E-Pistle of Thursday December 15th, 2022

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Reflections of the Week 

Attending the White House and the Signing of the Respect for Marriage Act

A Reflection by the Rev. Anne C. Fowler,

A St. Luke's Parishioner

Last Friday, December 9, I received the most surprising email of my life, from the the White House Social Office. I was invited to the Signing of the Respect for Marriage Act. I knew why I’d received it: I’ve devoted decades of work for LGBTQ+ inclusion and justice, including Chairing the Religious Coalition for the Freedom to Marry Act in Massachusetts during the years of struggle to secure marriage equality. Without hesitation Sam and I made plans to fly to D.C. for the Tuesday ceremony. 

Read Full Reflection Here

St. Luke's parishioner Katherine Lewis returning as South Portland mayor

-An excerpt from Drew Johnson's article at

The Forecaster

"South Portland city councilors last week unanimously selected Katherine Lewis to serve as mayor this year. Lewis, who also was mayor in 2020, said the council has "a lot of work facing us in the year ahead."

"Some of the decisions we make might make a difference in how many people can stay in their homes," she said. "They might have significant impacts on the health and safety for our residents, and the decisions might affect the quality of life here in South Portland for years to come."

Read Full Article Here

The Tenth Anniversary of

Sandy Hook

In remembrance of the tragic shooting in Newtown Connecticut at Sandy Hook Elementary School 10 years ago, we invite you to pray with resources and prayers provided by Bishop's Against Gun Violence. We invite you to call for action, justice, and peace in the world as we speak out against acts of violence both in our country and around the world.

Christmas at the Cathedral

Christmas Greens and Flower Giving

Please ensure that if you wish to make a gift in remembrance of a loved one for our Christmas Flowers and Greens that you mail this to the Cathedral Mailing Address of P.O. Box 4141, Portland, ME 04101, as soon as possible. Envelopes are available in the Nave and were also included with our Christmas Letter.

The cutoff date for submissions of gifts in remembrance of loved ones to be recognized in our Christmas bulletins is Tuesday, December 20th at Noon.

Any additional questions please contact the Cathedral Office.

Pageant Rehearsals Continue This Week

Our second Christmas pageant rehearsal will be held this Sunday, December 18th, in the Nave following church. All children and youth are invited! For any questions you may have, please contact Sarah Dowling.

A Christmas Eve Family Service

December 24th | 5:00 PM

Location: The Cathedral Nave

A Christmas Eve Family Service with the Bishop of Maine featuring our Christmas Pageant

Learn About Service Details 

A Candlelit Christmas Eve Service

December 24th | 10:00 PM

Location: The Cathedral Nave

A Candlelit Christmas Eve service with the Bishop of Maine and music offerings from the St. Luke's Cathedral Choir.

Prelude begins at 9:30

Learn About Service Details

Christmas Day Service

December 25th | 10:00 AM

Location: The Cathedral Nave

Join Us Christmas Day, December 25th, at 10am as we welcome in the birth of Christ with a service of Holy Eucharist.

We look forward to having you join us during your holiday season.

Learn About Service Details

Events at St. Luke's

Christmas with Renaissance Voices

December 17th| 7:30 pm

December 18th | 2:00 pm

Location: The Cathedral Nave

Contact: The Parish Office

Learn about event details 

St. Luke's Community Announcements

Dedication of the Kneelers

This past Sunday we were fortunate to dedicate Kneelers made by members of our Knitters and Kneelers Guild. This time of prayer during the service recognized the beautiful work of late St. Luke's Parishioner Irene Jensen.

Dedicated in honor of The Rev. Eleanor Prior, former Canon Pastor of St. Luke's Cathedral (2019-2022). Irene Jensen stitched this beautiful kneeler taking great care in her interpretation of this 15th century icon painted by Russian artist Andrei Rublev. Depicted are three angels who visited Abraham at the Oak of Mamre (Genesis 18:1-8). It is Eleanor's favorite icon. "The hospitality of Abraham and the relationship of the three angels with each other and with Abraham always remind Eleanor that God is dynamic and relationship is imperative to our understanding of God."

In the short time we knew Irene Jensen we learned that she was a very talented needle-pointer. Eleanor had suggested to Irene that she join the Kneeler Guild and they started collaborating on this. Irene was proud to honor Eleanor's work. Eleanor led several ministries during her time here. It captures the grateful feelings of the Cathedral parish as a parting gift for Eleanor. Irene completed her kneeler August 25, 2022 and passed away unexpectedly on October 31, 2022. It was dedicated on December 11, 2022, with Irene's family and close friends present.

