Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter APRIL 2018

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 2 Issue 10 of our e-mail newsletter
Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-pastors 
Meriden Congregational Church 
603-469-3235
“I am convinced that we must undergo a radical revolution of values….
Poverty, racism, and militarism
 are the triple evils that are interrelated….
These problems cannot be solved without
a radical redistribution of political and economic power.”
-           - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.


           Especially given our culture’s entirely understandable skepticism and even antipathy toward organized religion, I’m always intrigued by the universality of spiritual themes undergirding many of our favorite movies. Of course, those of you who have heard me preach over the years know this, and indeed this past Easter Sunday was no exception, as I began by reminding us how a long time ago in a nation far, far away, in response to a love rebellion, the Empire had struck back by crucifying the movement’s leading lover in the delusion that once so crushed, the futility of such resistance would be assured. In their obsessive love of power, Empires always idolize the “fake news” of their ability to rule over all those whom they have relegated to the “sunken place” of their domain. So deluded, the powers that be always seem to forget the eternally Good News that resurrection is built into the fabric of the universe, that the power of Love, no matter how far pushed down, is a force that will always awaken and arise anew. 
           Thus it is that in our spiritually progressive understanding of the story of our faith we focus less on the physical resurrection of one man so very long ago, and more on the living resurrection here and now of each and all of us. The Archbishop of El Salvador, Oscar Romero, understood this well when he affirmed shortly before his assassination that although his life could be ended, the spirit of love he sought to embody would nevertheless rise up anew within the Salvadoran people.  And although the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. never used this language per se, he prophesied toward the end of his sermon on the night before he was assassinated that he had been “to the mountaintop,” and could see that although he might not get there with us, we would someday achieve the “promised land” of the “Beloved Community.”   
       Even beyond all the landmark achievements of the Civil Rights movement, Dr. King was in the midst of fulfilling his most ambitious dream yet, through organizing the Poor People’s Campaign by way of empowering a “new and unsettling force” to be reckoned with. Sadly, although the campaign did occur after King’s death, culminating in a “Resurrection City” of folk from all throughout our nation, for a variety of reasons, the triple evils of racism, militarism, and poverty proved too ensconced within the fiber of our national empire to be overcome, as the Empire re-established and even deepened the “sunken place” for so many of those deemed “worth less” as they were precluded from fully sharing in the unpresented prosperity of those deluded by their financial success into thinking that they were somehow “worth more” than those “beneath” them. 
     But friends, our Easter proclamation is that Resurrection happens! For death, oppression, and injustice are never the end of our story, no matter how often and how forcefully the Empire may say NO to the life and love that permeates all creation, that irresistible Spirit nevertheless arises anew with a resounding and defiant YES! What does resurrection look like? It looks like that “new and unsettling force” of which King dreamed, rising 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. 
           Yes, there is much cause for despair these days. By nearly every standard, conditions for those most vulnerable among us are worse now than they were 50 years ago when King was so appalled by conditions then. But the wheels of injustice which have rolled over us lo these many years have not been inevitable, and we can yet drive spokes into them, as German theologian and Nazi Holocaust martyr, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, once suggested in his resistance to Hitler. Inspired by civil rights icon John Lewis, we can choose to “get in the way” though our “love in action.” 
           And one significant way for each and all of us do so is through our participation in the New Poor People’s Campaign National Call for a Moral Revival . What better way to honor and  move forward King’s original vision than to “Rise Up” in resurrection solidarity and hope to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, and now ecological devastation as well?! The Rev. William Barber, co-chair of this nationwide campaign, decries that we good religious folk have been behaving too well for too long, thereby challenging us to morally “act up” in ways that disrupt and dismantle the oppressive power of these 4 interlocking “evils.” 
           Here in the Upper Valley, lots of good organizing around all this has already begun, much of which will be shared on Saturday—April 14 th from 2:00 to 5:00 PM at the Kilton Libray in West Lebanon , as noted elsewhere in this newsletter. Please join us if you can, and as we contemplate whether and/or how to rise up into such empire subverting action, let us recall Henry David Thoreau’s reflection upon engaging in the “bad” behavior of civil disobedience, that the only thing he repented of was his “good” behavior in the face of injustice. And throughout this Easter season and beyond, let us proclaim far and wide, with the sound of our voices, the presence of our bodies, and the strength of our spirits, that when that “new and unsettling force” of love awakens within and among us, THIS is what resurrection looks like!!
Wishing us all Easter Blessings
In our shared quest to rise together into collective liberation,
Your Pastoral Co-Conspirators,
Susan & John
OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN APRIL

