Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter December 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
" While they were there, the time came for Mary to deliver her child. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him
in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger,
because there was no place for them in the inn."
(Luke 2:6-7)

"Now after the Wise Ones had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, 'Get up, take the child and his mother,
and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you;
for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.'
Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night,
and went to Egypt, and remained there until the death of Herod."
(Matthew 2:13-15)

Jesus spent the vast majority of his days as a homeless man, from the first breaths he took as an infant born in a crude stable to his last breaths upon a crude cross. But, as a young child, not only was he homeless, Jesus was also a refugee, having fled for his life with his family to the land of Egypt.

Meanwhile today, thousands of Central American refugees--reportedly half of them women and children, fleeing violence and poverty--are seeking sanctuary at our southern border, during this very season in which we celebrate Jesus' birth. Is there still not room in the inn? In this "Inn" that is the richest nation our world has ever known? Surely we have more resources with which to welcome them than barbed wire and tear gas.

As people who follow the loving Way of a homeless refugee, our hearts ache as we hold simultaneously the pain and the hope inherent in this Advent and Christmas season. None of us individually has the political or economic power that Herod had. None of us individually can shelter the thousands of refugees at our border or the millions of children in the United States who go to bed hungry. This is the pain we witness to and experience, as people of moral conscience. Yet, we also witness to the resilience and strength of HOPE collectively in the hearts of parents who seek safer and healthier lives for their children, and of people along the caravan route who've offered tortillas, a drink of water, clothing and medical care, and of churches and other humanitarian groups who are welcoming them at the border in a different, more compassionate, way. Collectively, we human beings DO have the power--the greatest power of all, the power of Love--to incarnate the message of the homeless refugee we follow to truly "love our neighbors as ourselves."

Can and should we enjoy to the fullest all the fun and festive blessings of this holiday season? Absolutely! As author Madeline L'Engle writes, "joy is the infallible sign of the presence of God." Can and should we recommit ourselves during this Advent and Christmas season to living out our faith, simultaneously holding the pain and the hope of our human family, and--wherever and whenever we can--providing food and drink, clothing and medical care? Absolutely! In the words of our homeless refugee/teacher, "I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me."

During these especially difficult times within our country and our world, how blessed we are to be a church family wherein we find loving support for the individual and collective challenges we face. How blessed we are in this Holy Season to celebrate the rebirth of HOPE. How blessed we are to know the JOY of God's Love reborn in a manger and in the hearts of each of us. All together we are blessed to walk this Way of faith, not alone but with the loving support of one another. I feel so blessed. I hope you do, too. May our Advent blessings of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love renew your hearts, dear friends.

Faithfully your Co-astor,
Susan

OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN DECEMBER

December 2nd @ 10:00 AM
First Sunday of Advent!
Join us as we welcome the Advent Season by lighting the first of our four Advent Candles today, the candle of HOPE. During this beautiful service we will be gifted with an Advent meditation you won't want to miss: church member, Ed Cousineau, will be offering his reflections on the special time of this Advent season, including an invitation to explore different ways to experience and name the Incarnation of the Holy in our lives. Our service also will include a congregational blessing of the Christmas Smiles gifts of clothing, returned thus far, that will be shared with children and adults in our larger community. Graced by beautiful music for the Advent Season, our service will also conclude with our Celebration of Communion and a festive Hospitality Hour afterward, featuring our Alternative Christmas Market! Please join us!

December 9th @ 10:00 AM
Second Sunday of Advent
This Sunday we light our second Advent Candle--the candle of PEACE --as we continue our journey through these blessed days of Advent. Join us as we ready our hearts for the birth of the Christ Child. Following our service, we will delight in our December Dessert Auction! Please bring a dessert to share for the auction and an appetite for some beautiful holiday treats to bring home, too!

DECEMBER 16th @ 10:00 AM
Third Sunday of Advent

This Sunday we will light our third Advent Candle, the candle of JOY, as we continue to rejoice in the blessings of this Advent season and reflect on how we can be channels of God's Love and Light for those around us, near and far. Treat yourself to the gift of joining us for each of our Sundays during Advent. No doubt your Christmas will be blessed by this intention to reflect on the deeper meaning of this holiday season. As always, a festive Hospitality Hour will follow our service.


