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11/12/23 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for November 12, 2023

Jesus calls us, o’er the tumult of our life’s wild, restless sea;

day by day his voice still calls us, saying, “Christian, follow me.”

Jesus calls us from the worship of the vain world’s golden store,

from each idol that would keep us, saying “Christian, love me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows, days of toil and hours of ease,

still he calls, in cares and pleasures, “Christian, love me more than these.”

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

on YouTube at Hancock UCC - YouTube

Choir Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am. All are welcome!

Fall Handbell Ringing - Playing a Thanksgiving tune on Nov. 19th.

Hammond piano – in our Sunday School room – free to a good home – must transport.

Speak to Pat Summerer or Pastor TJ or one of our Trustees if interested.

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.

Deacons meet Friday, November 10th at noon

All are invited to join Pastor TJ Friday, November 10th at 2:00 in the Sanctuary or Fellowship Hall for a time of lament, prayer, encouragement, and togetherness.

Trustees will meet Wednesday, November 29th at 12 noon

The Union Congregational Church of Hancock, United Church of Christ will conduct its 2023 Annual Church Meeting on November 12th, 2023, immediately following the 10:00 AM Worship Service for the following purposes:

1. To Elect Church Officers, Board and Committee members;

2. To receive Board and Committee Reports;

3. To vote on the Proposed 2024 Church Budget

4. And to hear any other business to come before the congregation.

Jeanne Edwards, Clerk

October 22, 2023

We need a quorum of 25 voting members to conduct business. Please plan to attend!

The ByLaws Revision Committee (Sally Knapp, Pat Summerer, David Wildes, Gina Tansey, and Pastor TJ) has been working very hard over the last three months to update our (2017) Church Bylaws. These will be voted on at the beginning of our Annual Meeting.

Many of the changes made were simply wording corrections to clarify or simplify passages.

There are, however, a few additions and/or adjustments that will change our governing policies:

1. We propose an additional status category in our membership (Article II Sec. 3) called “Voting Friends.” This category gives church friends (those who do not seek full membership for whatever reason) who serve on Boards or Committees, the ability to vote in any and all meetings while they serve in that capacity.

2. We propose a reduction in the number of members needed for certain Boards and Committees i.e.: Board of Christian Education, Board of Outreach, and Nominating Committee would go from six (6) to five (5) required.

3. At the request of our Treasurer, we propose that our new fiscal year be September 1 to August 31(our stewardship pledges would still be on the calendar year).

Thank you to all who attended the Q&A session after church on Oct. 29th which resulted in this new language to be included in the proposed revisions under Article II - Membership, Section 3 - Friends.

The Church acknowledges with gratitude the involvement of our many “Friends”—those who for one reason or another do not wish to become members—and we look forward to their continuing fellowship and support of the activities of the Church. In many instances these Bylaws make provisions for the voting rights of “Friends” in all matters of the church. Henceforth known as “Voting Friends,” these individuals are self-identified by attendance and/or participation as a volunteer in any capacity.

The full revised Bylaws document, with color coded changes, is available online and at the church for all who wish to study it.

Stewardship, the Church Budget, and the Annual Meeting - Our congregation will approve the 2024 church budget when we meet at our Annual Meeting this Sunday after worship. But this does not mean we will be done with our financial planning for next year. In fact, we are just beginning. The budget is only a financial plan - it needs to be funded with your donations to put it into action. We still need more stewardship pledge money to meet our budget goal of $73,000. So far, we have 33 pledges that total $70,254. We're getting close to our goal but we're not quite there yet. Please help in any way you can. Pledge cards are available in the Sanctuary or one can be mailed to you. Offering envelopes are available to anyone who would like a set. Perhaps they will help you budget and schedule your financial support. Contact David Wildes (422-3739) with any questions and thanks for your support of our church and the important work we seek to do.

Book Group - From What Is To What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want, by Rob Hopkins, was one of the guiding texts of our 2022 Fostering Imagination program facilitated by The BTS Center (the successor to the Bangor Theological Seminary). Join us Wednesday, November 15th at 7:00 P.M as we gather to discuss ways this book speaks to us, our church and our evolving place in our communities.

Our Church Council is looking for one or more individuals to take on the task of providing

Altar Flowers, beginning in November. Please contact Vicky or Pat Summerer, if interested.

Ellsworth Pride is a group of volunteers committed to supporting the LGBTQ+ community in Ellsworth and the surrounding areas. Beginning in 2021, Ellsworth Pride has organized and run the annual PrideFest in Ellsworth, held on the second Sunday in June at the Knowlton Park. For 2024, the Fourth Annual PrideFest will be on June 9, from midday to late afternoon.

Ellsworth Pride welcomes interested folks who'd like to volunteer to help with planning, doing specific tasks as the event gets organized, and/or helping on the day of the event.

If interested, please contact Sue Collins at 546-6735 by call or text.

In addition, the Ellsworth Pride group will be marching in the Downtown Ellsworth Holiday Light Parade on Saturday, December 2 (Rain Date December 3). Parade starts at 4 PM with lineup beginning at 3 PM. We'd love to have you march with us!

Interested people, please contact Sue Collins: 546-6735.

