Sunday, September 7, 2014

Is fall really coming?

Although the temps are in the 80's some days, the fall is upon us. As we move from the slow pace of summer, we turn our minds to the life and ministry of our church.

Here are some upcoming events and projects you won't want to miss!

Attention Parents and 5th - 8th Graders - Our Fall kick-off event with area Lutheran churches  
is Friday, September 12, at First Lutheran Church, 6:00-8:00 pm

God's Work, Our Hands / Christian Education Kick-off All Church Event
Sunday, September 14 - Join us for a potluck meal following worship!
We will share information and have a conversation about Christian Education throughout  
the 2014-2015 year. Then, after eating lunch, we will package cookies and care packages to send to military personnel in Afghanistan. We ask that you bake cookies ahead of time in preparation for this event.
Items to bring for Care Packages:
  • Cookies (Any kind EXCEPT chocolate - Chocolate does not survive the trip!!)
  • Any kind of snacks or junk food
  • Candy that is NOT chocolate
  • Toiletry items
  • Keurig-cup coffees
We will begin collecting these items on Sunday, August 31, and package them Sunday, Sept. 14!

Senior Saints - Monday, September 15, Westbrook Senior Citizens, Westbrook, 1:00 pm
and Wednesday, September 17, Barron Center, Portland, 2:00 pm
Paul's PALS - Sunday, September 28, Inn at the Village Square, Gorham, 2:00 pm

The September meeting of PALS will be held on Wednesday, September 17th at 11:00 am
at IHOP. The speaker will be Deanna Ross who will speak about Valentines. Planning meeting at 10:00. Please make your reservation by Friday, September 12th.

Sunday, October 12 - Fall Bread for the World Offering of Letters during Coffee Hour

Bible Sunday, October 26 - Children and youth will be receiving Bibles during worship on
October 26. If your child has not received a Bible, please put his/her name on the list in the lobby. Children in 3rd Grade and above will receive a NRSV Bible. Children under 3rd Grade will receive a Children's Bible.
  

Special Lecture event!


"Bringing It All Home: A Recovery of the Ordinary"
Dr. Janet Gunn will share her story of the Palestinians on Wednesday evening, September 17th
from 7-8:30 at St. Ansgar Lutheran Church, 515 Woodford Street, Portland, ME. The focus of
her story is a teenager from a refugee camp near Bethlehem who was shot by an Israeli soldier
during the first year of the First Intifada and died two years later. Janet met the boy at a
Palestinian hospital shortly after his fatal wound and accompanied him to a Boston hospital
for six weeks of life-saving emergency medical treatment.  She became a member of his family
over the course of the two years he survived on hyperalimentation, a feeding of essential minerals
and vitamins by means of a tube attached to a major vein in his chest.  

Janet flew back from a visiting professorship at Hobart & William Smith Colleges for the two-
week wake following his death in the fall of 1990 when she was an integral  part of the wide community visitation with the boy's family. Her memoir, Second Life, is a testimony to the life
and death of Mohammad along with the resulting recovery of the ordinariness of the life she
seemed to have lost at the death of her father when she was five years old.  A kitchen spoon 
begins and ends her story.

Copies of her book, Second Life: A West Bank Memoir, (University of Minnesota Press, 1995)
will be available for purchase.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

It's summer!

Summer is here. A time to (finally) enjoy some warm weather and relaxation.

Beginning on June 29th, worship moves to 9:00 a.m. The earlier time gives families more flexibility in their Sunday plans.

Worship is a bit simpler and more relaxed in the summer. And we always have the opportunity to welcome an occasional summer visitor.

Our church is now air-cooled, so the temp in the sanctuary rarely goes above 72 degrees. Check it out!

Despite the relaxed nature of summer, there are still activities going on. Watch this blog and our Facebook page to see when we will have special events in the summer.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Holy Week is Here!


Easter Sunday, April 20 – Easter Breakfast & 10:00 a.m. Eucharist 
Come and join us for a delicious breakfast on this most festive of days. Breakfast 
starts at 8:30 a.m., and the proceeds go to fund camp scholarships for Calumet. The 
cost is $4 per person, $10 for an entire family. 

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.