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2/19/23 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for February 19, 2023

We have come at Christ’s own bidding to this high and holy place,

Where we wait with hope and longing for some token of God’s grace.

Here we pray for new assurance that our faith is not in vain.

Searching like those first disciples for a sign both clear and plain.

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)

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.

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 Service and Soup Lunch in our Fellowship Hall

Everyone is welcome at our Community Ash Wednesday Service and Soup Lunch at 12 Noon on Wednesday, February 22nd. This informal service will include the imposition of ashes and marks the beginning of Lent and the days leading to Easter Sunday.

Fellowship time and a soup and bread lunch will be part of the service.

This service will be in person 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 Cynthia Priem:

The daughter and granddaughter of preachers, Cynthia Priem was blessed with scholarships to Vassar College (BA), University of Pennsylvania (MA), and Lexington Theological Seminary (MDiv) as well as the Eastern Music Festival (2 years). During her years of automating libraries, she took courses in a Master of Library Science program and, while developing three applications used in the building of facilities to make new pharmaceutical products, she took courses toward a Master of Science in Technology. Another period of her life was spent teaching public and proprietary software to business professionals. She served UCC churches in Kentucky, Indiana, and Maine. She currently lives in a religious community with Nancy Johnston and enjoys spiritual conversations with customers when her checkout lane at Shaws is quiet. She is a first violinist in the DownEast Chamber Orchestra and U.of Maine's orchestra and baroque ensemble.

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; Vicky’s Aunt Eleanor; 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:

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.

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 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

Beloved Maine Conference, As I sit here on this unseasonably warm February day, beholding my budding forsythia bush and preparing for another cold snap tomorrow, I’m aware that what has felt dormant for so long is starting to come alive again. Winter isn’t over, but beneath the surface, life is starting to bubble forth. Have you felt it, too? And it’s not just in nature – I’m seeing that same phenomenon throughout our conference as well! This week several of our smaller churches in search and call have let me know that after a long, quiet season, they have found exciting candidates to become their next pastor. Our long-awaited new website launched just a few weeks ago and it is chock-full of great information and resources. Take a look! Excitement is starting to build for another amazing summer for ALL ages at Pilgrim Lodge. If you are looking for a retreat for yourself or camp for your kids, check out these offerings! If you would like our camp director, Liz Charles McGough, to visit your congregation and share the excitement, I hope you will reach out to her. Nearly 50 participants (!!) have already signed up for one of our Alive and Thrive sessions launching next month. If your church is hungry for some new strategies to connect with your communities or invigorate participation, we’d love you to join us for one of our sessions. Registration is also now open for UCC New England Women’s Celebration XI in Manchester, NH (March 17-19). Have you seen their amazing keynote speakers? After such a long period of virtual programing and physical distance, let yourself be nourished, body and soul at this incredible event. Next month we are also launching our Cultivating Generous Congregations Program. Have you seen a dip in your pledges? Do you feel like your fundraising efforts are stale or in need of a boost? Our National UCC Generosity Officers have put together an amazing program to transform congregational giving. You won’t want to miss this! To everything there is a season, and the Maine Conference is headed into an incredibly generative one. Won’t you join us in some of the amazing work the Spirit is up to among us?



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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