October 2017

The Monthly Anchor: "Tied Together..."

A Faith Community is a lot more than a group of people asking big questions, or exploring beliefs and philosophy, or looking to do good in the world. What makes us a Community of Faith is the ways in which we are tied together, united in our commitment to a shared life. This fall we are celebrating and exploring those ties that bind in 3 central ways: Covenant, Service, and Tradition. In the month of October, as we pre- pare to pledge our offerings for the upcoming calendar year, we are ex- ploring how Service Ties Us Together.

Several years ago I came across an article by Rachel Naomi Remen that highlighted the difference between "serving" and "helping." She writes, "Helping is based on inequality; it is not a relationship between equals, we use our strength to help those with less strength...But we don't serve with our strength, we serve with ourselves. We draw from all of our experiences. Our limitations serve, our wounds serve, even our dark- ness can serve. The wholeness in us serve the wholeness in others and the wholeness in life...Service is a relationship between equals."

That is what makes us a Community of Faith, each of us a Beloved Child of God, granted all the gifts required for serving this world of ours--not helping it, not fixing it, but serving it--as equals. We are united by our desire and our ability to bring our whole selves in service of love and justice for all. There are many opportunities to serve others this month: We will start reading a new book together to discover how we can bring our whole selves to serve others (see the longer article about this New Book Group in the pages that follow), Accompany immigrant families on October 3, cook and raise money at Second Saturday Supper on October 14, meet other UCC siblings from all over Maine at our An- nual Meeting, discern what personal funds you can set aside in the next year to serve the needs of our church, and pledge together on Steward- ship Sunday, October 29. We also have daily opportunities to remain connected to one another, visiting folks in hospital and in their homes (contact Pastor Brian if you would like to learn more about visiting), and each Sunday we gather at 8;00a.m. and 10:00a.m. to bring our whole selves to the service of God, allowing the Divine to serve us where we are...and there are plenty of jobs for all. We hope you will find a way to be present with us and share in the great gift of serving God's Creation.

Peace and Blessings to all this month,
Pastor Brian

Family Night Game Night!

Did you know that in the Jewish faith, a day begins at sundown? How might our lives be different if our day didn't begin with waking up and rushing out the door...but it began with a meal, with connecting with family, and rest. Well, this month, you are invited to try something new...and get a brand new start to your week! On Sunday October 22, 6:00p.m.-7:00p.m. join us for Family Night Game Night in the Parish House! Take an hour out of your regular schedules to put away the phones and screens, step back from our hectic schedules, and join with families of all shapes and sizes to begin your week with laughter, fun, and connection!

New Book Group

Brene Brown's "Daring Greatly: How the Courage to be Vulnerable Transforms the Way we Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" Thursdays at 10:00a.m. on October 5, 19, and 26. Join us for conversation and companionship as we read this amazing book and learn more about how to bring our entire selves to the service of others. Brene Brown's work on Vulnerability is a powerful invitation for us to look at the parts of our lives we have been taught to discard and avoid, and to dis- cover untapped power and potential. Come once, or come every time, having read the book or not! All are welcome!

Tying it up, yet Letting it Go

Your Stewardship Committee has been pondering ways to use the "Ties that Bind" theme in our Stewardship messages this fall. We love how Pastor Brian's retelling of the Bible stories tie us to ancient days while freeing us for the 21st century. We love and understand how our ties to each other both strengthen our church community while freeing us to love the greater community. As we approach Stewardship Sunday, October 29, we hope you will envision your purse strings as having the power both to make you secure and to enable you to be gen- erous.

On that Sunday, we will receive your pledge cards and bless them all together as we bind our- selves once more into a community of caring and sharing. It is the total of our pledges that enable the Trustees to budget salaries and expenses for 2018. Our church is secure, and we are grateful for that, but every year is a new beginning. The year 2018 is as important to the future of this church as 1714 was. And the responsibility is just as great. You will receive more details in the mail. Your opportunity to pledge will be on October 29.

Our goals for 2018:

Number of pledges:

Amount for Parish Expenses:

Amount for Our Church's Wider Mission:

Your Stewardship Committee:
Linda Powell, Leslie Culbert, Steve Hoffman, Sara Rhoades, Pastor Brian

Shared Gardens


The season has ended. Thanks to all who brought flowers, vegetables and herbs, and to those who made a donation for those items on the table. This year Footprints food bank received $492.17 as the result of our efforts. Since the late Marcia Gibbons started Shared Gardens in 2009, our church has given $6,741.06 to purchase food items to supplement the donated items. As the number of clients who depend on Footprints continues to increase, more donations will be required to meet their needs. Thanks be to God for those who participate in this worthy effort.

