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.
Leaders: Tricia Wheeler and Elizabeth McIntosh
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.
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 lead 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: Bill Gowen
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 or other unforeseen needs.
Coordinator: Jana Burke
Under the skilled and gentle direction of our organist and choirmaster, Bruce S. Fithian, the Saint Mary’s Choir sings at the ten o’clock Choral Eucharist September through June, as well as at special liturgies-Ash Wednesday, Holy Week, and Christmas.
Choir Director: Bruce Fithian
Christian Formation for Youth (Guiding RAY) and Adults
Children from preschool through sixth grade are welcomed to weekly workshops held each Sunday morning from September through June. We open the Guiding RAY doors at 9:15am 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. Special Children’s Liturgies (Ash Wednesday, the Good Friday Children’s Stations of the Cross, and the annual Christmas Pageant) are held throughout the year. Historically, our Rector has been closely connected to the Guiding RAY program, supporting the teachers and guiding the children at age-appropriate services during Lent, Advent and other times of the year.
Chair: Guiding RAY team (children), Clergy (adults)
Christian Formation for Adult
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.
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 Administrator 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 Old Testament lesson, and to lead the congregation in the recitation of the psalm. The lectors come up from the midst of the congregation. While there is some on-site training, lectors do not need to be licensed by the Bishop.
Eucharistic Ministers assist the clergy by reading the epistle, leading the Prayers of the People, and administering a chalice at the Holy Eucharist. Eucharistic Ministers receive special training, and are licensed by the Bishop each Advent upon recommendation of the Rector.
Chair: Becky Pride
Eucharistic Visitors are specially trained and licensed by the Bishop to take the Blessed Sacrament to those parishioners unable to be present at the conclusion of the liturgy. In this way, those who are ill or homebound are powerfully reminded that they are part of the Saint Mary’s family whether present or absent. The Eucharistic Visitors are part of Saint Mary’s Healing Ministry, and are under the direction of Deacon Christine Bennett.
The deacon-trained healing team, following weekly services and other times, lead prayers for healing, the laying-on-of-hands and anointing.
Leader: Deacon Christine Bennett
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, Welcome Back 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.
Chair: Debby Hammond
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.
Chair: Norma Jean Brilliant, Elizabeth Heinzman and Ruth Kimball
This group of volunteers works in the office on a rotating basis. They support the parish administrator helping with the weekly leaflet, and the monthly newsletter, the “AVE”. They also answer phones for three to four hours a 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 respond to local, state, national and global needs. Working through and with the congregation, 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 7% of all pledges, the Outreach Committee leads the congregation in “hands on” projects.
Co-Chair: Marian McCue
This group warmly welcomes all who come through the doors of Saint Mary’s, writes notes to visitors, often accompanies them to coffee hour and introduces them to more Saint Marians. The Welcoming Committee also sponsors delightful social events three times a year at members’ homes, where the newly-arrived and the well-established can enjoy one another’s company.
Coordinator: Mary Ann McLean
The Pastoral Visitors visit members who are ill, in the hospital, homebound, or otherwise have need of pastoral care. Some members are licensed Eucharistic Visitors who bring Holy Communion. The group meets monthly with Deacon Christine Bennett.
These 19 people pray daily for parishioners and friends whose names have been given to them. They pray for people nearby and far away and for the concerns of the larger world.
Coordinator: Deacon Christine and Ginny Stelk
This group knits shawls using large needles and a very simple pattern that involves three rows of three – representing the Holy Trinity. This year the group is expanding their mission to other knitting projects
Coordinator: Ginny Stelk
Souper Supper Guild
Saint Mary’s “Souper Supper” provides nutritional and spiritual nourishment to 80-100 members of the greater Portland community twice a month. There is no charge for this meal. This Outreach effort is supported largely through sales of specialty ground coffee to Saint Mary’s parishioners.
Coordinator: Jennifer Gregg
St. Elizabeth’s Essential Pantry
St. Elizabeth’s Essentials Pantry is a welcoming, no-barrier program of distribution of non-food essentials to the most needy among us, regardless of religious affiliation. The pantry is opened every Tuesday from 9 to 11am in the Lower Parish Hall of the Cathedral Church of Saint Luke, Portland.
Coordinators: Betsy Elliman and Judith Brooks
The Stewardship Committee and Vestry are working to create a more holistic approach to all aspects of Christian Stewardship: fiscal, environmental, and theological. While engaged at the level of budget preparation and spearheading the annual pledge campaign, the Stewardship Committee also seeks ways to hold before the parish our “bounden duty and service” to be cheerful and sacrificial givers.
2016 Chair: Janet Bowne
Take the Wheel
This group provides rides to church or other Saint Mary’s events for parishioners in need.
Coordinator: Interested? Contact Hugh Smith or Deacon Christine
Ushers greet and assist parishioners and visitors as they arrive for Sunday worship, count and record the number of people present, distribute the weekly leaflet, collect and present the offering and oblations during the service, and straighten up the church after each service. In addition to Sunday mornings, our ushers really “earn their wings” during Christmas and Easter, where people quite literally line the walls and it is “standing-room only”!
Chair: Jack Heinzman
The Wisdom Seekers meets weekly at 10:30am for a conversation, book discussion, Bible Study, etc. Following a period when we share lunch and fellowship time together around 11:30am, there is Holy Eucharist and Healing liturgy celebrated at 12noon. All are welcome to attend any part of this time.
Middlers – A concerted and successful effort has been made to create an effective ministry among our middle school students called “The Middlers.” They meet on Sunday mornings, and there’s time for play and discussion and lots of fun.
Middle School leaders:
Young Life – There is an ecumenical group for High Schoolers that started last fall and which will hopefully be a building block to an ecumenical effort to build a new Young Life ministry in the greater Falmouth area.
The primary goals of Young Life are threefold: 1. To provide teens with a chance to build relationships with adults who care about them (all workers are carefully screened), 2. To provide life-giving, safe, fun ways for teens to spend time together, 3. To provide each teenager with the basic information about the person of Jesus Christ and to encourage a life-long faith in Christ. A local team has been meeting and will continue to meet; if interested in helping, contact Father Nathan.
Youth Service Team – There is an effort to reinvigorate the service team allowing our youth to gather in fellowship while serving others. Contact Anne LaFond for more information.
Yearly Saint Mary’s Fundraising Events
The annual Bridge-a-Thon happens every spring (May 29, 2015) and is a wonderful afternoon of bridge, and other card games with conversation and delicious tea snacks.
The annual S. Mary’s Lobster Bake & Auction
is typically held on the second Saturday in August (Aug 13, 2016). It is
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.
The Sparkles Season starts on the First Sunday of Advent. Our purpose and hope is to welcome the community to S. Mary’s and to provide an opportunity for all members of the parish to come together in work and play as we await the Christmas season. Sparkles events always include: The Memorial & Celebration Tree Lighting on thanksgiving Eve; Advent Lessons and Carols, (Sunday of Advent 1), The Sparkles Fair (Saturday of Advent 2, Dec. 3, 2016), Caroling, and a Sparkles Concert (Sunday of Advent 3) with gala reception.
And there’s always an opportunity for more!
New and evolving at Saint Mary’s:
Art Studio at Saint Mary’s
Art Studio space that can be used for art and creative classes for Adults and youths.
Afternoons at Saint Mary’s
An offering of adults and youth educational, vocational, cultural and creative classes or forums. More to come!
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.