Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter JUNE 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 3 Issue 1 of our e-mail newsletter
Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-pastors 
Meriden Congregational Church 
603-469-3235
P entecostal P astoral P onderings
We are a New Unsettling Force of Liberation,
And we have nothing to lose but our chains!”

At this time last year, we were about half way through the launch of the new Poor People’s Campaign—A National Call for Moral Revival, inspired by the original Poor Peoples Campaign on which the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was working when he was assassinated more than 50 years ago. The bad news is that we have so far largely failed effectively to change the moral narrative to discussing and responding to such evils as systemic racism & white supremacy, materialistic greed & crushing poverty, idolatrous militarism & the myth of redemptive violence, and environmental degradation & destruction of the ecosystem of our planet, and all the challenges each of these entails. But the good news is that this transition has begun, as evidenced both in the Green New Deal Proposal, and the issues being discussed by many of the current plethora of presidential candidates. Thus it is that I look forward to joining thousands from throughout our country in our nation’s capital during the middle of this month for a 3 day Poor Peoples Campaign Moral Action Congress.
As I pen these ponderings, the season of Eastertide is nearly over, and we are on the cusp of the Feast of Pentecost. In a recent reflection, the Rev. Ken Sehested suggested that this is a liminal time between the celebration of Easter as God’s Resurrection Moment, and the affirmation of Pentecost as God’s Resurrection Movement.  For to be spiritual people IS to be that “new unsettling Force of Liberation” prophesied by Martin Luther King and referenced in one of the signature songs of the new Poor People’s Campaign.   To proclaim that the empire had failed in its efforts to terminate the ministry and vision of Jesus was seditious enough, but it wasn’t until Pentecost, traditionally understood as the birth of the church, that Resurrection began to become downright dangerous in its transformative power. 
As the late Rev. William Sloane Coffin used to like to remind us, the revolutionary surprise of Easter is less about a “carried away body” than it is about a “carried away church!” Only through the Easter moment becoming embodied as the Pentecostal movement can the chains of apathy and injustice be broken. Thus does Sehested in his essay, “Eastertide—the Outing of the Church,” contend that just as Eastertide is the season when we learn to tell a new story about a different configuration of power and entitlement, so is “Pentecost when we take Easter to the streets!” In effect, the Pentecostal blustering of the Spirit is meant to be “the wind beneath our wings” giving us the courage and passion to “come out” from within our church walls,  into our wounded and weary world as heralds of hope, prophets of peace, doers of justice, lovers of life,  and minstrels of joy!
Our “brave little church” here on the Meriden hilltop is a beautiful edifice which we are blessed to enjoy and share. And as we increasingly dare to be more visible and vocal, whether within our local community, or throughout our state and beyond, so are we becoming known for the ways in which we embody the Spirit’s “unsettling force of liberation,” whether through the faith and labor leadership of our Worker Justice Minister, or the faithful witness of our Black Lives Matter vigils, or the children and families nurture and support of our Spiritual Formation Coordinator and Summer Camp Director, or our courageous compassionate commitment to become one of only three Sanctuary faith communities so far within our state, to mention only a few of the myriad ways through which the Pentecostal Spirit’s resurrection revolution is moving within and among us.  
Friends, we are not just a beautiful building on the hill; we are a Beloved Community on the move, seeking ever more fully to live into the vision called by our Jewish friends and neighbors, “tkun olam,” the mending of our world. With so much fear and division, hatred and injustice, rending the fabric of our individual and communal lives, may this Pentecostal Season help embolden us to keep being willing to lose the heavy chains otherwise preventing us from fully choosing to love with Pentecostal power as people committed to “transforming lives as a compassionate community,”  And in these seemingly dire times, may we follow the sage advice of environmental activist Wendell Berry to “be joyful, even though have considered the facts,” so that we may watch the facts change, our chains break, our hearts expand, and the arc of our universe bend yet more toward justice. For in the words of one of our favorite hymns, we truly are “each a love song to be sung” as only we can, in a world yearning to bless and be blessed by each and all of us. 
In the Pentecostal Spirit of Love’s Liberation,
Your Unsettling Co-Pastors,
 John & Susan


OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN JUNE

JUNE 2ND @ 10:00 AM
Seventh Sunday of Easter
Choir Sunday!
Join us as we celebrate the gift of our blessed Choir, Choir Director-- Michael Hogan and Pianist/Organist--Carol Hartman! Come sing some of our church family's most beloved hymns during this Inter-generational Communion Service! Festive Hospitality Hour in honor of our Choir to follow!

