Our mission is to be a community of Christian
worship, well-being and service

Social Distancing ~ Spiritually connecting
The week of Feb. 13 - Feb. 20


From The Rector

Dear friends and members,

This year Lent follows quickly on the heels of Valentine's Day and for St. Mary's, it follows a fairly amazing annual meeting. It was a great meeting in several ways. First, we managed to gather over sixty members and friends on Zoom. Even on Zoom the fellowship, spirit and sense of community was a broadly felt experience. Second, the milestone of the annual meeting and the beautiful Annual Report for 2020 (thanks again to Murry Edwards) gave us a chance to reflect on the past year with gratitude. It was a moment of recognition of all that God has done in our midst and how this church was blessed again and again in 2020. Third, we were able acknowledge how the community worked, served and connected through all the changes and challenges to further our mission. So many people were involved and served with love and generosity. The meeting was a moment of witnessing abundance. While it gave me hope about what is to come, as it is with all mountaintop experiences, we can not stay there for long.

Tomorrow as always on the final Sunday before Lent, we will hear the gospel story of Transfiguration, a moment of revelation. The witnesses experience Jesus in a new way and they are hesitant to let the moment pass. The disciples want to stay right there on the mountaintop with the radiant light and voice of God. Jesus though, is already looking toward what happens next and has turned his face to Jerusalem. They will all be on the journey that leads to his passion, death AND reurrection. He knows they need to move on, that God will be with them, and that God's love and power will be stronger than death.

As you tune into worship this Sunday you will hear about how we will be preparing as a community and supporting one another as we come down the mountain with Jesus and head toward resurrection at Easter. We will do so focussed on the steadfast love of God. God has got us as we move on.

Gratefully yours,
Jennifer+

Worship


Last Sunday After Epiphany, Feb. 14

Sunday Worship
We are live on Facebook at 10:30 a.m. sharing a service of Holy Eucharist with music, followed by drive thru administration of Holy Communion outside the historic church from 11:45 - 12:15.

You may drop off your financial offerings for SMC, or food donations for the MLK center as you drive through for Holy Communion.

Sunday Worship Links







This Week's Leaders:

Lector/ Intercessor
David Brierley

Altar Guild
Jennie & Sheila

Livestream Videographer:
Marlo Pratt

Musicians
Michael Templeton, Julie Zecher

Preacher
The Rev. Jennifer Pedrick+
Collect For The Week
O God, who before the passion of your only-begotten Son revealed his glory upon the holy mountain: Grant to us that we, beholding by faith the light of his countenance, may be strengthened to bear our cross, and be changed into his likeness from glory to glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

Daily Evening Prayer on Facebook live

Lay leaders are praying the evening office at 5:30 p.m. daily online via Facebook Live. You do not need to have Facebook in order to participate in these daily prayers. If you can not make it at 5:30, the service will be recorded and remain on the St. Mary's Facebook page.
Please join us as you may at //www.facebook.com/smcportsmouth/.



Preparing for Lent 2021
Abounding in Steadfast Love
This week is the last Sunday before we begin Lent on Ash Wednesday.
In some ways, it may feel like we've been living through Lent for a year now - self-examination, repentance, prayer, fasting, self-denial - so this time around, we may want to focus instead on renewing our faith.

Soon, God willing, we will be heading out of the Covid - 19 pandemic and we may want to consider what we want to leave behind in order to experience renewal of life, faith, and ministry - both for ourselves and for our church.

To that end, on Sunday, February 14 we invite you to bring something to let go of, you can write it down, fold it up or put it in an envelope, and bring it church. After you drive through and receive Holy Communion (11:45 - 12:15) you can put whatever you'd like to leave behind in the fire pit.

The ashes distributed on Ash Wednesday in containers will come from what we wish to leave behind.

To help you think about what you'd like to leave behind, here is the Litany of Penitence from the Ash Wednesday service. It might get you thinking not only about what you want to leave behind, but how you want to live differently come Easter, and when we come out of this pandemic.

Ash Wednesday Worship
You can participate in the Ash Wednesday service on Facebook live at noon. The service will remain on our page as a recording.


Drive through Holy Communion and Distribution of Ashes will take place from 1:00 - 1:30 p.m. and
from 5:00 - 5:30 p.m. outside the historic church.