December 23rd @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Advent
Our Annual Children's Christmas Pageant!
Come experience the Story of Jesus' Birth, brought to life by a cast of adorable angels, shepherds, lambs, prophets, inn-keepers, Magi, and a very Holy Family, including Baby Jesus whose name shall be called Charlotte Fae! Let your hearts delight in this heart-warming, home-grown pageant. It will touch your soul and make you smile! On this Sunday we will light the last of our Advent candles--the candle of LOVE! Following the pageant, all angels, lambs and pageant players--along with our whole congregation--are invited to the parsonage for our Christmas Open House! Come one, come all!

December 24th @ 7:00 PM
Christmas Eve Service
Join our church family as we light the Christ Candle and joyfully celebrate the Birth of Christ with a glorious Service of Lessons and Carols. Let the wonder of this Holy Eve embrace and surround you as together we cherish the Christmas Scripture readings, favorite Christmas Carols and sacred choral music and anthems to knock your Christmas stockings off! Invite your family and friends to join us for this special service to give thanks for and celebrate the gift of Jesus' birth.

December 30th @ 10:00 AM
Join us on this Fifth Day of Kwanzaa for an Inter-generational Service (no church school) that will feature a Christmas Story, Christmas Hymns and reflections for the New Year.
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!
DECEMBER IN CHURCH SCHOOL
As we enjoy this holiday season, I look forward to working with your children and getting into the Christmas spirit! What better way to enjoy the magic of Christmas than through the eyes of our loved little ones? I am so excited to be directing the Christmas Pageant this year, which our congregation will enjoy on December 23rd, from 10 - 11. This service is reserved just for this special play that we do each year. We'll rehearse each Sunday leading up to our performance, with a dress rehearsal on Saturday, December 22nd, from 9 - 12. We invite all children, or those young at heart, to be a part of our pageant! It is helpful if your little ones can be at most rehearsals, but this is certainly not required to be involved. Please let me know if your child would like to play a role, big or small!

On a different note, I hope your Senior Seeker (high school and older) can join me on December 16th at 3 pm to enjoy a presentation and discussion about Islam with Asma Elhuni, an activist and member of local UVIP organization. Check out her bio from the UVIP webpage here:  http://unitedvalleyinterfaithproject.org/ourstaff/ . It will be an excellent learning opportunity for our older church youth to talk with this engaging activist in an informal environment. 

I'm feeling blessed to be working with this wonderful community at this festive time of year!



 
Kelsey MacNamee
Spiritual Formation Coordinator
Meriden Congregational Church
(603) 504-4257


 
Our Wednesday Morning Contemplative Prayer
in December!

Join us for the three Wednesdays of Advent!

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 December 5, 12 and 19.

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

DECEMBER CALENDAR

Richard Atkinson has been selected by your church leadership to be our church's Micah Honoree for 2018.
Micah award remarks by Richard Atkinson
October 28, 2018

            First I have to thank Donna Beaupre. She wrote the letter that nominated me, so thank you Donna for the nomination and that wonderful introduction. Secondly I also want to thank the leadership council of the Meriden Congregational Church for selecting me for this award this year. So to those of you who are here I say thank you.

           I want to base my remarks on the passage from Micah that is the inspiration for this event. Before I begin I would like to acknowledge that we are an interfaith organization. There are several faith traditions represented here today. I invite you all to substitute your own terminology or vision of the Divine whenever I may use the words God or Lord. 

           So what I did was go to a web site that compares Bible verses over several different translations of the Bible. I looked at some of the different translations of those three phrases: do justice, love kindness and walk humbly with your God. Here are some of the translations that I discovered. For do justice I found: do what is right judgment, act rightly, treat people fairly, love being kind to others, do what is right to others, do what is fair and just to your neighbor and ask from you right judgment. For love kindness I found: love mercy, embrace faithful life, love grace, love faithfulness, love others faithfully, show constant love, be compassionate and loyal in your love and love goodness. Finally, for walk humbly I found: walking with pride before your God, walk in purity with your God, lowly to walk with your God, be busy, or committed to walk with thy God, walk solicitous with thy God, be very careful to live the way your God wants you to live humbly, obeying your God, don’t take yourself too seriously, take God seriously, be ready to walk with the Lord thy God and live in humble fellowship with our God.

