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4/21/24 Weekly Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for April 21, 2024


Heaven and earth, and sea and air, all their maker’s praise declare;

Wake, my soul, awake and sing; now thy grateful praises bring.


God, great wonders workest thou! To thy sway all creatures bow;

Write thou deeply in my heart / what I am, and what thou art.


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


Choir rehearsals are Sunday mornings at 9:15 a.m.  All are welcome. Please, join us!


Pastor TJ will be on vacation and working from WI April 22nd – May 2.

On April 28 Rev. Linette George will lead our worship service.



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.


Our Council meets Friday, April 19th at 11:30 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall and on Zoom.


Outreach meets Thursday, April 25th at 4:15 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall and on Zoom.


Thinking about joining the church? Talk with Pastor TJ or a Deacon

if you are interested in knowing more about becoming a member.


The Sunrise Association Spring Meeting is at Pilgrim Lodge Saturday morning, May 4th

An option for overnight camping is available on Friday, May 3rd.

Breakfast and lunch options are available on Saturday.

Let’s mix business with pleasure and gather together at our beloved camp.

See attachments for preliminary details… 

Join us for a four-week Study of the Psalms beginning Wed. May 8th at 2:00.

We will meet in the Fellowship Hall and on Zoom May 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.

Let Pastor TJ or Vicky know if you are interested in participating. All are welcome.


Installation Service & Reception

Installation Service for Minister of Faith Formation, Kiah Baxter Sunday, May 19th @ 3 p.m.

at the Bar Harbor Congregational Church UCC; 29 Mount Desert Street; Bar Harbor.

More details to follow closer to the date.


Celebration of Life Graveside Service to honor and remember Jane Preble

1:00 p.m. on May 25th, 2024 at Simpson Cemetery in Sullivan

(across from the Charles E. Sumner Learning Campus) 


Please note: Worship Time Change

For the past couple of years we have experimented with a 9:00 Worship Service start time the Sundays between Memorial Day and Labor Day and then meeting at 10:00 the rest of the year. It is challenging to find a time that everyone can agree on. Some find 9:00 in the summers too early whereas others find 10:00 to be too late when summer activities beckon. Many desire the consistency of a time slot that remains all year long.

In light of these concerns and following thoughtful discussions, our Deacons have opted to begin a trial period of starting the Worship Service at 9:30 beginning June 2 (the Sunday after Memorial Day). We hope that this compromise will benefit everyone. After giving this a try for the summer months we will bring the matter to a congregational vote prior to Labor Day. 


Upcoming April Birthdays and Anniversaries    

21: Mary Beth DiMarco        21: Peggy Emigh         21: Brian Simpson         

          22: Betty Johnston        26: John & Chris Wells        30: Ruth Butters 



Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

Prayers for the family and friends of David Worcester of Lamoine who was killed in a vehicular collision in Steuben last week. Prayers for Everett; Pat’s niece Kate, Bruce’s sister Lynn, Sally’s friends, Sue Barger and Ginny Hamm. Prayers for Cynthia’s Aunt Barbara, and William at Golden Acres, both receiving Hospice Care. Prayers for Ruth; Marie; Joyce; Doris; Mary Angela’s mother Caroline and brother Joel and Nick’s nephew Tim; Ron & Kathy; Jim Snyder; Brandon Perry-Hudson; John Wood; Jonathan Holmes; Sue Davies; Nancy & John & Jonas; Sue Davenport; 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 the people of our nation and of our world; Baltimore, Kansas City, and Lewiston; Israel, Palestine, Ukraine, Russia, Sudan and in so many other places experiencing escalating wars, conflicts, and disasters. Prayers for all individuals and families experiencing addictions; prayers for all caregivers; and prayers for all that is in your heart…



Let’s sign up for Pilgrim Lodge! Registration is open for Family Camp, all ages, all genders, Labor Day Weekend, Friday through Monday, August 30, – Sept 2.

Sign up for all four days or choose a shorter stay.

Let Pastor TJ know if you are interested. Scholarships are available.



