A community of Christian worship, well-being and service

     Social Distancing ~  Spiritually Connecting
Love has not been cancelled.

The weekend of March 20-22

A message from the Rector

Dear sisters and brothers in Christ,   

These are difficult and tender times, to be sure. So much has changed in the last week as the Covid - 19 pandemic has become a reality. The situation is changing quickly and it is not possible to keep up. In addition to all that is challenging, there have also been many moments and experiences that remind us that God is present and inviting us to pay attention. 

Our mission as a church continues, even though we are not gathering in person. We remain a community, socially distancing as we are spiritually connecting. We continue to worship, tend to our own well-being and that of others, to serve as we can.  Our ministry in this historic moment is important. God invites us to be present and to show the world what love looks like. 

I have been learning how to pastor in a pandemic, and luckily I'm not doing that alone. Other St. Mary's leaders, clergy colleagues, our diocesan staff and some of you are offering wonderful support and guidance. Like you, I've also been learning how to live and even to enjoy life as much as possible in the midst of uncertainty. I'm trying to pray and to remain calm, balanced and clear thinking. Sometimes it is not going so well. Like this morning. 

Both of my daughters are home again, one is in isolation for ten more days.They are adjusting, but grieving the sudden changes and losses in their lives. I wanted to meet some of their simple needs, like mint chocolate chip ice cream, barbecue chips, and toilet paper. (Why does everyone want toilet paper?) Friends, I went to the grocery store, actually two grocery stores and not once, but twice, I looked down at my cart and realized that I'd taken someone else's. Okay, so maybe I was a little distracted. I tell you that, because even though we have faith, and we trust God and we are not alone, we may still find ourselves anxious, distracted and afraid. That is normal. We are human. When you see signs that this is happening to yourself or to others, have compassion. Remember that love has not been cancelled. 

Please know that I am praying for you and we will get through this. It will take longer than I thought, longer than two weeks anyway before we are together in person.  I hope you will pray for me as well. Together we will learn how to be the church and stay spiritually and practically connected even though we are not touching one another. Call or email me if you need prayer or spiritual support. Or if you want to offer it to me.  There remains much that we can not yet see or know. This week the gospel is about healing of blindness. I believe when this is over, we will see so much that God wants us to see more clearly. 


To the beloved worshiping community,

We are not gathering in person until further notice, but we will continue to worship together online. To support this, we are creating bulletins and video worship services that will be posted on our web page.  We will send out reminders via Constant Contact (this email is Constant Contact) to alert you when new services are posted with links to the latest services. 

In the future we may offer other ways to connect in worship, but for now, visit our website and check your inbox. 

We hope to worship together virtually, Sunday at 9 a.m., but once the link goes live, you will be able to worship at your convenience. 

This weekend we give thanks for the ministries of Michael Templeton for offering music that connects us to God, to Dave Brierley for his participation, technical skill and production. 

The Rev. Laura Palmer, ordained in the Presbyterian Church, will be our preacher.  Laura is an instructor at the Navy Chaplain School in Newport and a regular member of our 5 p.m. worship service. 

We hope this goes well for you and we are open to your feedback.  Blessings, Jennifer+

Our Worship this weekend will be Morning Prayer , Rite Two,  from the Book of Common Prayer, page. 75. 

The Book of Common Prayer , which has many useful prayers for home use and community worship may be found  here.

Use this link to read  this Sunday's Scriptures  

The Collect for the fourth week of Lent:

G racious Father, whose blessed Son Jesus Christ came down from heaven to be the true bread which gives life to the world: Evermore give us this bread, that he may live in us, and we in him; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Our Parish Prayer List

Those in need of healing: 
Sheila, Regina, Priscilla, Jason, Jimmy, Bonnie, Dave

Members of our church who serve in the health care settings: 
Karen Stevenson, Sheila Benevides, Trish Culver, Leigh Knapman, Sioban Thurston, Cory Thurston Lallo, Peter Landry, Sara Lundberg.

Those who have died:  
Alice Clark-Smith died this morning,3/20 after a long illness.  Alice joined our church about four years ago and served on the worship team, as a counter, a lector and was a participant in Bible study.  Alice was a generous and hopeful member of our church and we will miss her as we commend her to God. Rest eternal grant to him, O Lord; and let light perpetual shine upon her.   

To submit a prayer request to our parish prayer list email Karen@smcportsmouth.org.  


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

Sometimes pastoral care looks like practical care. We have many people who care. Let your neighbor love you!

If you need something, please contact the head of our Pastoral Care Team, Pauline Davis. Her email address is ppdavis44@gmail.com. 
You may also phone her at 401-363-1475, 
but she would prefer an email if you are able.


Teens home from high school or college, join in serving your church community.

Dear families -
I hope this finds you all well. Many of us have teens and college students at home during this time. I am looking to organize this group to provide assistance to the home bound or those in the age bracket that should not leave their home. The type of assistance I am hoping our group might provide: errands like medication pick up or grocery shop (many online grocery delivery service are booked out almost two weeks at this point), meals, dog walking, etc. I am working with Pauline Davis of the Pastoral Care Team to provide assistance as is needed. If your teen or college student would like to be of service please have him or her email me at:  jenny@happyplanetyoga.com
Stay well,
Jenny Williams

Keeping our mission going through giving
Giving and Receiving Opportunities

The Covid-19 Virus is impacting our  economy and the financial lives of millions of people. The finance leaders of St. Mary's join me in being very sensitive to the needs of our members and the local community. We are remaining open and will continue to offer ministry in new ways throughout this pandemic. We continue our mission of worship, well-being and service and we hope our members and friends will continue to be a part of supporting and participating in our mission. 

We are the church, sharing the love of God in Christ, now more than ever. 

Please continue to make your financial offerings as you are able. We depend on your giving to support our common life as a church and the ministry we offer beyond St. Mary's. Though we do not have an offering plate handy, there are several easy ways to give.

  • You may go to our web page and Give Online, making a one time gift or to set up online pledge payments. 
  • You can mail in pledge payments, and gifts. 324 E. Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871
  • You can set up online bill pay through your bank. 

If you find yourself in financial need, please contact the rector. St. Mary's has a discretionary fund, which is used by the rector to offer support for the needs of our members. Members contribute to this fund anonymously, and members may receive support confidentially. 

St. Mary's Leadership and Staff


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 


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 - sun up to sundown. 
Watercolor of church

IMAGE CREDITS ~ Watercolor: Richard Grosvenor.