Mid Maine District UMC Newsletter No. 87
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Please read more news, events, and ministry opportunities below .
Guest Columnist: Pastor Gayle Holden, Dresden Richmond UMC and East Pittston UMC:

On the Tuesday's of Advent Bill and I have opened our home for study, fellowship and food.  I like to think that we have been experiencing wisdom, love and nourishment.  Thirteen (or so) of us gather around the table with a bowl of soup, some bread and we talk. Guided by the Redemption of Scrooge book study, Matt Rawle author and Marcia McFee worship creator, we have shared our histories and our hopes for today.

I was inspired to try this after reading about Zach Kerzee and Simple Church, this ministry is described as a farm to table dinner church.  The positive feedback about this model made me want to know what the difference might be between a study gathered at a church and one around a table.  I was also inspired by song written by Carrie Newcomer, Betty's Diner:

"Here we are all in one place

The wants and wounds of the human race

Despair and hope sit face to face---

Let her fill your cup with something kind

Eggs and toast like bread and wine.”

Last night as people began to arrive there was hugging along with introductions for those who were new, people pulled slippers out of bags, books and Bibles were set at seats and bowls were filled with soup.  The warmth and familiarity was palpable.  As with other nights there was laughter and tears, there was wonder and reflection.

The group that meets with us is a combination of the two churches I serve.  Some of the people have been reading the text and come each session, some have not read the text and have dropped in because of the positive feedback from others.  This arraignment has made it easy for newcomers to feel at home.  The meal is not separate from our sharing it is a part of it, it is simple so that it does not distract us but rather enhances our time together.

As we sit face to face we ask ourselves, "How do we make a difference?"  This is not a question that is asked from the pulpit or from the pastor leading a study in church but from a group of people who understand that Christ is born to us this day~for the transformation of the world. People have said that they are feeling in touch with God and Advent in ways that are new and cannot described other than “it feels accessible”.

 While people parted last night, one statement kept popping up, "We can't stop doing this."  I am not sure of the how's, when's and where's of this group but I am confident we will continue in some way.  Hebrews 10:24-25 (NIV) "Let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another-and all the more as you see the Day approaching."

Pastor Gayle Holden
Limited office hours at the Mid Maine District Office  December 22 - January 3
Karen and Lori will have limited office hours starting on December 22 through January 3.  The best way to reach us is by email.  We will be checking it twice a day at around 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.  We will also be checking the voicemail daily.  If you have a pastoral emergency, please call 207-837-8694.  If I don't answer, please leave a message and I will get back to you ASAP.  Thank you. 
Blue Christmas Services
Readfield UMC December 17th 6:00p.m

Union Church of Belgrade Lakes December 18th at 6:00

Randolph UMC  December 21st 7:00 p.m. 

What’s happening with the Lay Servant Ministry Program?

Please contact me at for more information or to offer to help

Presiding Elders of 2016 Church Conferences
Please save the date of January 26th from 11:30-1:00 at the East Pittston UMC for a catered luncheon with Karen to share experiences, ideas and to celebrate our ministry together.  
Clergy Pre-Lenten Gathering
Please save the date of February 16 at Pleasant Street UMC, Waterville.  Read More...
Mid Maine Clergy Days Schedule
January 19 (3rd Thursday)
February 9
March 9
April TBD
May 18 (last one)
The Clergy Days are located at Camp Mechuwana: 8:30 Bible Study (NEW);  9:00 fellowship; 9:30-10:00 worship and 10:00-12:00 program.

This week you are invited to pray for the following:
Friendship UMC
People's UMC, Union
Sheepscott UMC
Searsmont UMC
Brunswick UMC
Closing Date for 2016 Mission Shares Extended
The Conference Office is extending the Closing date for 2016 Mission Share Remittances to Wednesday, January 
The original date of January 6th has been modified to Wednesday, January 11, 2017.  2016 Mission Shares must be in the office of the Treasurer by 4:00 pm to be credited as 2016 payments.
Please note that churches may check the balance of their Mission Shares for 2016 by going to the conference website under Finance & and Admin and clicking on Mission Shares, then clicking on Mission Shares-Current for All Churches (or Click Here), and then clicking on their church name. This page will be updated daily until the Final Closing on January 11, 2017.
NEW events on the district, click on the image below
Mid Maine District Contact
Rev. Dr. Karen Munson, DS
Lori Umberhind, AA
Office Hours
Monday-Thursday 8:00-3:00 or by appointment. 
Copyright © 2016 Mid Maine District UMC, New England Annual Conference,  All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
PO Box 89 East Winthrop, ME 04343

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New England Annual Conference for the United Methodist Church · PO Box 89 · East Winthrop, ME 04343 · USA

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