Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter JULY-AUGUST 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
During the Church Year (September to June),
Church School & Nursery Care provided.
Summer months--children and youth are so warmly welcome to join us for our friendly services.
Here it is! Volume 3 Issue 5 of our e-mail newsletter
Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Meriden Congregational Church 
Pastoral Ponderings

"When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children's lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still waters.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free."
--The Peace of Wild Things by Wendell Berry,
farmer, poet and environmentalist

Berry's poem reminds us of the restorative gift of nature in the midst of our often frantic and troubled lives, whether we discover this gift simply in the beauty of a single rose, a starlit night, the scent of a freshly mowed field, a running brook, or any of the innumerable expressions of the natural life around us. Summer is an especially fertile time to seek renewal of our souls in these places of beauty and in these simple ways, if only we take the moments of "holy leisure" that our spirits deeply need to soak in this natural soul-refreshment. Without this continual re-creation of our own physical and spiritual being, we can become deadened to the natural rhythm of life that we see all around us and that is also cycling within us. "Holy leisure" needn't be days or weeks on end but, perhaps even more richly, can be random moments enjoyed spontaneously and especially when our souls most need.
In what ways is your soul longing for nature's gift of renewal during these summer days? What are the simple ways you can respond to your soul's longing in ordinary moments and often? Having your morning coffee or tea outside on your front steps? Opening your car windows on the way to work and feeling the warm breeze? Taking a walk at lunchtime? In the evening, lying in the grass like you did as a kid? Enjoying the moonrise and the nighttime stars? Simply being present to the unexpected moments of "holy leisure" available to us, especially through the gift of nature, goes a long way toward the refreshment of our souls.
May these summer days and nights bring rest and renewal to your body and spirit for the living and loving before us. We wish you many moments of "holy leisure" through the glorious gift of nature our creator God has given us!

Summer blessings!
Susan and John

July 7th @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday after Pentecost
Join us for our Communion Service on this Fourth of July weekend as we explore our God's call to Interdependence! Hospitality Hour to follow!

JULY 14TH @ 10:00 AM
Fifth Sunday after Pentecost
Lee Oxenham will lead our Sunday Celebration around a circle in the Parish House. Bring a lunch to enjoy in fellowship after the service. Coffee and Ice Tea and snacks provided.

JULY 21 @ 10:00 AM
Sixth Sunday after Pentecost
Gail Kinney, Our Worker Justice Minister will lead our service in the Parish House. Our circle will invite thoughts based in the Scripture of Luke. Bring a lunch if you would like to join our lunch club after the service. Coffee and Ice Tea and snacks provided. All are welcome!

JULY 28TH @ 10:00 AM
Seventh Sunday after Pentecost.
Gail Kinney , our worker Justice Minister, will lead us in worship based on the Scripture of Luke. Coffee and Ice Tea and snacks provided. Bring a lunch if you would like to join our lunch club after the service. All are welcome!

August 4th @ 10:00 AM
Eighth Sunday after Pentecost
Gail Kinney, our worker Justice Minister, will lead us in this Communion Service based on the Scripture if Luke. We will meet in a circle in the Parish House. Coffee and Ice Tea and snacks provided. Bring a lunch if you would like to join our lunch club after the service. All are welcome!

August 11th @ 10:00 AM
Ninth Sunday after Pentecost
Ed and Laura Cousineau will lead us in worship based on the Scripture of Luke. We will meet in a circle in the Parish House . Coffee and Ice Tea and snacks provided. Bring a lunch if you would like to join our lunch club after the service. All are welcome!

August 18th @ 10:00 AM
Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
We will gather in the Parish House for this service and invite you to bring a lunch to enjoy afterward. Coffee, Ice Tea and snacks provided. All are welcome!

August 25th @ 10:00 AM
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost
Join us for our Taize' Service in the Sunken Garden! (weather permitting). Hospitality Hour to follow!

