Younger parishioners (aged eight and above) as well as adults assist the clergy in conducting worship. From lighting candles, to carrying the processional cross, and helping to prepare the altar. Our acolytes are a source of pride and joy. It is also a great way for children and youth to be part of our worship service and connect with the St. Mary’s community.
Coordinator: Tricia Wheeler
Alida Greely Brown Heritage Society
A special group of those who have included Saint Mary’s in their will or estate plans and have notified the Parish Office. There is an annual luncheon. Interested in learning more?
Contact: Jennifer Gregg
Altar Flower Guild
This highly-talented and deeply-committed group arranges the flowers on the altar for Sundays, Holy Days, and for weddings and funerals as requested. Their creativity and artistry are unparalleled.
Co-Chair: Jessica LaPlante and Onnie Hastings
Altar Flower Delivery
Each week, the Altar Flower Delivery Guild delivers the flowers which have graced the altar to parishioners who are ill, homebound, or who are observing a celebration of a milestone. It’s one way of extending our Sunday worship to those for whom we have prayed.
Coordinator: Betsy Stoddard
The Altar Guild is at the very core of our communal worship. Working in teams, the members prepare the sanctuary for worship by dressing the altar, polishing silver, washing and ironing linens, and by cleaning up after the services. It’s a behind-the-scenes ministry of quiet reverence.
Co-Chairs: Janet Bowne and Mary Smith
Saint Mary’s now hosts and sponsors two Red Cross blood drives each year in our Auditorium. One is held on Good Friday as a way for us to identify with the Lord’s shedding of his blood on the cross for us. The other is held around Thanksgiving. Helpers are always needed with food and registrations.
Coordinator: Jana Burke
Buildings and Grounds
The Building and Grounds Committee has long been known for its ability to accomplish great things using little money! These dedicated parishioners keep the grounds clean, the heat on, and the church bell ringing. Twice a year, the B&G committee organizes a parish-wide clean-up of the grounds, which attracts many Saint Marians with rakes in hand.
Chair: Jim Stoddard
Budget and Finance Committee
This group of highly-qualified finance minds led by the Treasurer together review parish financial data; direct the preparation of the annual budget; recommend fiscal actions to the vestry; and ensure that the parish financial records are audited each year.
Chair/Treasurer: Bill Gowen
A monthly meeting of all those who help us pay attention to the needs of fellow parishioners. A list of those in need of care is kept and the various ways by which we might care for them is discussed. Open to all who feel called to help.
Coordinator: Lee Snow
Dozens of Saint Mary’s excellent cooks prepare and deliver meals to parishioners in need or when families and individuals find themselves unable to cook following surgery or recovering from illness. More cooks are always needed!
Coordinator: Jana Burke
Under the skilled direction of our organist and choirmaster, Bruce S. Fithian, the Saint Mary’s Choir sings at our weekly Choral Eucharist from early September through mid June, as well as on Holy Days throughout the year (i.e.,Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, and Christmas).
Choirmaster: Bruce Fithian
Guiding RAY (Religious Adventures for Youth)
Children (K – 5th grade) are welcomed to weekly workshops held each Sunday morning from early September through mid June. Nursery care is provided year round for our youngest parishioners. We open the Guiding RAY doors at 9:30am and enjoy time with Father Nathan in Family Chapel then move to classes that focus on faith development, stories from the Bible, and our life in the Episcopal Church. After class, children join their parents/families for Communion in the Church. Special Children’s Liturgies (i.e., Ash Wednesday, Good Friday Children’s Stations of the Cross, and the annual Christmas Pageant) are held throughout the year. Our Rector is closely connected to the Guiding RAY program, supporting the teachers and guiding the children.
Director: Megan Akers Nursery Coordinator: Julie Otte
Christian Formation for Adults
Various opportunities exist for adult spiritual formation such as weekly bible studies, weekend retreats, theological conferences, and other discussion groups. Watch the eNEWS and the AVE for more information.
Coordinator: Father Nathan
The Churchyard Committee works closely with the Vestry and the Buildings and Grounds Committee in the maintenance and upkeep of Saint Mary’s Churchyard, the Burial Garden, and Saint Mary’s Woods (a setting, forever natural, for the interment of cremated remains.) The committee works closely with the Parish Manager in supervising the sale of plots, and arranging for the opening and closing of gravesites.
