June 2017
distant lighthouse

Risky Business

You may have noticed the new banner hanging on the side of the church facing Commercial Street.  The quote from Presiding Bishop Michael Curry says something of great importance. And in an economy of words, his statement affirms the reality that before there was the church, there was a movement.  

Some churchgoers lament that today's church bears little resemblance to the one where small groups of Christians would gather in private homes to worship.  There is something to be said for that. However, anything that lasts for 2000+ years is bound to change.  History does not stand still and neither does the Holy Spirit.  The church has always existed within the context of a particular time and place and has managed to adapt to meet the challenges of the day.   

Someone said that the institutional church moves at a glacier's pace. Boy is that true. Prayer Book revision? Check. Women's ordination? Check.  Same sex marriage? Check.   But in a rapidly changing environment like the one we are experiencing today, we need to be cognizant of the ways that institutional thinking can be an impediment to the Holy Spirit and how it can stifle needed change, as well as innovation.  We have to accept that what worked yesterday will not necessarily work tomorrow.   

As a church, our approach to the challenges that lie ahead will be shaped in no small part by the way we see ourselves. Do we self identify as a movement or as an institution?  Institutions tend to be deliberate, risk averse and slow to adapt. Movements tend to be dynamic, flexible and willing to take risks.  Either way, we have to make choices, some of which can be unsettling.  Ultimately though, it comes down to this: there has always been an element of risk involved in the choices we have made as a church. But then, love has always been a risky business, and well worth it, has it not?

Note:  My thanks to Greg Howe for forwarding a photo of a similar banner on a church in Delaware to me and also for his generosity in paying for this one for St. Mary's.   

rector's photo  



Brian Kilborn (center) was baptized on Pentecost at St. Mary's. Brian was also married at St. Mary's last November. Pictured are his husband Warren (left) and their friend Elias (right).  Brian and Warren's dogs, Missy and Mimi were there for the celebration as well. 
New Vestry Members Commissioned 
at June 11 Annual Meeting

The congregation voted the Vestry slate unanimously at the Annual Meeting.  Seen below are left to right, Harry Ellsworth, Junior Warden, Simonne Ketchum, Vestry, Rev. Terry Pannell, Rector, and Bruce Cagwin, Vestry.  Gerri Spinella was elected to serve as Clerk to the Vestry.   Out thanks to all who were elected and all who stepped up to serve.

  Financial News 

GOOD NEWS! Diocesan Council, the elected body of laypesons and clergy responsible with conducting diocesan business between conventions, recently voted to change the formula that is used to calculate congregational contributions made to the mission and ministry carried out by the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts.  The change is being made in response to the adoption of a new diocesan  Mission Strategy  at the Diocesan Convention back in November 2016. 

To implement the Convention directive, the Diocesan Council formed an Assessment Formula Review Committee which recommended a new formula with the goal to achieve an overall 10% reduction in contributions from parishes. For 2018, St. Mary's contribution will decrease by $2612 to $18,721 from the current 2017 amount of $21,333. This is a 10% savings compared to prior years.  

