Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter FEBRUARY 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 2 Issue 11 of our e-mail newsletter
Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-pastors 
Meriden Congregational Church 
603-469-3235
“Historical omission points toward a culture’s subconscious beliefs that some people matter less than others….
Whose story gets told matters!” 
―  Aurin Squire


Welcome to Black History Month! Although the concept of celebrating Black History began before I was born, in my mostly white world I never even heard of it until I was in college. And while I don’t recall ever objecting to it with the nonsensical retort, “what about white history?” (as if the majority of what gets taught as History were not, at least until recently, primarily the history of mostly with people!), I nevertheless have needed to evolve in my own understanding as to why, and how, Black History matters to me too, as appears may still be true for many white folk.
Throughout our entire ministry here, we have dedicated much of our Sunday morning activities during the month of February to reminding ourselves that Jesus and his earliest followers were not white like many of us, but rather lived in the much darker skin of their Middle-Eastern and African contemporaries.  We have sung African-American spirituals, prayed with words from African and African-American faith leaders, moved to the beat of African drumming, featured black depictions of Biblical stories on the covers of our bulletins and on the walls of our Parish House, displayed the flags of various African nations and incorporated snippets of African nation languages in our shared time together. Inspired by the late black theologian, James Cone, we have even contemplated what it means to affirm “God’s blackness.” More recently, we have hosted a weekly Black Lives Matter vigil in our town, displayed “Black Lives Matter” and “End White Supremacy” signs both outside and inside our church, shown anti-racism films, and engaged in dismantling racism studies, not only during February, but all year long. 
Yet the challenging truth is that Black History is still largely unknown and under appreciated by myself, and perhaps by many of us as well. Indeed, even those of us who might bristle at the question as to why we need a Black History Month at all, might be hard pressed to explain what difference black people have made in our lives. For a humorous depiction of how bereft our country would be without black history, see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nHDj4DH4mJw !  For as this brief video so powerfully illustrates, black history is not only important to black people, nor can it be separated from the history of all of us. Regardless of how little we know about it, 
critically important history without which our nation and our lives would be profoundly different, as illustrated so dramtically in this brief video:  https://www.theroot.com/watch-we-built-this-1816408576 Or as the Huffington Post says so starkly, “ w ithout black history, there would be no American history. Period .”  

But how many of us really know and understand this? Or as Bernice Powell Jackson, former Executive Director of our UCC Justice and Witness Ministries, so poignantly asks, “ how many Americans, no matter what their color, can really name even a dozen African Americans beyond Dr. King and Rev. Jesse Jackson and maybe Rosa Parks or Muhammad Ali?” Despite thinking of myself as relatively “woke,” I fear I am still woefully ignorant in this regard. Fortunately there are publications today, like the Huffington Post, committed to awakening us to the contributions and achievements of black and brown folk, both past and present, as well as numerous web sites, at least two of which celebrating black women sheroes we have posted on our church FaceBook page. We have also copied elsewhere in this Newsletter Bernice Powell Jackson’s “Black History Lesson,” which describes how much of the lifestyle we take for granted has come from the minds, hands, and hearts of black people most of us have never heard of. Perhaps the one of the most dramatic recent examples of how we have thus far been largely either uneducated or perhaps even mis-educated in this regard was revealed through the popular movie, “Hidden Figures.” At least when I was growing up, no one ever suggested that NASA was composed of anyone other than white men! :(

           And perhaps worst of all, as Whiteness Studies Professor Robin D’Angelo confesses in one of her lectures, not only were none of the important mentor/teacher/leader/provider/role model folk in her life, (mine as well) people of color, but even more problematical, no one ever suggested to her (or to me) that her life would be missing anything by virtue of this truncated, not to mention false, white-washing of her world. At least implicitly, if not explicitly, she was led to believe that the only people who mattered were white. Thank goodness this tide is beginning to turn, although not without some serious backlash from white folk still so invested in their inflated sense of superiority that they fear and actively resist the affirmation that the only way it will ever be true that all lives matter, is when the black and brown lives that have mattered so little for so long finally do matter enough that their stories, struggles, history, accomplishments, hopes, and dreams are at least as well known and appreciated as those of everyone else.  Unfortunately though, in still too many cases, those seeking to honor Black History Month, have yet to move beyond what the Huffington Post describes as “ squeezing in as much information about a select few civil rights leaders while whitewashing their stories,” and that only during the month of February, rather than “shining a light on the historical figures and events pertinent to accurately telling America’s history,” both past and present. 

