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The E-Pistle of Thursday

November 30th, 2023

St. Luke's Webpage

Give/ Pledge to St. Luke's

A Weekly Reflection

From The Reverend George Stevens, Interim Dean

Dear Friends,

At my first parish after I was ordained I worked with an amazing priest named Anne Stevenson. Anne was a gifted preacher, a pastoral wonder and laughed as easily as anyone I’ve ever met. When she pronounced the blessing at the end of the service, she used a prayer (with her own adaptations) by Henri Frederic Amiel.  


My friends, life is short and we do not have much time to gladden the hearts of those who travel with us, so be quick to love and make haste to be kind. And yet rest assured; God is infinitely more concerned with the hope of our future than the sins of our past. And the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit be upon you and remain with you always. Amen.


Anne’s blessing came to mind this week as I prepared for the first Sunday of Advent. Advent is a season that offers a chance to prepare for the coming of Christ. Anne’s blessing makes clear how important it is to use the time we have--there is urgency in these words to share Christ’s love. 


I hope this holiday season brings you the confidence to gladden the hearts of our fellow travelers and look with great joy towards the incarnation of our Lord.


See you in Sunday! 



Community Announcements

Most Recent Minutes from the Lesser Chapter 

& Finance Committee

To read the most recent minutes of the Lesser Chapter meeting held on November 15th, please click here.

To read the most recent minutes of the Finance Committee meeting held on November 14th, please click here.

To read past minutes from the Vestry and Finance Committee Meetings, visit the vestry page on our website.

A Note about the Community Kitchen at St. Luke’s


After much prayer and discussion at the most recent vestry meeting, it was determined that the Community Kitchen ministry would be coming to a close at the end of December. 


Nearly two years ago, former vestry member, Tom Flinn, proposed the idea of using the newly renovated kitchen as a commissary kitchen to serve the Portland community in need of a commercial space.  A dedicated group of individuals including Lin and Liz Parsons, Tim Wilkins and Mary Brighthaupt worked with staff member Dawn Brennan-Daly to bring this vision to life.  We are grateful for their energy, dedication and passion for the project. 


As we work with departing clients through the month of December, the vestry will be working on management and guidelines for using the space. 


Dawn has asked that we not publicly celebrate her work, so I encourage you to reach out to her individually, as well as Lin, Liz, Tim & Mary, to express your gratitude for their commitment to this project. 


If you have any questions about this decision, please reach out to me via email or via telephone at (207) 772-5434 ext 201. 


Congregational Assessment Using The Holy Cow!

Church Survey Tool

Dear Friends,


In the ten weeks since I arrived at the Cathedral of St. Luke, I have learned much about this community of faith.  Some of you have been here for generations, others have just arrived, and all of you are committed to deepening your faith through service, worship and prayer. 


During this interim period, it is now time for us to learn from your varied experiences and opinions about the readiness for our cathedral to begin a search for our next Dean.  On the recommendation of the Rev. Pamela Mott, our search consultant, the vestry has engaged Holy Cow! Consulting for our first step in the process. 


The Congregation Assessment Tool (CAT) is an online assessment of a congregation that is completed by members of the church.  This tool will provide the Vestry with understanding of the health of our congregation, a sense of where members think the church should head in the future, and a description of the church as a unique body of people. In the coming months there will be many ways to add your voice and thoughts for your hopes for our next clergy leader. This survey allows your vestry to understand how to structure this process and areas of focus during the interim.


Please see the attached  link to the survey where you can share your experiences in and priorities for our church.  Please do not discuss the survey or your answers with others as this may influence their answers.


If you need a paper copy, please come to the office, or email the cathedral office, and we will provide one for you along with a self-addressed stamped return envelope. We will be collecting responses until Wednesday, December 20.


All answers are strictly anonymous.  We have no way of matching any assessment to a particular person, so please feel free to candidly share your perceptions, opinions and experiences.  Our next steps in the search process are dependent on your participation and honest answers.


If you have questions, please contact the Rev. George R. Stevens, Interim Dean by email or by telephone in the church office at (207) 772-5434 extension 201.  


Many thanks,


The Rev. George R. Stevens 

Interim Dean

One important note:  If only one member of your family receives this email, it may be tempting to have one person take the survey on behalf of the family. However, please be sure your spouse and all young adults living in your home have an opportunity to complete the survey. 

We ask respectively that every person only takes the survey once.

INDIVIDUAL INPUT is key to our gaining insight into overall perceptions and experiences.

Link to Survey Here

or scan the QR Code Below to Access

Altar Guild Polishing Party

December 2nd, 2023


The Upper Hall

RSVP to Rita Siavelis

Please join the Altar Guild for our upcoming polishing party this Saturday, December 2nd, 2023 between 9 am and noon. We'll enjoy treats, holiday conversation, and merry company and conversation while we polish the silver and brass to shine for the Christmas season. All you need to bring is yourself and a little elbow grease! RSVP to Rita Siavelis or just show up the day of the event. We look forward to seeing you!

