In This Issue
- St. Pat's Art Night 
- Ministry Fair
- Choral Evensong
- Newcomers Ministry
- Intro to Bible Study
- Embracing Prophets
- Men's Breakfast
- Newcomers Brunch
- All Souls' Day Requiem
Quick Links
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.
September Newsletter
Rector's Letter
Mother Rita

Dear Friends,
October 2nd we will celebrate our 181st anniversary of the founding of St. John's Episcopal Church, Bangor.  As in past years, we will mark the occasion with a service of Choral Evensong at 4pm and in the morning with a festive Eucharist and the giving of ministry symbols at the offertory.  We are fortunate to have as our guest preacher, the Rev. Virginia Peacock, retired rector of St. Brendan the Navigator in Stonington and friend of our parish. We will follow our 10am service with a Ministry Fair in the undercroft, cake and fellowship.  I hope you will be able to join us, and if you are away from Bangor, please keep St. John's in your prayers.  
Looking forward to the year ahead, we begin our 182nd year with a call to go deeper individually and corporately.  Our Vestry has initiated our participation in the Renewal Works process to help us consider our faith beliefs and practices, and how our parish faith community can nurture, support, and challenge us to grow.  Inherent in the process is the belief that parishes first and foremost should be about growth and so listening to and partnering with the Holy Spirit through discernment is imperative.  The Vestry has commissioned a Discernment Team to lead us in this work: Faith Erhardt (facilitator), Patricia Sprague, Bruce Mallonee, Eileen Irwin, Karl Rasche, Scott Burgess, Frank Bennett, April O'Grady, Lura Williams, Charlene Boggins, Chris Pooler, Judy Allen (Sr. Warden), Dcn. Ann McAlhany, Mo. Rita Steadman (rector).  I am grateful to them all for their willingness to lead us.  The Discernment Team will meet in the months ahead to reflect and pray on where we are and where we are called to be and to recommend ways we might grow into who God is calling us to be.  Recommendations and results from this process will be presented at our Annual Meeting in January.
Imperative for this work is our fullest possible participation in the Spiritual Life Inventory.  If you haven't yet taken the SLI, please follow this link, to take it before midnight on October 2nd.  What a wonderful gift to the parish on its anniversary weekend!  The SLI is the basis of our Renewal Works process, and it is meaningful as much as it represents St. John's: those who are new to the parish, those who have attended their whole lives, those who come at Christmas, those who are regularly involved in worship, those who are deeply involved in an aspect of ministry and those who are not.  Your answers to the SLI will allow us to consider important questions like, "What is the Spiritual Health of our parish?", "What is Saint John's role in growing disciples?", "How can we order our common life meaningfully in response to the inventory?"
If you have already taken the SLI, I thank you very much on behalf of our parish, the Discernment Team, and the Vestry.  And I ask that we all keep our parish in our regular prayers in the months ahead through the Renewal Works process and throughout our 182nd year.  I offer a collect for our use as a prayer for discernment:
Almighty and Everliving God, source of all wisdom and understanding, be present with us as we consider the renewal and mission your Church in the parish of St. John's, Bangor.  Teach us in all things to seek first Your honor and glory.  Guide us by Your Holy Spirit to perceive what is right, and grant us both the courage to pursue it and the grace to accomplish it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
As we celebrate 181 years, may the faithfulness of all those who have come before us inspire us as we continue in worship, witness, and faithful ministry here at St. John's.
Yours in Christ,
The Rev. Cn. Marguerite A.H. Steadman
Patricia Sprague

October is St Francis Month in the Library!
October 4th is the feast day for St Francis of Assisi.  In his honor we are amassing as many books as we can find on our library's shelves that are about St Francis or his followers.  At each coffee hour in October, these books will be available to be borrowed.  As usual, just fill out and deposit the book's card in the designated box.  (If you have any St Francis-related books that you would like to lend to your fellow parishioners, contact  We'll make sure that they are eventually returned to you.)

