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The E-Pistle of Thursday

September 28th, 2023

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

Dear Friends-


This Sunday, October 1st, we celebrate the blessing of the animals in honor of St. Francis of Assissi. St. Francis is the patron saint of animals and the environment.

We’ll meet at 9:45 a.m. in the labyrinth in front of St. Luke’s. Please bring pets, stuffed animals or pictures of pets to receive a blessing and to give thanks for the many ways animals enrich our lives.

Stories abound of how St. Francis could communicate with animals and felt at one with all creationI’ve included a story below that is one of my favorites.  I hope to see you and your furry, scaly, fuzzy or slimy friends Sunday!



St. Francis Preaches to the Birds

Father Francis and his companions were making a trip through the Spoleto Valley near the town of Bevagna. Suddenly, Francis spotted a great number of birds of all varieties. There were doves, crows and all sorts of birds. Swept up in the moment, Francis left his friends in the road and ran after the birds, who patiently waited for him. He greeted them in his usual way, expecting them to scurry off into the air as he spoke. But they moved not.

Filled with awe, he asked them if they would stay awhile and listen to the Word of God. He said to them: “My brother and sister birds, you should praise your Creator and always love him: He gave you feathers for clothes, wings to fly and all other things that you need. It is God who made you noble among all creatures, making your home in thin, pure air. Without sowing or reaping, you receive God’s guidance and protection.”

At this the birds began to spread their wings, stretch their necks and gaze at Francis, rejoicing and praising God in a wonderful way according to their nature. Francis then walked right through the middle of them, turned around and came back, touching their heads and bodies with his tunic.

Then he gave them his blessing, making the sign of the cross over them. At that they flew off and Francis, rejoicing and giving thanks to God, went on his way.

Later, Francis wondered aloud to his companions why he had never preached to birds before. And from that day on, Francis made it his habit to solicitously invoke all birds, all animals and reptiles to praise and love their Creator. And many times during Francis’ life there were remarkable events of Francis speaking to the animals. There was even a time when St. Francis quieted a flock of noisy birds that were interrupting a religious ceremony! Much to the wonder of all present, the birds remained quiet until Francis’ sermon was complete.

—retold by John Feister

The Season of Creation 2023

Season of Creation Reflection

A Reflection by Shana Rose, St. Luke's Parishioner

During this Season of Creation, I have been doing some reflecting, and this may sound controversial to some reading this, but have you thought of spirituality and faith not existing and being defined by a human-constructed building like a house of worship? In fact, why can’t we embrace the divine moments in our daily lives?

One such event that comes to mind happened when I was an undergraduate student. I had the incredible opportunity to study abroad while traveling in Germany and Austria. One particularly profoundly spiritual moment was the indescribable view atop an Austrian mountain in the Alps. What awaited us at the top after our long, arduous journey up the mountain was indescribable. However, in the best way I knew how, it felt as if the earth and the heavens converged upon one another in perfect beauty, as if they were kissing one another.

This divine experience continued further as we meandered down the mountain and got caught amid a thunderstorm and pounding rain. The memory that still stays with me today is hearing the resonance of the thunder ricocheting off of the walls of the Alps. Here, I now knew of God’s presence, truly, for the first time in my life.

This was a pivotal moment and a defining moment in my life, especially when I thought my faith was all but lost. Hope that you, too, can have faith-altering moments with the divinely created Ones that shape and mold your faith. It is with hope that we all can find our Sanctuary in creation.

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

Choral Evensong This Sunday

Sunday October 1st


The Cathedral Nave

Join the Cathedral choir under the direction of Canon for Liturgy and Music, Christian M. Clough, for our first service of choral evensong of the year, this Sunday, October 1st, at 4PM in the Cathedral Nave.

With Nan White, flute & Randall Mullin, Assisting Organist

Responses: Craig Phillips. Canticles: Stanford in B-flat Major. Anthem: “Still, still with thee”, words: Harriet Beecher Stowe, music: Fred Gramann. Hymn: “For thy blest saints, a noble throng”.

How Do You Wish to Receive Stewardship Materials?


We will be mailing materials for St. Luke’s 2024 stewardship season in October. This year you may elect to receive all the materials electronically, lowering postage expenses and reducing environmental impact. If you wish to receive the materials electronically instead of by regular mail, email Avery Schott with a simple message to that effect.

Lesser Chapter Adopts Generosity Declaration


St. Luke’s is preparing for our season of stewardship. At its September meeting, the Lesser Chapter reflected together how our resources are meant to help usher in God’s dream for St. Luke’s. After this reflection, we adopted a Generosity Declaration. We encourage everyone to read and reflect on this important message!

To read the full Generosity Declaration, click here.

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.

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.

Linda Carleton Book Discussion Rescheduled

A discussion with Linda Carleton regarding any topics from her recent memoir, "All God, If God There Be" has been rescheduled for Sunday, October 15th from 11:45AM-1:00PM in the Chapter Room.

For more information, contact Linda Carleton.

The St. Luke’s Public Policy

& Environmental Action Team Meeting

Tuesday October 10 from 6-7PM.

All are welcome!

Join us via Zoom

For more information email Sarah Braik

…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.

Come to Convocation at the Cathedral on October 21

published by the Episcopal Diocese of Maine

What is Convocation? Convocation is a diocese-wide time to celebrate being “Together: With God, In Call, For Mission”!

The celebration will take place at the Cathedral of St. Luke on Saturday, October 21.

THIS IS FOR THE WHOLE DIOCESE and is not limited to clergy and delegates to convention.

From 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. there will be time for fellowship and learning about diocesan ministries while you enjoy morning refreshments. Eucharist will begin at 10:30 a.m., and we expect it will conclude by noon. Find details here.

The Celebratory Eucharist will feature a Diocesan Choir. (You can sign up to sing in the choir here.)

Bishop Brown's sermon will also be his annual convention address and will share highlights from the Diocesan Listening Sessions held in the spring.

Registration is free and open now! To help us plan, please let us know if you are coming, how many people you plan to bring, and if you need childcare by October 15.

Register for Convocation

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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