Dear People of Church of Our Father, St. Saviour's, and St. Andrew's and St. John's,
Time together deepens relationships and creates community. Since joining you in ministry last February, you have welcomed me into your homes and hearts. I am grateful. I have deeply appreciated the conversations we have shared before and after church services, over tea and lemonade on your porches and in your living rooms, and on walks around this beautiful island that I am now, too, blessed to call my home.
I write you today to share the worship schedule that will begin on November 7.
This schedule allows me to worship with you in a celebration of Holy Eucharist all but one Sunday a month while keeping my Sunday schedule manageable across the three parishes.
Starting in November, worship will be held: 9 am at Church of Our Father, 11 am at St. Saviour, and 4 pm at St. John the Divine (moving to 5 pm for the summer months).
Our shared, island-wide Episcopal worship services with St. Mary's and St. Jude's will be on the 4th Sunday of the month at 10 am during the program year in different churches that can host larger worship services. The first of these services is this Sunday, October 24 at St. Saviour's.
We will continue to have a lay-led prayer services but now only once per month and on a predictable schedule because of the new service times:
1st Sundays of the month will be Morning Prayer at 9 am at Church of Our Father 2nd Sundays will be Morning Prayer at 11 am St. Saviour's 3rd Sundays will be Evening Prayer at 4 pm St. John the Divine
All other Sundays will be services of Holy Eucharist, and I will be the celebrant unless otherwise noted. You can always look to the online calendar to see the service schedule: https://mdi-episcopal.org/calendar/
The midweek service of Holy Eucharist on Wednesdaysat Church of Our Father will continue to be held at 8 am. Starting in November, the first Wednesday of each month, we will use a Rite I liturgy.
One of the strengths of our Partnership is the variety of Episcopal worship we enjoy and offer to our community. Rather than competing for the same time slot on Sunday morning and hoping we would choose to worship at another Partnership church from time to time, the new schedule makes it possible for you to attend church at your usual parish with your priest and to try something new, too. Now, we will be able to share and enjoy the diversity of worship within our wider faith community more easily.
I thank you for taking the time to complete the "input survey" I distributed, which helped to inform our new worship schedule and my discussions with church leaders. For example, more people who regularly attend Church of Our Father preferred the 9 am time rather 11 am. More people who regularly attend St. Saviour's preferred the 11 am service rather than 9 am, and this later service time meets the needs of the choir and music program at St. Saviour's. The input from those who regularly attend St. Andrew's and St. John's indicated a significant openness to an evening service, as did our vestry discussions and the parish meeting on October 10.
The late afternoon service at St. John's will be a Eucharist all but one Sunday a month, include more candlelight, brief times of quiet prayer and musical interludes, some music from Taizé, congregational singing, and the use of prayers from the Enriching Our Worship liturgical resource. The high-quality music program that St. John's has enjoyed for many years will continue as we seek our next Music Director. Discussions of other possibilities related to offering an evening service, such as a Community Supper after worship, have continued since the St. Andrew's and St. John's parish meeting. Perhaps this winter we will be able to offer a monthly supper (take away during the pandemic). Please talk with me or contact the parish office if you would like to assist with this meal in any way.
In all three parishes, we invite you to participate in the leadership of services by becoming a reader/lector, intercessory prayer leader, acolyte, usher, or officiant of Morning or Evening Prayer; joining the altar guild or flower guild; or helping to organize fellowship activities. Assisting in these ways will deepen your connection to your parish and your faith. If any one of these ministries calls to you, please speak with me or contact the parish office, and we will connect you with the leaders of that ministry at your church.
For many reasons, I believe that this shift in service schedule is best for our community and that God is doing "a new thing" with us (Isaiah 43:19); however, even welcomed change can be challenging. Please speak with me and your church leaders about concerns and observations. We may not be able to address everything, but we are committed to supporting the community through this transition and doing what we can to make it a successful change, one that strengthens and grows our community. There is always new learning in such transitions, so please help us by communicating with us.
