Creating community, championing justice and growing with God.

July 29, 2021

Prayer List

Our prayer list is here to help. Please pray for: Joan Strout, Debbie Hayden, Ginnie Toner, Edna Cushing, Bob Stewart, Debbie Heater, Bob McEvoy, Debbie Nelson, Constance (Connie) Cushman, Mitch's friend Eric, Randi Graumann, Rebecca Allen, and Cecil Jones.
Celebration of Life Service for Jane Hunt

Rev. Alyssa will lead a celebration of Jane’s life at 1 pm on Monday, August 2 at the Chad E. Poitras Funeral Home in Buxton (498 Long Plains Rd). It will be followed by a service of committal at Meeting House Hill Cemetery in Buxton. Members of the Woodfords community are cordially invited to join in celebrating Jane’s life.

Please hold Jane’s friends and family members in prayer during these days of grief and remembrance.
This Sunday: Join us for 10 am Worship and Communion in the Sanctuary

On Sunday, our Woodfords community will gather for 10 am worship in the sanctuary. Communion will be served. Please join us for a time of music, prayer, fellowship, and reflection, and free to invite other friends, family members, and anyone else you think could use some spiritual community. 
Reminder: Congregational vote this Sunday, Aug. 1,
on funding an upgraded audio/visual system (after worship)
Immediately after our church service on Sunday, there will be a short meeting regarding plans to fund an upgraded audio/visual system, followed by a congregational vote. The proposal includes adding cameras, video monitors and improved lighting and audio technology to support not only a better in-person experience, but also the capability to livestream our services and other programs to those who cannot or choose not to attend in person.
An informational meeting on the particulars of the technology was held in June and a second meeting took place July 18 following a group viewing of a livestreamed service. If you missed the July 18 meeting and discussion, notes from it are available on the Members section of the Woodfords website. (Contact the church office if you don't know the password for the Members page.)
On July 20, The Woodfords Council of Ministries voted to support and fund the plan as follows: $131,630 from the Marion McDonald Bequest Fund; $15,000 in gifts to Woodfords targeted specifically for this project; and $25,000 from the Woodfords Senior Program fiscal 2022 operating budget. If additional funds are needed to cover unexpected costs, up to $10,000 would be earmarked from the operational reserve fund.
We need a quorum to vote on this proposal, so please plan to attend. Those who aren’t able to attend Aug. 1 but want to vote can do so in advance via online ballot. If you need to vote online, please email Amy Johnson at by this Friday, July 30.
Welcome Aaron!

We are happy to welcome our NEW SUNDAY SEXTON, AARON BURKE (yes, he is Emory Burke's husband!) to our Woodfords family. This will be his second Sunday on his own after being trained by Gary. Please reach out and introduce yourself and welcome him to the fold.

Aaron has been trained by Gary and will be doing a similar job to what Gary did on Sunday mornings. Just a few of his responsibilities...

  • unlocking all the doors, including the elevator lobby door, at 9:30 am
  • checking on restrooms, the Lounge and other spaces to make sure they look clean and presentable for Sunday worship
  • helping the Deacons as requested
  • keeping an eye on everyone coming into the building
  • cleaning up after the worship service and coffee hour
  • being available to help with break down or set up pre or post-service
At-Home Communion

If you would like to receive in-person Communion and reside in a location where you can receive visitors, please send Alyssa an email (, and we will work to schedule a time for you to receive the sacrament in upcoming weeks.
Woodfords Church Safety Guidelines

Woodfords is monitoring the recent uptick in Covid cases, and we will adjust our policies as needed to make sure we are protecting the health and safety of everyone in the building. For now, the policy remains as stated below. Please remember -
"When in doubt, mask up!"
If you HAVE NOT been fully vaccinated for COVID-19:

Per CDC guidelines, you must continue to wear a mask and maintain physical distance (6') from others at all times while on Woodfords property.

If you are experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms, please stay home.

You are expected to maintain physical distance from others to respect their personal space.
We request that you continue to wear a mask indoors during Sunday morning worship services.
If all attendees at a meeting (other than Sunday worship) are vaccinated, masks are optional.
Final Sojourners Meeting with Jessica Tonight at 7

Tri-Church intern Jessica Edelblut will lead the final Sojourners discussion about Disability Visibility: First Person Stories from the Twenty- First Century. Throughout the month of July, the group has discussed essays about Being, Becoming, Doing, and Connecting while living with disability, with a particular emphasis on how the church can be more welcoming and inclusive for all people.