Mike Sutila, Treasurer

St Mary's Establishes a Missional
Relationship in Tanzania
by Priscilla Jackett

January 1, 2015, long-time Provincetown residents, Ken Russo and Michael MacIntyre led a group of their brave friends into the chilly waters at St. Mary's beach for a pledge 'polar bear' plunge raising money for  Baobab Home in Tanzania, Africa .   
In introducing Baobab Home to Terry Pannell, Ken and Michael, board members of and visitors to Baobab explained that it was opened in 2004 by American-born Terri Place and her Tanzanian husband Caito Mwandu as a home for children orphaned by HIV.  They learned that the reality is that most children are not completely orphaned, but come from deeply broken, desperately poor homes where HIV/AIDS has destroyed the family structure, as well as physical and mental health.  Their focus has expanded to include the extended families and greater community. It is located on a solar-powered, biogas-fueled self-sustaining farm just outside Bagamoyo, Tanzania.
Baobab has kept the orphanage small and family style (there are currently 8 children, "mothered" by live-in Tanzanian women). Over the years they have built homes for families, sponsored dozens of income generation projects, helped people to access treatment and operations, served breakfast to thousands of children in need, sponsored mobile HIV testing and helped young people to quit drugs and alcohol. Their approach is holistic, taking into account the various social, economic and psychological aspects of poverty, in order to come up with sustainable solutions.
As the children became school-aged, Terri and Caito opened the Steven Tito Academy at Baobab, a primary school through 8 th grade to serve the kids of Baobab and the local community providing safe, high-quality education in English to enhance learning and earning potential as they age.  They currently have 145 students.
In 2015, St Mary's Outreach Committee voted to send $1500 to Baobab.  The response from Director Terri Place was overwhelming:  $1500 in Tanzania is like receiving $10,000!  She visited St Mary's last summer and met with Terry and some members of the Outreach Committee, showing us a short video of Baobab.
Beginning in 2017, the Outreach Committee and Vestry voted to pledge $2000 a year to Baobab Home over a five-year period.  You will soon begin seeing photos of the Baobab children in the parish hall to make our relationship more personal than just our treasurer signing a check.  In a recent Skype with Terri Place, Terry (Pannell), Priscilla Jackett and Ken Russo learned of a major project they are initiating is to build a self-sustaining water system that will cost an estimated $23,000.  They are currently bringing in huge jugs of water from Bagomayo to off-set the terrible drought.  
The importance of having this kind of missional relationship for the parish has been stressed by Terry ever since he came to St Mary's eleven years ago, i.e. to form a bond and on-going commitment between St Mary's and a worthy project where we can make a difference.   Ken Russo notes that St Mary's joins the Episcopal cathedral in Phoenix, Arizona and a large Episcopal parish in Denver in supporting Baobab.   (By the way, Ken's mom is Dot Russo who was very active at St Mary's several years ago and whose life we recently celebrated).  He is in awe of the generosity of Episcopalians and their commitment to think outside themselves!  Just maybe we are listening carefully to the Gospel and those Sunday homilies!
To learn more about Baobab, click on the following link to their website:

Anniversary Surprise

We always figured that Bob Walter was a romantic.  For their 50th wedding anniversary, Bob surprised Joan with a trip to St. Croix where they spent their honeymoon.  Joan didn't know where they were going until it came time to board their connecting flight from Miami. Joan was surprised a second time when daughter Janine and her husband Clay showed up in St. Croix for the celebration. 

Canon's Corner

Canon's Corner.2
      The state of play at Henry VIII's death: 4 deceased wives [2 by natural causes, 2 by judicial murder]; 1 survivor sent away as a "royal sister;" and the surviving Queen, Katherine Parr - who was well-connected to the protestant party in the Privy Council. 
      There were also 3 surviving children: a boy who became Edward VI on his father's death, Mary - a devout Catholic like her mother, and Elizabeth - who would not be in the royal succession, having been declared illegitimate  at the time of her mother's execution.  
      Archbishop Cranmer had produced limited public work in English - a Litany, ordered by the King in anticipation of a war with France [ rather like General Patton ordering prayers for fair weather to help defeat the German army], and an 'Order of Communion,' an English language insert in the Latin Mass as a devotion for the laity before receiving Communion. With the support of the protestant-dominated Privy Council, in 1549 Cranmer produced what one scholar called "the chief liturgical glory of the English Reformation, " the First Book of Common Prayer.
This was unique in concept and content. In concept because one book,' in a language understanded of the people', contained all content required for public worship, so clergy and congregation would be working from the same book on the same page. The monastic office had become such a burden that it left little time for other activities other than meals and sleep. Following the model of a Spanish Cardinal, Cranmer shrank the complicated 7 part office into a 2 part Daily Office, Morning and Evening - which all the clergy were required to pray, in public if possible.  Influenced by recently available Orthodox texts, he smoothed out the series of collects that make up the Old Roman Canon into what became the Prayer for the Whole State of Christ's Church and the Prayer of Consecration. All in all, a rather conservative revision, but too radical for Catholics, and hopelessly conservative for protestants.
Canon's Corner.3
      Last time, I suggested that Archbishop Cranmer's 1st Book of Common Prayer was too revolutionary for it's/his own good. There were riots in the conservative North and nasty reviews fro the protestant refugee scholars at Cambridge University.  These facts-on-the-ground forced a much more protestant  2nd Book in 1552.  {Any hint of Eucharistic Sacrifice or Real Presence had been removed, along with other items such as the ring in Marriage.]
      This brings to mind the rhyme about the mythical Vicar of Bray.  He replaced the altar missal with the BCP 1549, replaced that with BCP 1552, then replaced that with the Missal again during the reign of Queen Mary [under whom Cranmer was burned at the stake as a heritic], and if he lived long enough, replaced the Missal again with Queen Elizabeth's BCP 1559. Elizabeth had been brought up as a protestant, but one wonders what that would have meant.  A well-verified tale tells that in her private chapel, she verbally chastized one of her chaplains in the middle of a service for not elevating the Host high enough!
      All went well enough - in spite of King James I's view of himself as a distinguished theologian, until his son Charles I decided to settle a mild revision of BCP 1549 on Scotland as BCP 1637. The Scots Presbyterians revolted - beginning an English Civil War which led to Cromwell's Republic, the murder of the King, the supression of the Church of England and the banning of the  Book of Common Prayer.  That  lasted until the Restoration of the murdered king's son, Charles II.  A conference which attempted to put a National Church back together failed and the King authorized a restored Church of England in which serious protestants could find no home ["No bishop, no King.} and the production of BCP 1662 - a slight improvement on what had gone before, but which retained the truncated Eucharistic Prayer of it's predecessors, and leaned toward a memorial rather than a representation. 
          Next time, 5 books in 113 years.
Greg Howe, greyfriar3636@yahoo.com

