Tidings of Great Joy!
December 2021
Merry Christmas to you and yours and a very Happy New Year!
The Board of Mission at the Eastward
MATE builds lives and communities through the work of our housing ministry volunteers.
Many of YOU come! Because of YOUR work, MATE creates safe homes and transitional housing, impacting generations to come!
MATE's 2021 Annual Holiday Appeal
This Christmas we need your help!
In this Advent season, MATE thanks YOU for the support and lasting impact you make to the people we serve. YOU make it possible for MATE to do the work we do.

Our annual Christmas fundraising goal is $50,000, so together we can secure the ongoing operations of MATE in 2022, increase the number of housing-insecure homeowners we serve, reimagine MATE Youth Connection, finish the work at McCleary House, and hire our own, new Executive Director for MATE.

What YOU did in 2021: Roughly 120 volunteers rebuilt roofs, decks/porches, bathrooms, stairs, a kitchen, and ramps. Teams replaced windows, fixed doors, ceilings and siding. During a historical pandemic, a total of 42 housing insecure homeowners were assisted with home repairs to keep them in their homes.

If you have sent in a donation, THANK YOU SO MUCH. If not yet, please consider making an online donation (button below) or mailing a check to Mission at the Eastward, PO Box 206, Farmington, Maine 04938.
McCleary House Renovation Update
Work on McCleary House Continues, Even in December!

Dan Flint, MATE's Operations Manager, and a team of housing ministry volunteers from Bedford Presbyterian Church, will be busy working on renovations at McCleary House in December.

Dan has an ambitious plan to 1) complete the excavation of the kitchen/bath crawlspace and install a vapor barrier and spray foam insulation in that area; 2) install plumbing drains and vents for the kitchen, two baths and the laundry; and 3) install new subfloors in the kitchen and two baths. In addition, an electrician will be working to upgrade and extend electrical facilities. After this work is completed, the heating contractor will return to complete the new heating system in the kitchen and bath area.

Thanks (again!) to Dan Flint, George, Matt and Dan H!

Again: Plans are to outfit the house and be open to receive our first guest clients, people between homes, in the fall of 2022.
MATE Begins the Search Process for a New Dedicated Executive Director
The Board of Directors is beginning the search for a new Executive Director. The new ED will serve MATE only, and not in a shared role as ED and pastor of Fairbanks Union and New Portland Community Churches. Previous ED's served also as clergy to those congregations. The Board of MATE and church leadership agree that separating the roles of pastor and MATE ED will better serve the needs of both congregations and MATE clients.

Having a dedicated Executive Director for MATE reflects the growth of MATE as a 501(c)3, with a vision for an expanded ministry to the people and communities which MATE serves. It comes as the demands on the Executive Director for fundraising, grant writing and administration, community outreach and collaboration building, and marketing have increased. Having a dedicated ED also allows MATE the option of hiring someone with specific non-profit experience or interest who is not necessarily an ordained minister.

MATE retains a strong identity as a faith-based organization with a history in the Presbyterian Church (USA). MATE relies on our church partners of all faiths for volunteers, donors, and overall support. We are committed to continuing those relationships.

For more information about the Executive Director position, please contact Sharon Cowen at SBCowen@comcast.net.
The Joy of Volunteering
As we keep saying, volunteers are critical to MATE's work. We need YOU.

If you've never volunteered, please consider 2022. Come by yourself and join another group. Or, bring a whole team. If you don't know how to start organizing, ask; we have ambassadors to guide you. Contact Operations Manager Dan Flint at housing@missionattheeastward.org.

It's never too early to start planning. Nine church teams have already signed up for the 2022 season. We are thankful! We need more of you!
Why volunteer? The obvious reason is to serve others. We create safe places to live. We build lives. We serve folks who need help from others, for whatever reason.

But, the maybe not-so-obvious reason is what you do for yourself. Volunteering is part of a faith journey; it's a chance to learn from the people you support. It's a chance to connect with other volunteers, witnessing their faith in action and hearing their stories. It's the place to see the Holy Spirit at work and how God provides in unexpected ways when a need arises.

The last reason is that it's just fun! You become a team! Other volunteers become lifelong friends. You get to know folks in different ways than you do in church. (You also find out who snores, who stops for extra coffee on the way to the work site, who plays pranks on everyone else, who plays chess, who is a morning person and who just isn't.)

MATE’s mission is essential to the people and communities we serve. Please join us!
MATE Welcomes a New Staff Member!
Sandy Senecal, MATE's Administrative Assistant

I am so thrilled and excited to be a part of the MATE Team as the newly designated Administrative Assistant. I have 28 plus years as an Accounting/Administrative Professional with 17 of those years being in the transportation Industry. I also have many years of experience with renting apartments and storage facilities and recently named my own business, Pleasant Home Properties, LLC. I genuinely enjoy this as well as I am not the typical landlord. I believe in strong communications and thriving to have happy tenants.

