Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter APRIL 2019

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 Faith Community Celebrations
Each Sunday at 10:00 AM
with Church School & Nursery Care Provided
Here it is! Volume 3 Issue 1 of our e-mail newsletter
Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-pastors 
Meriden Congregational Church 
603-469-3235
“There will come a time when we will love humanity,
when we will gain the courage
to fight for an equitable society
for our beloved humanity,
knowing that when we fight for humanity,
we are fighting for ourselves. 
There will come a time. 
Maybe , just maybe, that time is now!”
-           Ibram X. Kendi

           Yes, brother Ibram, may it be so, for it feels increasingly also true that we may be precipitously close to that time when it will be too late truly to save our “beloved humanity,” not to mention our mother earth upon which our lives depend. Nor is this a new phenomenon. More than 50 years ago, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. warned that “we are now confronted with the fierce urgency of NOW. In this unfolding conundrum of life and history, there is such a thing as being too late. This is not time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.”  And much further back still, the Jewish prophetic movement leader, Jesus, mourned how tragically we have yet to understand the ways that make possible the just and peaceable kin-dom. Indeed, the really bad news is that we seem as close as we have ever been to destroying the fabric of our common life and the sustainability of our shared earthly home. 
           And yet…no matter how much power the crucifixion forces of negativity, destruction, and even death gain within and among us, in the inspiring words of the African-American poet Maya Angelou, “still we rise.” Yes, the Roman Empire was able to terminate the beautiful life of the human Jesus, and yet, even the power of the mightiest empire the world had ever known still could not extinguish the light and hope of God’s love which Jesus had so compellingly embodied. Indeed, sometimes it seems that it is precisely when the powers of division, hatred, and doom appear most overwhelming that resurrection happens yet again as somewhere, somehow, someone(s) dare to rise in revolutionary love against all odds, filled with visionary hope and radical imagination. 
           At its most profound level, this is what resurrection looks like, and it’s what Easter JOY is all about, as the irrepressible Spirit of Life and Love rises up within and among us in ways determined to resist and subvert the death dealing of the Empire, and inspire us even more boldly to transform the walls dividing us into bridges uniting us, to heal our divisions, and embody the love of our hearts with the justice of life within the Beloved Community. Thus is it true that the time to love humanity not only will come, but does come, each and every moment of all the days of our lives. The only question is whether and when we will allow that courageous spirit to rise up within us in ways that help us imagine new and transformative ways of being with and for each other. 
           And herein lies the strength and the blessing of seeking to build and live Beloved Community together. For as the late William Sloane Coffin often reminded us, “to love effectively, we must act collectively.”  Especially given all the toxic religion afflicting so much of our culture, it’s understandable why so many profess to be “spiritual, but not religious.” Yet the root of the word religion is to bind, to connect, to affirm our at-one-ment as people whose power to heal and transform our world is so much stronger when united in community than when left only to ourselves as individuals. 
           Nevertheless, there are times when the Spirit’s call surprises us by rising up from places and persons least familiar to us. Certainly during his earthly ministry, there were far more who dismissed than were inspired by the life and ministry of the poor, itinerant, brown-skinned, laborer, who dared from his status as a nobody to imagine a world wherein there would no longer be division between those honored as being worth more, and those disregarded as somehow being worth less within the stratified community of their day. And perhaps because he knew so well the experience of being outside the artificial norms of respectability, Jesus was especially sensitive to the wisdom arising from within and among those on the margins, not least of whom included children and youth, remembering the teaching of the prophet Isaiah that “a little child would lead them.” 
           Could it be then, that this is one of those times, perhaps even the most critical of times, with economic and racial disparity at ever increasing levels, even as we daily hear doomsday predictions as to the worsening climate disaster already beginning to threaten and destroy so much of our lives? To listen to the mostly older white men in power, led so ignobly by our own white supremacist in chief, almost requires a suspension of belief as the challenges before us are either minimized or even denied altogether, while insisting that we stay the same social, economic, and global suicide course we have learned to run so well. 
           And yet…seemingly from out of nowhere, at least to those of us who have not been paying attention, comes the combination of the Youth Global Climate Strike, inspired by Swedish teenager, Greta Thunberg, who chastised global leaders at the United Nations Climate Summit for failing to take seriously the “existential crisis” of catastrophic climate change, along with the sweeping proposals contained within the “Green New Deal,” co-crafted by one of our newest and youngest Latinix legislators, and championed by the youth led Sunrise Movement.   Those of us able to be in church on April 7 th will hear more about and from Greta, as we seek to open ourselves more fully to her wisdom and her challenge.
     And I hope we shall likewise explore more intentionally the comprehensive transformation of our lives together envisioned within the “Green New Deal.” In holy defiance of those already seeking to delegitimize such wildly racial ideas as:

  • Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions through a fair and just transition for all workers;

·          * Guaranteeing a job with a family-sustaining wage, adequate family and
medical leave, paid vacations, and retirement security to all people of the
United States;

  • Providing all people of the U. S. with – (i) high-quality health care; (ii) affordable, safe, and adequate housing; (iii) economic security; and (iv) access to clean water, clean air, healthy, affordable food, & nature;

  • Providing resources, training, and high-quality education, including higher education, to all people of the United States;

·         * I nvesting in the infrastructure and industry of the United States to
sustainably meet the challenges of the 21st century;
·         
* and promoting justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future
and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of
color, migrant communities, de-industrialized communities, depopulated
rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly,
the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth.


What would it look like for our church to encourage open and energetic conversation about the ways in which many of these goals align with the deepest values of our faith? Given that all budgets are moral documents in that they reflect what and whom we value, how might these proposals challenge us to imagine investing more fully in policies that promote and enhance the well-being especially of those thus far less valued and thus more negatively impacted by policies disingenuously touted as being either inevitable or “realistic?” And to the extent that our hearts resonate with the kind of love uprising envisioned through the “Green New Deal,” how might we become more intentionally engaged in promoting and supporting enactment of this “new deal” for our lives? For “maybe, just maybe, the time is now for us to find the courage to fight for an equitable society” dedicated to ensuring a comprehensive approach to addressing the interconnected economic, social, racial, and climate justice challenges before us in brave, new, creative, and ultimately healing and transformative ways!

Wishing us all Easter blessings
In our shared quest to rise in Revolutionary Love together,
Your Pastoral Co-Conspirators,
Susan & John
OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN APRIL

April 7th @ 10:00 AM
Fifth Sunday of Lent
Loving and Honoring, Healing and Restoring our Planet Home! Join us for this Inter-generational Communion Service as we celebrate Earth Day, recommitting ourselves to taking essential care of our generous yet fragile earth. How is our faith community called to be faithful stewards of God's Creation in this critical time? Hospitality Hour to follow.

April 14th @ 10:00 AM
Sixth Sunday of Lent
Palm Sunday Celebration
Join us at the gate of Jerusalem as we accompany Jesus, on his donkey, into the triumphs and traumas of Holy Week. Our children and youth will lead us with the waving of palm branches in a Palm Sunday Parade and, who knows, we may be welcoming a very special visitor to share with us what it was like to be there with Jesus on that Palm Sunday so many years ago. Following our service, we hope you will join us for our EASTER DESSERT AUCTION featuring Easter Baskets filled with delightful treats as well as yummy desserts for your Easter table!

April 21st 5:45 am & 10:00 am
EASTER SUNDAY!
Our Celebration of Jesus' Resurrection begins at 5:45 am with our not-to-be-missed Sunrise Service (meeting at the parish house at 5:40 am). Following this outdoor Communion Service, join us for our scrumptious Easter Sunrise Breakfast in the parish house at 6:30 am. Then, we will gather again at 10:00 am in our beloved church sanctuary adorned with lilies and spring flowers for our Easter Service celebrated with trumpet and our Easter Choir! We can't wait to celebrate Easter with you! Hospitality Hour to follow our Easter Service.