Through this past year, what Susan calls our “brave little church” has been seeking to “choose” revolutionary love through reflecting upon whose neighbors we are, and how and/or whether anyone knows that we are their neighbors.   Especially given the disproportionate power still wielded by whiteness, despite increasingly becoming a minority of the global, and even national, population, may we welcome this Black History Month as an invitation to grow each and every day more intentionally and fully toward becoming a Beloved Community wherein we seek to learn about, appreciate, and affirm the lives and loves not only of those most familiar to us, but especially those whom we have thus far failed to see and embrace as co-conspirators in our shared ministry of collective liberation and “transforming lives as a compassionate community!’
Because Black History IS our history,
Your still learning Co-Pastors
John & Susan
Black History Lesson

A very humorous and revealing story is told about a group of white people who were fed up with African Americans, so they joined together and wished themselves away. They passed through a deep dark tunnel and emerged in sort of a twilight zone where there is an America without black people.

At first these white people breathe a sigh of relief. At last, they say, no more crime, drugs, violence, and welfare. All of the blacks have gone!! Then suddenly, reality sets in. The "NEW AMERICA" is not America at all--only a barren land.

1.  There are very few crops that have flourished because the nation was built on a slave-supported system.

2.  There are no cities with tall skyscrapers because Alexander Mils, a black man, invented the elevator, and without it one finds great difficulty reaching high floors.

3.  There are few if any cars because Richard Spikes, a black man, invented the automatic gear shift, Joseph Gammell, also black, invented the Super Charge System for Internal Combustion Engines, and Garrett A. Morgan invented the traffic signals.

4.  Furthermore, one could not use the rapid transit system because its precursor was the electric trolley, which was invented by another black man, Elbert R. Robinson.

5.  Even if there were streets on which cars and a rapid transit system could operate, they were cluttered with paper because an African American, Charles Brooks, invented the street sweeper.

6.  There were few if any newspapers, magazines and books because John Love invented the pencil sharpener, William Purvis invented the fountain pen, Lee Burridge invented the Type Writing Machine, and W. A. Lovette invented the Advanced Printing Press. They were all, you guessed it, black.

7.  Even if Americans could write their letters, articles and books, they would not have been transported by mail because William Barry invented the Postmarking and Canceling Machine, William Purvis invented the Hand Stamp, and Phillip Downing invented the Letter Drop.

8. The lawns were brown and wilted because Joseph Smith invented the Lawn Sprinkler and John Burr the Lawn Mower.

9.  When they entered their homes, they found them to be poorly ventilated and poorly heated. You see, Frederick Jones invented the Air Conditioner, and Alice Parker the Heating Furnace. Their homes were also dim, because Lewis Latimer invented the Electric Lamp, Michael Harvey invented the Lantern, and Granville T. Woods invented the Automatic Cut off Switch. Their homes were also filthy because Thomas W. Steward invented the Mop and Lloyd P. Ray, the Dust Pan.

10. Their children met them at the door barefooted, shabby, motley, and unkempt. But what could one expect? Jan E. Matzelinger invented the Shoe Lasting Machine, Walter Sammons invented the Comb, Sarah Boone
invented the Ironing Board, and George T. Samon invented the Clothes Dryer.

11. Finally, they were resigned to at least have dinner amidst all of this turmoil. But here again, the food had spoiled because another black man, John Standard invented the refrigerator. Now, isn't that something?

