Weekly News for March 1

Join us for Worship! 
We are worshiping in person on Sundays at 9:30 am.  For those who wish to join us online please connect with us on YouTube at youtube.com/c/nyccucc.  If you would like to see the Sunday Bulletin that can be found on our website at http://nyccucc.com.  If you wish to make an offering it can be made online through Tithely at https://tithe.ly/give?c=1301940.  You can also give by text: Text “Give” to 883-751-0314.
Shoveling and possible snow event on Saturday
As many of you may know, the Boy Scouts clean out the walkways at the church after it snows on the weekends.  They will be away during the morning and early afternoon on Saturday but will be at the church in the mid-afternoon to do the cleaning out.  In the meantime, if there is plowable snow, it will be taken care of by the plowing company.  There are no events on the schedule for this coming weekend except for worship on Sunday so there should not be much of a need to get into the church.  The Boy Scouts will have the church cleaned out in time for church on Sunday.  Kristi W.
Ash Wednesday Service Update
Ash Wednesday data:
Gray and New Gloucester Congregational churches joined us for the supper and service on February 22.Between 55 and 60 folks had a delicious soup supper…thank you to all who contributed the tasty soups and bread!Approximately 60 folks were at the service which was led by the 3 Pastors.
$331.00 was collected and will be sent to The Maine UCC Conference for the new seminary.  We also had 26 folks view our service online.Thanks to all for everything,
March-ing through Lent                                              Rev. Dr. Paul A. Day
We have turned the page in the calendar, leaving behind the long short month of February and entering March and its harbingers of spring. We are beginning to see a few robins. Under the blanket of snow new life is pushing its way upward. Fresh-cut daffodils appear in the market. Girl Scouts are selling cookies. Baseball is being played in Florida and Arizona. (I’ve already watched a couple of Red Sox games on TV; I haven’t decided yet whether or not I like the new rules.)On March 12th we turn the clocks one hour ahead. From March 1st to March 31st we gain an hour-and-a half of daylight, and the average daily temperature rises from 30° to 40°.The Church’s liturgical calendar moves us through Lent. (The name of the season comes from an old Anglo-Saxon term for spring and the lengthening of days.) The Gospel lessons for the Sundays in March diverge from the annual cycle of reading from Matthew; instead, we have lengthy  accounts from John, featuring four familiar encounters with Jesus.

3/5       Nicodemus                                          (John 3)
3/12     The Samaritan Woman at the Well     (John 4)
3/19     The Man Born Blind                           (John 9)
3/26     Martha, Mary & Lazarus                    (John 11)

While we listen to their stories may we discover new truths to apply in our lives—and in our Church life. For example, the story of Nicodemus includes verse 16: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Perhaps the single most well-known verse from the Bible, often taken to stand alone; but what does it mean in its original context? How does it fit into the story?

Nicodemus encounter with Jesus also has Jesus familiar statement, “You must be born again.” What does it mean to you to be “born again”? Finally, the story also has a clue to why our church steeple has a weathervane! You’ll have to come to worship – in person or on-line – to find out.Grace and peace,
Pastor PaulP.S. – I have been reading the daily devotional Running from Empty. Have you? You’ll notice it has quite a variety of voices among the contributors. Admittedly, I resonate more with some than others; you probably do, too. But it’s good for you and me to hear those other voices, even or perhaps especially those we may find discordant. For they challenge us and make us think. May God use God’s word, devotions, and prayers to deepen our faith and strengthen our commitments.
Please keep the following people in your prayers
Sandra and Vince Golonka
Dot Hayward
Wayne Malloch
Blanche Mays
Cindy Tompson
……But we’ve always done it that way !
The effort has been restarted to take a good look at the church’s Constitution and By-Laws.  As they stand now, it is nearly, if not totally impossible, to stay within many of the rules and regulations as written. We started this project pre-pandemic and, of course, it was put on hold. Dr. Day has agreed to work with us as we pursue this much needed review. His background and experiences with other churches will be so appreciated. Folks have mixed feelings and ideas about this project and we need or want to hear them all. Leslie Eastman, Priscilla Brobst, Jeanne Chadbourne are meeting with Pastor Paul after church 2 Sundays a month (we are quite flexible), and we really would like you to sit with us, share your thoughts and perhaps give some of your time and concern to this effort. Simply put, many of the by-laws aren’t doable as written for our church! We know change is difficult, but  we are looking forward to fresh ways of accomplishing anything that will help NYCC continue to be a viable part of our community. The only words that will raise the hair on the back of our necks are  ” but we’ve always done it that way” ! Please consider joining this group …good things can happen.
A Message from our Moderator
The following article on “Alive and Thrive at any Size” includes a list of educational sessions which are provided by Marisa Laviola, our conference minister.  They cover mainline churches and the changes we are seeing in our congregations, i.e. dwindling numbers in the pews plus more.  I plan to attend the April session which is on a Saturday.  Is there anyone else who would like to attend with me or go to another session?  Call me at 207-653-1966.