Here’s a note from Jessica about this week’s gathering:

For Sojourner's this week - we are focusing on these three essays in the book Disability Visibility:

"On NYC’s Paratransit, Fighting for Safety, Respect, and Human Dignity" - Britney Wilson - pg 205

"To Survive Climate Catastrophe, Look to Queer and Disabled Folks" - Patty Berne - pg 232

"The Beauty of Spaces Created for and by Disabled People" - s.e. smith - pg 271
Zoom Meeting ID: 509 302 969
How to Navigate Woodfords' Locked Doors
for the next Month or Two

As many of you know, the doors to the Parish House are now locked all day. We established this routine during Covid, and of course when the building was off limits during construction. Due to the impossibility of guaranteeing the safety of staff, members, mission partners, and the public if we leave the building open and unattended for the majority of the day, we have decided to keep the door locked until we install the new system.

Woodfords has signed a contract with ADT for a new security system for the back Parish House doors (building door and elevator lobby door). We were planning to have it installed this summer. Unfortunately, similar to what we have seen in other industries, there is a delay in receiving the equipment. We are hoping it arrives in in the next few weeks and we can introduce our new security system to you in early September. We will keep you informed about developments.

In the meantime we apologize for the inconvenience and ask you to keep in mind the following...

The doors (including the door to the elevator lobby and the Beacon St door) will be unlocked at 9:30 am. If you want to arrive earlier, please make sure you know the code to the back door. The doors will be locked once everyone has left and Aaron, the Sunday Sexton, has closed the building.

If you have have a meeting at the church, please make sure you know the code to get in through the back door OR ask the meeting facilitator what the plan is for letting attendees in.

The back door and elevator lobby door will be unlocked 30 minutes prior to church events like Christmas in July, etc and Senior Program Events like luncheons.

Public events will have the doors unlocked 30 minutes prior to the event. These events will always have a Sexton working who is responsible for monitoring people entering the building.

If you have a party planned at Woodfords, please make a plan for someone to be at the door to let people in. Also, please notify your guests of your cell phone number in case someone comes to the wrong door or arrives late.

If you are holding a meeting at Woodfords, please make sure you know the building code and think ahead of time how you will get attendees into the building. Also, please make sure attendees know your plan. Attendees should have your cell phone number in case someone goes to the wrong door or arrives late.

PLEASE CALL TERI (ext 106) or LOUISE (ext 108) -
CHURCH PHONE - 207-774-8243
Christmas in July - A Woodfords Church Celebration

Thanks to all who volunteered for our July Christmas celebration and to those who joined us. We were lucky to have warm, sunny weather and everyone enjoyed the treats and time together. Here are a few photos..
Women's Retreat is Back!
Save the Date - September 17-19

The retreat is coming, the retreat is coming!

We’ve gathered for women’s retreat for over 30 years and after missing last year due to COVID, retreat is back. Mark your calendars, get out your dancing shoes, get ready for rest, relaxation, fun and fellowship!

We will gather together September 17,18, and 19 at Marie Joseph Spiritual Center on the beach in Biddeford Pool.

Personally, I CAN’T WAIT!

Sign up with Teri at the church office (! Details to follow soon.

For the planning committee,
Suzanne D’Bourget
Christian Ed News
How is your Summer Activity Guide going? We would love to hear about how you are engaging with our Shoot for the Moon activity guide for families, kids, and kids of all ages.

The next two Bible readings, Ephesians 4:1-16 and Ephesians 4:25-5:2, are going to be available to watch on YouTube. Check out our Tri-Church Christian Education Youtube to listen to kid-friendly story readings of these two texts.

Want to be involved in Christian Education for kids? Have ideas about how the church can better connect with your family? Want to share your thoughts on what works for your kids and what doesn't? Want to share your experience and passion for Spiritual Formation with the next generation?

We are excited to be bringing together our Christian Education committees together from Woodfords, State Street, and Williston-Immanuel to create a tri-church Christian Education committee. This will allow us to work together to create programs and opportunities that work for kids and families in all of congregations.