What would this world be like without the contributions of Black folks? Dr.Martin Luther King, Jr. said, " . . . that by the time we leave for work we have been dependent on half the world-modern America is created
by dependencies on the inventions from the minds of Black folks." Black history includes more than just slavery, Frederick Douglass, Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, Marcus Garvey, and W.E.B. Dubois .
JAGfest 3.0
A festival for the development of new plays by African-American playwrights in White River Junction, VT. 
February 8-10
$20 Single Tickets
$50 Weekend Pass (select all 4 shows to apply)
Briggs Opera House
Presented February 8-10, JAGfest 3.0 will include four staged readings of their works, over the course of three days, each featuring a post-show conversation with the artists and moderated by Dartmouth scholars. Admission is $20 per performance and $50 for a weekend pass to all 4 shows! For more information and to buy tickets to the plays, go to  https://www.jagproductionsvt.com/jagfest2019 

Play #1
The Last Day of Black History Month:
A Conversation with a Naked Black Southern Lesbian
Written by The "Maine Attraction" Anders 
Directed by Kia Warren & Ayesha Dillabough 
  Friday, February 8, 7:30PM
Synopsis:
The international “triple threat of burlesque” baptized by Michael Musto as one of ‘NYC’s Creatures of the Night’ in Out Magazine, The “Maine Attraction” Anders (Lady L’Amours Final Bow, Duane Park, Cheek to Cheek: Lady Gaga & Tony Bennett) shares her story of ancestry and artistic resilience with a personal and humorous timeline of our nation’s violent and systematic oppression. Hailing from Decatur, Georgia, Anders’ one-woman master-class on the prominent underbelly of American history, The Last Day of Black History Month... is a multimedia show featuring dance, comedy, music, and poetry unveiling hidden truths while facilitating acceptance, compassion, and unity.
 
Play #2  Rabbit Summer
Written by Tracey Conyer Lee
Directed by Christopher Burris
Saturday, February 9, 4:00PM
Synopsis:  Wilson and Ruby have good jobs, a beautiful home, a child...working on another, while Ruby's best friend, Claire, has just lost her unarmed Black husband to the quick trigger of a white cop. The trio individually battle to live their truths in a country built on lies while navigating the uniquely American condition of “Being, While Black”. 

Play #3  If This Be Sin  A New Musical 
Book by Kirya Traber, Music by Sissi Liu
Directed & Choreographed by Christopher Windom
Saturday, February 9, 7:30PM
Synopsis:  If This Be Sin  is a new musical based on the life of the queer Harlem Renaissance entertainer, Gladys Bentley. This new work,  If This Be Sin , is being developed with a full musical score, and will represent Bentley in her early life as an infamous performer in Harlem, as well as her eventual choice to conform and marry a man in the early 1950’s.

Play #4
Blanks or Sunday Afternoon, After Church
Written by Gethsemane Amy Herron-Coward
Directed by NJ Agwuna 
Sunday, February 10, 4:00PM
Synopsis:  Medical student Reese desperately hunts for the romance of her dreams while her “aunties-” Black women through history and media- dissuade, distract and try to save her from love’s violent abandonment- something they all experienced, something they all did not survive. BLANKS interrogates how intimate partner violence, intersectional patriarchy, and neglect affect Black women’s pursuit of romantic and filial love. It asks if love conquers all, what happens when it conquers you?

OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN FEBRUARY

FEBRUARY 3RD @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
Intergenerational Communion Service!
Join us for a celebration of the ways in which we share in the great Fishing Expedition of "catching" all creation within the net of divine communion.

FEBRUARY 10TH @ 10:00 AM
Fifth Sunday of Epiphany
Science & Faith Sunday
Our denomination affirms that God is Still Speaking, and in this service we explore the ways in which science is God's native tongue. Come revel in the ways in which science and faith mutually support and enhance the "miracle" of life and love.

FEBRUARY 17TH @ 10:00 AM
Sixth Sunday of Epiphany
Taize' Prayer Service
Come be renewed through this centering time of praying and singing in the Spirit and chants of Taize!

FEBRUARY 24TH @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday! Come join us on this last Sunday of Black History Monty for this reprise of the service postponed from last month due to the big snow storm, as we give thanks again for the prophetic and pastoral message of Dr. King who continues to call us, as people of faith, to be the Beloved Community!
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!
Steve Taylor was honored for being the Moderator of the Meriden Congregational Church's Annual Meeting for over 40 years. He was given a standing ovation and a gift certificate to Poor Thom's Tavern
FEBRUARY IN CHURCH SCHOOL
Hello all,

I look forward to a wonderful February of youth programming at Meriden Congregational Church. Please join us for the following Spirit Sunday workshops:

February 3: Family-friendly intergenerational service including a Children's Message focusing on sports and the values we can learn from them (in celebration of Superbowl Sunday!)

