Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter

 January 2023

We are a Spiritually Progressive,

Open & Affirming, Sanctuary Congregation 

dedicated to 

Transforming Lives

as a Compassionate Community,

extravagantly welcoming EVERYONE,

celebrating diversity, cultivating awe & wonder,

and seeking Peace with Justice for all Creation!

Join us for our Intergenerational

Faith Community Celebrations

Each Sunday at 10:00 AM

Back in the Church,

with optional masks and physical distancing,

and zoom option as well!

Watch for weekly e-mail notices,

and/or contact

Here it is--Volume 6, Issue 1 of our e-mail Newsletter!




Stewardship Campaign--Beloved, Love!

Welcoming and Caring Ministry

  • Invitation to Join our Church Caregiving Ministry Team

Worship & Music Ministry News

  • Our Sunday Faith Community Celebrations in January
  • Spiritual Formation News for our Children, Youth, & Families
  • Music and Ministry Notes
  • Megan Hartman reading "Little Red Sleigh"
  • Tenderly Held in our Hearts and Prayers
  •  Into God’s Hands

JANUARY CALENDAR of EVENTS in the Life of our Spiritual Family

* Vision Sunday (Annual Meeting)

MCC Administration & Finance News

  • Buildings and Grounds Initiatives for 2022
  • Report of the Assistant Treasurers
  • COVID-19 Task Force Update

January Birthdays

Poem of the Month--"The Sun, The Waves, The Wind"

by Richard Atkinson

Prepared to Serve February 25th, 2023

Growing a Just World for All

  • Peace & Justice Ministry Coordinator's Report
  • LISTEN Community Dinner & Claremont Soup Kitchen
  • Economic Justice
  • "The Continuing Quest for Worker Justice"
  • Support for the PRO Act
  • Antiracism Ministry Team
  • "Join the Movement to End Racism"
  • Equal Justice Initiative Racial Injustice Calendars
  • Invitation to attend Dartmouth MLK screening of "Till"
  • Continuing Black Lives Matter Vigils
  • Social Justice--"Voices of Faith" returning soon!
  • Immigrant Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • "Inside Climate News" award winning Newsletter
  • Legislator Contact Information

Visit our website

Revs. John & Susan Gregory-Davis,


Meriden Congregational Church


“And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod,

they returned to their home by another way.” 

Matthew 2:12


           A blessed New Year to you, dear friends! Are you feeling a sense of newness in the air? What is it about the dawning of a new year that enlivens and even excites us? Is it the awareness of a new beginning? Anticipation of twelve months before us with their as-yet-unwritten story? The turning of a new page in our life’s calendar?  Relief at being able to let go of a painful year past? The possibility that this year will bring about some of the good things we are so hoping for? What about the dawning of a new year ~ this New Year of 2023 ~ enlivens, excites and gives you hope? 


           For me, all of the above are reasons to feel a sense of enlivenment and excitement. But what I also love about the beginning of the New Year is that it coincides with the Season of Epiphany—this six-week adventure of our faith, nestling between Christmas and Lent, that invites us to behold all around us the manifestation of the Sacred Presence in our ordinary days. From Scripture, the image of three wise ones on a long journey, following the twinkling of a star, transformed by a birth in a stable, and then—awakening to a dream—realizing their desire to return home by different way is a Story that describes our own—for aren’t we all on this journey seeking the hope of new birth in a world filled with harm? And don’t we also know, as wise ones do, that when awakened and touched by transforming love, our very essence is changed, leading us to put our feet on a different path, to travel “home” by another way? The season of Epiphany offers us a Story for reflection on our own stories--individual and collective—and reminds us of our calling to seek, really discover, Sacred Love all around us with its enormous power to transform and heal our world. What is it about this Holy Story—both ancient and new—that inspires you in this New Year before us? How does this Story invite and challenge us to incarnate God’s dream for the Beloved Community in our brave little church on the hill?


           As a spiritual community, we are so blessed to be about exploring these questions and doing so--not individually, not alone, but--together. My prayer for 2023 is that we continue, as a compassionate church family, to support the heart journeys of one another—companioning each of us as we seek healing and wholeness amidst our challenges and pain—and that we persist, as a courageous church family, in following the light of God’s Star, working to incarnate God’s Hope for Respect and Love, Justice and Peace in our world. May we be faithful sojourners in 2023—faithful to one another and faithful to God, for aren’t they one in the same? May we more intentionally reach out to and support others within our church community—even and especially those we’ve not yet had the opportunity to know or know well. And may we more intentionally embrace opportunities to support those in our wider community through, for example, a shared commitment to dismantling white supremacy and promoting economic equity, racial reparations, climate justice, and human rights for our LGBTQIA kin—to name just a few areas of human experience in need of our commitment to radical mending in our world.     