September 1st @ 10:00 AM
Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost
Our Communion Celebration on this Labor Day Sunday will also feature a "Blessing of the Backpacks" for all of our children and youth beginning a new school year! Hospitality Hour to follow!
No matter who you are,
No matter whom you love,
No matter where you on
life's journey,

share in all our
Church Family Services,
and Activities!
Asma Elhuni came to our church on March 24th to talk about her faith, Islam
Pentecost Sunday—June 9th

  How blessed we were on Pentecost Sunday last month to share in confirming Finn Kopp, Juliette Hampton, & Anya Rendahl as the culmination of their two year Faith Odyssey with us!  Confirmation is the religious rite through which young persons in the Christian Church reaffirm their faith. There are comparable rites of spiritual passage in most of our world’s religions.
Here at the Meriden Congregational Church, our Confirmands also become full members of our church on their day of Confirmation. Eighth graders are confirmed following their two year course of preparation in the Faith Odyssey program.
During this time, they attend classes with John and Susan two Sunday afternoons per month, work closely with their adult mentor, engage in some form of service here at the church or in the community and conclude their studies with a written “Affirmation of Faith” which describes their understanding and experience of their faith journey thus far in their lives. We are so impressed with the thoughtfulness, humor, and integrity which Finn, Juliette, & Anya brought to her Faith Odyssey journeys, and we look forward both to continuing the journey with next year’s Eighth Graders, and to welcoming in those Seventh Graders who may choose to begin their Faith Odyssey with us!
Please join us in celebrating the presence and the gifts of our Faith Odyssey Youth and Confirmands in the life of our spiritual family!

 Finn, Juliette, & Anya !!


Gail Kinney, Our Worker Justice Minister, will be preaching in the Esterbrook Room of the Parish House this summer on July 21, July 28 and August 4 . Come join us for relaxed worship in the round!
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Worship and Music Ministry News

Summer thoughts from the Worship Ministry team

Let’s face it, summer is a time for trying and doing different things—new ice cream flavors, discovering a distant beach or a first-time hike on a lush mountain trail. I dust off my grills (yes, that’s a plural) and try a new recipe or two each year and mix them in with my standard grilled fare. My neighbor gets out his vintage sports car, puts the top down and takes it for a spin on bright, dry summer days. Otherwise, he keeps it covered in a tightly closed garage for the other eight or nine months of the year. We all behave a little more cheerfully and a lot more naturally in the summer.

Our summertime worship provides us a chance to stretch ourselves and embrace the relaxed opportunities of a smaller congregation on a sleepy Sunday morning.  Music is usually modest, congregants move a bit more slowly to be seated, John and Susan are a bit more laid back (before and after their family vacation) and the summertime worship leaders seem to be more conversational in their approach to Sunday Scriptures and sermonizing.

For six Sundays in July and August our Sunday worship will be moved to the parish house and we’ll circle the chairs for small group worship. We’ll share thoughts, prayers, hopes and insights in a face to face fashion. We’re no less prayerful or Scripturally based, but we are able to be more relaxed—and just maybe much more honest—within ourselves, when we are able to look squarely in the eyes of those with whom we are praying and sharing our hopes.

This summer we’ll hear Gospel readings from Luke; these familiar parables and stories are the narrative elements of Jesus’ walking journey from Galilee southward toward Jerusalem. We hope you can join us on those Sundays as we sit in a family circle just as the crowds did when listening to Jesus speaking along the roadside more than 2000 years ago. May your eyes and ears, and, yes, your spirits soar this summer. Road trip anyone?

Ed Cousineau, for Worship Ministry

Meriden Community Camp
Contact Kelsey MacNamee 603-504-4257
Welcoming and Caring Ministry News

This summer after July 7, the Congregation will meet in the Parish House for Sunday Services. Since it is usually a smaller group, this allows for more conversation and for drinking coffee or ice tea. This summer we will also have a luncheon club--people are invited to bring a sandwich and stay after the service to eat lunch together. There will be no coffee hour other than drinks which will be provided. Come and join our round table fellowship!

