Loading

A SENSE OF PLACE ST. PAUL'S NEWBURYPORT PARISH PROFILE 2019

Gracious God, we come before you today to give thanks for your everlasting love and to ask for your guidance as we search for the next rector of St. Paul’s parish. Give us wisdom, clear direction and great faith to select a rector who will minister to our needs and show us how to carry out your work in our parish and community. All this we pray in your name. Amen.

A PLACE TO EMBRACE ALL PEOPLE

St. Paul's parishioners come from all walks of life, and from many denominational backgrounds. We are a community of young and old, of varying lifestyles, of those who are firm in the faith and those struggling to make sense of it all. We welcome people of all ages and stages in life and in the journey of faith. We are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming worship experience for all who walk through our doors.

When you place yourself among people you don’t choose it leads to extending yourself and opportunities for more things to happen in your life.

STATEMENT OF CALL

St. Paul’s is a Christian community where people are met and accepted without judgment for who they are and are adopted into a loving and caring family. Our faith provides a framework within which we explore, honor and celebrate the presence of God in daily experiences, especially in the crises, conflicts and transitions of life, and are thereby equipped to live fully in an increasingly complex and changing world. We believe we are called to center our life in Jesus Christ through a regular discipline of Eucharistic worship, scripture study and prayer. We believe our faith leads us to fulfill our mission, which is to share ourselves and our resources with each other, our community and the world. We believe we are called to discover and affirm our spiritual gifts and be responsible and committed ministers of these gifts in the name of Jesus Christ.

A PLACE TO BELONG

Parishioners love St. Paul's because there are so many ways to belong to the community. Some find a place in the choir, teaching church school and youth activities, helping with the church fair, joining the vestry or the altar guild, or being a lay Eucharistic minister. There are so many ways to find a place to belong.

There's a sense of peace when you're surrounded by everyone . . .
Joining the choir, acting as a lector or knitting prayer shawls with the Edie Ellen Knitters are just a few of the many ways to get involved at St. Paul's.

A PLACE TO WORSHIP

. . . where people are met and accepted without judgment for who they are and are adopted into a loving and caring family.

Through our liturgy, sermons and music we celebrate our commitment to our faith as professed in our Statement of Call “where people are met and accepted without judgment for who they are and are adopted into a loving and caring family.” In our midst are cradle Episcopalians, former Roman Catholics as well as other faith traditions.

This is Christ’s table and all are welcome.

Sundays at St. Paul’s Church begin with an 8 a.m. Eucharist. This service is a Eucharist enhanced with music. We sing the Sanctus, the Doxology and a closing hymn, each accompanied by organ or piano. We also enjoy a soloist singing during communion.

The 10:15 a.m. service is also a Eucharist which is celebrated with our choir during the fall, winter and spring. Elements of this service include several hymns and a moment with the children following the sermon.

During the summer months, from mid-June through early September, we celebrate one Eucharist either in the main church or in St. Anna’s Chapel. This service begins at 9 a.m. and includes elements of music. Occasionally when our priest is away one of our Lay Eucharistic Ministers leads a service of Morning Prayer.

Periodically during the non-summer months we combine the 8 and 10:15 into a single service at 9 a.m. These Sundays are special days in the life of the parish, including a homecoming picnic in September, ingathering Sunday celebrating the gifts of stewardship, the Annual Meeting and others as an occasion arises.

Normally, there is an opportunity for healing prayers with laying-on of hands with a member of our healing team.

We celebrate Holy Eucharist using Rite II Services from the Book of Common Prayer, the New Zealand Prayer Book and other sources from around the world. All of our services benefit from the spiritual leadership of our priest and dedicated laity including the Altar Guild, Lectors, Lay Eucharist Ministers, Eucharist Visitors, ushers, greeters, acolytes and child care providers.

Eucharist and worship . . . the core of our community

St. Paul’s has been fortunate to have had excellent preachers for many years. Their sermons have focused on the scripture readings of the day and how these lessons relate to our lives as a Christian in today’s world.

