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4/16/23 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for April 16, 2023

May we, O God, by grace believe

and thus the risen Christ receive,

Whose raw, imprinted palms reached out

and beckoned Thomas from his doubt.

Upcoming meetings, events, and opportunities

Choir practices Sunday morning at 9:15 a.m. 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)

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, April 20th at 4:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall

Council will meet Friday, April 21st at 12:00 noon in the Fellowship Hall and also on Zoom

Pastor TJ will be on Study Week April 24th - 30th.

On April 30th, Pastor Jeff Jeude will be our guest preacher while Pastor TJ is away.

Meet our Congregation:

Meet Betty Johnston…

Betty’s mother, Mona Gordon Manchester, originally from Sullivan, took a job as a school teacher in Northeast Harbor, where she met Betty’s father, Russell D. Manchester, who after serving in WWI came back to Northeast Harbor and opened his own garage.

Betty grew up the youngest of five siblings. Betty, who is turning 86 this month, and her eldest brother Clifford, at 98, are the only two surviving siblings.

Betty graduated from Mt. Desert High School in 1955 and then with the encouragement of a family friend, she spent one year at St. Margaret’s House & Hospital for Babies in Albany, NY becoming certified in baby care. Betty cared for 52 babies in the next eight years; going home to live with their families for the first 2 to 4 weeks after the babies were born and teaching the new moms parenting skills. Betty’s first baby was born to a summer family in Northeast Harbor, and after that, word of mouth referrals took her to Maryland, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. One family had her come back for each of their three children to help get each child off to a healthy start.

In 1971 Betty was working as an LPN at Thayer Hospital in Waterville. She met Earl that year in Northeast Harbor on October 1st at the encouragement of mutual friends. Earl and Betty were married eight weeks later in the minister’s office at First Baptist Church of Waterville.

During much of their marriage Betty was a stay-at-home mom and Earl worked for the telephone company. Betty was also active in the Woman’s Club in Hancock, serving as Woman’s Club State President from 1988-90. Betty has also been active in the church through the years as a Deacon and currently as a member of the Outreach Committee. Betty has been a member of the Union Congregational Church of Hancock for 49 years.

Marrying Earl gave Betty not only a husband, but three step-children. Mollie was 10, Dennis was 12, and David was 14. They all set up house in an 1845 summer cottage at 238 Cross Rd (where Betty still lives) that Earl remodeled into their year-round home. Earl died Nov. 27th, 2016, one day after their 45th wedding anniversary.

Mollie and her husband now reside in Waterford, Connecticut and visit Betty often. Dennis and his wife Lisa, and David all live in Hancock. Betty is blessed with 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.


I hope this note finds all of you well. If all goes according to plan, I will arrive in Maine in late May. My understanding is that my guest room is full of contents for Comfort Cases. My hope is that upon arrival, I will hit the ground running sorting contents and then packing and distributing Comfort Cases. It's been a long cold winter in Maine, and I suspect that there are many children who would love having a Case. So in your travels, please keep an eye out for great contents for children ages 0-18. Toiletries are best if they are travel sizes as they fit easily into a backpack. Also, as of right now, I have no backpacks. Ideal sizes are 15", 17" or 19". We are also in need of stuffed animals but they have to be 10" or smaller to fit. I'm including a link that details what goes into our Comfort Cases.

You all have been so good to me and children experiencing foster care in Maine in the past. I could never do this project without you.

Please feel free to share this message with anyone who might want to help!

Thank you and Happy Spring!

Lesley Robinson, Volunteer

Read Amy Jenner’s blog on how feeling awe can awaken us to what is sacred. (click the link)

April Birthdays and Anniversaries:

16: Jack & Delores Candy (Easter Sunday)

19: *Linda* King

19: *Keith* Bowie

21: *Mary Beth* DiMarco

21: *Peggy* Emigh

22 *Betty* Johnston

26: *John* & Chris Wells

30: *Ruth* Butters

Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

Judith’s cousin Bob and his wife Linda, both sick with Covid-19; Myrna’s neighbor Dave Marden with serious new health concerns; Kenny Stratton; Joy & David & Lori; Holly’s friend Shawn; TJ & Pat’s 94-year old friend Yvonne sick with Covid-19; Gary & Jeanne’s grandson William recovering from a skiing accident; Gary Edwards recovering from surgery; Kathy’s friend Amy Nickerson, mother of 2 young children recently diagnosed with an autoimmune liver disease and stage 2 breast cancer; Kate Winters scheduled for heart surgery on April 21st; Trudy Clark; Debbie R.; Samantha and her family; Mike and Cindy Merritt; Nick’s sister Susan recovering from a mild stroke; Denny Doucette; Myrna’s cousin Donna; Sandy Phippen; Renata’s sister-in-law Joanne; Coulter; Judith Crowley; Cheryl and her husband Jeff; Andrew and Tamara; Austin’s cousin Danny; Bruce’s sister Lynn; Debbie Maddocks and her Aunt Linda Reed; Kathy’s sister Patti; Liz & Jim; Renata and the women she cares for; Tom & Judy’s son Andrew and his family; Betty’s step-daughter Mollie; Nancy; Cynthia; Margaret B; Eleanor’s step-daughter Holly; all affected by memory loss; healing prayers for a family seeking solutions to significant mental health issues;

