Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter MAY 2020

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
VIA ZOOM ONLINE

Also Midweek "Prayer & Koinonia"
Wednesdays at 6:30 PM

Watch for weekly e-mail notices,
and/or contact
john@meridenucc.org or
susan@meridenucc.org
for the Zoom Links and/or phone numbers
Here it is! Volume 3 Issue 10 of our e-mail newsletter





Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-pastors
Meriden Congregational Church
603-469-3235

HAPPY BIRTHDAY,
Meriden
Congregational Church!!!
Two Hundred Forty Years Young on
May 2, 2020!

“I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly!”  
(John 10:10)

             In these times of deep personal, community, national and global concern--related in all sorts of ways to the health and dis-ease of our human species and our planet—we are reminded of Jesus’ words— “I have come that you may have life and have it abundantly”—prophetic words experienced in the flesh whenever we choose to take care of one another and our earthen home.  Certainly these days it seems that abundant life is in short supply as we  take in the news (nationally and internationally), take to heart the suffering of people near and far, and take care of those around us , whether as parents or teachers caring for remote-learning children, employees (at home or at work) caring for job responsibilities, health care workers caring for those who are sick, other essential workers caring for the general public in all sorts of ways, or simply loving, kind people caring for our neighbors, animals, church members, friends and family near and far. 

Abundant life (as in robust physical, emotional and spiritual life for ALL) may indeed seem in short supply these days, but an abundant life of caring for one another is anything but. We have only to look around us and beyond us (across the globe) to see the abundance of love and caring that local and community-hearted people are offering one another, whether in the name of Jesus’ message to “love thy neighbor” or in the related universal message of “doing unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  Every time a person, community or government makes a choice to share the abundance of life and love around us (in however small measure), we—as a human community—are living out Jesus’ prophetic words.    

            Which is what the Meriden Congregational Church has been doing for two hundred and forty years!! Wouldn’t it be incredible if we could know the literally millions of caring choices to share abundant life and love that this congregation has made ever since that day, Tuesday, May 2, 1780, when our small but mightily loving church came to be! THIS is reason to say a joyous “thank you, God, for the gift of this faith community” and to celebrate this birthday of our church up BIG!!! Yes!!! So, we have a MONTH of celebrations planned for each of our five Sunday services in May. Each Sunday we will be featuring a different historical event in the life of our church family, particularly during these past fifty years. 

As you will see publicized elsewhere in this newsletter, as well, May 3 rd highlighted the founding and flourishing of the Plainfield Cooperative Preschool (1971-1985); May 10 th will feature the joy of continued service to the young families and children of our town and wider community through the Meriden Community Camp (2004 to present); May 17 th will transport us to, what was then, the Soviet Union through remembering the radical hospitality of the Meriden Peace Trust in the 1980’s; May 24 th will highlight two extremely significant congregational votes that shaped our path in recent years: becoming an Open & Affirming Congregation (2000) and a Sanctuary Church (2017); and May 31 st will feature our most recent congregational vote, so essential to the future of our survival as a species and a planet, when we voted on April 17, 2020, to endorse The Green New Deal!   Each of these celebratory highlights within our Sunday services will be described by church members who experienced first-hand the vision and effects of these events on the life and calling of our church community. You won’t want to miss these historic celebrations on this occasion of our congregation’s two-hundred and fortieth birthday!

Along with this momentous celebration comes the opportunity for everyone, who wishes, to give a “birthday gift,” during the month of May , to our church in the form of a monetary donation— of any amount comfortable to you —to match the monies our church would normally have received from proceeds of the annual All-Church Silent Auction (previously scheduled for May 3 rd and cancelled this year due to the necessity of COVID-19 physical distancing precautions). Our goal for this monetary “birthday gift” to the church is $6,500 (the amount budgeted to help meet our 2020 annual expenses). 

So, please do consider offering a “birthday gift” to our church—of the amount you might have normally spent at the All Church Silent Auction, or any other amount of donation. Although our finances often restrict us from spending very much at our wonderful silent auctions, we have joyfully discerned that "tithing" 10% of our joint stimulus receipt of $2400.00 will allow us to honor our church's birthday this year with a gift of $1.00 in celebration of all 240 years! Please know that no gift is ever “too small” and that every gift will be deeply appreciated as together we hope to be able to meet our 2020 operating expenses and continue to support the essential ministries of the Meriden Congregational Church. Thank you, dear friends, for your support of our beloved church community as we venture into the next decade and century seeking to live out even more fully Jesus’ prophetic words of sharing “life and, indeed, life abundant” with our kin near and far.  

On this occasion of our church’s two hundred and fortieth birthday, what do YOU most love and appreciate about our faith community? What is your wish for our church for this year and years to come? How do you long to be more deeply involved in charting the faithful course of our congregation as we look toward our two hundred and fiftieth birthday? We invite you to share your good wishes, hopes and gratitude whenever we gather and especially during this month of celebration. As we celebrate the past, honor the present, and look toward our future— as a people of faith --may we remember that we journey not alone but in blessed company with one another and with the comfort, strength and inspiration of the one who “came that ALL may have life and have it abundantly.” Be safe, be well, be faithful and be filled with the love and peace of our God who travels ever with us.
Blessed be ,  Susan and John                                                    
COVID-19 Pastoral Caregiving--
Please let us know how we can support you
 through this time of Coronavirus dis-ease!

