The week of Sunday, January 22

Follow Me
Dear friends,  
In this week's Gospel, we hear Matthew's version of Jesus' call to Peter, Andrew, James and John to leave their work as fishermen and to follow him to become fishers of men. We are told they do this immediately, dropping everything, and moving on with Jesus. It is interesting that Jesus does not require them to forget the trade they have been practicing until now. What Jesus seems to be asking them is to do is to bring those skills along and to apply them to a new purpose. From now on, they will be gathering people into God's Kingdom as they gathered fish into their nets. From its beginning, the Church used the symbolism of boats on the sea and fishing to represent itself and its mission. Venturing into uncharted and sometimes treacherous waters with an unknown yield or destination requires courage and commitment. Jesus recognized this potential in these men whom he asked to follow him. They would become his faithful disciples on his earthly mission of bringing people to the light of God's salvation.

We are called to follow Jesus as faithful disciples for that same mission. Jesus asks us to use our own particular gifts to bring the light of Christ to others. Jesus asks us for faithful commitment to service to others as he and his first disciples ministered throughout Galilee, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom, teaching and curing what ailed the people. It was a ministry of presence, of going where the crying needs of the world called them. It is the same for us. Our baptismal promises state our mission, and we respond by bringing the skills and gifts we already have to situations that demand our attention and compassion. 

There are lots of ways to proclaim the Gospel. One of the most powerful is action. What we do, how we do it and the behaviors and attitudes we exhibit send powerful messages about our beliefs and values. Example is one of the most effective teachers. Andrew, Peter, James and John provide us with a model of discipleship we can adopt in following Jesus in our lives: Wherever we are, whatever we are doing, when Jesus calls to us, making us aware of a need or an opportunity for service or witness to the Gospel, we carry the light of Christ into that situation, bearing witness to Jesus by our presence, by what we say or do to the fact that in him the kingdom and salvation of God have come near. This is an awesome vocation. It carries risk and responsibility. But it is at the same time a rich source of joy, because in following Jesus this way and living in relationship with him, the kingdom comes near to us.

The Love Your Neighbor Community Dinner Love
Sunday, February 12, 4-7 p.m.
in the parish hall

This is an opportunity to offer love and support to some local neighbors - Portsmouth first responders, Department of Public Works employees and their families.

We will be hosting a spaghetti dinner, complete with homemade desserts, dancing, and gifts. What better way to share the love of our St. Mary's community with those who work day and night to keep our town safe and sound? The evening is free for our honored guests.

We need your help: Please sign up after worship to help with cooking, decorating, set up, clean up, serving, or collecting gifts from local businesses. We also need our members to come and eat, offering St. Mary's hospitality and joy to our guests. St. Mary's members and friends can sign up and pay for the meal after all worship services or in the front office for $10 per person or $20 per family. Please contact Sara Barker at or Jennifer Pedrick at or 401-846-9700, ext. 103, to help, or for more information. We are pulling this event together in a relatively short amount of time. Many happy hands and hearts will be needed for this love your neighbor event.

Thank you!
This Weekend at St. Mary's
Christian Education for all ages is back

Sunday mornings from 9:15 to 10:15, all ages will gather for fun and faith sharing.  Adults will join with the clergy in the adult education room for a conversation about the scriptures of the day with Stephanie and/or Jennifer.

Weekly Worship Schedule

A contemplative service Saturdays at 5 pm in the church, a classic Episcopal service with music Sundays at 8 am in the church, and a contemporary Episcopal service with a variety of music Sundays at 10:30 am in the chapel.

Enjoy coffee and breakfast from 9-10:15 am Sunday in the parish house

All are welcome to come together for coffee, juice, breakfast treats. Thanks to this week's hosts: Ted and Rene Bierman.