Donna Stobbs - 8:00 Service
Fred and Jan Bickel-10:00 Service


Oct. 14 and Nov. 11 “KidsServe” Community Dinners 5-7 p.m., Parish House

Kids and some grown up kids (lead by “Chef” Steve Hoffman in the kitchen) will be putting on two Community Dinners this fall: Saturday, October 14 and Saturday, November 11 from 5:00 – 7:00 in the Parish House. These dinners will be family friendly as to menu and cost, so bring your kids, grandkids and neighbors. The proceeds from the first dinner will go to a local organization dealing with families; the proceeds from the second dinner will go to an organi- zation supporting veterans and their families. These service opportunities are “faith in action,” and are part of a long tradition in our congregation for community outreach and support. More details to follow!


As we approach the beginning of a new stewardship year, we hope that you are managing to keep current with your 2017 pledge. As you recall, our pledges fund our minister, music direc- tor, administrator, sexton, programs, and upkeep on our lovely but old buildings. Everyone's support is critical whether you made an actual pledge or not. Thank you for "loosening your purse strings" to keep this very special community thriving and bound together by love. You will be hearing more about "strings and ties" as Stewardship 2018 ramps up.

Women's Fellowship Meeting

The fall meeting of the Women's Fellowship was attended by about 25 women and hosted by Morgan McCurdy and Donna Stobbs. The evening began with a lively game of Trivial Pursuit, which was won by Della O'Shea. Her prize was a jar of dilly beans made with Evelyn Lawrence's recipe.

Business discussed:

  • Summer craft fair - Unanimously agreed to move the date to August 11 and to make it a blueberry festival in addition to a craft event.
  • Christmas fair - Openings are available for workers on the jewelry table, yarn table, children's shop & wrap, and the children's table.
  • Hostess heaven needs pretty things to sell and the children's shop & wrap also needs contributions.
  • Donna Stobbs and Leslie Culbert are looking for silent auction items.
  • The candy table also requested donations and may have a workshop to make fudge and/or other candies.
  • A new table for pets will be introduced this year, run by Bonnie Haley. She is looking for old t-shirts for a project and also welcomes items made by others.
  • A series of craft workshops are happening on Monday evenings. Everybody is welcome.
  • The fair committee welcomes craft ideas. Please contact the committee with suggestions or bring the materi- als to a Monday night workshop. Committee members are Mary Carter, Donna Stobbs, Gail Leonard, Sarah Drummond, Sarah Brewer, Leslie Culbert, and Valerie Ruocco.
  • Mary Carter is looking for somebody to paint a wooden cradle.
  • Sarah Drummond has been hosting "sip and knit," but the next two gatherings will be at Mary Thomas's house at 3:00 on October 11 and then at Sara Rhoades' house on November 8.


Della O'Shea spoke on behalf of her church in Florida which needs a new air conditioner at a cost of $50,000.

Coffee hour

The Women's Fellowship does one coffee hour each month except December and summer. Tables and chairs are usually set up and the coffee prepped by Alice and Dick Emery on Saturday. Please see the following people if you wish to help by bringing food or serving:

  • September 24 - Morgan McCurdy and Edie Lander
  • October 22 - Women from the 8:00 service
  • November - Geneve Hoffman and Cathy Wyatt
  • January - Phyllis Welch
  • February - Linda Powell and Karen Brown
  • March - Sara Rhoades and Sybil
  • April - Lynn Hatch and Alice Emery
  • May - Gail Leonard

Hosting meetings:

  • Christmas/December meeting will be hosted by Valerie Ruocco, A.M. McCurdy, Morgan McCurdy, Donna Stobbs, and Geneve Hoffman
  • March meeting will be hosted by Betsy McFadden and Alice Emery
  • May banquet will be hosted by Linda Powell and Jan Bickel.
  • September's meeting still needs hosts. Please contact Sara Rhoades if interested.


  • President - Sara Rhoades
  • Secretary - Valerie Ruocco
  • Treasurer - Laurie Smith


It's All About Food

Soup’s On!

