Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for December 24, 2023
Joy to the world, the Lord is come! let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven and nature sing, and heaven, and heaven and nature sing.
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
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on YouTube at Hancock UCC - YouTube
Choir Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am. All are welcome!
December 24th is on a Sunday this year.
We will have a 10:00 worship service that morning (4th Sunday of Advent)
A Family Friendly
Christmas Eve Service
Sunday, December 24
Union Congregational Church
1368 Route 1, Hancock
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.
Wednesday night we concluded our Advent Soup and Study titled, “Maya Angelou and the Freedom Poetry of Advent.” We read prayers and scripture and poetry and sang hymns and discussed how and where the Advent season was visible and tangible to us in our everyday lives. There were suggested practices each week to draw us deeper into preparations for the mystery of Christmas. One prompt was to, “Create your own psalm of lament, either as a poem, a song, a drawing, or a collage. What breaks your heart? And what gives you courage?”
Mary Angela Davis wrote this psalm of lament in response to this invitation.
Three inches of rain
running like a river
down our sloped driveway.
A stormy rain running like tears
from a wounded heart
tears that could not stop
Lament with me the persons
who have died in Gaza, in Ukraine,
in Lewiston, USA, in Israel
Oh God, can’t you see the broken
babies and hear the cry of the
starving humanity, the suffering Ones?
How is it possible to fit the reality
Into Christmas cheer and Emanuel –
God is with us? Oh joy
where are you?
Your whisper is clear –
Joy comes in the morning.
Where do I find joy? In the hope
for peace; in the sight of
children playing, in the moments of
Loving Kindness holding on to you;
Holding on to Mary’s song:
“My soul magnifies the Lord and
My spirit rejoices in God our Savior.”
Mary Angela Davis
December 19, 2023
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 & her husband John; George & Beth; Sheila; Pat’s sister’s Karen and Janet; 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; 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…
Upcoming December Birthdays and Anniversaries
27: Jennifer Ashmore 30: Keith & Pam Bowie
06: Erin Ehrlenbach Collins 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
From the Maine Conference
Dear Beloved of our Conference,
For this week’s main letter, we are highlighting the Friends of the Maine Conference (FOMC). Kathy Woodside and Brad Hirst have done a wonderful job reviving this vital way we can show our support for the ministries off our beloved Conference. Please read their heartfelt letter and give as you find able.
Blessings on all,
We have been thinking about covenant lately so we took the time to look up the definition in the dictionary. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a covenant is a promise, contract or agreement between groups or people. If we follow this line of thinking in regards to the covenantal relationship between each one of us and our beloved Maine Conference, we covenant together to support each other. So what does that support look like?
We have seen how the staff of the Maine Conference supports us and our Churches and we have seen the ministries of our Conference grow significantly in recent years. We have seen our Conference Minister, Marisa Laviola preaching at our Churches and providing support to both our Associations, Committees on Ministry, and our Pastors. Her compassion and prayerful concern for us all after the recent violence in Lewiston provided comfort to many of us as we struggled with our shock and grief. Both Pilgrim Lodge and the Maine School of Ministry have grown programmatically and are becoming self-sustaining due to the herculean efforts of Pilgrim Lodge Director, Liz Charles McGough and her staff and Malcolm Himschoot, Dean of the Maine School of Ministry (MESOM), faculty and MESOM Advisory Team. We appreciate how much support staff persons, Renita Dehais and Anne Hodgman do to support Marisa and us. They are always ready and willing to help when we call. We also value the tremendous amount of volunteer work our Board of Directors, Conference Committees and Resource Teams do to support us and the work of our Conference. Without them, it would be more difficult for Marisa, Liz, and Malcolm to do the work they do.
Like many of us, the Conference has a tight budget. Most of our Churches and Associations contribute to Our Churches Wider Mission (OCWM) which is great, but for some of our Churches it is a struggle. So let’s ask ourselves: what can I do?. How can I make a difference? How can I be a part of this unique covenantal relationship? We can impact the life of the Conference by giving to Friends of the Maine Conference (FOMC). In this season of giving, please join us in giving to FOMC. No gift is too small…your support can make more things possible!
Yours in faith,
"Covenant community is like air. We don't miss it until we need it." ~ Timothy Keller
FOMC Donations can be sent to: Maine Conference UCC, 337 State Street, Suite 3, Augusta, Maine 04330.