Read about what's going on in our HopeGateWay Community Newsletter September 16, 2023.

If you don't find the information you're looking for in the newsletter, on this page or within the website, please send us an email!

Every Sunday at 10am EST

In person at 509 Forest Avenue in Portland, Maine

& on Zoom

Zoom Worship Link

Dial in audio: 1.929.205.6099

Meeting ID: 533 469 2118

Composting Christianity

September 10 @ 10am

Over 2,000 years after its beginnings, Christianity is quite different from what it was originally. Some of those differences are necessary: the world is also different now. And some of those differences have obscured the very point of Jesus' example and good news. Sometimes, those differences can make us ask, "Is there anything good left in Christianity?"

In this series, titled "Composting Christianity," we're going to talk about what remains when all the obscuring excess gets composted. Together, we'll explore the good news, the original rich soil, of Jesus' message of love and hope.

Global Interfaith Compassion Challenge

Begins Sunday, September 10, 2023

Join in a global 21-day Interfaith Compassion Challenge! In 1906, Gandhi introduced nonviolent resistance (later called "satyagraha", or "soul force") at a mass meeting in South Africa — and with that, a way of bringing about large-scale social action through compassion. In the spirit of amplifying those values, Service Space invites you to join in exploring different ways to bring the timeless virtue of compassion into our lives — and to weave together a tapestry of collective wisdom with kindred spirits from around the globe! 

Here's how it works: 

Daily Prompts: For each of the 21 days of the challenge, you'll be emailed an inspirational and thoughtfully-crafted prompt from a unique faith or tradition, with "heart" music, "head" reading, and "hands" compassion-in-action practice (which you can complete on your own time each day). 21 days, 21 faith traditions, 21 practices.

Your Reflections: For each of the daily prompts, you are invited to submit an online reflection, and once you share your reflection, you can read and interact online with the reflections of other global participants. 

Sunday Zoom Calls: Every Sunday of the challenge (starting Sep 10, 11:00 AM EDT) will feature a group call with poetry readings, songs, inspiration from a wide range of luminaries, and peer-to-peer sharing. Calls are recorded, so it's possible to both participate in the life of HopeGateWay on Sunday morning AND receive the wisdom of the 21 Day Challenge Zoom recap.

Autumn Work Days at 515 Woodford!

Saturdays beginning September 23 through November 18

A lot of work has been done to our new building, and it will be exciting to get in there and see how everything begins to come together! Our target date for our first service at 515 is November 26, so we have three months to make this all happen! Please check your calendars and sign up for a Saturday (or many!) so that we'll have ample crew to do our weekly projects. Wooohoooooo!!!

Art for Opportunity • A Fundraiser for Maine Needs

Wednesday, September 27 • 5:30pm

Join Maine Needs at Apres – 148 Anderson Street – for a silent auction fundraiser and evening of fun! Artwork has been donated by local artists and is on view currently at Maine Needs. Drop off some donations or volunteer your time and check it out! Mark your calendars, and let's plan to have a HopeGateWay evening out in support of Maine Needs! If you have artwork you wish to donate, please contact Maine Needs as soon as possible, as they are finalizing their promotional materials for this event.

Convocation 2023

Kinship: Re-Weaving the Great Web of Belonging

Thursday & Friday, September 28 & 29 • Hallowell, Maine

The BTS Center team warmly invites you to join in Convocation 2023! Inspired by a group of thoughtful presenters, artists, and spiritual leaders, with a posture of reverence and humility, we’ll explore possibilities for nurturing a sense of wonder, gratitude, and hope as we celebrate our profound interconnectedness with all who share our common home.  

Over the course of two days — Thursday and Friday, September 28 and 29 — participants will gather to learn and explore, to nurture a sense of community, and to seek respite and renewal. Victoria Loorz, author and co-founder of the Wild Church Network, and John Bear Mitchell, musician, storyteller, and Lecturer of Wabanaki Studies and Multicultural Studies at the University of Maine, will inspire us with wisdom and guide us to experience how nature invites us into the sacred. Rev. Liz Fulmer, a queer pastor and musical storyteller, will lead us in song as our musician. Convocation 2023 will include music, poetry, and ritual; plenary sessions and small-group conversation; opportunities to engage with nature; and both embodied and contemplative practice. 

Apple Picking: A HopeGateWay Tradition

Sunday, October 1

Celebrating the arrival of autumn with an afternoon of apple-picking and spending time together baking tasty apple crisp is a longstanding HopeGateWay tradition! Mark your calendars and watch for more info coming soon.

Logos with Sara

Wednesday, October 4 • 7pm

Join Sara for a conversation on Composting Christianity, particularly focused on the podcast that inspired this sermon series: Unknowing with Brie Stoner, Season 3, Composting Christianity. We will be focusing particularly on Episode 1 with Brian McLaren author of many books, the latest of which is Do I Stay Christian?: A Guide for the Doubters, the Disappointed, and the Disillusioned.