I am delighted to be able to worship and share the Eucharist with you almost every Sunday rather than every three weeks. I look forward to the frequent and casual conversations we will now be able to have more often before and after church services. I anticipate benefits of being able to develop threads of connection across sermons week-to-week. I look forward to being with you and getting to know you more fully, both as communities and as individuals. With great hope, I look ahead to all that God has in store for us!
Faithfully yours in Christ,
The Rev. Holly Hoffmann Priest-in-Charge
Church of Our Father, Hulls Cove, ME St. Saviour's, Bar Harbor, ME St. Andrew's and St. John's, Southwest Harbor, ME
For a visual representation of the new schedule
The MDI Episcopal Partnership
St. Andrew's and St. John's PO Box 767 Southwest Harbor, ME 04679 GPS Location: 315 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, Maine
Sunday Worship Masks are required for in-door worship
Sunday, October 24 – 10:00 a.m. at St. Saviour's Parish in Bar Harbor
The Rev. Dr. Mark Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Virginia Theological Seminary, is our guest preacher for the island-wide service of Holy Eucharist on Sunday, October 24, at St. Saviour's.
Mother Holly met Fr. Mark in Omaha when he was preaching at Trinity Cathedral and she was out there for her coursework.
Fr. Mark is leading a seminar for lay preachers after the church service. If you would like to attend in person, contact Mother Holly. If you would like to attend on Zoom, please register by clicking here.
There will be no service offered at St. John's this Sunday. We are worshipping as one community.
Keep in your prayers this week:
Elizabeth Ward, Bunny Watts, Anne Wetzel, Paul Haertel, Chuck Bradshaw, Ted Bromage, Jean Storace, Spencer Ervin, Geoff Schuller, Doris McCorison, Gail Leland, Jeremy Harkins, Michael Shook, Joyce and Jim Risser, Loretta Schmidt, Theresa Mitchell, Fred & Dollis Sprague, Sara Winchenbach, Richard Ramsdell, Dorothy & Jim Clunan, Bill and Barbara Loveland.
This week there will be one shared, island-wide service of Holy Eucharist at 10:00 at St. Saviour's.
Guest Preacher: The Rev. Dr. Mark Jefferson, Virginia Theological Seminary
There will not be a service at Church of Our Father or St. John the Divine this Sunday.
Mother Holly met Father Mark while in Omaha, Nebraska in June when he was preaching at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral and she was at Creighton for her studies. Mark is preaching 200 sermons this year in honor of the 200 years of Virginia Theological Seminary's existence. His goal is to visit all 50 states as a part of this preaching tour. Holly invited him here to MDI as his stop in Maine.
The Rev. Dr. Mark Jefferson holds a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Religion focusing on Homiletics from Emory University where he was a doctoral fellow for the Fund for Theological Exploration (FTE) and the Lilly Foundation. During his doctoral work, he received the W.E.B. Du Bois Award from the Candler School of Theology. He is an internationally respected preacher and teacher of preachers. He was inducted into the Martin Luther King, Jr. Board of Preachers at Morehouse College and appeared in The Nassau Guardian (Bahamas). He has preached at churches such as: Washington National Cathedral, Washington, D.C.; Alfred Street Baptist Church, Alexandria, VA; Mt. Ararat Baptist Church, Pittsburgh, PA; The House of Hope Atlanta, Decatur, GA; Friendship Baptist Church, Atlanta, GA; Trinity Cathedral, Phoenix, AZ; Alexandria Detention Center, Alexandria, VA and Bethel A.M.E, Hampton, VA among many others churches, conferences, chapels, public gatherings, and occasions. Dr. Jefferson was selected for the historic Lenten Preaching Series at Calvary Episcopal Church, in Memphis, TN. VTS is honoring its 200th anniversary on October 15, 2023, and in contribution to this effort, Dr. Jefferson is currently preaching 200 sermons locally, nationally, and internationally in the years leading up to the Bicentennial Celebration.
