First Universalist's weekly newsletter
Over 200 asylum seekers, who are fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries, have come to Maine in order to keep their families safe. They are currently living at the Expo in Portland, but need to find alternate housing by August 15.

Communities around Portland are coming together to support asylum seekers and have turned to faith communities for assistance. (Why faith communities? Because of the success of our own Yarmouth Compassionate Housing Initiative partnership which has provided temporary housing to 150 people since 2015.)

Here is how you can help:
  • Provide a room, make a meal, drive, or provide childcare through YCHI (Yarmouth Compassionate Housing Initiative): Do you have room(s) to spare to host a family for emergency or short-term housing? Can you support hosts with meals, driving, playtime, etc? Contact Carla Hunt at There are currently about 70 families (275 people) at Expo (many speak at least some English) needing temporary housing before August 15. The greater Portland area, including Yarmouth, is committed to finding appropriate housing for all. Your home can make a huge difference, and you will be supported with many volunteers who are already participating in YCHI projects. Note that hosting all these families in homes means the Portland Family Shelter system can focus on other homeless populations for which they are well positioned to serve well.

  • Prepare meals at Preble Street: They need double the number of usual volunteers; they are preparing all the Expo food (3 meals a day) at Preble Street that gets transported to Expo. Visit to sign up as a volunteer. Team up with a friend - one can provide a play date or childcare while the other adult(s) volunteer.

  • Serve meals at the Expo Center (run by United Way): If you've already registered, you can help out! Tuesday they only had TWO people to serve lunch to 275 people. (United Way is not signing up new volunteers at this time.)

It's July - Clam Fest season! Sign up for a spot to participate in the First U summer fun, make friends, and support your church. There are many ways to get involved and roles for everyone. Join in!
Do you shop at Hannaford? Would you like First Universalist to receive free money from Hannaford? You will be able to balance your checkbook easier with a Hannaford ‘gift card’. Dorothy McAloney will be able to set you up with a gift card, with no extra cost to you.
Twice a month, 1st and 3rd Sundays, I reload your card. You simply write a check to First Universalist Church, with any amount you would like, as long as the amount on the card does not go over $500. The church receives 5% of the amount of the total reload. You get the full amount on your card. Keep the same card and reload when needed. There is a $1 minimum for the card to keep it active. If interested, please contact Dorothy at
About the Our Whole Lives Program
.The Our Whole Lives program has proactive goals of helping youth to become sexually healthy people who feel good about themselves and their bodies, remain healthy, and build positive, equitable loving relationships. Two trained facilitators lead the group in activities and discussions that encourage the program values of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, and justice and inclusivity. 

Sundays, October 6th - December 15th, 12 pm - 3 pm at the UU Church of Brunswick
OR: Sundays, October 6th - December 15th, 10 am - 1 pm at First Universalist in Yarmouth
  • Location and timing are dependent upon interest/availability of families, please let us know your preference!
  • Either option will have a break part way through with some food provided.
  • The parent orientation meeting will take place in September. Details about what will be covered week-by-week will take place at the parent meeting. 

If your 7th - 9th grader is interested in participating, please let us know by no later than July 31. Contact Gwen Matthews for more information or to register:
We are happy to announce that First Universalist has received a chalice lighters grant in the amount of $1,000 to support Our Whole Lives programs. This is the final year of this Northern New England District grant and we are thankful to have this support and look forward to new funding opportunities through Faithify in the future.
Our 2018 - 2019 church year has ended, but we look forward to working together in community at the Clam Festival in July as well as gathering in August for Vespers on Sundays, August 11, 18, and 25 at 5:30 pm with a potluck at 6:00 pm. All ages are welcome and we often meet in the Peace Garden for these summer evening services.
Carly, a mother with three young children, is seeking affordable housing or a house-sitting arrangement in or near Yarmouth. She can be closer to family who could help her with childcare. She has her nursing license, has glowing references, is a nonsmoker, and has no pets. If you have space for rent or a house-sitting opportunity, please email Carly at
Across the globe, young people are leading the fight for climate action. On July 14th, youth from across Maine will come together at Portland High School in Portland to engage with other young climate leaders and learn how to take action in their communities. What: Climate Boot Camp, Where: Portland High School, When: 12 pm-2 pm, July 14th. The “boot camp” event will include workshops, speakers and more. Interested youth can register online.
Gail Mills, our Office Administrator for the last 2.5 years, retired at the end of June. She is looking forward to spending more and more time with her growing number of grandchildren! Gail was a valued member of the team, and we will miss her!

Meanwhile, please join us in welcoming Connie Densmore , our new Office Administrator, to the First Universalist family! Connie brings years of bookkeeping and office experience and is a welcome addition. If you happen to stop by the church over the summer, please pop into the office to say hello to Connie. 
If you are planning a meeting at the church, please check the church calendar to see where space is available and email or call the church office ( or 207-846-4148) to reserve a room for your group. Other groups and individuals also are welcome to contact the church office to receive a tour and rent space .
Pastoral Emergencies
If you have a pastoral emergency, you can contact Rev. Frieda Gillespie on her cell phone at 508-207-7566. Please note that most weeks she will be in Yarmouth Sunday - Tuesday and working from her home office in MA Wednesday - Friday. Saturdays are typically her day off, but she will answer calls for pastoral emergencies.
Submit Your Announcement
To have your church or community event included in this newsletter or in print on Sundays please email the information to Gwen Matthews, Program Assistant, at by Wednesday at 12 pm to have it included in that Friday's edition of Channels or the Sunday Morning News.
  First Universalist Church of Yarmouth | 207-846-4148 | |