Dearly Beloved Spiritual Family & Friends,

Peace and comfort to you through these very concerning times. We wish you to know that your Co-pastors--Susan and John, your Church Caregivers Team, and your Church Family are here for you, your loved ones , and our wider community as together we reach out and support one another in whatever ways are needed to help us all manage physically, emotionally , and spiritually in the very healthiest ways we can during these troubling days. Please call Susan and John (469-3235) or email us ( susan@meridenucc.org or john@meridenucc.org ) to let us know how we can best support you. No concern or request is too large or too small! Call us if you simply wish to talk or pray, call us if you are worried, call us if you desire pastoral and spiritual support, call us if you have concerns either about yourself, a loved one or a neighbor, call us is you need errands run, groceries delivered or have any other need. 

In addition to Co-pastor support, we also have our COVID-19 Caregivers Team that is ready to be of emotional, spiritual and practical support, as well. These team members will be calling many of you (especially those living with higher risks) to check-in and ask how they can be of support to you. These COVID-19 Caregivers Team members ( Judy Croitoru, Fiona Greenough, Elaine Lenz, Suzanne Lenz, Kelsey MacNamee, Jody Schubert, Shideko Terai, Kathy Wright, along with Susan and John) will be in very close contact with our Co-pastors for effective and faithful coordination of care.  Additional Caregivers Team members ( Steph Berman, Joan Burch, Amber Castell, Jo-Ellen Courtney, Connie Kousman, Jill Marshall, and Sean Teehan ) will be sending cards, running errands, coordinating grocery drop-off and/or even offering to walk your dog!

So, please do let Susan and John or Kathy Wright (675-5989, secretary@meridenucc.org ) know how we can help you and your family—at any time—manage through this time as best as possible. Together as a community of faith, let us pray for one another and all our kin--locally and throughout the world—as God’s people love and support one another through this difficult time. If you yourself would like to be part of our church’s Caregivers Team there is a place for you in the circle of our church’s care for one another.

Blessings of peace to you and your loved ones!
Faithfully, Susan and John
OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN MAY
(All on Zoom, as noted above)

MAY 3rd @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Founders' Day Sunday!
J oin us for a virtual celebration of the 240th Birthday of the Meriden Congregational Church! Our Intergenerational Communion Service will be festooned by balloons and a Birthday Cake, and will feature another beautiful solo by Our Choir Director, Michael Hogan, as well as the first of weekly remembrances throughout the month of May, featuring highlights of our life and ministry together. We will begin this Sunday with Donna Beaupre sharing the story of the the Plainfield Cooperative Pre-School, born and offered over in our Parish House.

MAY 10TH @ 10:00 AM
Fifth Sunday of Easter
Mothering Sunday Celebration
T his Sunday we will explore and reflect upon scriptural images and prayer that lift up the mothering qualities of our Creator God. We will also continue to celebrate our church's birthday month by highlighting another historic event within the life of our church: the founding and flourishing of the Meriden Community Camp (2004 to present). Kelsey MacNamee, our Spiritual Formation Coordinator for Children, Youth and Families, will share a wonderful presentation on her keen knowledge and joyous day to day experience of our summer camp, its campers, families and devoted staff.

MAY 17th 10:00 AM
Sixth Sunday of Easter
This Sunday we will be treated to preaching by the Rev. Dr. Mellen Kennedy sharing with us her enthusiasm for and wisdom about the Sufi mystic Rumi, whom Mellen calls a "Poet for our Times."
We will also enjoy learning about another historic event in the life of our church--the Meriden Peace Trust, as described by our prophetic former pastor and leader, the Rev. Greg Marshall.

MAY 24th @ 10:00  AM
Memorial Day Sunday
Join us for this Sunday when we remember and give thanks for the lives of those who died in service, as well as loved ones whose memory we also cherish and give thanks for. Be with us as we recommit ourselves to working toward a world of justice and peace, compassion and love for all God's people, everywhere. In the spirit of our ongoing May birthday celebration for our church, this Sunday we will also lift up two deeply significant decisions and commitments our church family made through congregational vote:
becoming an Open & Affirming Congregation in 2000 and a Sanctuary Church in 2017.

May 31st @ 10:00 AM Pentecost Sunday!
One of the major Feast Days of the Christian Church, Pentecost Sunday celebrates the  birth  of the Church on that day when the Holy Spirit came upon the disciples, blessing them for ministry in Jesus' name. Hang on to your hat and be ready for the Spirit to blow within and around us, filling us and blessing us once again on this Sunday! On our final Sunday in our series of highlighting historic events in the life of our church, our Worker Justice Minister, Rev. Gail Kinney, will help us reflect upon the economic justice implications of our most recent congregational vote (April 17, 2020) to endorse The Green New Deal! Join us as we envision our future embracing abundant life for ALL!

