Weekly Greeting for November 11, 2023 – Veterans’ Day, United Women of Faith Retreat, “Better Together” Sunday

Good morning, all,
On this Veterans’ Day, I invite us to pray for those who returned from tours of duty with emotional wounds too deep for bandages. Let us pray, “Merciful God, we are mindful today that many who have served to preserve freedom carry memories, feelings and wounds which go deep, even to the core of who they are. Give us the capacity and empathy to understand and heal all within which continues untouched by your grace. Thank you for the sacrifices made, and bless the veterans among us. We ask this in the name of Jesus, Amen.”
Our United Women of Faith have joined with others from around the Many Waters District today for a retreat at Camp Mechuwana. We ask God’s blessing to be with them. In addition, we pray for our Youth Fellowship which will be joining with the youth group from Centenary UMC, Skowhegan for a day-long/overnight retreat (also at Camp Mechuwana). At UMCA, there will be an Eagle Scout Court of Honor ceremony for Hawk Tallman, and I will assist our District Superintendent at a Many Waters cluster conference in South Portland.
As we gather tomorrow for Better Together Sunday, we will introduce and commission those who have answered the call to serve on committees related to our vital merger journey. Our message, based on the parable of the ‘Bridesmaids Waiting for the Bridegroom’ (some with oil-filled lamps/some without), will update the story of what has led our two churches to consideration of a vital merger, and what a vital merger means. Following 10:30 am worship, all are invited to a brief, light sandwich/coffee fellowship, after which, we will regather in the sanctuary for an open discussion/listening post to ask questions, receive clarification, and express affirmations/concerns. Our church consultant Nancy Bischoff will be with us to facilitate the conversation. Our Better Together Prayer Team will introduce a ‘Prayer Calendar’ which offers reflection for the journey.
We continue our annual pledge campaign, and invite any who feel led to support the work of our parish as a financial contributor to place a pledge sheet in the offering plate to assist the finance committee with 2024 budget preparation. Thank you for your stewardship, faith and generosity!
I invite you to join us Thursday, November 16th, 6-8 pm, Minot UMC, (142 Minot Ave.) Minot, ME for our annual church conference. This will be a cluster conference (UMC of Auburn, Calvary UMC of Lewiston, Minot UMC, and Bolsters Mills UMC), guided by our District Superintendent Arlene Tully. ALL are welcome, and all members have voting privileges. Participating churches will join in worship, and separate for business sessions.
Saturday, November 18th, 9 am to 1 pm is our Shop on Park Avenue Holiday Fair, and there is something for everyone! Thank you to all who are helping, and for all the contributions toward this important fundraising effort. Please invite your family, neighbors and friends to visit the fair! We are grateful to connectional churches, pastors and ecumenical friends throughout the nation who have reached out to Lewiston/Auburn over the past two weeks. Richard Gross will share some of that story tomorrow at worship, and Bishop Peggy Johnson will be preaching at both services on 11/26, with a visit to City Mission between services.
God’s grace be with you,
Pastor Steve Bascom