A community of Christian worship, well-being, and service.

Dear Beloved, 

It's strange to think of Jesus being baptized. I used to wonder what the point of it was. If Jesus was sinless, why'd he take part in a baptism of repentance? 

This weekend's account of Jesus's baptism in the Jordan River is from Luke, but in Matthew's account, even John seems to wonder just why it is that Jesus has come to be baptized. "I ought to be baptized by you," John will say, and Jesus will reply that this is something that simply must happen. Still...why?

"You are my beloved child. I love you very much." 

This is my favorite translation of the heavenly voice that speaks through the clouds as a dove descends upon Jesus. This simple phrase is the heart of the entire story of God and humankind. These words are for Jesus and for us. And Jesus needed to be baptized, needed to be at that place, at that time, with those people, hearing these words. Jesus needed loving affirmation. Convincing us to believe and trust in the loving affirmation of God deep within us will be the entire mission of Jesus from this moment onward...and it's our mission, too. 

Love changes everything. Love can redefine a relationship, an identity, a status. Love lifts and builds and creates. Love knits us together. Love finds solutions in problems and brings life from death. Love casts out fear. Love is the reason we are here--loved into being by God--and love is our mission to spread...the mission we inherit from Jesus. 

Do I really believe I am beloved? In what ways do I experience this? How do I offer it?

To carry out the ministry of God's love to the world, Jesus just needed to hear it and believe it. Yes, even Jesus needed someone to show him he loved him. 

We gather around God's table together each week to experience this love by connecting with each other in prayer and song, hearing God's word, and sharing the Lord's Supper. When we gather this week, let's have the intention of "filling our tanks" with God's love in whatever way we can find it here and challenge ourselves to offer that as we go into the world. In my preaching this weekend, we will tap into our own hearts and I will share ideas of how to be-loved and be love. 

See you Sunday, 

Yet More Good News from 2018...

Last year at this time we were worshiping in the chapel, because in November of 2017 the historic church was deemed unsafe, due to water intrusion and mold.
Knowing the cumulative effects of deferred maintenance, the Vestry committed to a once in a generation restoration project, planning to bring our historic church back to structural soundness and aesthetic beauty. We knew that this would be a huge challenge and we trusted that God would bless our effort. 

What a difference a year has made! Kudos to Jr. Warden, Paul Westrom and his Historic Church Restoration Team (RFT: Don Berrett, Alex Allardt, Hugh Hall, Matt Spohn). They have been simultaneously planning the three phases of the total restoration project, while executing and completing phase 1. 

* By Palm Sunday we were back in our church. Paul Westrom and his team had completely gutted, sealed, cleaned and restored the basement. The sanctuary was professionally cleaned and sanitized, including all furnishings.
* The St. Mary's community was generous in raising 60K to complete this first phase of the restoration. This was following right on the heels of the 40K boiler replacement in the fall of 2017.
* Early in 2018 Peter Collins took the lead in gathering the Renewal Funding Team (RFT: Judy Hall, Marlo Pratt, Sue Hall, Hugh Hall, Dave Ferkinhoff) to raise money to fund the renewal of the historic church. The Vestry applauds their three pronged approach that includes giving, grants, and fundraising events.
* Marlo Pratt and Judy Hall, the event leads, set the wheels in motion with a wine and cheese gathering. In September we hosted the Portsmouth Community Theater's Stories from the Churchyard with a community supper as a fundraiser. More fun to come!
* Dave Ferkinhoff, the grant lead, worked tirelessly on researching and writing grants. This effort been fruitful. So far, we have received grants of $255,000.
* Sue and Hugh Hall have led the way in inviting members and friends to make pledges and gifts. We have received $200,000 in pledges and $75,000 in gifts.
* Total fundraising in 2018 totals $530,000., allowing us to fully fund phase II, the roof replacement and the exterior restoration.
This is an extraordinary success, one that involved many people offering their best gifts, in leadership, skill, time, money, faith, prayer, and encouragement. Every financial gift, large and small and each offering of time and skill has been blessed. We are well on our way to restoring God's beloved church at St. Mary's. Sarah Gibbs is likely smiling from heaven. 


Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness... - Psalm 96

Collect: First Sunday After Epiphany
F ather in heaven, who at the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan proclaimed him your beloved Son and anointed him with the Holy Spirit: Grant that all who are baptized into his Name may keep the covenant they have made, and boldly confess him as Lord and Savior; who with you and the Holy Spirit lives and reigns, one God, in glory everlasting. Amen .

