Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter JANUARY 2022

We are a Spiritually Progressive,
Open & Affirming, Sanctuary Congregation 
dedicated to 
Transforming Lives
as a Compassionate Community,
extravagantly welcoming EVERYONE,
celebrating diversity, cultivating awe & wonder,
and seeking Peace with Justice for all Creation!

Join us for our Intergenerational
Faith Community Celebrations
Each Sunday at 10:00 AM
Back in the Church,
with masks and physical distancing,
and zoom option as well!

Watch for weekly e-mail notices,
and/or contact
john@meridenucc.org, susan@meridenucc.org
or secretary@meridenucc.org
Here it is! Volume 4 Issue 7 of our e-mail newsletter
FEATURED IN THIS NEWSLETTER
 
PASTORAL PONDERINGS

Worship & Music Ministry News
  • Our Sunday Faith Community Celebrations in January
  • Music and Ministry Notes
  •  Vision Sunday January 30
  • Tenderly Held in our Hearts and Prayers
  •  Into God’s Hands
  • New Child of God

December Calendar of Events in the Life of our Spiritual Family
  • "Revolutionary Love" Study Circle continues in January

MCC Administration & Finance News
  • December Leadership Round Up
  • Report of the Assistant Treasurers
  • "Rooted in Love" Stewardship Update
  • COVID-19 Task Force Notice For January

Welcoming and Caring Ministry
  • January Birthdays & Anniversaries

Growing a Just World for All
Peace & Justice Ministry Coordinators Report
  • Racial Justice Ministry News
  • Support for Thoughtful Teachers
  • Equal Justice Initiative Racial Injustice 2022 Calendars
  • Black Lives Matter Vigils at 3:30 PM each Wednesday
  • Worker Justice News
  • PRO Act Support
  • Legislator Contact Information
  • Immigrant Solidarity
  • Letter to the Editor Calling for Pathway to Citizenship
Transforming Lives as a Compassionate Community:
Rooted in Revolutionary Love”


Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-Pastors
Meriden Congregational Church
603-469-3235
john@meridenucc.org
susan@meridenucc.org

"My humanity is bound up in yours,
for we can only be human together.”
--Archbishop Desmond Tutu
October 7, 1931—December 26, 2021
 
Dear friends, as we journey into 2022, what more compassionate and wiser words could have been spoken than these of South Africa’s prophet and moral compass--Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Indeed, Tutu was and will continue to be a prophetic voice not only in his homeland of South Africa but throughout our world as so many countries, like our own, begin to face the truly evil injustices of our racialized history and present. Tutu knew that only a full and honest accounting of his nation’s individual and systematic human rights abuses could justly commence the long road toward reparations, reconciliation, and the realized goal of restorative justice. Our prayer, as we mark both the ending of Tutu’s deeply inspirational life and the beginning of this New Year before us, is that these wise and compassionate words of Tutu will be held close to our own hearts and embodied in our actions-- individually and as a community--seeking to live, again, in Tutu’s words, into “God’s dream--that you and I and all of us will realize we are family, that we are made for togetherness, for goodness, and for compassion.” 

As a church family, we share Archbishop Tutu’s faith perspective that our very being is inherently connected to one another. “When did we see you hungry and feed you, or see you thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?” “I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:37-40) Tutu drew his inspiration from the wisdom of Jesus, the same universal wisdom held in common by authentic religious, spiritual and indigenous communities across cultures and throughout the ages. That “we can only be human together” is a truth so obvious and simple, yet so profound when we embrace it and so tragic in consequence when we too often resist it. Like all our human choices, from the seemingly insignificant ones we make each day to those that affect our kin a half-world away, honoring and cherishing our interdependence as humble earth-dwellers is truly our only viable future. Again, words of sacred wisdom guide us: “I have set before you life and death. Choose life that you and your descendants may live.” (Deuteronomy 30:19)
 
