Grateful for Mission Christmas, Maine 1968

Grateful for Mission Christmas, Maine 1968
Christmas 1968
By Victor Stanley

The story of my childhood reads like the beginning of a Steinbeck novel, but it’s all true. Times were tough in the mid-1950s in Down East Maine. Jobs were scarce, and people were desperate. My parents came down with California Fever, lured by the promise of work at a new Westinghouse manufacturing plant near San Jose. So, in the summer of 1955, they canned as much mackerel as they could into quart-size Ball jars, packed all of their worldly possessions into an old pickup, and headed west with their three sons, my aunt and uncle and their two boys, and the family dog, Rowser. I was 10 months old.


“Christmas is coming, and we don’t have anything. No presents, no Christmas goodies, nothing for Christmas dinner. We need God’s help.” When it was time to pray, I asked for it. I didn’t say anything to anyone, but I was frightened by the possibility of having nothing on Christmas Day.

Later that week, I got off the school bus and walked into the kitchen. My mother grabbed me and gave me a big hug. “Your prayers were answered,” she proclaimed, waving a white envelope over her head. “The Maine Seacoast Mission sent us $50 for Christmas!”

My mother stretched that $50 as far as it would go.

Full story online.

Scott Planting: My Last Christmas Trip Aboard the Sunbeam

Scott Planting: My Last Christmas Trip Aboard the Sunbeam

‘Sunbeam V’ in Northeast Harbor, ME

A Christmas message from Scott Planting, Mission president:

December 18, 2018 – Under clear skies and over calm seas, the Sunbeam V is heading out of Northeast Harbor today for its annual three day, three island Christmas trip. It is my joy to be aboard with crew Captain Michael Johnson, Director of Island Outreach Douglas Cornman, Steward Jillian, and guests Allison and Hunt Smith.

For me it is wonderful to lead Christmas worship services at the beautiful island churches. We’ll gather in the candlelight, sing the carols, read the lessons, remember our beloved ones, and speak about God’s goodness to us all.

Our first stop is Matinicus Isle. We will skiff over to the island at 5 pm for a Christmas service at Matinicus Congregational Church UCC. The service will be followed by Christmas dinner on the Sunbeam.

Early Thursday morning we leave Matinicus for Isle au Haut where, in the afternoon, we’ll join islanders for a potluck dinner at the town hall, followed by the Christmas service.

Friday morning, if all goes well — the marine forecast calls for high winds out of the south— the Sunbeam will host an all-island breakfast. Then we’ll depart for Frenchboro, where the island will join us at Frenchboro Congregational Church for a service, followed by cookies and mulled cider.

This very special trip is my last Christmas trip aboard the Sunbeam. I am deeply grateful for the Sunbeam crew and staff for all they give the islands. And I’m grateful to all the Maine Seacoast Mission friends who are always with us in spirit, as they have been for over a century, upholding us in our care for these remote communities.

Blessings to you all at Christmas,


‘Sea Lights’ Tour on ‘Sunbeam V’ a Smashing Success

‘Sea Lights’ Tour on ‘Sunbeam V’ a Smashing Success

l-R: Sunbeam V crew – Story King (Engineer), Jillian (Steward), Michael Johnson (Captain), Douglas Cornman (Island Outreach Director)
Sea Lights on Sunbeam a Smashing Success!
December 18, 2018

On Sunday evening, December 15, people from across MDI gathered in Northeast Harbor to hit the water aboard the Sunbeam V. Most people know the Sunbeam as the vessel operated by the Maine Seacoast Mission, providing invaluable services to the outer islands that dot our coastline. On this particular evening, however, the crew of Sunbeam V were charged with a completely new and unique task— offering an on-the-water Christmas Lights tour.

The “Sea Lights” initiative…is an informal grass-roots effort encouraging waterfront property owners to decorate for the holidays. [I]f the property…are not lucky enough to enjoy the decor in person, their efforts can still be appreciated and help brighten the Christmas and holiday season for others.

So…more folks would be able to enjoy the warm glow of the lights, the Seacoast Mission and the Sunbeam’s crew stepped in to offer a shoreline cruise to view the decorations. [I]t only took…48 hours before the trip was booked solid. [T]he Sunbeam V [crew] were gracious enough to offer a second trip that same evening, which [also] filled to capacity.

Full Blog Post

Mission Scholarships 2019 Applications Available Now Online

Mission Program Manager for Scholarships and Outreach Terri Rodick asked some Maine Seacoast Mission scholarship recipients if they would please make a short video telling viewers what Mission scholarships meant to them. Here’s Sarah Doucette’s video.

BAR HARBOR, ME — Maine Seacoast Mission’s five scholarships applications and re-applications are now available for downloading online. Program Manager for Scholarships and Outreach Terri Rodick the 2019 scholarships include “big changes,” increases in scholarship amounts.

“We have added the Patsy Elliot Fogarty scholarship, awarded to a student enrolled and attending a full-time nursing program. The Fogarty scholarship recipient is awarded annually $2,000 plus a one-time $500 check, made payable to the scholarship recipient, for other unforeseen costs,” said Terri Rodick.

In addition, the Mission’s Sunbeam Scholarship’s renewable total is increased up to $8,000 from $6,500. The EdGE Scholarship renewable total is raised up to $10,000 from $8,000. And the Theodosia Gray Scholarship annual award increase is up to $2,000 from $1,500.

Rodick reminds current Mission Scholars to reapply. “The deadline,” said Rodick, “is May 1, 2019.”

Download the 2019 Scholarship Application
Download the 2019 Scholarship Re-Application

For more information, contact Scholarship Administrator Terri Rodick.

EdGE Director Gives Leadership Lessons to Local High School Basketball Team

Teamwork at the Mission’s EDGE 2018

CHERRYFIELD, ME — Maine Seacoast Mission’s Scott Shaw forwarded this slideshow produced by Scott’s friend, Justin Thompson. Scott said, “Thanks to [EdGE Director] Charlie Harrington for hosting this Team Building experience for the Narraguagus Knights Varsity Basketball Team.

The team worked on planning, preparing and execution. They also climbed on the adventure course with only headlamps. It was a cold crisp night but the weather did not slow down their enthusiasm. Go Knights!

Learn More about the Narraguagus Knights

Learn More about EdGE