A Look at Windham Hill UCC in 2012
The individuals exness who compose Windham Hill Church are continuing to be an active and vital presence in the lives of its parishioners, the local community, and the broader community of faith that encompasses the United Church of Christ. Building on its traditions, while embracing the needs of the twenty-first century, has kept this family of faith committed to strengthening its spiritual life.
The church is structured with a Church Council, Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Four Boards (Deacons, Trustees, Children and Youth Ministries, and Missions), as well as several Committees. It also supports a regular Church School, an active Youth Fellowship Group and a Women’s Fellowship Group. The church office is open three mornings a week with a professional secretary on duty, along with the Minister.
For several years, Windham Hill Church has had exness review the distinction of being a “Five for Five Church”. This means that we have financially supported the five denominational projects / collections that are important in the life of the broader church. Embracing the mission life educates the congregation and unites the members with others around the world. Close to home, a collection of non-perishable food items, for the local Food Pantry, is taken at the beginning of worship each week.
Within our church programs, there are several that support the spiritual and community growth of the parishioners. There are adult Bible studies during Advent and Lent that are led by the Pastor, a “Hats Off!” book/discussion group, and a Knitting Group, whose base is a Prayer Shawl Ministry, that meet monthly. In addition, there is an active music ministry that involves a Choir as well as several talented individuals within the congregation who willingly share their talents. The Church School children provide a Youth Choir a couple times during the year. There have also been special services that have highlighted the arts and their interaction with our spiritual life. We have enjoyed services that exness registration were focused on the visual arts, the written word, the performing arts, and music. Our traditions are honored with special Christmas and Lenten services in our sanctuary and an Easter Sunrise Service in conjunction with our friends at North Gorham.
The church is also a very visible participant in the community. We are continuing our involvement in the Monday Meals and, though our members support it all month, the meals are now only held in our Fellowship Hall the third and fourth Mondays of the month. This is an important food and fellowship program for members of the community and is served at no cost to the attendees. Several groups and churches support this much needed service which began as an outreach of our church.
A newer service is the electronic recycling project held each fall and spring at the local shopping center. This project allows residents to drop off electronic items without the usual fees and restrictions involved with commercial ventures. A nearby recycling firm provides all the necessities for collecting while we provide the manpower and ask for donations. It is a winning combination for the community and our budget!
Fellowship Hall is available for use by the community as well as our own activities. It has been regularly used by Brownies and Girl Scouts as well as Adult Education Art Classes. There have also been exercise and dance classes held there.
Like most other churches, suppers and a fair are an important part of our program. The suppers are held March through October and the annual Christmas Fair is held in early November. The suppers have “guest” chefs each month and the Women’s Fellowship chairs the Fair. An important aspect of the Fair is the sale of wreaths that are decorated by members with natural items and cemetery / winter baskets
Another popular fundraiser has been the Music on the Hill series that has been held on Saturday evenings during July. Performers with varied talents have kept this project interesting to the attendees. The sanctuary provides a comfortable venue with exceptional acoustics. This project has brought many members of the community into our sanctuary. Members of the church provide assistance at the concert and parking, as well as refreshments during a “Meet the Artist” interlude.
Traveling to interesting venues has provided an opportunity for members, and friends, to create and strengthen bonds of friendship while enhancing the church budget. This year saw many members and friends travel to Scotland on the second of these trips. The congregation has been blessed with many of these additional travelers becoming attendees and the budget has benefited with the receipt of a small portion of each traveler’s contribution to the overall expenses of the church. Rev. Sally Colegrove has been the leader of these trips.
Members of our church also support programs of the wider church. Many older teens and adults participate in Pilgrim Lodge as Counselors or Deans of summer camps and many of our children and youth attend camp each summer. The church provides scholarship support for the children.
There are also adult members who are serving on Cumberland Association Committees and many of our youth are involved with the statewide Youth Fellowship. In addition, our Pastor, Rev. Sally Colegrove, was elected Vice-Moderator of the Maine Conference at the Annual Meeting of the Maine Conference U.C.C. in 2012.
We are an active and involved church. Considering our size, we are amazing! Our programs encompass our own needs, the needs of the community, and the needs of the wider church while expanding the spiritual knowledge of our members. Our focus is on people both near and far. We are a family. Windham Hill U.C.C. is an active and vital member of the denominational family!