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The E-Pistle of Thursday

September 21st, 2023

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A Weekly Reflection from the Rev. George Stevens, Interim Dean

Dear Friends-


Now that I’ve been here a couple weeks I’m beginning to hear from parishioners, ‘what is next?’ and ‘when will we begin our search for the next Dean?’. 

These are natural questions and your vestry will communicate to you the strategy we’ll be employing to gather information from the congregation in the coming weeks. 


In the meantime, I want to share a wonderful quote from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin that I return to when I find myself rushing to the ‘next big thing’. You see, in spite of my vocation of working with congregations in transition, sometimes I have a hard time in staying present in each moment and trusting that the Holy Spirit is present in the process.  


De Chardin writes in Hearts of God, “Above all, trust in the slow work of God. We are quite naturally impatient in everything to reach the end without delay. We would like to skip the intermediate stages. We are impatient of being on the way to something unknown, something new. And yet, it is the law of all progress that it is made by passing through some stages of instability – and that it make take a very long time. Above all, trust in the slow work of God our loving vine-dresser.” 


See you Sunday-



The Season of Creation 2023

Throughout September, we have been celebrating the Season of Creation, an annual time to pray and respond together with our global ecumenical family, uniting in listening to and looking for ways to care for the earth, our common home. This year’s theme is ‘Let Justice and Peace Flow’ using the symbol of a mighty river—creating lifeways that build justice among people and allow Earth’s web of life to flourish. One lifeway of justice in Maine that  can help to create more ‘lifeways’ is to ensure sovereignty for our Native American siblings here in Maine. Because their sovereignty is unrecognized, Maine’s tribes are unique in the USA in their ineligibility to benefit from Federal laws that apply only to federally-recognized tribes. Please keep a lookout for updates and opportunities to take a proactive role as the Maine legislature begins again this fall. As people of faith we can make a difference in helping to bring justice to our Native American Tribes of Maine.

PPEAT To Host Conversation with

Curtis Bohlen on September 24th

The Public Policy and Environmental Action Team is hosting a presentation and discussion with Curtis Bohlen Sunday, September 24 in the Upper Hall following coffee hour at 11:45 AM. All are welcome.

Curtis Bohlen, Director of the Casco Bay Estuary Partnership (CBEP), is an aquatic and wetland biologist with a background in ecology, economics, and public policy. CBEP builds collaborative partnerships with agencies, organizations, and individuals to seek solutions to environmental challenges and improve management of Casco Bay. In recent years, the organization has expanded efforts to help communities prepare for climate change and a changing coastal ocean.

Casco Bay lies at the heart of Maine's most populous region. The Bay (and our other waters ) shape our communities, offer meaning and create memories for residents and visitors alike. Casco Bay has so far proven resilient, in part because of our still largely forested landscape, the Bay's strong tides, and community commitment to, and investments in clean water. But climate change and sea level rise already affect the Bay's ecosystems and pose new challenges for coastal (and inland) communities. In response, CBEP is working to expand the circle of people with whom we work and connect our traditional water quality and habitat work with community needs.

Help the Cathedral With Recycling

With the Season of Creation upon us we are looking for easy ways to help reduce waste and be better stewards of the earth. As Portland does not pick-up recycling for businesses we are looking for volunteers to take home the paper we gather in blue bins and add them to parishioner's recycling bins at their homes (We do however recycle cardboard and compost both of which have been a very successful campaigns). If you would like to help please contact Sarah Braik or Tim Wilkins. Thanks for your help.

Community Announcements

Blessing of the Animals on October 1st (Next Sunday)

Next Sunday, is the Sunday closest to the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Please join us at 9:45 in the labyrinth to the right of the State Street Entrance for the Blessing of the Animals. All are encouraged to bring their beloved pets to receive a blessing. If you have a pet who would not be comfortable out in public, please bring a photo of them, and we will bless the image. We also encourage all of our younger members with stuffed animals to bring them along so that they might also receive a blessing. All are welcome, even the petless!

Coffee Hour

For the time being, Liz Griffin and Gail Kesich are managing the Coffee Hour schedule. If you have any questions or would like to sign up to host, please contact Gail Kesich  or Liz Griffin.

