From Pastor David’s Desk
The days are getting shorter, the nights longer and temperatures are starting to drop particularly at night. Although the weather here in Maine has been exceptionally good these last few weeks the signs of fall are all around us. I must admit I enjoy summer with the warmth, the sunshine, the flowers and the greenery and I always approach fall with a little sadness and with some trepidation in my heart. But as fall arrives I find that there is such beauty in the changing landscape that the apprehension I had felt turns to joy. I drove past the blueberry barrens on Sunday and noticed that they were starting to change color. The areas of red contrasted with other areas still bright green to produce a wonderful visual effect and it lifted my heart. I realized that yes it was sad to let go of summer, but fall had so many different things to offer that I should look forward with a sense of expectation of the new distinctive possibilities to come. I could not remain in the joys of the past but had to embrace the changing seasons.
And life is like that too. Sometimes we can look to the future with anxiety about what is ahead; about changes we can see happening around us. But as a Christian we are not walking this path alone. We have God with us leading and guiding us and we have our Christian community, the church, to help us too. God promises, ‘I will never leave you nor forsake you.’ (Hebrews 13:5) We need to look with eyes of faith to the future, ‘So we can say with confidence “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.”’ (Hebrews 13:6)
At the chapel it too is a time of change. There are familiar things from the past we have maybe had to let go of, perhaps uncertainty and change appear before us, but also this opens up exciting possibilities. I believe God is working in us and through us as a chapel community and as long as we embrace the changes with hope and faith the coming seasons in our church will be rewarding and fruitful.
May God bless you in all you do and may you seek to bless God each day!
It is beautiful here in Maine. September is coming to a close and the days are warm with sunshine and clear skies. All are busy doing the fall chores necessary to be ready for winter. The warm fall weather helps so much. The other day I watched as two birds flew in large lazy circles over the river. They were in perfect formation and it was a dance-like flight. At one point the sun caught them just right and their white heads shone brilliantly in the light–glorious eagles. They swooped down and then rose into the air and headed high over the woods where they disappeared from sight. The quietness of the day and its beauty reminded me just how glorious our Creator is. We live in such a beautiful place. It is a time of year when many of the members and friends of the Chapel begin to turn their thoughts toward the south. Time is limited here and it gets busy as all try to get every thing done and see everybody as much as possible. The few of us who are year rounders have a sense of sadness that friends will be leaving. It is part of the rhythm of the Chapel’s life that comes with being a 5 month faith community. We also know that Spring will come and we will be together again.
At this writing we have five services left this season. Our pastors continue to come and share inspiring sermons with us. Again there is a special rhythm here as we welcome each pastor back, catch up with the past year, and hear words of wisdom that come from their lives and experiences. There are not enough words to express how much we appreciate each of them and the gifts they bring us. We can only say THANK YOU and continue to ask God’s blessings on them as they faithfully come to us each year. Also we thank all of those who take up the collection, count the money, light the candles, greet each person, hand out bulletins, and to Beth Terrell who has organized our after service fellowship. We have shifted the Bulletin to Pastor David so that they can be designed to support and highlight the sermons. Thank you Melanie Moore for the beautifully designed bulletins.
Additionally, the Community Center and the Chapel will again collaborate to do the community Thanksgiving service at which we honor the Jonesboro/Roque Bluffs Volunteer Firefighters and Auxiliary. They will be recognized during the service. It will be followed by a dinner at the Community Center across the street. Meat and dessert will be provided and everyone will bring a dish to share. I was asked if we would be doing the Thanksgiving service again. When I affirmed we would, there was a great “yes!” It did mean a lot to the firefighters and auxiliary members. Our Christmas Service is still on the calendar. With prognosticators predicting another winter like last year, we will hope for the best. It is an especially beautiful service.
Annual Meeting Highlights
Our annual meeting was held September 13, 2015. We opened the meeting with “Enter, Rejoice, and Come In.” This year we had a printed Annual report. It was well received. It also helped move the meeting along as members could read some of the material at home. Treasurer Chuck Shipman reported that the Chapel is financially sound. We have had some members who have had health issues and some who have moved away which helps explain that our offerings have been down $600 compared to last year. The books were audited and were found to be “correct, proper, and records neatly kept.” Many thanks to Chuck Shipman for a job well done.
Our outreach this year began with a Song Fest which because of a generous gift raised $800. Another $200 from the Chapel made a total of $1000. This was given to help a member family with serious medical problems. We reached out to help another friend of the Chapel by cleaning out the personal effects of their home. All of this went to make a profitable yard sale. Thank you Marilyn and Hank Royfe for helping us and for the opportunity to help you. The things that were left were given to Living Innovations. It is an organization in our community which helps handicapped adults. They came in and packed up the things and took them to be used in a yard sale to support Special Olympics. What a joy it was to watch them work and they felt so good about having a job to do. Something new were two piano recitals by Barbara Anthony’s granddaughter Anya. These took place at Karen and Bob Miller’s using their beautiful grand piano. It was so inspiring and uplifting. Also in July we had our annual pig roast in the park. It was great to see the President of the Community Center, David Dowley and the Assistant Fire Chief, Wayne Hanscom, and our own President, Karen Miller serving up the food. The Community Center members also baked and supplied the desserts. Many thanks to Darren Maurer and his brother for preparing and cooking the pork and the chicken. It was a beautiful day and all enjoyed the event.