           I think we can agree that there are similarities in these different translations, but there is definitely room for interpretation.

           What I did next was go back and look at the first part of that verse: “What does the Lord require of you?” Of the 35 versions of the Bible that I looked at 29 had some form of the word “require”. One version went so far as to say ”What does the Lord demand of you?”  I think it is pretty clear that no matter how you interpret the three phrases at the end of this verse we are all required to do them. They are not optional.

           I would also like to mention an anthem that was sung in my church this morning. It is called “God has work for us to do.” Two years ago, on Micah Sunday, our choir sang this anthem for the first time. I thought, “How appropriate that it is being sung on Micah Sunday” I asked our choir director if it could be sung today and he graciously agreed. I am not going to try to sing it to you, but I am going to recite the chorus of it for you.

“God has work for us to do.
God has work for us to do.
Till God’s will is done
and all things are made new,
God has work for us,
work for us to do.”

           I am honored to receive this award this year. It is my hope that everyone leaves here today re-inspired, or newly inspired, for the work of UVIP, the important work that we are all required to do. I also want to thank all of you for coming out today to support UVIP.

From the Deacon's Bench
T his week, Thanksgiving Week, was a time when I stepped out of my routine. I had some time off from work and I went places and did things that didn't follow my usual pattern. And the weather turned colder. All of a sudden we had snow. The jobs in the garden didn't get finished before the cold weather arrived.

One result of all this was that I saw the world with new eyes. It was like a window in my heart had been opened up. My certainty of how things would go was altered and the true vulnerability we have in this world was tapped. I went about my life with the appreciation for what came next. The gratitude I felt propelled me forward into the general uncertainties of weather and what was to come.
This is how I find myself on the eve of Advent. It is a great time of waiting for new birth--for the coming of the Christ child--for the re-birth of the sun into our world. Before we have the busy-ness of the holiday season, before we have the celebrations and the certainty of joy, we have the waiting of Advent. Our mind searches for certainty, for reassurance, for safety and the season of Advent says"Wait! It is too soon to tell. There may be great thing afoot amid the uncertainty in this world amid the evils of this day. But wait and keep your eyes and heart open. There will be opportunities!"

Stewardship News
November was STEWARDSHIP NOVEMBER . If you haven't sent in your pledge for 2019 please send an e-mail to Rod Wendt (rodwendt@tds.net) with your plan to support our church.     
Richard Atkinson spoke thise words in Church in November:
  I have been asked to speak about stewardship in advance of our stewardship campaign this year. I did speak about 4-5 years ago as a witnessing steward. Does anyone remember what I said? That’s all right. To tell the truth if you asked me what any other witnessing steward said over the past many years I would draw a blank also, except for one. There is one that I still remember distinctly. This was a long time ago, maybe 15 years ago, so if I remember it that long, it must have made an impression!

           It was Alan Reetz, and he was talking about the church building. Specifically he mentioned the buttresses that support the interior beams. He talked about how they are vital to the structure of the church. They keep the building from falling down. Despite the fact that they are such an integral part of the interior of the church they are actually part of the external structure of the church. He used them as a metaphor for how the internal workings of this church make their way out into the wider community at large and even around the world.

           So what I spoke about a few years ago was landmarks, those places that are important in my life. One specific one I mentioned was the “Be The Church” banner behind the pulpit. One of my rituals on Sunday mornings is to pick a phrase from the banner and meditate on it for a few minutes. I may pick a phrase based on something that happened during the previous week, or I may pick one at random. This being the start of stewardship season I am concentrating on the phrase “Share Earthly and Spiritual Resources”. 

           What does stewardship mean? At this time of year it means earthly resources, OUR earthly resources. Let’s face it, the church needs our earthly resources. But what does money allow us to do? It allows us to share our spiritual resources-the true joy of stewardship. I invite everyone with a connection to this church-this landmark-to engage in a little exercise over the next few weeks with me. I want each and every one of you to pick out one program or mission project that really excites you. Think about how that one thing makes you feel about this church. It probably makes you feel pretty good, doesn’t it? Think about how your special ministry can be enhanced if we have a successful stewardship campaign.

