Jun 272017
 

The information following is reprinted from the July-September Lecturers’ Newsletter by Margaret Morse, MSG Lecturer. You can download a copy of the newsletter from the Program Books and Information Page.

The theme for 2017– 2018 will be the following quote:

“FAMILY is like branches on a tree, we all grow in different directions, yet our roots remain as one. “

Author Unknown

September 1, 2017  —  GRANGE BOOK READING CLUB ENTRIES DUE

List sent or emailed to the State Lecture. Please put “books” on the outside of the envelope or on the subject line.

GROUPS: Subordinate Members & Junior Members 5-9 & 10-14 (age Oct 1 of current year)

All entries MUST include: Name, Address, Grange Name & Number

Total number of Books read & Total number of pages read

List all books separately include: Title, Author, and Number of pages

September 30, 2017  — The Maine Lecturers’ Conference will be held at Topsham Grange from 9:30 until 11:30.

The agenda for the day will include a review of new programs and awards for the poetry, skit and story writing contests as well as the book reading contest. The annual Talent Contest will also be held.

The Talent Contest is open to all Subordinate Grange members (you may use Junior members in your act.)

Categories include: vocal, instrumental, or variety acts

Judging will be done with one winner as Best in Show. Time limit: six (6) minutes.

The winner of the Maine Talent Contest will be eligible to participate in the “Night of Excellence” at National Grange in November.  Ability to attend National Grange is not required to enter this contest.

Jun 262017
 

By Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

As in the past, I am happy to publish a list of those who are heading up teams that are willing to assist Granges with the installation of officers. If you are heading up a team this year, please let me know! I just need a few lines of information including contact information. Since Rolf was first to let me know, you can use his listing as a model!

  • Rolf Staples is heading up an installation team again this year. They will travel any reasonable distance from the Bangor area. Just call 884-9339 or email Rolf  (swederolfataoldotcom)  .
  • Christine Hebert is also putting together an installation team. Call Chris at 743-5277 or email her  (christineherbertatoutlookdotcom)  .

I will also publish information regarding planned officer installations–if you are leading or hosting an installation, send the details for listing here. Very often Pomona Granges will host installation for all their member Granges. It’s a great idea not only because it’s efficient–it’s also a lot of fun! We don’t have any dates yet, but we do have someone looking for help! Continue reading »

Jun 202017
 

Imagine Valley Grange’s Community Service Director Mary Annis’s surprise when she arrived at Will’s Shop ‘n Save in Dover-Foxcroft to see two large banners hanging from the ceiling! One proudly proclaims what Mary and other Grangers knew… Melissa and Will Wedge, owners of Will’s Shop ‘n Save, were named Valley Grange Community Citizens of the Year, 2017.  The second announces that Will’s Shop ‘n Save was the Small Business Administration’s Business of the Year in 2016.

The store and its owners are well-known throughout the area for their support of the community in part because they are truly part of the community. How many grocery stores do you know that actually have a small food cupboard run by two young kids?! (Check out the cover photo on their Facebook Page.) Melissa and Will are two very thoughtful people and great examples of the fact that pride and humility are not in opposition to each other. We’ll congratulate them again–and says “thanks” for acknowledging Valley Grange’s award!

Jun 202017
 

by Heather Retberg

On last Friday morning, Governor Paul LePage signed the food sovereignty bill into law.

“In the year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen,” begins the bill,  “be it enacted by the people of the State of Maine as follows…”

The bill officially recognizes the authority of our towns to regulate our food systems by local ordinance when the sales are between individual farmers, food producers, and customers.  It also offers into state law the first definition of ‘local food system’.  What began in 2009 as an administrative language change that made our work illegal overnight, has now, at long last, been corrected.  The rule of law is behind our labors once again!  We have prevailed in defining ourselves and what we do in legal terms.  And, further, the state of Maine recognizes that each of us in our towns, has the authority under home rule at town meeting, to decide for ourselves how our food needs are met.  A very heartfelt thanks to all of you over this last session and over the years, for your words of encouragement and sustenance.  Thanks also for contacting representatives, senators and the governor to protect the food system and the relationships around it that we have cultivated together over the years.  It is a sweet time of celebration we are so pleased to share with all of you!

The full text of the soon to be chaptered law:

https://legislature.maine.gov/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=SP0242&item=6&snum=128

Please do the last thing, the best, most pleasant part of this whole process: write the governor one more time and express your thanks for his signature.  Also, please thank your senator and representative for their efforts and votes, and help them know just how important this is outside of the halls of the statehouse.

Jun 172017
 

Webmaster’s note: This was “stolen” from Heather Retberg’s Facebook Page! 

At 10 am on Friday, Governor LePage signed LD 725 An Act to Recognize Local Control Regarding Food Systems.

