Congregation Close-up: St. Mary the Virgin, Gardiner

Congregation Close-up: St. Mary the Virgin, Gardiner

St. Mary the Virgin Episcopal Church in Gardiner is an historic church with a 111 year presence in the community. On a hill overlooking the local rivers, it is lovingly run and maintained through the cooperative efforts of faithful members.

With the challenge of decreasing church membership from an aging and once thriving community, responsibilities for all have increased and overlapped. Some days, the organist might also read the lessons, or the lay preacher will read the sermon and then wash dishes during coffee hour. The two prevalent characteristics of St. Mary parishioners are support for the church and outreach to their community.

Members volunteer of themselves to care for both the physical and spiritual life of the church. They maintain the physical structure, prepare the paperwork, and oversee the finances. With monthly input from a supply priest, the Rev. Frank Moss, parishioners lead the worship services, run an active Episcopal Church Women group, and provide many other types of support within the congregation.

Their ministry also extends into their community with outreach to the local food bank, teacher appreciation events, a Thanksgiving dinner, and regularly conducting vespers at a local nursing home. The church is also a temporary emergency site for all of Gardiner, with a Citizens Emergency Response Team (CERT) disaster container of supplies stored on the property.

Its history, selfless volunteerism, outreach, and seamless operation allows St. Mary to serve, thrive, and offer personal growth for its members and enhance the community in which they live.

St. Mary offers a warm hand of hospitality to join us at our 10:00 Sunday morning service, and experience our historic landmark and vintage ambience.