December 22nd Weekly Word
We wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas!
Office Closed
Thursday, 12/23

The church office will be closed tomorrow and will reopen with normal hours of 9-3 next week Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
Christmas Eve Service

Please join us outside for our 12/24
Christmas Eve Service at 4PM

This is an outdoor candlelight service; please dress warmly, bring a chair (if needed), and gather in the front of the church around the luminaries.

As a prelude to the service, we will be singing Christmas carols from 3:30pm until the beginning of the service.

Half of the monies given for the Christmas Eve offering will go to support the national UCC tornado recovery relief efforts for the recent storms in Kentucky and other states. 

The Christmas Eve service will be live-streamed through Facebook live here.

Please bring your friends and family and join us for this special service!

Artwork: Cosmic Birth © Mary Southard
Christmas Eve Offering
To Support Tornado Victims

Half of the Christmas Eve offering will go to support the national UCC tornado recovery relief efforts for the recent storms in Kentucky and other states.

If you would like to make a specific donation for this cause, please mark your donation for "Tornado Relief" and we will include it in the offering.
Worship This Week

Please join us in the sanctuary
or online at 10am for the
1st Sunday after Christmas

As we pledge in our covenant, we recommend that everyone who attends in-person worship on Sunday mornings wear a mask during the entire service. 

The service will be live-streamed through Facebook Live here or on 3CX here.

Artwork: Radiant Presence © Mary Southard
Out of Office
Pastor Kathy Vacation

Pastor Kathy will be out of the office starting on 12/27 and returning on 1/3.

Rev. Lois Pinton will preside at worship next Sunday, 1/2.

If you have a pastoral need during this time, you can contact the Rev. Linda Lea Snyder (ph. 203-927-5387).
Circumzenithal Arc
12/15/21



Last Wednesday, the Stepping Stones team captured these beautiful photos of a circumzenithal arc above our church.

A circumzenithal arc is sometimes called a reverse rainbow, because at first glance it does indeed resemble a backward or upside-down rainbow. Unlike a rainbow, which appears opposite the sun, a circumzenithal arc is centered around the zenith of the sky and can only appear if the solar angle is less than 32 degrees.

In order for conditions to be right for a circumzenithal arc to form, small, flat, six-sided ice crystals must be suspended high in the sky to create a field of tiny prisms. The sun's rays enter the ice crystals and reflect through them, projecting an arc in the sky which, if complete, would circle the zenith. Completely circular circumzenithal arcs are rare, however; most of them only take up a section of the sky, looking like a smile looking down from the heavens.

The colors of a circumzenithal arc are also reversed from those of a rainbow; the violet end of the spectrum is closer to the zenith of the sky, while the red range is closest to Earth. Technically, the red range is still at the top of the arc, but because the arc is reversed, the colors seem upside down as well.


Update on The Missions
Fall Food Drives

Thank you everyone for your continued generosity to the Mission Team’s drives.

Upper Room Thanksgiving Drive
For the Upper Room’s annual Thanksgiving Baskets Drive we collected:  32 bread mixes, 27 cans of corn, 26 packages of potatoes, 16 cans of cranberry sauce, 10 packages of stuffing, 6 cans of gravy and 2 cans of beans.

St. Anne’s Food Pantry
From September through November, we collected over 30 cans of soup, 24 packages of rice and pasta; 18 fruit snacks, 6 boxes of cereal, 8 cans of meat, 8 cans of tomatoes/vegetables and several bottles of vinegar, oil, ketchup and apple sauce.

Again, THANK YOU, The Missions Team
Nursing Home Baskets Delivered
Thank you for the generosity of the candy and all the Christmas cards that were written.
The Christmas Baskets were delivered on Saturday to Colonial Poplin in Fremont and Pleasant Valley in Derry.
The staff members at both facilities were very pleased with our recognition of their teams and residents during this difficult time. They wish our church a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 
Above are 2 pictures of the staff accepting the baskets.
Upper Room Devotional


We have copies of the January/February Upper Room devotional available in the foyer to Hadley Hall. If you need a copy mailed to you, please contact the main office.
Becoming a Member of HCC

In January we will be welcoming several new members into our congregation. Would you be interested in learning more about membership and Hampstead Congregational Church? Church members have a voice and vote in our annual meetings, and membership signifies a promise we make to be part of a church community. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Pastor Kathy: pastorkathyucc@gmail.com
A Word from Peace & Justice

Several weeks ago we shared information about how much of the plastic we recycle ends up in landfills citing a report from Consumer Reports magazine. They had found that only plastics marked with numbers 1 and 2 were reliably recyclable with other items frequently “contaminating” the stream thus causing the whole load to be put in the landfill. Since the Chinese stopped taking all of the plastic we could send, plastic recycling has not been profitable for the towns.

New Hampshire Public Radio had a story of how three New Hampshire towns have investigated and changed their recycling so that it is bringing in money again – in some cases double what they did four years ago. One key piece is that in those four years there has become more domestic infrastructure for recycling.