April 28th @ 10:00 AM
Second Sunday of Easter
 Taize Service
Join us for our monthly Taize Service offering us a time to replenish and renew our souls through a peaceful rhythm of silence, scripture and song. Treat yourself to this time of spiritual nurture. Hospitality Hour to follow.
No matter who you are,
No matter whom you love,
No matter where you on
life's journey,

YOU are WELCOME to
share in all our
Church Family Services,
Celebrations,
and Activities!
Asma Elhuni came to our church on March 24th to talk about her faith, Islam
APRIL IN CHURCH SCHOOL
Join us for an engaging and fun April of youth programming at Meriden Congregational Church! I look forward to the following events this month:


    April 7, Intergenerational Service
I will deliver the Children's Message on this Sunday, featuring a “MCC Moment,” a special story from summer camp. During this Sunday, we'll collect an offering for the Meriden Community Camp Scholarship Fund. Come visit my table at Coffee Hour following the service to learn more! Our Whole Lives program for Kindergarten and First Grade also begins on April 7.

April 14, Spirit Sunday: Yoga!
J oin us for a mindful and child-friendly yoga lesson with instructor Susan Sanzone! Our Whole Lives program for Kindergarten and First Grade continues on April 14.
          
 April 15, Early Registration Deadline for Meriden Community Camp!
Don't miss this opportunity to save $20 per week per child enrolled this summer! Contact Kelsey for more information: camp@meridenucc.org .
 
April 21, Easter and Easter Egg Hunt!
Come celebrate this special day and find some yummy treats with your little ones!

April 27, First NONO Program Date!
If you need a Night Out or a Night Off from the challenges that parenting can present, please enroll your children for this inexpensive night of childcare from 5 pm - 9 pm. Just $10 per child! Contact Kelsey for more information: kelsey@meridenucc.org .

April 28, Spirit Sunday: Baking for Coffee Hour!
Your children can practice the generous act of preparing food for our congregation during church school. OWL K/1 will follow for those enrolled.

Thank you all for your continued support of our youth programming at Meriden Congregational Church!

Kelsey MacNamee
Spiritual Formation Coordinator
Meriden Congregational Church
(603) 504-4257
Our Wednesday Morning Contemplative Prayer
in April!

Join us for two Wednesdays during this month!

We look forward to your joining us for this brief time of quiet prayer to nurture your body and spirit
before you start your day!
We will meet in the Bryant Parlor (upstairs) of the Parish House from 6:45-7:15 am on April 3 and 17.

In case there may be a need to cancel due to inclement weather, please let Susan know if you are hoping to join us on one of these Wednesdays!
Thank you!

APRIL CALENDAR

Our Whole Lives
"OWL"
Fostering values of self-worth, sexual health, responsibility, justice and inclusivity!

If you or a family you know has a kindergartner or first grader, please join us this spring for a wonderful opportunity our church is offering this age group--the eight session K/1 OWL curriculum--a program of developmentally age- appropriate material to help our kindergartners and first graders identify their attitudes, values and feelings about themselves, learn more about keeping their bodies healthy and safe, and celebrating the wonder of themselves, their families, and new babies! Parent participation is strongly encouraged throughout the program!
Trained, experienced co-facilitators, Andrea Bueno Keen, Steve Jameson and Glen Greenough, will be teaching the eight sessions on selected Sunday mornings (10:20-11:30 am) during the spring. The first session will be Sunday, April 7th. Since this session will be a parent/child orientation, it will begin at 9 am (till 10 am) for parents, 10:20-11:00 am for children, and a combined hour for children and parents from 11:00-Noon. The full schedule will be available at the parent/child orientation session.

If you or someone you know is interested in being a part of this invaluable program, please contact Andrea Bueno Keen (469-3006) or call the church office (469-3235) or email Susan Gregory-Davis at susan@meridenucc.org. We so look forward to sharing this program with you!

Please stay tuned for additional OWL programs offered for our other age groups, in particular, grades 5-6 and grades 7-9 to be offered in 2019-2020.
These images were taken by Juliette Hampton at the Labryinth Event on March 10th.