Each Sunday during the non-summer months, an adult forum is held in the library between the two Sunday services. The forum is led by either the clergy or a lay person and focuses on topics important to our life in Christ’s world. Occasionally, visitors from other churches or from the Diocese join us to provide leadership in the forum.

Each Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. a Lay Eucharistic Minister leads a service of Evening Prayer. This service allows a few minutes of calm and prayer in the midst of a busy week.

On the first Thursday of each month a Contemplative Prayer Circle meets to focus on a simple prayer practice that allows us to be at rest, at ease with ourselves within the present moment and in stillness.

On the fourth Wednesday of each month a Holy Eucharist is celebrated at 11 a.m. This service welcomes anyone, but particularly invites those unable to participate in Sunday services.

St. Paul’s partners with St. James Church in Amesbury to offer a Cherub Church, initiated by St. Paul's, for the 3-5 year age group. The rector and lay volunteers provided a time for these young children and their parents to meet together for some worship activity, some focused playtime and some refreshments.

Special Services

Special services harness the creativity and innovative energies of the parish to celebrate God and to express breadth and depth of the salvation message announced by Christ to the world.

Blessing of the Animals, held on or near the feast of St. Francis of Assisi, invites all God's creatures great and small to join their humans for a Sunday service and to receive a blessing.

Ingathering Sunday marks the celebration of our financial commitments for the coming year. For the past few years we have focused our stewardship campaign on how the spirit is calling us to give back to God. Each individual places their commitment card on the altar as we conclude the service.

Christmas Eve begins with a Family Service at 4 p.m. This service includes a children’s pageant as we welcome the newborn Christ child into the world. The 9 p.m. service features a period of music led by the choir followed by festive Eucharist. A Festival of Lessons and Carols is held on the Sunday following Christmas.

Ash Wednesday - traditional services are offered in the morning and the evening. On occasion our rector has gone to the train station to deliver ashes to those who cannot get to church.

Holy Week observances begin with Palm Sunday. On this day the people congregate in the Narthex or the parish hall for the blessing and distribution of palms, then process to their pews for the service. Holy Week observances continue on Maundy Thursday with a supper of bread and soup, a ritual foot washing and a Eucharist. Parishioners respond to the Gospel invitation to watch by keeping vigil through the night. Two somber Good Friday services commemorate the crucifixion of Christ. The Easter Vigil is a collaboration among several churches in our Deanery celebrating the new light in the world. The location rotates among the participating churches. The culmination of Holy Week are the festival services on Easter as we celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord.

We are so very blessed with the richness of our worship together, whether it is a service attended by just a few, or the regular Sunday services attended by the faithful, or the well-attended services at Christmas and Easter.

Thanks be to God.

A PLACE FOR MUSIC

Sacred & Secular

The Sacred music ministry at St. Paul’s is the responsibility of the Director of Music and is an essential part of the liturgy. The director plays the organ and piano for the Sunday 10:15 a.m. worship service as well as Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Christmas, weddings and funerals. The music director also plays the Sanctus, a communion song, closing hymn, and postlude for the Sunday 8 a.m. service. Working with a music committee, which includes the rector, the director incorporates hymns, psalms, service music, anthems and the like into each worship service according to the scripture readings and themes for the day, season or some special celebration.

The music repertoire spans many centuries, languages and musical forms, ranging from traditional classical to music by contemporary composers. The music at St. Paul’s is chosen to enhance the worship experience, but also to engage and inspire the congregation.

The music director also provides the leadership and musical education for an adult choir of 10 to 12 voices. The choir rehearses on Wednesdays from 6:30 to 8:10 p.m. and between 30 to 40 minutes before each service. The choir season begins immediately after Labor Day and runs through early June.

Worship in the main church at St. Paul’s is enhanced by a 3-manual Austin pipe organ (1923, rebuilt 2000) and a 5’6” Steinert piano. St. Anna’s chapel boasts a 1-manual Stevens tracker organ (c. 1860) along with a recently donated 5’3” Schafer piano. Both the main church and the chapel are known throughout the community for their outstanding acoustics.