Annual Meeting

The Annual Meeting of the Congregation is scheduled for January 29, 2023 at 11:30 am. This year’s meeting includes the presentation of the budget and the election of a Senior Warden for a two-year term, three vestry members for three years and one vestry member for one years, and five delegates to Diocesan Convention. On January 29, Anna Christie (senior warden), Peter Bingham, Jamie Cough, and Gayle Anglin (vestry members) will be rotating off. Per our bylaws, the outgoing vestry members and officers and Dean form a nominating committee. This committee received nominations from the congregation in November and will bring proposed candidates to the vestry at its December for approval, which will then be put on a slate for the annual meeting (nominations are also allowed from the floor). Candidates for vestry must be communicants in good standing, at least 15 years of age, and contributors of record to the Cathedral. If the dean is absent, the Annual Meeting is chaired by the Senior Warden. For all committee members and leaders of ministries and activities, annual reports are due to the Cathedral office by January 15. Watch the bulletin and E-pistle for pre-annual meetings and other events.

Vestry Meeting Highlights

The vestry met Wednesday night. A few highlights: YTD pledging is a little behind and we will need a strong December to finish the year well. Stewardship for 2023 has 128 pledges totaling $398,000 of our $490,000 goal. If everyone who pledged last year pledges this year, we will come close to this, so please get your pledges in! The vestry passed clergy housing allowances for 2023.  The Jr. Warden reported on projects, including upcoming work on a sign on State Street and a handicapped accessible door off the parking lot entrance. The vestry approved a list of nominations for Senior Warden, Vestry and Diocesan delegates which will be announced once candidates have confirmed. The annual meeting will be January 29, with a financial town hall on January 22. The vestry discussed next steps toward healing and reconciliation with former members of the BBCC committee and agreed to engage a consultant to help with this work. The vestry approved the Rev Paul St. Germain for Sabbatical Coverage and the Rev. Christopher Worthley and the Rev. Anne Fowler as assisting clergy, with the dean’s 4-month sabbatical set to begin after the annual meeting on Sunday January 29. The vestry celebrated the success of the cathedral’s outreach efforts, the concerts, the Advent Lessons and Carols, and many other wonderful happenings at the cathedral then ended its meeting with prayers for Advent and Christmas.

Sabbatical Update

Clergy of the diocese are given four month sabbaticals ever five years. Dean Shambaugh was due a sabbatical this year but it had been delayed because of Covid. At its November meeting, the vestry agreed to give Dean Shambaugh a four month sabbatical beginning January 29th following the annual meeting. We are pleased to announce that during this time, the Rev. Paul St. Germain will be available for ten units (mornings, afternoons or evenings) during the week and three Sundays a month. Paul comes with extensive large church experience and will be the primary contact for day to day operations, pastoral care, and worship planning. He may be contacted through the office 772-5434, office@cathedralofstluke.org He will be assisted by the Rev. Suzanne Roberts, the Rev. Christopher Worthley, and the Rev. Anne Fowler, as well as our deacon, the Rev. Rebecca Grant. Note that in the absence of the dean, the authority of the parish rests with the Senior Warden. For more information about the Rev. St. Germain, see his website.

St. E's Blanket Collection

Response to a Crisis in the Community: Many have raised concern about hundreds of asylum seekers and others who are at risk of losing their accomodations in local hotel rooms. St. Luke's is working with other local congregations, with the diocese, and with St. Elizabeth's Jubilee Center in figuring out the best way to move ahead. Watch the e-pistle for more information In the meantime we are doing a special drive to add warm blankets to the winter coats and boots we are currently collecting. Want to help? Bring warm blankets, boots and coats to St. Elizabeth's and we will make sure they get to those who need them!

Food Pantry Advent Calendar

Please see the calendar below to learn more about the needs of the pantry in their efforts to care for our neighbors during this holiday season. For additional information please contact Mary Brighthaupt.

Stewardship Update

Many thanks to all who have submitted pledge cards for 2023. As of November 19, We have received 110 pledges for $345,476.72. Nine are from new pledgers. Over half of repeat pledgers increased their pledge amounts. Both the amount pledged and the number of pledges is running somewhat ahead of the past several years.  

A gentle reminder to the approximately 75 of you who pledged for 2022 but not yet for 2023, and to other members and friends who would like to pledge: please take a moment to fill out a pledge card, on paper or online, and submit it to the Cathedral so that we can move forward with budgeting for next year. To pledge online, visit www.stlukesportland.org/Give and click on Online Pledge Form.

Thank you again, and have a memorable holiday season.

Dan McDonald, Chair, Stewardship Committee

The Healing Team

"The Healing Team will serve, at the 10am Eucharist (and Christmas Eve at 10pm) on the following dates with the following Healing Team members:

December 18, 2022.  Sara Schmaltz, Peter Carleton

December 24, 2022.  Sara Schmaltz, Judd Hume

January 8, 2022      Ruth Roemer, Oscar Mokeme

If you have any questions, please contact Judd Hume or call (207) 773 - 5611.