Adult Christian Education and Formation: Coming Up in October
Rite 1
On September 25th Bruce Mallonee led an introductory discussion on Rite I and why it matters to the Church.  All who attended would attest that it was a true gift to his church community.  Bruce's presentation was the first in a year-long series on Rite 1.  One tangible result for the whole parish will be the acquisition for the library, based on Bruce's recommendation, of MacCulloch's biography of Thomas Cranmer.  (At some point in the coming year it will be available for borrowing at coffee hour, along with other writings and biographies of our Anglican forebears.)
The second in the series will be on October 16th, when the Rev. Levering Sherman will lead a discussion on Rite I and its historical connection to previous liturgies and the place of continuity in our worship and community (following the 10am service, meeting in choir). 

An Introduction to Bible Study
What is the Bible? Wednesdays, 1:00 in the oratory, beginning October 5th. 
This will be the first of three books we'll be discussing this year, all from the Massachusetts Bible Society.  The first - What is the Bible? - will offer a broad overview of the Bible, its history and how it's been used in various time periods.  The other two books, which will be offered later in the year, will focus on the Old and New Testaments. 
It is important to note that none of these three books will make anyone Biblically literate.  Rather, their goal is to provide both inspiration and encouragement for participants - alone and/or in small Bible study groups - to go deeper in their exploration of the book that is central to our faith. 
If you're interested in participating, please send a note to to ensure that there will be enough books for everyone.   
There will also be a closed FB group during Advent for those interested in increasing their knowledge of the Bible but who cannot attend the Wednesday afternoon group.

Embracing the Prophets in Contemporary Culture:
We will be re-showing the Walter Brueggemann dvd series in the chapel on Sundays at 11:30, beginning on October 9th.
For those who are not familiar with him, Walter Brueggemann is a well-known Old Testament scholar who for decades has been a major inspiration to people across a variety of settings.  Whether as a teacher, public lecturer, or (prolific) writer, he's been a blessing to anyone seeking to understand how the writings of the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures), particularly the Prophets, directly connect to their own lives and to our present culture. 
In this dvd series, Walter will give a 10-15 minute presentation to a panel of people on an aspect of how the prophets (Jeremiah, Isaiah, et al) relate to our present day culture.  The panel members will then offer their own reactions and ideas, to which he will respond.  The discussions are fascinating and thought-provoking, and will easily stimulate our own discussion of the topics addressed. 
The titles of the six sessions are: Moses, Pharaoh, the Prophets and Us; The Prophets as Uncredentialed Purveyors of Covenant; Moral Coherence in a World of Power, Money and Violence; The Shrill Rhetoric that Breaks Denial; The Grief of Loss as Divine Judgment; and The Promissory Language that Breaks Despair. 
There will be no reading or other homework required.  Just come, listen, and absorb. 

Youth Programs
Our Sunday School year began on September 18th, but it is not too late to register your child (forms are available in each classroom) even if their attendance will not start until later in the year. 
During the month of October all classes will be exploring stories relating to St Francis, Jacob, Joseph, and Moses.   The topic for the last Sunday in the month will prepare our students for All Saints Sunday on November 6th, which will be the second of the five Youth Sundays for the year (Sep-Jun). 

There will be a Diocesan Youth Event on the second weekend (Oct 8-10) in Portland.  Information and registration for middle and high school students can be found on
JR YES students will be going to Treworgy's Orchard on October 16th, leaving after the 10 o'clock service.
The topic for the SR YES class (also on 10/16) will be Scripture: The Bible by Heart.
The next service day (Bangor Humane Society and Bangor Area Homeless Shelter) will be October 23rd.
Rite 1 Revival

Dear Brothers and Sisters of St. John's,

Our project to reintegrate Rite I into our parish life is taking  shape.  On September 25, following the 10:00 a.m. service, we will  have a presentation to introduce Rite I--its history, meaning, and  usefulness to us today.  On October 9 we will revive for one Sunday  the old practice of conducting Morning Prayer as the primary Sunday  service (some of us remember this from childhood).  On October 16, The  Rev. Lev Sherman will join us for a celebration of Rite I at the 10:00 a.m. service.  Father Sherman was trained as a priest with the 1928  Book of Common Prayer.  He will join us after the service to share his  insights into how we can approach Rite I in a meaningful way, both as individuals and as a worshiping community.