February 10: Yoga Sunday with Susan Sanzone-Fauver! Join us for a relaxing lesson during which your children can take part in accessible and fun yoga activities.

February 17: Baking for Coffee Hour! If you have a little pastry chef at home, send them to Spirit Sunday to prepare some yummy treats for our church community during Coffee Hour. It's a great opportunity to practice life skills that are in service to others.

February 24: Storytime! Join us for a cozy storytime to enjoy picture books that explore important themes in our Spirit Sunday curriculum. This workshop also allows us to return to our  Family Story Bible and enjoy some of the stories that further our understanding of the teachings of our church.

Lastly, I'd like to share that the OWL Ministry Team is very excited to continue offering the Our Whole Lives curriculum. As we organize this effort, we hope to involve both you and your children in this wonderful program teaching about spirituality and sexuality in an safe, accepting environment. We hope to offer the curriculum for Kindergarten through 1st Graders this Spring and are preparing to offer other age groups next fall and winter, including the course for grades 7-9 and more. Please feel free to contact me or Susan Gregory-Davis for more information, and check out this website for some general information about this wonderful curriculum:  http://www.ucc.org/justice_sexuality-education_our-whole-lives . If you are interested in helping make these important classes available in our community, please let us know. 

Here's to some warmer weather!


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

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 February 13 and 27.

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!

FEBRUARY CALENDAR


Welcome the New Day

The MCC Annual Meeting occurred on January 27th. In addition to deciding the Budget for 2019 (see Stewardship Report), the new Leadership Team was elected (see below) and we are now operating on the new Bylaws voted in last April 2018. As you can see there are fewer committees and we will be operating with volunteers joining with each Ministry Team to run our programs but not attending monthly meetings.
Dear Friends
You are part of our church! We can't do anything without your help. All of the Coordinators of our various ministries are eager to find out what your gifts are so that we will be even more wonderful together. There is a form entitled "How Might I Offer My Skills, Gifts and Talents to MCC?". These forms are in the Office on the Desk. Please pick one up and spend the few minutes to fill it out. From that we will have a good idea about where you would like to be engaged. Thanks, Kathy Wright
This was the way the Meeting Room looked during Annual Meeting January 27th
Join us for this Special Sunday Morning
Prayer Experience on February 17th!

           There is something profoundly meditative about the weaving of gently repeating songs, simple scripture readings, and extended silence in the style of Taize’ prayer, drawn from the Christian community by this same name located in Taize’, France. During our sabbatical in 2006, we visited the Taize’ Community and were deeply moved by the spiritual experience that this contemplative form of prayer offers. When we shared a Taize prayer service on the evening of Epiphany Sunday last month, we were encouraged to do again soon.
 Sooo,   this month, we will offer a Sunday morning prayer service (February 17 th ) in the Taize’ tradition by way of sharing yet again the spiritual blessing of this contemplative prayer experience.  Don’t miss this beautiful service which will touch your hearts and spirits and invite you to experience deeper dimensions of intimacy with God within our Beloved Community. And please feel free to invite friends and neighbors to join us as well!!


MCC Movie Night: Reel Soul

Friday—February 15 th @ 7:00 PM
In the Parish House,
with refreshments and discussion to follow!
 
TE LO DIGO is a short film by local resident, Parker Beaupré (Steve & Donna’s grandson), documenting stories from people on the island of Puerto Rico. The only way to reflect the complex and urgent situation there is through stories told by the people who live that reality on a daily basis. It’s imperative that we listen intently.
This movie was filmed over a period of two months with a budget of $0. Although there is no charge to view this film , gratefully received donations will go to La Olla Común breakfast program and to fund future film projects such as this one. 


