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2/4/24 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for February 4, 2024

 

Come to the table of mercy

Prepared with the wine and the bread

All who are hungry and thirsty

Come and your souls will be fed

 

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

 

 


Sunday we will share Holy Communion.  For those who will receive the sacraments at home, please prepare a piece of bread or a cracker, and a cup of juice or wine and join us at the table. Also, we will be receiving non-perishable food items, toiletries, and pet food for the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry as we do on the first Sunday of every month.


During the month of February, we will be receiving the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering. OGHS provides sources of clean water, food, education, health care, emergency relief, and rehabilitation for refugees and displaced people. This is one of the 5 for        5 offerings received by the Maine Conference. Envelopes are available at the back of the Sanctuary.

  

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.

 

Deacons will meet in person and on Zoom, Friday, February 9th at 3:00 p.m.

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

 

Sacred Conversations on Gun Control – Saturday, Feb. 10th from 10:00-11:30 a.m.

at Hammond St. Congo Church in Bangor. Join Pastor TJ?

 

Lent begins on February 14th. All are welcome at our Ash Wednesday Service of

Soup and Prayers at Noon in our Fellowship Hall.

 

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.”

Let TJ or Vicky know if you are interested. Start time to be determined by participants.

 

Upcoming February Birthdays and Anniversaries      

08: Cynthia Johnston   08: Miranda Devenish     09: Phil Devenish       

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

 

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 Cynthia Wood’s Aunt Barbara and Sylvia Monteux, both receiving Hospice Care; Peggy Emigh; Ron & Kathy; Bob & Karen; Ruth; Sally’s sister Martha & her husband John;  Everett’s brother Darrell; Doris; Jim Snyder; Kenny Houghton; John Wood; Nancy & John & Jonas; Vicky’s brother-in-law, Buster; William; Sue Davies; Jonathan Holmes; Sue Davenport; Coulter; Austin’s cousin Danny; Liz & Jim; Debbie & Lincoln & son-in-law Aaron, daughter Ashley, and granddaughter Brielle; 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…

 


Fat Tuesday

Pancake Supper

February 13 at 5:30 PM

Free to All

Celebrate the end of Mardi Gras

by JOINING us for the final party!

 

Please bring a non-perishable food for a donation to Loaves and Fishes.

 

Family Event, Free games, prizes, food!

First Congregational Church

State and Church Streets, Ellsworth



To: Corea Baptist Church, Ellsworth First Congregational Church,

Hancock Congregational Church, Ellsworth Unitarian Universalist Church,

West Gouldsboro Union Church,

Jane Field (Maine Council of Churches), Allen Ewing-Merrill (BTS Center),

Christina Cataldo (Winthrop UCC), Mark Perry (Lutheran New England Synod)

 

THANK YOU for all your work and support on making the Day of Lament the success that it was! It has been a gift working together with you.

 

Some highlights of the day:

 

Five local congregations came together to serve our larger community. I have always loved Jesus’ prayer in John 17 that the world, seeing the unity of people of faith, will come to believe. Too often I’m afraid the world looks at faith communities and sees little unity. The Day was a great witness!


Forty-six people came through the doors on Wednesday or joined the evening service on Zoom. Eleven were at the beautiful noontime Taize service and twenty-six at the evening service. One of my favorite stories of the day was a couple who had gotten lost, turned around in the church parking lot, saw the banners, stopped and came in. God at work bringing good out of all things!


Offering for the day came to $400. St. Andrew has a fund available for ministries outside the congregation. I believe Council will approve matching this amount at our February meeting. Jane – would it be helpful to have the $400 immediately or receive it together with (possible) matching funds?

 

I am attaching a picture of the banner that was made by participants throughout the day. At this station those who chose to were invited to share their griefs and hopes through drawing, then wove those strips together with others’ to create this mural. We lifted it up to God and currently have it on the wall behind St. Andrew’s altar. Thanks to our “resident artist” Bob Sattler for providing for this and guiding people through it. At other stations people were invited to write or draw on stones weathered by wind and storm or to write letters of support. We have over a dozen stones and ten letters. The letters will be sent on to Jane.