April Fools' Day Festivities
Easter Sunrise Communion
@ 6:00 AM
Easter Breakfast
@ 6:45 AM
Easter Extravaganza
@ 10:00 AM

A glorious celebration of Resurrection Joy featuring songs and prayers, the Easter Story of God's never-ending Love for every one of us, beautiful flowers, our Heavenly Easter Choir, trumpet, spine-tingling singing of Handel's "Hallelujah Chorus," and the blessing offered by the presence and loving response of each one of us .   In recognition that we gather as a whole church family on this happy day, there be no Church School or Nursery care, but please know that babies, children, and folk of all ages are welcomed with open arms to share our Easter Joy with us!        Please join us!!

April 8 @ 10:00 AM
Second Sunday of Eastertide
Holy Humor Sunday

Join us for a light-hearted reprise of ancient tradition of celebrating Holy Humor Sunday on the Second Sunday of Easter! This year's service will also have a more serious side, as we commemorate the on-going challenge of the life and legacy of our brother, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., following the 50th anniversary of his assassination on Wednesday--April 4th, 1968.  Come ponder with us how Easter’s Love Uprising, as envisioned through overcoming what King called “the giant triplets of racism, poverty, and militarism” is finding new life through the rise of the new “Poor People’s Campaign –A National Call for Moral Revival,” and bring your friends and neighbors too!
April 15 @ 10:00 AM
Third Sunday of Eastertide

Our church continues to be one of only 3 faith communities committed to offering Sanctuary to one or more people in danger of deportation. Our morning service will be followed by a presentation concerning our preparations thus far, and the many volunteer opportunities involved in sharing this ministry of hospitality and solidarity. Come learn and discern with us!

April 22 @ 10:00 am
Earth Day Sunday
Fourth Sunday of Eastertide

W e look forward to our Earth Day Celebration during which we will both give thanks for and recommit ourselves to honoring our earthly home, in harmony with which our faith calls us to live sustainably, compassionately, and justly. Come delight with us in the call of Mother Earth to “go back to the mountains, and turn the world around,” and bring your friends and neighbors too!

April 29 @ 10:00am
Fifth Sunday of Eastertide

Our Vision Ministry Team has drafted new Church By-Laws in keeping with the more flexible and efficient shaping of how best to live out our shared ministry together. Following this morning's service, please join us for a Special Meeting at which we shall vote as to whether to move forward in this way.








Church School
in APRIL!
Come join the Fun on
Sunday Mornings
at MCC!

We are looking forward to a fun and enriching month of children's programming at Meriden Congregational Church! It is also time to start gearing up for a wonderful summer at Meriden Community Camp. Please look forward to the following dates in April:
 
  • Our early registration deadline for MCC will be May 1. Sign up soon and save $15 per week on tuition. Keep an eye out for emails with more information regarding sign-ups and summer plans! Signing up online is easy at http://www.meridenucc.org/meriden-community-camp/.
  • This month, we'll resume volunteering at the Claremont Soup Kitchen on April 28th. This provides a great opportunity for community service for our children ages 10 and up. Contact Kelsey for more information!
  • Check out our Facebook page for updates and photos of fun events at https://www.facebook.com/Meriden-Congregational-Church-Youth-124014578348782/
  • We are continuing to renovate the children's space at the Parish House as well as collecting more fun equipment and games. We hope to coordinate a Game Night soon -- stay tuned for the date!
It continues to be a blessing and a privilege to work with your children! I hope Spring is wonderful for you and your families. 