           Spiritual teacher, Ram Dass, reminds us that “we’re all just walking each other home.” May our journey through 2023 be one we look back upon and say, “we journeyed well.”


 With enduring and steadfast love and prayers for each of you,

our spiritual kin and beloved ones,

Susan and John



Transforming Lives as a Compassionate Community:

Growing Spiritually as an Antiracist Church”


(In-Person and on Zoom,

in the Sanctuary,

with masks optional)

JANUARY 1st @ 10:00 AM

New Year's Day!!

Blessings of the New Year!

Come join us to welcome the New Year on this Last Day of Kwanzaa for an Inter-generational Service featuring Carol Hartman's daughter, Megan, reading a Christmas story, and singing favorite Christmas Carols!

January 8th @ 10:00 AM

Epiphany Sunday

An Intergenerational Service for All Ages celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany and sharing Communion together, followed by sharing Epiphany Cakes made by Odile Clavier!

January 15th @ 10:00 AM

Second Sunday of Epiphany

The Baptism of Jesus

Join us as we reflect on the words Jesus heard at his Baptism--these words we all long to hear, "You are my beloved child with whom I am well pleased!" How might our lives, and our world, be different, if all that we say and do were guided by this liberating affirmation?!

January 22nd @ 10:00 AM

Third Sunday of Epiphany

Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday!

Come be inspired once again by the prophetic and pastoral message of Dr. King who continues to call us, as people of faith, to be the Beloved Community! Come join us as we reflect on the timeless message of this prophet of our time.

January 29th @ 10:00 AM

Fourth Sunday of Epiphany

2023 Vision and Annual Meeting Sunday! Come join us in cyberspace for this special Sunday when we gather to give thanks to God for the blessings God has entrusted us with in the year past and in the new year to come! Directly following our service, everyone is warmly invited to remain for our church's 242nd Annual Meeting! We look forward to "seeing" you there.

Whoever you are,
Whomever you love,
Wherever you are on
life's journey,

share in all our
Spiritual Family Services, Celebrations,
and Activities!



A blessed New Year to all our children, youth and families! What fun we had in December--on the Fourth Sunday in Advent--bringing to life once again the Holy Story of New Birth! Thank you to all our children, high school students and adults who participated in and supported our FIRST Christmas Pageant since before Covid!!! The pageant was glorious, funny, and oh so wonderful to have in our midst little angels, lambs, shepherds, Wise Ones, camels, a Shining Star, donkeys, midwives, and a most creative Holy Family--featuring Mary (Kelsey MacNamee), Joseph (Reinhart Sonnenberg), and a "triplet" of Baby Jesus' (Miles Bradley, Ross Pyer and Owen Kuwayama!). Special thanks to Emma McKim for all her enthusiastic and essential help before and during the pageant and to Odile Clavier and Cathy Rodriguez for their enormous help with costumes! We can't wait till next year's pageant!!!

But, in the meantime, we look forward to exciting events ahead as we continue this month with Kelsey MacNamee's wonderful Intergenerational Stories during our Sunday morning worship services, along with Spirit Circle time (church school for our pre-school through elementary school children) with Susan twice per month on dates to be determined with our families. Also, Kelsey will be continuing to gather our High School Senior Seekers for conversation and snacks each month, while Susan and John are blessed to gather with our Faith Odyssey (7th and 8th grade) youth and their mentors twice per month.

And you won't want to miss a doubly fun opportunity for children and parents--on the Second Saturday Evening of the month (January 14th, 6-9pm)--with Kelsey's amazing NONO (Parents' Night Off/Night Out) program! Children get to have fun supervised play in the parish house while parents enjoy much needed time for themselves! All families in our wider community are also so welcome to be part of this creative program! Please spread the word and be in touch with Kelsey if you or a family you know is interested or would like information! (

  And if you love supporting children, youth and families, you are so warmly invited to join us on the Spiritual Formation Ministry Team! (Odile Clavier, Cathy Rodriguez, Kelsey MacNamee, and Susan Gregory-Davis). We would love to have you join in the fun!  

Join us on the

Camp Ministry Team!!