In this New Year, we invite you to wonder with us how our community of faith will be called in new ways to embrace, embody, and enact more deeply this truth of our shared humanity and our responsibility for the well-being of one another and our suffering planet. What personal commitments to honor the humanity of others (and, in turn, our own) are we dedicating ourselves to in 2022? For me (Susan), I am humbling committing myself to regular (weekly) reparative actions—outside my comfort zone—in recognition of the faithless “privilege” I have to do nothing at all. Please join me if a similar commitment is one you wish to embrace this year. Truly, I could not even envision this commitment if not for our faith community from which I draw great courage and inspiration. So many in our church family are already dedicated to the faithful ministry of “love in action” within the public sphere. And so many carry out less visible, perhaps, but no less significant acts of love each and every day. Again, we take guidance from Archbishop Tutu in his saying, “Your ordinary acts of love and hope point to the extraordinary promise that every life is of inestimable value.” 
 
We pray that our faith community, our “brave little church,” will continue to stretch and deepen the commitment and action to honor our global humanity and the sacred rights of every dimension of Creation. This has been the long-time spiritual practice of the Meriden Congregational Church, as seasoned members--Steve and Donna Beaupre’, aptly and joyfully remind us! So, we are blessed to trust that the ears of our collective hearts will be open to listening for both new and ancient ways God is calling us to repair and prepare for the future They and we long for our planet earth to share. 

With love, prayers, and blessings
for each of you, every day,
Your grateful Co-pastors,
Susan and John
 
OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN JANUARY

Hybrid with both In-person (masks & physical distancing) and Zoom.
We will update you weekly via email as we closely monitor the Covid/Omicron risk which may affect our ability to safely offer In-person services. All services will continue to be offered via Zoom.

January 2nd @ 10:00 AM
Second Sunday of Christmastide
Blessings of the New Year!
Come join us to welcome in the New Year with an Inter-generational Service featuring Carol Hartman's daughter, Megan, reading a Christmas story, and singing of our favorite Christmas Carols!

January 9th @ 10:00 AM
Epiphany Sunday
An Intergenerational Service for All Ages celebrating the Feast of the Epiphany and sharing Communion together.

January 16th @ 10:00 AM
Second Sunday of Epiphany
The Baptism of Jesus
Join us as we reflect on the words Jesus heard at his Baptism--these words we all long to hear, "You are my beloved child with whom I am well pleased!" How might our lives, and our world, be different, if all that we say and do were guided by this liberating affirmation?!

January 23rd @ 10:00 AM
Third Sunday of Epiphany
Martin Luther King, Jr. Sunday!
Come be inspired once again by the prophetic and pastoral message of Dr. King who continues to call us, as people of faith, to be the Beloved Community! Come join us as we reflect on the timeless message of this prophet of our time.

January 30th @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Epiphany
2022 Vision and Annual Meeting Sunday! Come join us in cyberspace for this special Sunday when we gather to give thanks to God for the blessings God has entrusted us with in the year past and in the new year to come! Directly following our service, everyone is warmly invited to remain for our church's 241st Annual Meeting! We look forward to "seeing" you there.

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

YOU are WELCOME to
share in all our
Spiritual Family Services, Celebrations,
and Activities!
FAITH FORMATION AND
CHURCH SCHOOL NEWS!

We are so excited to be providing fun and meaningful programming for our children and youth--in safe and engaging ways--such as through Sunday morning Children's Messages, offered by Kelsey MacNamee, our Coordinator for Children, Youth and Families, in-person, "Church School in the Woods!" for our elementary school aged children, and "Faith Odyssey in the Woods" for our sixth through eighth graders. Kelsey is also planning supportive regular gatherings for our high school Senior Seekers and, in the winter/spring, we are looking forward to offering Our Whole Lives for our Senior Seekers! We will be in touch! And we wish all our children, youth and families a peaceful and joyous, healthy and happy New Year!
Exquisite Darkness: A Winter Solstice Litany

