Stockton Springs Report
The first two weeks of March are going to be busy ones in the town of Stockton Springs. The Planning Board will convene at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Mar. 6, at the Town Office. This meeting will be followed by the Recreation Department meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Select Board meets at 6 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 7, with a full agenda to discuss. We wish them the best and offer our support in these trying times.
The Stockton Springs Historical Society holds its monthly meeting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Mar. 3, at the Colcord House. The town's 156-year celebration will be 10 days off, and I am convinced that will be a lively meeting.
The library trustees gather in the same location for their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, Mar. 11. And the Harbor Committee will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Mar. 14, at the Town Office.
These scheduled meetings are taken from the town's website www.stocktonsprings.org. Further information can be obtained by calling the Town Office at 567-3404. I offer thanks to all the elected officials and volunteers who work together to move the town forward.
I also found this information on the town website: “We have something special planned for the lunch on March 13 -- it just so happens that on March 13, 1857, a small town in Midcoast Maine was incorporated. As you know, we were born Stockton, but changed our name to Stockton Springs in 1889 when the promise of a bottled water operation was being explored. Lots of great gals go through name changes throughout their life!”
Yes, they do, Mr. Couch.
The story hour of the Stockton Springs Community Library, previously announced as being offered on Feb. 16, was canceled because of illness in the family of a town volunteer. However, the story hour scheduled to run from 10-11 a.m. Saturday, Mar. 16, promises to make up for the disappointment. Library volunteer Debbie Harris emailed me to announce this week's offering, “Let's celebrate Mardi Gras.” Snacks and crafts will add to the enjoyment of the wonder of reading. Thank you, Ms. Harris.
The library's genealogy workshop will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 5, at the library. Using Ancestry.com, the volunteers help visitors look into their family's history. Join them. Maybe you are famous.
Local church news
The Ladies Group of the Stockton Springs Community Church will hold its lunch at noon Tuesday, Mar. 5, at the church.
The Ladies Aid Soup is scheduled for noon, Friday, Mar. 8, at St. Vincent's Church in Bucksport. The cost is $20.
The Sandy Point Congregational Church will have its prayer shawl knitting meeting at 10:30 a.m. Sunday, Mar. 10, at the church. This is also Girl Scout Sunday at the church, a yearly event honoring our local scouts.
The Penobscot Bay Spinners meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Mar. 12, at the Sandy Point Church.
Town column contributor Dawn Furbush emailed me to congratulate her granddaughter, Casey Hudson, for making last semester's dean's list at University of Maine, Orono. Casey is a graduate of Searsport District High School and is majoring in business. Way to go, Casey.
The picture I contributed this week is not a current photograph. That monster of a snowman was built last year by Anthony McCarty Jr., age 12, who is now in sixth grade at Searsport Middle School. Jill Small and AJ were down on the Paa's Head property, where Jill has made a few snowmen over the years. I posted it because I drove around town this week and have not seen a snowman to match it. Unless someone comes forward before ice out, I believe young Anthony will keep the record until the 2013-2014 season. Good luck, AJ.
Stockton Springs resident Ryan King is to be congratulated on a winning season as cross- country coach at Maine Maritime Academy. The team was recently honored at the XC Sports Banquet at MMA. Ryan is often seeing running around the cape in preparation for some track event. He is participating in Erin's Run for Domestic Violence scheduled for Apr. 27 at the Bangor Waterfront. Good luck, Ryan. And thank you for helping Stockton shine.
Sandy Point Congregational Church
Although I attempted to end last week's column on an up note, there is a certain sadness to any school closure which cannot be ignored. However, it is gastronomically unhealthy to dwell on the negative and I am the sort of person to seek something to smile about. I found it this week in an email from Joyce O'Rourke. Not only did she send me the information about upcoming church events, she has created a calender of all of the town's events and nonprofit activities. Then she passed it out to lessen the chance of scheduling events that coincide with previously scheduled ones. This act of mutual cooperation for the betterment of the community is typical of the people of the Sandy Point Congregational Church. The church has a long history of helping the town of Stockton Springs.
In 1839, The Sandy Point Congregationalist Church was built in Sandy Point overlooking the Penobscot River. The Rev. James P. Stone was appointed as resident pastor and Nathaniel Stowers and Samuel Blanchard were chosen as deacons. These names and the last names of the pastors that followed the Rev. Stone read like a Stockton phone book, including Ellis, French and Merrill. Since that time, the church has not only been a spiritual beacon on the banks of the grand Penobscot. It has been an anchor for the people in Stockton Springs and Sandy Point in times of hardship, and a voice of reason during better times to remind us to that others need our support.
When I came to town in the early '80s, the Rev. Charles Brown stood behind the pulpit. Rev. Brown exemplified the title of pastor. Everything about the man was pastoral. He possessed a quite demeanor and was soft-spoken. Because of his advanced age, he moved slowly. The church did not have the back room as it has now, and he greeted everyone at the front door of the church as they came in. When the last parishioner was seated, he slowly made his way down the aisle, stopping to pay respect to those he felt could benefit from the acknowledgment. I never heard a word he spoke to any of those people, but their smiles assured me that he had given them comfort. He was swinging the bat before he ever got to the plate. And when he leaned on the pulpit, his calm voice released some of the wisest words that I ever heard a man say. One day he was seeking to schedule some “strong young bucks” to help shovel out the elderly that upcoming winter. After pleading for support on behalf of the community, he chuckled and announced, “We have to earn our keep, you know.”
Under Rev. Brown and his wife, Mary, the church served the spiritual and physical needs of the town that gave it both birth and an untarnished history older than the town it serves. Today the Rev. Ruth Martin leans on the pulpit and, judging by the calender sent by Ms. O'Rourke, and from all the community action that comes from the congregation of the church, she is carrying on the Rev. Brown's desire to have the church “earn its keep” in the beautiful town of Stockton Springs.