In 2019 the six churches comprising the Kennebec River United Methodist Churches entered into an informal agreement to support one another through mutual ministry opportunities. Since that time the six congregations have participated in classes, Advent retreats, and outdoor worship experiences. Due to the pandemic most joint activities have been put on hold, but we are once again beginning to join together in fellowship, learning, and ministry.
Effective July 1, 2022 the six churches of the Kennebec River Churches will officially become a Cooperative Parish. This announcement was made in each church on Sunday, May 22nd:
Bishop Sudarshana Devadhar, episcopal leader of the New England Annual Conference, intends to make the following appointments as of July 1, 2022, provided that all preliminary matters are accomplished:
Rev. Karen L. Munson Coordinating Pastor for Dresden Richmond UMC
Half time appointment for Green Street UMC
Lead Pastor for the 2022-23 Cooperative Parish
Rev. Rich Cullen Coordinating Pastor for East Pittston UMC
Half time appointment for Cox Memorial UMC
Rev. Ruth Merriam Coordinating Pastor for Randolph UMC
Half Time appointment for Highland Avenue UMC
In each pairing, the appointed pastor will have primary pastoral care responsibility and a regular preaching schedule. In addition, each pastor will bring focused leadership to all six churches based on needs of the churches and gifts of the pastors.
A coordinating team of two people from each church will work with the pastors to plan preaching and event schedules as well as identify and respond to shared interest planning.
All six Staff Parish Relations Committees consulted individually with the District Superintendent, committing to this shared leadership over the next appointment year. All SPRCs met together on Saturday, May 21, to launch and bless this year long partnership in ministry. Coordinating Team members have been identified and will begin their work shortly.
Please join us in praying to be avenues of Gods’ grace for our churches and wider communities as we open ourselves to God’s possibilities this year.
UP-COMING RIVER CHURCH PARISH EVENTS
River Churches Care Network Team Invitation:
"Do you feel a nudge to reach out to others with God’s love? Are you a good listener, or perhaps you’ve wondered about sharing communion with the homebound. Our friends at Cox Memorial UMC are taking the lead in creating a lay pastoral care team for the River Church Network. Training will be provided. We want to make sure that any church members who’d like a visit don’t get missed and that people have ongoing support when going through difficult times. This will support not replace the pastoral care provided by our three pastors. Please contact Laurie Decoursey Ldecoursey52@gmail.com"
Lenten Studies Planned
A six week ZOOM study using the book and DVD segments by Amy-Jill Levine, “Witness at the Cross: A Beginner’s Guide to Holy Friday” will be offered on Tuesday evenings at 7:00pm starting on February 28th and concluding on April 4th. The class will be led by Pastor Rich Cullen. If interested in participating please respond no later than February 8th so that books can be ordered in time for the class. All are welcome to participate whether you choose to read the book or not.
Pastor Karen Munson and Denise Ranger (a Certified Lay Minister Candidate from the DRUM Church) will be offering a small group Lenten Study of Ukrainian Faith Practices. The days and times have not yet been decided.
Ukrainian Festival Planned for Sunday, March 26th
The Highland Avenue United Methodist Church in Gardiner will be the host site for the parish wide “Ukrainian Festival” to be held on Sunday, March 26th from 2:00-5:00pm. We will be joined on that day by Liuda and Volodymyr Kevanskyi who are recent Ukrainian refugees who now live in Wayne. The afternoon will feature opportunities to learn about Ukrainian geography, history, religion, dance, sports figures and the art of Ukrainian Easter Eggs. Pre-registration is required. Please either call the Rev. Ruth Merriam at 251-3935 or email her at email@example.com.
Ukrainian Easter Egg Workshop Planned for Saturday, April 1st from 9-11 am
Will be held at the Green Street United Methodist Church (13 Green Street, Augusta). Sarah Barnum, a retired art teacher, will lead the workshop. Only 15 slots are available. Don’t miss out! Please register by March 26 firstname.lastname@example.org ~ 251-3935.