     Amazing Grace          

For the past two years, St. Mary of the Harbor has provided funding through our Outreach budget to sponsor children for Amazing Grace, a summer camp on the Cape for the children of incarcerated parents.  Amazing Grace is looking for volunteers for this year's camp.  There are three shifts for "mentors" who spend time with the children during the scheduled activities - morning, afternoon, and overnight, as well as opportunities for "specialists" to share a skill or craft in 1-3 hour blocks.

There will be a forum and training seminar for volunteers on "The Developmental Impact of Incarceration on Children" at Saint David's Episcopal Church in Yarmouth on June 27 at 7:00 p.m. Boston University's Dr. Megan Sullivan's father was incarcerated when she was a child and she has done extensive interviews with other adults who had a parent in jail or prison when they were children.  

To learn more, contact Julie at jlytle0214@comcast.net

Cape & Islands Altar Guild Meeting

St. Mary of the Harbor celebrated  Ascension  Day by hosting the altar guilds and clergy from  the Cape & Islands Episcopal Churches.  Rain did not dampen event. On the contrary, extra tables had to be set up and extra food ordered to accommodate our guests.  The day included the celebration of Holy Eucharist, lunch and a business meeting followed by a very special tour of the church's art conducted Erna Partoll.  Our thanks to Erna, Pricilla Jackett and St Mary's Altar Guild who created a  memorable occasion enjoyed by everyone .

Lee Fanning and Priscilla Jackett register participants 

Lunch was catered by Angel Food in Provincetown.  Our thanks to owner Liz Lovati who provided a delicious lunch for our guests.
The Reverend Sue Lederhouse (left) from St. Peter's on the Canal talks with one of the attendees.

Participants were treated to a docent's tour where they learned about the history of St. Mary's and the artists whose work can be found throughout the church and parish hall.
mary window
St. Mary's Unique Art  Collection Displayed at Altar Guild Meeting

When visitors come into St. Mary's they often comment on the art, both over the altar, over the baptismal font, well....everywhere.  How we have acquired this art is an interesting story - a story that was told to the recent Cape & Islands Altar Guild meeting by longtime parishioner, Erna Partoll, who is also an artist.  
Erna gave a tour of 31 of the 68 pieces of art in the Church and Parish Hall.  

The building that later became the church, was acquired in three different purchases and remodeled into one building.  One of the first parishioners and the artist who painted our large Madonna of the Harbor painting at the back of the church was Frederick Waugh.  Known for maritime landscapes, he nonetheless, decided to paint Mary and the infant Jesus as a gift to the church. Then he recruited many of his friends who donated their works to the church.  Gifts of art continue to this day.  Whether the art is by parishioners or their friends, it covers the eight decades of Outer Cape artists since the church was consecrated in 1936.   

