Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Lent is here

Now begins the solemn season of Lent. Beginning on Ash Wednesday, March 5th, Lent is the season that leads us to Easter on April 20th. 

Lent begins with the imposition of Ashes. Our Ash Wednesday service is at 7:00 p.m., and includes a brief communion service.

Our Sunday morning worship is at 10:00 a.m. throughout Lent.

As part of our Lenten journey, we are offering two educational opportunities for people of all ages. On the Sunday mornings of Lent, we will gather at 9:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall with our children and any interested adults to do an art project that is Scripture-based and focused on Lent and the cross.

On Sunday afternoons from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., we will have a bible study for adults and confirmation students, and the focus will be on the Sunday readings of Lent. These are rich readings that lead us to recall our baptism, tracing the history of our relationship with God in Christ. Please join us!

On the Wednesdays of Lent, please join us for a regional Lutheran gathering at First Lutheran Church, 132 Auburn Street, Portland. We begin with a soup supper at 6:00 p.m., followed by an evening prayer service at 7:00 p.m. 

Holy Week begins on Sunday, April 13th with Palm Sunday worship at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Is time with God ever really "Ordinary"?

The above poem by Malcolm Guite is a beautiful reflection on Epiphany. During January and February this year, we walk through the Sundays of Epiphany, an “Ordinary Time” in the language of our sister denominations. In the cold and gray days of winter, slogging through slush, slipping on ice, shoveling snow, and trying to stay warm, we may lose sight of the wonder of the Epiphany as we await the beginning of Lent in early March.

But as the poem reminds us, the story of the Epiphany might have been someone else’s story, except that it was not. No, this time, we were the chosen people, the ones destined to receive a new king. Although born in a filthy stable, a glorious incarnation is found in Jesus.

And we make pilgrimage together to seek the Lord where He may be found.

We don’t have actual video of the Magi arriving at the stable, but have you ever wondered what that moment must have looked like? Don’t you think at least one of these “kings” from the east would have asked, “Are we in the right place?” Do we think for a moment that they expected such a humble and smelly place in which to find a newborn King?

I believe that the experience of the Magi challenges us to seek the Lord in the surprising places, in the people we least expect to reflect the light of Christ, in the face of the stranger and the outcast, and yes, even in the life of the person next to you! 

For the next couple of months, green vestments signify an ordinary time in the church year.

But is there really anything “ordinary” about Epiphany?

Pastor Bill Barter

Monday, December 23, 2013

Join us for Christmas Services!

St. Ansgar will celebrate Christmas with two services:

On Christmas Eve at 7:00 p.m. we will have the family Christmas service with Holy Communion.  There will be a special Christmas message for the children, along with some amazing brass, violin, organ, and vocal music. ASL for the deaf and hearing impaired will be offered at this service.

On Christmas morning, we have another communion service at 9:00 a.m. This service is much quieter than the Christmas Eve service. Some people prefer the informal and contemplative nature of this service.

On Sunday, December 29th, join us at our regular 10:00 a.m. worship time for a festival of Lessons and Carols with Holy Communion.

On Sunday, January 5th, join us once again at 10:00 a.m. for an intergenerational Christmas pageant to tell the story of our Savior's birth and the arrival of the three wise men.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Come Join us for a Special Holiday Concert!

A Holiday Concert will be held on Saturday, December 14, at 7:00 PM.  Heather Connolly and Pastor Ellen, along with some friends, will be presenting this concert at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church to benefit the Portland Community Free Clinic.

The Portland Community Free Clinic provides much needed healthcare to low income workers throughout the greater Portland area.  Serving the working poor, the Clinic cares for approximately 600 patients in 1600 encounters per year, providing health services to people who would not otherwise be able to receive sufficient healthcare.  High quality care is provided by 100 plus volunteer physicians and nurses. 

Over the past 10 months Pastor Ellen and other volunteers, have been working to create an organization that will help provide sustainable and ongoing funding for the work of the Clinic. The Friends of the Portland Community Free Clinic became an incorporated organization this past summer.  Proceeds from the Holiday Concert on December 14 will be used to provide health care for many.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Advent is here!

The season of Advent is here! This is a time to remind ourselves of the anticipated coming of the Lord while we remember his first coming at Christmas.

In addition to our regular Sunday worship for Advent, we have lots of things planned for the whole family:

The Scandinavian Weekend is on December 7 and 8. On Saturday the 7th, we will have our annual fair from 10:00 to 2:00 with traditional Scandinavian gifts and baked goods, plus our legendary haddock chowder.

On Sunday, December 8th, we will crown our St. Lucia at 4:00 p.m. The crowning is followed by a reception with lots of goodies and an opportunity to once again browse the Scandinavian marketplace for wonderful holiday gifts ideas.

On Sunday, December 15th at 10:00 a.m. worship, we will be holding our Christmas Pageant. This year, our pageant is multi-generational!

We will have two Christmas services, one at 7:00 p.m. Christmas Eve (a family service), and a slightly quieter service at 9:00 a.m. on Christmas Day.

On Sunday, December 29th, we will have Lessons and Carols at 10:00 a.m.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Come and join us for worship Sundays at 10:00 AM during the school year and  9:00 AM during the summer. Following the service is Coffee and Conversation. All are invited to enjoy the fellowship and tasty treats.

During the school year our Sunday School program for children under confirmation age is incorporated into worship time. On the first Sunday of the month, the liturgy is youth focused and families are encouraged to worship together. On other Sundays families start the worship together and children are called to the front for a blessing with their teachers. Then the Sunday School leaves worship for their lessons. Children and teachers come back at the Passing of the Peace. This way children receive the liturgical message in a way that is meaningful for them and parents can worship worry free. In addition, there is a cry room where parents can still view the service while their babies and toddlers get a play break.

For information about confirmation classes, please contact Pastor Bill.

Holiday Evening Services:
Ash Wednesday 7PM
Joint Lenten Services Wednesdays Throughout Lent (Call church for details.)
Maundy Thursday 7PM
Good Friday 7PM
Christmas Eve Family Service 7PM

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Summer Worship Schedule

St. Ansgar is now on our summer worship schedule. This Sunday and all Sundays during the summer months, worship will begin at 9:00 AM. Come out and worship in the cool of the morning, enjoy coffee and conversation, and head out for your summer Sunday plans in peace. Are you from out of town? We love visitors! Please join us.