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

YOU are WELCOME to
share in all our
Spiritual Family Services, Celebrations,
and Activities!
SPIRIT SUNDAYS
IN MAY

  At Meriden Congregational Church, we look forward to a fun month of May youth programming! While our gatherings are now from afar, we have so enjoyed getting together in various ways and will continue to do so. Join me on Thursdays at 11 am for a Zoom youth get-together as well as Sunday mornings for Zoom church services. This month at MCC, we are celebrating our church's 240th birthday! I look forward to sharing Children's Messages that center around this fun theme. Please stay healthy and enjoy Spring!


Kelsey MacNamee
Spiritual Formation Coordinator
Meriden Congregational Church
(603) 504-4257
New Child of God  
               
            We celebrate with Jim & Debbie Griffiths the birth of their new great grandson, Griffin Fischer Alberts!!   Born on Monday—April 13 th , 2020, at 6:00 PM in Sacramento, CA , baby Griffin weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, measured 20.25 inches long, and is growing fast! He i s the son of Charlotte & George Alberts, and the grandson of Jim’s daughter, Sally.   In grateful company with Griffin’s parents, grandparents, and great grandparents, we joyously proclaim,
WELCOME to our World,   Griffin Fischer! !






CELEBRATING OUR 240 th   Birthday!




  HONORING OUR PAST / EMBRACING OUR FUTURE
Sunday--May 3 rd , 2020

                Recalling that our church was founded on May 2 nd , 1780, and remembering how meaningful it has been to do so these past few years, we celebrated our Annual Founders’ Day Communion Service on Sunday—May 3 rd , 2020!

But this year was different for us, not only because we could not celebrate in person, but also because it was the 240th birthday of our church! Thus we enjoyed not just a virtual Communion celebration, but also a virtual 240 th Birthday Party!  We had a small cake here in church with candles symbolizing our 240 years, as we hope many of you may have had in your own homes to share as well. 

In addition to sharing and rejoicing with each other in the many gifts that we have offered and received through our connection with our “brave little church” here on the Meriden hilltop, as well as the beautiful gifts we are for each other, and in anticipation of that grand and glorious day when we shall be able to re-gather in person here in our sanctuary, we likewise offered "Birthday" gifts in support of our church’s ministry!
And no worries if you could not be with us for this celebration-- we will joyfully be receiving "birthday" gifts of any amount throughout the merry month of May, as described elsewhere in this Newsletter.
Worship and Music Ministry News


These are very difficult and unfamiliar times for all of us. We are finding out way as we go along balancing emotional needs and feelings with scientific and and medical information as it becomes available. We have become Zoom - fluent and with many helping hands have developed processes and procedures to provide and experience safe, meaningful Sunday services at MCC without any physical contact. No small task!! Thanks go out to John and Susan, the Music and Ministry group, technical gurus, the Civid-19 Task Force, the Leadership Team and all of you. We have taken the leap into the virtual world, in good faith, in order to continue to worship, share, communicate with, and support each other.

On the flip side, even while missing community with family and friends, there are some positive changes presented to us by the Covid-19 induced social isolation. We have been forced to slow down and reconsider what is really important in our lives. We feel a bit more “human”. …...and in spite of the presence of Covid-19 among us Spring still comes. The cycle of Nature continues in all of its amazing ways ( including a late April snowstorm). The following piece by John Forti, aka The Heirloom Gardner provides a bit of re-centering.

“ When we turn off the news and appreciate rare moments of quiet, we can hear the soothing sounds of rain and red-winged blackbirds.

When we cease to stockpile, there is time to prepare nourishing meals. 

When the air grows stale and blue screens no longer bring comfort, there are blue skies, emerging greens and the nature of Spring to remind us that life goes on.

Times in nature that remind us to breathe, and times that nature takes our breath away.

There is a rhythm to days and seasons. This is the season to feather our nests, plant a garden and rest out weary heads. A time to take cues from nature, and harmonize with it when we can. Feel the pull of the tides, close our weary eyes….. and pause.

We all need to reflect, so that we can see more clearly when the fog lifts. And when it lifts, there is always hope in the seeds we planted. “

Until we meet again……

Cindy Marx-Wood

 
Welcoming and Caring Ministry


The challenging news is that our Welcoming and Caring Ministry of Coffee Hour, Ushering and Potlucks have been put on hold indefinitely by the Corona Virus visiting our state. Since Sunday March 15 we have been meeting remotely by way of Zoom technology. There has been no in person meetings at the Church. There has not been any Midweek Coffee gathering on Wednesday morning at 10:00am. There have been phone calls and cards sent by our Caregiving Covid 19 committee. If you would like to be on the list of people being called reach out to us at 603-469-3234.

There is also a Mid Week Worship and Check In Via Zoom on Wednesdays at 6:30pm. Call 603-469-3235 if you would like to be notified of this meeting and given the log in number. I am thankful of the opportunity of meeting people online even as I miss seeing people in person. Hoping that you and your family are getting all the help and food that you need. Please contact me at kathywright@myfairpoint.net if you need anything!!