From the rising of the midwinter moon,
may darkness and light dance together, O Shining One.
In this season, make us short on grumpy thoughts,
long on sharing of words of gentleness.
Make us short on being rushed, long on attentiveness.
Make us short on seeing what’s right before us,
long on peering into the horizon.
Make us short on busy to-do lists, long on savoring kindness.
Make us short on overlooking the dark sky,
long on gazing at the twinkling stars.
Make us short on tradition as a habit, long on re-creating.
Make us short on walking past those sleeping in the cold,
long on sharing blankets and hot tea.
Make us short on rushing, long on wondering and pondering.
Make us short on longing for what’s next,
and long on savoring the darkness.
Music and Ministry Notes

Planning was completed for our Christmas Eve Service with limited capacity, masks, social distancing and of course Zoom availability. As I am sure everyone is aware, the Covid-19 virus is continuing to spread and with a new variant emerging--new guidances will surely be coming as more information is gathered about the new variant. So…we proceeded with plans for an in-person Christmas Eve service as well as in-person Sunday worship at this time. Both will continue to be available via Zoom also. The Christmas Eve Service was a great success with a large choir of people allowed to sing with Singers Masks. There were many who chose to stay home to enjoy the service. It is still available to see via a link sent out by John Gregory-Davis. Please stay tuned for updates as the Covid saga continues to unfold. No matter the format, we will have a warm and beautiful celebration of the blessed season and the New Year.
Cindy Marx-Wood
for
Music and Ministry
John and Susan at Rod and Barb Wendt Service 5-16-21
Tenderly Held in our Hearts and Prayers
           
          As this 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, and we fervently pray for all those affected in any way by the Covid 19 pandemic, especially all front line teachers, heath care deliverers, and other “essential workers.” So too do we celebrate with all those bearing new life, with special concern for Larissa & Bob Pyer, and pray with those yet hoping to conceive, or seeking to adopt a beloved child of God, even as we also pray for our friends in Brazil, 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, & IranWe pray 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 BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) friends and neighbors, seeking to build with them a world wherein Black Lives Matter!”

So too do we pray for these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer: Sue Turner’s sister-in-law Bev, and Bev’s step-daughter, Sarah, as well as Sue’s cousin Jesse’s husband, Ron Letterchio; Rosemary Affeldts’ husband, Dan; Connie Kousman; Gail Kinney’s brothers, Charles & David; Nora Kells Gordon’s brother-in-law, Peter Savage; Jim Lenz’ friend, Jim; Laura Cousineau’s brother-in-law, Eric; Linda Perkins’ friend, Linda Stone; Shideko Terai’s friends, Melanie & Paul; Suzanne Lenz’ brother, Bob; Bailey Sibert; Ed Foltyn; Caren Saunders’ mother, Betty Homeyer; Selden Lord’s brother-in-law, Edward; Jo Evarts, as well as Jo’s sister, Jingles; Robert Bryant; Cynthia Howe; Jeff McNamara; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan.

We pray likewise for Carol Hartman & her family; Jean Strong; Penny Arcone’s friend, Dick Slubin; Connie Kousman’s sister, Joyce; Nora Kells Gordon’s brother-in-law, Jim Hanna; Joan Dumont; Jerry Judd, as well as Jerry’s son, James; Penny Arcone’s friend, Bill Kmon; Beth Kopp’s father, Jim Kane; Allyson Wendt; Linda Perkins; Christine Heins’ sister, Rosalyn Braeunig; Jody Schubert’s brother, Rick: Laine Gillespie’s cousin, Becky, and Laine’s friend, Perry Allison;  Jeannie Hines’ father, Joe McClellan; Joan Burch; Clare Louzier; Selden Lord’s sister, Sharon Hammond; Suzanne Lenz; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law, Michelle; Judy Croitoru; Bob & Robyn Carpenter;  Chris Dye; Linda Perkins’ friends, Dorothy, Barbara, Albert, & Doug; Caren Saunders’ father, William Homeyer; Rod & Barb Wendt’s granddaughter, Ada Jane; Greg Marshall; Larry Burch’s brother, CharlieSusan Turner’s cousin, Buddy Stevenson, and Sue’s friend, Barbara Zenker; Susan Sanzone’s aunt Rita; and Odile Clavier’s mother, Marie-Claire, as well as her niece, Amelie Marie.

