Based on further directives from the Gorvernor's office, our Sunday services will now be increased to 100% capacity. All restrictions have been relaxed. Anyone who feels more comfortable wearing a mask is welcome to do so.
A Letter To The Congregation From Pastor Mark Tanner
September 3rd, 2022
We are preparing for a wonderful opening in September. As many of you know, because of COVID, the church has experienced many losses in many areas. Our Congregation has taken a huge hit in attendance. But as I write this letter, we continue to be encouraged with the new folks we see in the church, as well as those who continue to join us online.
I would like to welcome you back to church. The pews are waiting for you. I know they may not be as comfortable as your chairs in the living room, but we would love to see you back. Our Sunday School will be up and running as well as the Youth Group. We have some wonderful things to look forward to, and I hope you will be a part of what Christ has to offer us.
For many of you who have been involved in the church, there is always plenty to do. We have opportunities for Bible study in small groups, cooking and sharing your creativity with retired teachers who meet here twice a month. We have a need for people who would like to help with our young people. Sunday School will be ongoing each Sunday throughout the year. I also have one special request. I am looking for someone who plays guitar and would like to lend their talent to our service during the year. If you know someone, please have them call me at the church. I would like to add some praise music to our service each Sunday.
I would like to compile a list of folks who might enjoy assisting with our Sunday services. Welcoming folks each Sunday along with sharing announcements would be required. I would also like this person to read the scripture. The Congregation might like to hear someone else every now and then.
I am looking forward to a busy year at the Skowhegan Federated Church. For those of you who are wondering about the church, please know we share the gospel each Sunday. We look at the stories in the biblical text and focus on how they relate to us today. We put a great emphasis on our relationship with Jesus Christ. Often our culture will focus on the anger and hate in this world and not enough on the love that is around us. Being together allows us a chance to make lasting friendships and experience positive changes in our lives. Jesus Christ has blessed me with 28 years of ministry to this community as well as surrounding areas. We have all been given a responsibility to share our faith with those around us. I would like to see you sometime during the year in the pews sharing community with each other. The world needs transformation, and I believe it begins with our relationship with Jesus Christ.
Come and be a part of the Skowhegan Federated Church and help us serve this community as well as the communities you are a part of. Help us share the love of Christ and be a positive change in this world.
Blessings and Love Always,
If you would like to watch our Sunday Service, you may watch it streamed live on your computer or Ipad at the following IP address.
The recording of Sunday Service will also be available for several weeks after the live streaming.
Sunday School will start on September 11th. Children will attend church and go to Sunday School after the Lord's Prayer.
Sunday School is for all children in our church who are in pre-school and beyond. Middle School and High School students are encouraged to come and help out as crew leaders as we do during VBS.
We will hold Sunday School every Sunday except the following: October 9, November 13, November 27 and December 25
The curriculum we are using is called Simply Loved, by Group Publishing. This program takes us on a fundamental, Jesus-centered journey through God's story of Love. The lessons set the stage for our children to have a relationship and friendship with Jesus and each other.
We have a staff of wonderful women who are willing to give of their time to share their love of Jesus with our children. Many thanks to each one of them for making this commitment. If you are interested in being a part of this wonderful opportunity, please let me know. We can find a place for you.
Deb Tanner, Interim Superintendent.
Also, For Your Information, Online information for Aging and Senior Care Resources for Communities in Maine can be found at
The Grab and Go Program which took place on Wednesdays has been discontinued.
MEDICARE AND SENIORS
JUNE 26, 2022
ANNUAL REPORTS OF COMMITTEE CHAIRS
The Board of Deacons continues to struggle through the confines of Covid and the need for more deacons to join the Board.
During 2021/2022, the Board of Deacons:
Prepared communion as needed in a safe manner for the Congregation.
Coordinated the Hanging of the Greens and decorated the sanctuary for Christmas,
Sorted and delivered Christmas cards to and from members of the Congregation.
Sent cards of sympathy, get well wishes, encouragement and various Holiday greetings.
The Dorothy Turner/Deacon's Scholarships were awarded to Ms. Emma Smith, and Ms. Anna Perkins.
As this fiscal year ends, the Board of deacons remains hopeful and anxious to see things returning to normal in the life of the church, but also recognizes that great opportunity and change are usually found during difficult times, not in plentiful.
We are so grateful to hold our positions. And we welcome the opportunity to live out loud the words found in Philippians 4, bringing comfort to all who walk through our doors.
"I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in
any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength." Philippians 4: 12-13.
FAIR BOOTH COMMITTEE
It was very exciting to be a part of the Skowhegan State Fair's 2021 season after its absence in 2020 due to COVID 19. And for those ten days in August, the Federated Church fair booth had an excellent result. Through the efforts of many people, we earned $9251.41, provided $3700 to the church, and banked $11,459.39 for the following season for supplies and improvements for the booth building. Make no mistake....this is a huge undertaking which involved many dedicated volunteers.