Kathy Wright, Coordinator for Welcoming and Caring Ministry
Climate Justice Ministry News – May 2020

At the special congregational meeting on Sunday April 19 the Meriden Congregational Church approved a Resolution Endorsing the Green New Deal! (Resolution text at end of this Newsletter)

Following this endorsement the members of the Climate Justice Ministry will be advertising the church’s support for the Green New Deal, advocating to our state and federal representatives and Senators our support for the goals of the Green New Deal and encouraging them to drive the national economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic by funding green infrastructure improvements. These improvements should include energy efficient housing, power generation using renewable energy technology and a transition to electrified transportation, specifically electric buses, cars and trucks.

On a different note, as part of our MCC Earth Day celebration at midday on Earth Day, April 22, Steve Beaupre rang the church bell for five minutes.
Submitted
Evan Oxenham
Our Micah Honorees--Jan and Selden Lord
Friends,

This year we honored Jan & Selden Lord as our Micah Honorees at UVIP’s Micah Celebration on Sunday, October 27 at the Claremont Senior Center (5 Acer Heights Road in Claremont). Doors opened at 2:00 PM for refreshments and socializing, and the ceremony itself was from 3:00 to 5:00 PM. 



Rod Wendt
Chair, Leadership Team
Meriden Congregational Church
603-469-3190
MCC ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE NEWS
May 2020

Our sexton, Sue Richardson has finished painting the Parish House basement nursery room, one of the renovations to improve the Parish House for Sunday school and summer camp activities. Home Partners have been replaced the ceiling tiles in both the basement nursery room and in the main basement room. They are also replacing the floor tiles in both rooms. The dry wall that was damaged by the plumbing leak has been replaced. Home Partners observed social distancing guidelines during this project so that there was no impact on other people in the building.

Home Partners has also repaired the concrete steps at the entrance to the parish house.

Once Home partners have completed their work, Sue will begin painting the main room in the basement. Later in the year, once the weather warms up, Sue will paint the white picket fence along the road.
 
Submitted
Evan Oxenham.


Faith Odyssey for Adults!!

“T he Tao of Thomas Aquinas:
Fierce Wisdom for Hard Times”
Aquinas offers a revolution in consciousness
 one grounded in the sacredness of all creation”
-          Matthew Fox

Continuing on Monday evenings
Zoom Meeting beginning @ 7:00 PM
(contact John for details)
 
  A small group of animated luminaries have begun this latest chapter in our Adult Faith Odyssey adventures and we would love to have you join us, as we work our way together through the latest book by one of the luminaries of Creation Spirituality, Matthew Fox.  “The Tao of Thomas Aquinas” is relatively short and quite readable. 

At this point our plan is to continue this Faith Odyssey on Monday evenings through the month of May, with sessions being held from 7:00 to 8:30 PM on Zoom, unless or until we can return to meeting in the Parish House.  

Wherever we may be along our own faith journey, all are welcome and encouraged to join us for what has already proven to be a provocative and informative adventure in our shared faith odyssey of deepening discovery and exploration.   Please contact John soon to express interest in participating and/or to learn more. 
“You have in your hands the magical switch
to the spiritual energy you need to accomplish
the great work for which you were created.
Nothing can stop you now !”
–  Brian Thomas Swimme

Legislator Contact Information
 FEDERAL
                                                                                 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)
Its. 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)
STATE

Rep. Lee Walker Oxenham
92 Methodist Hill Road
Plainfield, NH 03781-5415
Phone: 603-727-9368

Rep. Linda Tanner
PO Box 267
Georges Mills, NH 03751-0267
Phone: 603-763-4471

Sen. Martha Hennessey
Legislative Office Building, Room 105
33 North State Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-3067

Outreach and Social Justice Ministry News by Shideko Terai

LOCAL OUTREACH IN THE COMMUNITY--Local Dinners have been suspended because of the Covid-19 emergency. Listen and the Haven are accepting money donations. The MCC church is collecting canned goods for the Claremont Soup Kitchen. Bring your donations to the Sanctuary in the Church.

The budget for Outreach includes financial contributions to Listen Community Services, Claremont Soup Kitchen, Upper Valley Haven, Good Neighbor & Red Logan Clinics, Wise, and Turning Points Network. See below for details.

RACIAL JUSTICE efforts continue with Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) BLACK LIVES MATTER vigils continuing to meet on Wednesdays throughout the year. It is worth making the statement for racial justice for just a short half hour at the blinking light in Meriden. And more people would definitely help to make the issue more visible. You are probably wondering how does it matter? I think the majority of people in the cars that pass by with waves and honks are thinking, “I’m glad to see that this issue is not being ignored. I wish I had the time to do it and I’m glad these people are there representing our values.” Do you want to be added to our email reminders? There are some interesting resources worth reading. Send an email to Rev. John Gregory-Davis john@meridenucc.org .