Choral Evensong This Sunday

Join the Cathedral Choir and Canon for Liturgy & Music, Christian Clough, this Sunday, December 3rd at 4PM for a service of Choral Evensong, featuring music from the Advent Season.

For more information contact Christian Clough

Join Us for Advent Wreath Making This Sunday!

Join us for Advent wreath making will be after the 10 am service in the lower Parish Hall this Sunday, December 3 as we officially begin the season of Advent.

Greens, wreath rings and floral wire will be available. There will be some packs of candles available for $5.

A simple lunch of beef chili or vegetable soup and grilled cheese sandwiches will be provided. Gluten free/vegan/vegetarian options will be included.

Come get ready for Advent and share a meal with your fellow parishioners!

Greening of the Cathedral on December 8th

Join members of the St. Luke's Flower Guild on Friday, December 8th at 9:00AM for the annual greening of the cathedral for the holiday season.

This will include setting up the Christmas trees and their lights on either side of the altar, setting the wreaths high in the Nave, adding greens to the columns and to the balcony, and placing the heavy, standing chandeliers into the pews.

To volunteer to help please contact Sam Allen

New State Street Sign Coming!

St. Luke's Junior Warden, Fred Fowler has been working on having a new sign built which will welcome community members and visitors by the State Street Entrance.

Fred notes that the color of the sign will be a darker green to match the original paint color of the previous sign.

The design concept below highlights what the sign will look like and the future location.

With any comments or feedback please email Fred Fowler.

Join the Young and the Restless for Their Next Meeting!

On Sunday, December 17th The Young and the Restless have their next meet up at Noon.

The meeting will start out with a town hall format discussion about how we would like to plan out our goals and events for 2024.

We will finish the meeting with our annual white elephant holiday gift exchange event.

If you are interested please contact Eleanor Roberts or Shana Rose for more details. Hope to see you there!

Eco tips for the holidays from

the Public Police and Environmental Action Team

With the Season of Advent and the Christmas approaching, here are some tips that will help the Earth:

1. Think green: Buy from local shops or artisans for gifts. This helps the earth in reducing fossil fuel use when items are shipped over distances.

2. Ditch the single use plastic:as plastic is a major source of harm to the earth -it is made from fossil fuels and also does not break down easily.

3.Try to find gifts and decorations made from natural or recycled sources.

4..Give batter-free gifts as discarded batteries are a hazard to the environment.

5.. Gift memories rather than things. For example tickets to an event.,

6.. Connect with nature, perhaps join an Audubon bird walk or bird count event.

7. Choose LED lighting when decorating with lights.

St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry Feature Video

Members of St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry composed a video highlighting the work of their ministry in support of our neighbors each week.

To watch the video click the link here, or watch below.

To learn more about St. Elizabeth's visit their website here

or visit their page on the St. Luke's website here.

To support St. Elizabeth's visit the give now page on our website, and in the dropdown menu select St. Elizabeth's Contribution.

St. Elizabeth's Pantry Coat Drive

As we gear up for colder temperatures, St. Elizabeth’s is launching its annual coat and boot drive. Many of our neighbors come from warmer climates and don’t have the necessary clothing for fall and winter in Maine. 

Large and Extra-Large sized coats for both men and women are most needed, but coats and boots of all sizes are welcome. Items should be in clean, good condition.

Monetary donations may also be made for the purchase of new coats and boots for our neighbors.

Financial contributions can be mailed to: St. Elizabeth’s Jubilee Center PO Box 4036 Portland, ME 04101 or visit here.

Christmas Serving Opportunity

St. Luke's is seeking additional helpers in the Christmas Eve Vigil and the Christmas Day service. Interested in participating in the service?

Please contact Head Verger Eleanor Roberts for more information. All ages are welcome!

The St. Luke’s Christmas Pageant

Christmas is fast approaching and it’s time to think of the Christmas Pageant! The pageant is part of the 5 pm Christmas eve service. All children and teens are invited to participate.

Children’s friends or cousins are invited participate; grandchildren are invited to participate too! Rehearsals are on December 10, 17 at 11:30 and Dec 24 (before the service) at 4 pm. While it would be good to have everyone at all the rehearsals; we are very flexible around rehearsal attendances.

Please let the pageant director know if your children and teens want to participate.

For more information email Sarah Dowling or contact her by phone at 207-653-1017.

Contribute to CSL’s music ministry

Recently, several longtime choir members have retired from or taken breaks from the Cathedral Choir, and we could use your vocal talents to rebuild our membership. If you fit the bill (or aren’t sure), please drop in on a choir rehearsal (Thursday 7PM or Sunday 8:45AM) and check it out.

Or, offer to play an instrument or sing. We invite you to share your musical talents with our worshiping community in our praise of God. Or, do you know someone with talents to share? For more information or to discuss your interests, please contact Christian Clough, Canon for Liturgy & Music.

Clarification Regarding Pledging Using Realm

Thank you to all of our community members who have made a pledge gift using Realm.

Treasurer Tim Wilkins and Financial Administrator Nina Andersen wish to clarify the process of setting up a pledge through Realm.