                               From Our Maine Conference

         Wonder and Well-Being


A Letter from Pilgrim Lodge Director, Liz Charles McGough


The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;

where morning dawns, where evening fades,

you call forth songs of joy.

-Psalm 65, verse 8



At Pilgrim Lodge, we aim to ground our programming, decisions, and actions in our values. As a summer camp, “Love of Children” is a pretty obvious one! While the classic elements of “what we do” at camp are pretty timeless – swimming, arts and crafts, labyrinth walks, time with Family Faith Groups, team-building Challenges – “how” we do camp is something we are intentional about always innovating.


We know that mental health challenges, including depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts, among youth were on the rise before the pandemic. Statistics show that the pandemic exacerbated those concerns and made accessing support difficult. We know that many adults are also struggling. NAMI (the National Alliance on Mental Illness) has collected statistics from Maine. Data from the Maine Integrated Youth Health Survey shows that youth who identify as LGBTQ+ are disproportionately impacted by mental health challenges.

While all of this can be painful to process, at Pilgrim Lodge, we believe that camp is a place that fosters mental well-being by providing an antidote to some of the variables that can lead to anxiety and depression including isolation, the impacts of social media, time spent indoors, and stressors of life including the pandemic, active shooter violence, and the threat of climate change. The American Camping Association encourages a broad consideration of the elements that promote well-being including: “physical factors such as exercise and sleep; social factors such as relationships; and spiritual factors such as prayer, meditation, or contributing to a purpose greater than ourselves.” Time spent at Pilgrim Lodge addresses all of these variables. As we rise to greet the day with Morning Swim in Lake Cobbosseecontee and watch the sun set during vespers in our chapel, we are invited into the great “awe and wonder” expressed in Psalm 65. We build our days around a rhythm that invites us to joy, to well-being.


Image credit: Colorado State University Pueblo


Our camp program is designed to nurture healthy social connections. Talking Circles are used to build community and address conflict. Campers spend time outdoors experiencing the wonder and awe that nature provides. Walking the labyrinth, Family Faith Group, chapel and Sacred Gathering times are all opportunities for campers to consider the spiritual elements of themselves and the role that it plays in their lives.


Pilgrim Lodge has been offering Camp Pride for LGBTQIA+ youth and allies since 2017. We understand from our partners at OUT Maine that protective factors that support youth with their well-being include: unconditional affirmation of a camper’s identity, supportive adults, access to peer groups, and inclusive practices. Camp Pride, from its inception, has integrated all of these factors. More broadly, in 2023, Pilgrim Lodge affirmed inclusive practices across all of its camp programs through Gender Inclusion Practices that support an All-Gender cabin option for all camp sessions. At the same time, Pilgrim Lodge offered its first ever session of Pride Across the Ages, a weekend retreat for individuals and families of all ages to share a multi-generational community space centered around LGBTQIA+ identity. Pilgrim Lodge has secured grant funding for all of these programs to ensure access to camp and participants are encouraged to apply for scholarships!

Beyond our program, the staff and volunteers of Pilgrim Lodge have been steadfast in approaching strategies to address mental health considerations at camp. In 2023, Pilgrim Lodge worked with Fairwinds Camp Consulting to design procedures for supporting campers with mental health considerations at camp and to provide training to Deans, staff, and Health Care Providers at camp. This year, Pilgrim Lodge is partnering with NAMI Maine to offer a Youth Mental Health First Aid training to staff and volunteers during our Kick-Off Orientation to prepare for the summer. During the upcoming season, we have volunteers at our camp sessions who are either chaplains or have a social work background to lend extra capacity to our camp teams, making sure that campers can take a break and regroup or have an adult presence to support them in navigating challenges that may arise during camp.


We are laying the foundation for a summer season that upholds the best of what Pilgrim Lodge has offered for decades – healthy social connections and community, spiritual exploration, and time in nature tuned into awe and wonder – while preparing to nurture and support our campers with their whole selves that they bring to camp. We are honored to offer a space of well-being grounded in love, affirmation, and care.

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