The Significance of “A Naming Ceremony” for Shideko Terai on Transfiguration Sunday, March 3, 2019
             
   Gail Kinney asked me if I would like to have a naming ceremony. I was wearing a nametag that revealed my name to everyone at the Faith & Labor conference. Gail was leading this conference and called me over afterwards and asked if I would like to have a naming ceremony. Wow! I immediately said yes, and she said she would talk it over with John. Right away I started thinking of the music since that was what brought me to Meriden Congregational church. The hymns I chose are the hymns I had already selected for my memorial service. All my end of life plans are on the computer in a folder for my son, Rigel Cable. It was Emily Quimby who asked me if I’d like to attend Children’s Sunday, that there would be communion, but I didn’t have to feel pressured about that.Greg Marshall was preaching and explained his upcoming trip to the USSR and the Bridges for Peace trip. When George Butler played the organ in his magnificent style and we sang “Joyful, Joyful We Adore You” my eyes welled up with tears and I knew this was the church for me.
               The naming ceremony has been a significant part of honoring a journey I have been on my entire life. I knew that I had to explain this journey as a children’s message rather than from the pulpit. The story is actually one that is told from the perspective of a child becoming an older generation of adult. Remember that I chose music that I have planned for my memorial service? It isn’t that Mary has died. Of course not. The process of telling how Mary Nanette Boyle could now rest in my heart and how Shideko De Luca Terai has been me all along lifted this untold burden from my whole body and I feel so very happy. I haven’t become Shideko, I am Shideko. And having the people of this church witness the unfolding of the lifetime of “Boundless Edges of Uncertainty” has been a most tremendous gift.
               Thank you everyone.
            Shideko Terai

           


Sanctuary in Grief
Offering Companionship INSIDE
the Grief You’re Living
Every Other Friday—April 12th, April 26th
@ 2:00 PM in the Parish House

Upstairs in t he Parish House
“There’s a grief that can’t be spoken. 
There’s a pain goes on and on. 
Empty chairs at empty tables…”
- The miserable ones      
           
Welcome to a safe, private community - a community of grievers, a place where we hope all can find sanctuary. Through mutual respect and compassion we seek to bear witness to each other’s pain, and to support and hold each other as we try to find our way in the unbearable, unimaginable world of deep grief and loss. 
Everyone is welcome to this community. It does not matter what your religious views are or even if you have no religion. Maybe you are looking for a spiritual path, or maybe you are so mad at God you don’t even want to think about that path.
While we shall focus primarily on grief as a result of death, we hope you will find refuge and respite if you are facing imminent loss, such as a terminal illness of a loved one or even yourself.  If you are grieving the death of a loved one, it doesn’t matter how long ago it was. Grief has no time limit or expiration date. 
We will not pass judgment on your grief or loss, nor your reaction to it. We shall not try to fix you or tell you how to “move on” or “get better.” As Megan Devine, author of “It’s OK That You’re Not OK ” tells us, “Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.   
Worship and Music Ministry News

Here Comes EASTER FEVER:  


We are born story-makers and story-tellers. Once again our Meriden congregation will tell the Easter story over the next several weeks of April. It is part of our Christian faith journey to recount it annually, always incorporating our most recent life experiences and the most vivid of our hopes. We weave a bright spring-time tapestry from the myriad threads of our individual and communal lives.

We dramatize this death-to-life holy story in different ways—a Palm Sunday procession, a Maundy Thursday tableau supper, a Friday of dark shadows, and then a sunrise Easter circle to witness the miraculous dawning of more than just the sun. (We do the same at Christmas time with our children’s pageant, Christmas Smiles and our evening candlelight service re-enacting the Christmas story from a panorama of angles.) Our Beloved Community is constantly combining and recombining the timeless New Testament story elements to gain extra insight and new healing in our contemporary moment.