Take care,
--
Kelsey MacNamee
Spiritual Formation Coordinator
Meriden Congregational Church

 
Each Wednesday morning during Eastertide, you are invited to a brief time of quiet prayer from 6:45-7:15 am in the Bryant Parlor (upstairs) of the Parish House.
No Matter who you are,
no matter whom you love,
no matter where you are
on life's journey,

YOU are WELCOME to share in all our Church Family
Celebrations and Activities!
he Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival is uniting tens of thousands of people across the country to challenge the evils of systemic racism, poverty, the war economy, ecological devastation and the nation’s distorted morality.  Join our movement to transform the political, economic and moral structures of our country!"
Three Epistles on Race in America

April 4th, 2018 marked 50 years since the assassination of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In observance of the deep and lasting impact of Dr. King’s ministry, let’s gather to share in this three part series created by our friends at Trinity Church in NYC.
The speaker series, “Three Epistles on Race in America,” explores contemporary black/white relationships using writings that, while perhaps lesser known than King’s famous “I have a dream” oratory, resonate powerfully today . The speakers are New York City journalist Errol Louis, New York University professor and poet Fred Moten, and Trinity’s Vicar, Phil Jackson. Together, they explore King’s prophetic voice, and look for hope in history.
Come hear their challenging examinations of three civil-rights era letters from Dr. King, James, Baldwin, and Thomas Merton, and let’s share them together with our friends and neighbors!
We’ll gather on three Monday evenings during this month—April 16 th , April 23 rd , & April 30 th , from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.  Each video presentation is about 30 minutes long, thereby leaving time for wherever our ensuing conversation may take us.  
One of the most compelling lines from the musical, “Les Miserables,” is the recognition that “ There’s a grief that can’t be spoken, there’s a pain goes on and on…”  And yet our culture often too quickly tries to minimize or downplay our grief. Fortunately, one of the wisdom guides of our day, affirming that it really is OK to not be OK , is Megan Devine, an author and therapist who welcomes people to her website, “Refuge in Grief,” with these soothing words-- “While we are so very sorry you have reason to be here, we are so glad you came.” Thus it is that we wish to extend a gentle and caring welcome to the first meeting of our--

Sanctuary in Grief
Continues Tuesday—April 17 th , @ 6:00 PM
In the Upstairs Room of our Parish House
Offering Companionship INSIDE the Grief YOU’RE LIVING

                Welcome to a safe, private community - a community of grievers, a place where we hope all can find sanctuary. Through mutual respect and compassion let us bear witness to each other’s pain. Let us 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 will 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.   We shall use her words often as our guideposts, and we welcome you to share this journey with us.

April 1, 2018

Happy Easter!  

In the spirit of John's Easter meditation this morning, perhaps you are thinking about "Love's Up-Rising" in Meriden through our efforts to connect visibly, effectively, and powerfully with all of God's Beloved Community through the lens of immigrant justice.

A few upcoming events to remind you of:
 
Mark Your Calendars:  Sanctuary for Everyone! Please join us on Sunday, April 15 at the Parish House after our service to learn more about how the Meriden Congregational Church and our faith partners around the Upper Valley are organizing to provide sanctuary to undocumented immigrants. We will have a brief presentation and plenty of time for questions and answers. Come to learn more about our emerging support network and think about how you might even play a role. Rod and I will also share news about our recent conversations with several other faith communities around the region who also want to collaborate with MCC.
 
Immigrant 101 Workshop: Please join the Upper Valley community on April 7 at 2pm at the Kilton Library in West Lebanon, NH to learn more about our country’s immigration system.  Eva Castillo from the NH Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees and Welcoming NH will share Immigration 101 , an engaging presentation that will educate us about the United States’ current system, the history of how our immigrants have been received in the past, and the many challenges of today that reflect a system that is misunderstood and broken. All community members are welcome! This event is sponsored by the Immigrant Support Network of the Upper Valley, a group within with MCC is very active in this network. Please contact Mary Boyle or me for more information. A flyer is attached.
 
Workshop on Intersection of Racial Justice and Immigrant Justice:  Longtime anti-racist educator and author Chris Crass will be leading this workshop with the goal of helping our NH congregations and communities of faith come together, share and reflect on our work, deepen our understanding of white supremacy and how we can challenge racism and work for racial justice in the Sanctuary movement here in New Hampshire.  This workshop will be on Sunday, April 8, 2 pm to 6 pm at the Brookside UCC in Manchester.  It will help us develop a stronger culture of solidarity and support us to be more effective in our efforts to work for racial justice in these times of racism on the rise. If you are already a leader or active supporter in your congregation for Sanctuary or if you are newer and want to get more involved, this workshop is for you.  

If you need a ride to any of these events, please let me know.  

