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9/17/23 Messenger

Hancock UCC Weekly Messenger for September 10, 2023

Who dares to throw the stone to damn another's sin,

when you, while knowing all our past, forgive again?

No more we play the judge, for by your grace we live.

As you, O God, forgive our sin, may we forgive.

Join us in our Sanctuary at 10:00 a.m. or on Facebook Live.

You will be able to watch the service on Facebook Live in real time

or watch the recording on Facebook or YouTube .

on YouTube at Hancock UCC - YouTube

Choir Rehearsals are held on Sunday mornings at 9:15 am. All are welcome!

Upcoming meetings, events, and opportunities

Fall Handbell Ringing Because of travel and Play commitments this Fall, handbell practices won’t start until mid October. Here’s the plan: Rehearsals Sundays after church 11:30–12:15ish Oct. 22, 29 and Nov. 5th playing a Thanksgiving tune on Nov. 12th (Annual Meeting date). Then resuming rehearsals Nov. 19, and Dec. 3, and 10th, playing our Christmas selections on Sunday, Dec 17th. (We can discuss playing on Christmas Eve, but Pat S. will be gone.) We need 7 participants to commit to a majority of these rehearsals to be able to ring. Please call Pat Summerer at 963-7182 if you are interested. Thank You. If you are a new ringer, or just curious to find if this is something you’d like – we can have a beginner’s exploratory practice on Sept. 17th after church. Please consider joining us. It’s fun and rewarding to be part of a group playing to the Glory of the Lord without being judged for your expertise. Again, please call Pat if you would like to try ringing!

During the month of September we will be receiving Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) Offering. This is one of the 5 for 5 offerings supported by the Maine Conference. OCWM provides funding from congregations for Conferences and the national ministries of the United Church of Christ (Wider Church Ministries, Local Church Ministries, Justice and Witness Ministries, General Ministries, and Pension Boards).

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.

Budget Committee will meet Friday, September 15 at 9:00 in the Fellowship Hall & on Zoom

Community Blessing of the Animals Service

Sunday, September 24 at 10:00 AM

Hancock Town Monument Lot

Corner of US Route 1 & Point Rd.

All types of pets are welcome!

Outdoor Service.

Dress for the weather. Bring your chair.

In case of rain, service will be at the church.

It’s getting to be that time of year again when we start gearing up for Annual Reports. If you are responsible for getting a report ready for the annual meeting, please be thinking about it.

All reports are due in the office NO LATER THAN October 15th. Thank you!

Book Group beginning on Wednesday, October 25th from 7:00-8:00 p.m.

From What Is To What If: Unleashing the Power of Imagination to Create the Future We Want, by Rob Hopkins, was one of the guiding texts of our 2022 Fostering Imagination program facilitated by The BTS Center (the successor to the Bangor Theological Seminary).

Join us as we gather to discuss ways this book speaks to us, our church and our evolving

place in our communities. Please let Pastor TJ if you would like a copy of the book.

Please keep the following people in your prayers this week:

We pray for earthquake victims, survivors, and relief workers in Morocco;

We pray for flood victims, survivors, and relief workers in Libya;

Prayers for Jane Preble; William in hospice care; Sue Davies; Coulter; Debbie & Lincoln & son-in-law Aaron, daughter Ashley, and granddaughter Brielle; Prayers for Kenny Stratton; Joy & David & Lori; Amy Nickerson; John Wood; Jim Snyder; Mike and Cindy Merritt; Sandy Phippen; Bruce’s sister Lynn; Renata’s sister-in-law Joanne; Norm Bamford; Austin’s cousin Danny; Liz & Jim; Margaret B; Betty & her step-daughter Mollie; Debbie and Hollis Maddocks and her Aunt Linda Reed; Tom & Judy’s son Andrew and his family; Prayers of strength and healing for all awaiting diagnoses and for all recovering from surgeries; Prayers for all individuals and families experiencing addictions; for all caregivers; prayers for all that are unsafe, unhoused, hungry & in need of care & compassion; and for all that is in your heart…

Pastor TJ is looking for volunteers to offer rides and companionship for a few of our community members that do not drive and could use some help navigating their way through an in-person banking transaction, or a Motor Vehicle Department request for I.D. renewal, a trip to the grocery store, or various other life necessities. Please consider if this is something

you may be able to do while you are running your own errands.