Here's one little nugget of wisdom from the podcast from Brie Stoner: 

"What I love about this image of a grain falling to the earth and dying or even the phrase of composting--the vision of composting religion... It’s about dying to what has been, to make room for what could be. That radical commitment for me is about generativity. It’s about transitioning from structures of power-over to mycelial realm networks of power-with. I guess I’m not afraid of death and resurrection, because some brilliant teacher taught us that that was necessary.... If dying is actually a practice of faith, of allowing a new imagination to shape better belief structures. Could it be that the point of religion is to move us beyond religion? Could we say that maybe it's to birth us into a new hopeful future? We’re not throwing away, but we’re moving through some kind of birth canal." 

You can listen to the podcast on Spotify or Apple Podcasts.

Register here to get the Zoom link.

Facebook Livestream and on-demand video
Worship services are usually live-streamed and recorded on Facebook. 

If you miss worship, you can always join us!

Gather and Grow with HopeGateWay Small Groups

HopeGateWay offers a number of small groups. Our Active Hope group and our three Murmuration groups meet monthly. Recovery groups meet weekly on most nights of the week. We're always planning ahead for our next book study, film or podcast discussion. If you're interested in being part of a small group or if you have an idea for either a short-term or longer-term small group, talk with Bethany or email

Community Care: Caring for One Another

At HopeGateWay, we follow Jesus' invitation to "love one another as I have loved you." Sometimes we offer our gifts and support and at other times we find ourselves on the receiving end. This is community, the kind of community that we want to be, graciously giving and receiving. Currently, we are providing meals for two families and we are looking for drivers willing to give rides to one or two people before and after worship on Sunday mornings. Please contact our Care Coordinator, Diane McClanahan if you'd be willing to help! If you need assistance with some home cooked meals, groceries, errands or a visit, please contact Diane.

HopeGateWay Conversations and Sermon Podcasts

If you'd like to learn more about what's going on within our HopeGateWay community, simply connect to our podcast page and look for this logo. You will find our weekly sermon podcasts at the same link. We encourage you to stay connected; let us know if there's something you'd like to know about HopeGateWay. Art McClanahan puts his heart and soul into making these conversations come alive. Listen to the latestSara's Easter message.

2023 Gifts and Talents Survey

Please take the time to fill out our 2023 Gifts and Talents Survey. Let us know ways in which you'd like to serve in the HopeGateWay community and beyond! In this way, we can organize ourselves creatively, serving in ways which feel most authentic and life-giving!

Gateways Daily Reflection

Each morning, we send out a prayer, reflection, or Scripture reading, along with a daily question to ponder. Consider trying this as a new spiritual practice. We'd love to add you to our list! Subscribe here.

Sing along with the HopeGateWay Virtual Choir

Do you ever have worship songs going through your mind long after worship? You can now sing along at home any day of the week! Kelly and the HopeGateWay Acapella Virtual Choir creates a new song recording for worship every week. So our library of songs is growing! You can listen at this link.

Thank you for your faithful Stewardship!

Your generosity fuels HopeGateWay's Micah 6:8 mission to "do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with God."  You can access all of the materials to make your pledge commitment for 2023 here. You may also make a one-time or recurring gift through our website or send a check to 509 Forest Avenue, Portland, ME 04101. We are grateful for your generous support of HopeGateWay's ministry and programs.  

Tai Chi Practice

Tuesdays at 10am • 509 Forest Avenue

You are invited to practice Tai Chi and Qigong at HopeGateWay, led by Fred Brancato. This practice encompasses beginners and those who have practiced before. Tai Chi and Qigong - described as meditation in motion - are ancient Chinese practices promoting physical, mental and spiritual well-being through soft flowing motion harmonized with the rhythms of breathing.

Classes are wide open, warm and welcoming for anyone interested. They run a little over an hour in length and people participate as their schedules allow. There is no fee; however, modest donations, based on whatever participants can afford, is welcomed. 

If you are interested, please contact Fred Brancato at so that he can place you on an email list that he uses only if class is cancelled for that day. Otherwise, classes are every Tuesday at 10 a.m.

This class meets on the Western Prom for the summer ~ gathering at HopeGateWay in case of inclement weather. Please join the email list noted above for full details.

Grab a CLYNK Bag and Support HopeGateWay

Support the ministry and mission of HopeGateWay in a super easy way! Just pick up one of our Clynk bags in the green tote in our lobby, fill it with returnable bottles and cans, and return it to a Clynk collection site near Hannaford. If you have a personal Clynk account, you can also donate your balance to HopeGateWay! 


Hang tight while we look up scheduled events...