Rev. Dr. Myrick Cross, Priest-in-charge
Sing to the Lord a new song, for he has done marvelous things; his right hand and his
holy arm have worked salvation for him. (Psalm 98:1)
See, the former things have taken place, and new things I declare; before they spring into
being I announce them to you.” (Isaiah 42:9) See, I am doing a new thing! Now it
springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in
the wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19) You have heard these things; look at them all. Will you
not admit them? “From now on I will tell you of new things, hidden and unknown to you.
This year of the Pandemic has confronted us and others in faith communities with uninvited
opportunities to “sing new songs” and “perceive new ways” of being Christ’s Body in a strange
new world. The Psalmist takes the high road and challenges us to praise God for the good that
has emerged this year. Isaiah’s prophecy calling the children of Israel to set their sights beyond
the wasteland and wilderness, is the same call to St, Patrick’s: God is telling us new things, even
as we wander in the wilderness.
The fabric of our community has been strengthened as relationships have grown and deepened
through phone calls, emails, cards and Zooms. Diocesan relationships have widened through
shared monthly worship services and nearly weekly Town Hall meetings with the Bishop and
Diocesan staff. Main Street Church has been regularized with shared first Sunday Communion
services with First United Methodist members and their congenial new Pastor, Matthew Brown.
The greatest challenge has been a transition to use of technology in our worship. Jamie Beck
answered a personal call and became our “Minister of Technology,” along with Rev. Lev
Sherman and David Blethen, volunteering many hours and required technical skills in a
transition to on-line production. This strange new world for us Episcopalians has given rise to
many creative gifts from worship leaders. Paula Baines has maintained our web site and
Facebook page, along with leadership of Artful Spirit outreach. (Maine Citizens art exhibit
remains in our vacant Shamrock Room.)
Although we have missed the Servant Strings music group, Music Director Mary Ann Perry has
stretched to lead us in “Singing to the Lord a new song!” Behind the scenes bulletin research and
production is an unseen work of love. Faithful Lisa Chambers and her slim Altar Guild cre
have made adjustments to set our table. Sexton Tom Copeland’s watchful eye and generous spirit
have maintained the security and condition of our vacant real estate. Treasurer Penny Baker has
improved the budgeting system and maintained our accounts in good order, while new Clerk Rita
Poirier has outdone her duties with timely Vestry meeting Summaries and administrative input.
Ministry with the community continued without a hitch as Ellen Fisher and crew provided
monthly meals to the hungry at Colombia Street Church in Bangor. Peg Olson, Peggy Day and
Mary Ann Perry continued leadership with Faith Linking in Action and Food AND Medicine.
Efforts with the Community Garden Project improved this year. I arrived in the parking lot one
day to be welcomed and greeted by a garden volunteer waterer who didn’t know who I was!
Ambitious Dignity First was sort of born out of our congregation and grows slowly. Individual
members like Lee White and Michelle Markie are involved personally in wonderful direct
ministries. Having the Ouellette and Beck children as members is a real gift, along with the
several adults who guide the Children’s Ministry. Pat Blethen’s community Library Box in the
parking lot and the LGBTQ+ flags flying from the building are open invitations to the
St. Pat’s continues to be well represented in the life of the Diocese as Leigh Spahr serves as
Convention Clerk, assisted by Rev. Peggy Day, and Mark Spahr has expanded his role as
Technology Consultant for Diocesan productions. Christine Talbott has been active as ou
Regional Representative on Diocesan Council.
Sharing ministry with colleagues like Rev. Lev Sherman and Rev. Peggy Day has been a great
blessing. Far beyond her capable role in worship, Peggy has provided important pastoral care,
service through outreach, and leadership of ministries such as the Crafts and Conversation group
Also active on Diocesan committees, she has been a solid spiritual companion for whom I am
Vestry members have been devoted to leadership responsibilities, taking on a second monthly
meeting for discussion purposes. Personal sharing on topics like “Racism” has begun the longterm dialogue we need to have as a congregation. New Wardens Peg Olson and Larry Puls have worked closely with me and Vestry members to carry out business and maintain our faith community.
The present Mutual Study of Ministry is an opportunity to take stock of where we are as a
congregation and to open our eyes and ears to what new things the Spirit may be announcing to
us as we become the new Creation. This period of discernment between “the familiar way St.
Patrick’s used to be” and the mind of Christ for our future, is a hard, uneasy time of unknowns.
We need a lot of patience and a will to go deeper in our relationships with God and each other in
the same spirit that has enlivened this wonderful resilient community since our beginning.
The Creator will do marvelous things as we learn to sing a new song!
With Thanksgiving to be with you,