In order for our team to have a record of your pledge for the year please complete and submit a pledge form. This informs us of your total amount to be pledged for the year before using Realm to enter a payment plan in Vanco for your 2024 pledge. We appreciate your understanding and are happy to answer any questions you may have.

Please contact Tim Wilkins or Nina Andersen with any questions you may have.

Healing Team Schedule

The Healing Team offers prayers of healing during or after communion. The following team members will be offering prayers on the following Sundays:

December 3, 2023.       

Betsey Deleuse, Oscar Mokeme

If you have any questions, please contact any of the Healing Team Members or email Judd Hume. Judd can also be reached by phone at (207) 773 - 5611.

Last Week's Service

Click the attached link to view last week's Bulletin.

To watch the livestream of The Thanksgiving Day Service, click here

To watch the livestream of last Sunday's service, click here

To watch the sermon offered by The Reverend George Stevens, visit the corresponding links.

To View past services visit our Youtube Page or visit the archive page on our website to read past bulletins, sermons, and newsletters.

Events in the Wider Community

The Southern Maine New Horizons Band Concert

Join The Southern Maine New Horizons Band under the direction of Nina Andersen for their free concert: A Little Americana, on December 9th at 2:00PM in the Cathedral Nave.

Admission is free, and the group will feature a holiday bake sale.

For more information about this concert and The Southern Maine New Horizons Band, please visit their website here.

Renaissance Voices Concerts at the Cathedral

Join Music Director Harold Stover, (St. Luke's Parishioner) and Renaissance voices for their Christmas Concerts, December 9th and 10th at the cathedral.

This program will feature works by Heinrich Isaac, Igor Stravinski, Franz Biebl, a new work by Harold Stover, and more.

To learn more about Renaissance Voices and to buy tickets online visit their website here

The Maine Pops Concert Band Presents

Their Annual Holiday Benefit Concert

Join the Maine Pops Concert Band for their Holiday Benefit Concert on December 20th at 7:00PM in the Cathedral Nave.

Repertoire will feature beloved old standards and exciting new music.

All proceeds will benefit St. Luke's community outreach efforts.

To learn more about this concert and the Maine Pops Concert Band, visit their website here.

St. Mary Schola presents A Neapolitan Christmas

Join St. Mary Schola and Guest Conductor Christian Clough (Canon for Liturgy and Music) as they present a program entitled 'A Neapolitan Christmas' featuring a moteto by Francesco Durante, and six voice setting of the Magnificat by Michael Praetorius.

To learn more about St. Mary Schola and to buy tickets online visit their website here

Ongoing Opportunities &

Community Resources


Help with Coffee Hour

Coffee Hour needs hosts. It's fun and easy! No commitment required— you can do it once and that's a help. Please check out the schedule and if there is a date you can serve, contact Gail Kesich or Liz Griffin 

Help the Cathedral With Recycling

As Portland does not pick-up recycling for businesses we are looking for volunteers to take home the paper we gather in blue bins and add them to parishioner's recycling bins at their homes (We do however recycle cardboard and compost both of which have been a very successful campaigns). 

If you would like to help please contact Sarah Braik or Tim Wilkins. Thanks for your help.

Access Your Realm Profile

The Cathedral’s new online database, Realm, is a useful tool for parishioners to manage their contact and pledging information.

Realm helps our community by improving our record keeping in a more streamlined fashion. 

When joining Realm you can sign-up to be a part of the online directory in the database.

To activate your Realm profile please contact our financial administrator Nina Andersen.

Nina will assist you with the few steps necessary to access your profile.

We look forward to sharing this exciting new technology with you!

Join the Young and The Restless

We are St. Luke’s 20s-30s-year-old ministry. We are an active group at the cathedral which also gets together outside of the church.

Join us as we go hiking, ice skating, play trivia, or just enjoy each other’s company! If you are new to us, welcome! We meet each Tuesday at Maine Beer Company in Freeport, 6-8 PM for Trivia.

Other events happen sporadically throughout the month, however trivia is a wonderful opportunity to meet us if you’re joining us for the first time. Contact Shana Rose to stay up to date with group activities and information.

Join Luke's Garden


Luke's Garden is the cathedral's LGBTQIA+ group which meets every 2nd Sunday of the month following coffee hour.

All are welcome!

For additional information contact Orion Williams

The Kneeler Guild and

Prayer Shawl Knitters



The Upper Hall.

For additional information contact Jeri Edgar 207-303-8447 or Nancy MaWhinney 207-775-7500

Everyone is welcome, whether you are curious or want to begin. Kneeler kits cost $75, which include directions, yarn, needles & canvas. Novices are welcome; we will teach you as needed. Prayer Shawls: 26-29” by 60”; select your yarn & needles. Coffee & Tea available.

Weekly Ministries

  • The Food Pantry is open from 8 am to 11 am every Thursday.

  • The Tuesday 12:10 Eucharist is offered every week in Emmanuel Chapel in-person and on Zoom.

  • Noon prayer is offered every Wednesday via Zoom.

  • Compline is offered weekly on Friday from 8-8:30pm on Zoom. For additional details contact Ray Murdoch Curry

Click on the Episcopal Maine Logo above 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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