In gratitude, Jill Marshall
APRIL CALENDAR
Come Hear about the Future of MCC
April 8 th or April 22 nd
After church at 11:30am!

The Visioning Team is nearing the end of its work.
A new, simpler, more flexible structure
has been created for our Church.
New By-Laws have been written!
We want you to know what has been happening!

Call to Special Meeting

Members and Friends of the Meriden Congregational Church are hereby called to meet after church at 11:30 AM on Sunday—April 29 th , 2018 to vote upon proposed new By-laws for our church.
  Signed, Jan Lord ,  Clerk


Be an informed voter!
Join us on April 8 th or 22 nd
to learn all the details.
The Visioning Team was formed in 2014 to envision and plan for the future of Meriden Congregational Church. Since then they have:
·         Interviewed the Congregation about its values and goals
·         Developed a Mission and Vision for our church’s future
·         Identified the Ministry Areas critical to our future success
·         Developed a new, more streamlined, more flexible organizational structure for the future
·         Identified Individuals willing to serve in that new structure
·         Written New By-Laws to go with the new structure
The Choir continues in April! JOIN US!
From the Deacon's Bench

Rev. Matt Laney wrote the UCC Daily Devotional for March 27 rd – a reflection on that question meant to trap Jesus: Teacher, is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar? And you surely remember his clever answer: taking a coin and seeing Caesar's image on it, Jesus responded: Render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.” Matt went on to speak about how WE, disciples of Jesus, are God's currency, WE are the coin of God's realm. “No one owns you but God,” Matt avers, and a daily mantra of “I belong to God” might be a helpful way for us to stay focused spiritually every day.
This struck me so strongly as a perfect reflection for Holy Week in our culture in this time. Appropriately our national and state politics cry out for us to respond. There is no dearth of daily news which demands people of faith jump into activism. Our risky venture into expanded community youth ministry and our willingness to provide a wide and deep place of sanctuary are two very local expressions of this activism. The caution that Matt lifts up for us is just this: remember who you are and WHOSE you are.
There are many moral and just reasons for risking much to make our community which includes the entire world, a place of health for our neighbors. but there is a primary, armor-plated reason for those who follow the executed and risen One to do so: God owns us! Now hear me. I do not mean to use “ownership” in the sense of slaves and slave owners – there was no agency on the part of slaves. For us though, if we are owned by God that means that at some time in our lives we have willingly given up our autonomy and agreed to both humble ourselves to the God we see in Jesus and to “bow the knee” to God; to promise always to take our very bodily selves before God for instruction and inspiration; to be ever mindful of how easy it is to be swept up in the cries of the crowd – most particularly the crowd we agree with – but also the more insidious “crowd” that would lure us into the arrogance of believing we KNOW the mind of God and discern rightly God's intention.
The greatest gift a faithful Christian community can give to the world is our willingness to struggle together to discern the action that God requires of us. Where else – where else in all of our relationships and connections do we connect with others who are drawn together not by class or education or party affiliation or even friendships and sometimes even the ties of biology? In our day and time I truly and deeply believe the Christian community of people who gather to be nakedly honest with one another before God can provide powerful testimony to our fractured world and will revitalize Christendom for the next part of the journey.

Rev. Karen Lipinczyk

REMEMBER TO SEND YOUR AUCTION ITEM(S) TO R0D WENDT AT rodwendt@tds.net
"The Spiritual Roots of Social Action"

Sunday, April 29, 2018, 2-4 pm
Hanover Friends Meetinghouse
(43 Lebanon St, Hanover, NH, next to Hanover High School)
Fourth in a series of interfaith dialogues
hosted by Hanover Friends Meeting
Gendo Allyn Field

Gendo Allyn Field is a lay ordained monk and teacher (osho) in the Rinzai Zen Buddhist tradition who leads the Upper Valley Zen Center and the Dartmouth Zen Practice Group, serves as a hospital chaplain, and conducts meditation sessions with prisoners incarcerated in the NH State Prison in Concord. He is noted for his activism concerning peace issues.

