Jul 252017
 

It is that time of year again when the seven Northeast states are finalizing plans before the Eastern Exposition Fair in W Springfield, MA opens on September 15, 2017. As most of you know, Maine has trustees for the New England Grange Building located on the fairgrounds. Each year we are required to send helpers to work in the building during the fair. The helpers work in the store and sell tickets for the annual quilt raffle with the proceeds divided among the states. We are asking for people who would like to work either for a couple days or even for a day. I need to know by July 30 so I can report to the Building Manager who is in charge of the schedule. For those who wish to work, you will receive tickets for the fair and for parking. This year, Maine is scheduled to have workers on the first weekend, Friday, September 16 through Monday morning, September 19, 2017. There are only five of us scheduled at the moment to cover the weekend shifts, however, more are needed to fulfill our requirements. We are looking for someone to cover the Sunday afternoon through Monday morning shift. More help is needed. I will be there from Thursday afternoon through Saturday morning. Maine Day is the 16th and Grange Day is on September 24. Attendees are needed that day also to walk in the parade. Please try to attend and show the public that we are proud of our organization!

I wish to thank all Grangers who made items for sale at the fair and to Karen Flagg, CWA Director for asking for donations. A number of boxes full of sale items was taken to the fair this past Saturday.  A new Building Manager for the Grange Building is needed for next year so if you are interested, let me know.

Remember that resolutions are due by August 15, 2017. Few have been received with the deadline three weeks away!

I wish for those who will be attending the Northeast Lecturer’s Conference July 31-August 2, 2017 in Castleton, VT to have a great time and safe traveling. I am sure that our State Lecturer, Margaret Morse and the Maine attendees will have a great time as usual!!!

Jul 242017
 

Porter Grange #569 got a well-deserved face lift this summer. The outside of the building was painted and a new porch light was added in memory of Dottie Locke who we lost last year. On Saturday, July 22, we had an open house with refreshments to celebrate the National Grange 150th birthday. Porter Grange was delighted to pass out four applications to interested visitors. They were in impressed with our Words for Thirds Program and our local School Scholarships.

Our Grange was able also to put up flags in Porter Village with special donations from Jana Mayotte and Gary Nickerson in memory of Francis Mills and Ron and Marie Nickerson respectively.

Porter Grange will be holding a Bean Supper, Friday, September 22 from 5:00 pm. until 6:30 pm. We have also scheduled a Free to Veterans and their families breakfast on November 11 at 7:00 am.

For more information on any event or just to say, “Hi!” contact portergrang569atgmaildotcom  (portergrang569atgmaildotcom)  

Porter Grange Hall Before

Porter Grange After!

Front Porch Light

Front porch plaque

Jul 232017
 

This article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

Maine has some of the best agricultural fairs in New England.  If you want to know more about Maine’s great agricultural fairs, go to the Maine Association of Agricultural Fairs Web site for the latest news and information.

For a listing of upcoming fairs, or if you wish to receive State fair news, click here.


Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website!

Jul 232017
 

Short messages from your Communications Department

Just a short message to point out and explain a few things…

Geek Alert! Some of this is a bit technical–you may skip any portion when your eyes start to glaze over.

  • A recent change to post formatting has been made to accommodate post previews in the new subscription service.  Secondary headlines will be minimized and the contributor’s name will appear in their place.
  • I’ve added some software that will allow the creation of “buttons” for some links. This should increase the user-friendliness of the site by making resources more readily available.
  • We have a new “logo” for Communications Bullets–short messages from your Communications Department.
  • There are currently over 1,800 posts on the site, dating back to 2010 when I assumed responsibility. I plan to begin deleting some of those old posts and any that “no longer apply” to save server space and make the site more manageable.
  • There are currently over 1,200 photos and documents on the site, also dating back to 2010. I plan to begin deleting some of the older photos and outdated documents.

I’m pleased to report that the new website subscription service seems to be working great! Our subscriber numbers are increasing–slower than we’d like, but steadily! If you haven’t, please subscribe–and encourage others to do the same!

Thanks to those Grangers who send feedback (compliments, corrections, and criticisms) on the site! It’s been particularly nice to hear how the website has helped you and, in several cases, created connections between Granges.  We can learn much from each other! It’s always fun to report what works in Granges. With your help, I’d like to continue to develop and expand that aspect of the website. Please send your stories and photos… you can use the “Submit Information” tab on the site or simply send an email to webmasteratmainestategrangedotorg. (I think I’ll create a button for that!)

As always, if you have suggestions and ideas for the site, I want to hear them! It’s almost time for annual reports to be submitted and that triggers setting some goals and priorities for next year. How can I help you!?


Subscribe to Maine State Grange Website! Email the Maine State Grange Webmaster

Jul 222017
 

Flagg (640x640)First of all, I salute all of you ladies and your many talents as I recently found out that I can’t even use a lawn mower or bush cutters without being wounded so with that being said let’s get going on needed information.