Maine Conference
United Church of Christ
ALIVE AND THRIVE AT ANY SIZE!This spring, Marisa will be offering a vitality workshop, Alive & Thrive at Any Size, at four locations around the state. The workshops focus on church vitality for the 21st century, including the topics of:
  Becoming a mission church: reaching out into the greater communityEngaging community partners for mission“Right-sizing” governance to prevent burnout as numbers in the pews decreaseCreative ways for pastors and lay leaders to work togetherReaching the unchurched and inviting them into the life of the churchMarisa has presented these workshops many times as ACM in Penn Central Conference. Typically, they are geared toward smaller churches that are struggling to consider their future in the 21st century. All churches are invited because all of us are struggling with this question, no matter the size.
Please register for one of the following events:
Second Christian Church in Kittery – March 18
Winthrop Congregational Church – April 22
West Parish in Bethel – May 6
Hammond St. Congregational Church in Bangor – June 10
All workshops are 9am to 3pm, bring your own lunch
Morning coffee and drinks for lunch are provided

Hybrid options are available

Questions? Contact Marisa mlaviola@maineucc.org 

Rev. Dr. Marisa Laviola
Conference Minister
March Meetings
March 5 – Diaconate will meet in Fellowship Hall following worshipMarch 12 – Faith Formation will meet in Fellowship Hall following worship March 14 – Missions will meet at 7 p.m. via ZoomMarch 14 – Trustees will meet at the church at 6 p.m.March 16  – Council will meet at the church at 6:30 p.m. Choir Rehearsal – Wednesday Nights at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday Morning at 8:30 am in the SanctuaryTuesday Gals meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. Men’s Club meets on the third Saturday of the month at 7:30 a.m. at Toddy BrookPet Place Pantry is open on the second Saturday of each month from 9:00-10:00 a.m.
NYCC Clothing Ministry
Thank you all for your generosity.  Carloads of clothing have been donated and bags of gloves, hats and socks have been given out.  The warm winter wear is making lives easier for those living outside and new Mainers who have arrived with next to nothing.  Thank you, your generosity is astounding.

The Clothing Ministry of NYCC collects basic warm clothing and accessories to be given out by the NYCC Street Ministry or donated to Maine Needs or Preble Street.  If you are so moved, please add your contribution to the boxes in the gathering space.  Most needed and asked for items:
 Warm Socks                                                          
 Waterproof Gloves                                                        
 Hand Warmers                                                        
These items will be given out with the lunches when the NYCC crew visits Portland.

If you have gently used warm coats, boots, snow pants, warm clothing, that you would like to give, please add these to the boxes, too.  These items will be donated to Maine Needs or Preble Street.  Questions, please ask Jeanne or Tracy. 
Food Pantry
Thank you to all who donated food to for the “Soup-er” Bowl Sunday fun.  The cart was filled to overflowing.  The soup and other foods will help many families in Maine.

Communion Sunday has been our Sunday for food collection for local food pantries.  SNAP benefits do not cover household or personal hygiene products.  So, if you are moved to donate, please consider donating items like:

Shampoo and conditioner
Feminine Hygiene Products
Body Wash
Toilet Paper
Paper Towels
Laundry Detergent
Dish Soap

Canned and nonperishable food products are always needed, too.

Daylight Saving Time begins on Sunday, March 12th.  Make sure to put your clocks forward by one hour on Saturday night, or really early Sunday morning if you are so inclined.

One Great Hour of Sharing® is one of four special mission offerings of the United Church of Christ. This Lenten Offering supports the disaster, refugee, and development ministries of the United Church of Christ within Wider Church Ministries.  We will take this offering on Sunday, March 19.
Access worship directly on our YouTube channel (subscribe to our channel while you are there) at youtube.com/c/nyccucc

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