As we all count blessings this Christmas season, let me take a moment on behalf of the Maine Seacoast Mission to express our gratitude
Whether you are a community member, board member, donor, volunteer, staff member, or partner, let us celebrate our common purpose and dedicated work during this season of faith and love — work that provides the warmth, resilience, and possibility that strengthens us all.
We are deeply grateful for you, and for the compassion you show for the people and communities of Downeast coastal Maine and the unbridged islands.
Thank you from all of us at the Seacoast Mission. I wish you joyous holidays and a New Year full of hope.
Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman ties up the ‘Moonbeam’
Mission crew walking to Frenchboro church from Frenchboro dock
The Nativity pageant
Mission President Zavodny accompanying Christmas caroling
The Brightest Star – Jillian
Christmas presents for Frenchboro children
Singing Christmas carols.
NORTHEAST HARBOR, ME — On Friday, December 20th, The Moonbeam, crew (Storey, Jillian, & Douglas), and two special guests – Mission President John Zavodny and Communications Associate Hunter Billings – traveled to Frenchboro through some rough seas and cold to offer a Christmas service, including a Nativity pageant.
All of the Frenchboro children and almost all Frenchboro’s adults joined us at the Frenchboro Congregation Church. Natalie Hyde-Peterson, Frenchboro’s Island Institute Fellow, turned on the church heat prior to our arrival so we could worship and celebrate together in the church.
John graciously agreed to bring along his guitar to accompany the hymns and carols. He is quite skilled on the guitar. His carol singing accompaniment may become an annual Christmas tradition.
Hunter, Storey, Douglas and Natalie lit candles around the church to help set the holiday mood.
Douglas asked the kids (and a few parents) to portray characters from the Nativity. There was Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus (played by the island’s youngest resident), along with angels, shepherds, and the three Magi.
Douglas shared with the congregation, just prior to starting the service, that the Nativity pageant could either “go like clockwork” or “be a little chaotic.” The pageant was some of each, but absolutely perfect and adorable. Douglas narrated the pageant, while Jillian directed from the back of the church. Jillian also had a guest appearance as the Brightest Star.
The evening ended with Douglas handing out the Mission’s gifts, wrapped in white paper with red string, to all the youngsters. The kids were overwhelmed with joy, especially one young lad who had received a toy Tyrannosaurus Rex.
Douglas had delivered the gifts to the island’s elders on a previous trip to the island.
After the service, Jillian offered apple cider and a tray of homemade cookies for folks to enjoy.
Photos by Mission Communications Associate Hunter Billings
ISLE AU HAUT, ME — On December 19th, Isle au Haut children put on their annual Holiday Spectacular; Mission Island Outreach Director Douglas Cornman led the community in the annual Christmas service.
A community potluck prior to the program turned out approximately 100 islanders and guests.
The Christmas service included Douglas reading the account of Jesus’ birth from Luke’s Gospel. He was accompanied by some pretty hearty cooing and babbling from one of the babies. It was cute and I’m sure challenging for Douglas.
Douglas and Island Institute Fellow, Molly, led the group in singing traditional Christmas Carols.
Douglas and Sunbeam V Steward Jillian arranged the Mission’s traditional white-wrapping-red-string presents for every island kid under the tree. At the end of the evening Douglas stood in for Santa.
Every island kid received a hand knit sweater, mittens, and/or a hat. Lots of oohs and aahs at the gorgeous knitting. Director Cornman said afterwards, “These amazing kids love getting the knitted items more than they seem to like the toys.” And every island Kid got a congratulatory rose from their teacher, Marcella.