We invite YOU to help us support our church's AMAZING Summer Day Camp program--

The Meriden Community Camp

20th Season in 2023!

--by joining our Camp Ministry Team!!! This energetic Team provides the year round administrative support for the camp including oversight of policies and programming, advertising, fundraising, hiring (the most amazing counselors!),

and so many of the other essential aspects of operating a community camp that has offered hundreds of children over the years a fun, safe and meaningful summer experience. Whatever your interests, talents and skills, there is a place for YOU on this Team which promises to bless you ten-fold as you join your heart with ours! Please let Susan or Cindy Griffin, Beth Kopp, Kelsey MacNamee or Rosa Sousa know if you are interested or if you have any questions! We so look forward to welcoming you to this ministry of JOY!!!

Stewardship Campaign

    Dear Friends, 

Many, many thanks to everyone for your continued commitment to our beloved Church as we pledge our financial support for 2023! Thus far we have raised 92% of our goal. What a feat and testament to the love we share for the Meriden Congregational Church. THANK YOU. Every gift is a blessing. 

If you have not yet joined us, I would urge you to do so as soon as possible as we continue to envision the ministry possibilities for our church in the new year. January is a critical month for us as we finalize the year's proposed budget. Additional funds are needed to ensure our continued vitality. You can make your pledge by emailing me at

Our annual stewardship theme this year is “Beloved, Love!” drawing inspiration from 1 John 4:7, “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” Grounded in God’s love for us, we are called to act in love for each other, our neighbors near and far, and indeed all creation.

Friends, the world needs our great love. And, with your support, our church can continue through love to engage in our shared work for a more just world. Our shared ministry of “transforming lives as a compassionate community” within and beyond our church happens because of the financial support and volunteer efforts of all of us. As we look to 2023, your generosity to the annual campaign will assure that our congregation can faithfully answer God’s call to love. Thank you.

Sincerely, Jill Marshall, Vice Chair for the Leadership Team


   On January 8th we will have the special privilege of having Three King Cake and Pastry made by Odile Clavier at Coffee Hour in honor of Epiphany. Odile grew up in France and many of you will remember the thrill of tasting her creations. Come join us!

On January 29th 2023 we will have the Annual Meeting of the Meriden Congregational Church on zoom. This will be held after church that day. I will miss the hubbub of gathering in person but it will be easy to tune in online (weather permitting) and it will keep us all safe from any infection.

On December 11th after church we held a Dessert Auction! It was a great success. We made $1307!!! We had a gratifying outpouring of delicious desserts and the expert auctioneer work of John Gregory-Davis.

   Thanks to Diane Walker, Elaine Lenz, Lee and Evan Oxenham, Kathy Wright and John and Susan Gregory-Davis for providing food at Coffee Hours in December. Thanks also to the many people who volunteered to clean up afterward. Maybe you can help in January! Diane Walker will be helping to organize the food for Coffee Hour. You may expect a call or e-mail from her about this.

  Our church services are now in the Church! We need ushers. Thanks to Elaine and Jim Lenz, Cindy Marx-Wood, Alex and Kori Jameson and Lucas Jameson who ushered in December. I may be contacting you to help. Please say yes. It takes many people to build the community and to make our fellowship strong. If you would like to help with any of this please contact Kathy Wright at (603) 469-3235 or at home at (603) 675-5989.


Kathy Wright, Coordinator of the Welcoming and Caring Ministry

Do you find a deep sense of 

joy and gratification

in reaching out and helping others? 

If so, Please join our

Church Caregivers Team!

Even if you have only a few minutes a month to write a short "thinking of you" or "get well" card, your loving care will be so appreciated by members of our church community. If you would rather make occasional phone calls or in-person home visits, there is a place for you on the Caregivers Team, too!!! Everyone is welcome to offer gifts of care with no effort ever too small! Our Team meets quarterly with the loving guidance of our Chair, Kathy Wright. If you are interested in joining or talking further, please contact Kathy at or Susan ( We warmly welcome you to join in the very meaningful ministry of this small group with a BIG HEART! 

Music and Ministry Notes

Music and Ministry

January 2023

“And now we welcome the new year.

Full of things that have never been.”

Rainer Maria Rilke

Having celebrated a beautiful Christmas Eve service with the choir (!), candlelight, readings, singing, a beautiful Christmas tree and a sanctuary almost full of family, friends, and warmth its now time to bid goodbye to 2022 and welcome 2023.