JUNE 9TH @ 10:00 AM
Confirmation Ceremony on Pentecost Sunday! The Holy Spirit will come upon us and bless us as we celebrate the Confirmation of three of our eighth graders: Juliette Hampton, Finnegan Kopp and Anya Rendahl, along with recognizing our 7th Grade Faith Odyssey students: Isabel Brozen, Piper Keen, Emma McKim and Sehan Moeynkens! Following our service, the Confirmation Celebration will continue at our Hospitality Hour!

JUNE 16th @ 10:00 AM
Children's Sunday, OWL Graduation and Fathers' Day!
This will be a celebratory day as we give thanks for the gift of our children and youth, as well as celebrate our Kindergartners and First Graders who will graduate from their OWL (Our Whole Lives Spirituality and Sexuality program). Many thanks to Andrea Keen, Glen Greenough and Steve Jameson for co-teaching this session! Hospitality Hour to follow!

JUNE 23RD @ 10:00 AM
Blessing of the Animals Service! "All God's Critters got a Place in our Service" today so bring your four-legged, winged and finned friends, along with any special stuffed animals who would also like a blessing and, of course, photos of our beloved pets who have already crossed the Rainbow Bridge. Animal crackers and juice for Hospitality Hour! Come one, come all!!!

June 30th @ 10:00 AM
Pride Sunday! Today we celebrate and support the LGBTQIA community with a service drawing upon spiritual resources, prayers and readings that lift up the sacred diversity and joy of our human family! Join us for worship and hospitality this morning!

July 7th @ 10:00 AM
Join us for this Interdependence Day Taize' Communion Service. Enjoy the peaceful chants and silence of this service which is sure to renew and refresh your soul. Hospitality Hour to follow!
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!
Asma Elhuni came to our church on March 24th to talk about her faith, Islam
JUNE IN CHURCH SCHOOL
Hello and happy summer! I look forward to a fun-filled June of youth programming at Meriden Congregational Church. Please note the following upcoming dates and events this month:

June 2, Music Sunday: Family-friendly Intergenerational Communion Service. Also on this Sunday, I'll share a "Camp Moment" during the service, to help our congregation learn more about our important ministry, Meriden Community Camp. 

June 2: K-1 Our Whole Lives meets from 10:20-11:30 am.

June 9, Pentecost Sunday, Confirmation Ceremony: Join us to help     celebrate our seventh graders as they get confirmed! During church school, we 
will reflect on a great year of Spirit Sundays and create a project representing  our learning throughout the year.

June 16, Fathers’ Day Service: Join us to celebrate the father figures in our lives as well as the end of a wonderful year of church school. On this day, the children will present their end of year projects to the congregation.

June 27: Meriden Community Camp Open House from 6-7:30 pm. Whether your children are already enrolled or you are considering your summer childcare options, join us for a fun evening at the Parish House. At this time, children can meet other campers, get to know counselors, and tour the campus. 

I have really enjoyed another wonderful year of working with your children. Thank you all so much for your support of our youth programming, and feel free to contact me anytime with questions or ideas for the future. I look forward to expanding our programs and continuing to build community in my position at Meriden Congregational Church.

Best,

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


JUNE CALENDAR

MCC Movie Night: Reel Soul
In keeping with our theme this year of discerning “ Whose Neighbors are We?” and in celebration of this LGBTQIA Month, all are welcome to join us for the next film in our Reel Soul movie series:            
“A Fantastic Woman”
a sublime study of love, loss and the trans experience”
-         Peter Bradshaw

View trailer at:

Friday—June 21 st  @ 7:00 PM
In the Parish House,
with refreshments and animated discussion sure to follow!

A FANTASTIC WOMAN is the story of Marina, a transgender woman who has just moved in with her older boyfriend Orlando. But when he dies suddenly, she finds herself rejected by his family and under suspicion from the police, because she is a trans woman.
 
“This Chilean Oscar-nominated film is not just about a person asserting her right to be treated like a person. It's also about Marina's conflicting views of womanhood, and how she might (or might not) fit into it.”                                       - Roger Ebert
“Sexuality and gender identity issues are front and center in this impressive, heartfelt film, blending seamlessly with the universal themes of dignity, bigotry, and loss” 
-        Renee Schonfeld , Common Sense Media
This film pushes us to question where we stand in society. Are we with Orlando’s family or with Marina? Instead of answering questions, the film’s trying to ask questions about everything. What bodies can or can’t we inhabit? Which love stories are valid and which aren’t? Why is it that certain groups oppress other groups because they’re not within what they consider normal boundaries?”                   - Jonathan Romney
(A FANTASTIC WOMAN is rated R for language, violence,
 and brief sexual content and may not be suitable for all audiences.)


