A community of Christian worship, well-being and service

     Social Distancing ~  Spiritually Connecting

Nothing can separate us from God's love.

The week of July 25 - July 30

A Message from a Member

The Colors of Connection and Play

Dear Friends, 

Each Sunday the colors of streamers and flowers make me think of the set of "A Midsummer Night's Dream".  It's as if it would be no surprise if Puck, Bottom, Hermia, and Lysander . . . showed up.  I suppose it's also because, in addition to wonderful, reverent worship, there is a true playfulness at St. Mary's in the interactions among parishioners at coffee hours, meetings etc. during normal times (would they may return soon).  

Last week, during the sermon Jennifer incorporated a garden tool, a scuffle hoe into the sermon. It added to our reflection on the parable of the weeds. In addition to adding to the parable, it added to that sort of playfulness.  It is a celebration.

Raymond Edler


The Next Normal:

Beginning August 2, Outdoor Worship will include
Holy Communion



Dear friends and members, 


Now that we have had a solid month of outdoor worship together, we have established a safe and holy pattern of re-gathering. We continue to post our worship online as well. I believe we can now safely celebrate a complete Holy Eucharist, engaging God's word as well as administering the sacrament of Holy Communion. We will begin on August 2 at the 9 a.m. service.


Having studied best practices for blessing and distributing communion during this public health crisis, I will administer the host only, to those who wish to receive the sacrament. I plan to wash my hands, remain masked during the entire rite, including during administration. The sacrament will remain covered during the blessing. There will be minimal contact.


Participants will be asked to sanitize hands and remain socially distanced and masked while waiting to receive. We will provide hand sanitizer on the way. Participants will cup their hands, and the minister of the sacrament will drop the wafer into hands without touching one another. Participants may consume the sacrament after moving away from the minister.  Those in cars and in the reserved seating will have communion brought to them. No one should feel obliged to receive the sacrament.  As in recent weeks, there will be plenty of direction and support, keeping our beloved community as safe as possible in worship. 


We will take abundant caution as we resume this sacred meal, nourishing one another with and in the Body of Christ. Please be in touch with any questions or concerns.  


Faithfully, Jennifer+

The Eighth Sunday After Pentecost

Our weekly bulletins and the video worship services will be posted on our website by mid-day on Sunday, barring any technical difficulties. Please check back if you do not find it. 

The link to this week's bulletin is here. 

The Collect for The Seventh Sunday After Pentecost

A lmighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

Click here for the   
(We are on Track 2)

To submit a prayer request to our parish prayer list email Karen Laroche, parish administrator.

Latest updates and needs in our worship ministry:

1) Following worship if you wish to gather in fellowship, please do so remaining six feet apart with masks on. 

2) We need help with the technical aspects of filming, streaming, and posting our worship in coming months. We will teach you everything you need to know.  This is an urgent and important call for anyone who can help. Please be in touch with Jennifer.

Join us for outdoor worship, Every Sunday (weather permitting) 9 a.m.

Thank you for your feedback.  We are listening and adjusting. 

We have three seating areas: 
  1. On the lawn in socially distanced circles. 
  2. In your car in the south parking lot where you may tune in to the service on your radio, FM 88.7.
  3. In the Sarah Gibbs Reserved Seating, On the lawn in front of Gibbs House. This is for those who do not wish to carry a chair, walk on the grass, or who just need a bit of extra space. Get on the reserved seating list by contacting Murry Edwards at srwarden@smcportsmouth.org or ask someone in a blue vest when you arrive.
Things to know as we gather safely.
  • Our welcome begins at 8:30 a.m. If you arrive before 8:30, please do not drive past the welcome table; remain in your car until you are checked in. We need to check in everyone.
  • Restrooms are available on the lower level of the parish house. An attendant will sanitize after each use. 
  • Per the governor's orders, we will need to do a quick symptom check before you enter the property. This will happen at the welcome table. 
  • Please do not sit with, or drive to church with anyone other than those who live in your household, family members or friends in your social "bubble."  
  • Following the service as you greet one another, please remain masked, maintain a distance of 6 feet and avoid physical contact. This is the most friendly thing you can do, keep your distance. 
  • In order to keep our fellowship alive, please call on the phone, make plans for socially distanced walks and gatherings.
  • Please wear a mask or face covering.
  • There will be one way into and out of  the lawn seating. Circles will be dismissed by number, one at a time, at the end of the service. If you are seated on the main lawn, please remain in your seat until you are called upon to depart.
  • If you click on the link in this week's bulletin you will find instructions as well as our diocesan covenant for regathering. Reading this information now will help you prepare.  
  • If the weather is not suitable, or you prefer not to gather in person, please stay home and watch the service on the  St. Mary's Website.  It will be posted by mid-day on Sunday.

