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2/18/24 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for February 18, 2024

 

Oh, let the Son of God enfold you with his Spirit and his love;

Let him fill your heart and satisfy your soul

Oh, let him have the things that hold you,

and his Spirit, like a dove, Will descend upon your life and make you whole

 

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

 

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.

 

Council will meet Friday, February 16th at 11:30 a.m. in person and on Zoom

Bylaws subcommittee meets Friday, February 16th at 1:30 p.m..

Christian Education team will meet Sunday, Feb. 18th after church.

 

Lenten Study Group begins Wed. Feb. 21st

Join Pastor TJ for C.S. Lewis and the Delightful, Diabolical Daring of Lent:

A Lenten Companion to “The Screwtape Letters.”

We will enjoy soup & bread at noon while listening to comedic actor John Cleese read

C.S. Lewis’ “The Screwtape Letters,” followed by discussion from 12:30 – 1:30.

Study guides are in the back of the Sanctuary or available electronically.

 

Pastor TJ will be on Study Week and working from Wisconsin February 19th through Feb 29th.

Gordon Thomas Ward will fill our pulpit on February 25th.

 

February 25th is MESOM (Maine School of Ministry) Sunday. Envelopes are available in the back of the Sanctuary if you choose to make a donation to MESOM. 

 

Upcoming February Birthdays and Anniversaries      

18: Sara Beth Denoncourt     19: Monica Quill            21: Pat Summerer       

24: Heath Hudson                 25: Michael Hodgdon           27: Antonio Blasi

 

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 David and Cynthia’s daughter-in-law Hannah Wildes, her family, and her father, Mike Lundrigan, who is suffering from liver failure complications; Cynthia’s Aunt Barbara, Renata’s maternal Aunt Lore Ruben, age 95, in Seattle; Sylvia Monteux, and William, all receiving Hospice Care; Ron & Kathy; Bob & Karen; Ruth; Sally’s sister Martha & her husband John;  John Wood; Everett’s brother Darrell; Doris; Jim Snyder; Kenny Houghton; Jonathan Holmes; Sue Davies; Nancy & John & Jonas; Vicky’s brother-in-law, Buster and his wife Wanda; Sue Davenport; Austin’s cousin Danny; Liz & Jim; Debbie & Lincoln & son-in-law Aaron, daughter Ashley, and granddaughter Brielle; Coulter; 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; 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; prayers for all caregivers; and prayers for all that is in your heart…

 

The weekend of February 16-18, 2024, faith communities in Maine are participating in a “Gun Safety Awareness Sabbath,” praying in unity for safety from gun violence for our families, communities, and state. Please check out the attachment for further information.

 

Sunrise Association Committee on Ministry Needs You!

Are you interested in getting to know the churches in our association a little bit better?  Curious about ministry, and the different ways that ministry happens around our association?  If so, the Committee on Ministry (COM) is seeking new members! 

 

The COM works with both churches and clergy in the Sunrise Association — we do outreach to churches, support congregations in times of transition, work with members-in-discernment (people who are discerning a call to ordained ministry), and attend to the care and oversight of clergy. 

 

We meet monthly as a full committee, and members have the chance to choose one of three sub-groups — church engagement outreach, clergy care and oversight, or members-in-discernment — for more focused involvement. 

 

We need both lay and clergy members - and no prior experience is needed — just curiosity, and a willingness to learn.  If this sounds like it might be of interest to you, or if you know someone who might be interested in serving, please reach out to Rev. Andi Lloyd (andi@tcpoc.org) or Rev. Lisa Durkee (pastor@bluehillcongregational.org) for more information! 

 

Grace and peace,

Andi and Lisa

Pilgrim Lodge is hiring Summer Staff for 2024

The Pilgrim Lodge staff plays a vital role in supporting the program and ministry of camp. There are longer-term positions available and shorter, summer roles for residential staff. We welcome applicants from all walks of life as reflected in our Statement of Faith.

Apply now! Interviews are underway. Please visit pilgrimlodge.org for more information.

For questions about our jobs or support with the application process, please email Liz Charles McGough, Director, at echarles@pilgrimlodge.org or call 207-724-3200. Please share this information with anyone that you think might be a good fit for Pilgrim Lodge. Thank you!

Join Pastor TJ at Pilgrim Lodge for Jump Start Weekend

Raking leaves, stacking wood, clearing brush, floating docks, sweeping floors, washing windows…there’s so much to do to clean up PL after the winter and get ready for summer!

We need your help, and there’s something for everyone to do! April 26 - 28th (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) Help all three days or for only part of one day. Many hands make light work! See Pilgrim Lodge website or TJ for more details.

 

From the Maine Conference

Sacred Conversations

Beloved,

     This past week I was honored to gather in three “Sacred Conversations on Gun Control” with folks in Bangor, Waterville, and Auburn. The gatherings were facilitated by me and by members of the Social Action Committee. Beloved ones gathered shared all aspects of grieving in response to this horrific mass shooting. Sharing in groups of 3 or 4, and then coming together in the larger group, everyone was heard fully, listened openly, and received support and deep understanding from one another. We also discussed actions going forward. All were asked, “where do we go from here?” Emphasis was placed equally on individual, church, community, and Conference responses. This part of the discussion covered everything from actual gun control to mental health awareness to law enforcement. I have sent out a survey this week to each participant to more fully answer the question “What do you hope the Social Action Committee and the Conference can do from here?”

     What touched me deeply was the deep loss of our belief in “it can’t happen here”, the safest state in the nation. We realized that our denial has been ripped open, our sense of safety has been deeply wounded, and we have joined a club that no one wants to join. We also expressed a hope that the pain could be turned into action that makes a difference. We realized that acting now or in the very near future is essential so that we do not return to denial a year from now.     

     Three members of the Social Action Committee: Steve Hastings, Hannah Mondrach, and Kathy Woodside, acquainted us with what the Conference has already done, beginning in 2013 with a Resolution against gun violence voted upon at the Annual Meeting. Also, the Social Action Committee put out a statement in spring of 2023 against gun violence. They shared the work of two of our churches in Belfast and Cumberland for ways to make a difference. The United Church of Christ adopted a resolution at last June’s SYNOD that outlines some practical ways to intervene at the church level.

     I am looking forward to feedback from the surveys. I invite any of you to send feedback regarding what you would like for us at the conference level to do from here. I will be working with Rev. Jane Fielding, Executive Director of the Maine Council of Churches, along with other judicatory leaders of denominations in Maine, to come together in solidarity and action—most likely at the legislative level. Individuals and whole churches can also write letters and call their representatives at the State House.

     Beloved, indeed let us continue to wrap our arms around one another in comfort and solace, with much prayer. Let us wonder together what actions each of us can take at the individual, church, community, and conference levels to make a genuine difference in Maine.

     Toward the end of one of our gatherings, someone encouraged us to work to spread “goodness” as churches in the UCC. I was deeply moved by this sentiment, as our world is so filled with “not goodness”, with violence, political upheaval, hate, despair, and so many feeling disenfranchised. Let us all embrace that we are the hands and feet of Jesus—and Jesus’ voice—that spread the good news of the realm of God on earth. What is that good news? Good overcomes evil. Truth overcomes falseness. Love towers over hate. Hope overshadows despair. Welcome and inclusion push out marginalizing and exclusion. Light shines into every corner of darkness. If we all believe and practice as Jesus’ hands and feet and voice of love, we can make a genuine difference in our corner of the world, in our Maine Conference.

     “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the one who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” (Isaiah 52:7)

 

Your partner in the Good News,         Marisa

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