  If you or someone you know would like a name to be added to our Prayer List, please let us know. In an effort to keep it as up-to-date as possible, please also let us know when you would like a name removed.
Into God's Hands 
 
As we give thanks for the blessings of this past year, so too do we mourn those who passed away toward the end of this year.   
 
           Our hearts ache for the more than 824,000 lives already lost to COVID 19 in this country alone, along with all other pandemic-related deaths throughout our world.
           
So too do we extend our sympathy to Linda & Arthur Perkins, as they mourn the loss of Linda’s sister, Janice Sue Ewens, on Friday—November 26th, 2021.
 
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 work of revolutionary love belongs to all of us. . . . We all have the ability to participate in this great love story. Imagine the stories we tell, the institutions we will build, and the lives we will lead when we affirm that every person is a person. Imagine the world we will birth when we see no stranger!”           - Valerie Kaur
Faith Odyssey for Adults!!
“Revolutionary Love for our Times”

Continuing in January
At the Home of Selden & Jan Lord,
and at this Zoom Link:
 
           Although now about half way through this study series, it's still not too late either to share this journey with us, or simply to learn more about it. For the next few weeks, we will be meeting at the home of Selden & Jan Lord, 27 Serenity Drive, in Cornish, NH, and by zoom at the link above.  Please join us!
How is it with your Soul?

An invitation to women in our community to explore and share your journey with other spiritual companions!

If you are interested in meeting monthly with other women in our church as we support one another on our spiritual journeys, please let Susan know. We welcome you to join one of our Spiritual Companions groups and look forward to the blessing you will be among us!


Do you long for quiet time in our church?
Just let us know!

Only since the beginning of the pandemic has our beloved church had to be locked (due to the computer equipment in the sanctuary). If, during the week, you would ever like to have some quiet time in the church, please just let us know and we will unlock the church for you. Our church continues to be a sanctuary of peace and comfort for you. We look forward to making it available whenever you would like.
--Susan and John
MCC ADMINISTRATION AND FINANCE NEWS
Leadership Roundup - December 2021

Church Services
This year has been another year in which the Leadership Team has worked to keep the church running in the face of the COVID-19 crisis with the help of the COVID task force who researched best practices and advised the Leadership Team on how to protect the congregation.  

We continued our Zoom services until May, switching to in person services in the Parish House in June for the small group who gathered over the summer. Heartfelt thanks to Gail Kinney and Richard Atkinson who led our summer gatherings in the Parish House.  

In September we began our hybrid services, thanks to the hard work of Jim Lenz who worked out and implemented the technical details necessary for a successful service. Jim has since trained Juliette Hampton and Lucas Rodriguez so that we now have a team of people to run the services.

Members of the congregation have the choice of attending the service in person or joining by Zoom, and since the hybrid services began, we have seen about 65 percent attending in person and 35 percent attending by Zoom. If you choose to attend in person you do need to wear a mask and we ask that you not attend in person if you are not vaccinated. We have condoned off parts of the pews to enforce social distancing and have installed MIRV 13 filters in the furnace to filter out the virus particles in the air.

Jim Lenz also researched and bought the equipment necessary to link the parish house internet service to the sanctuary, and with the help of his daughter Jen Lenz and Evan Oxenham, installed the equipment in November. The link is working so we no longer rely on KUA for internet service in the sanctuary.

Painting the Parish House and Picket Fence
Two efforts improved the appearance of our church property this year.

Richard Atkinson with the help of Lee Oxenham painted the exterior of the first floor of the front of the Parish House / Parsonage. This is a significant improvement to the building. In addition, Shawn Rogers was able to engage Alan Buckley to paint the picket fence, which now looks quite new.

