Today’s Morning Prayer is available on our St. Paul Cape Ann Facebook page. Bible Study is schedule for noon today. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or to Pastor Anne at email@example.com if you would like the link to join the bible study. We are reading Isaiah, and will start today with chapter 62. If you would like to explore more of Isaiah, please go to Enter the Bible, a website of wonderful research, commentary and study help published by Luther Seminary. You can find that link here.
As you know from yesterday’s FYI, we have been considering the best ways we can be church in this time of pandemic. We wanted to respond thoughtfully and prayerfully, in a spirit of peace, not of panic. Early this week, after the Council meeting, we formed a small preparedness team to advise the Council.
Today, we decided to postpone physical gatherings including Sunday worship for at least the next two Sundays, March 15th and March 22nd. We made this decision after much deliberation and consultation. We all feel the sadness of this decision, but we feel it is the wisest and most compassionate decision based on what we know. We plan to experiment with various forms of virtual church. This Sunday, we will broadcast a Facebook Live service at 10:00 a.m. Theodore Stoddard and I will be testing this out. We look forward to seeing what will happen.
We know that not all of you are on Facebook, so we will be trying other online platforms next week. We will keep you posted. Virtual church has been around for several years, and I’m excited that we are going to try this way of being church, even as I mourn the loss of our physical gatherings for worship.
I will be updating you on other activities during these two weeks; for now, all our regular gatherings are postponed. We ask for your patience and your help, should you have ideas as we go forward. I will work on virtual bible study and weekly devotions. Robin Carlo is working on virtual Sunday School, and expects to broadcast Facebook Live Sunday School at 9:15 a.m. this Sunday, March 15th.
The Council and I ask that you please keep in touch with each other, and with those who might be in need. We hope to create a phone tree, and you all know that you can call or write me. I will be checking in with you as much as possible by phone or email.
Lent offers us a time to embrace simplicity. This year, that simplicity is imposed upon us by events and circumstances out of our control. We can, however, choose our response. One of my friends wrote that compassion is our seat-belt in troubled times. I agree. In all that we are doing in these days of social distancing, my prayer is we remain interconnected as much as possible. May we remember those who may need assistance. May we know God’s presence in the midst of us.
Pastor Anne Deneen
Ash Wednesday services at St. Paul Lutheran Church are at 12:00 and 7:00 PM. All are welcome.
SATURDAY, January 18th, 3:00 p.m. St. Paul Lutheran Church sponsored by St. Paul Peace and Justice Team.
Join us for a wonderful presentation on the science of climate change on Cape Ann, and theological frameworks for considering our relationship to creation and the climate crisis. Abby Johnson is a seminarian attending United Lutheran Seminary, a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church, and an environmental theologian. Kyle Johnson is a Climate scientist actively working on climate resiliency. We are looking forward to their time with us.
Our schedule of Christmas Services.
Wednesday, December 18th at 7:30 p.m. Join us for WinterSong; an Advent Celtic Meditation. Folksinger Michael O’Leary and harpist Carole McIntyre will be at St. Paul for another beautiful evening of Celtic music, poetry, song and prayer to honor the turning of the year and this season of waiting and renewal. Donations welcomed and appreciated.
On Sunday, December 22nd at our 10:00 a.m. service, we will have our Instant Christmas Pageant presented by the Sunday School and the Congregation. This is a lot of fun. Please join us.
Our Christmas Eve Service will be held on Tuesday, December 24th at 7:00 p.m.
The Christmas Morning service will be held at 8:00 a.m.
Everyone is always welcomed here at St. Paul Lutheran Church. Please join us. If you cannot be here with us, Merry Christmas and the Peace of the Lord be with you.
Join us for St. Paul’s fabulous Christmas Fair this Saturday, starting at 9:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Wonderful treasures, baked goods, Nisu and fish chowder, good cheer, good folks, AND Santa Claus! Lots of fun! See you there.