The 1857 George Stevens pipe organ at the First Congregational Church will be undergoing a restoration project on its wind chests this winter. A fundraiser for the project is now in progress. Photo courtesy of John Terison

Organ fund contributions inflate

In the early November edition of Church News, the Rev. Linda Gard thanks those who have made contributions and pledges to the scheduled January-February restoration project on the wind chests of their 1857 George Stevens pipe organ. The fundraiser goal has not been met to date, but it’s off to a strong start.

As an incentive, with any donation now through the end of the year, you can challenge somebody to pump the organ bellows throughout a hymn, pump the organ yourself or choose a favorite hymn of yours or a loved one’s to be played on the organ. There are special Organ Fund envelopes in the pews and at the entrances to the church for the convenience of donors. Alternatively, checks may be made payable to First Congregational United Church of Christ, with “organ” in the memo line. Mail check to First Congregational UCC, PO Box 114, New Gloucester, ME 04260.

Caroling and cocoa

Dec. 1 marks the date of open houses at the public library and History Barn. At 4:30 p.m., Tiny Timber, the Christmas tree in front of Town Hall, 385 Intervale Road, will be lit for the season. A lucky youngster will get to throw the switch to turn the tree lights on for the season. Carolers from the G-NG High School chorus will, once again, entertain the crowd with a few Christmas songs. After that, the public is invited to come into the library for snacks and hot cocoa and observe historical exhibits and artifacts in the History Barn.

Then, at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 3, the library will host its special Holiday PJ Story Time. This is a delightful way to get the little ones excited about the holiday season. Special youth readers along with head librarian Sue Hawkins will present yuletide stories. If your child would like to serve as a reader, contact Miss Sue at [email protected] or 926-4840.

Amenities at the library

The New Gloucester Public Library has an extensive selection of magazines – more than 70 different titles – just waiting to be borrowed. You can take out the latest edition and it’s not due back for three weeks. They also have a give-and-take basket stocked with gently used magazines.

The library recently acquired dozens of new large print titles that are shelved separately from other books and have distinctive markings.

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Did you know they have a cake pan collection? They have more than 60 cake pans that you can borrow for that special celebration. From Alf to gingerbread men to Tigger and Yogi Bear, there is a cake pan for every occasion.

A makers space has been added that’s filled with mostly low-tech crafty stuff: crayons, coloring pencils, scissors, colored paper, markers, colored pipe cleaners, glue and all sorts of doodads.

Jigsaw puzzles to challenge all abilities are available on loan. They also usually have a puzzle going where little ones to octogenarians can try to get a few pieces in place.

If you live or work in New Gloucester or live in Gray, Durham or Pownal, you are welcome to become a patron at no fee. For more information, call 926-4840.

Local yuletide giving

The charitable organization known as Gray/New Gloucester Caring Communities is currently preparing to provide Christmas gifts for children 17 and under who are residents of Gray or New Gloucester. Individuals, families, neighborhoods, civic organizations, schools groups, businesses and churches willing to sponsor local families are being sought this holiday season.

Note that GNGCC is not accepting monetary donations.

Patti Mikkelsen can be contacted at [email protected]

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