November Birthdays and Anniversaries

14: Johanna Bazzolo 15: *Kristy* Johnston 16: *Marcia* Nowell

16: *Erin* Shaw 17: *Cookie* Thelen 20: *Kathy* McGlinchey

24: Jimmy & *Liz* Awalt 26: *Clint* Ritchie 30: *Arthur* Ashmore

Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

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 R. recovering from tick borne anaplasmosis; Ryan Gordon; Ron & Kathy; Kenny Houghton; John Wood; Doris; Jane Preble; Elizabeth Racicotte; Jonathan Holmes; Nick & Mary Angela’s son Joshua; William; Sue Davies; Sue Davenport; Austin’s cousin Danny; Liz & Jim; Debbie & Lincoln & son-in-law Aaron, daughter Ashley, and granddaughter Brielle; Jim Snyder; Margaret B; Amy Nickerson; Kenny Stratton; Joy & David & Lori; Sandy Phippen; Betty & her step-daughter Mollie; Debbie & Hollis & Holly and Debbie’s Aunt Linda Reed; Coulter; Bruce’s sister Lynn; Patrice’s niece Erica; 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…

Disaster Relief Work Trip

Saturday, January 6 to Saturday,January 13

Your Association is headed to Port Charlotte, Florida for these days where we will be helping to repair homes that Hurricane Ian damaged last year. We will be staying at Wintergarden Presbyterian Church, and working with managers supplied through the United Methodist Church. Tools are supplied!

Our accommodations are two specially-built trailers with 16 bunks in each – upper & lower. Each bunk space has a privacy curtain and individual light. A separate trailer has 7 showers, plus laundry facilities. Meals and meeting space will be in the church’s facility, as well as more bathrooms.

We will work Monday – Friday, and are responsible for fixing our own meals. The Saturday arrival will allow us to worship with our hosting congregation at “breakfast worship” on Sunday and to have Sunday afternoon to check out the area. Our evenings are mostly open. We will have a gathering each evening to discuss the day just past and consider the next day, and for prayer as well.

You will be responsible to arrange for your own flights to and from Florida. The nearest airport is Fort Myers(RSW) and Southwest flies there from Portland.

You need to arrive on Saturday afternoon or evening unless you make a special arrangement with Bruce, trip coordinator. The other fees are as follows: housing, $140, Food $90 plus a celebration restaurant meal, Transportation (5 people to a minivan) $85, miscellaneous expenses $75, materials donation, $50 - for a total of $440. A $200 deposit will be due in when you reserve a place, payable to Katahdin Association. The rest will be due in early December.

Contact Bruce Burnham at with questions or for more information, and for the forms you will need to fill out to go. You can also call him at 207-331-4672. Leave a message if necessary.

From the Maine Conference

The Heart of a Conference Minister

As we enter into my second year as your Conference Minister I am reflecting on the past year that may inform this coming year. Last year I had two goals:

1. Get to know as many folks as I can in the churches all over the Conference, as well as establish myself as “pastor to the pastors.”

2. Help churches to know that there are new models and understandings of church for the 21st century that we can learn and make work for churches of all sizes.

I would venture to say these goals have not been fulfilled. I still have folks to connect with; there are churches that have not yet heard about new models and understandings of being church, or have just begun to hear through the workshops last spring or in consultations with me.

In the aftermath of the horrific tragic mass shootings two weeks ago, I am painfully aware that as my second year begins, we are in deep grieving and we are in need of deep healing. We also need to remind ourselves that what happened in Lewiston reverberates throughout our conference: broken hearts and troubled spirits; stressed minds and wounded spirits.

So one of my goals this year is to walk alongside each and all of you as we grieve and we heal—certainly in Lewiston and Auburn—and, in the north, east, south, and west.

And then I wonder, what is the healing that is needed even before the mass shooting? Have we fully grieved the impact of the pandemic regarding church size and vitality? Have we grieved the reality of church that is so different from 20 or 30 years ago? How can we grieve and revive and heal so that our churches, whatever the size, can learn of God’s future for them? As your Conference Minister, how can I be with you all for comfort and also for sharing with you from my years of experience with new ways of being church in Vermont, Pennsylvania, and now Maine?

So my initial thoughts for my goals for this year include:

1. being with you in heart and spirit for healing, however and wherever it is needed;

2. sharing with you so that the churches of our conference will be healthy and blessed, moving into your futures as you continue finding your God-inspired purpose.

It is early in the year, so with your input these goals may shift according to where you need me to shift.

To begin the year, I continue to invite you to invite me for conversation and consultation. When I write Mid-Week Newsletters, I will include pastoral care for healing and snippets of ideas for helping your church to be alive and thrive, any size. I leave you with a word of comfort and a word of hope.

To comfort, consider the psalmist’s words who knew deep down the abiding and healing love of God:

I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. 3He will not let your foot slip— he who watches over you will not slumber; 4 indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. 5 The LORD watches over you— the LORD is your shade at your right hand; 6 the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. 7 The LORD will keep you from all harm— he will watch over your life; 8 the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.

And a word of hope for our churches’ futures (Questions? Contact me!):

⮚ churches that can no longer afford a full-time minister, do not be dismayed.

⮚ Part-time ministry can abound with grace and deep meaning.

⮚ Licensed ministers are deeply called by God to serve the local church.

⮚ Churches sharing a pastor can be a blessed partnership

⮚ A lay ministry, shared model, has worked in several of our churches.

⮚ And for tiny churches: do not think you need to close. Consider long term pulpit supply.

⮚ The Maine School of Ministry is preparing future pastoral leaders of all types.

Until next time, deep blessings and prayers, Marisa

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