Child and youth programs and nursery care

Children of any age are welcome at all our services. If you prefer, a nursery for infants to pre-K is staffed by certified Safe Church caregivers most Sunday mornings on the lower level of the parish house. Children ages 4 and up are invited to join our Christian formation programs, from 9:15-10:15 am on Sundays.
This Weekend's Readings
Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Submit a name to the parish prayer list. 
Mark your calendar
Annual Meeting: Sunday, February 5 at noon in the chapel

Join us for light fare after the 10:30 am service, followed by the annual parish meeting at noon. All members are encouraged to attend, and to participate in electing new leaders. Worship is in the church at 8 and 10:30 on February 5. Childcare will be available. Elections include six vestry positions: one 2-year term, two 1-year terms, and three 3-year terms. We will also be electing a treasurer for a three year term and three diocesan delegates and one alternate for one-year term. Currently, nominees for vestry include: Peter Collins, Trish Culver, Steve Downing, Michelle Freitas, Dave Ferkinhoff, and Paul Westrom. The nominee for treasurer is Chris Bartlett.

Life Line Screening February 2

Protect your health by participating in the Life Line Screening that will be at Saint Mary's Episcopal Church on Thursday, February 2, 2017. Through ultrasound we evaluate the carotid arteries for the buildup of fatty plaque, which is the leading cause of stroke.  Register today for the Stroke, Vascular & Heart Rhythm package, which includes four screenings: carotid artery, abdominal aortic aneurysm, peripheral arterial disease and atrial fibrillation, all for $149. Call 1-800-690-0323 or click here to schedule your appointment. Join in the fight against vascular disease! Please take three minutes to learn more about Life Line Screening by watching   this short three-minute video.

Love your Neighbor Dinner Dance: Sunday February 12, 4-7 p.m. in the parish hall

This is an opportunity to offer love and support to some local neighbors: Portsmouth first responders, department of public works employees, and their families. Please see event details in the separate section above, and thank you in advance for purchasing your tickets to this special spaghetti dinner and dance early to aid in planning. Tickets will be on sale after each worship service, and sign up sheets will be out for those willing to lend a hand.
Please bring food, clothing and Clements' receipts all year
St. Mary's Thrift Shop needs winter clothing, especially in children's sizes

As the weather turns colder, folks are looking for good-quality, gently used winter clothing. Please be mindful as you pull out your own woolens, and donate any items that no longer fit or are no longer needed but still have good wear left in them. (Summer clothing and small household goods are also welcome.) Thank you for supporting the ministry of the St. Mary's Thrift Shop!

Let's help keep the MLK food pantry stocked this winter

Thank you for dropping off non-perishable food items throughout the year! The food pantry at the Martin Luther King Community Center in Newport is a critical resource for families in need in our community. Are you (or is someone you know) in need of confidential food assistance? If so, St. Mary's is here to help. Please contact the Reverend Jennifer Pedrick (; 401-846-9700, ext. 103) for help keeping food on the table.

Make your food purchases count twice

Please save and bring in your Clements' Marketplace receipts. Your Clements' receipts can earn us a cash-back donation. No amount is too small, and all proceeds benefit food-related outreach programs such as the monthly soup kitchen, our community garden, and the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center. Drop-off boxes are located inside the door to the church and next to the elevator on the upper level of the parish house.
Serving at worship this week
Altar Guild: Fay Sisson, Millie Cozzens, Joanne Dunlap

5 PM
Jean Wilson and Andre Levesque
Lector and Intercessor:
Carol Nicodemus
Acolyte and Lay Eucharistic Minister:
Bob Vergnani

8 AM
Lauren Lema
Jennie Nestlerode
Cindy Dube
Marshall Lundberg
Lay Eucharistic Minister:
Judy Hall

10:30 AM
Pauline Davis and Christine Winslow
Dave Ferkinhoff, Dawn Ryan, Gladys Mae Walsh
Christine Winslow
Rayna Lombardo
Lay Eucharistic Minister:
Chris Barker

If you're interested in joining any of these worship ministries, please contact Michelle Freitas ( We welcome additional members to serve on weekends and through the year.