Sanctuary in Grief
Offering Companionship INSIDE
the Grief You’re Living
Every Other Friday—June 7th and June 21st
@ 2:00 PM in the Parish House

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…”
- The miserable ones      
           
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

Worship and Music Ministry Team Thoughts
Cindy Marx-Wood, Co-Coordinator

Worship that celebrates who we are and whom we wish to become is a distinctive and defining element of MCC.  
So who are we and whom do we wish to become? We are of many different voices, different backgrounds, different preferences. The Worship and Music Ministry Team is charged with helping to organize Sunday worship, with creating worship services that comfort, support and motivate and appeal to a diverse group of church members. The team encourages the participation and involvement of the congregation. Many things -- almost anything –are possibilities -- skits, dance, personal stories and prayers and services from other traditions and theologies.
But I’ll be honest -- this is difficult for me. I grew up in 50’s a nd 60’s in a traditional Congregational Church (even before the UCC was formed). That’s where my comfort level is -- with very traditional, predictable services -- certain format, certain prayers, certain music (hymns) and a sermon.

However, these alternate ideas bring to mind a large part of what it is about the congregational church that resonates with me. The structure and organization allows the congregation to make their own decisions and to decide who they want to be and whom they want to become. 
My cousin, to whom I was very close, got married when I was 11. Her fiancé was Catholic and I still remember her telling me that she had to vow to raise her children in the Catholic Church. I was furious! “What about our church and our traditions?” How could they command that? Our faith tradition does not have a rigid top-down structure. The UCC national conference does not dictate how our Meriden services should be structured. 

           So the very spirit that draws me to the faith, at the same time, also makes me uneasy. I have long got the traditions that are “church” to me. Also I am trying to embrace the freedom that we have to create who we wish to be. We need to balance the new with the traditional in order to provide a spiritual home for everyone. I think that we can do it.

           Several times per year the Worship and Music Ministry team will “invite” you to join us to plan and help make Sunday worship more meaningful and involving for a period of two to four months. Please consider joining us and helping us bring the best of the new and the best of the traditional into our Sunday community.






Welcoming and Caring Ministry News

I'm getting excited about the end of the School Year. Also I'm looking forward to the Welcoming and Caring Potluck which is happening this Saturday June 1st at 6:00. I hope that I will see you there.
In May I'd like to thank the following people for providing a Coffee Hour: Kathy Wright, Cindy and Glenn Griffin, Laura Cousineau and the Leadership Team for the food at the Auction at the beginning of the month. Starting this month Coffee Hour changes to its summer schedule which is small--a couple of containers of Ice Tea, maybe a small pot 12 cups of coffee and one or two offerings of food. This reflects the smaller group that chooses to stay for convivial conversation and fellowship after worship. Of course mid-week Coffee at 10:00am on Wednesdays still continues.

Ushering (otherwise known as Hospitality Ministers) has been provided in May by Jerry Judd, Steve Beaupre and Lee Oxenham. 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, http://www.meridenucc.org/donations/. 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
Chair
Leadership Team
Meriden Congregational Church
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)     
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
June 2019

Tree Mulching
We have begun mulching the remaining three large trees on the green that we were unable to get to last year. The work involves removing the existing sod around the tree and replacing this with mulch. At the end of May the sod was removed from one tree and partially removed from a second tree, and we hope to complete the sod removal and mulch each of the three trees early in June.