How far we have come in our Covid pandemic recovery. It’s been a long, difficult journey, and it isn’t really “over” but we have made it over the hump, so to speak.

The MCC Annual Meeting is fast approaching where we will present the budget that the leadership group has been working on. For the Music and Ministry area we are proposing to keep the budget the same as last year. No new expenses are projected.

Wishing everyone the best in 2023!

Cindy Marx-Wood

for Music and Ministry

English Professor Megan Hartman (Carol Hartman’s daughter) reading

“Little Red Sleigh by Erin Guendelsberger

as this year’s Annual Christmas Story—Thanks so much, Megan!!

Tenderly Held in Our Hearts and Prayers

       As this New Year dawns upon us, we remember with gratitude the blessings of family and friends, food and shelter, love and life, which make this community of faith such a WELCOME home for us all. So too do we celebrate with all those bearing new life, and pray with those yet hoping to conceive, or seeking to adopt a beloved child of God, even as we also pray for our friends in Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe, and all those living in such troubled lands as Ukraine, Haiti, Myanmar, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, Yemen, South Sudan, and the Congo. We pray for all immigrants & refugees seeking sanctuary & welcome throughout our world, that we may be among those who offer an oasis of hospitality & compassion within the kin-dom of God’s heart. And we pray too for our BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) friends and neighbors, seeking to build with them a world wherein Black Lives Matter!”

         Likewise are our prayers are with these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer: Vicki Ramos-Glew’s mother, Carole Spencer; John Custer’s brother-in-law, Charlie Ray; Juliette Hampton’s teacher, Melissa Thaxton; Mary Halley-Streeter’s uncle, Joseph Paparella; Bill Chappelle & Laine Gillespie’s neighbor, Barbara Gifford; Becky Luce; Shideko Terai’s Uncle, Ted De Luca; Laura Cousineau’s friend, Lee Willard, as well as Laura’s brother-in-law, Eric; Cecilia Hampton’s best friend Victoria’s mother, Bev; Sue Turner’s brother, Kurt, as well as Sue’s sister-in-law Bev, and Bev’s step-daughter, Sarah, and Sue’s cousin Jesse’s husband, Ron Letterchio; Connie Kousman; Gail Kinney’s brothers, Charles & David; Linda Perkins’ friend, Linda Stone; Suzanne Lenz’ brother, Bob; Bailey Sibert; Ed Foltyn; Jo Evarts, as well as Jo’s sister, Jingles; Robert Bryant; Jeff McNamara; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan.

           So too do we pray for Susan Pullen's father, David Rand; Mirren McGrwaw; Susan’s mom, Betty; Robyn & Bob Carpenter; John’s friend, Peter; Nick Shafir’s sister, Stephanie; Karen Sutton’s friend, Amber Howard; Patricia’s parents; Laine Gillespie’s friends, Josh & Perry;  Greg Marshall; Betty Walker; Penny Arcone’s friend, Dick Slubin; Connie Kousman’s sister, Joyce; Beth Kopp’s father, Jim Kane; Allyson Wendt; Linda Perkins; Jody Schubert’s brother, Rick; Jim Schubert’s sister, Martha; Joan Burch; Suzanne Lenz; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law, Michelle; Judy Croitoru; Chris Dye; Linda Perkins’ friends, Dorothy, Barbara, Albert, & Doug; Caren Saunders’ father, William Homeyer; Rod & Barb Wendt’s granddaughter, Ada Jane; Susan Turner’s cousin, Buddy Stevenson, and Sue’s friend, Barbara Zenker; and Odile Clavier’s mother, Marie-Claire, as well as her niece, Amelie Marie.

  Into God's Hands

As we give thanks for the blessings of this past year, so too do we grieve those who passed away toward the end of this year.   


      We especially mourn with Jeannie Hines and her family the loss of Jeannie’s father, Joe McClellan, on Saturday—Christmas Eve, 2022. 

  As God has welcomed each of these dearly departed ones back into the realm of God’s eternal embrace, may their families and loved ones be comforted with God’s healing presence in the midst of this time of mourning.

The Christmas Eve Choir

It was wonderful to participate in the Christmas Eve Choir! We were so fortunate to have many returning young adults join us as well as additional community members. The opening strains of Anne Cragin’s lovely Ave Maria set the stage for a peaceful and magical service. Our other soloists Cat Sensenig, Jim Lenz, Dalton Winslow, Kelsey Walker and Glenn Griffin added to the blessedness of the evening. 

