Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for December 3, 2023
In tender mercy, God will send the day-spring from on high,
our rising sun, the light of life for those who sit and sigh.
God comes to guide our way to peace, that death shall reign no more.
Sing praises to the Holy One! O worship and adore!
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
Find us at Hancock UCC | Hancock ME | Facebook or
on YouTube at Hancock UCC - YouTube
Choir Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am. All are welcome!
The Wreaths Across America convoy to Arlington National Cemetery will make its first stop at our church this Sunday, Dec. 10th at approximately 8:30 a.m. Join us on the front steps to accept a wreath and greet those traveling with a smile and a wave. Afterwards we can share coffee or cocoa in the Fellowship Hall.
This Christmas season we will again be providing gifts for children at the Emmaus Center. The Angel Tree still has several tags left on it. If you haven’t grabbed a tag, please do so.
Let’s help to ensure presents under the tree for these kids.
The Handbell Choir will play again on December 17th.
Rehearsal on December 10th following the morning worship service.
Gift wrapping fundraiser. We are seeking donations of gift wrap, ribbons, tags, tape, etc. Drop off your presents to be wrapped Friday, December 8th between 11 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Pick up wrapped gifts on Saturday, December 9th between 2-5 p.m.
Wrappers needed! Sign-up in the Fellowship Hall or talk with Pat Summerer. 207-963-7182
Offering Envelopes For Everyone! Ask David Wildes (422-3739) for a set.
Makes it easy and convenient to support our church.
Join us on Wednesdays in Advent (6, 13, 20) on Zoom for Soup and Study (Zoup!) or join us in person in our Fellowship Hall at the church. 6:00 Soup. 6:30 Study.
All are welcome and encouraged to attend.
In this Advent devotional, entitled “Maya Angelou and the Freedom Poetry of Advent” biblical texts and simple, accessible practices interweave with Maya Angelou’s stirring vision of faith, freedom, and dignity. Week by week, as we wait, and watch, and pray,
we’ll walk toward Bethlehem - with Maya Angelou as our guide.
At-home Daily Devotional – Magnify: Mary’s Song and the Magnificent Women of Advent The focus is on Mary’s amazing song — as well as many women in scripture.
Prepare for Jesus with song — and with Mary! Ask Pastor TJ or Vicky for your copy.
A Christmas Pops Concert is scheduled for Thursday, December 14th at 4:00 p.m.
Musicians Gary Bushee and Dwight Ingalls will be entertaining and leading sing-a-longs.
The concert is free, but donations are accepted. Light refreshments provided after the concert.
Join us for local Christmas Caroling on Friday, December 15th. Meet at the church Fellowship Hall at 2:30. Caroling from 2:30 -3:00 and then back to the church for hot chocolate and cookies and a short Christmas movie.
Our Deacons decided not to have a Blue Christmas service or a Longest Night service this year. If you are looking for a reflective service this Advent season consider joining "The Many” for one of their online Longest Night Gatherings offered December 17th, 19th, or 21st.
Ask Pastor TJ or Vicky to send you an email with the link to register for one of the gatherings.
During the month of December, we will be receiving the Christmas Fund for the Veterans of the Cross Offering. This is an annual UCC offering that expresses our thanks to retired and active UCC pastors and lay church workers and their families facing emergency financial need, providing direct assistance to supplement pensions, help with the cost of medical insurance, and thank you gifts at Christmas. Envelopes are available in the back of the Sanctuary and in the Fellowship Hall.
December 24th is on a Sunday this year. We will have a 10:00 worship service that morning (4th Sunday of Advent) and the Christmas Eve service will be at 4:00 that same evening.
Upcoming December Birthdays and Anniversaries
10: Ron & Kathy McGlinchey 15: Frank Dorsey
16: Ashley Ehrlenbach Johnson 17: Sue Croteau
18: Barbara Reeve 20: Sheila O’Neill 21: Mary Angela Davis
27: Jennifer Ashmore 30: Keith & Pam Bowie
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 Riley; Ron & Kathy; Bob & Karen; Sheila; Pat’s sister’s Karen and Janet; Kenny Houghton; John Wood; Doris; Jane Preble, at “Armando’s” Golden Acres; William; Jonathan Holmes; Sue Davies; Sue Davenport; Austin’s cousin Danny; Liz & Jim; Debbie & Lincoln & son-in-law Aaron, daughter Ashley, and granddaughter Brielle; Jim Snyder; Kenny Stratton; Joy & David & Lori; Sandy Phippen; Betty & her step-daughter Mollie; Debbie & Hollis & Holly and Debbie’s Aunt Linda Reed; Coulter; 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
The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned. (Isaiah 9:2)
Such incredibly comforting words from Isaiah, words that we often hear spoken during worship services in Advent. Deep in my heart I know we are a people who walk in darkness. That validates my experience of everyday life with war in Gaza and Ukraine, tumultuous relationships in our government, the aftermath of the mass shooting in Lewiston and the incredible grief, daily strife of one sort or other. And I am also aware that this time of year, as joyous as we want it to be, is not very joyous for so many: those with no family, turmoil in families, not enough food, no place to call home. Of course, many folks are not joyous all year long, but during this time of twinkly lights and ho-ho-hos and parties and presents, the darkness can seem a bit darker.
And yet, Isaiah tells us a light has dawned, just like the first hint of streams before that nudge of the ball we call the sun begins to appear over the horizon. It’s a hint of light; not the full blast of blaze at noon time. What is that hint? What is this metaphor from Isaiah describing?
As I ponder, I remember Mary’s Song or Magnificat, as she speaks the first New Testament prophesy. She reflects on her role as the Mother of the Savior of the world, and the resultant fortune of a world turned upside down:
He has performed mighty deeds with his arm; he has scattered those who are proud in their inmost thoughts. 52 He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble. 53 He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty. (Luke 1:51-53)
In this prophesy, Mary is talking about the birth of her son who is dawning to herald a new way of Light, a new way that turns the world upside down, and shines in the darkest areas. Do we dare to say that it is the intention of God, with the birth and life, teaching and presence of the babe, to provide dawning light to all who are in darkness?
And Beloved, not only are the hungry and poor and oppressed in darkness. All of us are because we are part of the institutions that support rich and poor, haves and have nots. And Beloved, not only are the lonely with no families and members of tumultuous families in darkness. We are all in darkness because gazing upon such want and need is almost too much to bear.
Where is the hope? The hope is in believing that God has a plan to bring heaven onto earth and God has over and over again brought newness into our lives, as new as a baby. All year long God calls us to bring heaven onto the earth through our prayers, our intentions, and, most of all, our Godly actions. The hope is not to have bigger and better or a life free from any strife. That is false hope. God’s hope is that we help one another, care for one another, whoever we are, share freely with one another no matter where life has brought us so far— so all have enough and strife is not too much to bear for anyone.
Beloved, as you proceed through Advent, know that although we are a people walking in darkness, there is a great light that is dawning: a light that provides enough for all of us; that comforts all who grieve, that feeds all who are hungry and houses all who need shelter. That light is God-with-us, born this time of year and, I pray, nurtured throughout the year.
Blessings to each and all this Advent,