A visit to St. Alban’s, Cape Elizabeth: Short on drive time; Long on celebration

A cool, very foggy morning greeted me as I headed out for my visit St. Alban’s, Cape Elizabeth. The bridge across Casco Bay seemed suspended in the clouds.

On arriving for the first of two services, I got a quick tour of the church and priest-in-charge John Balicki briefed me on the plans for confirmation.

Not all the parishioners at St. Alban’s can fit in the church for a single service. So at 9 a.m. we joined for a festive Pentecost service. The church was sea of red garments. The Gospel was read simultaneously in half a dozen languages. The effect was a marvelous cacophony that gave us a sense of what it might have been like to be present in Jerusalem. Archdeacon Audrey Delafield assisted with the service. Music was provided by the wonderful St. Alban’s bell choir.

Between services there was time for conversation at coffee hour and a short time with those confirming the vows of their baptism or being received – a total of 24, including 1 from the Cathedral being presented by Canon Carolyn Coleman. Fewer than half that number were young people, and many were folks coming from another tradition.

The Confirmation service at 11 a.m. was very spirited and moving. The convergence of Pentecost and confirmation added richly to our understanding of confirmation. The music was again quite wonderful. After the service we managed to get all the candidates together for a group photo. Great fun.

Following a brief reception, I joined the Vestry for lunch and conversation. We talked in depth about a number of trends in the diocese and larger church and about the transition process at St. Alban’s. The Vestry is committed to maintaining the high levels of participation by members of the congregation and to continuing to develop its programming during the transition.

Bright sunshine had replaced the fog by the time I headed back over the bridge. I got home in time to mow the lawn.

Bishop Steve

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