The State of Maine has officially recognized food sovereignty.

Let us celebrate. This is a good day for our small farms, for our rural communities, for our town meetings, and democracy from the bottom up!

Congratulations to all of you who have worked so hard, so long and so steadfastly to bring this day to light.

Special thanks to Senator Jackson for sponsoring the bill and co-sponsors: Senators Langley and Miramant, and Representatives Dunphy and Martin.

A lion’s roar of thanks to Representative Craig Hickman for his fierce, principled tenacity, for his expert navigation and shepherding of LD 725, and for his unrelenting force that just wouldn’t give up.

Thank-you.

Jun 172017
 

The Sesquicentennial Committee of the National Grange has researched and compiled a packet of interesting information designed to assist Granges in making the most of the opportunity to learn about and to celebrate the rich history of Grange. The packet – which was earlier sent in hard copy to your State Master and Secretary – contains interesting historical facts, short biographies of important Grange leaders as well as suggested ways to celebrate. Lecturers or any other Grange member who is in charge of sesquicentennial events should find the information very helpful.

 

CLICK THIS LINK to get your packet!

 

Webmaster’s Note: Lecturers will love this packet… there are some great suggestions for programs and discussions! But it’s also chock-full of historical information that should be of interest to every Granger. You can read a letter written by Susan B. Anthony to the National Grange in 1895… learn what various presidents have had to say about the Grange… be amazed at the amount of legislation the Grange has promoted over the years… discover some well-known people who were Grangers (I didn’t know Norman Rockwell was a Granger)…

 

Jun 172017
 

by Denise Whitmore, Secretary

Androscoggin Grange #8 held it’s elections last night, 6/16/17, and it when very well. We also got a lot of business done, but to me, the best thing was to see these four people honored for 25 years of service to the Grange. From left to right we have presenting certificates protemp Assistant Steward Maynard Chapman and Master Byron Boyington. Receiving 25-year certificates are LAS Janice Brewer, Mert Buzzell, newly elected lecturer, Carol Buzzell and Ceres Joanne Boyington. We would like to thank chief deputy Maynard Chapman and Gladys Chapman for coming to our rescue last night and many times before. The meeting may have lasted two hours but it was a very happy and productive meeting. Congratulations to our honored 25-year members and our newly elected officers.

Jun 162017
 

Flagg (640x640)By Karen Flagg, CWA Director

Reminder! CWA is looking for donations of Baked Goods to have on the table at the yard sale on the 24th

Just a note to remind everyone that the CWA Conference will be on August 26, 2017 and that we have added sewing an outfit for an 18″ American Girl size doll.Look forward to seeing everyone and all of the entries for this year.I do want to give everyone (I hope) a chuckle as I  was rocking my 14-month-old great-granddaughter to sleep and I was kind of lowly singing to her and she wanted me to stop, total rejection but her brother can’t protest yet as he is only 2 months old. Until next month, take care.

Jun 162017
 

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By Walter Boomsma

It recently became my sad privilege (notice I did not say “duty”) to serve once again as the chaplain in a Grange Burial Service. Bill Bemis, master of Garland Grange and Piscataquis Pomona, and I actually make a pretty good team. We’ve had far more practice than we’d like and rehearsals are no longer necessary. Bill always remembers the ribbons and flowers and other than a few quick exchanges before we start, things seem to proceed smoothly At this most recent, the funeral director thanked us profusely for so serving. Since several of our services have been with him, he’s part of the team as well.

Many of the traditions surrounding death and burial are shifting and in some cases being forgotten. We can debate whether or not this is a good thing, but my experience has been that most people find many of the “old” practices comforting and respectful.

The Grange Burial Service can, of course, be found in the Subordinate Grange Manual. There is no need for memorization—even ministers and other professionals who perform services frequently tend to use their manuals—if only for support during what is surely a difficult time when it can be easy to lose one’s place and thoughts. We are driven by a desire to support the family and friends. That, above all, determines what is correct.

There are, by the way, some significant differences between the service found in older manuals when compared to the “new” manual issued in 2013. In all honestly, I greatly prefer the older version for several reasons.

The 2013 version is significantly shorter than the previous. While burials should be relatively brief, the brevity of the 2013 version is achieved by omitting much. I suspect the 2013 version would, even at a slow pace, only last several minutes! More importantly, the 2013 version seems to omit or shorten many of the “lessons” offered in the older version—lessons that offer important comfort and reflection.

Another difference is that the 2013 version omits the hymns and singing—and that is supported by generally accepted practice. I cannot remember the last time I was at burial service of any type where attendees were asked to sing. When conducting the Grange service, I will often recite the words to the suggested songs as poetry.