St. Luke's New Hearing Assistance Devices

St. Luke’s has 10 new headsets for those who need hearing assistance and most people who use them find them very helpful. Each week, five will be out on benches in the nave near our two entrances. The headsets will already be turned on and the volume turned up to about 70%. The only adjustment that may be necessary is for volume which can be raised and lowered using two silver buttons on the front of the unit. After using the devices, please return them to one of the benches near the exits.

If you need assistance, please ask one of the ushers. For additional information, please ask Senior Warden Sam Allen.

A Note Regarding Streaming Difficulties on Youtube Live

Dear St. Luke's Community,

Over the last two weeks we have experienced difficulties with the livestream on Youtube Live. We have heard feedback from several parishioners and would like to apologize for any difficulties you may have experienced.

We are trying our best to figure out why this issue may have occurred and ask for your patience and understanding as we all navigate the complications associated with technology.

Our facebook livestream has been functioning regularly and is a viable option if Youtube streaming has unexpected difficulties.

Thank you for your understanding as we seek to make our services accessible to all.

St Elizabeth’s Essentials Drive in September

St E’s serves 280+ neighbors Tuesday mornings from 8:30 to 11 am. Essential items include toilet paper, bars of soap, feminine products, etc. Diapers, tooth paste, blankets, towels and sheets, and pots, pans and cookware are provided monthly.  

We are having an Essentials Drive throughout September to help with rising costs and an increasing number of neighbors being served. You can participate by contributing bars of soap, rolls of toilet paper, packages of diapers, donating cash or by writing a check payable to "St. Elizabeth's Jubilee Center".

All essential items will be blessed during the service on September 24th and then delivered to St Elizabeth’s. Any contribution that you can make is very much appreciated.

St. Luke's Food Pantry in Need of Contributions

The Food Pantry welcomes your contributions of oil, flour, and dried beans!

These continue to be the most wanted items and and the most difficult for us to keep in stock.

Donations can be dropped off at any service or at the Cathedral's rear entrance. Thank you! Both neighbors and volunteers are grateful for your support!

With any questions please contact Mary Brighthaupt.

St. Luke's Zoom Book Group

Saint Luke’s Monday Zoom Book Group is reading Why Religion Matters by Huston Smith, the author of the classic bestseller The World’s Religions.

In it he delivers a passionate, timely message: the human spirit is being suffocated by the dominant materialistic worldview of our times. Smith champions a society in which religion is once again treasured and authentically practiced as the vital source of human wisdom. The group meets first and third Mondays from 6-7. You can attend by following this link.

For more information, contact Linda Carleton.

The Healing Team

The Healing Team Schedule for Sundays in September

September 24, 2023   Elise Magnuson, Peter Carleton

October 1, 2023      Gail Kesich, Oscar Mokeme

Healing Team members offer prayers until the end of the Postlude for anyone including service leaders, Choir members, Altar Guild et al. If you have any questions, please contact Judd Hume at either (207) 773 - 5611 or by email.

Choral Library in Need of Shelving

We are reorganizing the Cathedral Choral library, and are looking for a few sturdy bookcases, preferably 5-6 shelves high, 30-36” wide.

If you could, please send Christian (Canon for Liturgy & Music) dimensions and/or a photo via email. Thank you!

…and especially tenors! Contribute to CSL’s music ministry:

The choir could really use a couple more tenor voices (and others are still welcome, too)! If you fit the bill (or aren’t sure), please drop in on a choir rehearsal (Thursday 7PM or Sunday 8:45AM) and check it out!

Play an instrument or sing? We invite you to share your musical talents with our worshiping community in our praise of God. Or, do you know someone with talents to share? For more information or to discuss your interests, please contact Christian Clough, Canon for Liturgy & Music.

Last Week's Service

Click the attached links to view last week's Bulletin.

To view the livestream of last Sunday's service, click here.

Listen or watch the sermon preached by the Rev. George Stevens by clicking the corresponding links.

To View past services visit our Youtube Page or visit the archive page on our website to read past bulletins, sermons, and newsletters.