You can access the bible passages read at church this weekend, and for any day of the year. We typically follow "Track 2" at St. Mary's. 
Here's the link:  lectionary 

This weekend, we welcome into the household of God Tucker DiPalma Isom in the Sacrament of Holy Baptism. In the month of December, we welcomed Tessa Elizabeth Woller, Wyatt Shawn Naisbett, and William Joseph Verrastro. May God's love uphold and support them as they grow into the full stature of Christ. 

Lectors  5PM: Stacy Mello 8AM: Sue Hall 10AM: Mary Wehing. 
Intercessors 5PM: Stacy Mello  8AM: David Spengler  10AM: Ted Bierman
Lay Eucharistic Ministers 5PM: Bob Vergnani  8AM: Hugh Hall  10AM: Michelle Freitas 
Crucifers: 8AM: Jennie Nestlerode  10AM: Briana Boucher
Acolytes: 10AM: Cameron Boucher, Andrew Silveria
Greeters: 5PM: Susan Kelchner  8AM: David Spengler  10AM: Chris Bartlett
Counters: Chris Winslow, Harry Gustafson
Coffee Hour Hosts: Harry Gustafson, Sara Barker
Altar Guild: Ann Gizzi, Joanne Gracia, Kari Reardon, Ruth Siebens
Growing into the full stature of Christ... - Ephesians 4

Every  Sunday at 9AM and  Wednesday at 12 noon: 
 We journey in community from Genesis to Revelation. It's never too late to join us!
To access the class text, The Path, click the link:

Children's Sunday School:
Sunday at 9, Downstairs in the Nursery Room

JourneyDance with Sara Emhof:  
Friday, Jan 11, 7PM in the Chapel
Open to all genders, all body types, and no dance experience is required!
Experience movement of body & soul

The Way of Love: Practices for a Jesus-Centered Life...

Our Presiding Bishop, Michael Curry, along with our own bishop and dioceses across the country are encouraging all churches to embark on the  Way of Love , which is a process of discovering and creating a rule of life to live by as followers of Jesus in our everyday lives. We will be creatively walking this way once Lent approaches and so you can learn more about it in the meantime, please click here

Let the greatest among you be the servant...  - Matt 23

Thank you to everyone who contributed food and other items for our Trees of Light. The food has been gathered and will be given the to MLK Center. 

Thank you to Dave Ferkinhoff for his carpentry skills and generous spirit in creating a system to hold all of that food!

On February 14th, our next Soup Kitchen date, we are organizing a group of teens to bring to the soup kitchen and offer their help. Teens can meet at St. Mary's at 3:30 to serve at 4PM, finishing by 6:15.  Please email Michelle Freitas so we have an accurate head count. 

-Community Announcements-

E-News Deadline: if you'd like something announced in the e-news, please email Gabe Giella  by Wednesday at noon each week. 

Altar Flowers: Would you like the altar flowers to be placed in memory of a loved one or for a special intention? Sunday, March 3rd is available if you'd like to do so. Please call Millie Cozzens at 401-847-4117 to arrange this. 

Pledge Cards: We've had an amazing response to our annual giving campaign this year. We are waiting for a few more pledges to come in. Your generosity is key to our mission. You can fill out a pledge card, which you can find in the church and chapel. If you have questions or need envelopes, email   David Brierley

Annual Meeting: Will take place on Sunday, Feb. 3rd at 11:30 in the Chapel. Don't miss it: There is so much to celebrate and to learn about St. Mary's future!


-Vestry & Staff Leaders-
Sr. Warden: Murry Edwards:
Jr. Warden: Paul Westrom:
Treasurer: Chris Bartlett:  
Clerk: Mattie Gustafson:   
Member: Chris Barker:     
Member: David Brierley:   
Member: Peter Collins:     
Member: Trish Culver:      
Member: Dave Ferkinhoff:
Member: Jenny Williams: 
Member: Julie Zecher:     
Member: Michelle Freitas:
Rector: The Rev. Jennifer L. Pedrick
Music Director& Interim Parish Administrator:Karin Larsen
Director of Christian Formation: Gabe Giella
Pastoral Musician: Michael Templeton
Sexton: Jon Walker
Parish House Hours:
Sunday 7 am to 12 pm; closed on Monday
Tuesday through Friday, 9 am to 3 pm; and by special arrangement with the interim Parish Administrator, Karin Larsen (

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