Helen Foster again donated a quilt for us to raffle. It was a colorful Christmas quilt. We featured it at the Blueberry festival where we sold tickets, cookbooks and had a bake sale. We are so thankful for the donation of the quilt. This year’s winner is member Joe Sippel of Springfield VA.
Again this year we will donate money to the Machias Food Bank, Next Step (helps victims of domestic violence) and We Care (helps with care of infants). These organizations are meeting needs in our community and helping people in critical areas. We are thankful for their work and love supporting them.
Chapel building and grounds
The humidity in the vestry was running 80% at the end of the last season. This year we purchased a dehumifier and it has reduced the humidity to 45-50%. We have also replaced many bulbs throughout the Chapel with LED bulbs.
We used our savings to help pay for the painting of the Chapel last year. Some of the new paint is peeling and we are currently working to see what will be the best way to handle that.
This year the Vice President and the Treasurer’s terms ended. Both Barbara Anthony and Chuck Shipman are willing to serve another term. Board of Directors elected are: Eileen McKinnon, Marilyn Plissey, and Carolyn Rodick. The slate of officers was adopted by the members.
We want to recognize those who have served on the Board and express great appreciation for each one of them and their faithfulness: Ann Locket (ex officio), Jean Huntley, Vicki Kelley, and Carmen Maurer. May God continue to bless you in all your endeavors.
The President shared with the membership five reasons to celebrate. First, we created a handout of our schedule of events and services and speakers. We printed 440 on green cardstock and all but a handful have been handed out. We have had positive feedback about the handout. Second, we have increased our face book activity. In addition to Carmen Mauer posting items on our face book, David Gardiner has been posting on his face book page and Vicki NeCastro reposts on her face book site. Third, we have a new web site developed by Heather Anderson who recently graduated with a degree in New Media. She has done all the work pro bono and asks only that her name be on the site as the designer.
Now she has the challenge to train me to manage it–here I go again out of my comfort zone. Our Address is: roquebluffscommunitychapel.com
It will be fun to see how God uses this site and out of the many possibilities, which ones will develop. Keep this in your prayers–and visit the site. Fourth, we have instituted retreats for the Board of Directors. It is a time when we get away from the routine business of the Chapel and as leaders consider some important questions. It is about assessing where we are and an envisioning process for the future. We have begun by taking stock of where we are and dreaming about what could be. We will continue the process next season. Fifth, we are increasing our collaboration with the Community Center. The officers of both the Center and the Chapel met and looked at where we could collaborate and those areas where we cannot collaborate. A second meeting was held with the decisions maker of both groups and further discussions were held. This will continue as many are really enthusiastic to working together.
Challenges for us.
We are an aging population and yet we do really well. All of us are facing our limitations–energy seems to be a big one. Often I hear “I just can’t do what I used to do.” We are hoping to find some new friends through the internet.
Our greatest asset, our beautiful building and grounds, also takes a lot of maintenance. One example is that the Vestry where we have our activities, is not up to code electrically. Chuck Shipman contacted an electrician and we have an estimate to install new wiring, which would bring it up to code, install LED lights, and have a switch at the door so that lights could be turned on upon entering. We do not have funds to do this project. The Board of Directors unanimously agreed to establish an account for Building Maintenance. Because our building is older, we know there will be some routine things that will need to be done. It seems prudent to begin building a fund just for that cause. As a Chapel account, donations will still be tax deductible. We ask your help in raising the necessary funds to do the needed electrical update. Donations can be mailed to Roque Bluffs Community Chapel, 3 Schoppee Point Rd., Roque Bluffs ME 04654. On the memo line of your check write BUILDING MAINTENANCE. That way we can get it in the right account. Thank you for your help in this.
This has been a season of transition. It is the first time for the Chapel to have a new President.
All have been very supportive and have adjusted to the initial changes. Right now we do not have a proposed calendar for 2016. As soon as that gets determined, we will post it on the web site. This is a
happy change. We hope to collaborate with the Community Center as we work to establish the calendar. We appreciate your patience with this. As soon as we have it we will put it on the web site.
What is so important as a faith community is that we recognize the value of each persons’ gifts and perspectives. Sometimes we are outside our usual comfort zones as life shifts. This is not a bad thing. It is not only a place where we can grow and learn BUT also where else can we practice trusting in God to be with us and guide us and get us through. Let us praise God for his constant and abiding love and presence through the Holy Spirit. It is in trusting Him and giving Him Thanksgiving for all that we have that we find deep and abiding JOY. We wish all of that for each of you.
In Christ’s love and joy,
Karen H. Miller, President