October 18, 2017 11:30-1 p.m. Only $6 and open to the public

Smoked Ham, Barley and Vegetable Soup White Cheddar Corn Chowder Bacon and Radicchio Salad Apple Pie

Pastor Brian's (attempt at having a) Regular Schedule

A Pastor's job is diverse and, to paraphrase your Pastor's new father-in-law, "astonishingly busy." As I have tried to get a handle of the various weekly responsi- bilities of this job, I have made various attempts to publicize how I spend my time. Below is my most recent attempt.

Sunday-Thursday - I am on call and available to serve you and your family, prefera- bly (but not exclusively) between the hours of 9:00a.m. and 5:00p.m.

Fridays and Saturdays (as much as possible) will be my Sabbath Days, time to rest, recharge, and focus on my personal life.

A more detailed weekly schedule will begin appearing on our church website in Oc- tober. As always, I can be reached around the clock by email
at brian.gruhn@gmail.com Looking forward to the month ahead!

Time and talent auction – November 4

Celebrate the 303rd birthday of our church by joining us at the Parish House for a fun evening of auction, entertainment and desserts.

The evening begins with a pre-auction party at Rev. Brian and his wife Emily's home at 5:00 pm. There will be appetizers and adult beverages for you to enjoy for only $10 per person. The doors open for Auction preview at 6:00 pm with live Auction beginning at 6:30 pm.

We are still accepting auction items, so please put on your thinking cap and make your donations. How about: Dinner for four at your home? Do you knit? Cook? Bake? Do woodworking? Have a sailboat or vacation home you would like to share? There are many things that can be included in this fun event.

To make pre-auction party reservations, contact Mary Carter. To make an auction donation, contact Donna Stobbs.

Questions, please contact:
Mary Carter, (207) 439-6989, mjcarter_me@gmail.com; Leslie Culbert, (603) 498- 6630, leslieculbert@comcast.net; Brian Gruhn, (602) 696-2188, brian.gruhn@gmail.com; Valerie Ruocco, (207) 475-7615, valeriehom@comcast.net; Donna Stobbs, (207) 475-5979, stobbsdonna@gmail.com


October Birthdays

Carson Couperthwait - 10/01
Gilbert Maxfield - 10/02
Garvin McCurdy - 10/02
Lynn Hatch - 10/05

Acadia Dorgan - 10/07
Keith Wyeth - 10/11
Caroline Carven - 10/14
Judy Smart - 10/14

Bonnie Pierce - 10/19
Robert Eaton - 10/24
Kathy Pridham - 10/27
Adam Civitarese - 10/28

Heather Dorgan - 10/28
Lillian Quimby - 10/28
Irene Robb - 10/28

Marigold: Warm, Fierce. They exemplify elegance and devotion.

October Scriptures

  1. Exodus 17:1-7 * Psalms 78:1-4, 12-16 OR Ezekiel 18:1-4, 25-32 * Psalms 25:1-9 * Philippians 2:1-13 * Matthew 21:23-32

God’s Sustaining Presence

  1. Exodus 20:1-4, 7-9, 12-20 * Psalms 19 OR Isaiah 5:1-7 * Psalms 80:7-15 * Philippians 3:4b-14 * Matthew 21:33-46

15 Exodus 32:1-14 * Psalms 106:1-6, 19-23 OR Isaiah 25:1-9 * Psalms 23 * Philippians 4:1-9 * Matthew 22:1-14

Praiseworthy Living
22 Exodus 33:12-23 * Psalms 99 OR Isaiah 45:1-7 * Psalms 96:1-9,(10-13) * 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10 *

Matthew 22:15-22

Living Messages
29 Deuteronomy 34:1-12 * Psalms 90:1-6, 13-17 OR Leviticus 19:1-2, 15-18 * Psalms 1 * 1 Thessalonians 2:1-8 *

Matthew 22:34-46

The Compassionate Life

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The Mooring

First Congregational Church
23 Pepperell Road
Kittery Point, ME 03905

The Mooring is the Newsletter of the First Congregational Church of Kittery at Kittery Point, United Church of Christ

Rev. Brian Gruhn

Nancy Behan, kitterypointucc@gmail.com

Office Hours:
Tuesday - Friday 8AM to 12 noon 207-439-0650
www .facebook.com/kitterypointucc