Many, many thanks to all who participated, especially Dalton Winslow, who led us with his usual professional yet relaxed style and to David Thron, who has become our regular Christmas Eve pianist. Also, thanks to Steve Beaupre, Laine Gillespie and Bill Chappelle for helping with David's transportation. I am so grateful for all who took part in making the Christmas Eve music a truly special offering.

With Thanks,

Elaine Lenz

Building and Grounds Initiatives for 2022 as reported in the Annual Report


As of December 28th we received $9090 in new pledge payments. Our pledge total for the year 2022 makes $141,414 so far. Also we received an additional $3559 in plate contributions as of December 28th making a total of $14,927 Plate contributions for 2022 so far. So the grand total of Pledge and Plate Donations for the year so far is $156,341. In addition we have collected $15,000 toward our Pledge contributions in 2023. As of December 28th there was $657 collected in church for the Christmas Eve offering. Some other funds may have been contributed through stocks not noted here.

We plan to send out the letters showing contributions in 2022 shortly.

Kathy Wright

Cindy Marx-Wood

Covid-19 could be that unwelcome guest at your holiday table

Covid-19 and its ever-expanding family of variants may still try to show up uninvited for our holiday celebrations this year.  They always behave like nightmare guests!  Luckily, we’ve learned more than a thing or two about Covid over more than two and a half years.  These boring but now-familiar steps and cautions will help us to keep its unwelcome intrusions to a minimum.

MCC’s COVID-19 Task Force has these tips for the holidays:

--All attendees at church activities should be vaccinated and boosted.

--If you’re are feeling unwell, then simply staying home is the right course of action for you (not to mention for the rest of us).

--Masking in the church sanctuary remains optional, with N95/KN95 and surgical grade masks available at the doors for those who wish them.

--While our choir will be singing without masks over the coming weeks, they have each agreed to undergo rapid tests on the day they will sing in the church. A positive antigen test means they will neither sing nor attend.

--Maintaining careful and reasonable distances is still advised, but the six foot rule is no longer in effect.

--Practicing good hand sanitation on a regular basis remains a must no matter where you are.


Individually and communally, we have gotten used to having responsible vigilance for one another and for ourselves.  Thankfully, that’s a good thing!


Yet some of us may be so exhausted by Covid’s persistence that we may let down our guards—“I’m so-o done with Covid.”  


Covid, however, is not nearly “done” with us.  The chronically vulnerable, the immuno-compromised and the elderly remain at special risk. Yes, vaccination and boosters have been a big help and are giant accomplishments; but even the healthy can still experience infection, even re-infection, though with mostly milder symptoms than in the first months of the pandemic.


Covid-19 still kills. In this last week of November 2022 alone, just over 2,200 Americans have died from Covid and more than 12,000 individuals are presently hospitalized across the country due to its severity.


We can indeed enjoy the upcoming holidays, but with thoughtful cautions and a full understanding of ways we can and should protect one another and ourselves.  May your every Christmas celebration be safe, not to mention “joyful” and “triumphant.”


Ed Cousineau

For the MCC COVID-19 Task Force



1/1 2023

1/4 Ben Saunders

1/4 Anna Borchert

1/5 Christine Greenough

1/7 Catherine Norbury Mackey

1/8 Thom Lappin

1/8 Selden Lord

1/9 Charlotte MacNamee

1/9 Birgit Ruppert

1/10 Steve Arcone

1/11 Anna O’Leary

1/11 Lucas Jameson

1/12 Meg Fauver

1/12 Gedeon Rodriguez

1/12 Lucas Rodriguez

1/13 Pam Annis

1/13 Terry Dewey

1/14 Susan Borchert

1/14 John Custer

1/14 Holly McGovern

1/14 Jeff Good

1/15 Karim Chichakly

1/15 Mary Kardel

1/15 Ella MacLean

1/16 Bill Chappelle

1/17 Johanna Ruppertsberger

1/17 Andrew Duany

1/17 Jillian Williams

1/18 Hanna Foston

1/18 Allyson Wendt

1/23 Alexys Wilbur

1/23 Greg Marshall

1/24 Ross Pyer

1/24 Olivia Taylor

1/24 Liv Townsend

1/24 Blake Wendt Hennessy

1/25 Maura Hart

1/25 Sawyer Custer

1/27 Kyra Russman-Araya

1/29 Andrew Forbes

1/29 Kassidee Rogers

1/29 Eileen Williams

1/30 Isabella Dill

1/30 Audrey Elder

1/30 Jess Kilgore

1/30 Cedric Elkouh

1/30 Carol Hartman

1/31 Miles Bradley

1/31 Debbie Foltyn

1/31 Samantha Heaton

MCC Poetry Page

“The Fate of the Poet is to fall in Love with Life”