"In art, there is a resonance, with our spirit and our soul," says Erna. "When you enter St. Mary's, the rood screen "Christ on the Water and Angels" welcomes you.  It is meaningful and comforting."  Her favorite work is the Alpha and Omega over the baptismal font in the rear of the church.  (See photo below.) The drawing of this painting is owned by the town of Provincetown and can be seen in the Puzzle Room at the Council on Aging. 

Julia Perry, a parishioner, is on the Historical Commission for the town.  She has identified the artists on the right side of the triptych as friends of St. Mary of the Harbor, whose gifts of art and sculpture make it the unique place that it is.  Those depicted include the artist of the piece, Robert Douglas Hunter, as well as Frederick Waugh, Peter Hunt (Joyeux Noel painting located in the parking lot entrance to the church), Arnold Geisbuhler, and Richard Miller "Triumphal Procession" over the altar.  

When you are taking communion, look to the left at the stained glass window of St. Mary. She is, most appropriately, holding an artist's palette.
Immigration Forum at St. Mary's

Because of the heated rhetoric over immigration, St. Mary of the Harbor recently hosted a program to provide accurate information about the legal rights and responsibilities related to non-US residents. Immigration  attorney, Collin Mickle from the Immigration Resource Center in Hyannis spoke to attendees and answered questions in a one and half hour session.  To learn more about immigrant issues and available services on the Cape, click on the following link:

July 16th Concert 

The Chamber Choir of the Outer Cape Chorale will be in concert at St. Mary's on July 16 at 4:00 p.m. This select choir sings a wide variety of music a cappella (no accompaniment) and by memory (off book).  They are appearing throughout the region over the summer.   
Scottish Rites

The Scottish Episcopal Church recently approved canonical changes to permit the marriage of same sex couples in its churches. This is the first Anglican Church on the British Isles to permit the rite. You can read more about it by clicking on the following link:

New Bishop

For the second time in a year, a priest from the Diocese of Massachusetts has been elected to become a bishop.  The Reverend Silvestre Romero, Rector of St. Peter's Church in Salem was recently elected to become the next Bishop of Guatemala.   You can read more about his election here:

Upcoming Events at St. Mary's

*  Fourth of July - Parish Potluck, at the Seawall - 7:00 PM

*  Sovey - Powers Wedding - July 10 at 7:00 PM

*  Art & Spirit Art Auction, July 15 - 7:00 PM Auction
                                                            5:30 PM Preview

*  Chamber Singers Concert - July 16 at 4:00 PM

*  Annual Summer Fair - August 5 - 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM
The container for your white elephant offerings will be in the church parking lot in early July.  Time to empty that garage or basement.   Treasures are eagerly accepted as well, and for really valuable pieces, we can put them in the Silent Auction with a start price that reflects their value.   
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Stay in touch. Get the latest diocesan wide news at this link:

Parishioner Directory

Click on the following link to view the latest parishioner directory.  Once the file is opened, you can save it to your computer's hard drive for future access.

Please email us at office@stmaryoftheharbor.org or call 508-487-2622 for corrections to your contact information.   


Online giving is now available for people who are interested in making pledge payments or one time gifts electronically.  Access it through the church's website at www.stmaryoftheharbor.org  where you will  find a "Donate" button on the menu bar at the top of the page and to the right.  Click and it will take you to Paypal where you can make your donation.  Contact Mike Sutila at msutila@chasemachine if you have questions.


episcopal shield


   The Episcopal Church
               people graced by God
         and being transformed through love
                         since 1789
The Vestry at St. Mary's

Mark Weinress, Senior Warden
Harry Ellsworth, Junior Warden
Michael Sutila, Treasurer
Gerri Spinella, Clerk of the Vestry
Bruce Cagwin
Beth Chapman
Joan Gibbons
Simonne Ketchum
Julia Perry
Andrea Sawyer

Church Office Hours
517 Commercial St.
Provincetown, MA 02657
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays
Phone (508) 487-2622 
Contact St. Mary's
mary window

St. Mary of the Harbor
517 Commercial Street
Provincetown, MA 02657


Office Hours
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Tuesdays & Thursdays


Phone (508) 487-2622 
Email: office@stmaryoftheharbor.org

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