Thursday Newsletter - July 9, 2020

July 9, 2020   Thursday Newsletter            Note: No Vespers Service tonight.
Friday, July 17th at 1 pm via Zoom
Matt will provide a virtual "zoom” tour and demonstration of our church pipe organ. Now’s your chance to see the inner workings and ask any questions you might have!
It should last between 20-30 minutes depending on the level of participation.
A special link to the zoom meeting will be emailed to everyone ahead of time, either Tuesday or Wednesday next week.
SOS is open again - with new procedures People wait in line 6 ft apart, wearing masks. At 9 am the outdoor SOS tables are open for browsing. Each person/family group goes to 1 table at a time, and every 5 minutes they move to the next table. Unless it's raining, SOS will be open each Tuesday now from 9-11 am. Masks are required.

We hope you will stop at Heavenly Threads Thrift Shop soon! It is a nice diversion during these challenging times. Your safety is our #1 concern! Everyone is REQUIRED to wear face coverings and use our hand sanitizer upon entering the building. We are allowed up to 10 customers in the shop at one time and we strictly enforce this. Our open hours are Wednesday-Saturday 12-3 pm. And donation day is every Tuesday 10-3 pm, no appointment necessary!  Call with any questions 236-3203
And check out our vintage items. We LOVE anything vintage!!
We have the opportunity to send volunteers to help on a Habitat building project on Saturday morning, August 1, from 9:30-12:00. Work crews will be spread out for physical distancing, work outside, and all will wear masks. I (Ute) had a positive experience recently when I participated in a Habitat build through Rotary. Volunteers as young as 14 can join in. If any families are interested in a future family-focused built, please let us know. If you would like to be part of a crew on August 1, please contact Becky in the office ( Feel free to invite a friend to join you. More detailed instructions will come soon. 
FROM DEACONS: Potential Outdoor Worship
at Merryspring
We are considering holding an outdoor worship service in August and another in September. We would need to keep the number of participants to 50 and require masks. Please let us know if you would be interested in attending such a service. We are still discerning whether we would record that service or have two services (outdoor plus indoor Zoom) on a given Sunday morning. Please send your responses to Becky at the office (  
Sunday Hymn History"Be Thou My Vision”
When St. Patrick was a missionary in Ireland in the 5th century, King Logaire of Tara decreed that no one was allowed to light any fires until a pagan festival had commenced with the lighting of a fire on Slane Hill. In a move of defiance against this pagan ritual, St. Patrick lit a fire anyway––but, rather than have him executed, the king was so impressed by Patrick's devotion that he let him continue his missionary work. Three centuries later, a blind monk named Dallan Forgaill wrote the Irish poem, "Rop tú mo Baile” (Be Thou my Vision), to remember and honor the faith of St. Patrick. Forgaill's poetry went on to inspire the Irish monastic tradition for centuries; then in the early 20th century, Mary Elizabeth Byrne translated the poem into English, and in 1912, Eleanor Hull set the words to an old Irish folk tune titled Slane. This beautiful compilation reminds us that, in every moment of our lives, God will be our vision above all else.

Matt’s Hump-Day Ditty
Vierne's "Lied” from 24 Pieces en Style Libre
Composed in 1914 by the famous French organist and composer, Louis Vierne, this piece is a true "song without words”. Strangely, like the text of our feature hymn this week, "Be Thou My Vision”, this music was written by a blind man who was equally adept at conjuring up ancient, earthly visions with his art. 
Listen link:

FROM NATHAN (Matt’s husband, culinary instructor at EMCC)
Nathan’s Friday Fixings: Classic Chili
I always make chili during the summer. Not only is it a simple and delicious meal, but it’s practically made for alfresco dining. Let’s be honest here––if you serve chili during the winter (when all the doors and windows must remain shut) you’re going to regret it. After all, beans do have a slight reputation for being the most "musical” of fruits … 
Feel free to play with the amount of chilies in this recipe. 
If you like more heat, add more chipotles! Serves 6 to 8
2 dry chipotle chilies, seeds discarded and coarsely chopped  
2 chipotle chilies en adobo sauce, coarsely chopped  
1 quart homemade beef stock or low-sodium canned beef broth, or as needed  
1 large white onion, peeled and chopped  
12 cloves garlic, peeled and minced  
2 tablespoons olive oil  
1½ pounds beef chuck, cut into 1-inch cubes and patted dry  
2 tablespoons chili powder 
2 tablespoons ground cumin  
2 tablespoons dried oregano  
2 teaspoons ground coriander  
2 cans (15-ounces each) diced tomatoes  
1 cup dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained  
1 cup dried red kidney beans, soaked overnight and drained   
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper   
Assorted toppings, such as avocado, grated Monterey Jack, and sour cream  
1.     In a blender, combine the dry chipotle chilies with the chipotle chilies en adobo sauce and 2 cups of the beef stock.  Purée well, and set aside. 
2.    In a stockpot set over medium heat, cook the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft, 4 to 5 minutes.  Toss in the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until the beef has browned on all sides.  Add in the chili powder, cumin, oregano, and coriander, followed by the tomatoes. Using a wooden spoon, scrape up any bits that are stuck to the bottom of the pan.   
3.    Then, pour in the reserved stock mixture, as well as the soaked beans.  (If necessary, add the remaining 2 cups of beef stock to cover.) Bring to a simmer.  Partially cover the pot and continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the beans are soft and the beef is tender, about 2 –  2½ hours.  (Add additional beef stock or water as needed to keep covered.)
Season to taste with salt and black pepper, and serve with the assorted toppings.  
Copyright © 2011 by Nathan Scott.  All rights reserved.
OUR EMPORIUM RETURNS! The 4 categories are: Swap/Trade/Free; Help Wanted; In Search Of; Services Offered.  
Services Offered: Declan Lally is available for Summer work.  He is 15, responsible, and has a good work ethic. Because we are local to Warren, he wouldn’t be able to do mowing where he had to bring his own equipment, but he does well with a push mower if you could provide.  He is also very handy around the yard with raking, moving rocks, digging, wood stacking and any general work you might need done.  He takes direction well.Full day, half a day, or whatever you need. Email Elizabeth at:  or call: 207-273-4684 
Help Wanted: We received a notice from Sukeforth Builders specifically aimed at church members, noting a need for honest and faithful people. Positions open include part-time office help, estimators, carpenter helpers, carpenters and foremen. You can contact Lew Sukeforth at 207-322-3000 or email at
In this emergency, please remember to continue your weekly contributions by sending them off in an envelope to the First Congregational Church, 55 Elm Street, Camden, ME 04843.  Also, we now have a provision for "e-giving,” and you can go to the homepage on our website ( where you will find our "DONATE” button on the top right.  By pushing that button you can set yourself up to make a gift or you can exercise a myriad of options to give to the church.  If you have any difficulty or questions, call the church office. Your continued financial support is critical at this time because some of our traditional revenue streams (e.g., facility rentals, Heavenly Threads, etc.) will not be coming in while we are closed.  Yet our hardworking staff continues to work tirelessly not only to help the congregation and our towns deal with the crisis, but also to keep alive the sense of hope and community we all find through the lens of our faith.  Thank you from your trustees,John Hufnagel, Chair   
OUR PRAYER SHAWL KNITTERS & CROCHETERS CONTINUE TO MEET AND CHAT WEEKLY BY ZOOM.  Their beautiful shawls bring comfort to many.They meet Thursdays at noon via Zoom. Yarn and patterns are supplied by the church. Call the office if you’d like to join in to knit and visit together.   

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