On Saturday, August 17th there will be another Welcoming and Caring Potluck Dinner. Two people will provide a main course and we ask that you bring a side dish, salad or dessert. Our potluck in June was well attended and we look forward to seeing you again .
In June I'd like to thank the following people for providing a Coffee Hour: Kathy Wright and Shideko Terai, Marianna McKim and Reinhart Sonnenberg, Laine Gillespie and Laura Cousineau. Of course mid-week Coffee at 10:00am on Wednesdays still continues. Please call Steve Beaupre to check on the location of this event (603-469-3425). Thanks.

Ushering (otherwise known as Hospitality Ministers) has been provided in June by Ed Cousineau, Richard Atkinson, Evan and Lee Oxenham, and Rod Wendt and Cindy Marx-Wood Thanks for the Service you have provided to the Congregation and the the Copastors.

Kathy Wright, Coordinator for Welcoming and Caring Ministry
Church Number 603-469-3235; Home Number 603-675-5989
Stewardship News
Friends of Meriden Congregational Church,
The Meriden Congregational Church has been serving our members and the broader community in many ways since 1780. And now we need members’ AND the community’s help with some urgent, urgent maintenance of our Sanctuary and our Parish House.
Our mission and ministry serve our own members, of course, but we reach far beyond our own membership into our local community. While worship, pastoral care, Faith Formation, Senior Seekers and other ministries serve primarily members, others are used by many community members as well. Examples include the Meriden Community Camp to which many local families send their children in the summer, the OWL (Our Whole Lives) sex and values education program, the Bryant Fund supporting people in need, serving at the Listen Community Dinners and Claremont Soup Kitchen dinners, educational courses and movie nights, the new Night Out Night Off (NoNo) child care program, the Wednesday Senior Coffees, pastoral care well beyond our membership, and more. Meriden Congregational Church is a well-used asset by members and the broader community alike.
The church now faces some urgent maintenance needs on both the Sanctuary (the access ramp is decayed and dangerous) and the nearby Parish House (the back desperately needs painting). The attached poster illustrates the gravity of these projects. They simply cannot be put off any longer. Both buildings are important to the ministries and services we offer to our members but also to the broader community.
Combined, these maintenance projects will require $30,000. We hope a combination of member support and support of the broader community will raise the funds needed to proceed with the work.
A very generous church member has offered to match, dollar-for-dollar, up to the first $10,000 donated by members of the community and the church. $10,000 in donations will become $20,000. We hope this matching gift will stimulate generous support from both the church membership and the broader community.
There are 2 ways to donate. A check, made out to “MCC” and memo “Urgent Maintenance” can be mailed to MCC, PO Box 187, Meriden, NH 03770. A credit card can be used to donate at the church website, Include “Urgent Maintenance” under Special Instructions within PayPal. Both donations are tax-deductible!
Thanks to all for your support of this important maintenance work!
Rod Wendt
Leadership Team
Meriden Congregational Church
Legislator Contact Information
                                                                                 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)        
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)

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
July 2019

Tree Mulching
We have completed the mulching of the trees in the church green. We will probably be adding mulch in the fall to ensure that the trees are protected through the winter.

Preparations for Summer Camp
We had a camp cleanup day on Saturday June 22 at which we prepared for the MCC summer camp. We added woodchips to the area around the play set and tackled a cleanup of the sunken garden. The jungle in the sunken garden was reduced to a semblance of a lawn, but the garden really needs the tender and regular care of a gardener. If anyone is interested in taking this on please contact a member of the leadership team, or just show and garden! 

Thanks to Selden Lord, Ed Cousineau, Emma McKim, Piper Keen and Anya Rendall for helping with the woodchips, and Selden Lord for helping with the sunken garden. Selden also worked on securing loose boards on the parish house deck.

We plan to complete increasing the height of the rail around the parish house deck by early July, and perhaps sooner. Leadership decided that the bench around the deck does not provide enough of a safety margin to young children who may climb on the bench, so in consultation with the Plainfield building inspector we have decided to increase the height of the rail by two feet.

You may have noticed that we have installed carbon monoxide monitors in the parish house basement and the Esterbrook room. Although we have not experienced any problems, we were advised by the fire chief that this would be a useful precaution.

