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2/26/23 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for February 26, 2023

I am a promise, I am a possibility

I am a promise with a capital "P";

I am a great big bundle of potentiality!

And I am learning to hear God’s voice,

And I am trying to make the right choice

I’m a promise to be anything God wants me to be.

Upcoming meetings, events, and opportunities

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

Join us in our Sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. or on our Sunday Worship Zoom link at: zFXK3VUaDJXdz09

Meeting ID: 883 2746 7219 Passcode: 131738

(Posted later for viewing on Facebook and YouTube)

Liz Charles McGough, Director of Pilgrim Lodge will join us this Sunday, Feb. 26th.

Please come and learn more about our incredible church camp and all that it has to offer.

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

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

Join us for a deepening of faith through introspection and discussion…

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.

Trustees will meet Wednesday, March 1st at 12:00 noon (Zoom only)

Christian Ed will meet Friday, March 3 at 2:00 p.m.

The Thorsen Fund Committee will meet Wed. March 15 at 6:00 p.m.

Andy Matthews and Charles Dayhoff from Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry will be our guest speakers on Sunday, March 12th

A request from Savanna Havey

Hello all! I am currently working for a program called Maine Families, doing home visits with pregnant parents and families with kids ages 0-3. We are no cost to parents and provide evidenced-based information about child development and the importance of playing with your child. We visit parents in their homes and bring activities for play, talk about a developmental topic, and go over family well-being at every visit. We also incorporate the importance of reading to your child. Unfortunately, we do not have the funding to bring a book and leave it with families for them to have and enjoy together. A lot of our funding is federal, and we can bring things like diapers, smoke alarms, outlet covers, baby gates, gas cards, and grocery cards to families who need these things, but we do not have funding to provide books. There are 4 of us serving Hancock County, and we would all love to be able to leave books with our families for them to continue to enjoy! We have a little fund we all add change to, we collect bottles, and we have gotten a grant in the past but the books don’t last very long as we love to give them out.

For the month of March, I would love to collect new books for children in Hancock County. We love board books- (cardboard,) fabric crinkly books and high-contrast books for babies, books that have different textures, books with nursery rhymes, lift-the-flap books, books that foster attachment, and books about transitions for kids under the age of three, ex: using a potty, going to bed; books about feelings, just to name some. Board books or indestructible books are preferred for this age group so they can enjoy them for years to come! If you need some ideas or prefer to order online, here is an Amazon wish list that will be delivered to the office:

Most of these books are between $4-$9. If you prefer a cash donation, I can collect cash and purchase some of these books as well. Thank you so much for your support!

Meet our members:

Meet Debbie Maddocks:

Debbie was born in Bangor and raised in Ellsworth. She has been married to her husband Hollis for 48 years. Their anniversary is November 23rd. Up until recently they lived together at their home in Fletcher’s Landing township, where they raised their two children, Holly and Tim. Debbie now makes her home at Golden Acres in Hancock, where Hollis visits regularly. Debbie and Hollis also have three grandchildren, Taylor, soon to be a father himself, Jenna, who lives in Augusta, and Chelsea, who is getting married in September.

Debbie was a stay-at-home mom while her children were young. When they went to school Debbie found work on the McDonald’s lunch shift and at some area hotels as a cleaning person.

Debbie has loved singing all of her life and began singing with our Choir immediately upon joining us for Worship services. Debbie enjoys reading the Bible, the Saturday Evening Post and working Crossword Puzzles. When living on Graham Lake in Fletcher’s Landing township one of Debbie and Hollis’ favorite things to do was take a paddle boat ride together.

In 1995 Debbie went on a one-week mission trip to Romania along with 15 or 20 people from other states. Ask her about this rich and memorable experience.

Debbie wants to outlive her mother (68 years) and is very conscious of her 68th birthday coming up on March 29. Debbie does not have a bucket list per se, but is happy for new experiences, one of which was recently riding a jet ski for the first time.