Farewell to Church Members
Sadly, this year we said farewell to prominent members of the church, Rod and Barb Wendt in May and Richard Atkinson and Susan Turner in November. Rod and Barb moved to Scarborough in Maine and Richard and Susan to Shrewsbury in Pennsylvania. They are missed but we wish them joy in their new homes.

Thank You to All Who Help with the Ministry of our Church!!

As we all know, Meriden Congregational Church is more than just the people who attend services each Sunday, so I want to thank all who engage in the work of the church.  

Thank you to the Caregivers who help when members of our church are unable to care for themselves.  

Thank you to those who volunteer with Bill Chapelle at the Claremont Soup Kitchen and those who help prepare meals at Listen. 

Thank you to the Camp Committee who spent many hours preparing for and overseeing the Community Camp, and those who helped clean up before the camp, erected the tents used by the camp and then took them down at the end of camp. 

Thank you to the members of the COVID-19 task force who worked to keep us safe thus tar

Thank you to all who attend the Black Lives Matter vigils and other events in support of our social justice and climate justice missions.

Thank you to Jill Marshall for the fundraising that you did to help the camp, and for your stewardship work, not least of which was the creation of the “Rooted in Love” video.

Thank you to our church secretary Kathy Wright who keeps the church running, putting together the newsletter every month, printing the Sunday Bulletin and organizing coffee hour.

Thank you to the Kelsey MacNamee for your children’s messages and your work with the Community Camp and with the Senior Seekers. 

Thank you to our treasurer Cindy Griffin, who once again obtained COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Plan money to supplement our income, and ensures that our bills are paid.

Thank you to Suzanne Spencer for taking care of the bookkeeping and preparing the monthly financial reports that allow us to monitor our income and our spending.

Thank you to our assistant treasurer Richard Atkinson for tracking pledge contributions from members of the congregation, counting the donations received and preparing and weekly bank deposits.

Thank you to Steve Beaupre for taking our weekly deposits to Claremont Bank, ensuring the humidifiers in the sanctuary building have enough water and for ringing the church bell at the start of each Black Lives Matter vigil.

Thank you to Shawn Rogers for supporting our sexton Sue and for taking care of all the maintenance problems that have cropped up this year. 

Thank you to our sexton Sue Richardson for the cleaning and gardening that you do.

And thank you to every member of our congregation – you are what makes this church community a special community on the hill!

Submitted 
Evan Oxenham.
Chair, MCC Leadership Team.




REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS


Through December 30, we received $7,185 pledges for a total of $134,338 pledges to date. Also we received $1,144 plate contributions for a total of $7,554. So the grand total of Pledge and Plate Donations for the year as I figure it is $141,892. This number does not reflect stock donations and some other funds. The Christmas Eve offering was $250 for the Poor People's Campaign that John mentioned.
Thanks to Richard Atkinson for his faithfulness in preparing these reports for many years. And best wishes in his retirement!

Kathy Wright
Jim Lenz




Stewardship Update


Dear Friends, 

Many, many thanks to everyone for your continued commitment to our beloved Church as we pledge our financial support for 2022! Thus far we have raised 76% of our goal. What a feat and testament to the love we share for the Meriden Congregational Church. THANK YOU. Every gift is a blessing. ❤❤❤

If you have not yet joined us, I would urge you to do so as soon as possible as we continue to envision the ministry possibilities for our church in the new year. January is a critical month for us as we finalize the year's proposed budget. Additional funds are needed to ensure our continued vitality. You can make your pledge by emailing me at Jill@meridenucc.org

Our stewardship theme this year is “Rooted in Love” drawing inspiration from our church’s multitude of roots, and from Psalm 1, “They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season.” Here, the Psalmist invites us to imagine all the good things we can bear when well planted. Thank you for being a part of the MCC's roots today and always.

Sincerely, Jill Marshall, Vice Chair for the Leadership Team

Notes from the COVID Task Force



Our church addresses COVID risk and safety in 2022

In retrospect it’s been a long and rather risky two years—actually just a mere 22 months as I write today. The entire world has certainly changed so much since early March 2020. Over 820,000 persons have died in the U.S. Worldwide, the number of deaths is approaching 5,500,000.  The virus mutates on a recurring basis across different parts of the world.