If you are interested in joining our collaborative Christian Education committee, please reach out to Emory Burke at

New Member Sunday Tentatively Scheduled for October 17

If you’re not already a member of Woodfords, have you ever thought about becoming one? If you or someone you know might like to learn more about officially joining our church community, Rev. Alyssa would love to hear from you ( Through low-key, no-pressure conversation, she can tell you more about what “membership” means and answer any questions you might have. New to religion? Just getting to know Christianity? Never been a member of a church before? Have no worries! You may be a cradle-born member of the UCC, or you may be discerning how you feel about organized religion. Either way, we value you and understand that our community would be at a loss without you. No matter who you are, or where you are on life’s journey, Woodfords welcomes you!
Gathering Water from Your Summer Travels
In years past, Woodfords members collected water from their summer travels and brought it back to the church to use in the coming year. We would like to ask you to do that once again this summer. Please bring back a bottle of water from whatever water source has refreshed you, whether vacation destination, camp, or park. There will be a basket at the back of the Sanctuary for collecting your water offerings.
Senior Program Ongoing Offerings

Woodfords Chair Yoga
Tuesdays at 10 am with Burdie Fertig via Zoom

Elizabeth “Burdie” Fertig-Burd is the founder of Celebration Tree Wellness Center for yoga, Reiki, balance and strength training, and personalized retreats. Burdie is a Kripalu Yoga certified teacher with 12 years of experience teaching chair yoga. She has a special passion for working with clients dealing with Parkinson’s Disease and other movement disorders. She is a Reiki practitioner and Master Teacher. Burdie’s work centers around helping clients heal, restore balance and grow in their own wellness practice.

To be placed on the weekly email reminder or with inquiries, please contact Em Amatangelo at: 207.239.2051 or

To Join the yoga class please follow this link:

Spiritual Direction
3-4x/month, led by Rev. Mary Zachary-Lang
Wednesday mornings. This closed group meets three to four times a month. Please contact Robin Carter ( if you are interested in joining.
Have Something on Your Mind?
Want to Talk About a Joy or Concern? Have a Prayer Request?

If you would like to schedule time for a pastoral care conversation with Rev. Alyssa, do not hesitate to be in touch ( She would be happy to set up a visit.

Also, Alyssa is always open to receiving prayer requests. Drop her a line with a description of what you’d like her to pray for – and don’t forget to indicate if you would also like your prayer request to be added to the Woodfords prayer list. (Alyssa’s default is to consider all prayer requests she receives confidential, unless the requestor explicitly says otherwise.)
Awakenings: A Recovery Worship Experience

Awakenings: A Recovery Worship Experience is a monthly service sponsored by Williston-Immanuel United Church, an Open and Affirming Congregation. Our next gathering will be Wednesday, August 4, at 7pm on Zoom. The link is also available on our website:
This worship service blends the gifts of recovery found in programs such as the Twelve Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and the transformational power of the Christian faith. The format is very simple. After a brief welcome, a quote is read that reflects the theme for the service. We then share some music, hear the scripture reading, and listen to the very short reflection/story of a designated speaker as it relates to the theme/scripture. Then we open up the floor for others to do the same: to reflect on their recovery journey and the theme/scripture. This is followed by 10 minutes of silent meditation and more music. Afterward, we close with the Serenity Prayer.
Partner Events

Woodfords Church is connected to a network of amazing organizations that offer incredible learning and spiritual development opportunities. Week after week, month after month, these institutions offer a plethora of workshops, webinars, and classes. There are so many that if we included them all here, the newsletter would be ten times as long!
We encourage you to check out the programming calendars of the following organizations on a regular basis and see what they are offering. We bet you will find something of interest!
·        The BTS Center - mission successor to Bangor Theological Seminary

·        The Maine School of Ministry - run by the Maine Conference, UCC

·        Convergence

·        UCC Event Calendar

·        UCC Webinar Series
  • “Tuesdays for Nurture” webinars focus on education for the People of God. Includes topics such as faith-filled politics, “how-to”s in congregational life, and the impacts of current realities on the life of the church.
  • “Wednesdays with the World” webinars highlight stories and concerns from around the globe.
  • “Thursdays for the Soul” webinars seek to care for the whole church by exploring topics related to spirituality and care of people.
  • “Creation Justice” webinars bring leaders in the field of environmental justice into monthly conversation with people and communities desiring to put values into action as caretakers and protectors of God’s creation.
Staff Phone Extensions & Email Addresses

Staff phone extensions and email addresses…

t: 207-774-8243