 


 The dissolving papers with laments/griefs/burdens placed in the bowl of water seemed to be very well received! There was quite a bit of . . . slush? . . . in the bowl at the end of the day. We also received MANY index cards with people listing what blessed/strengthened/helped them through their struggles. These were lifted up in prayer at the evening service and will be put together in a collage by a St. Andrew member . . . sometime soon. When that happens I will get a picture of that to you.

 

Between area congregations and retired pastors at St. Andrew we had nine pastors here throughout the day welcoming participants and being available for conversation. Coffee, tea & cookies were well received throughout the day in the fellowship hall.

 

Here is the link to the video of the evening worship service: https://youtu.be/Ce_wzaWeG0w. Please feel free to use or distribute that as may be helpful.

 

Blessings,

 

Rev. Jonathan Vogel, St. Andrew Lutheran Church

Words of Gratitude, Words of Service

 

15 I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason 16 I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers, 17 that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know God, 18 so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may perceive what is the hope to which God has called you, what are the riches of glorious inheritance among the saints (Ephesians 1:15-18)


Beloved of our Maine Conference, today I am filled with gratitude!

 

Gratitude for our programs of MESOM and Pilgrim Lodge, but mostly gratitude for their leaders: Dean Malcolm and Director Liz. Both of these called and dedicated leaders have been so instrumental in the growth of our Conference programs. Ever since I met Liz, I have been impressed by her innovative ideas and actions that have helped Pilgrim Lodge to venture into God’s hope for outdoor ministries that nurture children, youth, and adults, not only in our conference, but throughout Maine. Since the time Malcolm began about a year ago, I have watched MESOM grow in team leadership and in excellent instruction for both pastoral and lay leadership for the church of the 21st century. We continue to raise up, through MESOM, pastoral leadership for our conference and the region.

 

Gratitude for Renita and Anne, our dedicated, talented, and committed office staff. Renita is retiring on February 29 and I have mixed feelings of great joy for her and her husband and family, and great sadness for me and our conference. Anne continues with us not only as Executive Assistant, but as a willing and wise partner who knows our conference and conference workings deeply. More than anyone, Renita and Anne have helped my transition into the workings of our conference.

 

Gratitude for our part-time Bridge ACM Samantha who has agreed to continue to serve until we can find a full time ACM, hopefully by late summer. Our first round of interviews did not yield a viable candidate so we are reopening our search. Sam’s continued service will keep our search and call of churches alive and thriving. Please have patience as the other duties of ACM remain unfilled.

 

Gratitude for our Treasurer Hariph who has been an incredibly gifted and willing financial partner. He works behind the scenes, and his skillful leadership has helped keep us in the black last year and this year. My only sadness is that Hariph’ s term ends at Annual Meeting.

 

Gratitude for our Board of Directors. They are the “behind the scenes” governing arm. Under the leadership of Sara and Stef, they are busy identifying goals for God’s 21st century in the Maine Conference. Their work is tireless and dedicated and hopeful as they plan for our future.

Gratitude for all our committees, teams, Committees on Ministry, Association Executive Committees. Gratitude for all who donate to the Friends of the Maine Conference as individual contributors. Gratitude for our churches that give to OCWM even as their coffers shrink: who support covenant among us and are willing to reach out to me for any help I can provide so that all churches, any size, are alive and thrive. Gratitude to all those who donate to our programs MESOM and Pilgrim Lodge.

 

I realize I have run the risk of leaving someone or some group out. If I have, let me know and I will correct that! Please know that I am grateful to each and every one of you.

 

I’m closing in on having been in contact with almost all of our churches, through presence, phone call, zoom, or workshops. I know there are some with whom I have not had contact or those who choose not to have contact with the conference. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if I could have contact with 100% of our churches?

 

With gratitude for all you are and all you do, I am your partner in Christ, looking with you ahead to our hope=filled future that God has in store for us.

 

Marisa

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