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

Social Distancing ~ Spiritually connecting
The week of May 1 - May 8

From The Rector

Dear friends and members,

The Moving Forward Task Force has met with me nearly every week of the past year to chart our course through the challenges and opportunities of this pandemic. This group, Karen Laroche, Marlo Pratt, David Brierley, George LeBlanc and Murry Edwards have been a Godsend to us.

This week, our meeting, and perhaps life in general, felt a bit different. We spent our entire time talking about how to proceed with regathering our church. Given the changing guidelines and context in our state, many of us are eager to move beyond the restrictions we have lived with of late. At the same time, it doesn't feel like a simple, straight forward journey to return from this wilderness of Covid-19. Many of us, including myself are experiencing some hesitancy combined with our longing for something that feels normal.

I have heard an apt metaphor used to describe what this return from the pandemic will be like. It will not be like flipping a light switch from off to on, dark to light, but rather it will be like slowly turning up a dimmer switch. The light will increase slowly and incrementally. It may pause at any point. It may increase imperceptibly at times, a growing light from dim, to faint, to shimmering, to bright.

This metaphor helps me to understand that pacing and simplicity are necessary right now. I have witnessed the patience and care this church has shared with one another and with the local community over the course of this difficult year. Our members, like the rest of the world, have been on a spectrum with regard to risk tolerance. We have all had different levels of restriction, risk and fear. We have practiced setting judgement aside as we sought to accept one another's Covid behaviors.

So much is opening up, and I want to assure you that St. Mary's will soon be moving forward, opening up too. We will do so like a dimmer switch, gradually shining more and more light. As I finish this pastoral message, I want to encourage you to get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as you can, if you have not done so already. It is the safest, most effective way for each of us to prevent this disease from causing illness for ourselves and others. The more people who are fully vaccinated the sooner the pandemic will end. Our commitment to vaccination is not only for ourselves and our loved ones, it is for the greater good. Getting vaccinated is a way of loving your neighbor as yourself. There are many reasons for hesitancy, and you may read about the adverse effects of the vaccines here. The greater good far outweighs the risk.

The CDC has clearly outlined how much more is possible and safe when we are vaccinated. Please take a look at this guidance which is so encouraging as we seek to regather with fewer restrictions.

Please continue to watch this weekly eNews for updates and changes. At this point, here is what we have planned.

During the Month of May
  • We will continue to worship outside, weather permitting, Sundays at 10:30.
  • If the weather is not suitable for outdoor worship, we will stream on Facebook live with worship leaders only at 10:30. On these days drive-through Holy Communion will be offered from 11:45 - 12:15.
  • Pentecost is May 23rd. Wear red to celebrate the feast of the Holy Spirit. Weather permitting, we will gather for a picnic following worship this day. It will be BYOP - bring your own picnic. Socializing outdoors is safe according to the CDC if you are vaccinated.
  • During the month of May, leaders will be asking people to consider engaging in new ministry. This is essential to our ability to offer more worship services, food and fellowship, and return to life in full community.
During the Month of June
  • Worship will be outside, weather permitting, Sunday's at 9:00 a.m.
  • If the weather is not suitable for outdoor worship, we will gather in the chapel with anyone who is comfortable doing so. Masks are required for everyone except for vaccinated leaders who are reading, preaching, singing. All will maintain 3 feet of social distancing between households.
  • If we worship inside the chapel, drive - through Holy Communion will be offered outside the historic church from 10:15 - 11:45 for those who are unable to be inside.
  • We will continue to offer a livestream of worship on Facebook live whethere we are inside or out.

We are open to your feedback. Talk to your vestry, to members of the Moving Forward Task Force and to me. It will take the participation of many to regather our community. You matter here.

We will need everyone to bring your light as we are turning up the dimmer switch. Please let us know how you want to see and shine the light of Christ here at St. Mary's.

Faithfully, Jennifer

"...the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine." John 15

Fifth Sunday of Easter, May 2

Sunday worship will be celebrated in person with lawn seating and drive in spaces. There will also be reserved seating for those who need it. For reserved seating please be in touch with Murry Edwards.

We always livestream on Facebook.

Inclement weather plan will include a livestream service and drive through Holy communion from 11:45 - 12:15.
Sunday Worship Links

This Week's Leaders:

Eucharistic Minister
Bob Vergnani

Lector/ Intercessor
David Brierley

Altar Guild
Ann Gizzi & Ruth Siebens

Livestream Videographer:
Marlo Pratt

David Brierley and
John Corbishley

Michael Templeton,
Julie Zecher

Celebrant & Preacher
Rev. Jennifer Pedrick+

Collect For The Week
Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life: Grant us so perfectly to know your Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life, that we may steadfastly follow his steps in the way that leads to eternal life; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of 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/.

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.

Seeking Baptism?
If you are interested in preparing for baptism, please contact Jennifer and she will help you to plan.

Well Being
St. Mary’s Community Garden Plots Available
Our community garden continues to provide a beautiful outdoor environment to grow your own vegetables or to donate fresh vegetables to local food pantries. The garden is a great place to be! 
If you would like to have a plot this spring, the application is available on the St. Mary’s website here. 
For information please email the garden coordinator Elise LaParle Garcia garden@smcportsmouth.org.
Forward Day By Day

The new Day by Day books are in and will be available at the Welcome Table Sunday Mornings. Please pick one up!

Celebrating Families on Mother’s Day
Sign Up Genius For Celebrating Families on Mothers Day:
Attachments area
Thanks to all supply and Soup Kitchen Staff
I would like to thank everyone who has been helping to supply and staff the soup kitchen over the years. While the numbers being served dropped a little, it has been especially important to those that have come this past year. Your ministry is truly appreciated.

I want to note some changes for the May SK. First good news. We have received a grant to pay for some of the food donations, so there will be a shopping slot vice. Several of the individual slots, but not all of the individual slots will go away. All you need to do is pick up what is being asked for in the shopping slot and drop it off at the Parish House, then submit the bill to the church office to be paid.

Second, for the month of May, three of the times that Salve had been serving are now open because all of their students have been sequestered, so are prevented from doing so. I have told them that we would take the May 18th time slot. It will be the same as we always do, just a second day. There are also some leftovers in the freezer from last month so it will not be too onerous to make up the difference. Since the dates are less than a week apart, I’m going try to make it easy by asking that the number of items people donate simply change for our normal Thursday date, and that some extra bags be made up and put in the fridge for the next Tuesday. So mainly the food prep team will have a little more to do this month, and there will be two dates for distribution.

If you have any other thoughts or concerns, please email me at SK@smcportsmouth.org

In peace and with love for all you do,
Dave Ferkinhoff
MLK Food Collection Change

As we move to Sunday outdoor worship; starting this weekend (weather permitting), we will once again be collecting food on that day for the MLK Center and not on Tuesdays.
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) If you have a photo or image that is always welcome.
St. Mary's Leadership and Staff
Sr. Warden: Marlo Pratt: srwarden@smcportsmouth.org
Jr. Warden: George LeBlanc: jrwarden@smcportsmouth.org
Treasurer: David Brierley:  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.
Watercolor: Richard Grosvenor.