-      Matthew Fox


Throughout our ministry here at the Meriden Congregational Church, we have been continually impressed by the number of poets in our midst. Some time ago we began featuring a Poetry Page in our monthly Newsletter, and we are thrilled to attempt reviving this monthly offering, inspired by the following poem we recently received from Richard Atkinson. We so miss Richard and Susan since their re-location to Pennsylvania and were delighted to have them join us in church for our Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols this past Christmas Eve.



By Richard Atkinson

The sun’s warmth washes over me

Chases away the last of cold

Sets my body and my soul free

Makes me feel like I’m less old


The ocean waves wash over me

Soothes my body, makes me calm

Makes me feel exactly how I want to be

It’s a most amazing balm


The wind blows gentle over me

Blows right through my troubled mind

Now at last I know I can see

That if I seek, then I shall find


Love finds its way into my life

Like the wind, the waves, the sun

It allays all fears and conquers all strife

Makes me feel like my life’s just begun


The world keeps turning, the sun never fails

The oceans will rise and fall

The wind will always fill all sails

And love will always conquer all


 Thank you, Richard!  All poets among us, of all ages and abilities, are likewise invited to share your poems with us so that we may in turn publish one each month as a way of helping all of us to fall ever more deeply in love with life in all its wonder, pathos, and beauty!

Prepared to Serve!  


"An annual training event

for clergy and members of UCC congregations"

Saturday--February 25th, 2023

8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

Pembroke Academy, Pembroke, NH


           Mark your calendars now for next year’s Annual Prepared to Serve 2023, which promises to  offer everyone an opportunity to attend workshops and view exhibits designed to enhance, educate and enrich the church experience. The registration brochure and details will be available soon on the NH Conference's website: by clicking under Calendar of Events or by calling the Conference Center at 1-888-642-8229.

Outreach News

Outreach, Peace, and Justice Ministry Teams

News for January 2023 

"The way to heal the soul of the nation is to pass policies

that heal the body of the nation.

It’s the just thing to do.

That’s how we as a nation can move forward together."

~Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Break the silence!


   Listen Community Dinners Meriden Congregational Church has offered the commitment to prepare and serve dinners the FIRST Thursdays of the odd numbered months. The next date is March 2nd due to training. If you know of anyone, including the broader community, who would be interested, please text, phone or email Shideko Terai. 603-252-7898 Sign up on our unique page on the volunteer hub website

  Claremont Soup Kitchen Bill Chapelle continues to lead volunteer participation at the Claremont Soup Kitchen on the fourth Saturday of every month and this slot covers the hours 2-5:30 PM. No cooking experience necessary. January 28 is the next opportunity. “We always have a lot of fun. You begin your Saturday night with a good feeling you have given nice people a delicious meal.” ~Bill Chapelle


     Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. As of April 2, CNBC reports that Ukraine “has regained control of the capital city of Kyiv, while chances appeared better for peace talks ahead.” And what about the people of these nations? According to India Today, more than 3M refugees have fled Ukraine. 7K Russian soldiers have been killed, 14K injured; nearly 3K Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, 3.7K injured, 572 captured. War is still not the answer. As we continue to practice peace within our communities of family, neighbors, and spiritual friends: we radiate kindness and compassion with the intention of clear seeing, seeking justice, and refraining from doing harm. Contributions may be made by mailing a check made payable to the United Church of Christ, PO Box 71957, Cleveland OH 44194 & memo line: Ukraine Relief Fund.


Economic Justice 

          "The Quest for Worker Justice" continues as a New Year begins, as described below by our Worker Justice Minister, the Rev. Dr. Gail Kinney. Also check out the informative new book by the former UCC Economic Justice Minister, the Rev. Dr. Edith Rasell, "The Way of Abundance."  This was one of John's favorite sabbatical reads, and we hope to bring Edie to NH this spring to share more with us about her research and her call to action. 

"There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little, or even nothing, to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they...(and we) will be a new and unsettling force..."

- Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Racial Justice /Antiracism

    A few years ago our church formed a Racial Justice Ministry Team that has been guiding us in learning about the ways in which systemic racism and white supremacy undergird so much of our history and identity. Now, in keeping with the call of our denomination, the United Church of Christ, to become an antiracist church, our Racial Justice ministry team has evolved our name to become the Antiracism Ministry Team. 