Ongoing Opportunities &

Community Resources

Volunteers Needed for This Year's Holiday Fair

Although it is only September, the preparation for the St. Luke’s Holiday Fair has begun! We are pleased to announce that the date of this year’s holiday fair will be Saturday, November 11th in the Cathedral Nave.

If you are interested in volunteering for this year’s fair please contact the parish office.

Access Your Realm Profile

The Cathedral’s new online database, Realm, is a useful tool for parishioners to manage their contact and pledging information.

Realm helps our community by improving our record keeping in a more streamlined fashion. 

When joining Realm you can sign-up to be a part of the online directory in the database.

To activate your Realm profile please contact our financial administrator Nina Andersen.

Nina will assist you with the few steps necessary to access your profile.

We look forward to sharing this exciting new technology with you!

Join the Young and The Restless

We are St. Luke’s 20s-30s-year-old ministry. We are an active group at the cathedral which also gets together outside of the church.

 Join us as we go hiking, ice skating, play trivia, or just enjoy each other’s company! If you are new to us, welcome! We meet the second Tuesday of each month at Rising Tide, 6-8 PM in Portland. Other events happen sporadically throughout the month, however second Tuesdays at Rising Tide is a great place to meet us if you’re joining us for the first time. Contact Shana Rose to stay up to date with group activities and information.

Donate to the Dean's Discretionary Fund

With the arrival of The Rev. George Stevens, our St. Luke's financial team invites you to make a donation to the Dean's discretionary fund if you are able.

This will ensure that the Rev. Stevens has access to a sufficient amount of funds for neighbors needing assistance.

Donations are able to be made online on Realm and by selecting (The Dean's Discretionary Fund) on the drop-down menu or by mail to P.O. Box 4141, Portland, ME 04101.

Thank you!

Availability of the St. Luke’s Community Kitchen

We are completing a 2023-2024 school year calendar (Sept. - June) for the Community Kitchen and Lower Hall. These two calendars when completed will be posted downstairs on the door to the Lower Hall, and the door to the Community Kitchen.

Any St. Luke's parishioner or ministry interested in scheduling time in the Community Kitchen, or the Community Kitchen and Lower Hall should contact Dawn Brennan-Daly.

Dawn will contact you to schedule a brief meeting and training, and place your event, date and time (recurring or one-time) on the Community Kitchen and Lower Hall Google Calendars (part of the cathedral Google calendar.) Scheduling is based on availability.

Clynk Bags Available in the Nave and around the Cathedral

Contact: Tim Wilkins

 St. Luke’s participation in the Clynk Initiative Program helps to support our Flower Guild.

Additional bags have been made available at both entrances of Nave with barcodes that correspond to the Cathedral’s account.

Anyone is welcome to take a bag and are encouraged to bring it to a local redemption center or grocery store that accepts Clynk. Thank you for your support!

Join Luke's Garden


Luke's Garden is the cathedral's LGBTQIA+ group which meets every 2nd Sunday of the month following coffee hour.

All are welcome!

For additional information contact Orion Williams

The Kneeler Guild and

Prayer Shawl Knitters



The Upper Hall.

For additional information contact Jeri Edgar 207-303-8447 or Nancy MaWhinney 207-775-7500

Everyone is welcome, whether you are curious or want to begin. Kneeler kits cost $75, which include directions, yarn, needles & canvas. Novices are welcome; we will teach you as needed. Prayer Shawls: 20” x 60”; select your yarn & needles. Coffee & Tea available.

Weekly Ministries

  • The Food Pantry is open from 8 am to 11 am every Thursday.
  • The Tuesday 12:10 Eucharist is offered every week in Emmanuel Chapel in-person and on Zoom.
  • Noon prayer is offered every Wednesday via Zoom.
  • Compline is offered weekly on Friday from 8-8:30pm on Zoom. For additional details contact Ray Murdoch Curry

Click on the Episcopal Maine Logo to learn about all that is happening in the wider Diocese.




Physical Address:

143 State Street, Portland, ME 04101

Parking Available at:

134 Park Street, Portland, ME 04101

Mailing Address:

P.O. Box 4141, Portland, ME 04101

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