One of the most recent social justice events took place in Nashua. It is called the Poor People’s Campaign. The theme that has been traveling with Dr. Rev. William J. Barber is the acronym, M.O.R.E. in preparation for the 2020 elections: Mobilizing, Organizing, Registering people to vote, and Educating people about local candidates and presidential candidates. We would like to organize buses to travel from the United Valley to Washington, DC to march and rally on June 20, 2020. Maybe you would like to join us or help fund such an effort!
REPORT OF THE
ASSISTANT TREASURERS
     
THANKS SO MUCH!!

 Everyone has responded so generously in the past month and a half. In the month of April we have received $29,405 in pledges! We have also received $1,305 in plate donations. We have received plate donations from several people from far away as a result of them being able to “attend” our services through zoom. Our total pledges received for the year are $59,155 and $2,086 for plate collections. 

We have also received $8,400 toward the Pledge Challenge,$7,096.50 from Ropes Wealth Advisers and $1,675.04 from the sale of some gifted stock. We also received $2,965.50 from Ropes for the Bryant Fund, $225 for the OGHS collection and $100 for the Taylor Children’s Fund. Steve Beaupre made two trips to Claremont Savings Bank in April with deposits totaling $52,672.04. I hope he had an armed guard with him! Once again, thanks to everyone for being so mindful of your pledges and supporting our Church. 

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Atkinson
Jim Lenz

Coffee & Cocoa products are featured from Equal Exchange! Please contact Shideko Terai if you would like to order Coffee, Decaf, Hot Chocolate or Chocolate Bars. These products are delicious and promise a reasonable return for the growers and farmers who produce them! K-CUPS are also available!
Cool weather! Fine chocolate. Or hot chocolate anyone?

Shideko's e-mail is mary.n.boyle@gmail.com.
Shideko Terai, Coordinator of Outreach, Peace and Justice Ministry



As we journey throughout this Eastertide Season of rejoicing in God’s resurrection power to heal even our deepest sorrows, we fervently pray for all those affected in any way by the Covid 19 pandemic. So too do we celebrate with all those bearing new life and hope with those yet trying to conceive or seeking to adopt a beloved child of God, and pray for our friends in Bolivia, Mexico, Indonesia, Uganda, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe, as well as our friends and neighbors in such troubled lands as Syria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria, Yemen, North Korea, Burma, & Tibet. We pray with special concern for all immigrants & refugees seeking sanctuary & welcome throughout our world, that we may be among those whose open arms and doors reveal that there is always room within the inn of God’s heart. And we pray too in solidarity with our black and brown friends and neighbors, seeking to build with them a world wherein Black Lives Matter as fully as all lives.  
   
So too do we pray for Muffy Gibson , as she rebuilds her life after losing her home; Penny Arcone’s friend Dick Slubin’s brother-in-law; Karen Heaton’s father-in-law, Dr. Ronald Heaton; Jo-Ellen Courtney’s friend, David Lowe ; Susan Reetz Glenn Griffin’s uncle, Buzz; Karen Jameson’s mother , Tish Cindy Griffin’s and Susan Borchert’s uncles , Arthur & Gordy , as well as Cindy’s cousin, Rob & his partner, Tracy’s son, Ian ; Judy Croitoru; Jim Lenz’ friend, Jim ; Joan Burch ; Bob & Robyn Carpenter;   Joan Dumont; Chris Dye ; Tecla McCann ; Linda Perkins , as well as her friends, Dorothy, Barbara, & Doug ; Caren Saunder’s father, William Homeyer ;   Greg Castell’s father; Scot Zens; Rev. Jed Reardon;   Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law , Michelle; Allyson Wendt, as well as her daughter, Ada Jane; Greg Marshall; Larry Burch’s parents, Bill & Olive, as well as Larry’s brother, Charlie;   Susan Turner’s cousin, Buddy Stevenson , and Sue’s friends, Barbara Zenker & Jane Miles; Maura Hart’s father , William ; Vicki Ramos-Glew’s mother, Carole Spencer ; Bill Chappelle’s friend, Mel; Susan Sanzone’s aunt Rita ; Odile Clavier’s mother, Marie-Claire , as well as her niece, Amelie Marie .


Likewise do we pray for these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer: Emily Robbins Bradley’s Aunt Kathy; Jo-Ellen Courtney’s cousin, Jeaneen McLeod; Susan Reetz’s father, Dean Bensley ; Bailey Sibert; Becky Luce; Ed Foltyn ; Sue Turner’s cousin Jessie’s husband, Ron Lettrechio : Caren Saunder’s mother, Betty Homeyer ; S elden Lord’s brother-in-law, Edward ; Jan Lord’s former daughter-in-law, Michelle; Chuck Chamley’s mother, Joan Chamley ; Laura Cousineau’s brother-in-law, Eric ; Judy Houde-Hardy’s cousin , Michael Morin; Hunter Townsend; Jo Evarts , and her sister , Jingles; Robert Bryant; Cynthia Howe; Penny Arcone’s brother , Stuart Hills, & Penny’s friends, Dick Slubin and Gail Graham ; Joan Dumont’s stepbrother, Lowell Toof ; Jeff McNamara; L auryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller ; and  Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan .


          
Although our spirits are lightened by the sun and warmth of this beautiful month of May, our souls also ache with the recent loss of dearly beloved friends and relatives of our faith community.

