June 28 | Parish Post

From the Rev. Paul Rietmann…The Lord is Our Refuge

Psalm 46:1  “The Lord is our refuge and strength; a very present help in times of need.”

A year ago, Judie and I took a wonderful trip through Northern England all the way up into Southern Scotland. On our journey we travelled through the Moors of North Yorkshire.  The landscape was quite barren and lonely but very beautiful at the same time.  We noticed along the way that there were little stone huts every ten miles or so. We asked the tour guide what the huts were for. He said that they are shelters for pilgrims walking through the country often on their way to Canterbury Cathedral.  These ancient stone huts served as refuge for the pilgrims when the weather grew stormy and they were in need of shelter.  Hikers can get out of the weather, rest, eat, and gain strength to continue their journeys.  

I tell this story because it makes me think of the Scripture verse Psalm 46:1. “The Lord is our refuge and strength; a very present help in times of trouble.”  The Lord God is our refuge and strength.  During these very turbulent and uncertain times we need a place of spiritual refuge. We need temporary shelter. We need a place to rest and gain our strength to continue our journeys through the storms of these challenging times.  Psalm 46 tells us that God is our refuge and strength. God provides a safe place where we can pause for rest and renewal.  

How do we do this?  One way is to duck into the shelter of God through short periods of prayer during our days.  We can take a moment to stop, breathe, pray, and then go. We can emerge from these prayer shelters refreshed and strengthened to continue our journeys of love and service.

What Symbols of Faith Mean to You

Bishop Audrey Scanlan, Central PA.

Gathering Again…Meet the Task Force Leaning into Re-Entry

Gathering again in person or reentry into our worship space is being managed by a task force made up of a mix of clergy, staff and parishioners. The members are Rev. Marian Stinson, Linda Collins, Fred McIlroy, Pat Le Roy, Judy Turcotte, Ken Hamrick, Lindsay Shuster, Bettye Craft and Judy Bungay. This group represents a wide range of professional experience creating a solid platform on which to develop and implement a safe reentry into our worship space.  

The group is working with the “Guide to Gathering in Person” that has been developed by the Diocese. Pierce County has moved to Phase Two, and COVID -19 guidance changes once again. On June 18, Gov. Inslee released additional guidance for Churches and Faith Based Organizations. The criteria are complex and require pre planning to reopen, documentation and approved protocols layered with testing, training, and education.

Requirements that must be addressed include capacity, social distancing, wearing masks, taking temperatures, deep cleaning, contact tracing and required signage addressing the guidelines. 

The team has carefully examined the guidance from our Bishop and the Governor. Although we cannot come together yet, we have made a decision to move forward with a variety of steps in readiment to do so. As the guidelines change, we to will have to demonstrate flexibility and leadership to ensure St. Mary’s in is compliance with the State and Diocesan requirements. 

During the next two weeks, members of the team will be addressing the operation of the HVAC system, to insure proper ventilation. Cleaning tasks, record keeping, developing a draft of the written procedures to reopen, and obtaining required posters from the Center for Disease Control, Department. of Health and Occupational Safety and Health Administration.  

We will provide updates to keep you and your family apprised of the steps being taken and work being accomplished so that when we are able, we can safely gather again. 

Pat Le Roy
Parish Administrator

The Gratitude Project Continues – Support South Sound Reading Foundation


Even though our church building is currently closed, we would like to resume our Gratitude Project with our June gifts of books for children and teens. By donating these items, we help them avoid the ‘Summer Slide’ of losing reading skills during the summer.

Bring your donations to St. Mary’s on Thursday (July 2) from 12 Noon to 3 pm.  We’ll meet you at the door to receive your gifts.  We’ll also place a “Books for Kids” box by the front door for donations as well. 

If you would prefer to support with a money donation to South Sound Reading Foundation contact Linda Collins at 253-468-3646.

Wednesday Social Time…Grab a Beverage and Mingle

Join us Wednesday evenings at 5 pm for Social Time. What better day than the mid-week hump day for a favorite beverage and socializing.

Rev. Dr. Bill and Rev. Marian are our hosts. Pets are welcome.

No mask or social distancing required!

Blue Jeans Thursdays – Gardeners Needed

The church grounds are in constant need of attention to weeding, trimming, and raking. If you would like to volunteer to work with others on Thursday mornings from 9 am to Noon, we would love to have you join the gardeners.