Chair: Lucy Ellis
The ministry of the lector is to read the Scripture lesson, and sometimes lead the congregation in praying the appointed Psalm. Lectors come up from the congregation and do not vest. St. Mary’s provides some training, but Lectors do not need to be licensed by the Bishop.
Eucharistic Ministers assist the Clergy by reading the Scripture lesson, leading the Prayers of the People, and administering a chalice at Communion. Eucharistic Ministers receive special training, and are licensed by the Bishop during each Advent upon recommendation of the Rector.
Chair: Becky Pride
Eucharistic Visitors are specially trained and licensed by the Bishop to take the Reserved Sacrament to those parishioners unable to be present at the Eucharist. In this way, those who are ill or homebound are included as part of our Saint Mary’s family whether present or absent. This group is part of the Saint Mary’s Pastoral Visitors.
Coordinator: Father Nathan
This team prays for all who ask for healing, for themselves or on behalf of another, at our Sunday Eucharist. This ministry often includes the laying-on-of-hands and anointing with oil.
The goal of this group is to promote fellowship within the Parish. This committee plans and coordinates special meals and receptions for the parish, and helps to coordinate the Sunday coffee hours hosted by parishioners and the various guilds. The Hospitality Committee also assists other parish committees as needed for special events. The committee itself is assisted by volunteers on an ad-hoc basis who bake, set up, take down, and clean up as asked. The Hospitality Committee has helped to coordinate pot luck suppers, the annual Kick-Off picnic, and other events to enhance fellowship both within the parish and with the greater community.
Chair: Anne LaFond
Coffee Hour Coordinator: Betsy Stoddard
The needlepoint kneelers in our church are designed, stitched and assembled by this group. Some parishioners meet weekly on Wednesday mornings; others work in their homes and come in for assistance as needed. If you would like to have a kneeler as a memorial or thanksgiving, please contact a committee member; there are only a few kneelers left unfunded.
We are blessed with beautiful and extensive grounds here at Saint Mary’s, but it takes a lot of work to keep them in good shape. Members of this team adopt specific flower beds and areas which need weeding and maintenance.
Leader: Lucy Ellis
The Memorial Reception Committee offers tangible caring at a time of grief and loss. Preparing a delicious “Silver Tea” after a funeral nourishes both body and soul. The committee relies on the talent of so many of our members who bake, make sandwiches, or volunteer to pour tea and coffee-and we are never disappointed. Equally adept at receptions from twenty-five to two hundred, this group offers a true labor of love.
Co-Chairs: Norma Jean Brilliant, Elizabeth Heinzman and Ruth Kimball
Open to all young people in Middle School (and sometimes High Schoolers also), this group meets on Sunday mornings in the Youth Room of the Parish House, and also for various projects and fun events throughout the year.
“Church” is not a building, but a group of people called to serve together in Christ’s name. The Outreach Committee organizes three opportunities in the year for our parish family to seek and serve God in the broader community. Parishioners of all ages are invited to gather in the Auditorium at 9am for payers, after which all participate in one of several service projects in Falmouth, Portland, Yarmouth or Cumberland, returning to Saint Mary’s by 12 noon for Communion and shared lunch. Watch the AVE for dates.
Coordinators: Outreach Committee
This group warmly welcomes all who are new to Saint Mary’s. This team sponsors delightful social events three times per year at members’ homes, where the newly-arrived and the well-established may meet and get to know one another.
Coordinator: Mary Ann McLean
This group of volunteers works in the parish office on a rotating basis. They support the Parish Manager helping with the weekly bulletin, the monthly “AVE” newsletter and other clerical and administrative tasks. They also answer phones for four to six hours per week. Angels are a convivial bunch, and the highlight of the year is the annual “spring luncheon” with the Rector.
Coordinator: Jennifer Gregg
The mission of the Outreach Committee is to lead our parish family in responding to local, state, national and global needs. We focus on those lacking food, housing and those who are in physical and emotional need, giving special attention to programs which enable people to overcome these conditions in order to improve their lives. In addition to disbursing budgeted funds, currently 5% of all collected pledges, the Outreach Committee leads the congregation in “hands on” projects.
Chair: Marian McCue
The Pastoral Visitors visit members who are ill, in the hospital, homebound, or otherwise have need of Christian care and support. Some members are licensed Eucharistic Visitors who bring Holy Communion to the ill and homebound.