After the 10:00 o'clock service on November 20, Mother Rita will take  a close look at the Eucharistic Prayer in Rite I.  This is a  theologically and historically deep and rich subject.  Unlike some of  our Anglican forebears, we will be able to examine it and ask  questions without fear of imprisonment or hideous punishment.

After services on February 5, 12, and 19, I will be leading discussions of the language and literary resonances of our historic liturgy.  Final presentations  in April and May will address the Prayer of Humble Access in Rite I (and the subjects of shame and humility) and the coming process of further revision  to the Book of Common Prayer.

This is an outline.  Dates and final agendas are subject to
 development and change, but the basic program is now in place.  Please  come.  Please bring questions.  And please prepare to be moved and  enlightened.  This is going to be a beautiful experience.

Bruce Mallonee
Prayers Answered
Russ & Eileen Irwin

"Let everything that breathes praise the Lord"
Psalm 150 v.6
Prayers Answered
Here at St. John's our 8:00 & 10:00 AM services on Sunday, our Wednesday services at noon and Monday thru Friday Morning and Evening Prayers Services we pray for those on our Parish prayer list. They are our family and friends, known and unknown.

I would like to share with you the story of our Son - in - Law, Pat Donovan, who has been on our prayer list for 6 years. Pat is our daughter Kim's husband of 34 years. They live in Veazie with their two daughters, Mary and Laura. They are all active parishioners at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Bangor.

Six years ago Pat was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. IPF is a lung disease of unknown cause, no cure and very limited treatment.

Pat's family and friends have watched his health and quality of life deteriorate these past six years. Pat is a surveyor by profession. A hiker, a hunter and a fisherman. We watched his health deteriorate to the point where for most of 2016 he was housebound and on 10 liters of Oxygen 24/7.
Throughout these long six years there were numerous trips to major medical centers in Boston, MA and the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio looking for help and treatment.

On June 30th of this year he was placed on the active lung transplant list at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. On July 30th , at 12:45 AM they got "THE Call" to get to Boston a.s.a.p. as they had a fit for his transplant.

At 8:15 PM that night Pat went into surgery  and came out of it with the double lung transplant he so badly needed. The operation was a success!

On day 1 post-op, while still on a ventilator recovering from an 8 plus hour operation he wrote a note to his family. "God is Good. God is always Good."

Eight days post-op Pat was discharged from the hospital to an apartment is Boston where he has been receiving continued care from his family, visiting nurses and physical therapy. Two weeks post-op Pat walked into mass, received the Eucharist and actually SANG!

It is now eight weeks post-op, his rehab continues and he is doing wonderful. All tubes are gone from his body, he is breathing better each day with his new lungs and he is taking walks around Veazie and Bangor. He is now living the life of a transplant recipient taking rejection medication.

Through all of this, we remember the donor and the donor's family who have given Pat and others new life.
Prayers ARE answered......... God is Good .......God is Always Good.
If you would like to read more about this beautiful story, click here.
Russ & Eileen Irwin
Following Gods Words
Cindy Oakes