This year’s conference is scheduled for August 26th, starting time is by 10:00 A.M.If at all possible this year I would like everyone to get their entries to State headquarters a week before the conference so there will be more time to check the items in, for those that have issues with items sitting at state that long, you can be assured they will be locked in the office or if necessary I will keep them at my home.

Baking and Dress-A-Doll will be due by 9:00 A.M. on the day of the conference.We will not be having a paid lunch as we will be taking a short break but we should still finish up by 1:00 P.M. (something new to try).

I would appreciate it if you would put a note on your report sheets as to whether or not you use the Grange iron on labels when you donate quilts, pillowcases, etc.

A thank you goes out to Cynthia Maxwell as there are errors on the annual report sheet: Class O – should be Decorated Item, Class P – should be the Decorated Wooden Chest and Class Q – Should be Juniors. Baby Quilts are listed in the quilt categories and they are added in with the method of how they were put together. I hope that will clear up some of the confusion. As always check with Headquarters to make sure someone will be there when you want to drop off items.

As you all know, please call if you have any questions (524-2011) and on that note, I am going to try and put up a blind using a step stool and a drill. Look forward to seeing many of you next month.

Recently, Cynthia Maxwell of Excelsior Grange hosted a pillow case workshop and she showed several ladies on how to do the “hotdog method” and they were all fascinated on how little time it took but they also learned how to do French Seaming for a very nice finish. Ladies in the picture are Cynthia Maxwell, Barbara Strout, Catherine Farrell, Carolyn Bennet, Louise Roberts. Picture by Patricia Hall. Good job, ladies.

Jul 202017
 

We had 35 people participate in all or part of the campout weekend.   The weather had its good and bad times but mostly comfortable for outside activities.

Friday morning 23 went to play mini golf, having lots of cheers, jeers, and laughter. Rick got the low score of 49. He did have some help to get it and his hole in one was questionable. He did receive something very special for his “one-holer.” Holly outscored everyone with 72 “duds.” Isabel, Judy, Jim, Bill, and Rick each got a hole in one to receive a special award.  King size assist award went to Greg for him helping with Rick’s shot. Bill got a “do goodie award” for proving the score. Several of our competitors received “whopper” awards for scoring a 7 on one hole–William, Tracey, Greg, Bill, Holly, Berta, Mike, and Susie.

Potluck was shared Friday evening.

Junior judging and Chinese auction items were taken care of on Saturday morning.  Some of the auction winners needing a box for all their treasures.

Ten ambitious folks pitched horseshoes, the rest of the group doing a lot of encouraging and heckling. Helen and Greg took the first place honors. Jim and Tina second and Mike and Dennis finished third.  Each received a mini horseshoe pit for awards. (Mini chocolate cakes)

Bocce ball rounded out the afternoon with 18 rolling/throwing balls and even using a tape measure for top spots to be decided.  Katelyn and Rick won the challenge but again Rick had additional help with Terry as his first partner.  Berta and Greg came in 2nd and Norma & Jim taking third. (Awards were Lindt chocolates of the appropriate color.)

An ice cream social with all the fixings topped off the activities with “awards” being given out.  We joked that some actually “earned” them and some not so much.

It was another successful and fun time.  We have set a date for next year at the same place July 20, 21, and 22, the third weekend. Join us! Maybe you’ll get an “award.”

Jul 182017
 

In honor of the Grange’s 150th birthday, the National Grange is starting the Grange Legacy Family Recognition program to honor those families who have five or more generations involved as Grange members.

“We give recognition to individuals who have been a Grange member for 25, 50, 75, 80, and even 90 years, and we want to recognize families and encourage the next generation to keep up with that and keep that legacy going,” said Huber.

Printable applications for recognition are available to be printed and mailed to National Grange, or an online application is also available. Applications should be mailed to the National Grange office. Anyone can nominate a family, including family members themselves, but they must include information as to whom of the family was a member in what Grange with clear five-generation or more lineage.

The first honorees will be recognized at National Convention in Spokane, Washington in November. The family will receive a certificate, and each family member can receive a copy upon request.

Webmaster note: The printable application is also now available on the Maine State Grange Website, Program Books and Information Tab.

Jul 162017
 

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By Walter Boomsma

“…The springing seed teaches us to increase in goodness, and the growing trees to aspire after higher and broader knowledge.” These are words spoken by the Chaplain during the celebration and instruction of the Second Degree.

Later in the degree, the master explains, “There is no object in which, to appearance, life and death border so closely together as in the grains of seed buried in the earth; but when life seems extinct a fuller and richer existence begins anew.” Near the close of this degree, the master reminds us that “The salutation of this degree ‘places faith in God and nurtures Hope.’”

Grange ritual and teachings take great advantage of the lessons of nature and those lessons are many. “The tools used by us in this degree are the hoe and the pruning knife. The hoe, with which we cut up weeds and stir the soil, is emblematic of that cultivation of the mind which destroys error and keeps our thoughts quickened and ready to receive new facts as they appear, thus promoting the growth of knowledge and wisdom.”

