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2/12/23 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for February 12, 2023

Teach us to love in truth, to give and to receive

with joyful and with open hearts, with all that we believe;

To seek another’s good, to honor what is right,

to let our will and our desire be held in holy light

Upcoming meetings, events, and opportunities

The Choir practices at 9:15 on Sunday mornings. All are welcome.

Join our Sunday Worship Zoom link at: zFXK3VUaDJXdz09

Meeting ID: 883 2746 7219 Passcode: 131738

(Posted later for viewing on Facebook and YouTube)

Join us after church this Sunday, Feb. 12 in-person or on Zoom for a Fostering Imagination update which will include a congregational poll to help determine our next steps.

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

Deacons will meet Friday, February 10th at 12:00 noon

Outreach will meet Thursday, February 16th at 4:00 pm

Council will meet Friday, February 17th at 12:00 noon

Trustees will meet March 1st at 12:00 noon

Rev. Dr. Nick Davis will lead our service on February 19th while Pastor TJ is on vacation

Liz Charles McGough, Director of Pilgrim Lodge will bring us a message on Feb. 26th

Andy Matthews and Charles Dayhoff from Loaves & Fishes will join us on March 12th

Ash Wednesday – Feb. 22nd – Soup and Service at Noon in our Fellowship Hall and on Zoom

Lenten Study Group – Wed. evenings at 7:00 beginning March 1st

Featuring selected scriptures and Wendell Berry’s Sabbath Poetry of Lent

During the month of February we will be receiving the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is one of five special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the

United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries.

Meet our members:

Meet Nancy Johnston:

I grew up in the Rouge Valley of southern Oregon where I enjoyed camping, as a Camp Fire Girl. After graduating from Linfield College I drove across the continent to Pennsylvania working at Camp Adahi before beginning Penn State’s graduate studies in recreation. I was able to combine my interests in outdoor education, psychology and the church in an inner city ministry in Reading, PA. From there God led me, as adjunct staff for PSE Conference, to begin a retreat ministry. In 1988 Cynthia Priem and I developed a religious community for the UCC (the Order of Emmaus Pilgrims) with the ministry of leading retreats and prayer experiences. Three years later I was ordained, in St. Louis, MO, serving churches in Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky before being called to be chaplain of Riverview Community. Riverview was a UCC 151 bed nursing home in Cincinnati from which I retired in 2009 after 12.5 years. My first exposure to Maine was in 1980 and in 2015 we moved to Maine. While in retirement I enjoy reading, needlework, genealogy and hiking (in good weather).

The Church has a new website!

Where do I find....

Sunday Service Zoom Link – Zoom button on the Home Page (scroll down).

Current Weekly Messenger and Bulletin – “Quick Links” at bottom of Home Page

Upcoming Events – “Upcoming Events” on Home Page or Get Involved→Calendar.

Committee information and meeting times – Church Boards→committee or

Get Involved→Calendar.

Electronic donations – Donate button or “Give” link at top of all pages.

Archive of written sermons – About→Our Minister (there’s a list of

current sermons along the right side of the page or click “Archived

Sermons” for all the files.

Archive of Weekly Messengers and Bulletins – Click on any of the “Quick Links” at the bottom of the Home Page and then the appropriate link at the top of the page.

Or, About→Our Church and click the links at the bottom of the page.

Special Announcements – “Quick Links” at bottom of Home Page and News

Recordings of past Sunday Services – YouTube button at bottom of Home Page or About→Our Church (click the Service videos link at bottom of page) or YouTube button

at the top of every page.

Personnel email and other contact information – At the bottom of every page and Contact.

Link to church Facebook page – at the top of every page and Contact.

Please keep the following people in your prayers this week: the people of Syria and Turkey; Linda K. recovering from foot surgery; Sandy Phippen; David Mack; a church family seeking solutions for significant mental health issues - prayers for effective intervention and treatment and healing for all; Judi Crowley; Debbie R.; Steve Crabtree; Debbie Maddocks and her Aunt Linda Reed; Barbara Reeve; Ginger and John Cunningham; John Wood; Andrew and Tamara; Austin’s cousin Danny; Kathy’s sister Patti Wotton; Roberta Scott; Betty Johnston; Betty’s step-daughter Mollie; Margaret B; Kenny & Joy & David; Liz & Jim; Gary Edwards; Bruce’s sister Lynn; Renata and the women she cares for; Eleanor’s step-daughter Holly; Tom & Judy’s son Andrew and his family; Cynthia; Nancy; all individuals and families experiencing addictions; all caregivers; all affected by memory loss; those living with depression and other mental health issues; for all victims and loved ones of gun violence, especially when it is by the hands of those whose vow is to serve and protect; those in war ravaged regions; those impacted by laws limiting reproductive justice; those experiencing food and housing insecurity; all in your heart…

February Birthdays and Anniversaries:

10: *Jack* Hirschenhofer

10: *Ethan* Hunt

12: Xyerra Harriman

13: *Amy* Philio

15: David Stratton

16: *Will* Stephenson

18: *Sara Beth* Denoncourt

21: *Pat* Summerer

24: *Heath* Hudson

25: *Michael* Hodgdon

27: Antonio Blasi

Contact Us at Union Congregational Church of Hancock:

TJ can be reached by cell phone at 207-323-6743 or by email at

Vicky can be reached at 207-422-3100 or by email at

Jen can be reached by email at

News from local non-profit organizations

Dear Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry Volunteers,

Welcome to the first in a regular series of volunteer emails from the pantry! Our volunteers (that’s you!) are the pantry’s superpower, and we’re gratified to see our cadre of active team members growing by leaps and bounds.

