History of M.A.T.E.
"Reaching the last house on the road" has been MATE's theme since its founding in 1954. It is a cooperative parish of nine, small, rural churches in West Central Maine and five shared ministries. Several of the churches are Presbyterian, and MATE's Coordinator has been a Presbyterian pastor since the beginning. It is also one of the ministries of our Synod of the Northeast. By sharing resources, the smallest (and we do mean small) congregations are able to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ through ministry and outreach.
PCiS has sent work groups there for many years, focusing on its housing ministry---mostly making urgent improvements on rural, sub-standard homes. Rev. Spierling started the PCiS connection in 1979, with our first work group headed by Stacy and Mary Ann Angle. The eye-opening experiences and hard labor of that first venture never discouraged future plans to return again and again. The memory seems to be that work groups were sent almost every year since that first summer. Lew and Carol Collins, Alan, Jane and Adam Dossett, Aline Rober, Tom Pye, and Doug Nicholls might set the record for the most times returning. Outweighing the blisters and sore backs are the sharing in Christian fellowship, learning new skills, and honoring Christ by serving the sometimes "least" of our brothers and sisters.
Alan Dossett recently told of the 2010 work group building a ramp to the house of a wheel-chair bound owner, and his overwhelming joy on seeing that man's first ride to the outside yard of his house. "What hath God wrought?"
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