We thank everyone who contributed to our Christmas Eve offering, half of which we shared in support of our national church's "Join the Movement to End Racism" campaign, individual donations to which may be made at We are still finalizing a Resolution to declare ourselves an Antiracism Church to be presented at a special meeting his spring, and we are pleased to have 2023 editions of the Equal Justice Initialize Racial Justice Calendars available in the church office.

In lieu of our monthly meeting in January, our Antiracism Ministry Team encourages viewing the film "Till," as described below, offered as part of Dartmouth College's Annual Celebration of the prophetic life and witness of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Co-Pastor John plans to attend, and welcomes others to join him.

    Our weekly BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils continue on Wednesday afternoons, now from 3:30 to 4:00, in light of the shortening days of winter, and all are welcome to join us anytime.

Social Justice 

   "Voices of Faith" will soon reconvene by way of bringing moral witness and concern for those most marginalized into the legislative and budget deliberations determining how justly we commit to our common wealth and well-being as a state and nation

Immigrant Justice

   The first Tuesday of each month NH Immigrant Solidarity Network (NH ISN) meets. Organizations include GSOP, AFSC, and clergy. It is interfaith and non-partisan. This month's meeting on Tuesday--January 3rd will be an in-person vigil at the ICE building in Manchester, followed by a meeting of the ISN network.   Please contact John or Shideko if you would like to learn more.

Climate Justice

  Lee Oxenham has been alerting us about informative events and presentations connecting us to becoming more engaged in climate justice. Please contact Lee to find out the latest ways to be involved. Check out this award winning climate newsletter:  Scientists Again Call for Civil Disobedience To Spur Climate Action, Saying ‘Time is Short’ - Inside Climate News

In solidarity and hope, 

Shideko Terai (she/her), Outreach, Peace & Justice Coordinator

text or phone 603-252-7898, email


View trailer at:

Friday—January 20th, @ 7:00 PM

in Loew Auditorium, Black Family Visual Arts Center

Our Antiracism Ministry Team commends this profoundly emotional and cinematic film about the true story of Mamie Till-Mobley's relentless pursuit of justice for her 14-year-old son, Emmett Till.  

Director Chinonye Chukwu (Clemency) travels back to the 1950s to tell the story of Mamie Till-Mobley, the Chicago woman whose son, Emmett Till, was lynched while visiting cousins in Mississippi and whose body became an indelible image of the horrors of American racism. Employing a direct, unflinching, yet sensitive gaze, Chukwu has created the definitive drama of this woman's grief and resilience, and in an astonishing performance, Danielle Deadwyler captures both a mother's indescribable heartbreak and her inspiring ascension to the role of civil rights activist. Till is a momentous reminder of an ever-present tragedy.

            Discussion follows with Deborah Watts, Emmett Till's cousin and co-founder of the Emmett Till Legacy Foundation, along with Dartmouth faculty and student leaders.

Divisive Concepts Language
Doesn’t Belong Anywhere
in NH Law !

Another Year -- A Continuing Quest for Worker Justice!

by Gail Kinney, Worker Justice Minister

Here we go again! We're in a new year, but old worker justice challenges remain.

Things to watch for in 2023 -- and worker struggles calling out for our support:

    * Minimum Wages: As of January 1, 2023, the Massachusetts minimum hourly wage goes up to $15.00! Connecticut's does likewise on June 1, 2023. The January 1st minimum wage in Maine is $13.80; in Vermont, $13.18; in Rhode Island $13.00. And then there is the moral embarrassment of New Hampshire which still clings to the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour. As a matter of public policy, a minimum wage is a state's declared "wage floor" -- set in recognition that all work has value and worth and that no one should be compensated with wages that keep a dedicated full-time worker desperately impoverished. NH's stance is beyond shameful. Our Legislators and Governor need to hear from us this year about this economic atrocity!

    * Local Unionization and First Contract Efforts: Nine months ago, the student dining services workers at Dartmouth College voted unanimously to unionize, yet they still don't have a first contract. Shame of Dartmouth management! And Dartmouth's graduate student research and teaching assistants are in the midst of their own unionization campaign. People of faith in the Upper Valley must continue to show our solidarity with these workers -- as long as it takes to secure the dignity, respect, living wages and fair treatment these dedicated young workers deserve.