Our Meriden Congregational Church Christmas Eve service on December 24th offered some evidence of local progress over the virus, and even allowed a small group of us to gather in person. But then, very real cautions remained as yet another new variant emerged, keeping others of us at home participating via Zoom.

The church’s COVID-19 Task Force recognized that vaccinations and boosters supported some level of indoor gathering for Christmas 2021, though masking, distancing, and common-sense health monitoring were still necessary.  

The church seating was limited following some healthy debate on the technical merits of improved air filters, the levels of ventilation needed, the potential arrangements of limited seating locations for reduced attendance, plus the required same-day rapid testing for masked singers—a special “singer’s mask” was in use --and instrumentalists (unmasked when playing).   

New face masks were handed to each attendee in the pews, following the community standards set by Dartmouth-Hitchcock Hospital that medical grade “Level 2” masks are given to all members of the public with business at the medical center.

One of the members of the COVID Task Force thoughtfully observed that our MCC Christmas Eve service may have been “the least risky gathering many of us would experience” in the coming pandemic winter of 2022! Why? The reasons are simple—confirmed vaccination and boosters for all, recording names and addresses of church members and guests in attendance for future contact tracing, same-day rapid testing for singers and musicians, the emphasis on proper masking, considerate distancing and the like had been established and were observed to a higher degree that usually attainable in much of our other daily experiences in our home communities.

The new Omicron variant appears to be fueling major surges, stressing testing facilities and draining hospital resources both in our state and across the country. The MCC COVID-19 Task Force stands ready to monitor the levels and kinds of risks our congregation may experience in the coming months of 2022 when gathering indoors each Sunday. Vigilance and preparation are parts of our communal responsibility to one another. That’s just as it should be. Stay safe!

Ed Cousineau
For the COVID-19 Task Force


WELCOMING and CARING MINISTRY


January is the Beginning of a New Year

We Get to Gather Together This Month In the Church And on Zoom!!

Thanks to Cindy Marx-Wood, Kathy Wright and Donna and Steve Beaupre who have ushered during our Church Services. Thanks to John Gregory-Davis for providing brownies or candy for after church and to Ed Cousineau, Anne Cragin, Christine Heins and Kathy Wright for providing snacks after church.

Continuing in January we will still be indoors in the Church Sanctuary! And the amazing part is that we will also be broadcasting our service on Zoom. For Example on Christmas Eve there were 46 people in the Sanctuary and 50 people or households on Zoom. Thanks to the wizardry of Jim Lenz and Evan Oxenham and Juliette Hampton, those wishing to stay home can still attend church!!!

Coffee Hour is now offered indoors in the Parish House. I figure that the danger of gathering inside is about as great as going to a restaurant to eat a meal. (The other danger of overeating may be more certain) Please use your judgement as to whether you are willing to accept the risk.

This January 30th will be the Annual Meeting. As usual I'm fairly certain that it will be right after church. Whether it will be in-person, on zoom or a hybrid of the two will be decided shortly. Stay tuned to help us decide the budget for 2022 and vote for our new officers--we will need a quorum of people. Thanks for YOUR help in 2021 and I look forward to your help in 2022.
HOPE YOU CAN JOIN US IN JANUARY!!!

Kathy Wright, Coordinator of the Welcoming and Caring Ministry





JANUARY BIRTHDAYS


 
1/1        2022
1/4       Ben Saunders
1/4       Anna Borchert
1/5       Christine Greenough
1/7       Catherine Norbury Mackey
1/8         Thom Lappin
1/8       Selden Lord
1/9       Charlotte MacNamee
1/9       Birgit Ruppert
1/10     Steve Arcone
1/11     Anna O’Leary
1/11     Lucas Jameson
1/12     Meg Fauver
1/12     Gedeon Rodriguez
1/12     Lucas Rodriguez
1/13     Pam Annis
1/13     Terry Dewey
1/14     Susan Borchert
1/14     John Custer
1/14     Holly McGovern
1/14     Jeff Good
1/15     Karim Chichakly
1/15     Mary Kardel
1/15     Ella MacLean
1/16     Bill Chappelle