Sanctuary in Grief
Offering Companionship INSIDE
the Grief You’re Living
Friday—February 15th, @ 2:00 PM
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…”
-       Les Miserables
           
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
Getting Ready to Listen --- Worship Resources for Us All
"Speak, for your servant is listening...." (1 Samuel 3:10)
Samuel was having trouble sleeping. It wasn’t insomnia. He had been awakened in the depth of the night by an unknown voice repeatedly calling out to him. In the end Samuel simply needed to acknowledge God’s voice and could then understand what was being asked of him.  It seems rather likely that John and Susan even now hear that “middle-of-the-night voice” when preparing their Sunday services and sermons. You could even say it goes with the profession!
But what about those of us in the pews—the non-professionals? How do we listen for the call or ready ourselves to live the Scriptures?
Our United Church of Christ national office offers weekly support to pastors, preachers and those who minister with music and spoken word each Sunday. This help lists Scriptural citations for the specific Sunday and provides a number of relevant theological citations from thinkers and writers across the centuries.  
Did you know that there is a three-year cycle of Scripture readings called the “Revised Common Lectionary” shared among major Protestant and Catholic denominations? Each week four readings are taken from the Hebrew scriptures, from the Psalms, from the New Testament letters and from the Gospels.  In our church we often hear the appropriate “lectionary” Old Testament and/or Gospel selection. The UCC itself participates in the Consultation on Common Texts, which maintains the Lectionary. Interestingly “SAMUEL” is the name of the UCC sermon preparation resource designed for use with the Revised Common Lectionary each and every Sunday. (And to be honest I cheated and already knew this from going to the UCC site.)
In our MCC Visioning efforts in recent years, culminating in the new organizational structures enacted at the January 2019 annual meeting just past, the Worship team is directed to expand the voices we hear, to add to the songs we sing, and to extend the styles of communal worship.  Both old and new need to be brought forth, blended and refined.

Over the coming twelve to eighteen months you will be asked to help us evaluate ways to make Sundays ever more meaningful within our MCC community.  Music and expressive arts, story sharing, readings of Scripture and inspirational drama and writings of many types and from many sources will be examined as we build a new worship/music planning team. Is this something you are interested in? We’ll need musicians, singers, instrumentalists, readers, actors, youth and—of course--YOU!

Along with Cindy Marx-Wood, I look forward to sharing more of this time of new growth in the coming months.

Ed Cousineau co-coordinator of Worship and Music Ministry




Welcoming and Caring Ministry News

What does this Ministry do? Right now, the people helping this Ministry usher in church. They bring food for coffee hour after church. They write letters for bereaved families. They provide meals for individuals and families when there is illness or need. They provide rides to appointments if needed. Perhaps this sounds like something YOU could do! Contact Kathy Wright, Coordinator, at kathywright@myfairpoint.net or secretary@meridenucc.org

Right now this Ministry is planning a party! It will be on Saturday February 23rd at 6:00pm. The main dishes will be provided, just bring a side dish to share. This party is to thank all the people who have helped the Hospitaliy Ministry Committee in the past or the Social Committee in the far past.

What is in the Future? We will need help with the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper on March 6th. Would you like to Mentor a new family? Start a Yoga Program at MCC? The sky is the limit with your imagination and energy.
Also please contact me if you have a need or could use some of our services. See you soon!

Kathy Wright, Coordinator for Welcoming and Caring Ministry
Stewardship News
STEWARDSHIP Reflections by Rod Wendt
A budget miracle is unfolding in our church, and the miracle blossomed at our Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 27. We are writing to ask YOU to be part of that budget miracle by helping fill our remaining budget gap for 2019. Generous people, committed to our future, have already stepped forward, and now YOU can help us get the rest of the way.
If possible, we would like to hear YOUR response not later than Monday, February 11 – a week from now. That will enable your Leadership to respond in a timely manner to your generosity, and get our church on a sound footing as early as possible in the budget year.

We started budget season with a $44,826 gap in our budget. Now we have only a $22,294 gap, and half is already promised IF we can raise the other half. We are being challenged to raise $11,200 with increased pledges or gifts. Every dollar we pledge or donate will be matched by 8 donors who have already pledged another $11,100. Together we will erase our 2019 budget gap!

