December 11, 2010

Worship Spotlight
St. Bartholomew's Episcopal Church, Yarmouth

ADDRESS: 396 Gilman Road, Yarmouth, about a mile from Cousins Island

click image to enlarge

St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church built its timber-framed home on Gilman Road in Yarmouth in 1988.

Jonathan D. Pelletier photo

DENOMINATION/AFFILIATION: The Episcopal Diocese of Maine and the Episcopal Church, USA

HISTORY: Founded in 1973, St. Bartholomew's began as a group of worshippers under the guidance of the Rev. Harold Hopkins. For the first two years, St. Bart's borrowed space in other local churches and schools. 1976, it had its first permanent home in a converted building on Route 1 in Yarmouth. From the beginning, St. Bart's cultivated a hands-on, everyone-involved parish family. After the Rev. Hopkins left to become bishop of North Dakota, the congregation was ready for a full-time vicar and called the Rev. Gil Birney in 1983.

Under the Rev. Birney's leadership, St. Bart's flourished, eventually gaining parish status. In 1988, members built the timber-framed building -- complete with a vaulted sanctuary ceiling -- in a wooded setting along Gilman Road that remains their home.

In 2007, St. Bart's welcomed its current rector, the Rev. Nina Pooley, previously associate chaplain of St. Paul's School in Brooklandville, Md.

WORSHIP: Services are at 8 and 10 a.m. each Sunday, with the latter service supported by a full choir and Andover pipe organ and directed by Jonathan Pelletier, music director and organist. Nursery care is available. Christian education appropriate for each age group is also provided, including programs for teens.

This Christmas Eve at 4 p.m., the church will hold its Christmas pageant and Eucharist, followed at 9 p.m. by Service of Lessons and carols with Eucharist. Visitors are welcome.

OUTREACH: Groceries are provided each week to families in local communities through the church's food pantry. The church is also a member parish of the St. Elizabeth's Essentials Pantry, which distributes nonperishable goods to those in need in the Portland area.

St. Bart's also supports outreach through Mabel I. Wilson School in Cumberland, Opportunity Farm in New Gloucester and the Tri-Community Interfaith Council. Further from home, it is one of three Maine parishes funding a daily school meal program for the children of Duny, Haiti.

St. Bart's provides meeting space to several organizations, including Alcoholics Anonymous, support groups for people affected by breast cancer or Alzheimer's, the Savvy Caregiver Program, Yarmouth Day Care and the American Red Cross, as well as the Environmental Health Strategy Center and the Maine Green Energy Alliance.

Moreover, St. Bart's sponsors two major outreach fundraisers: an annual Christmas fair and the Yarmouth Art Festival, a juried show and sale each October featuring the work of Maine artists. For more information about the festival, visit

Finally, St. Bart's supports the work of individual parishioners through Habitat for Humanity, the Tanzanian Children's Fund Orphanage, Maine Handicapped Skiing, Preble Street's ministries, the Casco Bay YMCA and cancer research through LiveStrong and Maine Cancer Foundation's Tri for a Cure, as well as AIDS research through Charitytreks.

FUTURE PLANS: In response to the growing needs of the community, the church is in the midst of discerning renovations to its building and memorial garden.

CONTACT: 846-9244;


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