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands. Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing. (Psalm 100)

The Secular music program at St. Paul’s continues to be a vibrant part of our church life. The program is both a part of our annual fundraising as well as a celebration of the spiritual power of music to move us. We offer some of the finest classical music in New England through our partnerships with the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival, Grammy-nominated Skylark Vocal Ensemble and the Ballets Russes Arts Initiative which brings outstanding musicians to the U.S. from the former Soviet Union. In addition, we offer community concerts with talented individuals and groups like the award-winning Pentucket Jazz Band. Each year we expand our exciting and uplifting repertoire of music.

A PLACE OF COMPASSION

COMPASSION IN ACTION best describes St Paul’s outreach ministry. We have a strong local and global presence in Greater Newburyport. St Paul’s is particularly active in the local community mission, Among Friends. Among Friends began in 1986 and serves three hot meals a week at St Paul’s. It is staffed by volunteers who provide food and fellowship to anyone in need. In 2018 we served 6,162 meals.

Among Friends began in 1986 and serves 3 hot meals a week at St Paul’s.

Other St Paul’s local missions include weekly delivery of food and toiletries to Pettengill House in Salisbury, prayer shawls knitted by the Edie Ellen Knitters, and Pajama Girl Project where we provide pajamas twice a year to families served by Emmaus House in Haverhill. Parishioners visit Anna Jaques Hospital each week to offer care and prayers to patients listed as Episcopalians.

The Edie Ellen Knitters knits prayer shawls to give comfort to those in need.

During the week St Paul’s provides shared space and meeting rooms for local 12-step groups and classes for DUI second offenders. Community Service of Greater Newburyport rents space providing food, clothing, personal items and help with temporary lodging and bills for those in need. The Jeanne Geiger Crisis Center, which works with victims of domestic violence, was started by St Paul’s parishioners in the church basement and is now an important nonprofit organization in Newburyport.

COMPASSION IN ACTION also describes St Paul’s global outreach ministry. We have traveled three times to El Salvador in conjunction with Cristosal, a faith-based social services organization overseen by the Anglican Church of El Salvador. As a result of these trips we have remained connected with the Central American community and have formed a friendship with San Lucas Episcopal Church, a largely Central American congregation in Chelsea, Massachusetts. We have shared preaching on Sunday and given them a safe place to relax during the recent border crisis.

Worshiping with an El Salvadoran cross reminds us of our connection with the Anglican church in El Salvador

A PLACE OF HISTORY

St. Paul's is steeped in history, couched in a seaside community that rests on a rich chronicle of shipbuilding and a notable populace that created national leaders. Throughout the centuries St. Paul's has remained at the center of that story.

A PLACE TO GROW

St Paul’s provides opportunities for spiritual growth for all ages, from babies and toddlers through adults. In March 2018, St Paul’s partnered with St James Episcopal church in nearby Amesbury, Massachusetts to hire a joint Children and Youth Program Coordinator who joins our youth twice each month on Sundays and for nine hours each week. The coordinator prepares and publishes monthly online newsletters for families of children and teens, packets with ideas for nurturing spiritual life in the family during advent and lent, and materials to enhance children’s participation in weekly worship.

St Paul’s provides opportunities for spiritual growth for all ages, from babies and toddlers through adults.

Our Children and Youth Program Coordinator provides guidance and encouragement to the Sunday School teaching team and coordinates joint events for St. Paul’s and St. James’ youth. The coordinator also leads a two week/half day summer program for children, focusing on nature and ecology.

Nursery care is provided each week from 10 a.m. to noon for infants and toddlers. St Paul’s has also hosted a cherub church service twice each month on Tuesday afternoons for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and their parents.

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd (CGS) is an approach to the religious formation of children ages 3 to 12. It is rooted in scripture, liturgy and the educational principles of Maria Montessori. St. Paul’s offers the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd in Level I (for children aged 3 to 6 years), Level II (for children aged 6 to 9 years), and Level III (for children aged 10 to 12 years). Our CGS program is staffed by three trained catechists and a group of parish volunteers.

An integral part of Christian education at St Paul’s is an invitation to participate in outreach ministries. Children prepare Christmas stockings for Among Friends guests during our St Nicholas celebration, bake pies for Among Friends, participate in beach cleanups, and decorate mite boxes for use in Lenten devotions.