Please keep the following people in your prayers this week: the people of Syria and Turkey; the people of Ukraine and Russia; the family and friends of Patricia Jordan who died on Feb. 8th; Denny Doucette recovering from a cardioversion procedure; Debbie E. recovering from hip replacement surgery; David Mack; Coulter Huyler; Sandy Phippen; Josh Friend experiencing heart issues; Renata’s sister-in-law Joanne; President Jimmy Carter and his family; Linda K. recovering from foot surgery; a church family seeking solutions for significant mental health issues - prayers for effective intervention and treatment and healing for all; Judith Crowley; Steve Crabtree; Debbie Maddocks and her Aunt Linda Reed; 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 violence, those impacted by laws limiting reproductive justice; those experiencing food and housing insecurity; all in your heart…

February Birthdays and Anniversaries:

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

(Please discontinue using and remove it from your contacts list.)

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

Hancock County NST

Good afternoon. Here is a short (well, for me, Art Wooster) update on the Ukrainian program that you have all shown so much kindness and generosity to support. We are finally moving, and anxious to keep things moving along at a faster pace. Here are the updates:

  1. The first family (the Artemchuks) arrived a couple of weeks ago and are getting established. The children have started school. There has been a large amount of work that had to be done to get them the legal documents required but we are nearing completion. Within a couple of weeks (or perhaps a few) we will start to work on welcoming events so that the community can meet this really great family. The incredible generosity of the whole community has been truly amazing and we (the Board of Directors) would like to thank everyone who has reached out to us and helped us make this successful.

  2. Today, we talked with our potential second family and are in the process of starting planning to get them to the US out of Latvia. They escaped their home city when the Russian Federation captured it eventually fleeing to Latvia, having lost their home, jobs, schools, etc. At this point we are hoping to be able to bring them to Hancock County by the end of March. Obviously things have to go more smoothly this time, but we anticipate that they will.

  3. This time, as we work through needs for their new home, we will construct a list of what is needed and get that out for donations. As the next house is existing construction, that will be a shorter list, but still needed. I expect that list to be out by the end of February.

  4. We have several more families, including a number who are still in the war zone who desperately need to get out of Ukraine or who have fled to neighboring countries and are looking for a place to establish themselves and their children. Our current limitation is housing. We cannot proceed with the next family until we have some idea where we might relocate them. If you know of any possibilities within Hancock County, please let me, or one of the Board members, know and we can follow up with the owners. There are likely places in the county that would be remote enough to be a challenge for some families, however, if you know of one, please let me know so we can evaluate it.

  5. Committees: We are forming committees to work with the various areas of support for our families. For those of you who offered to do whatever we need done to help, here is your chance. We have contact points with Board members who will be leading each of these areas. Please send your email to me indicating the committee you are interested in and I will make the connections.

    1. Transportation – working with vehicles, driving to appointments when needed, or other transportation needs

    2. Education and Culture – getting the family acclimated to our culture and opportunities, English language education, etc.

    3. Financial – maintaining the financial books for HCNST (bookkeeping primarily), tracking budgets

    4. Medical – working to help the family meet their medical needs

    5. Housing – getting housing set up and working with needs as they develop

    6. Implementation – working with new families on legal paperwork, bank accounts, driving documents, etc.

  6. Again, I would like to thank everyone who has made a donation to our website (, offered donations of furniture and other home furnishings, or just expressed support for what we are doing. I know that I say this often but it truly does “take a community” and ours is generous and kind. Thank you for all of the support.

More to come but we are all excited to welcome our first family to Hancock County

and to MDI in this case.

Art Worster, President, Hancock County NST

mobile: 908-619-3317

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 breathe 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 ever 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

News from the New England Women’s Celebration Team

Dear Friends, Thank you to those of you that have registered, signed up to have a table at the Marketplace, and/or spread the word about the UCC New England Women's Celebration XI - March 17-19, 2023 in Manchester, NH. We have less than 1 month to go, and registration is still open! The last day to register is Tuesday, February 28.

All the details and registration for Celebration XI are on our website -

$150 - Full registration* (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday)

$125 - Saturday-only registration*

*Please note, the registration fee does not include meals or accommodations.


We are looking forward to a wonderful weekend in March and hope to see you there!

Thank you for your support,

Ruth Choate

Publicity and Marketing Team

UCC New England Women's Celebration XI

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