While the pantry van might not be faster than a speeding bullet, you superpeople are moving more than 40,000 pounds of food each month, and serving more clients than ever – over 150 shoppers in a single day on one occasion – exponentially more than in our old quarters.

The Road Traveled

As you probably noticed, 2022 was the most eventful year in Loaves & Fishes’ 40-year history! Our cadre of volunteers came together with our amazing Hancock County friends and neighbors to make our dream of an expanded pantry and community campus a reality, and we were able to open our doors at 137 Downeast Highway ahead of schedule on October 5.

A few highlights:

● Our volunteer campaign committee helped the pantry exceed our original New Building Campaign by more than $100,000, raising nearly a million dollars. While we had planned a three-year campaign, we met the goal in just over nine months.

● We repaid our Genesis Community Fund loan in full on November 1, 2022, so we now own 137 free and clear – and will save thousands of dollars in interest payments going forward.

● We continued to add talent to our Board of Trustees and revitalized our Development Committee.

● You, our volunteers, served nearly a thousand families this past year, totaling nearly 2,500 individuals; and helped clients from 33 of the 37 Hancock County towns. We also had visits from 29 towns outside Hancock County.

The Road Ahead

An Enhanced Volunteer Experience

Now that we’re settled in (more or less) at 137 Downeast Highway, we’re making the volunteer program more robust, with new organization and training for newcomers as well as veteran volunteers.

Part of that is a more “official” orientation process to help new team members feel welcome. If you know someone who’d like to volunteer, or if you haven’t helped out the new facility yet, sign up for an orientation session at

Current volunteers can now sign up directly, online, for their preferred shifts. Come to an orientation session or contact us to find out how!

Upcoming Events – Volunteer Help Needed

February will see us teaming up with Families First to provide meal kits during school vacation, a program we’ve called “Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation.” And, Blue Hill Co-op is dedicating their “Change for Good” (retail round-up) initiative to Loaves & Fishes for the entire month. Plus, the Co-op is putting on a Soup-er Bowl soup and chili contest on our behalf on Saturday, February 11.

Let me or Andy Matthews know if you’d like to help out with these or other fundraising, event planning or community engagement activities!

Stay tuned for more volunteer news as the year unfolds – and, last but very much not least, THANK YOU for all you do.

My best,

Charlie Dayhoff

Executive Director

Community Matters More voting is open.

Community Matters More is a program of The Bangor Savings Bank Foundation that directly engages the public in grant awards. Throughout February, community members will cast their votes to determine the recipients of grants awarded to local nonprofit organizations. The nonprofit with the most votes in each geographical region will receive a $5,000 grant.

Vote online at by selecting up to five different nonprofit organizations from any of the regions listed, or enter any other eligible nonprofit organization(s).

The BTS Center ( invites you to join them for upcoming offerings:


The Season of Lent begins in just over two weeks, with Ash Wednesday on February 22nd.

This year, The BTS Center invites you to connect with them by receiving daily reflections

based on the Courting the Particular reflections they offered last year.

The reflections will offer a brief opportunity to ground and center

and will be delivered via email each morning.

Let Pastor TJ or Vicky know if you are interested. They will send you an email link to sign up.

News from the Maine Conference

Dear Church,

Are you familiar with Sikh writer and activist, Valarie Kaur? She was one of the keynote speakers at our 2021 General Synod, and laid out a path for each of our churches to become a “pocket of revolutionary love.” I commend her TED talk to you if you haven’t seen it. Recently I read the following quote from Kaur’s book See No Stranger: A Memoir and Manifesto of Revolutionary Love, and thought it might have some wisdom for any among us who feel weighed down by the demands of ministry and life this week. She writes: This is what I want to tell you: You don’t have to make yourself suffer in order to serve. You don’t have to grind your bones into the ground. You don’t have to cut your life up into pieces and give yourself away until there is nothing left. You belong to a community and a broader movement. Your life has value. We need you alive. We need you to last. You will not last if you are not breathing. Place a hand on your chest. Take a deep breath. Feel your belly fill up. Hold the inhale for four counts. Feel the suspension. Now exhale for eight counts. Feel your heart beating in your chest. You are alive. You are here. I hope you also hear this as our prayer for you. Your work is sacred and necessary, and we need you for the long haul. If you are feeling caught up in the grind that ministry can be, make space to breath or connect or do something that is life-giving, until you find your grounding again. Also, remember that you are not alone; we are connected by a web of covenant – with other churches and other conferences and other denominations. No one person or one institution is every solely responsible for the health and success of a movement. Your gifts are a vital part of that, but the success of our work is not solely dependent upon you, either. Take this as permission to set as many boundaries as you need to serve with health and integrity. You are in our prayers, always… Alexis

This spring, Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola will be offering a vitality workshop,

Alive & Thrive at Any Size, at four locations around the state.

The workshops focus on church vitality for the

21st century, including the topics of:

● Becoming a mission church: reaching out into the greater community

● Engaging community partners for mission

● “Right sizing” governance to prevent burn out as numbers in the pews decrease

● Creative ways for pastors and lay leaders to work together

● Reaching the unchurched and inviting them into the life of the church

Please consider registering for one of the following events:

Hybrid options are available at the April 22 and June 10 meetings.

Questions? Contact Marisa

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