Life on an Island: Silence, Beauty and a Long Wait for the Ferry

Dale Libby, 8. He and his brother, Hayden, 10, are the only year-round students at the one-room school on Matinicus. Credit Tristan Spinski for The New York Times

The New York Times
Life on an Island: Silence, Beauty and a Long Wait for the Ferry
On remote islands off the coast of Maine, small bands of residents stay through the long winter. They embrace the emptiness and a frontier sensibility.
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE – FEB. 23, 2018

[T]he 75-foot vessel Sunbeam, which is operated year-round by the nonprofit group Maine Seacoast Mission, is seen as a lifeline, especially in winter. Often breaking the ice in the coves and harbors it visits, the Sunbeam provides a communal gathering place for islanders, who go aboard for meals and stay for the fellowship.

[Island Health director Sharon] Daley has been the Sunbeam’s nurse for 17 years, and has built up relationships with many of the islanders.

She makes home visits on the islands and sees patients for routine procedures like flu shots. Using specialized equipment, she also conducts telemedicine sessions from the boat with doctors from the mainland, tackling physical ailments and mental health issues, including depression, addiction and even marriage counseling.

Douglas Cornman, another Sunbeam crew member, is the boat’s director of island outreach and its chaplain. He tries to combat the islanders’ feelings of isolation, publishing an anthology of their creative writing, counseling island students on the transition to mainland high schools, and officiating at weddings and funerals.

Full Story

Downeast Table of Plenty (DETOP): Free Community Supper, Sun., Feb 25

Please join us, Sunday, February 25, for our Downeast Table of Plenty (DETOP).
Would you like to host a DETOP meal? Thank you. Please go to the calendar website (SignUp), and schedule your Sunday, or email Wendy Harrington.

CHERRYFIELD, ME — Each Sunday afternoon, 3:30-5:00 pm, at the Mission’s Downeast Table of Plenty, everyone is welcome to share satisfying, home-cooked meals.

People age two to ninety, from every segment of the community attend. Music, conversation, and laughter preside. Hunger and loneliness are nowhere in sight.

The Table of Plenty takes place in the EdGE building on our Downeast Campus every Sunday, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Meals are provided by volunteers.

If you would like to host a meal, please go to the calendar website Sign Up and schedule your Sunday or email Wendy Harrington.

Downeast Table of Plenty (DETOP): Free Community Supper, Sun., Feb 18

Please join us, Sunday, February 18, for our Downeast Table of Plenty (DETOP).
Would you like to host a DETOP meal? Thank you. Please go to the calendar website (SignUp), and schedule your Sunday, or email Wendy Harrington.

CHERRYFIELD, ME — Each Sunday afternoon, 3:30-5:00 pm, at the Mission’s Downeast Table of Plenty, everyone is welcome to share satisfying, home-cooked meals.

People age two to ninety, from every segment of the community attend. Music, conversation, and laughter preside. Hunger and loneliness are nowhere in sight.

The Table of Plenty takes place in the EdGE building on our Downeast Campus every Sunday, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Meals are provided by volunteers.

If you would like to host a meal, please go to the calendar website Sign Up and schedule your Sunday or email Wendy Harrington.

Frenchboro Island Community Braves Cold for Bingo

February 10, 2018 — The Sunbeam cruised to Frenchboro last night. Islanders and crew gathered in the garage of the Community Building to play a couple of lively games of BINGO.

Here is a photo of me calling out numbers to the players. There aren’t a lot of opportunities for communities to gather together on an island in February. It was great to see how many folks braved the cold to join in the fun!

Peace,
Douglas Cornman, Island Outreach Director

Learn more about the Island Outreach Director’s work on Maine unbridged islands.

‘Sunbeam’ Schedule: Island Telemedicine Visits Feb. 13-15

Please check the Sunbeam Island Services Schedule Calendar for any schedule changes due to weather conditions or other considerations.

The Sunbeam V is scheduled for a February 13-14 visit to Frenchboro, Isle au Haut, Matinicus.

Questions about Island Health Services and Telemedicine? Please contact Director of Island Health Services Sharon Daley, RN.

For other inquiries about the Sunbeam, contact Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman.

Weald Bethel ‘Final Phase’ On Target for June 1 Finish

Insulating interior walls of the ‘Final Phase’ of Weald Bethel Community Center construction.

CHERRYFIELD, Me — The Final Phase construction on the Weald Bethel Community Center is on target for completion by June 1. To better accommodate the skilled, hardworking, volunteer groups who travel here to help, the addition will house 49 volunteers, complete with bathrooms, showers, commercial kitchen. The new space can also be utilized for other Mission programs for students, families, and seniors.

Housing Rehabilitation Program Coordinator Scott Shaw especially cited Lee Watrous (CT) and his work crew, Cumberland Congregational Church (ME), Ascension Lutheran Church (PA), and Assabet Valley Vocational School (MA) for contributing time, materials, and resources to ensure the Final Phase is completed on time.

Learn more about the Housing Rehabilitation Program

Downeast Table of Plenty (DETOP): Free Community Supper, Sun., Feb 11

Please join us, Sunday, February 11, for our Downeast Table of Plenty (DETOP).
Would you like to host a DETOP meal? Thank you. Please go to the calendar website (SignUp), and schedule your Sunday, or email Wendy Harrington.

CHERRYFIELD, ME — Each Sunday afternoon, 3:30-5:00 pm, at the Mission’s Downeast Table of Plenty, everyone is welcome to share satisfying, home-cooked meals.

People age two to ninety, from every segment of the community attend. Music, conversation, and laughter preside. Hunger and loneliness are nowhere in sight.

The Table of Plenty takes place in the EdGE building on our Downeast Campus every Sunday, 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. Meals are provided by volunteers.

If you would like to host a meal, please go to the calendar website Sign Up and schedule your Sunday or email Wendy Harrington.