Lent and Easter are linked inseparably with the spring’s renewal. Though the snows and mud still remain in New Hampshire, I am writing in late March from Tennessee and Illinois where the spring flowers, budding trees, earthy smells and warm sunshine make me impatient for spring to arrive when I get back home to New Hampshire. There are seeds to be started indoors, last year’s garden beds to be turned and new landscape plantings to be established. Actually, today I can’t wait to mow the grass—though, admittedly, even that will revert back to being a grudging chore by mid to late Summer. By then beds will need weeding, the squirrels will have sampled some tomatoes and the deer will have snacked on the best of the variegated Hosta leaves. The recurring cycles of life and nature await us.

There’s the same seasonality reflected in our lives and in our beloved faith community. Lent is a good time to get back to basics, Easter and the successive months carry a message about enthusiastic renewal. The spiritual landscape matures over the summer months and settles into autumn colors.  Long winter celebrates the Christmas Dawn of Light in late December and then soon the days lengthen and the wondrous cycle begins once again.

Easter faith and Easter fever should be contagious. Hope you catch them this year: There are Easter Hallelujahs yet to be sung!

Ed Cousineau for Worship and Music






Welcoming and Caring Ministry News

In March our church family started off with a Naming Ceremony for Shideko Tirau (formerly Mary Boyle). This lovely ceremony brought visitors to our community from Plainfield, Cornish and the Valley Insight Community. On March 10th we walked the Labyrinth in our minds and in reality. What's the difference between a Labyrinth and a Maze? A Labyrinth has a clear way in and out but surprising twists and turns; a Maze has no clear way forward to an exit. On March 17th, St Patrick's Day, the Feminine Divine was celebrated. On March 24th, Asma Elhuni, Lead Organizer of the United Valley Interfaith Project shared her experience of her own faith, Islam. Her explanations of her prayer practices and other faith issues deepened our understanding of this religion. Finally on March 31st we experienced the silence, the scripture and the song of the meditative Taize tradition.

Our Ministry provided ushers and Coffee Hours for these services thanks to Ed & Laura Cousineau, Cindy Marx-Wood, Jerry Judd, Rod Wendt, Glen & Christine Greenough, Kathy Wright, Jody Schubert, Andrea Brown, Isabel Brozen and Nora Kells Gordon. Thanks to you for your wonderful service. There was one event, a Potluck, which got snowed out. I sincerely hope we don't have that problem again for a long time.

In April the Welcoming and Caring Ministry will help host two events in addition to providing ushers and Coffee Hours after church. The first will be the Easter Basket and Dessert Auction on Palm Sunday April 14th. Decorate a basket with any kind of goody--sure candy is nice but what about a cheese basket or toys? I hear that one entry will be a coffee and hot chocolate basket. Of course Desserts are always welcome. The other special event is the Easter Breakfast after the Sunrise Service on April 21st. I may be calling you to bake or buy items for this warm celebration. Maybe the snow will be gone by then!!

Kathy Wright, Coordinator for Welcoming and Caring Ministry
Church Number 603-469-3235; Home Number 603-675-5989
Stewardship News
Stewardship Miracle!

Yes, miracles do happen! Just a week before our Leadership Meeting on March 12, our budget “gap” for 2019 stood at $6,718 in our budget of $214,533. But several people came forward in that last week, and walking into the meeting the gap stood at $1,218. Within a few minutes it shrank to $818. Your Leadership looked at one another, and Treasurer Cindy Griffin said, “In the scheme of a $215,000 budget, $818 is just 0.4% of the total — almost a rounding error! We could look all through this budget for $818, or we could acknowledge that our actual spending will move around somewhat over the year and likely cover this very small gap…I suggest we call this ‘close enough’ and accept this very small gap.”

And with a unanimous vote, smiles on our faces and great appreciation to YOU the members and friends of our beloved little church, we did. No cuts were made to the budget.

This miracle occurred because you, the members and friends of MCC, stepped up and almost closed the “gap". We left Annual Meeting with a “gap” of $22,294. About half of that — $11,100 — was pledged by 8 donors to “match” another $11,200 to be donated by the rest of the members and friends of the church. All told, 26 members and friends made $21,476 in increased pledges or 1-time gifts to get us to the place were we could say, “Close enough!”

