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1/7/24 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for December 31, 2023

Cold on his cradle the dewdrops are shining; low lies his head with the beasts of the stall. Angels adore him in slumber reclining, maker and monarch and Savior of all.

Upcoming services, meetings, events, and opportunities

 

Join us for Worship in our Sanctuary or on Zoom at 10:00 a.m., 

or watch the recording later on Facebook or YouTube 

 

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 822 2425 2518

 Passcode: 755650

 

  

We will be celebrating Holy Communion on Sunday, January 7. We will also be receiving non- perishable food items and toiletries to be donated to the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.

 

Once again we will be distributing Epiphany star words during our Sunday service. This is a tradition that was started here in Hancock by Peggy Emigh several years ago. Thanks to Peggy and Mary Beth DiMarco for preparing our stars and words.

 

WHAT ARE STAR WORDS?

 

The use of star words, also called “star gifts,” is a prayer practice connected to Epiphany and the new year..The idea is that a list of guiding words are written on paper stars. These paper stars are then arranged in a large basket. At some point during our Epiphany service, we will be invited to pick a star and word from the basket, and to use that word as a guiding word throughout the year. We are then encouraged to place our star word somewhere we will see it regularly throughout the year to allow consistent reflection on how God has moved through, around, or in connection to that word.

 

As the Boards and Committees meet for the first time in the new year, please remember to let Vicky know who the new Chairs and Council Representatives will be. Thank you.

Our meetings are open to all. If you would like to attend a meeting, please let TJ or Vicky know and they will provide the Zoom link, or you are welcome to attend in person.

 

Trustees will meet Wednesday, January 10th at noon virtually

Deacons will meet Friday, January 12th at 3:00 p.m.

Outreach will meet Thursday, January 18th at 4:00 p.m.

Council will meet Friday, January 19th at 11:30 a.m.

 

Upcoming January Birthdays and Anniversaries  

          07: Sally Bryant    07: John Wood   07:Peter & Sally Bryant 

          09:  Rebeckah Philio    12:  Myrna* Coffin       15:  Ben Wildes    

16: Everett & Vicky Espling       21:  Gary Hunt   21: Carol Skinner       

23: Avabelle Havey        25: Holly Harriman     29: Jen Remick

 

Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:




Prayers for the family and friends of Jane Preble who passed away on January 3rd. Prayers for the people of Lewiston and all of Maine; Prayers for the world, suffering loss and grief in Israel, Palestine, Ukraine, Russia, and so many other ongoing wars and conflicts. Prayers for Debbie Riley; Ron & Kathy; Bob & Karen; Sally’s sister Martha & her husband John; George & Beth; Sheila; Pat’s sister’s Karen and Janet; Kenny Houghton; John Wood; Nancy & John & Jonas; Doris; William; Sue Davies; Jonathan Holmes; Sue Davenport; Austin’s cousin Danny; Liz & Jim; Debbie & Lincoln & son-in-law Aaron, daughter Ashley, and granddaughter Brielle; Coulter; Jim Snyder; Kenny Stratton;  Joy & David & Lori; Sandy Phippen; Betty & her step-daughter Mollie; Debbie & Hollis & Holly and Debbie’s Aunt Linda Reed; Patrice’s niece Erica; Amy Nickerson; Renata’s sister-in-law Joanne; Tom & Judy’s son Andrew & family; Prayers of strength and healing for all awaiting diagnoses and for all recovering from surgeries & procedures; Prayers for all that are unsafe, unhoused, hungry & in need of care & compassion; Prayers for all individuals and families experiencing addictions; for all caregivers; and prayers for all that is in your heart…

 

 From the Maine Conference


Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

2 See, darkness covers the earth

and thick darkness is over the peoples,

but the LORD rises upon you

and God’s glory appears over you.

3 Nations will come to your light,

and rulers to the brightness of your dawn.

 Isaiah 60:1-3

 

I love the season of Epiphany: a season that celebrates the Light of Christmas; a season where the Light we received at Christmas one more year beckons us to bring all that Jesus is to our lives in the 21st century. It is a season of the “aha” of the Magi, the amazement of Jesus being baptized to service by the “voice that cries in the wilderness”, the renewed wondering of all that Jesus’ life and ministry and teaching in the 1st century means to our lives and ministries and teachings today.

 

Howard Thurman says it best, does he not? I would imagine you have heard this quote from a “Christmas Poem”:

When the song of the angels is stilled,

when the star in the sky is gone,

when the kings and princes are home,

when the shepherds are back with their flocks,

the work of Christmas begins:

to find the lost,

to heal the broken,

to feed the hungry,

to release the prisoner,

to rebuild the nations,

to bring peace among the people,

 to make music in the heart.

 

I love this poem for its laser-focused purpose of what Christmas is all about. My only disagreement with this great theologian is that I do not believe that the star in the sky is gone. The star has just gotten started—a start that sheds light without which we could not do the work of Christmas.

 

And in my epiphany wonder, I look at the mess of our world as it is today and, yes, I incredulously ask: “how can I make a difference? Does the light really make a difference to put a dent in the world’s suffering?”

 

Maybe all by myself I do not make a difference. But I don’t know, given the ripples of water that emanate from one stone thrown into a lake.

 

I do believe in my heart of hearts that all of us do make a difference as we arise and shine with the Light of Christ, as we get down to doing the work of Christmas. But who is “all”? All is everyone in the Maine Conference; everyone arising, shining, wondering, looking for aha moments, contemplating the hands and feet and teaching of Jesus today in the Maine Conference. All is everyone in our churches, no matter what size or what pastoring model. God needs us ALL to make a difference in this world of ours, as troubled as it is.

 

I invite you to join together as “all”—as “we”—in the Maine Conference, leaders and musicians, members and friends, staff of the conference and Directors of the Board. Let us come together with active faith in what God has done for us, God with us, Emmanuel! Let us bring God with us to all the corners of our lives and work—our families and in and through our churches!


Arise, shine, for your light has come,

and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.

2 See, darkness covers the earth

and thick darkness is over the peoples,

but the LORD rises upon you

and God’s glory appears over you.

3 Nations will come to your light,

and rulers to the brightness of your dawn.

 Isaiah 60:1-3

 

May the Light of Christ shine brightly from your hearts,

 

Marisa

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