Ash Wednesday Worship Leaders:

Lector/Intercessor
Anne Wood

Altar Guild
Ruth Seibens and Ann Gizzi

Preacher
The Rev. Jennifer Pedrick+

Livestream Videographer:
Marlo Prat
Prayer Requests
If you would like to add someone to the prayers of the people, to be included in the Sunday morning prayers and in the daily evening prayers, please contact Parish Administrator, Karen Laroche. We typically keep people in the prayers for one month.



Well Being


From the Stewardship Commission

Dear Members of St. Mary’s,

Thank you all for your generosity during the past year. Your gifts of time, talent and treasure were amazing and inspirational during this quite different year. St. Mary’s is so fortunate.

Year-end giving statements were sent out last week via email to those who have shared their email addresses with us. If we did not have an email address your statement was sent out via regular mail. If you have not received your statement, if you have questions, or if there needs to be a correction, please let us know. You can email us at giving@smcportsmouth.org or call or email the parish office and leave a message with Karen Laroche, Parish Administrator. We will respond within a few days.

Going forward we will be sending pledge statements on a quarterly basis. This will allow us to make any changes and corrections to ensure that your yearend statement is correct. The next pledge statement will be sent out after April 1st and will reflect donations received through March 31, 2021.

David Brierley, who has chaired the Stewardship Commission for several years, will now be serving our church as Treasurer. No one person can replace him! So... Christine Winslow and I have agreed to become Co-Chairs, and will hopefully follow in David's exceptional footprints.

This has been a year for changing perspectives. For me it has been a year of gratitude and appreciation. I am so thankful for being a member of such a supportive community.

Thank you and God Bless you,

Rita A. Verespy
"Living Well Through Lent 2021" Booklet
We will be giving these booklets out over the next couple of weeks as people drive thru Holy Communion on Sunday's, or you can call and stop by the office to pick one up...at Karen's "drive-up window".

Forward Day by Day
Copies of the Forward Day by Day Daily Devotional for February, March, April 2021 are available in the office. People can call or email Karen Laroche in the office to schedule a pick-up time. Thank you.






Service


Diversity Book Drive for Children

During the entire month of February, the St. Mary’s Social Issues & Service Committee is having a children’s book drive to benefit the MLK Center. In conjunction with Black History month (February) the committee will be collecting children’s books with a focus on people of color and celebrating diversity. Books may be purchased anywhere, but you might consider “buying local" by supporting the Island Book Store in Middletown.  If you need book suggestions please see "The Conscious Kid" link below. Books and gift certificates can be brought to, or mailed directly to St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, 324 East Main Road, Portsmouth, RI 02871, care of Judy Hall. Thank you, in advance, for your participation!

If you have questions, please email Andrea Kinsley at akinsley1@outlook.com

Do you need groceries, errands or help with something else? 

Contact the head of our Pastoral Care Team, Pauline Davis. There are many people who can help.  Her email address is here. You may also phone her at 401-871-1453, but she would prefer an email if you are able.
Communication & Other Announcements

If you lead a ministry and wish to share information, please send the content (which should include relevant information, time, date, place, and contact person with email) to:
Ray Edler for eNews, 
The Rector  if you'd like it verbally announced at worship, 
Parish Administrator Karen Laroche to be included in writing in
the weekly worship bulletin
Mattie Gustafson if you want it on our webpage. 
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action) Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
St. Mary's Leadership and Staff
VESTRY OFFICERS:
Sr. Warden: Murry Edwards: srwarden@smcportsmouth.org
Jr. Warden: Paul Westrom: jrwarden@smcportsmouth.org
Treasurer: Chris Bartlett:  treasurer@smcportsmouth.org 
Clerk: Mattie Gustafson:  vestry_clerk@smcportsmouth.org 

STAFF:
Rector: The Rev. Jennifer L. Pedrick jennifer@smcportsmouth.org
Parish Administrator:Karen Laroche karen@smcportsmouth.org
Pastoral Musician: Michael Templeton michael@smcportsmouth.org
Property Manager: Jon Walker jon@smcportsmouth.org

Our buildings are currently closed due to the Covid - 19 pandemic.
Our grounds, churchyard and outdoor labyrinth are open for walking and prayer.
Watercolor: Richard Grosvenor.