We extend our sympathy to all who knew and loved Hazel McNamara , whose long and full life ended on Wednesday—April 1 st , 2020.

So too do we reach out to Ben Griffin, as he grieves the untimely death of his former girlfriend Lisa’s son, Cameron , on Monday--April 20th, 2020. We pray as well for Lisa’s parents, Fred & Janet Duefield, and Mark Gerhardt , with this loss coming only a year after Lisa’s untimely death.

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 remembrance and sorrow.




           
The UVHS & The Plainfield Community Resource Room have teamed up to help all
Cat & Dog Owners in our area. Every Month on the 3 rd  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.
MAY BIRTHDAYS
5/1        Cayden Van Dolah
5/1         Mike Van Dolah
5/1         Louise Filiault                                        
5/1         Thembi Muhlari
5/2         Maria Helen DeMaggio
5/3         Kate Brady
5/4         Adam Perotti
5/4         George Butler
5/4         Lauren Lenz
5/4         Hadley Pensgen
5/4         Hank Ruppertsberger
5/4        Maia Garfield
5/4         Patrick Duany
5/5         Brian Garfield
5/6         Sylvia Clark
5/6         Emma Lewis
5/6         Samantha Clerkin
5/7         Nicole Annis
5/7         Miles Saunders
5/9         Susan Sanzone
5/10      Rob Constantine
5/10       Zeda Wolf
5/10       Marianna McKim
5/11       Alyssa Packard
5/11 Nancy Wightman
5/12       Ian Cattabriga
5/13       Stephanie Harding
5/14       Kristen Wendt
5/15       Kurt Shaffert
5/16       Phil Crowell
5/17       Emma Porrazzo
5/17       Caitlyn Porrazzo
5/17       Owen Winslow
5/18       Melanie Elliot
5/18       Molly Jean Elizabeth Kells
5/19       Richard Swett
5/19       Audra Bucklin
5/19      Corinne Tomlinson
5/20       Doug Carver
5/21       Rigel Cable
5/21       Amira Chichakly
5/21       Haddie Houde
5/21       Ryan McGraw
5/22       Linda Perkins
5/23       Christy Trudo
5/23       Elizabeth Todd
5/25       Greg Castell        
5/25       Steve Beaupre”
5/26       Gretchen Cherington
5/26       Joe McClellan
5/26       Rangi Keen
5/26       Oliver Herfort
5/26       Des Tolentino
5/26 Suzanne Lenz
5/27       Sawyer Constantine
5/27       Sue Richardson
5/28      Katy Sheehan
5/31       Pam Miller
5/31       Richard Miller
 
    
MAY ANNIVERSARIES
 


5/4   Lee Walker and Evan Oxenham
5/10   Selden and Jan Lord
5/15   Robyn and Bob Carpenter
5/18   Nancy and Kurt Filiault
5/26   Karen and Doug Heaton
5/26   Rick and Heather Hildebrant
5/29   Rachel and Robert Stoddard
5/31   Maura Hart and Frank Perotti
5/31   Leslie MacGregor and Dalton Winslow







Milk with Dignity Campaign Action
Demand that CEO of Hannaford, Mike Vail,
  get on board with the
Migrant Justice
Milk with Dignity program
  
      The Milk with Dignity Program brings together farmworkers, consumers, farmers and corporate buyers in support of dignified wages and humane labor and housing conditions in the dairy industry in the Northeastern United States. The principal goal of the Milk with Dignity (MD) Program is to foster a sustainable Northeast dairy industry that advances the human rights of farmworkers, the longterm interests of farmers, and the ethical supply chain concerns of retail food companies and consumers.  

           Farmworkers throughout the United States are denied basic labor protections and are among the lowest-paid workers in the country. Vermont’s dairy workers are no exception, with many working long hours without rest, for below minimum wage, suffering high rates of injury, and living in substandard housing.

      These conditions have caused dairy workers to create the  Milk  with  Dignity  program , to ensure protection for human rights and to win respect, dignity, and power in the workplace. The program is a proven success, benefiting farmworkers and farmers alike.
       
Migrant Justice has invited supermarket chain Hannaford to join in this success by adopting the  Milk   with Dignity  program in its supply chain. To date, the company has refused to take responsibility and protect the rights of dairy workers.

Especially given our church’s Sanctuary commitment to immigrant justice, supporting this campaign feels like an especially appropriate and meaningful way for us to embody our theme this year of “Love in Action!”  Many of us signed postcards after church on Sunday--February 23rd to CEO, Mike Vail, urging him to follow Ben & Jerry’s in signing Hannaford on to the Milk with Dignity program on behalf of migrant dairy workers throughout New England, and we have lots more postcards left for anyone who might still wish to sign one. Just stop in the church office and sign a postcard any time.

