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

Weekend of September 7 & 8, 2019

Dear Friends, 

I was curious what would happen if I googled "easy discipleship" to look for an image for this weekend's e-news and low an behold, I got nothing! I wondered what would happen when I made that search. Would a person or church out there really try to "sell" Christianity by implying it's an easy road? I think it's good news that my search turned up no results because it must mean that despite all of our differences in ideology, theology, politics and more, Christians who live their faith know the truth: there is nothing easy about it. 

Jesus uses strong language in the gospel this weekend to make that message clear. He uses even stronger language to make clear that our primary allegiance is to God before all else, even things we hold very dear. Keeping God as the foundation and crown of all we do is hard work. I suspect many of us often feel lost or unsure of where to begin. Maybe we once were on the Jesus Way and it became too difficult, or burdens piled up. 

Jesus is not trying to give us an impossible standard to follow but he holds high expectations of those who follow him. Our days are filled with opportunities to choose love, patience, kindness, boldness, or silence as simple ways of living our Christian call. But we also have our community of St. Mary's and the support of people and prayers and programs to aid us, to feed us, and to nurture us for this challenging journey that Jesus is calling each of us to take very seriously. 

This weekend we mark many beginnings: the beginning of school with the blessing of backpacks, beginning a few months of worship in the historic church, and registration for a host of educational offerings. They won't make following Jesus into an easy task, but they will give us tools for the journey-- tools that make our baptismal promises actually possible to keep: worship in liturgy, song, and holy communion, special blessings,  fellowship with our St. Mary's family, signing up for classes, and gathering to share the ministry of handing down our ancient faith to our youngest members. Perhaps this is a time for a new beginning for you. I believe we have the tools you need, and hope you'll take full advantage of them. Following Jesus isn't always easy, but we've got your back!

See you Sunday,
-W O R S H I P-
Worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness... - Psalm 96
This Weekend's Collect 
G rant us, O Lord, to trust in you with all our hearts; for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength, so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Learn new music for Sunday HERE

Prepare yourself for worship by accessing the readings (track 2) HERE

Worship Note:
Services this weekend through November 24th will be held in the Historic Church
We look forward to full, active, conscious participation, prayer, and singing together in this holy place. 

Weekly Ministry Assignments:
In the Historic Church
Wine & cheese reception to follow, first Saturday of each month

Lector & Intercessor: Carole Nicodemus
LEM: Alex Allardt
Greeter:  Jean & Andre Wilson/Levesque

In the Historic Church, September 7-November 24

Crucifer: Jennie Nestlerode
Acolytes: Lauren Lema, Rayna Lombardo
Lectors: Bill Geasey, Marshall Lundberg
Intercessor: Carol Brierley
LEM: Steve Downing
Greeter: Chris Bartlett; David Spengler


Ted Bierman, Harry Gustafson

Coffee Hour Hosts
Joan Macomber, & Members of Invite, Welcome, Connect
There will be special treats for kids this weekend to celebrate "back to school"!

Altar Guild
Ann Gizzi
Joanne Gracia
Kari Reardon
Ruth Siebens

Bring your bags and backpacks to be blessed at both services this weekend!

Take these blessings out into the world!  You will be a blessing.
-W E L L - B E I N G-
Growing into the full stature of Christ... - Ephesians 4
Registration for adult and children's Sunday classes and all fall offerings is this Sunday! Stop by the sign up table in the gathering space to meet teachers and register in person. You may also:

Parents of young children who are ready for Sunday School have been invited to join Judy Hall, Jennie Williams, and Gabe Giella downstairs in the children's room at the end of the hallway. We'll share strategies and simple ways to bring spiritual practices home, learn about the fall kids' classes, and ways you can help grow our ministry to children and families. Join us after coffee hour at 10:30 this Sunday. Your partnership in this important ministry is vital!

Financial professional and St. Mary's member Michelle Freitas will be leading this 9 week series beginning September 9 - Nov 4th, Monday evenings at 6PM

This class will change your relationship with money and give you tools and a mindset for better saving and wiser spending, how to invest, and understanding credit and retirement. Perfect for all ages and great for students and parents dealing with college finances.