Masks are required indoors to protect the most vulnerable: younger children, the immunocompromised, and others who have not yet been vaccinated.
If you or a close contact tests positive for Covid, please let Mother Holly know so we can support you in your recovery and communicate with the community as necessary about their possible exposure to the virus while maintaining confidentiality and pastoral privacy.
Coffee hour will be held only outdoors and canceled in poor weather.
Pre-registration is not required, and social distancing is encouraged. We will be keep a list of those who attend services, should contact tracing become necessary. Holy Communion will be offered in one-kind only (Bread).
If you are interested in being a lay leader of worship on Sundays, please contact Mother Holly and the parish administrator of your church.
The Episcopal Church on MDI has returned to in-person worship in all four Island parishes. For those unable to attend in-person services at this time, Online Worship is available this morning at St. Luke's Cathedral in Portland and at Washington National Cathedral:
Midweek Holy Eucharist on MDI Wednesdays at Church of Our Father at 8 am
Using the readings appointed for the day in the Book of Common Prayer, we will have a service Holy Eucharist.
Weekly Sermons and More
If you missed a sermon offered by Mother Holly or want to hear it again, you can watch a recording of it by visiting the MDI Episcopal YouTube Channel.
This past Sunday's sermon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WN0dv1xmD7A The Rev. Holly Hoffmann at Church of Our Father Hulls Cove, ME. Mark 10:35-45. ""The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized".
ALL SAINTS' SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 7th - REMEMBERING OUR LOVED ONES WHO HAVE DIED
You are invited to send along the names of your loved ones who have died so that they may be remembered in our special prayers on All Saints' Sunday. Email them to the parish administrator of your church on or before Tuesday, November 2nd.
Please Wear Your Name Tag to Church
Remember that wearing your name tag at worship is helpful to each other, Mother Holly, supply clergy, and to visitors! If you would like a new name tag, contact your Parish Administrator.
Assisting at Services
We are in need of support for our worship services: Acolytes, Greeters/Ushers, Lectors, Intercessors, Altar Guild, Coffee Hour/Lemonade on the Lawn Hosts, and officiants for Morning Prayer.If you would like to help at any of our services, please contact the parish administrator of your church. Thank you!
Pastoral Care Requests
Holy Communion: If you are unable to attend an in-person worship service and would like Holy Communion brought to you, please contact the church office (contact information is at the bottom of this email). We will arrange a time for the clergy or Eucharistic Visitors to bring the Sacrament to your home or hospital bedside.
Hospital Visits: If you or a loved one is in the hospital, please let Mother Holly know. She is glad to come visit you in the hospital or call you during your stay.
IMPORTANT NEWS and DATES!
Saturday, 10/23 THE 202nd CONVENTION OF THE DIOCESE OF MAINE
The 202nd convention of the Diocese of Maine will be held this Saturday, October 23, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm, on Zoom. All are welcome to attend on the Diocese of Maine YouTube Channel here. Our parish is represented by Pat Samuel, Linda Foster, Jim Vallette, and Holly Hoffmann.
Sunday, 10/24 Lay Preaching Seminar on MDI
The Rev. Dr. Mark Jefferson, Assistant Professor of Homiletics at Virginia Theological Seminary, is our guest preacher for the island-wide service of Holy Eucharist on Sunday, October 24 at St. Saviour.
Mother Holly met Mark while in Omaha, Nebraska in June when he was preaching at the Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.
Following this service and time to eat lunch, Mark will lead a seminar for lay preachers to inspire and guide them in both inner, spiritual and practical preparation of sermons.
Folks from MDI may attend in person, if they desire. The seminar may also be attended by Zoom. To attend in person email Mother Holly to attend on Zoom click here now to reserve your spot.
This seminar will be hosted by the parishes of the MDI Partnership and open to others in the Diocese of Maine and Province 1.