Some recycling process changes have also taken place. In Derry the transfer station contains a swap section that is neatly organized. There is old furniture, discarded holiday decorations, toys, clothing, books, and separated mounds of plastic, cardboard, glass, and aluminum.

Hooksett started sending their recyclables to the landfill a few years ago because recycling it was costing twice as much than sending it to the landfill. They had single-stream system. So the town switched to a system where people sorted their own recycling at the dump. Residents have been receptive, the recycle stream is cleaner, and Hooksett makes more money. An informal swap area has sprung up as well. In Lebanon they’ve also been working on including composting for food waste and offer tips on how to cut down on trash and recyclable waste.

For more information and some of the details of the market for recyclable materials see the entire article here.

Also remember that we shared a recycling option for all of the plastic bags, bubble wrap, and non-molded plastic packaging. The family at 30 Collins Dr. in Hampstead collects all of that in a recycle container at the end of their driveway to recycle and create the TREK benches for the town.

Your Peace & Justice Team
Blue Christmas Service Recording Available

If you missed the Blue Christmas Service, you can watch it any time here. This service is a quiet and reflective time for us to remember and honor all the griefs we carry in this holiday season. Take some time for yourself in this busy season.





Save the Date(s):
Prepared to Serve

The New Hampshire Conference of the UCC is excited to announce their plans for Prepared to Serve 2022 which will be held as an online event featuring 12 workshops from February 8 - 17.

This year’s theme is from the scripture passage found in 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” 

We believe the popularity of this event is due in large part to our ability to offer workshops that meet the needs of our local churches.
This year's workshop topics will include:

  • How to do Hybrid Worship
  • Copyright Compliance and the Local Church
  • How Churches Can Help Afghan Refugees
  • How to Become a Creation Care Church
  • The Shared Pastorate Model
  • What it Means to be Open and Affirming
  • How to Become a Racial Justice Church
  • Creating Healthy Pastoral Relations Committees
  • Thinking outside the box to address shrinking church membership and finances
  • Dealing with the intensified emotions of grief and loss during the pandemic

Registration is planned to open January 3, 2022.

Stay up-to-date on this event by visiting:
Steeple Lighting
December 23 - December 29



The HCC steeple is being lit in loving memory of Juanita Randall.


Lighting being offered by Karen Jacobs
Missions Opportunities:
This month we help serve on Wednesday, December 22. If you are interested in volunteering contact Jane DeRosa via email
janederosa@comcast.net.
Volunteer @ Soup Kitchen
The Sonshine Soup Kitchen needs volunteers to prepare and package the food for "To Go Meals." We partner with Atkinson Congregational Church once a month on the 4th
Wednesday of the month to help out from 3-6pm.

Blankets for Project Linus

For those of you who have been busy sewing, quilting, knitting, or crocheting, we have an new opportunity to donate those handmade items!

We located a national organization that has local chapters called Project Linus (https://www.facebook.com/projectlinussouthwestnewhampshire/). This organization's mission is "to provide love, a sense of security, warmth and comfort to children who are seriously ill, traumatized, or otherwise in need through the gifts of new, handmade blankets and afghans". Blankets are given to children in need through NH.

*We welcome all styles of blankets made in child-friendly colors/prints.
*Crocheted, knitted, quilted (100% cotton or flannel), fleece….you don’t have to be an expert!
*Blankets must be NEW, HANDMADE and WASHABLE.
*Fabric blankets can be quilted by machine, hand or tied. If you are tying the blanket make sure the ends are trimmed to 1” and the knots are secure.
*Please do not add any embellishments to the blankets such as buttons that could be swallowed by a child.
*If you are using a no-sew fleece pattern, please be sure to trim off both selvages FIRST. Not sure what selvages are? Ask the clerk who is cutting your fleece to please show you, they’re those odd looking edges at the top and bottom of the piece you have, sort of raggy looking.
*We accept all sizes of blankets. We donate to children, infants through teen years, so any size is appropriate. Baby blankets are typically 36”X36” or 36”X42”, toddler-pre-teen are typically about 40”X60”, and teen blankets are at least 60"X72".

Blankets can be dropped off in the entry way of Hadley Hall.

Thank you for your support of this project!
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.

We are now on Instagram!
If you are on Instagram, please follow us, and let your friends know about us by sharing our posts! Click this link
Scam Emails

Emails are often sent, saying they are from Pastor Kathy or another staff member. She (or the HCC staff) will never send out a generic email--she'll address it to your name. She will never ask you for money/gift cards over email.

Also, any email from Pastor Kathy will always have her signature line on the bottom with her phone number/address.

If in doubt, please call the church or send an email to pastorkathyucc@gmail.com.
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 the office (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:
61 Main Street
Hampstead, NH 03841
Church Office hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday 9:00am to 3:00pm

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Hampstead Congregational Church Website