Mini-capital Campaign
The Mini-capital Campaign to fund the painting of the parish house and the construction of the sanctuary ADA ramp is in progress. The contract with painter has been signed, and the painting work should be completed before Fall. We have identified a carpenter who can do the work on the ramp but he will not be able to start on that until early next year.
Evan Oxenham
For the Administration and Finance Ministry.

New Ramp for Church 2019
Outreach and Social Justice Ministry News by Shideko Terai

LABOR MINISTRY is active with Rev. Gail Kinney at the helm. Gail organized an amazing well-attended conference called “Faith and Labor in New Hampshire: Unified We Can Be a Force for the Common Good” which took place on Saturday, February 9 at the NH State Employees Association, SEIU #1984 in Concord. John, Ed & Laura Cousineau, and Shideko were there. Gail said we will be footnotes in her doctoral thesis. One of the quotes I appreciated was “community power needs to be taken more seriously.” There was the opportunity to listen to Dr. Joerg Rieger (via Zoom) talk on “Faith & Labor – Deep Solidarity Matters!” The book he co-authored entitled Unified We Are a Force: How Faith and Labor Can Overcome America’s Inequalities was available for free to the participants. I’ll lend out my copy to you if you’re interested.
The recent event that took place Friday, May 31 in Concord at 6 PM was a collaboration between the NH Faith & Labor Collaboration and the NH State Employees Association/SEIU #1984 to see the movie The Hand That Feeds about a low wage worker’s struggles and courage. Send our Worker Justice Minister, Gail Kinney an email if you want to know more about upcoming events.

The Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) BLACK LIVES MATTER vigils continue to meet on Wednesdays at 5 PM for just a short half hour until 5:30 PM at the blinking light in Meriden. We could really use some more people to show up with us. Sometimes there are as many as six of us. The weather is getting pleasantly warmer. It is worth making the statement for racial justice. And more people would definitely help to make us more visible. You are probably wondering how does it matter? I think the majority of people in the cars that pass by with waves and honks are thinking, “I’m glad to see that this issue is not being ignored. I wish I had the time to do it and I’m glad these people are there representing our values.” Do you want to be added to our email reminders? There are some interesting resources worth reading. Send an email to Rev. John Gregory-Davis

THE NH IMMIGRANT SOLIDARITY NETWORK of which MCC is a member church, sponsors prayer vigils to be in solidarity with immigrants. A few members of our church attend the   se Immigrant Justice vigils at the Norris Cotton Federal Building in Manchester on the first Tuesdays of each month. There is a “closed group” Facebook page called Interfaith Prayer Vigils for Immigrant Justice that you are welcome to join. It is a group by American Friends Service Committee-NH Program. There are frequent news articles posted regarding immigrant rights and activities that support our immigrant friends and neighbors. Recall the Indonesian Community? And there is a large Latinx community in Manchester and many other “New Americans” throughout NH. In fact, U.S. News & World Report says “From fiscal years 2011-2018, New Hampshire became home for 3,177 refugees, mostly from African nations…”

There is a Solidarity Walk for Immigrant Justice 2019: Concord to Dover organized by NH Council of Churches and all are welcome. It takes place from Wednesday, August 21 through Saturday, August 24, 2019 and it is an amazing feeling to walk in solidarity with migrants. You are welcome to walk part or all of this pilgrimage. Last year I walked on the last day to the detention center in Dover which is the Strafford County Jail. Details can be found on the Facebook page called Interfaith Prayer Vigils for Immigrant Justice or you can write to Jason Wells and ask for the sign up link.

LOCAL OUTREACH IN THE COMMUNITY includes volunteering to serve the meals at the Claremont Soup Kitchen and the Listen Dinners in WRJ, VT. A few of our church members faithfully sign up but there is always a need to help. The Listen Dinners on the first Thursday of each month are assigned to MCC. The Claremont Soup Kitchen meals are the fourth Saturday of each month. There is a link to SignupGenius in emails from Rod Wendt  Other persons to ask are Bill Chapelle and Ed Cousineau for details.