MDI Episcopal Church partnership joint Thanksgiving Project
As a Partnership, the parishes of St Saviour's, St. Andrew & John, and Church of Our Father will team with the Bar Harbor Congregational church (BHCC) in their program of boxed food distribution at Thanksgiving. Each church will be responsible for a canned vegetable item: St Saviour's: canned green beans and cans of cranberry sauce; Church of Our Father, canned corn; and St. John's, canned peas (which the SASJ vestry determined will be purchased by 2021 Outreach funds so that collected food items this fall focus on an item for the children's Backpack program - see St. John's email next week for details)..
Each church can also assist (boxing/delivering food) BHCC, if they are able. The final day for drop off of the canned vegetables is November 18. Please bring the designated canned item to your church's collection area by Sunday, November 14. In terms of delivery at other times, call Doreen Willet – 266-8660, and she will meet you at BHCC at the appointed time.
May the Lord bless everyone's effort in this activity of helping others at Thanksgiving!
Booster Vaccine Doses: The latest from the Maine CDC:
"The U.S. CDC recommends that some individuals who received the Pfizer vaccine get a booster dose. This includes those who are 65 years and older, residents in long-term care facilities, and people ages 50-64 years with underlying medical conditions. People ages 18-49 with underlying medical conditions and those ages 18-64 at increased risk for COVID-19 exposure and transmission may also receive a booster. For more information, see this FAQ. To find a booster dose of the Pfizer vaccine, find a vaccination site offering the Pfizer shot."
Our Covid Task Force of the Episcopal churches of MDI have started meeting regularly again due to the increase of cases in Maine. We reviewed our protocols:
Masking for all regardless of vaccination status at all indoor gatherings
Social distancing will be marked within the worship space of all our churches
Refreshments will be only served outdoors (as has been our policy)
Ushers take care to encourage masking when entering the building and to maintain social distancing, especially during the distribution of Communion
We will be keeping a list of those who attend a service so we can do contract tracing should that be necessary.
Youth & Family Formation
Children's Faith Formation at Home on MDI Brad Berry and Chris Krenicki of Church of Our Father send home materials to support faith formation at home monthly for elementary and middle school aged youth. If you would like to receive these materials or be notified when in person events are happening here for youth in this age range, please be in touch with the parish office. Contact information is at the bottom of this email.
Pray, Play, Connect: A Fun and Prayerful Space for 6th-12th Graders across the Diocese All youth graduating 5th-12th grade are welcome! If you haven't participated in a diocesan youth event, this is a great opportunity to check one out. FMI: The Rev. Sara D'Angio White, Canon for Youth Formation here.
Let's Talk About It: Compline + Conversation for 9th-12th graders Fourth Sundays from 7:00-8:30 pm Click here for the ZOOM LINK Youth have jumped right in and engaged on difficult subjects, such as school violence and racism. Adults are welcome; contact Sara D'Angio White here.
Bible Study with the Rev. Stephen MuncieThe Wednesday Morning Bible Study has resumed. We will pick up our study of the Book of Exodus beginning with chapter 16. However, we will spend some time offering an overview of the beginnings of Exodus and the Moses story, the plagues of Egypt, and the deliverance at the Red Sea. All are welcome to attend. If you would like to be added to the class mailing list please send Fr. Steve an email here: Email Father Steve.
Contemplative Prayer: How About Adding a Group Contemplative Prayer experience to your spiritual life this summer?
Mother Regina Christianson and the Rev. Dr. Jenny Reece are gathering those who have or would like to learn a centering prayer practice every Friday at 1:00 p.m. at the Oranbega Retreat Center in Orland, Maine, starting on Friday, June 18. Beginners are always welcome, as are the more experienced, so long as they have "beginner's mind"! If you are interested please call or email Jenny and she will give you directions to Oranbega. 207-952-2363. Participation via Zoom will be available for those who live too far away to come to Orland for an hour on Fridays. To receive a link, use the above contact info. May your summer be richly blessed with prayer and meditation! If you intend to come to Orland in person, please call or text Jenny at 207-952-2363 for the schedule, as the meeting will be Zoom only on the weeks when she is absent and Mother Regina is leading the group.