The most important considerations are the family’s preferences and what the acting Chaplain and Master are comfortable with. Both manuals make it clear the service is optional. Given the fluidity in today’s practices, there is some room for “customizing.” While I do not think it is appropriate to conduct long eulogies as part of a burial service, I will offer a few brief comments or a pleasant memory of the deceased to ensure that the service is delivered in a way that is truly about him or her.

To that point, many people (Grangers included) are not aware or will forget during times of trouble that there is such a thing as a Grange Burial Service. The Subordinate Grange Manual also includes a “Grange Service for Private Home or Funeral Home.” There is certainly no requirement that these be conducted for a deceased Granger, those who remain would perhaps like to know that the Grange can support and help. There is a requirement for draping the charter, also included in the Subordinate Grange Manual. It is entirely appropriate to remind our brothers and sisters of these services and other support the Grange may provide such as hosting family and friends after a service.

This column is certainly not mean to be morbid—it is offered as a reminder that our traditions demonstrate how there is a Grange way of life (and in this case, death). While traditions change and society develops, the Grange remains relevant and viable.

I would challenge chaplains to fully explore your duties and opportunities. If you are re-elected or newly elected this month, listen carefully to the charge you are given during installation “…to be faithful to your calling… may the spiritual seed you shall sow fall on good soil, and bring forth an hundredfold. Cast thy bread upon the waters, and thou shalt gather it after many days…”

In the alternate installation, chaplains are instructed more specifically, “When it becomes necessary, you will conduct a memorial service to honor members who have gone on before us. Your loving touch will add to the ceremony…”

The chaplain should be assisted by every member as we labor together to support each other in times of sadness and in times of joy.  We should bring a “loving touch” to all our work together. When we conduct the “altar circle” during the installation of new members, the master promises, “…we pledge to you our friendship… a pure friendship, enduring through life, to shield you from harm…” That’s a great way of life.

 


Any degree or ritual quotations are from the forty-sixth edition of the 2013 Subordinate Grange Manual. The views and opinions expressed in “Exploring Traditions” are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official doctrine and policy of the Grange.

Jun 162017
 

A mug WBBy Walter Boomsma,
Communications Director

When I sit down to write this column every month, I usually scan back over a previous couple of months to review what I’ve written and posted. (Hint: if you go to the website and type “Communications” in the search box in the upper right corner, you can do the same!) This time I was a bit surprised at the number of posts my search produced. There have been a lot of “Communication Bullets” over the past couple of months.

The reason for those is there’s been a lot happening that deserves communicating! For example, in May we set a record for the number of visitors to our website in one day. That’s exciting stuff! There’s also been a lot of “stuff” added to the site and I wanted to make sure you knew about those resources. As information arrives, I also update the Conferences Page with information and, when I have it, conference packages, applications, etc. When we set the visitor record, I was not surprised to discover that the “Program Books and Information” page is the most visited. Grangers are finding and using the information there!

My goal for the communications department of one has always been to serve the Subordinate and Pomona Granges by communicating information that’s interesting and useful. I was going to include “exciting,” but let’s face it—not everything we do is exciting and fun. (We can, however, try to make it so.)

A recent change that IS exciting was a long time coming. We’ve always given you the opportunity to subscribe to the website—you could get an email when posts are made. Unfortunately, we lost control of that subscription service and, while it still works, we don’t know who our subscribers are and can’t control the process. So I have been looking for a process that is “user-friendly,” compliant with email regulations, and allowed us to do more than the old system. Subscriptions to the site are now being handled through a service provided by MailChimp. And, by the way, the service is costing the Grange nothing.

Initial reports are that it’s working great! There has been some confusion regarding the new versus old. One of the steps I’ve taken to help is to prepare a one-page, illustrated “how to” sheet (available on the website, of course!). If you were subscribed to the “old” system you may want to review it, because you’ll want to “unsubscribe” from the old system so you don’t get two emails every day. (One from the old system and one from the new system.) Because I do not have access to the old system, I cannot do this for you nor can I shut it down.

If you are tempted to just stay on the old system, there are at least two reasons you may not want to do that:

  1. I truly have no idea how long the old system will be maintained and continue to work.
  2. The new system is far more manageable and will allow us some future opportunities—including the fact that I will be able to help those having difficulty with their subscription.

Let me reassure you that you still have control of what happens and can unsubscribe at any time. Also, our privacy policy prevents us from sharing, selling, or renting your information.

If you are currently not subscribed, simply go to the website and click the “Sign me up” link. It’s a two-step process—don’t forget the second step! After you’ve filled out the short form and submitted, you’ll receive an email verifying that you want to subscribe. You’ll need to click the link in that email. (This is for your protection—it means someone else can’t sign you up for email you don’t want!)

As with anything related to the website, bulletin, or communications in general, if you have any questions, ideas, or concerns, I want to hear from you!