all those living with depression and other mental health issues; all individuals and families experiencing addictions; all caregivers;for all victims and loved ones of violence; those impacted by laws limiting reproductive justice; those experiencing food and housing insecurity; the people of Syria and Turkey; the people of Ukraine and Russia; President Jimmy Carter and his family; all in your heart…

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 the Maine Conference

Beloved Maine Conference,

Eastertide blessings! I hope that your Holy Week and Easter celebrations were all that you hoped they would be! This week I’ve been thinking a lot about the post-resurrection encounters – from the women at the tomb to the disciples on the beach to the pair on the Emmaus Road – and how, in each case, these followers of Jesus no longer recognized him at first glance. I wonder if maybe that’s the difference between resurrection and reanimation; true resurrection changes you. The old molds and patterns no longer fit. Even though our settings may not have “died” during the pandemic, this resonates with what I’ve heard from you all about how your churches have come back, but aren’t the same. So it’s not a surprise that some of the old tools we relied on, be it our bylaws or our programming or our outreach, no longer fit quite right. This isn’t a sign of failure; it’s a sign that you are transforming. Here at the Maine Conference, we would love to help support you on this journey of transformation. Below are a few tools that might be helpful, but don’t hesitate to reach out to us if there are other ways that we can walk alongside you into God’s future. • If you haven’t yet registered, there are still two sessions of Alive and Thrive left! Please join us in Bethel on May 6 and Bangor on June 10. • Feeling like your bylaws are stuck in a former era? The recording of our streamlining governance workshop is still available to watch. • COM Café, an open forum for COM members to bring their questions, concerns, and share what's working and what's not in their COMs, will be open on Tuesday, June 6 from 3-4:30 PM. Rev. Melanie Oommen will facilitate these discussions and share latest MESA news, allowing ample time for participants to connect with one another and share ideas and challenges. All COM members are welcome to participate! Register here. • If what you really need is some more opportunity for rest before you harness the creativity necessary to transform, then don’t forget to check out the Pilgrim Lodge Schedule of Events this summer! Blessings, dear ones, on the work ahead! Know that your conference staff is cheering for you and here to support you in any way. Don’t hesitate to reach out if we can help. Peace, Alexis

A Call to Action to Maine's Faith Communities Seeking Gun Safety Laws in Maine from the Maine Conference Social Action Committee

All of us want the people of Maine, young and old, to be safe from gun violence. Yet, there is steady growth in death by guns in Maine. Most alarming, suicide by guns in Maine grew by 45% from 2012 to 2021. This is not what we want for ourselves, our veterans, our children, or our grandchildren.

Today in Maine, anyone can buy any gun, including semi-automatic weapons and large capacity magazines, in a private sale, without a permit, without safe gun use training, without a background check.

Maine is a source state for criminals who come here to buy guns that they can't buy in their own states that have universal background checks. The shooter last year in Canada who killed 22 people bought his guns in Maine. And there is little in the way of safeguards to protect Mainers from becoming the targets of such violence.

As people of faith, we affirm that life is sacred. We are called to love and protect one another, and to be peacemakers – shalom makers: wholeness of life and joy of wellbeing in heart, mind, body, and soul.

We are encouraged and hopeful that the Maine legislature is considering gun safety measures in the spring of 2023.

As people of faith, let us call for the 131st Maine State Legislature to pass these three common sense gun safety laws:

1. A bill to require criminal background checks of buyers of firearms for private sales, transfers or exchanges at gun shows or private sales, transfers or exchanges resulting from advertising or marketing subject to certain exceptions; (L.D. 168)

2. A 72 hour waiting period before a gun is delivered from a seller to a buyer; (L.D. 60)

3. A "red-flag" law so family or friends of a person threatening gun violence to themselves or others can get a gun-confiscation court order; (no L.D. yet assigned)

Delegates to the 2013 Annual Meeting of the Maine Conference UCC passed a resolution entitled An Urgent Call for the Prevention of Gun Violence. It resolved to “require universal background checks and safety courses for all sales of guns, including sales at gun shows and between private individuals.” The Social Action Committee of the Maine Conference endorses these proposed laws, asking and praying that our churches and members will support these measures to keep our neighbors, ourselves, and our families safe.

Stephen L. Hastings & Kathy Woodside, Co-Chairs, Social Action Committee

On behalf of the Maine Conference of the UCC

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