Free and open to the public
Contact for more information:  hanovernhquakers@gmail.com
Co-sponsored by St. Thomas Episcopal Church & the Church of Christ at Dartmouth College in Hanover, NH; Norwich Congregational Church, Norwich, VT; and Meriden Congregational Church, Meriden, NH
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                        
B85 Russel 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        
           
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)
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
Your copy should address 3 key questions: Who am I writing for? (Audience) Why should they care? (Benefit) What do I want them to do here? (Call-to-Action)

Create a great offer by adding words like "free" "personalized" "complimentary" or "customized." A sense of urgency often helps readers take an action, so think about inserting phrases like "for a limited time only" or "only 7 remaining!"
Trustee News - April 2018

As promised in last month's "Trustee News" the trustees have an update on the repair of the "Smith Richards" window. At our last meeting we agreed that we could commit to pay half of the cost from church maintenance funds. We will need to raise the remaining $4375 from donations. 

From a short history provided by Steve Beaupre we understand that this is an important window that should be preserved. The window commemorates Cyrus Smith Richards, the fourth headmaster of KUA. He was headmaster from 1835 to 1871 and during his tenure the school became co-educational (in 1840). Under his leadership the school grew, discipline was strict, education was classical, and the sexes were strictly segregated. In 1871 Richards left KUA for a professorship at Howard University. There is a story about the reason for his departure, which is too long to repeat here, but if you are interested you could consult page 324 of "Choice White Pines and Good Land".

We will be doing some renovation work on the basement of the Parish House in April. We plan to paint the bathrooms and the utility closet, so we are looking for volunteers to help with the painting - if you are interested please contact either Evan Oxenham or Selden Lord. We will also need help in discarding old furniture and rugs, and with a general cleanup of the basement.

We still need to remove the two remaining room dividers in the basement, but that will need to wait until all the snow has melted and we can get a truck or tractor to the basement door without tearing up the lawn. It might be possible at the end of April, but may need to wait until May. We will need strong volunteers to help with this removal, so if you are feeling strong, contact Evan or Selden.

You should see more details about this next item in other parts of this newsletter, so this is just a heads up. We are asking the congregation to vote on new bylaws implementing a new leadership structure on Sunday, April 29. The new leadership structure is the result of the work of the Visioning Committee and was presented and discussed in multiple meetings last year. There will be information sessions explaining the changes to the bylaws on April 8 and April 22 which we encourage you to attend.

Evan Oxenham
For the Trustees.

REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS
          Through 4 Sundays in March we have received $6,632.50 in pledge payments for a year to date total of $18,067.50. We also received $370 in plate donations for a year to date total of $2,917. We have also received $83 for building use, $100 toward fulfilling a 2017 pledge and $1,625 toward the pledge challenge. Our first quarterly payment from Ropes and Grey arrived, which totalled $7,096.50.
Respectfully submitted,

Richard Atkinson
Jim Lenz
         
Coffee & Cocoa products are featured from Equal Exchange! Please contact Mary Boyle 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?  

Mary's e-mail is mary.n.boyle@gmail.com.
Mary Boyle, Friend of Missions

MCC Movie Night: Reel Soul
           
In honor of Earth Day on April 22 nd , all are enthusiastically invited to join us for the next film in our Reel Soul monthly movie series:

“FUTURE DREAMING Change the Story!”
with David Martin and David C. Korten
An invitation to embark upon
 a new planetary adventure!
Check out the trailer at:

    Directed by Kaya Finlayson and filmed in Antarctica, Future Dreaming explores the narratives that drive our economic, social and political thinking and offers a new way of understanding the human condition. The film captures a conversation with Dr. David E. Martin who takes a sweeping look into the past, present and future of humankind.
            
Saturday---April 21 st  @ 7:00 PM
In the Bryant Parlor, upstairs in the Parish House,
with refreshments and discussion to follow!
CELEBRATING OUR 238 th   Birthday!!
  HONORING OUR PAST / EMBRACING OUR FUTURE

               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 shall once again celebrate

Our Annual Founders’ day
 Communion Service on
Sunday--May 6 th , 2018

Our Founders’ Day Celebration is also our annual opportunity to give special thanks for the life and ministry of those folk among us who have been members of our church for 40 years or more.  As has been our practice throughout the past decade, a particular focus of this service will be to give special thanks for the life and ministry of those folk among us who have been members of our church for 40 years or more, as well as to celebrate the wisdom and life experience of all our church “elders,” affirming how very much we respect, cherish, and appreciate the many ways through which they continue so graciously to bless us all along our shared journey of faith.

