Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for December 17, 2023
Hark, the glad sound! The Savior comes, the Savior promised long! Let every heart prepare a throne, and every voice a song.
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
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 Handbell Choir will play again on December 17th.
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.
Pastor TJ will be away on vacation from December 25th through January 5th. Our worship service on December 31st will be led by Rev.’s Nick & Mary Angela Davis and the Deacons.
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
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; Sally’s sister Martha; Sheila; Pat’s sister’s Karen and Janet; George & Beth; Kenny Houghton; John Wood; Nancy & John & Jonas; Doris; Jane Preble, at “Armando’s” Golden Acres; William; Sue Davies; Jonathan Holmes; 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
Hark! How the Scrolls…
Rev. Dr. Malcolm Himschoot, MESOM Dean
The Maine School of Ministry keeps a Facebook page and an Instagram feed. To state this non-astonishing fact in our time is to say something familiar to past times like, “Our school has a campus center for events, mingling, and announcements.” When it comes to the location of our school, online interactivity is part of the real estate, part of the architecture, part of our overall site– along with the brick-and-mortar of local churches, retreat space where we sometimes meet at Pilgrim Lodge, and classroom provided in the conference office in Augusta.
Some of our more popular social media posts have invoked prayer and shared a scripture reading – which may be a little like a school having a chapel service. One reading – an invocation? – says this (courtesy of Michael Meade): “The problem in most situations is not a lack of calling; but a fear of responding to the call.” Many people can relate to a sense of purpose in their lives, in this world that God loves, and the courage needed to fulfill that purpose. Some find the Spirit leading them to serve out that call in and on behalf of Christ’s church.
Besides community chapel, what else happens in our virtual campus center? In past months, MESOM has posted theological books for give-away. We shared an Advent song for a pop-up choir. MESOM promoted a grant program for ministers aiming for financial vitality, and joined the Rural and Small Church Ministry Coalition in the UCC. We consulted statistics about Open and Affirming ministry. We attended and promoted a “guest lecture” by the Maine Council of Churches.
Theological education includes all of this – faithfully and imaginatively connecting scripture and current events, ritual and scholarship, church life and spiritual leadership.
Right now, our digital space is promoting MESOM’s upcoming academic courses. Spring Semester starts in February, and the time to register for classes is now! Real-time discussion among real people, with excellent instructors practicing ministry and scholarship. Maybe you are interested in discussing a provocative image of Christian scripture as it did (or did not) appear in ancient times. Maybe you are curious about the image of a modern moose impacted by global church history. Do you know someone who might benefit from studying the legacy of Christian faith and ecology? Do you know someone who wants to spend more time with the New Testament? Registration deadline is January 2nd and 12th respectively.
Lay, ordained, or something else, you are invited to share and co-create our community of theological education for the life of the church. In our learning-community model, the whole church is part of it! Which is why we recently posted grateful thanks to some churches who helped us sustain high giving this year. Local churches – not the conference budget – bring the income that sustains the Maine School of Ministry along with tuition and grants. Congregations with a positive heritage and a vision for pastoral reflection and leadership make significant contributions for the future.