January 23, 2020 Weekly Word
Upcoming events...
Click here to view our monthly Steeples
If the weather is bad...
We will rarely cancel Sunday morning service, but please be safe and use care if the weather is poor. To find out if worship is cancelled, notice will be posted several places: We will be on WMUR's list of closings, you can look at cancellations on the WMUR website link , or you can go to our Church Facebook page link .
All Ages Worship
Join us as we worship and reflect on Working for a Just World for All
Everyone—young and older, from squirmy toddlers to reflective seniors, is invited to our informal worship service! The service will take place in Hadley Hall on Saturday, Jan 25th at 5:00pm.

Come as you are.
Pizza and games to follow.

We hope you can join us!
Game Night
T ake a break from the busy week to have some fun and play some board games! We will gather at  6pm on Friday, Jan. 31st  in Hadley Hall for our board game night. Feel free to bring a snack and join friends new and old for this fun night. No gaming experience is necessary. Games will be for ages 8+.
Team Sunday
Join us after worship on Sunday, February 2nd to learn about the teams at HCC, what they do, and how you can be a part of them! Teams at HCC include the Worship Team, The Missions Team, the Operations Team, the Discipleship Team and the Communications Team. The teams will have tables set up where you can learn more. Please consider giving of your time and talent this coming year.
"Fun-raising" Brainstorming Session
HCC offers a variety of fundraising opportunities throughout the year like the Strawberry Festival and the Craft Fair. We are looking for new ideas and new energy! Please join us after worship at 11:30 on Sunday, February 2nd to share ideas about how we can connect with each other, the community, have fun and raise some funds. All are welcome! If you are unable to come, please share your ideas with Ellen McCune or Pastor Kathy. Thanks!
Pizza with the Pastor
All Junior and Senior High youth are invited for pizza, discussion, and games with Pastor Kathy and Jason on Friday, February 7 th from 6-8pm. It’ll be a great chance to hang out, eat, and get to know each other better. We hope you can make it! Please let Pastor Kathy know if you have allergies or pizza requests. 
Save the Date!
Sunday, February 9th is a high point in the life of our congregation. Our Annual Meeting will be held immediately following worship. Both Worship and the annual meeting will be held in Hadley Hall! With all the excitement and energy in the air, we hope you will make every effort to be there. It will last about 90 minutes and include time for us to review and celebrate 2019 and to look forward into 2020. Dave will present our proposed ministry budget, we'll talk about it, and then vote together. See you there!
Come Serve with US!
Every year at our Annual Meeting we elect church officers. These positions include Moderator, Clerk, Treasurer, Collector, and Auditor. We are especially in need of an auditor as this position has been empty for some time. If you are interested in becoming a church officer, or would like more information on what these positions involve, please speak with Pastor Kathy or contact Lora Manning at 603-329-6985 before February 9 th .  Hope you can join us and serve. 
Valentine Pasta Dinner
Agape--“Love is for Everyone”
On Saturday, Feb. 15, at 4pm HCC will again be hosting a Valentine Pasta Dinner in Hadley Hall. (Snow Date: Sun. Feb. 23) This is a nice chance to go out with friends for dinner and break out of the winter doldrums. Dinner will include pasta w/your choice of meat or vegetarian sauce, bread and salad with a warm chocolate dessert. Gluten free pasta is available. Coffee, tea and a non-alcoholic “sangria” will also be provided.  You do not need a “date” to have a special Valentine’s Day. Bring yourself, a group of friends or your family to enjoy a fun community dinner with a great group of people. 

A donation of $5 per person, or $15 for a family is requested, but not required.

If you would like to donate items to make the dinner click this link
UCC Prepare to Serve 2020 Workshop
 Registration is now open for Prepared to Serve 2020. This training event for all of God's people will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2020, at Pembroke Academy, 209 Academy Road, Pembroke, NH. 
 
This is a full day which includes worship, attending workshops, viewing exhibits, and enjoying food and fellowship with folks from all over New Hampshire. There will be over 50 different workshops on topics including Stewardship, Church Finances, Music, Outreach, Christian Education, Social Justice, Worship Resources and Personal Enrichment.

Online registration will close on Feb. 12, 2020. The online registration fee is $40/person. Individuals registering after the close of online registration can register at the door for $55. If cost is an issue, please contact the main office. We have scholarships available.
We also plan to carpool. Please contact the church office for information.

See the event brochure here

Register now at: link
Mission Opportunities...
Volunteer with Atkinson Congregational Church at Sonshine Soup Kitchen
Date: Wed., Feb 26, 2020
Time: 3:00 - 6:00 pm
Location: 6 Crystal Ave, Derry, NH

Atkinson Congregational Church has been given a permanent volunteer slot at Sonshine Soup Kitchen on the 4th Wednesday of each month and have included us in the invitation.

Volunteers will be assigned to work in the kitchen or serve in the dining room. The team will be anchored by experienced volunteers from Atkinson CC. All food is provided and you are told the menu in advance. You must be available for the entire shift, 3:00-6:00pm. The minimum age is 12 to serve, 16 to work in the kitchen, 18 to use the stove.

If you want to sign up to volunteer next week, here is a link to the electronic sign-up:


If you have questions or problems with the signup please contact Shannon West at  slwainman@hotmail.com
Neighbors Helping Newborns is a local organization that collects and make items for premature and newborn babies at hospitals in NH and MA. A group from our church attends the monthly gathering. If you sew, knit, or crochet you can help by making blankets, quilts, and customized clothing. Non-crafters are invited to come to help sort donations, cut out patterns, or package clothing.