In a recent Sunday Service, Mother Rita was talking about biblical verses which stated that when you have a gathering or party to include not just your friends, family or people you know well but to include those whom you may know of that have no family, or who may be alone, they may be friendless, homeless or someone who would love an invitation but would not expect it of you.  This is the Christian way, and I felt lead to do just this at a recent barbecue at my home.  Yes, I invited, work friends, church friends, old and new friends, but decided to incorporate on to the list of invitations people who I just knew barely at the store where I work. Some of these people where older women who live alone, one of which was so happy I invited her that she told me she was excited about the invitation and was glad to have somewhere to go that weekend.  One person was an army vet, a woman of small stature, who always commented on how she liked my hats.  She was an army sniper and as I found out later, had been raped by fellow soldiers and had a hard life.
As it turned out, she was the life of the party and entertained everyone by singing songs and the national anthem.  She made everyone laugh all evening and best of all she told me that she had never had a better time anywhere.  There were many others who came and ate, sang and danced, people I would never had thought to invite.   I was so glad I did and made new friends I never thought would be in my life. As it turned out, I invited  neighbors I had not met and they got to meet other neighbors and thanked me for inviting them and giving them a chance to know others in the neighborhood.  The day after the party, two of the guests stopped back.  I asked them if they would like some breakfast and they told me they were good there but the reason they came back was to help me clean both the yard and the house from the party as a thank you.  They moved chairs, washed dishes, consolidated and organized everything and spent 3 hours doing it! It was so unexpected and a real serendipity! The lesson is trust in God that his words are true and step out in faith and you will receive many blessings from it!
Cynthia Oakes/Parish Clerk
Good News Conclusion and Invitation
Bruce Mallonee

Editors Note: This is the 4th and final installment of a series by Bruce Mallonee

The Book of Common Prayer was the key element of the Elizabethan Settlement in England.  After years of murderous religious strife under King Henry VIII and his children--strife that cost Archbishop Cranmer his life (he was burned at the stake by order of the Roman Catholic Queen Mary, successor to her Protestant brother Edward VI, who had become king upon Henry's death)--a third child of Henry, Elizabeth I, found a solution:  worshipers could think whatever they liked, so long as they prayed from the Book of Common Prayer.  For centuries, "common prayer" therefore meant "praying the same words."  As Great Britain expanded its imperial reach, "common prayer" meant that people throughout North America, in Africa, in Asia, in Australia, in every place the Empire reached--prayed as the English prayed.
That is no longer the case.  As noted in the first part of this introduction, numerous local variations have come into practice over the centuries.  Our American Prayer Book came into being soon after the Revolution, modified to reflect our independence.  Prayer books throughout the former British Empire contain expressions of local history, customs, and understandings.  "Common prayer" now means, primarily, "praying in a style derived from a common history."
This is good.  God surely is pleased to hear all these expressions, all this varied acceptance and participation in the love he offers.  But I like to think God is also pleased to hear us praying with our forebears--praying, now, in words they knew and cherished, thereby acknowledging their continued participation in the eternity of God's love.
We can have and use all our gifts:  express our hard-won knowledge of the depth and breadth of God's love in language of today at the same time we revive words, insights, and feelings that belong not to the past but to eternity.  
Let all of us, cradle Episcopalians and those who came to this church by choice, join with our Anglican forebears; let us join with parents, grandparents, and our younger selves; let us be in communion with angels, archangels, and all the company of heaven, as we praise God in the glorious common prayer of the heritage we share.
Our Fall Parish Picnic

We'd like to send out a huge thank you to everyone who helped to make our Parish Picnic a huge success!  Special thanks to the Outreach Committee, the Parent Brigade, and the Youth.  Also, a big thank you to Moe's for donating the delicious BBQ!!

