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News from the Outreach–Engagement &

        Interpretation Subcommittee
        of the PNNE Leadership Commission

        June 2023

Maine Seacoast Mission

                                           The SUNBEAM


The MAINE SEACOST MISSION was one of the non-profits that received grants from the PNNE Mission Giving and Campus Ministry Fund in 2022.  So, let’s look in some depth on the outreach mission of that organization.

Its mission statement provides a good overview of its purpose:  Rooted in a history of compassionate service and mutual rust, the Mission seeks to strengthen coastal and island communities by educating youth, supporting families, and promoting good health.  The mission of providing food, fixing up homes, supporting students, distributing scholarship and offering healthcare has been carried out for over 100 years among the islands along the eastern coast and coastal communities of Downeast Maine (founded by two Congregational ministers!).  Outreach activities center on two main areas:


  • The Sunbeam:  this 74-foot vessel delivers health, educational and community building services to residents of outer, unbridged islands.  The ship’s medical staff and state-of-the-art telehealth facilities service abut 90% of outer island inhabitants.  Over 1,000 islanders received COVID-19 vaccinations in 2021 and 2022.  Religious and secular counseling and a variety of enriching events are also provided.

  • The Downeast Campus:  located in Washington County (northeast tip of Maine) the campus builds community through food security, afterschool programs, youth development, scholarships, housing rehabilitation and community gathering events.  The food pantry provides 12,500 monthly meals to Downeast families.  The community center that opened in 2018 features a commercial kitchen, dorm rooms and indoor space for the Mission’s many community gatherings.

The involvement of our Presbytery predates the 2022 grant.  Rev. Scott Planting, for many years pastor at Fairbanks Union and The Portland churches and MATE director, served as president of Maine Seacoast Mission from 2010 to 2019.  More information on the mission can be found on the Maine Seacoast Mission website.

           Submitted by Paul Brown

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