Don’t hesitate to ask TJ about this if you might be interested in helping. Thanks.

September Birthdays and Anniversaries

18: Sandra Horne 19: *Tony* Burkart 19 *Joey* & Morgan Espling

20: *Cliff* Manchester 20: *Jim* Singletary

From the Sunrise Association

On behalf of the Sunrise Association Committee on Ministry, we are pleased to invite you to the Ecclesiastical Council for Hannah Mondrach, Saturday, September 30 at 3:00 PM at Seaside UCC (the Union Church Building, 21 Summit Rd., Northeast Harbor, ME).

Your participation in this joyful, momentous occasion is important, both because we need a quorum of churches to be represented and because the Ecclesiastical Council is an important threshold in the path to ordination. The Council is the final stage in the Member-in-Discernment process, and culminates in a decision to approve a candidate for ordination pending a call.

From the Maine Conference

Beloved Maine Conference,

As I prepare to conclude my ministry with this conference tomorrow, I feel such deep gratitude for the ways that you have welcomed me, partnered with me, challenged me, and inspired me. All over Maine I have met incredible churches, small and large, that are wrestling with how to be faithful and adaptive in a world that looks so very different than it used to. I’ve met congregations engaging in deeply impactful missions in their communities – from outreach to new immigrants to teen drop-in centers to food pantries and community meals. I see how hard many of you working to be the hands and feet of Christ in your community – and it matters.

It’s pretty vogue these days to talk about how the days of church are done, but what I see is how very vital your offerings are to building healthy communities. It’s true that the container for how we offer the gifts of God to the people of God might be shifting, but the essentials of what you are offering could not be more relevant:

• Community amidst an epidemic of loneliness

• Good News in the midst of seemingly endless bad news.

• Belovedness in a culture that predicates worth on productivity and conformity.

• Complexity in a world of false binaries

This is no small offering; it is life-saving stuff.

If I could offer any deep hopes for this conference, it’s that you’d trust the transformative power of the Gospel so much that you would be willing to risk it all to live it out. Risk changing the traditions. Risk funding the bold vision. Risk being wrong or looking foolish or being uncomfortable.

As Jesus says in the Gospel of John, “Very truly, I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains just a single grain; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” There may be an expiration date on how we’ve always done things, but there is no limit on what God might resurrect once we let the old die away.

And other than God, the very thing you will need most along the way, is one another. So I pray you reach out beyond your walls to other churches and conference staff to help magnify your impact. There is a reason why we are connected by covenant to the other churches and settings in the United Church of Christ. The work is too vast to do alone; we need one another. This conference is full of wise, generous, gifted people; there’s no telling what might be possible when you partner together.

So reach out to our Conference Minister, Marisa, for support and guidance. Get to know the other churches in your association and find out what kind of holy mischief you might engage in together. Explore some of the wider ministries of the United Church of Christ to see what kinds of programs or funding or initiatives might be exactly what you are hoping to tap into. The well is deep, friends. There is no need to stay parched.

Even though I will no longer be serving among you, I will continue to pray for you and root for you from afar. I believe in you – and I believe in what God is doing through you. I hope you believe, too.

Deep peace,


A Special Note from your Conference Minister

Dear Beloved People of the Maine Conference,

I have been following the track of Hurricane Lee with many prayers and much concern. Right ow I hear Down East is already experiencing heavy rain. We are as yet not completely certain regarding the storm track, and it looks like the coast will be impacted the greatest.

Please be in deep prayer for one another: for safety, for comfort, for hope. If anyone needs to contact the conference this weekend, please feel free to call me on my cell phone (616-6704). I am available for prayer and to help connect you with Disaster Response guidance.

A suggested prayer:

Holy One, who holds each of us in the depths of your heart, be with each of us and all of us as we experience this storm. Be with those who are the most impacted. May they know your loving arms around them. May they know the practical support of those who respond to their needs in their communities. May all know that we, the Beloved of the Maine Conference, are wrapping our prayerful arms around them. We pray in the comforting name of Jesus, who gathers us all together as one heart. Amen.

With deep prayer and love,

The Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola, Ph.D.

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