Through June 23rd we received $4,830 in pledge payments in June. The total received for the month to date is $74,475. Plate collections totalled $589 for a year to date total of $5,813. Other income includes:$1,250 for the Urgent Repair fund, $35.35 reimbursement from Cornerstone, our insurance carrier, $215 from the rubber ducky race, $1,035 from the auction, $168 from the after school program, a$166.75 refund from UCC and $1,272.50 from Ropes and Gray. We expect two more checks from them for their quarterly payment. 

               Jim and I are working on a computerised system to track all income. We expect to try a small trial of it this year and hope to have it ready to use next year. This will allow us to notify people of their pledge status by e-mail.

               I usually send out the first pledge update statements early in June. I am almost out of envelopes and discovered that our supplier has gone out of business. I am trying to locate another supplier of the window envelopes we use, unsuccessfully so far. I will continue to investigate this but hope to be able to get them out in July. If you want to know your pledge status please e-mail me at .

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Atkinson
Jim Lenz

Coffee & Cocoa products are featured from Equal Exchange! Please contact Shideko Terai if you would like to order Coffee, Decaf, Hot Chocolate or Chocolate Bars. These products are delicious and promise a reasonable return for the growers and farmers who produce them! K-CUPS are also available!
Cool weather! Fine chocolate. Or hot chocolate anyone?  

Shideko's e-mail is
Shideko Terai, Coordinator of Outreach, Peace and Justice Ministry

         As we open ourselves anew to the Pentecost Spirit of Hope & Re-Creation, 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 we 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 friends & neighbors, 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 Chris Dye ; Larry Wolkin; Tecla McCann as she struggles with ALS and wishes us to know that this is affecting her voice and speech; Aaron Luce; Shideko Terai; Linda Perkins’ friends, Dorothy & Barbara ; Caren Saunder’s father, William Homeyer ; Kathy Wright’s sister, Carolyn Youtz ; Randall Balmer; Christine Greenough’s father, Doug; Gianna Marzilli Ericson’s dear friend, David Karen Jameson’s mother, Letitia; 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; Erik Heaton; Len Saunders’ mother, Deb;  Laura Cousineau’s mother, Laura Keener Kreisl; Allyson Wendt; Tony Wellhaven; Sue Pullen’s nephew, Jaime; Greg Marshall; Larry Burch’s parents, Bill & Olive, as well as Larry’s brother, Charlie; Linda & Arthur Perkins; Glenn Griffin’s nephew, Jeffrey; Susan Turner’s first father-in-law, Cecil Baker , as well as Sue’s cousin, Buddy Stevenson , and Sue’s friend, Jane Miles; Andrea Keen’s father, Max Bueno; Tim Timmons; Maura Hart’s father , William; Vicki Ramos-Glew’s mother, Carol Spencer; Bill Chappelle’s friend, Mel; Odile Clavier’s mother, Marie-Claire, as well as Odile’s brother , Francois Clavier ; along with her niece , Amelie Marie , and her colleague,   Jim Barry, 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 : Rich Pullen; Caren Saunder’s mother, Betty Homeyer; 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; 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; Joan Dumont’s stepbrother, Lowell Toof; Jeff McNamara; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan.

As the new life of spring turns into the fullness of summer, we are especially mindful of both the wonder and the fragility of life, as we mourn the loss of dearly beloved friends and relatives of our faith community!!

            We extend our sympathy to Laura Cousineau and her family, upon the loss of Laura’s aunt , Lauretta Keener Warlick, whose “joyful life” of 98 years ended on Saturday—May 25 th , 2019.

           Our hearts ache with Adrienne Cedeno and her family, upon the untimely death of her husband, Doug Cedeno, on Sunday—June 9 th , 2019. Doug was a much beloved physician and active member of our community whose presence among us is already greatly missed. 

           So too are our prayers with Allen & Karen Rogers , upon the loss of Allen’s father, Earl Rogers on Wednesday—June 12 th , 2019, whose long and full life ended peacefully  “in the home he built as the birds sang in the yard.”