How to Get Involved at St. Luke's

St. Elizabeth's Boot Drive Update

Contact: Martha Parshley

Wow, what a day! We set a new record at St. E's this morning with 264 neighbors arriving for their essential products and 164 pairs of boots distributed. Many of our neighbors arrived early (a growing trend) and were eager to make their boot selections. This distribution of boots was made possible by the support of our partner churches, concerned individuals and others who contributed to our successful boot drive this year and a wonderful crew of volunteers. 

Buy a Hannaford Bag and Support the St. Luke's Food Pantry

  • We are participating in the Hannaford Bag Tag Program
  • Purchase a $2.50 reusable Community or Fight Hunger Bag at any Hannaford Store and use the attached giving tag to direct a 1$ donation to our pantry!
Learn about how you can help the St. Luke's Food Pantry

A Christian Life of Faith:

Signs and Thresholds Along the Way

Sunday Mornings| 9am-10am

Location: The Chapter Room

Contact: Dean Shambaugh

So much of what we do at St. Luke’s is designed to help others. What about nurturing and exploring our own spiritual lives? What about our questions and struggles of faith, our relationship (or not) with God? 

  • Lead by Dean Shambaugh
  • All are Welcome
Learn about how you can get involved with this group

Journaling with the

Sacred Circle

The First Saturday of the Month Beginning January 7th | 9:30am-11:30am

Location: The Chapter Room

Contact: Linda Carleton

Journaling Within the Sacred Circle (or mandala) is a way to deepen your connection with God and with your own soul. Come explore the 12 Stages of the Mandala Great Round as they relate to the seasons of the year, the stages of our lives and the Christian story. . The only thing you’ll need is an open heart and mind. All materials are provided. You can come every month or drop in when you’d like.

Monday Night Zoom Book Group

Every First and Third Wednesday of the Month Beginning January 9th

6:00-7:00 pm

Location: Zoom

Contact: Linda Carleton

We will be reading Sophronia Scott’s Louie Award winning book, The Seeker and the Monk: Everyday Conversations with Thomas Merton. A 2004 nominee for the African American Literary Awards best new author, Scott was hailed by Professor Henry Louis Gates as “potentially one of the best writers of her generation." In The Seeker and the Monk, she writes an imaginary conversation with 20th century mystic, monk and activist Thomas Merton based on his extensive private journals and offers guidance on how to live in these fraught times. As a Black woman who is not Catholic, Scott both learns from and pushes back against Merton, holding spirited, an intimate conversations on race, ambition, faith, activism, nature, prayer, friendship, and love. She asks: What is the connection between contemplation and action? 

Try on the Cathedral Choir

Thursday Evenings| 7pm-9pm

Location: The Choir Room (Adjacent to undercroft)

Contact: Christian M. Clough

  • Showing up does not commit you to the choir
  • No audition required
Learn about singing in the choir and how you can get involved

Diocesan Youth Group Service Corp

January 7th| 12:00pm

Trinity Episcopal Church

Contact: Sarah Dowling

This gathering will involve packing food for those experiencing homelessness who are served by the Trinity Episcopal Community. The goal is to serve 10,000 meals in 2 hours in partnership with an organization called The Outreach Program.

Family Promise Emergency Housing Update

Thank you, thank you, for your support of Family Promise as we shift gears once again in response to the crisis facing unhoused families this winter. Newly arrived families, families who are evicted from motels, and families who have lost their apartments go first to the City of Portland Family Shelter. The shelter is full. Preble Street provides an overflow warming center and three meals a day, but people must leave between meals and there is not enough room for all to sleep on floor mats. Motel rooms cost about $7,000 per month; that cost is unsustainable for the city once federal pandemic relief ends. The state may provide funding for an emergency shelter space (similar to the 2019 Expo housing), but in the meantime many people have no place to lay their heads.

Greater Portland Family Promise has taken on four families.  They've been sleeping in a shared space at Woodfords for two weeks. The Y has just reopened the FP day center for these four families.  Preble Street is providing food.  Several St. Lukans are volunteering. The families are warm and wonderful and it is a joy to meet them despite the language barriers. Please use this sign up link to volunteer at the day center.  We've been asked not to give these families gifts, but have provided warm coats 

What does the future hold? This week the families will move to Falmouth where they will stay through Christmas, with the help of four suburban churches.  South Portland Congregational and Trinity Episcopal have committed to hosting for two two week periods after Christmas. There will be volunteer opportunities for us. Several other churches are likely to open their spaces. We hope the legislature will address the need for emergency shelter funding in January. 

St. Luke's continues to support the family of four living in the Lafayette.  The parents have work permits and the family was just granted asylum! The dad is working. The mom is experiencing a difficult pregnancy and will work as a CNA or in child care when her health permits. They are learning how to budget normal living expenses and make payments to the private attorney who helped them get asylum.

Please reach out to Lynne England, Mary Linnemann, or Connie Bingham with any questions.

Select 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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