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The E-pistle of Sunday, December 24th, 2023

Holy Eucharist, Rite II

7:30AM in Emmanuel Chapel

Holy Eucharist, Rite II

10:00AM in the Nave & Livestreamed

The Cathedral Church of St. Luke

in the

City of Portland

and the

Episcopal Diocese of Maine

Whoever you are,

and wherever you may be on the journey of the spirit, 

The Episcopal Church welcomes you.

Welcome to St. Luke’s Cathedral

We are a community of faith with ancient worship and modern thought, catholic traditions and progressive theology. We proclaim a Biblical perspective for thinking people, a respect for reason, science, and a diversity of perspective. This empowers compassion and care for both the wider community and one another. Our commitment to welcome and inclusion is central to our mission modeled on the Kingdom of God and proclaimed by Jesus Christ. 


Youtube Live

Facebook Live

Sunday Morning Service Participants

Preacher & Celebrant

The Reverend Christopher Worthley, Assisting Clergy


The Reverend Rebecca A. Grant, Deacon

The Reverend George Stevens, Interim Dean

Music Leader & Organist

Christian M. Clough, Canon for Liturgy & Music

Advent Wreath Prayers Leader

Sam Allen


Jonathan Radtke

Prayers Leader

Cecilia Marchetti


Peter Bingham, Chester Bishop, Bob Parshley, Martha Parshley

Head Verger

Eleanor Roberts


Randi Hogan


Alec Thorne

Live Streaming

Jack Swanton, Sam Allen

Contributing Ministries

The Cathedral Choir, Acolytes, Vergers, The Flower Guild, The Altar Guild, The Kneeler Guild, The Healing Team

Music copyrights granted under #A-713087. Sources: The Hymnal 1982, Lift Every Voice and Sing II, Wonder, Love, and Praise, Voices Found, My Heart Sings Out, The Saint Helena Psalter, The Book of Common Prayer,, Enriching our Worship, The Holy Bible (NRSV)

Happening at the Cathedral Today

Please note that a separate E-Pistle for Christmas Services

has also been sent out

Join us for Christmas at St. Luke's Cathedral!

On the 24th of December we will offer our 7:30AM and 10:00AM Services in observation of Advent IV.

At 5:00PM we will offer a family service with our annual Christmas pageant in celebration of Christmas Eve.

At 10:00PM we will offer our candlelit Christmas service featuring musical offerings from our choir and festival brass. A prelude of musical offerings will begin at 9:30PM.

On the 25th of December we will offer a service in celebration of Christmas Day at 10:00AM.

Blessings to you and your loved ones during this holiday season!

Roots of Jesus Study Group

Sunday Mornings|8:45-9:45AM

Location: The Chapter Room

Contact: The Rev. Dr. Bob Hanson at 207-405-8250. 

Join us in the Chapter Room from 8:45–9:45 AM on Sunday mornings. Bob Hanson, Biblical scholar, linguist and theologian, leads our group. For more information call Bob at (207) 405- 8250. Activity units are distributed for each session. Assigned readings are from the Biblical books under consideration. The journey is a joyous one.

Community Announcements

Cathedral Offices will be closed December 26th through January 2nd in observation of the Christmas and New Years Holidays.

Due to the office being closed, we will not be accepting any additional submissions for the E-pistle for Thursday, December 28th or for Sunday, December 31st.

Please send any questions to the parish office or the Rev. George Stevens.

Thank you for your understanding and have a wonderful holiday season.

Stewardship 2024

We are grateful for everyone in the Cathedral community who has made generous contributions and pledges for 2024.

We also want to extend a special welcome to the 23 households who have made their first pledge to St. Luke's!

If you wish to join in making a financial pledge to support the Cathedral's mission and ministry, please contact the office or pledge online.

Together our pledges will define the resources we will have to devote to our mission in 2024 as a community. We welcome and invite all contributions to support this effort!

Every gift is gratefully received and enriches our lives. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Randi Hogan

Stewardship Chair

Nominations for Vestry and Convention Delegates

The Cathedral’s Annual Meeting date has been set for February 4, 2024. An

important part of the agenda will be election of the Junior Warden (two-year term),

election of three Vestry members for three-year terms, and election of one Vestry

member for a two-year term. In addition, we will elect five Delegates for Diocesan

Convention, plus alternates.

Our Bylaws specify the Nominations Committee for these positions consist of the

outgoing Warden and Vestry members, plus the Interim Dean. This year’s

Nominations Committee includes: Fred Fowler, Jane Briggs, Catherine Hyde, Linda

Carleton, and George Stevens.

We invite nominees for these positions. You may nominate yourself or someone

else, provided that you seek that person’s permission to serve if elected.

Nominations may be sent to Senior Warden Sam Allen or Interim

Dean, The Rev. George Stevens.

If you have questions about what the positions entail, please consult Sam, George, or Acting Junior Warden Fred Fowler.

Please make nominations no later than January 3, 2024. Thank you!

5:15 Service

A small group is leading an effort to restart the Sunday 5:15 service in the back chapel. We will start Sunday 1/14 and continue for the next six Sunday's concluding on 2/18. 

After that we will meet and decide how to proceed but the long term goal is to have the new dean include that as a regular Sunday service.

Please contact Tim Wilkins if you want to help with the service or have any questions. Thank you!

Please Join The PPEAT Committee and

and Others in The Diocese In Advocating For Gun Safety

The PPEAT Committee is wanting to make our congregation aware of this important opportunity to put our faith to action and advocate for responsible gun safety on January 3 along with our own John Hennessy and others from the Diocese who will be meeting to show our support for and to urge our legislators to take action on this critically important issue before more lives are lost! 