Mother Holly's Office Hours Sunday as scheduled and where needed Monday at St. John's Tuesday at St. Saviour's Wednesday at Church of Our Father Thursday where needed and sermon preparation
She is happy to schedule an appointment if you would like to see her! Call the parish office or E-mail her
For pastoral emergencies, call her at 207-244-8144 and leave a message, if you do not reach her immediately.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT . . .
Preparing for the 202nd Convention of the Diocese
"Go forth with hope and grace"
Let us therefore approach the throne of grace with boldness, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 NRSV
The 202nd Convention of the Diocese of Maine will take place online on Saturday, October 23. Time TBA. All information will be posted to the convention page of the diocesan website as it becomes available. Please contact Canon Barbara Martin with any questions.
Update Your Zoom!
Zoom regularly pushes out new versions of their desktop client and mobile app to fix bugs, add enhancements, and address security concerns.
Zoom pushed out a new update on Monday, August 2nd. If you haven't updated your Zoom, consider this your reminder to do so!
Click here for more information and to select the download you need (PC, Mac, Linux, mobile).
Tech Tip: Changing Your Zoom Screen Name
How do you change your Zoom screen name? We're here to show you how! Click on the video link below (or click here) for a brief video from the Episcopal Diocese of Maine that shows you three different ways to change your Zoom screen name.
AND, AS ALWAYS . . .
Support Your Church
To facilitate stewardship, the Diocese of Maine has launched an online giving resource at no charge to the parishes. The Diocese will transfer the funds you give to your church or summer chapel using this online payment system. Simply select your church and set up your one-time or recurring gift or establish automatic weekly or monthly donations to the parish, either charged to your credit card or to your personal checking or savings account. You can also name your gift in memory or honor of someone through this site in the memo section. Congregation names begin with their town; chapels begin with "Chapel" followed by town and chapel name. Click here to visit the online giving portal of the Diocese.
As always, the church accepts other forms of donations. Contact the church office if you would like to request pledge envelopes for the future.
Teen Simple Daily Devotionalhttps://d365.org/ This resource is used by teens across the country. It walks you through simple daily devotionals (sort of like meditations). You could use it any day, to strengthen you on your faith journey.
Forward Movement has the daily office (morning prayer, noonday prayer, evening prayer, or compline) on the Forward Movement Daily Prayerwebsite.
There is also a daily podcast, A Morning at the Office, with various people leading the prayers and reading the scripture lessons for the day.
Hardcopies of the Day By Day readers are available by contacting the church office or stopping by when the parish office is open.
Everybody Eats Free Community Meal is a project whose goal is to provide free, healthful and wholesome meals to the Ellsworth community. Visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Everybody-Eats-A-Free-Community-Meal-568143769902367/. Open Table MDI exists to inspire strong, loving, and inclusive communities by bringing people together to share in nourishing food. For more information visit their website here. AA recovery groups, online and in person, in Downeast Maine can be found by clicking here An AA group meets in St. Saviour's Parish Hall in small groups Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at noon, and on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wednesdays at 7 pm.
Warning about email, phone and text scams.
Neither the Rev. Holly Hoffmann nor any member of the church staff or leadership will solicit gifts, specifically gift cards, via email, phone or text directly. Neither will we ask if you are "free now" and request only an email or text response. Always check the actual email address from the sender to see if it matches Mother Holly's email and do not respond to the email, text or call. Please report these emails as phishing/scam attempts and block the sender or caller from your inbox or phone . If you are in doubt, or need more information, please contact the parish office. We will return your call.
The MDI Episcopal Partnership
St. Andrew's and St. John's PO Box 767 Southwest Harbor, ME 04679 GPS Location: 315 Main Street, Southwest Harbor, Maine