           To see how this program has already helped migrant farm workers, watch one or both of these videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgV64aETk1w&feature=youtu.be
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HUxTQb4Q2kc&feature=youtu.be

Below is some information about Hannaford
in relation to migrant farm workers:
 
● With nearly 200 stores, Hannaford is one of the largest supermarket chains in the Northeast and an important buyer of dairy products
● Hannaford is owned by Ahold Delhaize [del-HAY-zee], a multinational corporation with $75 billion in global sales, mostly from U.S. supermarket chains like Hannaford. Through its Responsible Retailing Program, Ahold has committed to sourcing practices that respect human rights.
● Hannaford brand milk comes from farms where workers are suffering severe human rights abuses, working in dangerous conditions for below minimum wage and living in substandard housing
Migrant Justice has invited Hannaford to join the Milk with Dignity program but has so far yet to receive a reply
● We urge Hannaford to take advantage of this opportunity to join the Milk with Dignity program, the only program that can provide the company with a guarantee that its dairy products will be produced free from human rights violations
Notes from
Our Worker Justice Minister
 
RANDOM THOUGHTS FOR APRIL FROM THE WORKER JUSTICE MINISTER

I know we could all come up with our own heartfelt prayer for workers during these unprecedented times, but the Irish Catholic Bishops' Conference offered this not long ago, so here it is:



A Prayer for Healthcare Workers 
during this time of the Coronavirus COVID-19

Loving God,
we place into your care
all our doctors, nurses and healthcare workers.
Give them courage of heart
and strength of mind and body.
Keep them safe from harm.
May they know our deep gratitude
for all they are doing
to heal and help those affected by
the coronavirus.
God of all consolation
may they know your protection and peace.
Bless them in these challenging days
and bless their families.
Amen.


In this time of Easter and with a nod to poet Maya Angelou,
let us remember: Together, we will rise!
Gail Kinney, Worker Justice Minister



DECLARING SUPPORT FOR THE GREEN NEW DEAL AND AFFIRMING THE INTERSECTIONALITY OF CLIMATE JUSTICE WITH ALL JUSTICE ISSUES

A Resolution of Witness
Submitted by: Meriden Congregational Church, Meriden, NH


SUMMARY:  
This resolution provides Meriden Congregational Church with the opportunity to declare its support for the Green New Deal Resolution (H. Res. 109) released by Congress on February 7, 2019.

By declaring its support, Meriden Congregational Church will proclaim the intersectionality of climate justice with all justice issues and offer a path of action and hope by which humanity can address the defining moral issues of our time.

BACKGROUND:

With the release of the Green New Deal Resolution on February 7, 2019, Congress created an opportunity for the United States to commit to goals and projects that are consistent with the UCC’s historical advocacy for racial, economic and environmental justice. The Green New Deal aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions, create jobs, provide for a just transition to clean and renewable energy and secure clean air and water.
 
Recognizing that climate change threatens the safety, health, and dignity of ordinary people, the authors of the Green New Deal have made environmental justice the heart of the resolution. The Green New Deal specifically names the “systemic injustices” that disproportionally affect “frontline and vulnerable communities” and provides a list of such: “indigenous communities, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.”

Indeed, the genius of the Green New Deal resolution is that it identifies and seeks to address two interrelated crises: a climate crisis and a socio-economic crisis of wage stagnation and growing inequality.

BIBLICAL, THEOLOGICAL AND ETHICAL RATIONALE
 
As people of faith, we recognize that the earth is the Lord’s… Nevertheless, Creation, God’s great gift – the context in which all life seeks fulfillment – is in crisis. The scientific consensus is unambiguous. Climate change is real, it’s caused by human activity, it’s already happening, and it’s accelerating. The scale of Creation’s demise is dramatically expanding beyond our comprehension.

The Green New Deal addresses this urgent crisis by offering America a comprehensive vision that, if implemented, can save millions of lives even as it addresses economic inequalities, environmental racism and other manifestations of climate injustice.

Our generation still has the power to bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice by reviving creation. Indeed, by acting with the urgency and on the scale of the Green New Deal, we may still have time to avoid the worst consequences of climate change as we seek to preserve God’s great gift of creation.

TEXT OF THE MOTION
 
WHEREAS, the Green New Deal is rooted in the scientific findings from the October 2018 Special Report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which declares that carbon emissions must be reduced by about fifty per cent before 2030 and completely phased out before 2050 if global temperature rise is to be limited to 1.5°Celsius;

WHEREAS, humanity is already contending with changes on a scale we can hardly comprehend, such as:

 Rainfall from big storms is now measured in feet - not inches (e.g., Houston received five 70 feet (61”) of rain from Hurricane Harvey).

 The Earth's temperature is already well into the range that existed during the Eemian period, 120,000 years ago, when sea level was 20 to 30 feet higher than it is now.

 The cost of catastrophic, unprecedented flooding in the Midwest in the spring of 2019 is well over $3 billion.

 Not since World War II have more human beings been at risk from disease and starvation than at this very moment. Climate change is the primary cause of droughts, which are increasingly rendering areas in Africa uninhabitable.

 Recognizing that the sixth mass extinction in geological history is now underway, biologists are using the term “Biological Annihilation” as species are going extinct at least 100 times the normal rate;

WHEREAS, the urgency of the climate crisis is accelerating faster than anyone imagined. For example:

 In January, 2019, scientists learned that the oceans are warming 40% faster than they had previously thought.