           Likewise do we embrace Jan & Selden Lord, upon the loss of Jan’s mother, Polly Maynes on the Summer Solstice, Friday—June 21 st , 2019. H aving just celebrated her 99 th birthday, Pauline (Polly) Iva Barron Maynes died peacefully in Cedar Hill Nursing Home in Windsor, Vermont. 

               As God has welcomed each of these much beloved daughters and sons 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 remembrance and grieving.

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.

7/2         Heather Hildebrant
7/2         Sarah Lappin
7/2         Donna Beaupre’
7/3         Christine Brooks
7/3         Erin Gregory-Davis
7/3        Jan Kilfeather-Mackey
7/4         Lion Herfort
7/4         Becky Van Dolah
7/5         Nancy Chapman Elliot
7/6        Robin Kilfeather-Mackey
7/6         Finn Kopp
7/6        Mahlon Ward
7/7         Lea Castell
7/7         Galen Moynihan
7/8         Jane Fielder
7/9         Sarah Calderone
7/9         Greg Hardy
7/9         Alex Jameson
7/10       Kayla Sneiderman
7/11       Sierra Rogers
7/12       Sawyer Grace Kells
7/12       Lee Walker Oxenham
7/14       Ben Cherington
7/15       Emily Dewey
7/15       Meredith Finch
7/16       Alex Arcone
7/16      Gianna Marzilli-Ericson
7/18       Wally Caswell
7/19       Nicole Guaraldi
7/19       Jenny Lenz
7/19       Adara Greenstein
7/20       Allen Winslow
7/21       Aaron Luce
7/21      Conor Zuberi LaVoie
7/22       Elaine Calderone
7/22      Jaine Perotti
7/22       Laura Franklin
7/23       Jeff Robbins
7/23       Ethan Wright
7/23       Sarah (Pensgen) Sirlin
7/24       Rex Miller
7/24       Sophia Filiault
7/25       Sarah Stender
7/25       Carla Bucklin
7/26       Andrew Taylor
7/26       Thom Wolke
7/27       Laura Borchert
7/27       John Borchert
7/27       Rosemary Mills
7/27       Kelsey Hardy MacNamee
7/28       Conor Beaupre’
7/28       Mike Jaeger
7/29       Matthew Taylor
7/29       Laine Gillespie
7/30       Bill Clerkin
7/30       Jayden Foster
7/31       Denise Thorburn
8/1         Brendan Fadden
8/1        Emma Healy
8/1         Kevin Marshall
8/4         Peter Elder
8/5         Shideko Terai
8/6         Nathaniel Custer
8/8         Kurt Filiault
8/9         Dawn Forbes
8/9         Vicki Ramos-Glew
8/10       Brandon Feid
8/13       Allan Reetz
8/13       Tori Constantine
8/17       Juliett Hampton
8/18       Sandy Ouellette

8/18      Jack Chamley
8/18       Sean Evarts
8/20       Charles Hildebrant
8/21       Connie Bosley
8/22       Abigail Saunders
8/24       Flora Kenyon
8/24       Jill Marshall
8/24       Eric Russman
8/25       Samantha Harding
8/26       Virginia Torrey
8/27       Matthew Mills
8/28       Terri Crane
8/31      Cecelia Hampton
8/31      Becca Cattabriga 

7/4/82          Steve & Sharon Zuckerman
7/5/86       Debbie & Jim Griffiths
7/6             Dale & Bob Cunningham
7/6/13          Natalie Ruppertsberger & Noah Lynd
7/7/07          Robin & Jan Kilfeather-Mackey
7/9/05         Keith & Gianna Marzilli-Ericson
7/10/04        Mike & Becky Van Dolah
7/11/98        Beth and Brian Garfield
7/15/95     Pam & Bob Annis
7/15/95     Susan Turner & Richard Atkinson
7/20/91     Liz & Bill Taylor
7/22/61     Gwen & Rob Fuller
7/25/86     Jan & Keith Timmons
7/27/91     Glen & Christine Greenough