God is good — all the time!

Your Leadership Team
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)     
www.hassan.senate.gov        
           
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
Order your Lillies or Spring Flowers by emailing secretary@meridenucc.org
Administration and Finance Ministry News

March 2019


We have some minor maintenance items to report. A new rope has been installed on our church bell, the bell rope guide wheels have been lubricated. The bell is not swinging quite as easily as before, and we hope to address that by lubricating the main bell bearings. The other maintenance item is the repair of the fluorescent lights in the basement. Joanna Sharf of Emily Electric replaced the wall switch that controlled the faulty light fixtures, and that fixed the problem. Joanna generously declined payment for the work.

We will soon be replacing the phones in the parish house and the church with new cordless phones. We have discovered that the phone handsets in the Parish House kitchen and in the church sanctuary no longer work, and the phone line in the Bryant Parlor has been inoperable for several months. It is essential for safety reasons that we have a working phone in the church sanctuary so this replacement has a high priority.

Once the new phones are in place we ask that if you are in the sanctuary or the Parish House and you hear the phone ring, please answer it. On occasion people have tried to contact family members in the sanctuary or Parish House and no one has answered the phone, even though they were in the building. It may be important for someone to contact a family member, so please pick up if you hear the phone ring.

A&F is working on updating our Building Use policy, which will guide us in renting the church sanctuary, Bryant Parlor and Esterbrook room to outside organizations. We anticipate that consistently renting our space will require someone to act as a Building Use Coordinator, who will be responsible for managing any rental activity, taking the burden off our co-pastors who currently manage the use of our buildings by external groups. We do not anticipate that this would be a very time consuming ministry, as historically we have not seen much demand, but this may be because we have not advertised that the space is available for use. If anyone feels moved volunteer to assume the role of Building Use Coordinator, please contact Evan Oxenham.



Evan Oxenham Co-coordinator of Administration and Finance Ministry



 Inspired by the Faith Odyssey Program that we offer our youth to facilitate their discernment as to what they can affirm about their faith as they consider Confirmation, we are thrilled once again to provide a similar opportunity for adults.  Although quite accessible, this latest book by Richard Rohr is more theological in its orientation than some we have studied, and promises to stimulate animated conversation and reflection upon our own evolving faith odyssey.
Fr. Richard Rohr is a Franciscan priest of the New Mexico Province and founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (CAC) in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Fr. Richard’s teaching is grounded in the Franciscan alternative orthodoxy—practices of contemplation and self-emptying, expressing itself in radical compassion. In addition to the book itself, there are ample resources available at for those who wish to supplement their reading, including a wonderful related podcast, “Another Name for Everything.”   
Our plan is to begin just before Easter on Wednesday—April 17th,  and continue for up to 8 additional sessions altogether, with most sessions being held from 7:00 to 8:30 PM here at the Parish House, and the final schedule to be determined in consultation with interested participants.   Our first session will revolve around a video presentation by Rohr introducing his book, and hopefully whetting our appetite for more. 
Thereafter, throughout Eastertide, in the hope that everyone will have access to the book by then, we shall utilize an 8 session study guide prepared to supplement our reading and reflecting together. Wherever we may be along our own faith journey, all are welcome and encouraged to join us for what we anticipate will 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. And please feel free to let us know if you are interested but cannot attend our first session, so that we may work to accommodate you as best we can. If in doubt, plan to join us for our first exploratory session if possible, by way of learning more about Rohr’s Celtic theology and Franciscan spirituality. 

            “Rohr challenges us to search beneath the surface of our faith and see what is sacred in everyone and everything. Anyone who strives to put their faith into action will find encouragement and inspiration in the pages of this book.”     —Melinda Gates

REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS
     
          
In the month of March we received $15,825 in pledge payments. We also received $2,134 in plate collections. The totals received year to date are: $34,725 for pledges and $3,317 for plate. Other revenues include:$5,200 for the pledge challenge, $240 for the After School program, $151 for the pancake supper on Shrove Tuesday and $7,096.50 for our quarterly disbursement from Ropes and Gray. We have received a total of $7,200 for the pledge challenge to date.

