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The E-Pistle of Thursday

January 4th, 2024

St. Luke's Webpage

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A Reflection from The Reverend George Stevens, Interim Dean

Dear Friends,

At the Stevens house, our Christmas tree is looking a bit tired. Nevertheless, we do our best to keep it up through January 6, the Epiphany. 

This twelfth day of Christmas is the day that we traditionally welcome the Magi, or three kings from the East. It marks the end of the Christmas season and the beginning of the Epiphany season. 


This Sunday, we’ll hear the Gospel from Matthew that tells the story of the Magi's their trek to pay homage to the Christ child in Bethlehem.


Those kings bring three gifts, gold, frankincense and myrrh. In the traditional hymn ‘We three kings’ we are given a spiritual explanation for the spiritual meanings for the gifts they brought. 


Gold was a symbol of kingship on earth, frankincense (an incense) was a symbol of deity, and myrrh (an embalming oil) was a symbol of death. Together they form an explanation of the entirety of Christ’s ministry on earth. One of the church’s early teachers, Origin, said ‘gold, as to a king; myrrh, as to one who was mortal; and incense, as to a God’ (Contra Celsum). 


In the final verse of that hymn we sing, ‘Glorious now behold him arise, King and God and Sacrifice; heaven sings alleluia: alleluia the earth replies’. Alleluia indeed!


See you all on Sunday and be safe in the snow! 


Community Announcements

Thank You To All Who Peacefully Demonstrated

for Gun Safety This Wednesday

On Wednesday, January 3rd, members of the St. Luke's community gathered with fellow Episcopalians from around the Diocese for a day of action to advocate for gun safety at the statehouse in Augusta.

This effort was part of a large ecumenical gathering calling for statewide legislative changes. Thanks are given to John Hennessy for his help in coordinating and organizing this effort.

Published by the Maine Council of Churches

"Grandma for gun safety. Physician for gun safety. Episcopalians for gun safety. Hunter for gun safety. And on and on went the line of homemade signs held by Mainers from every part of the state who came to the halls of the State House in Augusta to tell their legislators they want sensible gun safety laws and effective legislation that reduces gun violence. So many people showed up for the Gun Safety Day of Action, sponsored by the Maine Gun Safety Coalition (MCC has been a member for years) that the line to pass through security stretched around the building, down the street and all the way to Capital Park. Early estimates indicate the crowd was over 1,000 strong! 

Over the next four months, as bills are assigned LD numbers and public hearings and floor votes are scheduled, we'll be counting on all of these folks and many more to take action by testifying before committees, speaking with legislators, writing letters to the editor, and praying that this will be the time when Maine does the right thing and enacts common sense, enforceable laws to keep us all safer from gun violence. For more information, visit The Maine Gun Safety Coalition website."

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 the election of the Junior Warden (two-year term), a new Treasurer (Vestry Appointed), and a new clerk (Vestry Appointed).

There will be an 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.

We are still receiving nominations at this time. Thank you!

New State Street Sign Has Been Installed!

Earlier this afternoon the new sign on State Street was installed.

Thanks are given to the work of St. Luke's Parishioner Lin Parsons and Junior Warden, Fred Fowler, who helped to facilitate this project.

We hope that this sign will invite members of the wider community to visit the cathedral.

Potential for Severe Winter Weather This Sunday

With potential severe winter weather in the forecast for this weekend, we invite you to stay safe.

Our weather policy invites you to use your best discretion for your own personal safety. If you feel that the conditions prevent you from traveling safely to church, please note that a livestream of the service is always available.

Choral Evensong on Break Until February

Please note that there will not be a service of Choral Evensong this Sunday following a busy holiday season.

Evensong will resume on February 4th.

Many thanks for your understanding. With any questions please contact The Rev. George Stevens.

Most Recent Minutes from the Lesser Chapter 

To read the most recent minutes of the Lesser Chapter meeting held on December 20th, please click here.

To view all past minutes of the Lesser Chapter and Finance Committee meetings, please visit the Vestry Page of our website here.

Join us for 'Robert Burns Night' Community Supper

on January 25th

Dig out your tartan and join us for music, food, poetry and fun on January 25 as we celebrate Robert Burns Night during a January community supper. 

Supper includes:  Cock a Leeky Soup, Mince, Tatties and Neeps, a bit of Haggis and Shortbread. 


Please make a reservation at the link here

Suggested donation is $20 per person or $30 per couple or family.  

Harp and Piping start at 5:30!

With any questions please contact Jon Radtke

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

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!

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.

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. 

The Parish Prayer List To Renew This Coming Week

This coming week the parish prayer list will be renewing, beginning on Sunday, January 14th. If you wish for a name to be added to the prayer list, please email the parish office.

A name will remain on the prayer list for a period of 3 consecutive weeks unless otherwise requested.

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

St. Elizabeth’s Pantry

Thanks to everyone who donated coats and boots to the St E's coat drive over the past few months. Going forward our greatest need is for diapers in sizes 2 and 3, bedding of all kinds, and toothpaste and toothbrushes.  

Last Week's Service

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

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

Click here to watch the sermon offered by The Rev. Suzanne Roberts, Associate Priest

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

Events in the Wider Community

The Portland String Quartet at St. Luke's Cathedral

January 7th, 2024, 2:00 pm - Emmanuel Chapel

Welcome the New Year with chamber music! Enjoy the familiar sounds of Joseph Haydn, and discover new favorites in Amy Beach, Kenji Bunch, and Reena Esmail. 

Seating capacity is 75, so reserve your tickets ahead of time to ensure attendance.

To purchase tickets visit here.

Ongoing Opportunities &

Community Resources

Coffee Hour

Please join us after the service for a time of fellowship in the upper hall through the doors to the left of the altar. Thank you to everyone that hosted a coffee hour in 2023. It is an important part of our parish life and provides us with a time for connection. 

Thank you to Liz Griffin and Gail Kesich for taking over the scheduling/organizing these past six months, I am so grateful. Hosting is fun and easy, it requires bringing in a baked good and brewing coffee the Sunday of your choosing. Please consider signing up, a lot of gratitude comes with the job. 

Thank you,

Meredith Cough.


Interested in hosting? Check this schedule by visiting the link here.  

Please email Meredith Cough with your date - <[email protected]>

Help the Cathedral With Recycling

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.

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.

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 each Tuesday at Maine Beer Company in Freeport, 6-8 PM for Trivia.

Other events happen sporadically throughout the month, however trivia is a wonderful 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

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: 26-29” by 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.

Click on the Episcopal Maine Logo above 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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