquire which room we will be meeting in.
Sunday School and Youth Group Parents are invited to a year end celebration at the Rectory on June 17th at 5:30 pm.
Please bring an appetizer and beverage to share for an outdoor casual summer evening (weather permitting). Childcare (and playground) available. RSVP to the office.
The Diocese of Maine and the Maine Episcopal Peace Fellowship invite you to join
Pilgrimage to the Holy Land
October 24-November 3, 2016. During the trip you will visit Ancient Churches of the Nativity, the Annunciation, and the Holy Sepulcher, and the holy sites at the Sea of Galilee. There will be 4 nights in Jerusalem, 3 nights in Bethlehem and 2 nights in Nazareth. For more information please be in touch with Barbara Martin at
. Registration Deadline is July 15 and is limited to 15 participants.