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


red_ribbon_heart.jpg
         As we transition from Lent to Easter , we give joyous thanks for the caring and sharing which make which make our Beloved Community of faith such a welcome home for us all. 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 we pray for our friends in Bolivia, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe , and all those living in such troubled lands as Israel, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, Yemen, South Sudan, the Congo, Iraq, & Iran.  We pray with special concern 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 African-American sisters and brothers, and for the courage and compassion to affirm with them that Black Lives Matter ”, not more, but certainly not less than, every life .   
            Likewise do we pray for Larry Wolkin; Suzanne Lenz’ nephew, Zachary; Yesenia Araya Russman; Selden Lord; Tecla McCann Kathy Wright’s sister, Carolyn Youtz ; Eva Castillo; Randall Balmer; Bob Carpenter; Christine Greenough’s father , Doug; Judith Kaufman;   Gianna Marzilli Ericson’s dear friend , David Ilsa Pinkson-Burke; Karen Jameson’s mother, Letitia; Wendy Barros’ mother, Colleen; Greg Castell’s father; Becky Luce; Scot Zens; Rev. Jed Reardon; Bob Carpenter; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law , Michelle; Jim Schubert’s niece , Wendy; Suzanne Lenz; Chris LaFont; Erik Heaton; Len Saunders’ mother , Deb;  Laura Cousineau’s mother, Laura Keener Kreisl;  Beth Kopp’s friend, Jody Austin; Julie Barber; Tony Wellhaven; Allyson Wendt; Sue Pullen’s nephew, Jaime; Greg Marshall; Larry Burch’s parents , Bill & Olive; Linda & Arthur Perkins; Glenn Griffin’s nephew, Jeffrey; Susan Turner’s first father-in-law, Cecil Baker , as well as Sue’s friend, Jane Miles , and Sue’s cousin, Buddy Stevenson;  Andrea Keen’s father, Max Bueno; Tim Timmons; Maura Hart’s father , William; Becky Luce’s nephew, Matthew; Allen Roger’s father, Earl Rogers; Vicki Ramos-Glew’s mother, Carol Spencer; Laine Gillespie’s mother , Marilyn, as well as Laine’s uncle, Paul; Bill Chappelle’s friend, Mel; Odile Clavier’s colleague , Jim Barry , as well as Odile’s mother, Marie-Claire, and Odile’s niece , Amelie Marie;  Susan Sanzone’s parents, Norma & Sal Sanzone, & Susan’s aunt , Rita.
So too do we pray for these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer : Selden 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 ; Suzanne Lenz’ sister , Marlene, as well as Suzanne’s friend’s father, Tom Martin ; Jo Evarts , and her sister , Jingles ; Robert Bryant; Dawn Forbes; Cynthia Howe; Penny Arcone’s brother, Stuart Hills , & Penny’s friends, Dick Slubin and Gail Graham ; Karen Anikis’ friend, Randi Welhaven , Joan Dumont’s stepbrother, Lowell Toof ; Jeff McNamara; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan .


          
As gradually warming weather leads us to yearn for the new life of spring, so too have our hearts ached with the loss of dearly beloved friends and relatives of our faith community.
Our hearts ache with our Muslim friends and neighbors, and their families,   as they mourn the tragic deaths of those killed in the New Zealand terrorist attack on Friday--March 15 th .
  So too do we enfold within God’s healing care Bob & Robyn Carpenter , as they grieve both the sudden death of Bob’s nephew, Stephen Turnbul , on Friday—March 15 th , 2019, followed shortly thereafter by the loss of Bob's uncle, Donald Snide , on Monday, March 18 th , 2019 .  

            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 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.

