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The Rev. Tom Benson (right) and wife Teile Benson were honored on Sept. 14 with the renaming of the Medical Office Building Conference Room to the Tom and Teile Benson Conference Room at Bangor Visiting Nurses/Hospice of Eastern Maine on Union Street, Bangor.

BANGOR — Family, friends and colleagues gathered on Sept. 14 to honor the Rev. Thomas “Tom” Benson and Marteile “Teile” Benson for their three decades of devoted service to Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine. The recognition ceremony included the renaming of the Medical Office Building Conference Room in the nurses and hospice suite at the EMHS Mall on Union Street to the Tom and Teile Benson Conference Room.

“Tom and Teile’s varied services to our organization have resulted in the community being a better place for all to live and die,” said Wayne Melanson, hospice volunteer manager, at the ceremony. “They are two extraordinary people who exemplify selfless service to others. Their can-do attitude and perseverance in championing compassionate, quality patient care are models for the rest of us to emulate.”

The impact of Tom and Teile’s service to Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine is far reaching, Melanson said. Tom participates on Eastern Maine HomeCare’s Professional Advisory Committee and Teile was one of the visionary co-founders of COPES, now Hospice of Eastern Maine, 30 years ago, and she served as its first president. COPES volunteers introduced hospice to the community and brought compassionate comfort care to end-of-life experiences for patients and families. Tom and Teile were two of the first patient care volunteers with COPES, at times working as a couple to provide emotional and spiritual support.

Teile has participated as the Hospice Memorial Garden chairwoman and the Citizens Advisory Committee chairwoman and continues to be a top solicitor for the annual Celebrity Dessert & Auction. She also leads the prayer shawl ministry at St. John’s Episcopal Church and gives hospice patients and others in spiritual need with prayer shawls.

Together Tom and Teile served on the Time To Care Capital Campaign committee in 2005, the visiting nurses’ first capital campaign. The campaign exceeded its goal. In 2008 nurses and hospice staff, with guidance from Tom and Teile’s daughter Ann, worked on the creation of the Rev. Thomas & Marteile Benson Endowment Fund.

“The response from family and friends was overwhelming, and a true testament to the impact this couple has had on the lives of so many in this community and beyond,” Melanson said. The wooden plaque, with the image of the couple on it, reads: “The Tom and Teile Benson Conference Room. In grateful recognition of their distinguished service, devoted support, and leadership in advocating for quaility patient care on behalf of Bangor Area Visiting Nurses and Hospice of Eastern Maine.”

Bangor Area Visiting Nurses has achieved HomeCare Elite status for the fifth year in a row. Along with its hospice program, Hospice of Eastern Maine, visiting nurses extends services into central Maine. Last year its caring staff drove 293,983 miles to provide 27,433 visits to more than 1,550 home care and hospice patients and their families. Although home care services are paid for by public and private sources, or directly by patients and their families, tax-exempt donations help cover the cost of care provided to the uninsured or under-insured.

A part of the Eastern Maine HomeCare Family, and a member of EMHS, Bangor Area Visiting Nurses works to ensure that the highest quality home care and hospice is available to those who need it. For more information about home care and hospice services, visit http://www.easternmainehomecare.org or call the EMHC Patient Referral Line toll-free at 866-591-8843.

Source: Bangor Daily News — The Weekly

 

 

 

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Ann and Chick celebrate the end of DFP!

Our two newest deacons at the end of the June retreat: Ann McAlhany and Chick Carroll celebrating the end of DFP and the reality of ordination!

Ann was born and raised in South Carolina and grew up in the Southern Baptist church; however, she has lived in Maine all her adult life. She was confirmed in the Episcopal Church at St. Margaret’s, Belfast in 1982 and is now serving as deacon at St. John’s, Bangor. Ann works full time as a Business Counselor with the Maine Small Business Development Centers, at CEI, where she understands her job to be to listen to story, and offer feedback to help clients reach their goals and  realize their dreams. She volunteers her skills to offer a financial literacy course at the Women’s Reentry Center, a pre-release facility in Bangor, where she also listens to story and helps the women envision a better life. She has a B.A. from Furman University in German with a concentration in Ecology, a Master’s in German from UMaine and a Master’s in Global Logistics from Maine Maritime Academy. She has two adult children, and lives with her partner Lorraine in Milo, Maine.

Chick was born in Massachusetts, and spent his early adult years in several places (including New Jersey and Washington D.C.). In 1976, he saw the light and moved to Maine. He now serves as deacon at St. Paul’s, Brunswick. He undertook both his community-based formation and congregational mentored practice in Brunswick, the latter at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church; his time there reawakened and deepened the relationship between St. Paul’s and Good Shepherd, who shared some of their Holy Week services this year as a result. Chick has served several years as a chaplain at Parkview Adventist Medical Center. Just prior to ordination, Chick received his M.A. from Bangor Theological Seminary. Absorbed by environmental and social justice issues, Chick was recently instrumental in collaborating with colleagues from several local churches to establish The Gathering Place, a drop-in day center for the homeless in Brunswick that opened in February of this year. He also helped inspire volunteers to take part in staffing the center and welcoming guests. Chick has four adult children, and he lives with his wife Ann in Topsham, Maine.

Welcome to the Rev. Ann McAlhany and the Rev. Chick Carroll!

The whole gang at the June DFP retreat: Chick Carroll, Bishop Steve, Dick Rasner, Ann McAlhany, Pat Blethen, John Arrision, Mary Lee Wile, Corey Walmer, Jane Chatfield

As all of you know, no one makes the journey through DFP alone. A year ago, Ann and Chick were joined by Dick Rasner, from the Cathedral Church of St. Luke. Then in January, four more joined the DFP: Pat Blethen from St. Patrick’s, Brewer; John Arrison from St. Margaret’s, Belfast; Corey Walmer from St. Luke’s, Wilton; and Jane Chatfield from St. Peter’s, Rockland. These fellow-DFPers sent Ann and Chick off with a psalm they composed, prayers they gathered, and the support of their presence and participation at the ordination.

I was stuck at home today, nursing a head cold, and thought I’d see how we might display pictures on the new Deacon’s Bench blog.  I have hundreds of us taken in various venues: ordinations, retreats, conferences, on trips, etc.   I chose some of the best and created a slideshow in iPhoto, then made a movie of the slide show and uploaded it to YouTube.  I hope you all enjoy it — it did distract me from my cold and I’m feeling better…

Sudie