Join us for Our Christmas Time Together
At the Heart of Our Community
St. Michael’s Episcopal Church is found in the heart of Auburn, ME among an alternative school, three other churches and a diverse population of God’s people. Our families come from Auburn, Lewiston and many surrounding towns.
We cherish our Sunday morning worship with children singing and learning, an adult choir sharing Wonder, Love and Praise through our Holy Eucharist, and ministries that carry us through the week to energize our faith.
How We Reach Out
St. Michael’s is blessed with the gifts and talents of our parish family.
We are blessed with people who help the home-bound and those in nursing and assisted living facilities. No one goes hungry when our Outreach group collects food for the local food pantry at our neighbors, the High Street Congregational Church.
Our children are nurtured on Sunday mornings with Christian Education, Joyful Noise Children’s Choir rehearsals and Family Sunday singing. The children’s education is done through lessons, crafts and movies.
Our adult choir and organist lead the congregation in singing hymns each Sunday at the 9:30 AM service. That’s a pipe organ too!
We visit the sick in the hospitals and pray for their recovery. We administer Holy Eucharist to them as we share our love and compassion.
We have numerous other ministries we participate in including altar guild, lenten study, Shrove Tuesday, a shared Seder with the local Temple and the Congregational Church.
St. Michael’s is filled with love and caring for others within and outside our walls. Come visit us to find out more.
A Neighborhood Comes Together at the Table
Pleasant St. has had different identities in the last 40 – 50 years. We see this image whenever we attend church then we scurry off to our own neighborhoods where we know our neighbors and share meals with them or help them out when they need it.
There are three churches in Pleasant St. which is under 1/2 mile long. Why don’t we know these neighbors. The image of today and of not long ago was one of drugs, vandalism and people begging for money for who knows what.
On Monday night August 27th, the 3 churches invited them over for a BBQ. Over 125 people came, ate, kids played and all shared their thoughts about their neighborhood. A giant white board was there for them to share their thoughts about the good, the bad and the ugly. And they did.
They stuck around for 2 hours and loved every minute of it. Now it is our duty to define the next step. You’ve seen the pictures, you’ve heard the stories or were one of the volunteers who were there. Give us your thoughts. “What can we do next to help our neighbors realize they can make their own neighborhood a safe and happy place?”
The Evolution of a Good Thing
It started a couple of years ago as we contemplated the obstacle between us and the Congregational Church. No, it wasn’t about either one of us. It was about that ugly, unkempt apartment house between us. How would we get them to keep that area clean? Should we buy the house and do something constructive with it?
We talked with the UCC church people and they were not enthused about owning it as we weren’t either. We did explore and research possibilities and who owned it etc. It turns out as expected, the owner is out of town, the building has been converted into 5 apartments (formerly a 2-family). The owner bought it in 2003 at a greatly elevated price. The current city valuation is just over half that amount now.
But discernment is a funny thing. If you keep thinking about something long enough and deep enough, you’ll begin looking at it from a different standpoint, a different thought process. And you’ll also be influenced by others as you discuss the ideas. After a year and a half of ‘thinking’ about it, we realized that the house next door was not what we should be thinking about. It was more about the people next door and the people down street. What would they want, what would they need? After all, isn’t that what Christ is calling us to do? Help others! I don’t think Jesus is too concerned about real estate.
So the focal point of the group changed entirely and the mission blossomed. After applying and receiving a grant from the Episcopal Church and a matching donation from a parishioner, we were on our way to empowering the residents of our church neighborhood to help themselves to live better and safer lives.
In two years, we have evolved. We are now hosting “Pleasant St. Neighborhood Potluck Suppers”. Every 3rd Monday of the month, the group supplies a main dish and neighbors fill in with side dishes, desserts, paper goods, juices and waters, etc. The best part is after a few of these we start to get to know each other better, new faces show up each time as the word gets around and last time we had an after dinner activity of human bingo.
It is an awesome experience to watch as we get to gain trust and friendship with each other. When someone doesn’t show up, people begin to ask where, why and express concern.
We are led by Shanna Cox of Project Tipping Point who is guiding us to a connected, resilient and empowered neighborhood that can provide self-care. Other stakeholders are the Auburn Police Dept., Franklin School, Hannaford, local banks, Community Little Theatre , the Auburn Public Library and the City’s elected officials.
The ultimate goal is to leave the neighborhood empowered with self-reliance, recognition within the city as a safe and happy place to live and continued desire to know each other enough to offer assistance when needed.