Contact Rod Wendt
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        
           
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
Administration and Finance Ministry News

February 2019

The Annual Meeting was held on January 27th. About 30 people attended. With the election of the new Leadership Team, the new By-Laws, which were voted on last April, went into effect (See the Nominating Report elsewhere in this Newsletter). The Budget was approved at the meeting with the understanding that the Budget Gap would be remedied by seeking additional money through a challenge to the congregation to raise an additional $11,200. Letters and emails will be going out soon and checks can be sent to Richard Atkinson at Box 187, Meriden, NH 03770. As is stated in the letters this amount will prevent painful cuts being made either to our programs or the co-pastors.

In the winter our job on Administration and Finance is to see that the bills are paid, the snow is removed, that the W2 forms go out in the mail, that our employees are paid and that planning is done for the Meriden Community Camp. We have been lucky, so far, that our buildings are being heated reliably and our major appliances are functioning. It is anticipated that there will be an expense later in the year in order to paint the back of the Parish House and to rebuild the ramp to the church. But a Capital Campaign will be mounted for these expenses.

For an Annual Report for 2018, see the back of the Church, or the Secretary's desk.

Evan Oxenham Co-coordinator of Administration and Finance Ministry



REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS
     
           For the month of January we have received a total of $13,964.45. As we do not have the final list of pledgers yet it is impossible to determine how much is for pledges and how much for plate donations. Of this total $4,410 is for fulfilment of 2018 pledges,$195 is for the After School program, $500 for the pledge challenge and some miscellaneous contributions. The total received for the 2019 budget is $8,294.45.

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 the New Year dawns upon us, we remember with gratitude the blessings of family and friends, food and shelter, love and life, which make this community of faith such a WELCOME home for us all, we delight with those bearing new life, and pray with those yet trying to conceive or seeking to adopt, even as we also 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 Gail Kinney; Judith Kaufman;   Gianna Marzilli Ericson’s dear friend, David Ilsa Pinkson-Burke; Bobbie Garfield; Selden Lord ; Rich Pullen; 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; 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.


 
 

          
Even as our spirits have rejoiced in the beginning of this New Year, so too have we grieved the loss of loved ones among us! 
          We extend our sympathy to Glenn Griffin, upon the tragic murder of his friend, Paul Wilson, on Wednesday—January 2nd, 2019.

           So too are our prayers with the family and friends of Dale Rook, whose loving life ended last month. 

            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.


FEBRUARY BIRTHDAYS
2/1       Barbara Wendt
2/2       Diane Minard
2/2       Michael Chellis
2/2       Tim Timmons
2/4       Jerry Judd
2/5       Keira Hines
2/5       Fiona Fraser
2/7       Nathan Perotte
2/8       Katie Minard
2/8       Chris Hansen
2/10     Joe Kenyon
2/10     Cindy Marx-Wood
2/10     Sarah Davie
2/10     Jim Lenz
2/10      Peter Foss
2/10      Steph Berman
2/10      Connie O’Leary
2/11     Hilarie Schubert
2/11     Patrick Brady Elliott
2/11      Shawn Rogers
2/12     Andrea Keen
2/12     Debra Grabil
2/14     Anna Lifvergen


2/14     Melanie Ditzel
2/15     Nora Kells Gordon
2/15     Devan Williams
2/16     John Gregory-Davis
2/17     Ted Moynihan
2/17     Lindsay Parsons
2/17     Rachel Stoddard
2/17    Joe Williams
2/19     Zoe Rodriguez
2/20     Kathy Wright
2/21     Doug Beaupre’
2/21     Grace Parmenter
2/22     Amy Beaupre’
2/22     Jim Gray
2/22     Jody Schubert
2/22     Sandy Redlands
2/25     Nancy Hayes-Kilgore
2/25     Blaine Kopp
2/26     Chuck Chamley
2/26     Leslie MacGregor
2/27     Amy Franklin
2/27     Benjamin Taylor
2/28     Donald Garfield
2/28     Theodore Kramer Mishkin

FEBRUARY ANNIVERSARIES
 

2/24 Gretchen Cherington & Micheal O'Leary




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

 
   Throughout this mid-winter month, the time for our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils is 4:00 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

 
Y