“The pruning knife, used to remove useless and injurious growths from our trees, plants and vines, should remind you to prune idle thoughts and sinful suggestions… Bear in mind that moral and metal worth rank before worldly wealth or honors…”

I wish I could remember where I recently read the observation that “in order to become a butterfly, you have to be willing to give up being a caterpillar.” The words are not exactly Grange teaching, but the thought surely is. “When life seems extinct a fuller and richer existence begins anew.”

If you have some remaining seeds from planting your garden (the second degree uses corn) I’d encourage you to find one and hold it in your palm and hear the master’s words, “Behold these inanimate kernels of corn! But the germ has life—the future plant is there…” In a workshop I’ve presented, I point out that all of the life potential and a complete set of instructions to create it are within that small seed. That’s H-O-P-E and a powerful lesson nature teaches.

The lesson is certainly about individual potential, but I think it can apply to our Granges which, after all, are a collection of individuals. If each of us has that much promise and potential, does not our Grange? When we consider our heritage, our principles, and our teachings… do we not have within us the potential for a “fuller and richer existence…” are not all the instructions there that will allow us to grow into something wonderful? Is our order placing faith in God and nurturing hope? Are we collectively increasing in goodness and aspiring after higher and broader knowledge?

I wonder what a caterpillar thinks—or for that matter, if it does. Does it know what its future is going to be? Nature clearly has programmed it to wrap itself up in a mummy-like state without questioning whether or not it’s a good idea. The caterpillar doesn’t have to decide to give up its existence and become a butterfly. That’s a grand plan because if caterpillars were like people, the situation would be a lot different. Many caterpillars would be quite content to remain caterpillars. Some would fear becoming a butterfly and needing to fly. They would be quite content to crawl about munching leaves. But some would look forward to the adventure and the freedom that comes with flying. They would be willing to go through the metamorphosis required. Those who remain caterpillars would cling to their existence and perhaps even complain that there aren’t enough caterpillars left because everyone is too busy being a butterfly.

The Grange way of life, like nature, is meant to be filled with hope, promise, and potential. We just have to decide to give up being caterpillars and commit to becoming a butterfly—to becoming something that is different and beautiful. The challenge we face is accepting that who and what we are may not be who and what we become. But let us let nature remind us that while the butterfly is found in the caterpillar, it is equally true that the caterpillar is found in the butterfly. Nature does not resist change, it depends on it, understanding that a seed is not meant to stay a seed and a caterpillar is not meant to remain a caterpillar. Life is about becoming and when we think things are dying what is really  happening is. “a fuller and richer existence begins anew.”

 


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.

Jul 152017
 

Please provide proper attribution when using material.

Webmaster’s Note:  The following article is reprinted with permission from an e-newsletter published by Paul Stearns, State Representative for District 119.

One of the many challenges adults face as they return to college is financing their education. The University of Maine System (UMS) has an Adult Degree Completion Scholarship Fund helping Maine residents return to school and complete their academic studies. For many, these may have begun years ago and were not completed for a variety of reasons.

These funds are dedicated to support adult students returning to college after an absence of at least three years or more and who are completing their very first baccalaureate degree. Applicants may qualify for up to $4,000 per academic year for up to eight consecutive semesters.

Students returning to school have two opportunities to apply for the Adult Degree Completion Scholarship. Each year the deadlines for new applicants are:

  • August 1 – to be considered for a full academic year award beginning in the fall semester;
  • December 1 – to be considered for a spring semester award; and
  • all renewal applications are due no later than June 1 of each year.

The electronic application takes approximately 15 minutes to complete and may be found online here. Prior to completing this application, we recommend contacting your campus navigator to review your eligibility and discuss your plan for completing your bachelor’s degree. Applicants must meet the following criteria in order to be eligible for consideration:

  • must be a resident of the State of Maine;
  • must be a matriculated student at a UMS institution seeking a first baccalaureate degree;
  • must be an undergraduate reentry student who has experienced a gap (three years or more) in the pursuit of postsecondary education;
  • must have a minimum of 30 credits earned from any institution toward your degree;
  • must demonstrate financial need as determined by a completed FAFSA; and
  • must be registered at least part time: 6‐8 credits per semester.

Adult Degree Completion Scholarship Brochure

 

Jul 152017
 


The July Issue of the National Grange Newsletter is now available. This issue is jam-packed with information and articles like:

  • Let Your Voice be the Reason for Change
  • Three More Interns Join National Office in July
  • Fun 150th Birthday T’s Are Here
  • Donate So They Get Pie’d
  • Recognition Program Unveiled for Legacy Grange Families
  • Online Membership Database, A Step Towards Better Communication
  • Promo Kit on Sale for Summer Fairs
  • Great American Quilt & Handicraft Expo
  • Seeking to Promote Your Sesquicentennial Items
  • Lecturer’s Contest Soon to Close
  • Youth: Learning to Serve
  • Junior Ambassador an Asset
  • Healthcare: Where Are We Now?
  • 2017 Four-Minute-Movie-Contest

Read the July Issue of The Patrons Chain