While I lived approximately 25 years in Massachusetts, my true roots are right here in the Franklin County Area. This has always been home to me. As a native from this area, I know all too well the many struggles and how much we are truly in need of assistance here. It touches my heart to see the many folks who pull together to help.

I have a son who resides in Massachusetts who enjoys working with children who are less fortunate with their own disabilities, along with their families, in the Greater Worcester Area. I am immensely proud of this young man! He has limited time for Mom these days, but understandably so. He has his Associates Degree and is still continuing his education.

I have a significant other whose name is Troy. I am also proud to have three others who I can now include as my children and/or who have significant meaning in my life. Devon, Telinah, and Ryan came into my life over the past six years since being home in Maine, and I am just as proud of them with their own lives. Devan has written his first book and has just recently published, Telinah is expecting her first child in January 2022, and Ryan is a very hard worker and has just moved into his new place this past summer.

To see average folks pull together with their big hearts whether they are near or far is so amazing to see! Whether it be in the form of donations or swinging by with hammer and nails, I am so proud to be a part of this program that helps make a difference in many lives. I look forward to continue working with MATE administration and being part of something so magnificent!
A Christmas Prayer from MATE
God of Christmas joy and light, You sent Your son Jesus to show Your love to each of us. In all the busyness and celebrations of the Christmas season, help us to remember whose we are; You called us, and we are Yours.

Guide us in our work for You. We hold before You those who are homeless and hungry, those in pain, those who are sick, those who are strangers, and those who are angry, bitter, scared or grieving. We hold before You all of God’s children. In this time of trouble and uncertainty, comfort us with Your spirit and guidance.

We ask in Jesus's name.

Please help MATE expand our communications
MATE's Board of Directors is committed to making sure that everyone who supports us, or is just interested in our work, knows what's happening at MATE. We send out MATE Matters, this email newsletter, as an update on a monthly basis. In addition, we send occasional "snail mail" communications. If you know someone who would like to receive MATE communications, either by email and/or US mail, please ask them to send an email to Sharon Cowen at sbcowen@comcast.net. If you have questions about anything you read, please contact Sharon to ask!
MATE Youth Connection (MYC)
A Little GLOW
Attention All Youth 12 and up!! Check out the New England Glow - Middle and High School Youth Group. This is group committed to providing fun and engaging opportunities for our older youth in New England. They have events that will allow you all over the region to connect with other teens.

Check out the website http://www.newenglandglow.org/ and the public New England GLOW Facebook page.If you have any questions please contact New England GLOW.
MATE's Giving Partners - 2021
Along with the many challenges of 2021, MATE received much support from you and so many others! We are blessed! Thank you, All, for your generous gifts of time, talent and money!

Mission Partner Grantors
Anonymous donors through the Maine Community Foundation
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area/Leap Explosion Fund, ME
The Ruth Carnwith Trust
Synod of the Northeast, Presbyterian Church (USA)
Reisert Foundation
Presbyterian Women of the PCUSA

Mission Partner Churches
First Presbyterian Church of Springfield NJ
The Dover Church, UCC, MA
First Presbyterian Church of Dutch Neck, NJ
New Portland Community Church, ME
Fairbanks Union Church, ME
Church of the Covenant, Boston MA
First Congregational Church of North Anson, ME
Hildale Park Presbyterian Church, NJ
Marturia Presbyterian Church, NH
Leeds Community Church, ME
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, PA
Topsham United Presbyterian Church, VT
Bedford Presbyterian Church, NH
First Presbyterian Church of Ramsey, NJ
Hartford Community Presbyterian Church, ME
Presbyterian Church in Sudbury, MA
First Presbyterian Church of Antrim, NH
Camp Hill Presbyterian Church, PA
Flemington Presbyterian Church, NJ
Silver Spring Presbyterian Church, PA
St Josephs and St Rose of Lima parishes in Farmington and Jay, ME
Grace Community Boston, MA
Higganum and Haddam UCC Churches, CT
The Presbyterian Church in Burlington, MA
Allentown Presbyterian Church, NJ

Mission Partner Community Members
David Mackey
The Olsen Family
Julie Palmason
Tucker Library Interiors
United Way of the Tri-Valley Area community partner
Tina Besser, Image Control Inc.
Frank and Marion Hauck
The Hagy/Dobbins/Pease/Brachle Families
Rev. Blair Moffett
June Lee in honor of Rev. Thea Kornelius
Anonymous gift from a Farmington community member
MATE Board of Directors gift for McCleary House in honor of Rev. Thea Kornelius
Richard Crocker in memory of C. Geores
Colonial Valley Motel
Mount Blue Motel

To all who contributed a donation in honor of Dan Flint’s retirement, MATE says, Thank you!