The next meeting is  Wednesday, January 26th, from 9am to 12pm at the First Congregational Church in Kingston. 
Please come!
Donate to the Food Pantry
Please continue to leave any food pantry donations in the box in Hadley Hall. St. Anne's is in particular need of the following items;

Shelf stable boxed milk (such as Parmalat)
Instant mashed potatoes
Individually wrapped snacks
Special UCC Offering
The theme for the offering this year is “The Light Shines in the Darkness”. This offering will be taken Sunday, January 26th. It is one of the four UCC Special Mission Offerings. The Fund provides financial assistance to individual UCC clergy and lay church employees - the fund does not support programs of institutions, but people. The funds are used for low income retired UCC Clergy and lay employees.

With your continued generosity more individuals will receive the support of the church in their time of need.
Peace and Justice efforts...
Personal Impressions from Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration
I attended the service at the Atkinson Congregational Church Monday evening with several other members and friends of HCC. It was a moving service as one would expect, but I came away with more than just an uplifted spirit.

First, the readings and audio selections were from Dr. King’s Nobel Lecture rather than the more commonly played “I Have a Dream” speech. If you listen to the content, you realize that Dr. King was about justice and equality for all people, not just African-Americans. In the United States at the time, the most visible case of poverty and injustice was toward black people, so it is not surprising that we have come to associate the Civil Rights Movement solely with regard to the black community. 

Then, Rabbi Peter S. Levi from the Etz Hayim Synagogue in Derry spoke about the parallels he sees between Moses and Dr. King. Moses had been called by God to lead the people to the Promised Land, but he never entered it himself. Once out of Egypt, his task had been to give the people a vision and equip new leaders to fulfill the promise. As Rabbi Levy sees it, that was also the pattern of King’s ministry. He also said that his community tends to focus on the stories from creation to Moses’ death, never moving on to the Promised Land. As the evening unfolded I saw this last comment pertaining to us carrying on the Movement to Dr. King’s vision of the Promised Land. We keep repeating a cycle of identifying injustice, correcting it, and falling back to allow a different version if injustice, but never moving on to a world of justice and equality.

Our guest speaker, Terry Robinson, of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire spoke eloquently about Dr. King’s vision. He admitted that he sometimes, in these days of increased division and rancor, cannot see the time when we can all live together in unity and equality. But he keeps using the tools that Dr. King left for the new generations of the leaders of the Movement, remembering that Love casts out Hate and Love casts out Darkness. So the thing that each of us can do is Love. That means speaking up when we see injustice and inequality or hear hate filled speech. 

Mr. Robinson also addressed the difficulty in recognizing injustice. He spoke of the insidious nature of racism - the laws to make immigration more difficult, voting more difficult, and representatives more likely to represent interests of the privileged - the scourge of inaccessible housing, prohibitively costly health care, and discrimination. The injustice and inequality have spread beyond the black community, but what Dr. King proclaimed is that there must be justice and equality for all! The Movement is for all of these ills today.
Many heads were nodding in agreement with what was said, and then Mr. Robinson dropped a profound question that I want to share. “What is the point?” We come to celebrate Dr. King each year and progress has been made. But the obstacles to justice and equality are on the rise in this time. Can we become complacent and celebrate the ideals once a year and call it done? Is the celebration all that matters anymore? Dr. King left us the tools to carry on so why is there a rise in injustice and inequality?

I have been moved by so many speeches and rallies just to have that fire diminish in the busyness of everyday life. It is hard to have the energy. I also have in my head the theme of so many recent daily devotions to not beat myself up when I don’t live up to the work – that God loves me always. So those things bring me inescapably to the importance of community. Our beloved community working together to recognize and call out injustice and inequality is the only sustainable way. When I am tired and frustrated or oblivious, someone else is ready to pick up the load so that I can rest and be ready to work again. I believe that sharing of the work is what God has in mind with the idea of making it on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Debra Sawyer
UCC Officers call for prayer, fasting for peace during Epiphany for more information click here
Introducing the Staff Relations Team
Greetings! I am writing to you as the chairperson of the Staff Relations Team. My goal is to give you an overview of our team’s purpose and how it relates to you as members and friends of Hampstead Congregational Church. 

Primarily, the Staff Relations Team seeks to support and maintain an open and healthy relationship between staff members and members of the congregation. Constructive and caring communication, in an atmosphere of confidentiality and trust, is essential to the work of our committee. 

At this time, we are meeting once a month. Our members are Jane Conradsen, Fred Malcolm, Joann Klawitter and Nancy Pratt. Rev. Kathy attends our meetings in a Pastoral role. Our current staff positions are: Pastor, Administrator, Custodian, and Music Director. 

We want you to know about our team so that you may come to us if you have concerns or feedback to share with the team. Open and honest communication is vital to the wellbeing of our church family as we continue on our faith journey as One in Christ.

Faithfully,
Joann Klawitter 
Connect on Facebook
Are you on Facebook? Do you follow Hampstead Congregational Church? Please like our page to know about all the great events in the church. Liking also supports our church when people check us out. If you are already connected, share our good news!

Rev. Kathy also has a page for all who are interested to follow.
Want to get the word out about what’s happening at HCC? If you want to publicize your event or remind the congregation about something, please email Lora ( hcc1752@gmail.com ) by Wednesday at noon so that your information can be included in that week’s Weekly Word. Feel free to send in information up to three weeks in advance of an upcoming event. We want all of the congregation (not just the Team leaders) to be empowered to get the word out about all the activities that are happening at Hampstead Congregational Church!
Our Mailing Address:
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Hampstead, NH 03841

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