We did it! Thanks to our webmaster, Aaron Scifres, The Mission Mall, its catalog, cards, inserts and the ability to donate are now all ONLINE! It’s now possible to give anytime, anywhere–in the church office, at the Bazaar, by mail, or online.
You can check out the online Mission Mall on the church website by clicking here. Just in time for the Holly Daze Bazaar! See you there!
Major Policy Change!
Your pastors feel strongly that visiting church members/friends at hospitals and other health care facilities is a very important ministry and priority of the church. Church members/friends most often expect and wish to be visited by their pastor. On September 1, 2015, Maine Medical Center made a major policy change which directly impacts patients in the hospital and pastors who visit them.
All the Years/Decades Before September 1, 2015: Pastors who came to the hospital could find church members/friends from a listing of newly admitted patients. Per MMC policy, based on the HIPAA Privacy Act of 1996, this is no longer possible.
From September 1, 2015 Onward: The ONLY way your pastors can know if church members/friends are hospitalized is by someone calling the church (799-3361) to let them know.
Either Cindy or Bob will be glad to visit you at Maine Medical Center/ any hospital/any healthcare facility/ or just about anywhere else. If it is not easy or possible for you to call the church, please ask a son, daughter, other family member, or friend to call the church so the pastors will know you are in the hospital, or other location. We would much rather receive many calls about the same person than no calls at all.
A Continuing Concern:
There are times when a church member/ friend may go to another location (rehabilitation hospital, nursing facility, home of a son or daughter, etc.) before returning home.
- Your pastors gladly visit persons in any hospital, in any healthcare facility or any other location. However, we have to know where you are.
- By policy and federal law, Maine Medical Center (and other hospitals) will not share this information. Most of our members don’t understand this.
- As a result, your pastors “lose” members/friends at intervals because we have no idea where you have gone after leaving the hospital.
- If you have not returned home immediately after leaving the hospital, please call the church and let us know where you are. Your pastors literally have no other way to learn your current location so they can come and visit you.
This is a major policy shift for all of us. The way that clergy were able to learn of church members in the hospital for many years pre-September 1 is gone. Example: The hospitalized church member who had not arranged a call to the church, but could say when the pastor arrived at the hospital room “I knew you would be here.” Without a call to the church, there is certainty that the pastor would not be there at all, and would have no idea that the church member was hospitalized.
We are asking for your help with all of this. Thank you!
The ESKIMOS meetings are held the first Wednesday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in Guptill Hall.
The Prayer Shawl Ministry meets each Tuesday from 6:30-8:00 p.m. in Davidson Lounge. We welcome new knitters to our fun group! For more information, call Darla Harris at 799.6773.
Thursday, December 3 at 1:00 p.m.—SAM meeting—Please join us with your activity ideas.
Friday, December 11, we will go to the Magic of Christmas, leaving the church at 1:00 p.m. We have a limited number of tickets so call if you’re interested.
Stay tuned for details about our Christmas party and cookie exchange on December 17.
Thursday, January 7- SAM meeting at 1:00 p.m. in 2nd/ 3rd grade classroom above the church office.
The Hilltop Guild meetings are held on the second Thursday of the month at 6:00 p.m. in Wright Pavilion.
The Guild will meet November 12 at 7:00 p.m. in Wright Pavilion. Louise Nisbet will show us how to make a journal by creating our own covers using a papermaking process. If you are not a member of Guild and would like to attend, you can contact Debbie Rideout at 883-4319.
Last year we began the process of establishing a new ministry model for our church. Instead of calling another full-time associate pastor, we chose to divide the responsibilities into two part-time positions. Last summer we hired Anne Fuehrer as our Director of Children & Family Ministries. Now the Council has approved the creation of a new position: Pastor of Member Care and Visitation. This person will share with me the responsibilities of making hospital visits and calling on our homebound members, plus will oversee our lay visitation program. This is a part-time position, starting at 10 hours per week and increasing to 15 hours in a few months. Because this is a new staffing model, we will have a trial period to make sure it is what we need in the life of our congregation at this time.
We are blessed to have Rev. Bob Morse, a member of our congregation, taking on this role. For those of you who don’t know Bob, he is a retired minister, serving most recently as the Director of Pastoral Services at Maine Medical Center. The members of Council and I are all confident that Bob will be a wonderful addition to our team.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or Peggy Murray, our Moderator. And please welcome Bob to this new ministry among us. –Cindy Maddox
Now is the time to share your Surprising Gifts! You have heard from the Stewardship Committee over the last few weeks, in worship and in letters. You’ve heard from other folks as well— a longtime member, a new member, and one “in between” and how each one related to our theme of Surprising Gifts / New Beginnings and why each will continue to support the work of the church by making financial contributions. Now is the time to join them and experience the excitement and power of the many. As we’ve said, no pledge is too small and each one will be warmly embraced.
Here’s how to join in the fun— prayerfully, faithfully, and joyfully consider your blessings as you make your pledge for 2014. Then bring your pledge card with you and join us on Consecration Sunday, October 27, for worship at 8:30 or 10:00a.m. where we will celebrate the blessings in our lives and faithfully commit to the future by placing those pledge cards into the offering plates. Or, if it is more convenient for you, you may make your pledge online by clicking here.
Chris Keiter, Jayne Sawtelle Quinn, Jerry Reynolds, Dan Cummings, Bill Campbell, and Diane Harvey
Your 2013-14 Stewardship Committee
These days, many people search for places on the internet before they go to them in person. When they look through the results of an internet search, they often use ratings and reviews to decide what to do. However, there are only a few reviews of our church online. You can help people find out about our wonderful church by adding a review of your own. Here are a couple of suggestions:
* Go to google.com
* Enter ‘first congregational church ucc south portland maine’
* Select the option to write a review. You may need to log in with a GMail account.
* Repeat the process with yelp.com
Thanks for your help in spreading the word about our church!