St Paul’s encourages and supports youth participation in Diocesan programs, including middle school and high school retreats and summer camp at the Barbara C Harris Camp, the Diocesan Youth Council, and Las Fronteras (a year-long program focused on building a deeper understanding of social justice issues in immigration policy). Several of our youth have also traveled to El Salvador as part of the Diocese.

Our weekly Adult Forum is a long-running popular program which meets between the two Sunday services. Adult Forum is run as a discussion group and frequently has guest leaders and speakers. In addition to weekly Bible Study, seasonal Book Study Groups meet during Advent and Lent. Clergy and laity provide Baptismal preparation for families and godparents and Confirmation preparation for children and adults. New member education is offered on a regular basis by the Membership Committee.

The adult forum offers an opportunity to be your authentic self

A PLACE TO CALL HOME

St. Paul’s Church is on High Street between Summer and Market Streets. The property includes the church building with attached parish hall, St. Anna’s Chapel, a cemetery and a labyrinth on three quarters of an acre, enclosed by stone walls. St. Paul’s sanctuary is a beautifully airy and light New England Church with boxed pews. It is sited very close to the geographic center of the city, within walking distance of the downtown. The main sanctuary seats 250 people with a few more in the balcony. The cemetery surrounds the buildings with the living passing among the dead.

As a parish we take great pride in our buildings and grounds both for us and the community as a whole. It does come with the responsibility and expense of maintaining an historic property and will always be a financial consideration to be kept in mind.

St. Paul’s is located on the corner of High Street and Summer Street.

The property includes the church building, St. Anna’s Chapel, a cemetery and a labyrinth all situated in lovely grounds.

St. Paul’s sanctuary is a beautifully airy and light New England Church.

Newburyport is a pretty waterside city in the northeast corner of the state. It can easily be described as quaint, quintessential New England, historic, charming and beautiful. Since the arrival of its first settlers in the 1630s until today, there are clues to every decade of its history reflected in the architecture of the homes, shops and public buildings. There was much going on here in colonial times including participating in the planning of the American Revolution and the first tea party to protest against the British taxes. This is also the birthplace of the US Coast Guard.

With a population now of about 18,000, Newburyport is densely populated, or as they say around here, ‘thickly settled.’ Sited along the southern bank of the Merrimack River where it meets the Atlantic Ocean, there is a well-defined federal era downtown with shops, banks, offices, a public library, houses of worship and more. In the early days, maritime pursuits such as ship building, sea trading and privateering were crucial to the development of the area. Newburyport has an involved community which is openly accepting of many lifestyles.

A wooden boardwalk now outlines the river along the Newburyport downtown and is a favorite spot for a walk by the water or people watching. During the summer months you will find a variety of ships pulling into the harbor from a replica of an old wooden schooner to private luxury yachts to commercial fishing boats.

Well known for its federalist style homes, there are also many fine examples of first period houses and Victorian architecture here. Within the city are two museums, the state Audubon Society, live theatre presentations and concerts, frequent art exhibits, several parks, a skateboard park, three elementary schools, one middle school and what may be the nation’s best looking public high school.

St. Paul’s Church sits proudly as a landmark in the city. The bishop’s mitre on the steeple adds to the skyline that includes many decorative steeples, varied rooflines and tall sailboat masts. St. Paul’s and the attached parish hall was built of stone in the early twentieth century following a fire which destroyed an earlier wooden building. This classic structure adds to the richness of the city’s beauty.

St. Paul’s Church sits proudly in the center of the city.

Newburyport has a railway line with service to Boston as well as bus service, about an hour’s ride, several times per day and is well connected to route 95 for easy access to Boston and the airport. There is also a community hospital with a trauma center.

Recreational opportunities abound with activities which include fishing, boating, bird watching, hiking, bike trails, tennis, golf and shopping. Plum Island, a barrier island beach at the mouth of the river attracts many vacationers and has year round residents as well as summer cottages. The southern half of the island is a national wildlife refuge with a wide variety of birds and other animals.

