This was the first Christmas for Wayne and I as a married couple, so for the weeks leading up to it we talked about what we will do to create lasting traditions. Tradition is such a comforting word in an uncertain world, isn’t it? Yet things didn’t happen as we had hoped. The cold I had from last week continues to steal my voice and morphed into a nasty cough, the kind that leaves my ribs aching, so I’ve been consuming lots of cough syrup, lozenges and medicinal teas. Because of that we obviously needed to forgo a Christmas Eve service, something we really had been looking forward to doing, especially after missing church on Sunday. Yet things turned out in ways we couldn’t have anticipated.
Wayne and I are now members of St. David’s in Kennebunk during the off-season of St. Ann’s. We have some dear friends from St. Ann’s who are members and it’s a really good fit for us. Despite the half hour ride early in the very cold morning we enjoy it! I’ve come to realize that when the fit is right, it doesn’t feel like a hassle. Life is too precious, whether it be short or long, to not go someplace every week where we feel uplifted and what we can bring is appreciated.
Today after the early service there was an “alternative gift market” offering handmade treasures from Bethlehem and Haiti!
This is what we’ll be thinking about while sitting in church in January.
Wayne and I are missing church this morning due to a “winter weather advisory” which includes icy rain and slick roads. Then we’re getting some snow! I’ll miss going this morning because weather and wellness permitting, during the fall, winter and spring, Wayne and I go to our Episcopal church in Cape Elizabeth* every Sunday. We prefer the early morning quiet and “contemplative” service which means there are no hymns, choir nor an organ being played. Unlike the later service there is a relatively small attendance of regulars. Here are some things I really love about our ritual:
“It’s not whether we win or lose; it’s who we help along the way.”
Retired Maine football coach John Wolfgram has won ten state championships and more than 300 games during four decades as a head coach at four schools. John is also a champion at ushering at the 8:00 a.m. service at our church, St. Albans in Cape Elizabeth. When he asked if Wayne and I could fill in for one of his slots, I told him we’d trade in exchange for a blog interview! He cheerfully and graciously agreed. I’m so happy and honored that he volunteered to share his inspiring approach to “winning” with you here on Serene New England.
I’m often asked what gave me the idea to do a tour of Maine’s summer Episcopal chapels. The truth is that it just came to me, the same way the idea for my blog Serene New England did during Easter Sunday while sitting in church at St. Mary’s. I love to explore new-to-me places and meet new people. The theme of renewal and strengthening my relationship with God while appreciating unique places of worship in beautiful coastal Maine settings felt like it would be Episcopal Summer Camp. And in many ways, I was right!
Wayne and I took a scenic drive to Trinity Chapel in Kennebunk Beach which is a seaside community filled with gorgeous Victorians and wood shingled cottages. From the church website: “We have a ten week summer season, starting the last Sunday of June and saying Goodbye on the first Sunday of September. The chapel is open every day from morning to dusk, for quiet contemplation, or a noisier visit by KBIA campers. Dogs and sand are ok too. All are welcome, all of the time. The chapel is always tucked in for the winter, to open again in the spring, and by special arrangement at other times.”
Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: Trinity Chapel, Kennebunk Beach”
We got an early start this morning so that we could double dip by attending two services, one at St. Ann’s and the other at St. Peter’s By The Sea. Today is also my twenty-third sobriety anniversary! Our original plan was to attend services at a local-to-us summer chapel after a celebratory breakfast at the Black Point Inn. We had to change our plans but today turned out to be another magical Sunday summer morning in Maine thanks to the welcoming Episcopalian spirit! Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: St. Peter’s By The Sea, Cape Neddick”
Up until now, Wayne and I have been loving our Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour, and that includes everything from researching the different churches to anticipating our next visit. Something Wayne and I mistakenly believed as Christians and Episcopalians is that we would be welcome to attend services in any Episcopalian church or chapel. Continue reading “Maine Episcopal Summer Chapel Tour: We Didn’t See This Coming”