Coordinator: Father Nathan
This group of people commit to pray daily for parishioners and friends whose names (and needs) have been shard with them. They pray for people nearby and far away and for the concerns of the larger world.
Coordinator: Ginny Stelk
This group knits shawls using large needles and a very simple pattern that involves three rows of three – representing the Holy Trinity. The shawls are given as gifts of love to our graduates and others. The group is also expanding their mission to other knitting projects.
Coordinator: Ginny Stelk
Souper Supper Ministry
Saint Mary’s “Souper Supper” provides nutritional and spiritual nourishment to 60-100 members of the greater Portland community on the 2nd & 4th Fridays of each month from 5 – 7pm. There is no charge for this meal. This Outreach effort is supported largely through sales of specialty bags of Coffee By Design coffee to Saint Mary’s parishioners. New people are always needed to join the Souper Supper team.
Coordinator: Jennifer Gregg
This group provides rides to the Holy Eucharist or other Saint Mary’s events for parishioners who are unable to drive themselves.
St. Elizabeth’s Jubilee Center
Formerly known as St. Elizabeth’s Essentials Pantry, this is a welcoming, no-barrier program of distribution of non-food essentials (i.e., clothes, household items) to the needy people in the Portland area, regardless of religious affiliation. The Center is open every Tuesday from 9 to 11am in the Lower Parish Hall of the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Portland. Saint Marians assist with the distribution once every 6 weeks.
Coordinators: Betsy Elliman and Judith Brooks
The Stewardship Team works to raise funds needed to support our operating budget through our annual pledge campaign. This Team also hopes to create within all Saint Marians a more holistic understanding of Stewardship: fiscal, environmental, and personal.
Chair: Janet Bowne, Junior Warden
Ushers greet and assist parishioners and visitors as they arrive for Sunday worship, count and record the number of people present, distribute the weekly bulletin, collect and present the offering during the service, and straighten up the church after each liturgy. In addition to Sunday mornings, our ushers really “earn their wings” during Christmas and Holy Week, where people quite literally line the walls and it is “standing-room only”!
Chair: Jack Heinzman
The Wisdom Seekers meet weekly (except in July) on Tuesdays at 10:30am for a Bible Study, or book discussion. Also every other Tuesday, Nadine Timberlake leads a Bible Study at Foreside Harbor. All are welcome.
Leader: Nadine Timberlake
Young Life of Casco Bay
Young Life is a world wide ecumenical outreach to young people which seeks to provide teens with safe, life affirming ways to have fun; with trained and screened caring adults who will support them; and with a basic introduction to who Jesus is. Weekly club meetings are open to all and are crazy fun. Our local chapter reaches out to youth in Portland, Falmouth, Cumberland, Yarmouth and Freeport. There is an annual fundraising banquet in October to which all are invited. The Casco Bay race in May also supports this ministry.
Committee Members: Father Nathan and Tom Stegemann
Annual Saint Mary’s Fundraising Events:
Book, Bake and Soup Sale is held in Winter (usually March). We collect used books which we sell to the broader community. There are also baked goods and soups for sale. All funds are used for mission and charity work coordinated by the Outreach Committee.
Bridge-a-Thon happens in Spring (usually May) and is a wonderful afternoon of bridge, and other 4-person card games with conversation and delicious tea snacks.
Saint Mary’s Lobster Bake & Auction is typically held on the second Saturday in August. It is a wonderful summer event for parishioners and friends to experience S. Mary’s in a relaxed, informal, family-friendly setting. We welcome new members to the committee to plan this fundraising event. This is a large and important event for our parish family.
Sparkles is what Saint Mary’s does during the Advent season! The purpose and hope is to welcome the broader community to St. Mary’s and to provide an opportunity for all members of the parish to come together in work and play as we prepare for Christmas. Sparkles events always include: Advent 1: Advent Lessons & Carols, Advent Wreath Workshop & Kyros Memorial Tree Lighting; Advent 2: Sparkles Fair & Boutique plus a Bake & Cookie Walk; Advent 3: All Parish Caroling, and Schola Concert followed by a gala reception.
And there’s always an opportunity for more!
There’s a place for you here!
If there is a ministry, committee or guild that interests you,
call the chair person or one of the Wardens for more information.