           Now I want you to turn that coin over for a second. Imagine if our campaign is not as successful as we would like. Imagine if your special ministry is reduced, or even eliminated because of budget constraints. How would that make you feel? My guess is not too good. Also imagine how your connection to this church may be affected. You may not feel as strong a connection to this church as a result.

           I invite all of you to join me in considering how our collective earthly resources can support our spiritual resources. Think of your monetary gift enhancing your special ministry and reinforcing and building the spiritual gifts of this entire congregation as they are dispersed throughout the community and world at large.
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
Selden and Lary Lord and Rod Wendt clean up after planting two trees on the Green
Trustee News - December 2018

With the closing of the year in December it is time to review our work over the past year. 

The year began with the improvements to the bathrooms in the basement of the parish house. First was the installation of a drain system in the basements which has eliminated the flooding problem that we had experienced for many years when the snow melted in the spring. It was followed by the replacement of the floor tiling in the bathrooms and the passageway outside the bathrooms and with painting the bathroom walls.

In May a work crew helped to remove the room dividers in the basement and also cleaned out old furniture, rugs and other junk that was well past its prime. Sue, our sexton stripped and buffed the floor of the nursery which, with the cleanup, resulted in a far more appealing space.

A project that began with a small hole in one of our stained glass windows turned into a far more extensive repair when our stained glass expert, Kathy Chapman, discovered that the Smith Richards stained glass window was in danger of collapse. Fortunately Kathy was able to complete the repair to both windows in August.

Over the summer our church bell was damaged once again by someone inappropriately ringing and tolling the bell at the same time. We were able to repair the tolling mechanism, but fixing the bell carriage so that the bell swings smoothly is still a work in progress.

Another major repair project that we investigated but have had to defer until next year is the replacement of the ramp on the east side of the sanctuary. This ramp needs major rework, and at this point the trustees are considering building a new ramp that is fully ADA code compliant.

We end the year with a new a new gift opportunity that we have been working on during the year. This is called ShopWithScrip. Using ShopWithScrip you can buy gift cards to your favorite retailers and restaurants, for yourself or as gifts for others. The participating companies donate a percentage of the sale to MCC – L.L Bean will donate up to 16%! Other participants include Applebee’s, Best Buy, Cabela’s, Home Depot, Kohl’s, Panera’s, Staples, Subway, Williams Sonoma, Zappo’s, and many more!  To find out more talk to Greg Castell.

All in all, a busy year for the trustees.

I wish everyone a merry and inspiring Christmas, and all the best for the New Year.

Evan Oxenham
For the Trustees.


REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS
     
                For the month of November we received $7,894.50 in pledge payments and $909 in plate collections. The totals for the year to date are $77,976.50 for pledges and $8,984 for plate collections. We also received the following other revenue: $1,775 from the Duncan Fund, $228 for the after school program, $300 for building use and $125 for the pledge challenge. 

               With 90% of the year already past we have received 71.8% of the total pledged for this year. In order to reach our budgeted amount of $108,495 we need to receive $30,518.50 in the month of December. The latest pledge update forms were sent out in early November followed up by an e-mail sent out by me on behalf of the Trustees. Please rest assured that the e-mail was not directed at any person or persons in particular. It was merely an appeal for everyone to check the status of their pledge. 

               The good news regarding the budget is that through the end of November we are $984 above our budgeted amount for plate collections with the month of December, including 1/2 of the Christmas Eve offering still to be collected. But the plate collection will not come close to making up the shortfall in other revenue line items. Please check your pledge update form and make every effort to fulfil your pledge for this year.

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



red_ribbon_heart.jpg
       As we journey together through this Season of Advent, our hearts go out to all those for whom the joy of this Christmas will be tempered by the sorrow of loves ones lost this past year, especially Laura Packard, the Houde & Quimby families, Karen & Allen Rogers, George Butler, Abby Chellis, Flo Kenyon, Scrib Fauver, Brian Giaccone, Co-Pastor John, Rob Johnstone, Deb Lewis, Becky Luce, Ted Moynihan, Pat Borcuk, Arthur Perkins, Vicki Ramos—Glew, Sue Richardson, Sandy Steel, Tim Timmons, Anne Tracy, Glenn Griffin, Cindy LaFlam, Mary Boyle, & Lee Oxenham, along with all members of these individuals’ families.
 