MCC Major Maintenance Campaign
We are kicking off a major maintenance campaign this month to raise money for some urgently required projects.
The Meriden Congregational Church leadership has identified two major maintenance items that need to be addressed in 2019. Both are capital projects that cannot be funded from the church’s normal maintenance budget. One of these, the painting of the parish house has been deferred for several years in favor of more critical maintenance items, such as the repair of the parish house chimneys and the repair of two stained glass windows in the church. The other, the replacement of the ADA ramp at the east side of the church sanctuary, was identified as a problem in mid-2018. 
The work that needs to be done on each item is described below.
1.     Parish House Painting
The painting of the parish house can no longer be deferred, as any further delay could lead to the deterioration of the parish house exterior wall requiring costly wall repairs.
Two aspects of the painting work increase the extent of the work. First, since the painting of the parish house has been delayed for several years beyond when it was due, the preparation work to provide a clean painting surface will be extensive. Secondly, the height of the parish house, in some parts reaching over 50 feet, increases the difficulty of this job. The contractor is proposing to use a large bucket truck to reach the taller parts of the building, and to reduce the danger to the men doing the work.
The areas of the parish house that will be painted are the exterior walls of:
a.     The south side of the parish house facing Main Street.
b.     The back (west side) of the parish house (opposite Michell Drive).
c.     The west exterior wall of the Bryant Parlor.
The painting surface will be prepared by scraping off all the loose paint and removing mildew where it occurs. The mildew will be removed using bleach followed by a hand wash to remove the bleach. A coat of Mad Dog primer will then be applied over the bare wood. Mad Dog primer is an exterior stabilizing primer that smooths uneven surfaces, bridges and fills cracks and permanently resists peeling paint and cracking surfaces. Using this primer effectively extends the job life of the project - walls that are normally repainted every 6-8 years can last 15-20 years with some touch up. 
One coat of a normal exterior primer will cover the Mad Dog primer, and finally one coat of exterior paint will be applied.
The total price quoted for this work is $19, 610.00

2.     Replacing the Sanctuary Access Ramp
The Sanctuary access ramp has been on the maintenance list for several years, but the need for replacement became obvious last year after a car damaged the stairs leading to the ramp. The trustees asked several different contractors to evaluate the ramp, and they agreed that it needed replacement and could not simply be repaired. 
The ramp currently does not meet ADA requirements for an access ramp – it is too steep for the occupant of a wheel chair to use without assistance, as was shown recently when a visitor in a wheel chair tried to use the ramp but was unable to get into the Sanctuary without a push from a bystander. While the Meriden Congregational Church is not required to follow ADA requirements (since churches in general are exempt from these Federal requirements) we do recognize that we need a ramp that can be used unaided by both people in wheelchairs and those that use crutches. 
We hired an architect to create a design for a new ramp and this design calls for a ramp that is much longer than the existing ramp. This increased length is necessary to reduce the slope of the ramp so that it is truly accessible to those who need to use it. The proposed ramp would have a total length slightly over 69 feet and a slope of 1 in 12. It will be placed far enough away from the Sanctuary wall to avoid snow from the roof falling on the ramp. A plan of the proposed ramp is included below
Leadership had thought that we could use volunteer labor to do much of the work on the new ramp, having the church only buy the necessary materials. However, the architect’s design has made it clear that the project requires a professional contractor to ensure that the final ramp is safe and accessible.
The estimated cost of the ramp replacement is now about $10,000, rather than the $3000 that we had hoped to spend.

Evan Oxenham
Coordinator for 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. uniongale@aol.com

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 john@meridenucc.org

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 jason@nhchurches.org 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 rodwendt@tds.net  Other persons to ask are Bill Chapelle and Ed Cousineau for details.

REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS
     
          
In May we received $6,400 in pledge payments for a yearly total of $69,645. Plate donations totaled $417 for a yearly total of $5,224. Other income include a $5,000 prepayment of a 2020 pledge, $270 from the After School program, $260 in camp scholarships and a $705.60 payment from our insurance carrier for an over-payment of premiums.

               Jim has done a lot of work in creating a spreadsheet to computerize all pledges and other donations. We will be trialing it through the summer with a small group of people. Once all the bugs have been figured out we hope to expand it to the entire congregation. This will allow us to send all quarterly updates via e-mail and save a few hundred dollars on supplies and postage.

               The first update will be sent out early in June and will reflect all pledge payments and other donations through the end of May.

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 mary.n.boyle@gmail.com.
Shideko Terai, Coordinator of Outreach, Peace and Justice Ministry


red_ribbon_heart.jpg
         Throughout this   Eastertide Season , 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 Chris Dye ; Jan Lord’s mother, Paulie; Rosemary Mills; 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; Allen Roger’s father, Earl Rogers; Vicki Ramos-Glew’s mother, Carol Spencer; Bill Chappelle’s friend, Mel; Odile Clavier’s mother, Marie-Claire, colleague ; 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: Doug Cedeno; 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.



          
Our joy in the new life of Spring has been muted by the loss of a number of dearly beloved friends and relatives of our faith community!!   

           We extend our sympathy to  Susan Turner and her “aunt” Jane, as they mourn the death of Sue’s “uncle,” Ralph Nupp , last month.

           So too are prayers with Laura Cousineau, upon the recent loss of her aunt , Lauretta Keener Warlick, on Saturday—May 25 th , 2019.