Please contact Mary Linneman, who has generously offered to organize rides for anyone interested in attending. Please seriously consider making space in your calendar for this important event!  

Additional details and registration information can be found in the Diocesan Announcement, listed further down in today's newsletter under 'Updates from the Diocese and Wider Church.'

Public Policy and Environmental Action Team

Eco-tips: The limits of individual action

Did you know that the “carbon footprint” campaign came from an early 2000’s advertising campaign for British Petroleum? The idea was to deflect the responsibility for global warming from oil producers to individuals. The truth is that individual voluntary actions are not the main driver of our collective greenhouse gas emissions. This problem cannot be usefully addressed at the individual level but at the political level. As Maine produces only 0.3% of US emissions, the most effective advocacy will be at the federal level.

Both Senator King and Senator Collins are on the Senate Climate Solutions Caucus, and Rep. Pingree is a staunch environmental advocate. So we Mainers have a lot of influence on federal climate policy. Call or write your members of Congress and ask them to support elimination of fossil fuel subsidies (an estimated  $10 to $50 billion per year). Or ask them to support the BIG WIRES Act, which among other benefits will increase our ability to connect clean energy to the grid. Or, most effective of all, ask them to support the Energy Innovation Act (H.R. 5457), which is the single most effective climate policy solution, estimated to reduce the average global temperature by a full degree centigrade by 2100.

Join Luke’s Garden for their next meeting

on January 14th at 1:00PM

Join St. Luke’s LGBTQIA+ Group, Luke’s Garden, for their next meeting.

Visit here for the Zoom link.

Sacred Ground Opportunity

Looking for an opportunity to learn more about the racial justice through the lens of a film-based dialogue series on race and faith?

The Episcopal Church has an amazing program - Sacred Ground.

To view a Sacred Ground informational video click here. 

To learn more about Sacred Ground click here. 

There is a group forming for a mid-January kick-off. The group is scheduled to meet on Thursday evenings at 6:30 PM.

Participants from all areas are welcome.

For more information contact the facilitators:

Email Denise Noble Diocese of Vermont


Email Rebecca Grant - Diocese of Maine

The Healing Team Schedule

The Healing Team offers prayers of healing during or after communion. The following team members will be offering prayers on the following Sundays:

December 24: Sara Schmalz & Judd Hume (10PM Christmas Eve)

December 31: Peter Carleton & Sara Schmalz

St. Elizabeth's Pantry Coat Drive

As we gear up for colder temperatures, St. Elizabeth’s is launching its annual coat and boot drive. Many of our neighbors come from warmer climates and don’t have the necessary clothing for fall and winter in Maine. 

Large and Extra-Large sized coats for both men and women are most needed, but coats and boots of all sizes are welcome. Items should be in clean, good condition.

Monetary donations may also be made for the purchase of new coats and boots for our neighbors.

Financial contributions can be mailed to: St. Elizabeth’s Jubilee Center PO Box 4036 Portland, ME 04101 or visit here.

Updates from The Diocese

and Wider Church

An Advent Message of Hope and Inclusion

from Bishop Thomas Brown (2023)

Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s Christmas message 2023:

‘A sign for you’

"Hello to my family of faith in The Episcopal Church, and to all of our ecumenical and interfaith friends, and to all people of love and goodwill.

I want to first thank you all for your prayers and well wishes this year as I have weathered some health issues. Please know that I’m doing well, following the doctor’s orders.

I’m also ever more aware of the power of the messages of Advent to watch, to wait, and to listen to the pregnant voice of silence, as one version of the Bible says. And out of that watching, waiting, and listening, following the way of Jesus of Nazareth and his way of love, the Spirit of God being our helper.

Click here to read or watch Presiding Bishop Curry's Full Message

Join together for Gun Safety Day of Action on January 3!

Episcopalians of all ages are invited to come live out your faith and add your voice to others advocating for gun safety.

Arrive at 8:30 a.m. at the State House to begin going through security. The event begins at 9:30 in the Hall of Flags. Meet Director of Advocacy, John Hennessy on the second floor holding our diocesan flag! (He'll be smiling just like he is the photo below!)

Please add your name to this list to let us know you are attending.

Questions? Please reach out to John Hennessy. If you are a young person or a parent or chaperone with questions, please be in touch with Emily Keniston.

Register Here

Ongoing Opportunities & Announcements

Help with Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour needs hosts. It's fun and easy! No commitment required— you can do it once and that's a help. Please check out the schedule and if there is a date you can serve, contact Gail Kesich or Liz Griffin 

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 every Tuesday at Maine Beer Company in Freeport for Trivia from 6-8.

 Other events happen sporadically throughout the month, however trivia is a great opportunity 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.

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

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!

Clarification Regarding Pledging Using Realm

Thank you to all of our community members who have made a pledge gift using Realm.

Treasurer Tim Wilkins and Financial Administrator Nina Andersen wish to clarify the process of setting up a pledge through Realm.

In order for our team to have a record of your pledge for the year please complete and submit a pledge form. This informs us of your total amount to be pledged for the year before using Realm to enter a payment plan in Vanco for your 2024 pledge. We appreciate your understanding and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please contact Tim Wilkins or Nina Andersen with any questions you may have.

Weekly Ministries

  • The Food Pantry is open from 8 am to 11 am every Thursday.

  • Noon prayer is offered every Wednesday via Zoom.

  • The Tuesday 12:10 Eucharist is offered every week in Emmanuel Chapel in-person and on Zoom.
  • Compline is offered weekly on Friday from 8-8:30pm on Zoom


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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