 As the oceans absorb CO2, they are becoming more acidic at a frightening rate in excess of any change the world has seen in 300 million years;

WHEREAS, climate change multiplies and accelerates injustice by hitting the poorest people and people of color first and worse because it’s the poorest people and people of color who typically live in areas most likely to flood, most prone to disease, and most subject to the droughts, heat-waves and various diseases that are now migrating on account of climate change.

WHEREAS, climate change is creating and accelerating a health crisis in our inner cities that gets worse each summer, especially as rising temperatures create urban heat islands responsible for more and more cases of asthma that are disabling – and killing – children and elderly people of color.

WHEREAS, those most affected by climate change have not caused it and are powerless to stop it. For example, the farmers in parts of Africa who are losing their lands either to drought or to unprecedented flooding have a carbon footprint that is virtually 1/200th the carbon footprint of the average American;

WHEREAS, the people and institutions who actually caused and are causing climate change aren’t being held accountable for the catastrophic damage climate change is already causing;

WHEREAS, the Green New Deal acknowledges the necessity of assuming moral responsibility for intergenerational harm caused by failure to act on climate change and the urgency of taking action on a comprehensive scale to reduce the catastrophe future generations will inherit;

WHEREAS, on March 15, 2019, more than 1,400,000 young people in 128 countries, in over 2,200 cities and towns, and on every continent (including Antarctica) walked out of their schools on a school strike for climate action – the biggest day of global climate action ever – insisting that, in the words of 16-year old Greta Thunberg, initiator of the school strike for the climate and Nobel Prize nominee, “We need a whole new way of thinking…we need to start cooperating and sharing the remaining resources of this planet in a fair way”;

WHEREAS, Yale researchers say 81% of the voters they polled support a Green New Deal to create jobs and work toward renewable energy;

WHEREAS, scores of scientists have spoken out in favor of the Green New Deal, including Stanford Professor Mark Jacobson, whose research demonstrates that each of the 50 states can establish a zero-emissions economy by 2035 and who says, "Right now, we have about ninety per cent or ninety-five per cent of the technology we need…. We don't need a technological miracle to solve this problem. The bottom line is we just need to deploy, deploy, deploy";

WHEREAS, the Core Purpose of the United Church of Christ states (in part): “… we serve God in the co-creation of a just and sustainable world as made manifest in the Gospel of Jesus Christ”; and

WHEREAS, this historic moment provides Christian communities with a powerful opportunity to bear witness to the sacredness of God’s Creation and the urgent call to preserve it, and responding to this call expresses the new mission initiative of the UCC known as the three great loves, one of which is love of creation;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED , that the Meriden Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, recognizes the scale and immediacy of the climate crisis, the urgent need to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible, and the moral obligation to embrace the unprecedented socio-economic changes that we must effect and engage as opportunities to create fair paying jobs, secure clean air and water, redress manifestations of environmental racism and pursue a just transition to clean and renewable energy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED , that the Meriden Congregational Church endorses the Green New Deal Resolution (H. Res. 109) released by Congress on 167 February 7, 2019.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED , that the Meriden Congregational Church calls upon the whole of the congregation to accept the moral responsibility that comes with living “at such a time as this” (Esther 4:14) by: 

 Standing up for the critical role science must play in understanding the challenges that now pose an existential threat to life as we have known it on this planet;

 Continuing to learn from scientifically informed sources about the new realities and new solutions that are emerging every day;

 Discussing climate change with increasing frequency at church, at home, at work and in our social encounters, emphasizing how it threatens things we all value while noting that we already have all the technology we need to achieve the goals of the Green New Deal;

 Incorporating into our worship life and community leadership an awareness of climate change, its consequences (especially for vulnerable, frontline communities), and the opportunities we still have to make the changes science says we must and technology says we can;

 Helping our communities to be more prepared for extreme weather events and more resilient to a changing climate in the long term;

 Lifting up the reality that many people, regardless of their political affiliation or allegiance, support the Green New Deal because it addresses not only climate change but also numerous forms of injustice;

 Paying attention as federal, state and local agencies develop and propose new policies that impact our environment and engaging those agencies as advocates for policies and legislation that advance the goals of the Green New Deal, including its commitment to address the “systemic injustices” that disproportionally affect “frontline and vulnerable communities”;

 Maintaining a commitment to compassion and fairness by advocating for a just transition for those workers and communities most dependent on fossil fuel energy so that they, too, have opportunities for clean, healthful and family-supporting jobs that heal our planet.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Meriden Congregational Church calls upon the whole congregation of the church to accept that it is up to us to pour ourselves out to bend the moral arc of the universe towards justice, with joy in our hearts, beauty in our sights, and hope for the children.

FUNDING
Funding for the implementation of this Resolution will be made in accordance with the overall mandates of the affected ministries and the funds available.

IMPLEMENTATION 
The Leadership of the Meriden Congregational Church , in consultation with appropriate ministries, will determine the implementing body.
Y