   * And the 2023 NH Legislature Is Now In SessionNH's 400 State Representatives and 24 Senators have filed well over 800 proposed bills to be heard this Session -- including the good, the bad and the ugly. Bills to enhance and diminish worker rights are included in the mix. A number of proposed bills reveal that our cherished public schools and teachers continue to have a target on their backs. In my quick review, I see more bills related to public education than any other topic. Be aware that efforts to advance classroom censorship and undermine public school funding are alive and well -- and are often cloaked in the disingenuous guise of "parental rights." This is part of a well-funded national anti-public school movement steeped in racism, sexism, xenophobia, and right-wing Christian nationalism. If we cherish our public schools and our sense of beloved community, I hope we will all stay tuned and speak out, whenever the call to action in sounded. I believe our love of neighbor and love of community demand no less.

2023 History of

Racial Injustice Calendars

Equal Justice Initiative challenges racial and economic injustice and provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in jails and prisons. Their 2023 Calendar is a full-color wall version that includes hundreds of historical entries and 12 short essays highlighting historical events and issues in our nation's racial history. Available in the church office or by request.  

Above are some of the folk with whom we were privileged to view the premier of "Wakanda Forever," courtesy of Shideko Terai, who also took this photo of our Co-Pastors with the Chair of our Conference Antiracism Ministry, Harriet Ward.

"Now, more than ever,

the illusions of division

threaten our very existence...

We all know the truth: more connects us than separates us.

But in times of crisis

the wise build bridges,

while the foolish build barriers.

We must find a way

to look after one another,

as if we were one single tribe."

-         Black Panther

Steve Beaupre' faithfully rings our church bell

each Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 PM as a clarion call to

our Community BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigil

Thank you, Steve!!

 We are continuing our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils each Wednesday afternoon, now happening from 3:30 to 4;00 PM (note earlier time due to shorter days) on the SouthWest corner of the intersection of Rte 120 & Main Street (at the blinking traffic light). We have “BLACK LIVES MATTER” signs available for folk to hold, but please feel free to make and/or bring your own signs.

    Come join us in “showing up for racial justice,” and Standing for  LOVE, and AGAINST racism, white supremacy, hatred, and violence, here in our community and beyond!  Togetherlet us publicly declare that we will NOT be complicit in white terrorand let us call our friends and neighbors to rise up with us in our resolute affirmation of the inherent and sacred value of us all within Beloved Community

Invitation to join the 

Windsor County NAACP

          A group of residents in Windsor County are working to form a Windsor County NAACP Branch. For certification as an NAACP Branch we need to enroll 100 new NAACP members on our Membership forms. Members may be from any geographical location. All members 18 and older will be voting members of the Branch with only Windsor County residents eligible for elected leadership positions (as defined in Constitution). 


        The NAACP, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, established in 1909 is our oldest and largest civil rights organization. It was started in New York by white and black activists partially in response to violence against African Americans, particularly lynching. Today it has over 2000 Branches and half a million members worldwide.


           According to the NAACP Constitution it was founded on the beliefs embodied in the Constitution of the United States of America.... (its) vision and mission (are) to ensure a society in which all individuals have equal rights and there is no racial hatred or racial discrimination and to ensure the political, educational, social and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.


       To become a member contact; for more information contact

John Gregory-Davis Speaking at the Budget Protest in Concord, NH-- June 24, 2021
Legislator Contact Information
                                                                                 Rep. Annie McLane Kuster
137 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5206 (Washington)
18 North Main Street, Fourth Floor
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-226-1002 (New Hampshire)

Sen. Maggie Hassan
330 Hart Senate Office Building  .
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3324 (Washington
1200 Elm St. Suite 6
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 603-662-2204 (New Hampshire)

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
506 Hart Senate Office Bdg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2841 (Washington)
2 Wall St #220
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 602-647-7500 (NH)


Rep. Margaret Drye

1136 Rt. 12A

Plainfield, NH 03781

Phone: 603-675-9159


Rep. Bill Palmer



Sen. Suzanne Prentiss

Legislative Office Building, Room 102

33 State Street

Concord, NH 03301

Phone: 603-271-3092


The UVHS & The Plainfield Community Resource Room have teamed up to help all Cat & Dog Owners in our area.
Every Month on the 3rd Saturday
when the Resource Room & Food Pantry is open
the UVHS will be present to provide  
FREE Cat & Dog Food.
For more information
please contact Stephanie at 469-3201.
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