APRIL BIRTHDAYS
4/1 Beckett Eastman
4/2        Marcia Copperswaite
4/2         John Yacavone
4/2         Cindy LaFlam
4/2         Taylor Williams
4/6         Jed Wilber
4/6         Zoey Houde-Crane
4/7         Natalie Ruppertsberger
4/7         Reed Brozen
4/11       Graham Brooks
4/12       Bryden Nugent
4/13       Noah Herfort
4/13       Rodney Wendt
4/13       Warren Calderone
4/15       Bobby Annis
4/15       Johanna Schafer
4/16       Harold Clark
4/17       David Carver
4/17      Yesenia Araya
4/17       Bob Bucklin
4/18       Betty Pardoe
4/19      Alexandra Parsons
4/20       Mike Schafer
4/20       David Sneiderman
 
4/20      Michelle Sneiderman
4/21       Elaine Lenz
4/21      Caitlyn Howell
4/22     Andile Muhlauri
4/22       Betsy Beck
4/22      Carter Williams
4/23       Austin James Currier
4/24       Lisa Elder
4/24       Macsen Elkouh
4/24      Hunter Townsend
4/25       Jasmine Hardy
4/25       Jan Timmons
4/25       Lindsay Anikis
4/25       Becky Luce
4/26       Christina Robinson
4/26       Susan Yacavone
4/27       Deborah Chapman
4/27       Kaylee Rogers
4/28       Annamay Chapman
4/28       Ursula Herfort
4/29 Karyn Swett
4/30       Alyssa Reetz
4/30       Svia Araya Russman

APRIL ANNIVERSARIES
 

4/8     Shawn and Robert Phelps
4/15   Andrea and Brandon Feid
4/20   David and Michelle Sneiderman
4/20   Bob and Carla Bucklin
4/21   Carol and Mike Hartman
4/25   Susan and John Yacavone


Dear Meriden Spiritual Family,
 
It has been a busy month for us readying our Sanctuary effort. We continue to determine the logistics that will allow for us to house immigrants without documents with the help of several faith communities and other friends across the region.  
 
I want thank everyone at MCC who attended and/or organized our 6/3 information session and/or our 6/10 potluck training session. We have made major strides to organize how we will communicate with volunteers and ensure they know our facility, each other, and John and Susan.
 
If you have not yet signed up, and would like to volunteer to help, here is the web address for a brief online form where you can indicate which concrete tasks you are willing to do.  Could you take 5 minutes to fill this out?  
 
 
Perhaps you could bring food or donate a gift card or participate in a few of the 10 ways or so we expect to need support? 
 
Most importantly, as of today, we are in great need of volunteers who are able to work in shifts to be in the Parish House when we have person(s) without documents onsite. We must have at least one U.S. citizen here at all times. Our greatest need is to find more people who would be willing to spend 4-6 hours during the day and/or spend the night when we have someone(s) in Sanctuary. Might this be you?
 
Thank you so much. Please reach out if you have any questions.
 
In gratitude, Jill

-Jill E. Marshall
Sanctuary Coordinator
202.510.4161

Rev. Gail Kinney, Worker Justice Minister

 
   As we transition back into Daylight Savings time this month, we shall move the time for our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils each Wednesday afternoon back to 5:00 PM, on the SouthWest corner of the intersection of Rte 120 & Main Street (at the blinking yellow light, with parking available at Poor Thom's Tavern). We have “Black Lives Matter” signs available for folk to hold, but please feel free to make and/or bring your own signs affirming such sentiments as “showing up for racial justice,” “standing on the side of LOVE,” and/or our commitment to disarm hate, and to affirm our solidarity with women, as well as our Native-, African-, Latin-, & Asian-American, as well as our immigrant & GLBTQIA, Jewish, & Muslim sisters and brothers, and all those feeling unsafe and insecure in light of recent terrors plaguing our nation.

Come “show up for racial justice,” and Stand With us for LOVE , and AGAINST racism, white supremacy, hatred, and violence , here in our community and beyond!  Together,  let us publicly declare that we will NOT be complicit in white terror and 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 the Beloved Community

 
Y