First, all those who worked the booth for breakfast, lunch, and evening shifts, a big THANK YOU!!
To the early morning kitchen crew who prepped the baked potatoes, bacon, apple crisp, onions and all the food delivered to the booth every day, you are our ROCK STARS!!
To those who worked with suppliers of drinks, bread, ground beef, hot dogs, french fries, Sam's Club pickups, delivering food to booth and Walmart runs during the fair, you made this POSSIBLE!!
To the leaders who made sure every day ran as smoothly as possible, by working shifts, making sure we had what was needed, and putting out fires, you are APPRECIATED!!
To the church family, for providing emotional support, desserts when requested, visiting our booth during operating hours, we couldn't do this without YOU!
This endeavor certainly makes money for the church, but as always, the biggest benefit of this work is building relationships with everyone who stopped by the booth and with each other to make it a success.
This next season might be more challenging due to increased costs, but one the committee is willing to work through. We will appreciate the involvement of everyone to help this be another successful year.
The past three years have been quite a challenge for the Finance Board. The incredible amount of uncertainty surrounding our finances during that time has been substantial. Although we have come through the pandemic relatively unscathed, there are some notable areas of uncertainty as we move forward. The church was able to install heat pumps in the sanctuary due in large part to the generosity of our church community. Betsy Drumm came to me over a year ago and suggested the worth of such an investment from the church. Although the membership approved approximately $10,000 to purchase and install heat pumps, the project was funded almost exclusively by private donations, and the proceeds from several Saturday night dinners.
Four years ago, the membership approved an expenditure of approximately $25,000 to remodel the sanctuary. That project has been subsequently put on hold because of rising prices caused by shortages of materials as a direct result of the pandemic. We also have received donated funds to restore our stained glass windows and that has also been put on hold for some future consideration.
What I can positively report is that church income has not dropped considerably. Extremely generous donations have been made along with pledges and plate offerings so as to minimize the reduction in revenue. The Finance Board has attempted to make conservative use of our funds to keep the church solvent and viable for some time to come. As you all know, prices have been skyrocketing in every area, especially fuel, and we have had to take a hard look at those expenses. Last year, we were able to lock in to a fuel price of $2.42 per gallon. This year will be completely unpredictable as the oil companies are reluctant to agree to any type of locked in price due to the extreme volatility of oil pricing.
As Always, the Finance Board will continue to work hard with your interests in mind. We see the future as becoming only brighter as we start up our Vacation Bible School, Church Youth Group and Camp Winnie once again. There will be a return to normalcy in the not too distant future, and the Finance Board is prepared to deal with that challenge.
Finance Board Chairman
FEDERATED CHURCH MISSIONS REPORT
In October, Betsy Drumm made her fourth trip to Happy Life Home in Kenya, accompanied by Becky Braswell, taking the boxes of aprons, bibs, burp cloths and adult clothing that had been awaiting shipment. Mail shipments are highly taxed whereas when visitors take them, the tax is avoided. It was a very successful and enjoyable visit. Betsy brought back 50 pounds of coffee which sold to benefit the home, and we have received another shipment of 50 pounds this month. Currently seven children are sponsored by people of the church.
In December, Jeannie Maddocks could again send mittens, hats and scarves to the Maine Seacoast Mission. However, we will discontinue this since our donations have decreased each year and the need to donate locally has increased. With mittens, hats and scarves from the knitting group and outside donations, it was again possible to distribute them locally during the winter.
The Lenten Box donations of over $1400 were sent to the National Association of Congregational Churches for the crisis in Ukraine.
GRAB AND GO - JULY 2021 TO JUNE 2022
The Grab and Go program has run consistently every other week through mid-May. We have provided meals to those in need 2 - 3 weeks per month.
The program ran without any financial help from the budget of the Skowhegan Federated Church. Many people in the church and outside the church supported this program. Financial donations were made, but many people gave their time, energy and talent to shop for and prepare meals. We had many different offerings of meals throughout the year such as meat loaf, chop suey, baked beans, et cetera. We provided a meat, vegetable, fruit, roll and a dessert in each meal.
When I took over the program in March 2020, we were preparing 40 meals weekly. We then went to 36 meals per week and bi-weekly. This winter and spring, we were making up to 20 meals and we could barely give away 10 to 15 meals. Some weeks, we only gave away 3 to 6 meals. We were able to take the extra meals to the Chamber of Commerce food fridge where we knew people were getting them, but that program ended and there was no longer a place to take leftover meals. After much deliberation and discussion, we decided that Grab and Go needed to come to an end. With the price of food and the time, energy and effort that people were putting into preparing the meals that were not taken, it just did not seem to be needed in our community.
Many thanks to George and Lauralee Davis, Leslie and Karen Stonehocker, Mac and Elaine Watts, Pat Peteller, Sheila Kinney, Mikala Goodwin, Gary Worthley and Dawn Gross as well as those who have donated money, time and meals.
If you see a need for this program in our community and would like to restart it in the future, you have my blessing.