          By way of furthering both our thanks-giving for this 238 th   Birthday of our church, as well as our appreciation for the cumulative wisdom of the ages shared among us,   following our service all are enthusiastically  invited to join us in our Parish House for a Light Lunch and a Celebration Cake , just prior to our All Church Silent Auction.  Please plan to join us for this momentous occasion as we look to our past in order more faithfully to see our present and envision our future!
New Child of God!!
We rejoice with Leah (Condon) & Sean Eastman upon the birth of their son, Beckett Jeremiah Eastman !! Born on Easter Sunday—April Fool’s Day, 2018 , at 11:14 PM,   baby Becket weighed in at 7 pounds, 1 ounce, and is the first grandchild of Jo Evarts.      In grateful company with Beckett’s delighted mom and dad , as well as his grandma Jo , and his wonderful extended family, we join in joyously proclaiming,

WELCOME to our World,
Beckett Jeremiah!!
red_ribbon_heart.jpg
Throughout this  Easter Season , 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, Indonesia, Uganda, Kenya, the Dominican Republic, Zambia, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe , as well as our sisters and brothers 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 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, all lives.    
 
           Likewise do we pray for Co-Pastor John's step-mother, Blossom ; Becky Luce;   Susan Turner; Cyndy Salazar’s mother , Ruth Beliveau; Bob Carpenter; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law, Michelle; Maddi Walker ; Suzanne Nolan ; Jim Schubert’s niece , Wendy; Laura Packard’s father , Richard Athanas ; Fiona Greenough’s friend , Derek ; Suzanne Lenz; Christina LaFont; Erik Heaton; Len Saunders’ mother, Deb Karen Jameson’s mother, Letitia Schonebaum ; Ann Grobe ; Odile Clavier’s niece, Amelie Marie ; Zane Halstead; Jan Lord’s mother, Paulie; Laura Cousineau’s mother, Laura Keener Kreis, as well as Laura’s friend, Catharine Randall ;   Beth Kopp’s friend, Jody Austin; Shawn Rogers’ father, Dick; Julie Barber; Tony Wellhaven; Rod & Barb Wendt’s daughter, Allyson; Sue Pullen’s nephew, Jaime; Greg Marshall; Larry Burch’s parents , Bill & Olive; Lee Oxenham’s father , Stuart Walker; Linda & Arthur Perkins; Rich Pullen’s brother , Mike; Glenn Griffin’s nephew , Jeffrey; Joan Dumont; Susan Turner’s friend, Jane Miles;  Andrea Keen’s father, Max Bueno; Sue & Tim Timmons; Maura Hart’s father, William; Becky Luce’s nephew, Matthew; Karen Rogers’ father, Karl Tilden as well as Allen Roger’s father, Earl Rogers; Vicki Ramos-Glew’s brother , Rich; Brenda Phillips; Laine Gillespie’s mother; Bill Chappelle’s friend, Mel; Odile Clavier’s colleague , Jim Barry, as well as Odile’s mother, Marie-Claire;  Lindsay Parsons’ mother, Gina Bard; Susan Sanzone’s parents, Norma & Sal Sanzone, as well as Susan’s aunt, Rita MacGregor.         
           
           So too do we pray for these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer : our colleague at the Acworth Congregational Church, the Rev. Joel Eaton ; Suzanne Lenz’ dear friend’s father, Tom Martin ; Dawn Forbes ; Naomi Goodwin’s aunt Beverly ; Carol Hartman’s friend’s granddaughter, Avery ; Cynthia Howe; Chris Stone; Penny Arcone’s brother, Stuart Hills , as well as Penny’s friends, Dick Slubin and Gail Graham; Cindy Marx-Wood’s friend, Terri Wilson ; Andrea Johnstone’s colleague’s son, Spencer; Lori Estey; Karen Anikis’ dear friend, Randi Welhaven, Joan Dumont’s stepbrother, Lowell Toof; Jeff McNamara ; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller ; Cheyenne Chellis ; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan.
            As gradually warming weather leads us to yearn for the new life of spring, so too do our hearts ache with the loss of dearly beloved friends and relatives of our faith community.

We extend our sympathy to Karen & Allen Rogers, and all of Allen’s family, upon the tragic death of Allen’s brother, Robert Rogers , on Thursday—March 8 th , 2018, upon being hit by a plow truck during a snow storm early that morning.  

