To the Editor:
A beautiful, snowy morning on Frenchman Bay seems like the right moment to reflect a little on my first days as president of the Maine Seacoast Mission.
My first days have been gloriously filled with stories: how, in 1917, the Sunbeam I first brought dental services to Maine’s coastal island communities, how a young scholarship recipient found her voice with help from the EdGE program, how both lives and homes are transformed through the Housing Rehabilitation program, and how, for a century, the Mission has served as safe harbor for all.
Stories of great good work, stories of fearless service, and stories of commitment to the Mission values. The Mission’s long legacy has been the ever-present backdrop for my first week of service.
Mine has been a week of powerful firsts. My first full tour of the grand Colket Center. My first meetings and meals with the welcoming Mission staff. My first extended time with the Rev. Scott Planting — what obvious love he has for you all and what big shoes to fill. And I look forward to so many more firsts to come: voyages, school visits, community meals, and so many more.
Of all the firsts to come, I am most excited to meet all of you and to hear all of your stories about what the Mission has meant to you and your families through the years.
I’ve only been on the job for a few days and already I am grateful for the Mission — grateful for the welcome I am receiving, for the Mission’s work, for the excellent staff and board of directors, for stories shared, and for stories yet to come.
Mostly I am grateful my own meandering story has led me here.
I am grateful to all of you for the opportunity to steward the Mission’s legacy. Together, I trust we can respond to the challenges of the present, anticipate a bright future, and always — by our actions and in our words — honor the rich past of the Maine Seacoast Mission.
Everyone wants to know my first order of business. That’s easy: learn as much as I possibly can from the collective wisdom of a century of powerful service. Starting now.