Thank you to our Worship Coordinator, Marlo Pratt and the teams that make our outdoor worship possible. 

Safety and Parking Team
David Brierley, George LeBlanc, Steve Bakios, Jennie Nestlerode, Lynn Carlson LeBlanc, 
Harry Gustafson

Welcome Team  
Murry Edwards, Judy and Bill Hall, Rose Muller, Lee Ferriera, David Spengler

Worship Team
The Rev. Jennifer Pedrick, Michael Templeton, The Rev. Laura Palmer, Sheila Benevides, Lydia DeAngelo, Julie Zecher


Join your church in knowing better and 
doing better when it comes to anti-racism.

Tuesday July 28th
Thursday August 20th
Register here: lynncarlson96@gmail.com

Get your Forward Day by Day

Forward Movement  Day by Day daily devotionals for August, September,
October have arrived!  We have a limited number of both the large and small print. If you would like a copy please let Karen Laroche know in the office and she can arrange a pick-up time or a way to get them to you! First come first served.

Welcome Back to the Prayer Shawl Ministry

The Prayer Shawl Ministry is regathering Wednesdays on the lawn in front of the Gibbs House. The members hands have not been idle while in quarantine. In addition to prayer shawls and prayer patches, they have been making baby blankets, children's sweaters and hats for the Dr. Martin Luther King Center Santa's Workshop and hat and scarf sets for the Seamen's Church Institute.  

We will continue gathering on the lawn 
Wednesdays 9:30-11:30 while the weather is good. 

All are welcome to join us. No knitting experience necessary.  You can come and sit with us under the shade. Contact Sue Kelchner for more information.  

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

If you need anything please 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 401-363-1475, 
but she would prefer an email if you are able.

Adeline Tuck Scholarship Fund
Deadline is this Friday - July 31

St. Mary's college students -- both undergraduate and graduate -- are eligible for a $2000 scholarship from the Adeline Tuck Fund. Students who  are members or whose parents are members of St. Mary's
are eligible for this scholarship.  Applications for the scholarships are being accepted until July 31.  Awards will be made in early August.  To apply, students need to complete the online application.  For questions, please contact Murry Edwards, the senior warden at srwarden@smcportsmouth.org

Ministries Returning to St. Mary's Campus

We invite you to return to St. Mary's grounds with your ministry group for a meeting or for ministry. At this time our buildings remain closed, but we have beautiful space for you to gather outdoors. If you would like to schedule a one time or recurring meeting or ministry, please contact Karen Laroche, our parish administrator to learn about the process and get on the calendar. 



Calling for Bell Ringers
For the past couple of months a small group of volunteers have been going to the church every day at 12:00 noon and ringing the church bells. Visitors to the grounds and people that live nearby have greatly enjoyed this. Plus, we have been filming the bell ringing and posting them on the St Mary's Facebook page for all to enjoy. In order to not wear out these volunteers, we are looking for a new set of volunteers for July and August. 

Ringing the bell is very easy, you simply unhitch the rope from the cleat next to the bridal door, pull on the rope until the bell starts ringing, let it ring for approximately twelve rings, and then reattach the rope to the cleat. Each volunteer has an assigned day of the week to ring the bells. If you are willing to help out with this ministry please contact David Brierley at david@smcportsmouth.org.

Thank you for your giving! You are making a difference.

Thank you to all our members and friends who have continued to contribute financially in support of the ministry of St. Mary's. Your generosity makes all the difference as we continue to share the love of God in Christ during this pandemic.

Here are ways people are giving:
  • On our our web page you can  Give Online
  • Mail in pledge payments or financial gifts to St. Mary's Church, 324 E. Main Rd., Portsmouth, RI 02871.
  • Set up online bill pay through your bank.
  • As we re-gather on the lawn and from our cars for worship, there will be big, blue buckets at the welcome station, as well as around our property.  They are marked offering and you can give in the buckets. 
Given the economic realities, we are sensitive to the potential financial changes our members may encounter. If, for any reason, you are not able to maintain your pledge, please contact the rector. This will enable us to adjust our income projections so that we can be good stewards of our resources. 

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. 

Again, thank you for your generosity and commitment. Jennifer+

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 ~  Outdoor Worship: Raymond Edler and Murry Edwards
Knitters: Susan Kelchner
Sarah Gibbs with Mask: Murry Edwards
Watercolor: Richard Grosvenor.