Read about what's going on in our HopeGateWay Community Newsletter May 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 515 Woodford St in Portland, Maine

& on Zoom

Zoom Worship Link

Dial in audio: 1.929.205.6099

Meeting ID: 533 469 2118

Eastertide Worship Series:

Hidden in Plain Sight: Women Who Knew Jesus

Did Jesus have female disciples? Popular memory would say no. Not only are women not imagined as being part of Jesus’ mission, but the story of Christianity’s spread is also a masculine one. In the first century – so the story goes – the Christian message was taken to the lands around the Mediterranean by two great men: Peter and Paul.

But is this the full story? Paul's letter to the church in Rome ends with a list of important people he knew there. What’s fascinating about this list is that of the twenty-nine names in the chapter, eleven – more than one-third of them – are women. Most significant of all is the fact that the letter itself was delivered by a woman, Phoebe. (Paul wrote to commend her to people who didn’t already know her, strongly implying that she had been sent from him with the letter.)

So how do we explain the presence of so many women in the Christian movement when they seem to have been absent earlier, in Jesus’ mission? If we look carefully at the Gospels, we’ll see that there is more evidence for women in the mission of Jesus than we first supposed. Here and there women do appear. Traces of Jesus’ women disciples haven’t been completely rubbed away. 

Over the next 8 weeks we are going to take a look at the hidden story of Christianity, the one right there in plain sight. The stories of the women who knew Jesus. 

Book Study: Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet, by Wilson Dickinson

May – June 2024 • 5 Weekly Online Sessions

This spring, The BTS Center invites you to participate in a 5-week book study of Wilson Dickinson’s book, Singing the Psalms with My Son: Praying and Parenting for a Healed Planet — an inspiring book for parents, grandparents, religious educators, and all who care about children of today and the future. In seeking a path of parenting which will focus on transformation and hope, Dickinson turns to the Psalms, finding in these ancient texts the language and practice for lament, for joy, and for navigating the complexities of a world of constant change. The book study will take place over five online sessions, with each session being offered at two different times each week — Tuesday evenings and Thursdays mid-day (come to either at your convenience) — and two facilitators guiding each conversation. Author Wilson Dickinson will join both sessions during the final week. Learn more and register.

This River is Our Relative • Film Screening and Conversation

Sunday, June 2 at 12:30pm • First Parish UU in Portland

"This River Is Our Relative" is a 2023 Sunlight Media Collective documentary about the Penobscot Nation's intrinsic kinship connection to and tireless environmental advocacy for the Penobscot River. The story is told through the voices of 24 Penobscot people, who share their experience of historical, physical, and spiritual connection to place; of cultural identity and survival.

Penobscot filmmakers and participants from Sunlight Media Collective - Dawn Neptune Adams, Kathy Paul and Jan Paul - will join us for a conversation following the film screening. Hosted by the First Parish Wabanaki Ally Team. For more information see the Eventbright page or contact Meret Bainbridge.

Free and appropriate for all ages. No tickets required, but donations are accepted by cash and check (made out to First Parish) at the door, or online at (click Donate button top right & scroll down to Social Justice Fundraiser: This River). All donations will be split between First Parish and Sunlight Media Collective. 

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 Christie 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 if you'd be willing to help! If you need assistance with some home cooked meals, groceries, errands or a visit, please contact us as well!

Looking to serve in a new way in 2024?

Consider Volunteer Opportunities with Hope Acts!

Hope Acts is seeking new volunteers as housing mentors, English language program support, transportation needs, and more. Check Hope Acts' volunteer page for more information. If you prefer, please call the Hope Acts office at 207-274-6005 or 207-228-1140 to discuss volunteer opportunities. Contact Alice for the ASAP program, Sarah for HHELP and Martha for anything/everything else. Volunteering is an act of hope AND a gift of hope. Reach out today.

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. 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.

Gateways Daily Reflection

Gateways is a daily email offering inspiring words for your daily time with God from HopeGateWay. Each morning we send out a prayer, reflection, poem, or other thought-provoking work along with a question or observation to take with you into your day. If you would like to try adding this to your daily spiritual practice, please sign up and join us. 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 515 Woodford Street Portland, ME 04103. We are grateful for your generous support of HopeGateWay's ministry and programs.  

Tai Chi Practice

Tuesdays at 10am • 515 Woodford St

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...