Details, sign up, schedule and more can be found  HERE 
You may also register via the registration email to follow or click  HERE

With The Rev. Jennifer Pedrick
The first session, Growing in Grace through the Years: Confirmation, Marriage, Confession & Healing, Ordination, is Wed. 9/18, 7-8:30pm or Sat. 9/21, 10-11:30am

Full fall schedule and sign-up can be found  HERE

With Hurricane Dorian's high winds coming our way, there will be no Manhunt Game on Saturday, but teens are still invited this Saturday, Sept 7th to:

5PM Worship; 6PM hangout and pizza (while adults enjoy wine & cheese) and information about monthly teen Service Sundays and next Summer's Episcopal Youth Summit in Washington DC. More information about the summit can be found HERE

First Saturday Wine & Cheese - Sept 7th
An initiative of Invite, Welcome, Connect, has been the monthly wine and cheese after church on first Saturdays. In September, Regina Slezak and the Gustafsons are hosting. This is a great opportunity to bring a friend to enjoy festive fellowship

-S E R V I C E-
Let the greatest among you be the servant... - Matthew 23

Our next soup kitchen is Thursday, September 12th 3:30 - 6:00 at St. Paul's in Newport. As always we need meatloaves cooked and wrapped in foil, apple juice, Ragu, finger desserts, and fruits - oranges, pears and bananas.

Help setting up, serving & cleaning up is always needed & greatly appreciated.
If you are willing and able to help out at this months soup kitchen, please email  so that we can be assured that we have enough volunteers.  Blessings for all you do!

Service Guild Update
The newly formed Service Guild @ St Mary's is continuing to look for ways to deepen our commitment to serving others.  Part of this effort involves strengthening our relationship with the MLK Center in Newport to meet the needs of local families.  As September approaches, MLK would appreciate assistance in helping to provide back to school items for children with a focus on those in Grades K-5.  Teacher lists for students in these grades are available at Staples or see the list below for some suggestions.

We will collect items this weekend and for one additional weekend. You may leave items in the marked baskets in the entry to the parish house. 

Glue Sticks (large and small)           
Crayons (Box of 24)
Water Colors (Washable)
Dry Erase Markers
Hand Sanitizer
Clorox Wipes
Ear buds or headphones

Community Garden Updates and Information 
Community support to local food pantries is well under way.  Donation areas in the church kitchen are well marked in the fridge and counter.  Home garden overflow is welcome!  Please donate!


Awards for the Tuck Fund Scholarship have gone out, along with letters of congratulations to the following recipients:

Sara Lundberg: Regis College
Michael Adkins: Community College of Rhode Island
Caroline Hall: Northeastern University
Jane Kaull: Northeastern University
Claire Williams: Connecticut College
Amanda Benevides: Rhode Island College
Abigail Kaull: University of Rhode Island
Isabella DeAngelo: Smith College
Sean Dungan: Florida Institute of Technology
Connor Pratt: Gettysburg College

We wish them well, and pledge our prayers and support to all of our students!

Roof replacement begins next week through December on our historic church.  You will notice scaffolding around the outside of the church and while there will still be access during the week, construction noise may make prayerful use of the space difficult. We will have full use of the church for weekend worship. Thank you for your generosity and patience which enable this wonderful work of renewal to happen and for your prayers for the generations to come who'll worship God in this holy place. 

If you have a submission for E-news:
If you have news or an announcement that you'd like to be added to this e-newsletter, please email
Submissions should be sent by Wednesdays to be added to the weekend e-news. 

Recently, many, many organizations, especially churches have been the targets of fraudulent emails. 

They often appear to be from the rector or a staff member. They usually ask for money or personal information. 

If an email looks suspicious before you open it, trust your instinct and DO NOT open it. 

If you are unsure, DO NOT open it. 

If you do open an email and it appears to be asking for money or personal information, DO NOT REPLY and DO NOT send money. 

Jennifer and the SMC staff and leaders will NEVER ask you for money directly via email. 

You can always call or send an email to us if you are not sure. We are aware of the problem and this is part of the technology age in which we live and there is very little that can be done to stop this annoyance, but we should be mindful when opening and replying to emails always. 

Sr. Warden: Murry Edwards:
Jr. Warden: Paul Westrom:
Treasurer: Chris Bartlett:  
Clerk: Mattie Gustafson:   
Member: Christine Winslow:
Member: David Brierley:   
Member: Peter Collins:     
Member: Trish Culver:      
Member: Dave Ferkinhoff:
Member: David Spengler  
Member: Julie Zecher:      
Member: Michelle Freitas:
Rector: The Rev. Jennifer L. Pedrick
Parish Administrator:Karen Laroche
Director of Christian Formation: Gabe Giella
Pastoral Musician: Michael Templeton
Property Manager: 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  Parish Administrator, Karen Laroche  (