1/17     Johanna Ruppertsberger
1/17     Andrew Duany
1/17      Jillian Williams
1/18      Hanna Foston
1/18     Allyson Wendt
1/23      Alexys Wilbur
1/23     Greg Marshall
1/24     Olivia Taylor
1/24      Liv Townsend
1/24     Blake Wendt Hennessy
1/25     Maura Hart
1/25      Sawyer Custer
1/27      Kyra Russman-Araya
1/29     Andrew Forbes
1/29      Kassidee Rogers
1/29      Eileen Williams
1/30      Isabella Dill
1/30      Audrey Elder
1/30     Jess Kilgore
1/30     Cedric Elkouh
1/30     Carol Hartman
1/31     Debbie Foltyn
1/31     Samantha Heaton
 

JANUARY ANNIVERSARIES


1/28/65         Roberta and Donald Garfield
 

 
Divisive Concepts Language
Doesn’t Belong Anywhere in NH Law !
Many throughout out state are frustrated and angry that our Legislature and Governor have chosen to embrace this deeply
mis-guided and dangerous form of censorship:(


         
 2022: A Time to Recommit Ourselves to Action for Economic Justice
by Gail Kinney, Worker Justice Minister

MCC Co-pastor John and I are active in a collaborative state-level group focused on advocating for a moral economy in NH. A key component of this group's focus is our "Raise Up NH" initiative through which we have been calling for years for living wages for all NH workersOur wonderful colleague Kathy Staub of Manchester just offered this observation on January 1:

Well, it is New Year’s Day 2022 and just like every New Year’s Day since 2009 New Hampshire’s minimum wage remains $7.25 an hour. Every other state in New England raised its minimum wage this year. Minimum wage workers in Rhode Island woke up today to a minimum wage of $12.25 an hour. In Vermont, they will be making $12.55, and in Maine, they will be making $12.75. Connecticut’s minimum wage is now $14 an hour and in Massachusetts, it is $14.25. 

Critics who don’t believe in the concept of a minimum wage argue that market forces will resolve the issue. They point to the way wages have increased because of labor shortages brought on by the pandemic. Of course, New Hampshire’s labor shortage was an issue long before Covid-19. Businesses were constantly complaining about their inability to find workers. 

....Maintaining a starvation wage as the minimum wage is not going to improve things. Why would a person choose to work in New Hampshire when they could drive across the border and be guaranteed a much higher wage and more respect? Being an extreme outlier in this way is not helping us.  ....By defeating every attempt to raise the state’s minimum wage, Governor Sununu and our Legislature are sending a powerful message that workers in New Hampshire are not valued.

Kathy goes on to say that the NH Legislature, this week, could rectify this moral and economic atrocity when they take a final vote on a retained 2021 bill (HB 517) calling for a gradual increase in a NH minimum wage. However, despite the best efforts of many, including the legislators representing Meriden, this bill will not make it into NH law in the current public policy climate. It is a reminder that, in 2022, the revival of civility, compassion, and "beloved community" will be on our state and local ballots. Who we nominate and elect matters. That's worth acting on in this new year!


2022 History of
Racial Injustice Calendars

Equal Justice Initiative challenges racial and economic injustice and provides legal representation to people who have been illegally convicted, unfairly sentenced, or abused in jails and prisons. Their 2022 Calendar is a full-color wall version that includes hundreds of historical entries and 12 short essays highlighting historical events and issues in our nation's racial history. Available in the church office or by request for $3.00 each.  
Steve Beaupre' faithfully rings our church bell
each Wednesday afternoon at 3:30 PM as a clarion call to
our Community BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigil
Thank you, Steve!!
 We are continuing our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils each Wednesday afternoon, now happening from 3:30 to 4:00 PM, on the SouthWest corner of the intersection of Rte 120 & Main Street (at the blinking traffic light). We have “BLACK LIVES MATTER” signs available for folk to hold, but please feel free to make and/or bring your own signs.