So too do we enfold within God’s healing care Laura Packard and her family , upon the loss of Laura’s step-mother, Carolyn Athanas , on Thursday—April 5 th , 2018. 
 
            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.


APRIL BIRTHDAYS
4/2        Marcia Copperswaite
4/2         John Yacavone
4/2         Cindy LaFlam
4/2         Taylor Williams
4/6         Jed Wilbur
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       Tony Quimby
4/26       Susan Yacavone
4/27       Deborah Chapman
4/27       Kaylee Rogers
4/28       Annamay Chapman
4/28       Ursula Herfort
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



 
Church Ladies With Typewriters
    
  
They're Back! Those wonderful Church Bulletins! Thank God for the church ladies with typewriters. These sentences actually appeared in church bulletins or were announced at church services:   
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The Fasting & Prayer Conference includes meals. 
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Scouts   are saving aluminum cans, bottles and other items to be recycled Proceeds will be used to cripple children. 
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The sermon this morning: 'Jesus Walks on the Water. 'The sermon tonight: 'Searching for Jesus.' 
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Ladies, don't forget the rummage sale. It's a chance to get rid of those things not worth keeping around the house. Bring your husbands.
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Don't let worry kill you off - let the Church help.
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Miss Charlene Mason sang 'I will not pass this way again,' giving obvious pleasure to the congregation. 
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For those of you who have children and don't know it, we have a nursery downstairs. 
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Next Thursday there will be try-outs for the choir. They need all the help they can get. 
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Irving Benson and Jessie Carter were married on October 24 in the church. So ends a friendship that began in their school days. 
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A bean supper will be held on Tuesday evening in the church hall. Music will follow. 
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At the evening service tonight, the sermon topic will be 'What Is Hell?' Come early and listen to our choir practice.
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Eight new choir robes are currently needed due to the addition of several new members and to the deterioration of some older ones.
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Please place your donation in the envelope along with the deceased person you want remembered.
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   The church will host an evening of fine dining, super entertainment and gracious hostility. 
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Pot-luck supper Sunday at 5:00 PM - prayer and medication to follow.
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The ladies of the Church have cast off clothing of every kind. They may be seen in the basement on Fridayafternoon. 
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This evening at 7 PM there will be a hymn singing in the park across from the Church. Bring a blanket and come prepared to sin. 
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The pastor would appreciate it if the ladies of the Congregation would lend him their electric girdles for the pancake breakfast next Sunday. 
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Low Self Esteem Support Group will meet Thursday at 7 PM . Please use the back door. 
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The eighth-graders will be presenting Shakespeare's Hamlet in the Church basement Friday at 7 PM. The congregation is invited to attend this tragedy.
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Weight Watchers will meet at 7 PM at the First Presbyterian Church. Please use large double door at the side entrance. 
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And this one just about sums them all up
 
The Associate Minister unveiled the church's new campaign slogan last Sunday:
'I Upped My Pledge - Up Yours.'

Meriden Community Camp

Apply to the Meriden Community Camp on our website camp@meridenucc.org
New Hampshire Conference
Outdoor Ministry

Its not too early to plan for summer!

The NH UCC offers a multitude of
summer camp opportunities for all ages.


·         Registration is now Open!!
·         Financial aid is available
(you’ll need to apply early)
·         Programs for kids of all ages, families and couples.
·         A full program with camp descriptions is available online at www.hortoncenter.org.
·         Activities include: Hiking, Backpacking, Canoeing, Climbing, Archery, Kayaking, Camping, Swimming, Biking, and more
·         Opportunities are available for you to become a Unit Leader (cabin chaperone) for a week.

Questions/Registration
www.hortoncenter.org
Tim Hughes
Acting Director of Outdoor Ministries
545-9660

 
   Our Black Lives Matter Vigils are continuing now on each Wednesday afternoon from 5:00 to 5:30 PM,   (note the time change, now that it is staying light longer ) on the SouthWest corner of the intersection of Rte 120 & Main Street (at the blinking light, with parking available at Poor Thom's Tavern). We have “a variety of signs available for folk to hold by way of joining us in solidarity with our Black and Brown, Jewish and Muslim, immigrant, indigenous, and GLBTQIA, friends and neighbors.  
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. 


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