Mozart Requiem on All Souls' Day
Robert Ludwig

Mozart Requiem on All Souls' Day at 7 pm - Wednesday, November 2 is remembered every year in the life of the church as All Souls' Day, also known as the Commemoration of All Faithful Departed. For the past four years, St. John's has observed this day with a Solemn Requiem Choral Eucharist - a service combining the burial liturgy from the Book of Common Prayer with a profound musical setting of some of the appropriate designated texts. This year's musical setting is one of the most beloved of all - the one composed by W.A. Mozart during the last months of his all too brief life. At the time of his death on December 5, 1791 the Requiem was only partially completed, lacking the traditional Sanctus, Benedictus, and Agnus Dei, though it was completed the following year by Sussmayr, another musician in Vienna at the time. Our singing of the piece will use only the portions composed Mozart. All Souls' Day is an especially appropriate time to remember loved ones who have passed away, and you are encouraged to send names to the church office. You may also wish to bring a photograph or other memorabilia to the service to remain on a designated table while we remember those who have gone before us. Donations received at the service will benefit the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter.  
Fall Rummage Sale
Claudia Blanchette
Fall Rummage Sale will be held Saturday, October 22, from 8 AM to Noon.  When changing wardrobes to fall or sorting out summer/fall items around your home, please consider saving items for our sale.  We accept clothing for all ages, books, toys, linens, music, shoe/boots, jewelry, and small household items.  With our tight budget this year, this event is important to St. Johns and always an important outreach offering to those in our community.  Also consider helping on set-up or sale days...a great fellowship opportunity.  (We welcome men, teens, and ladies to help)  A sign-up sheet will be on the undercroft bulletin board in October, or see Claudia Blanchette and Nancy Henry for any questions.  Thanks so much!
Announcements & Looking Ahead
St. Pat's is holding its third art night, and they are extending an invitation to our church members who would like to show their art work-photography, paintings, drawing, quilts, (other handiwork), pottery, sculpture, etc.) The art night will be Friday, September 30, 2016 from 6 pm to 8 pm. You can contact
Paula  directly or call 944-0838.

October 2nd - Ministry fair and 181st Celebration 
of the founding of St. John's Episcopal Church.  We'll be welcoming the Reverend Virginia Peacock as our guest preacher.  Virginia (Ginny) Peacock, recently retired rector at St. Brendan's, Deer Isle, served previously in the dioceses of Northern Michigan, Michigan, and Toronto (Anglican Church of Canada). She holds degrees from Episcopal Divinity School (M.Div.) and the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto (M.A.-Ph.D.). 

Choral Evensong - Sunday, October 2, 4:00 pm - In celebration of the 181st Anniversary of the Founding of St. John's Church. Music includes Stanford's Evening Service in C and Vaughan Williams' festive anthem on "Old Hundredth," composed for the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II in Westminster Abbey in 1953. Donations benefit Spruce Run Domestic Violence Resource Center. Child Care Provided.

Are you interested in newcomer ministry, hospitality and/or welcoming?  Are opportunities for fellowship important to you?  If so, please come for coffee and dessert and to consider these ministries at St. John's on Tuesday October 4th at 6:30pm at the rectory.

On October 5th at 1pm in the Oratory, we will be offering the first of three courses as an introduction to Bible study, we'll begin with the 6 week session What is the Bible? This course will provide a broad overview of the Bible, including chapters on how to select a Bible suitable to your needs, how the Bible is organized, how the collection of books that comprise the Bible were chosen, different ways that people approach the text, and what archaeology has to tell us about the text and its stories. 

Embracing the Prophets: We will be re-showing the Walter Brueggemann dvd series called Embracing the Prophets.  This will be presented in the chapel on Sundays at 11:30, beginning on October 9th.  A complete listing of fall offerings will be made available in the coming weeks.

The  Men's Breakfast Group  will have it's monthly get together at the Coach House in Brewer on October 12th at 7:00 AM.  All men from the parish and friends are invited for good conversation, excellent food and great fellowship.  We are in the process of getting a guest speaker for this meeting.  I will let everyone know in the Sunday bulletin and weekly newsletter when that is finalized. 

If you are new, or feel new, to St. John's, please plan on coming to the newcomers brunch on Sunday, October 23rd following the 10am service.

On Wednesday, November 2 at 7:00 pm, St. John's will offer an All Souls' Day Requiem with the magnificent music of Mozart's Requiem, the final piece written by the great classical composer. We will be presenting the music with accompaniment of organ and string quartet. Memorial donations (payable to St. John's Episcopal Church, Higgins Music Fund) will help us support this special offering of profound religious music - presented in its appropriate context of a liturgy instead of as a concert. Child Care Provided.
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