8/2/03       Catherine Garfield & Peter Legare
8/4/12          Garret Heaton & Brinker Ferguson
8/4/84       Linda & Jeffrey Wilkinson
8/5/78       Cynthia Howe & Murray Dewdney
8/12/89     Susan & Jim Borchert
8/15           Karen & Allen Rogers
8/17              Eric & Yesenia Mesen
8/19              Joan & Larry Burch
8/23/14         Nick Custer & Kate Walrath
8/28              Amber & Greg Castell
8/28/71     Jody & Jim Schubert
8/28/93        Amy & Cory Healy
8/29/81     Shideko Terai & Bill Cable
8/29/15        Lily (Borchert) & Austin Powell

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

For a sobering perspective on “Independence Day,”
A Community Reading of Frederick Douglas Speech,
“What to the Slave is the Fourth of July”
Wednesday, July 3 rd
Colburn Park, Lebanon, @ 12:00 PM
Moody Park Pavilion, Claremont, @ 6:00 PM

Please join us in a participatory reading of Frederick Douglass’s emotionally powerful and politically significant 1852 speech “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July?” at Colburn Park (the Green) in Lebanon on July 3 at noon, and/or at the Moody Park Upper Pavilion in Claremont, @ 6:00 PM.  Community members are invited to gather together for this event, which is part of our state’s honoring of the Fourth of July this year.  Douglass’s speech remains as powerful and as thought provoking today as it did then. 

Frederick Douglass, born a slave in 1818, escaped slavery in Maryland. See Wikipedia for information about his daring escape.  On July 5, 1852, Douglass delivered this address to the ladies of the Rochester Anti-Slavery Sewing Society.  It was deemed by one biographer as "perhaps the greatest antislavery oration ever given.” (McFeeley, 1991) Douglass became one of America’s great orators and worked as a social reformer for the abolition of slavery and women’s rights.  
Our reading is in solidarity with the twelve other towns in NH who are reading the speech on the same day to remind us of the contributions that generations of enslaved African Americans have given to the comfort and prosperity of our nation and her enslavers.  This reading is part of the Black Heritage Trail of New Hampshire’s Frederick Douglass Public Reading Project.
At the Claremont reading, we will also acknowledge the twenty Africans who were posthumously awarded their freedom by NH Legislature 233 years after they petitioned the legislature for their freedom. A brief explanation of their petition as well as a reading of their names will honor these men who eloquently expressed their desire for freedom to our government officials in 1779. The original petition was deemed inexpedient to legislate as it was submitted in the middle of the Revolutionary War. Eventually, six of the enslaved men were freed and fourteen others died in enslavement.
Especially if unable to join us, read this still challenging speech at:
or view James Earl Jones reading
“What to the Slave is the 4 th of July” at:

The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro"
Excerpts from speech by Frederick Douglas in 1852
Fellow-citizens, pardon me, allow me to ask, why am I called upon to speak here to-day? What have I, or those I represent, to do with your national independence? Are the great principles of political freedom and of natural justice, embodied in that Declaration of Independence, extended to us?

         Would to God, both for your sakes and ours, that an affirmative answer could be truthfully returned to these questions! But such is not the state of the case. I say it with a sad sense of the disparity between us. I am not included within the pale of glorious anniversary! Your high independence only reveals the immeasurable distance between us. The blessings in which you, this day, rejoice, are not enjoyed in common. The rich inheritance of justice, liberty, prosperity and independence, bequeathed by your fathers, is shared by you, not by me. The sunlight that brought light and healing to you, has brought stripes and death to me. This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn.

         What, then, remains to be argued? Is it that slavery is not divine; that God did not establish it; that our doctors of divinity are mistaken? There is blasphemy in the thought. That which is inhuman, cannot be divine! Who can reason on such a proposition? They that can, may; I cannot. The time for such
argument is passed. 
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to God, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy -- a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.  There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour. 