There is much pride of place in Newburyport and deservedly so. From its unique and well-preserved historical homes to the towering pines in the parks along the Merrimack River, there is much to delight the eye and a liveliness to the life here that makes this an attractive and appealing place to call home.

Specific information about the demographic composition of Newburyport can be found by following this link: https://datausa.io/profile/geo/newburyport-ma/

The Diocese of Massachusetts

St. Paul’s Church of Newburyport belongs to the Diocese of Massachusetts situated within Province One (New England) of the Episcopal Church in the U.S.A. The diocese comprises 180 congregations in eastern Massachusetts, Cape Cod and the Islands. These congregations are divided among 12 deaneries whose boundaries are drawn according to natural watersheds, reminding us of our connections with God’s creation and symbolic of the waters of Baptism. Our Bishop is The Right Reverend Alan M Gates assisted by Suffragan Bishop The Right Reverend Gayle Harris. In these 12 deaneries there are three regional canons who are responsible for carrying out transition ministry functions.

St. Paul’s has two lay diocesan delegates who are elected each year at the Annual Meeting of the Parish and report to the Vestry and congregation. They represent the Parish at the annual Diocesan Convention, and attend the Merrimack Valley Deanery periodic meetings.

Our rector regularly attends the monthly meeting of the clergy of the Deanery. It is here that the Church is kept apprised of program updates, special outreach endeavors, the availability of grants and loan funds, activities and programs for youth.

Several Diocesan youth programs, Las Fronteras and the Diocesan Youth Council, have annually attracted youth from St. Paul’s. The Barbara C. Harris Camp and Conference Center occupies 326 wooded acres on the shores of Otter Lake in Greenfield, New Hampshire. The Center is named after Barbara Harris, retired bishop suffragan of the diocese and the first woman to be consecrated a bishop in the worldwide Anglican Communion. The accredited summer camp also hosts many conferences and programs for youth and adults alike and is open year-round ---- a two-hour drive from Newburyport.

St Paul’s encourages and supports youth participation in Diocesan programs, including middle school and high school retreats and summer camp at the Barbara C Harris Camp

A PLACE WITH A FUTURE

Our Vision of the future at St Paul’s focuses on three themes: inspiration, involvement and inclusion.

Inspiration

We have been blessed to have a joyful worship experience at St Paul’s and expect to continue to be inspired by beautiful music and challenging sermons.

To grow we must be a spirit-filled congregation with confidence to invite others to join in. We hope for a rector who has both inspirational sermons and a sense of humor. We seek a rector who wants get to know each of us, one with a sense of imagination and one who can communicate effectively with young children. We are inspired by our lovely historic building and plan to continue having concerts and historic tours to showcase our deep history.

Involvement

We see the potential to expand involvement at St. Paul's including:

  • More adult education;
  • Continued Bible study;
  • Social justice initiatives;
  • Greater participation by our children;
  • Occasional organized workdays;
  • Mission trips, and strengthening connections with global partners; and
  • Our new global mission program, Food for the Poor.

Inclusion

We pray for a larger and more diverse congregation that might be promoted by:

  • Improving wheelchair-accessibility;
  • Including opportunities for worship using modern, traditional (i.e. Rite 1) and/or contemplative liturgy;
  • Exploring ways to keep our youth active and engaged; and
  • Continuing our relationship with the broader interfaith community.

We look forward to sharing our vision with our new rector.

ATTENDANCE & FINANCIAL SNAPSHOT

SUMMARY OF ATTENDANCE

TOTAL PLEDGE DOLLAR AMOUNT

PLEDGES 2014-2018

Search Committee

Beverly Brennan, Thomas Hussey, Lainie Ives, Alison Novello, Rick Paddy, Lisë Reid, Michele Rogers, Anne Tuthill

Photos by Thomas Hussey, Robert Keller and Jim Reid.

How to Apply

Applicants should send a cover letter, resume, and OTM Profile to: apply2019.stpaulsnpt@gmail.com

Created By
St. Paul's Search Committee
Appreciate

Credits:

Photos by James Reid