Masks and social distancing required.

To learn more or to sign up call Donna Pelkey at 253-588-7880 or email donnapelkey@centurylink.net.

Friday Book Group….Reads Philip Yancy

Grace is the church’s great distinctive. It’s the one thing the world cannot duplicate, and the one thing it craves above all else–for only grace can bring hope and transformation to a jaded world.

In What’s So Amazing About Grace? award-winning author Philip Yancey explores grace at street level. If grace is God’s love for the undeserving, he asks, then what does it look like in action? And if Christians are its sole dispensers, then how are we doing at lavishing grace on a world that knows far more of cruelty and unforgiveness than it does of mercy?

Available on Amazon in paperback $10.99, Kindle $2.99 and hardcover $28.99

Washington Correction Center Needs Clothing

Washington Correction Center for Women have a clothing closet that the women visit prior to releasing. With the Rapid Release of offenders that the governor ordered and the regular scheduled releasing offenders they have gone through some very popular sizes within our stock of clothing.  They are now running low on a few items and sizes.

I am reaching out to our volunteer base to see if you may have these items in a donation pile to head to Goodwill?  If you do would you consider donating them to us instead?

They are still locked down so Janice Zimmerman, Community Partnership Program Coordinator will need to coordinate drop off days and times to accept these donations. So please email her at jmzimmerman@DOC1.WA.GOV so they can determine if the items you have are needed and start the process for getting these items approved and scheduled for drop off.

Here are the items they are needing.  Please only donate these items as they do not have a lot of space for storage. For more information contact Roberta Newell at 253-753-5958

  • Tennis shoes: Men & Women (all sizes)
  • Casual Sandals/Flip flops (all sizes)
  • Jeans: Men (size 36 -40) & Women (sizes 6-14)
  • Sweatpants or thick Leggings (Black or White ONLY): Men & Women all sizes
  • Sweatshirts (Black or White Only): Men & Women all sizes
  • Windbreakers/light weight jackets – all sizes
  • Clothing for plus size individuals (shirts & pants)
  • Any coats size XL+

Wit and Wisdom

Prayer is not fattening

Smile at someone who is hard to love

It’s our favorite sins that do us in

Remembrances – Celebrations

Romina Han, in loving memory of her father, Robert Smith.

Wendell Dutt, in celebration of his daughter Sue’s birthday.

Foreseeable Future – Weekly Parish Calendar

Access to Worship, Bulletin, Coffee Hour Made Easy

For all weekly events you can find the Zoom links and additional information by visiting this link:

  • Sunday worship can be viewed on the website along with the bulletin. Visit the homepage at www.stmaryslw.org.
  • Coffee Hour – Each Sunday at noon you can join in the fun with online Coffee Hour. Smile and wave to everyone and say hello your friends and neighbors. Bring your own coffee and goodies!
  • Tuesdays – Bible Study The Rev. Dr. Bill Hardwick will lead this study group for men and women beginning at 10 am via Zoom. Readings the weeks following Easter are available via the Lectionary Page.
  • Zoom Contemplative Prayer Chapel. Tuesday evenings, 7:00 – 7:30 pm. “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10. To sign up for this new prayer group please contact Paul Rietmann at prietmann@comcast.net
  • Wednesdays – Finding Faith in the Midst of Pandemic continues Wednesday at 10 am via Zoom.
  • Contemplative Prayer continues Thursday at 11 am via Zoom.
  • Exploring MysticismJoin this study group each Friday at 10 am with Rev. Dr. Bill Hardwick and Assistant Pastor, Rev. Jessie McKenzie for a fascinating learning opportunity featuring a new mystic each week.
  • Book Group
    • What’s So Amazing About Grace?  by Philip Yancey

Visit the Foreseeable FutureWeekly Parish Calendar for more information!

Online GIVE Works

Now it’s easier than ever to manage your pledge payments without writing a check. GIVE is our new online giving platform that is available on the church website. Visit www.stmaryslw.org at the top left of the home page you’ll see a large green button. There is a 3% processing fee for each transaction. Please consider including that amount in your donation to cover the cost of processing.

Help Desk Remains Open

We have the cure for this condition called IT Frustration…

If you are having connectivity problems, need technical help or have questions forward to parishoffice@stmaryslw.org.

We’ll have one of our help desk volunteers contact you.