Come join us in “showing up for racial justice,” and Standing for  LOVE , and AGAINST racism, white supremacy, hatred, and violence, here in our community and beyond!  Togetherlet us publicly declare that we will NOT be complicit in white terrorand 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 Beloved Community

https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pro-act/

Watch this brief video for more information:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jeLj79DK6wk

The House of Representatives passed the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act last year, but anti-worker legislators in the Senate blocked it. Undeterred, working people fought to elect pro-worker lawmakers to the Senate, House and White House. And we won.

Lawmakers gave us their word they would make the PRO Act a top priority. It’s time for them to keep that promise. The House passed the PRO Act for a second time on March 9, 2021, sending the bill to the U.S. Senate.

The PRO Act is the cornerstone of the AFL-CIO’s Workers First Agenda. If it passes, it would: Empower workers to organize and bargain, Hold corporations accountable for union-busting, and Repeal “right to work” laws, which were created during the Jim Crow era to keep White and Black workers from organizing together. Stronger unions mean higher wages, safer working conditions and dignity for all people who work. Passing the PRO Act will be our first step to getting there. 
John Gregory-Davis Speaking at the Budget Protest in Concord, NH-- June 24, 2021
Legislator Contact Information
 FEDERAL
                                                                                 Rep. Annie McLane Kuster
137 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5206 (Washington)
18 North Main Street, Fourth Floor
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-226-1002 (New Hampshire)

Sen. Maggie Hassan
330 Hart Senate Office Building  .
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-3324 (Washington
1200 Elm St. Suite 6
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 603-662-2204 (New Hampshire)

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. Brian Sullivan
642 Olde Farms Road
Grantham, NH 03753-3124
PHONE 603-381-7889


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

Sen. Suzanne Prentiss
Legislative Office Building, Room 102
33 State Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-3092
Immigrant Solidarity
Now is the Time to Enact a Pathway to Citizenship!
(John's recent Letter to the Editor)

Every faith tradition affirms that whatever dehumanizes any of us hurts us all in our efforts to build the Beloved Community of our shared humanity. I’ve felt that deeply as a member of New Hampshire’s statewide immigrant solidarity network that includes people from many different faith backgrounds. Together, we raise our voices for full dignity and rights for all immigrants, including a pathway to citizenship. If the COVID crisis has taught us anything, it’s that many of the people our lawmakers have denied a pathway to citizenship have been the “essential workers” whose labor has been critical to our mutual wellbeing. 

I recently travelled to Washington, DC to join faith leaders and immigration advocates, including many still seeking documentation, to demand our representatives and senators act assertively to pass the strongest immigration protections in the Build Back Better budget package. We called on Vice President Kamala Harris to use her power to support long overdue legislation granting citizenship to the hardworking undocumented immigrants who gather and prepare the food we eat, perform vital jobs in healthcare and caregiving, the DREAMers for whom the US has always been home, and the Temporary Protected Status holders who cannot return to their countries of origin because of natural disasters. We were a beautiful tapestry of humanity gathered for the moral imperative of ending the inhumanity and cruelty of an immigration system that exploits the willingness of undocumented immigrants to work harder and harder without granting them the stability and peace of mind only a pathway to citizenship can provide.
 
The House managed to pass the bill with temporary work permits and protection from deportation intact. Now, we need Senators Hassan and Shaheen to work with their fellow senators to add a pathway to citizenship by simply overruling the Senate parliamentarian. It’s time for them to publicly speak out, and commit to ensuring thousands of New Hampshire immigrants a chance to breathe free. Our immigrant friends and neighbors have trusted us with their lives, and invested those lives in the well-being of us all—how can we possibly do any less in return?  
The UVHS & The Plainfield Community Resource Room have teamed up to help all Cat & Dog Owners in our area.
Every Month on the 3rd 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.