              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 remembrance and sorrow.


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.

JUNE BIRTHDAYS
6/2         Dalton Winslow
6/3         Daffodil Mumuli Lavoie
6/3         Beth Kopp
6/3         Linda Wilkinson
6/4         Estyn Elkouh
6/4         Rick Hildebrant
6/4         Rob Johnstone
6/5         Gwen Fuller
6/6         Annie Pullen
6/6         Jeff Cook
6/6         Amy Lappin
6/7         Garrett Wilkinson
6/8         Emma Greenough
6/10       Karen Heaton
6/11       Kaitlyn Elliot
6/12       Jeff McGlone
6/13      Odile Clavier
6/13       Brenda Caswell
6/13       Larry Burch
6/13       Steve Taylor
6/14       Jean Strong
6/14       Lauren Anikis
6/14       Sheila Cragg-Elkouh
6/15      Ben Griffin
 

 
6/15       Liam Moynihan
6/15      Betsey Pensgen
6/15       Don Parsons
6/16       Rob Grabill
6/17       Charlie Houmard
6/17       Dylan McGraw
6/18       David Seabolt
6/19       Charles Muhlari
6/19       Owen Johnstone
6/19       Betty Walker
6/21       Michael O’Leary
6/22       Alison Moynihan
6/24       Cynthia Winters
6/24       Angie Hinton
6/24       Isak Tell
6/25       Betty Clark
6/25       Bette Stockwell
6/25       Bob Phelps
6/26       Taylor Sheehan
6/26       Otto Hildebrant
6/26       Cindy Svensen Griffin
6/27       Roberta Garfield
6/27       Jon Schafer
6/28       Ed Cousine au


JUNE ANNIVERSARIES
 

6/2/99          Naomi & Tim Goodwin
6/14/69     Barbara & Rodney Wendt
6/14/14        Harrison & Melissa Currier
6/16/62     Donna & Steve Beaupre’
6/16/13        Phelan Brady & Jennifer Doyle
  6/21                 Lisa & Bruce Elder
6/21             Andrea & Rangi Keen
6/22           Nancy & Jess Kilgore
6/25/94     Amy & Darrell Beaupre’
6/28/97     Katy & Steve Sheehan



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
All Work Has Dignity and Deserves Respect
and Decent Compensation!

     A number of members of the MCC have been active in showing up for economic justice -- at the NH State House, in solidarity with NH State Employees who are facing yet another round of difficult contract negotiations with the state, and elsewhere. On May 31, our Worker Justice Ministry worked in collaboration with the State Employees union to offer a faith and labor movie night during which we watched an extremely moving film that documents the struggles of an immigrant workforce in a NYC café as they overcame fear, intimidation, exploitation, and deportation threats to form a union at their Manhattan-based bakery and café. 
    
 We also heard briefly (electronically) from veteran union organizer and author of Beyond 15: Immigrant Workers, Faith Activists, and the Revival of the Labor Movement Jonathan Rosenblum who worked with a low-paid, disrespected, largely immigrant workforce in Seattle as airport workers and others joined with local clergy and other community allies to fight, successfully, to achieve a $15 minimum wage, safer working conditions, adequate "tools" of their trades, and dignity and respect on the job. In his brief comments, Jonathan painted a vivid picture of the faith and labor solidarity in Seattle and the courage and power resulting from their alliance. It happens that Jonathan will be visiting family in NH in early August, and he has agreed to gather with our budding faith and labor collaboration over a light lunch on Friday August 9 at the State Employees union headquarters in Concord. We understand that August is a time for vacations or R & R for many, but if you're in NH and have a flexible noontime schedule, please mark August 9 at noon on your calendar for what promises to be an inspirational and thought-provoking gathering. We will also explore how to apply what we learn to NH work rights issues.
     
 At this time, the NH Legislature is also in the final stages of considering legislation to reinstate a minimum wage in NH (we now are governed by the federal minimum wage of a $7.25 an hour, a wage that will still relegate a fulltime workers to deep poverty). NH's proposed legislation, while still being negotiated, is (in my view) tepid and calls for an the state to move toward a $12 minimum wage over a period of time. It is, however, a start toward establishing that all work has worth and should pay a "living wage." Even with its modest elements, many fear this legislation faces a sure gubernatorial veto. This is significant issue for all people of faith who believe in the biblical call for justice. So, stay tuned -- and remember, YOUR voice matters in such policy debates.


 
    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

 
Y