                        Likewise do we pray for Eloise Pierson; Greg Castell’s father ; our sexton, Sue Richardson, & her companion, Michael;   Caren Saunders; Becky Luce; Scot Zens; Rev. Jed Reardon; Bob Carpenter; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law, Michelle; Maddi Walker; Jim Schubert’s niece, Wendy; Suzanne Lenz; Chris LaFont; Erik Heaton; Len Saunders’ mother , Deb;   Karen Jameson’s mother, Letitia Schonebaum; Wendy Barros’ mother, Colleen; Ann Grobe ; Jan Lord’s mother, Paulie; Laura Cousineau’s mother, Laura Keener Kreisl Beth Kopp’s friend , Jody Austin; Shawn Rogers’ father, Dick; Julie Barber; Tony Wellhaven; Allyson Wendt; Rich Pullen , as well as Rich’s brother, Mike; 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 , Becky 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 ; Brenda Phillips; Laine Gillespie’s mother, Marilyn; 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 : 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; Rev. Joel Eaton; 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 .
           And as we celebrate once again the Good Tidings of God's love for all God's people, we wish   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, South Korea, Burma, & Tibet, much love, deep peace, and great joy, both this Christmas and throughout the new year to come!  We pray with special concern for our fire-ravaged friends & neighbors in California , as well as ALL immigrants & refugees seeking sanctuary & welcome throughout our world, with particular concern for the many children, women, & men gathered on our southern border, 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, every life .     So too do we celebrate with all those bearing new life, and pray with those yet hoping to conceive, or seeking to adopt . a beloved child of God.

 
 
 

          
   As this Season of Joy begins, we are especially mindful of those for whom this Season also holds the sorrow of recently lost loves ones.
            
           We mourn with Lee, Evan, & Ian Oxenham the death of Lee’s father, Dr. Stuart Hodge Walker on Monday—November 12 th , 2018, following a long, full, and vibrant life well lived.   

           Likewise do we extend our sympathy to Mary Boyle, and especially her cousin James,  upon the death of James’s mother / Mary’s aunt, Gardenia Williams , on Saturday—November 17 th , 2018. 

           And our hearts ache with the unexpected death of the Rev. Dick Stuart on Friday—November 30 th , 2018 . Dick was a long-time friend and colleague of Co-Pastors John & Susan, as well as Gail Kinney, and a tireless and passionate advocate for justice and inclusion.  

                As God has welcomed 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.



DECEMBER BIRTHDAYS
12/2       Patrick McGlone
12/5       Molly Cherington
12/5       Taylor Clerkin
12/5      Sandy Steel
12/5      Mary Van Wyck Heaton
12/6     Alex Zuckerman
12/6       Douglas Taylor
12/7       William Sensenig
12/8       Bill Taylor
12/8       Austin Powell
12/9       Trevor McGraw
12/12     Kristina Wilkinson
12/13     Erin Fielder
12/14     Peter Nolette
12/14     Maya Tomlinson
12/15     Isabel Brozen
12/15     Jacob Lenz

 
12/15    Charlton Muhlauri
12/18     Emrys Elkouh
12/19     Rick Hines
12/20     Glen Greenough
12/22     Tia Perry
12/24     Jacob Cousineau
12/24     Garret Heaton
12/24     Tim Guaraldi
12/24     Ada Wendt Hennessy
12/24     Grey Cogan Greenough
12/25     Doug Heaton
12/25     Naomi Goodwin
12/27     Ella (Bishop) Duke
12/30     Penny Arcone
12/30     Judy Croitoru
12/30     Laura Packard
12/31     Aila Marie Van Dolah


DECEMBER ANNIVERSARIES
 

12/6   Sheila Cragg-Elkouh &
Nabil Elkouh
12/27 Sarah Pensgen & Eddie Sirlin
12/23  Sean & Leah (Condon) Eastman




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 from fall to winter, the time for our Showing Up for Racial Justice Black Lives Matter Vigils is changing. In December we shall be changing to a winter schedule of 3:30 PM each Wednesday afternoon , 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

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent
about things that matter.”
  The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
 
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