What we are seeing today is immoral. What we are seeing is unjust. And our moral movement cannot stay silent. Now, as Frederick Douglass said, it is not light that is needed, but fire. On July 3, you can join us in saying "no mas."
At Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC, nearly 167 years since Frederick Douglass delivered his famous “What to the Slave is the Fourth of July” speech, I’ve been asked to deliver a new Fourth of July critique: “What to the Immigrant and People of Color is the Fourth of July?”  Alongside the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign, El Centro Hispano, El Colectivo, and other moral leaders and clergy and immigration rights groups, I will address the political violence against immigrants, the history of how we got here, and how our moral movement reminds us that hope is possible if the people--of every race, creed, color, class, and background--come together, rise up, and say “no mas.”
Until we do right by immigrants, refugees, and people of color, we forfeit the right celebrate freedom and justice in our nation on Independence Day. It is time we deliver a moral report. It is time to ask: What to the Immigrant and People of Color is the Fourth of July?!

Lights for Liberty: Friday--July 12 th , 2019
Hanover, NH

  “We shine a liight on the inhumane treatment of migrants and refugees by the current administration. To be silent is to be complicit. To sit this out is to be complacent. Now is a time to stand for what is best in all of us, to stop the worst of us. We must stand for one another."     - Ravi Ragbi

On Friday July 12th, 2019, Lights for Liberty: A Vigil to End Human Concentration Camps, will bring thousands of people to locations worldwide as well as to concentration camps across the country, into the streets and into their own front yards, to protest the inhumane conditions faced by refugees.
Key events are planned in El Paso, Texas, where migrants are being housed in outdoor conditions under a bridge with no running water for months at a time; Homestead, FL, at a migrant child detention facility that has caused mass abuse and neglect; in San Diego, near the point of entry site from Tijuana; in New York City, at Foley Square, where hundreds of migrants are processed through detention a day; and in Washington, DC, in Lafayette Park, to demand action from Congress to end concentration camps and impeach the President. Legislators, activists, organizers, and members of impacted communities will speak prior to the candlelight vigil.
Across this country, we have witnessed acts against people fleeing persecution many of us thought we would never see in modern times.  At Trump’s concentration camps, teen mothers and babies are held outdoors in “dog pounds.” We have witnessed the sick and elderly confined to “icebox” rooms for weeks at a time. Unbelievably, children as young as 4 months are taken from their parents, medicine is confiscated, and medical care withheld, and LGBTQ and disabled individuals are held in solitary confinement.
“The Trump administration’s immigration policies and detention camps meet the United Nations’ definition of genocide and crimes against humanity,” said Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, lawyer, activist and organizer. “Congress is refusing to stop the president and his policies. We cannot allow these atrocities to be perpetrated in our name.”  Perhaps most terrifying, refugees are beginning to be moved onto military grounds, where there will be a lack of oversight from the media, lawyers, and human rights monitors.
“Now is the time for every person to stand up and say, ‘We will not accept this!’ No more hesitating. No more denial. No more fear. We need to be bold, and loud, and unrelenting. That’s the only way we can stop this,” said Kristin Mink, activist and organizer.

    Our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils continue each Wednesday afternoon from 5:00 to 5:30 PM, on the SouthWest corner of the intersection of Rte 120 & Main Street (at the blinking yellow light, with parking available at Poor Thom's Tavern). We have “Black Lives Matter” signs available for folk to hold, but please feel free to make and/or bring your own signs affirming such sentiments as “showing up for racial justice,” “standing on the side of LOVE,” and/or our commitment to disarm hate, and to affirm our solidarity with women, as well as our Native-, African-, Latin-, & Asian-American, as well as our immigrant & GLBTQIA, Jewish, & Muslim sisters and brothers, and all those feeling unsafe and insecure in light of recent terrors plaguing our nation.

Come “show up for racial justice,” and Stand With us for LOVE , and AGAINST racism, white supremacy, hatred, and violence , here in our community and beyond!  Together,  let us publicly declare that we will NOT be complicit in white terror and let us call our friends and neighbors to rise up with us in our resolute affirmation of the inherent and sacred value of us all within the Beloved Community