Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter MARCH 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
Pastoral Ponderings
As we begin this season of Lent and Women's History Month, I wish to share a poem by one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver (1935-2019).

"Why I Wake Early"

Hello, sun in my face.
Hello, you who make the morning
and spread it over the fields
and into the faces of the tulips
and the nodding morning glories,
and into the windows of, even, the
miserable and the crotchety--

best preacher that ever was,
dear star, that just happens to be where you are in the universe
to keep us from ever-darkness,
to ease us with warm touching,
to hold us in the great hands of
light--
good morning, good morning,
good morning.

Watch, now, how I start the day
in happiness, in kindness.

Mary Oliver invites us to slow down enough so we can notice the utter beauty and wonder around us. Too often I find myself rushing from one thought or activity to another. You too? Her poetry reminds me to pause and be reverent.

The season of Lent similarly invites us to slow down, notice what is truly important in our lives, and reverence it. Then can we devote our precious, limited energy to living as our Loving Creator desires us to live. During these days of Lent, dear friends, may you slow down and cherish each moment and may your Lenten journey be blessed, each day.

Prayerfully, your Co-pastor Susan
yellow_spring_daffodil.jpg
"Instructions for Living a Life"

Pay attention.
Be astonished.
Tell about it.

--Mary Oliver
Here it is! Volume 2 Issue 11 of our e-mail newsletter
Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,
Co-pastors 
Meriden Congregational Church 
603-469-3235
OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN MARCH

March 3RD @ 10:00 AM
Transfiguration Sunday
Inter-generational Communion Service and Celebration of Shideko De Luca Terai (formerly Mary Boyle) who, through a special "Naming Ceremony" within the service, she will reclaim her Japanese birth name! Join us for this deeply meaningful and joy-filled celebration as Shideko shares her story with us and we share with her our love and appreciation for her journey. Hospitality Hour to follow.

March 10TH @ 10:00 AM
First Sunday of Lent
Labyrinth Sunday
We invite you to begin your Lenten journey very intentionally by entering into the prayerful practice of walking a labyrinth--through guided meditation during our service itself or afterward on the beautiful labyrinth (modeled after that of the French cathedral of Chartres) that will be set up nearby in the KUA gym. Treat yourself to enjoying this ancient spiritual practice known around the world! Then share your experience with others over refreshments during our Hospitality Hour.

March 17TH @ 10:00 AM
Second Sunday of Lent
A Service of Celtic Prayer in the Spirit of St. Patrick! Hospitality Hour to follow.

March 24TH @ 10:00 AM
Third Sunday of Lent
 Come meet and hear our UVIP Lead Organizer, Asma Elhuni , as she shares with us during this Women's Herstory Month her experience as a Muslim woman in our society, and her passion for issues of immigrant, racial, & economic justice, with refreshments and continuing conversation with Asma following our service.

March 31st @ 10:00 AM
Fourth Sunday of Lent
Taize' Service
Join us for a contemplative service of silence, prayer, readings and song. 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!
Steve Taylor was honored for being the Moderator of the Meriden Congregational Church's Annual Meeting for over 40 years. He was given a standing ovation and a gift certificate to Poor Thom's Tavern
MARCH IN CHURCH SCHOOL
Hello all,

It's almost Spring (fingers crossed)! I am looking forward to the following Spirit Sunday youth programming at Meriden Congregational Church this March: 

Sunday, March 3: Join us for a family-friendly intergenerational service during which our beloved church member Shideko Terai (formerly Mary Boyle) will present the Children's Message about her recent name change and reclaiming of her identity. 

Spirit Sunday, March 10:
Labyrinth Sunday
During this Sunday, we will enjoy our church's tradition of walking our labyrinth in peaceful prayer and thought.

Spirit Sunday, March 17:
Baking for Coffee Hour!

Spirit Sunday, March 24: Storytime!

Sunday, March 31:
Yoga with Susan Sanzone!

Please note: We will keep you updated if we need to make a switch of our activities on March 24 and 31.

We also continue to have fun at MCAP, our afterschool program. We meet on Tuesdays and Thursdays; your child can take the bus up from PES and enjoy a relaxing afternoon of games, homework help, snacks, and social time. 

Lastly, please make sure to enroll your child in Meriden Community Camp! If your child, age 3 - 12, is looking for some fun summer plans, please contact me or visit our website at  http://www.meridenucc.org/meriden-community-camp/ to enroll!

Looking forward to a fun month with your children,


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

Join us for two Wednesdays during this month!

We look forward to your joining us for this brief time of quiet prayer to nurture your body and spirit
before you start your day!
We will meet in the Bryant Parlor (upstairs) of the Parish House from 6:45-7:15 am on March 13 and 27.

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

MARCH CALENDAR


Welcome the New Day

The MCC Annual Meeting occurred on January 27th. In addition to deciding the Budget for 2019 (see Stewardship Report), the new Leadership Team was elected (see below) and we are now operating on the new Bylaws voted in last April 2018. As you can see there are fewer committees and we will be operating with volunteers joining with each Ministry Team to run our programs but not attending monthly meetings.
Dear Friends
You are part of our church! We can't do anything without your help. All of the Coordinators of our various ministries are eager to find out what your gifts are so that we will be even more wonderful together. There is a form entitled "How Might I Offer My Skills, Gifts and Talents to MCC?". These forms are in the Office on the Desk. Please pick one up and spend the few minutes to fill it out. From that we will have a good idea about where you would like to be engaged. Thanks, Kathy Wright
This was the way the Meeting Room looked during Annual Meeting January 27th
SHROVE TUESDAY PANCAKE SUPPER
Shrove Tuesday Pancake Supper is Tuesday March 5 at 6:00pm at the Parish House. Scrib Fauver and Susan Sanzone will cook the pancakes. Many volunteers will help including Jerry Judd, Kathy Wright, Ed Cousineau, Cindy Marx-Wood and the Faith Odyssey Youth. Come join the Mardi Gras Atmosphere.
Join us on Ash Wednesday March 6 th ,
for a   Morning Prayer Service
                     to begin our Lenten Journey!
              We’ll gather in the sanctuary from 7:00 to 7:30 AM for this time of reflecting and beginning to prepare ourselves for the special opportunity that the Season of Lent offers to nurture the life of the Spirit dwelling within and among us
Come with your hopes and your hurts,
your wonder and your wounds,
and let us commune together
as spiritual companions
along our shared journey
toward Easter’s healing joy!!

Come Walk the Labyrinth with us
at the Meriden Congregational Church
Sunday—March 10 th , during and after our service!

            We are invited to begin our Lenten journey next Sunday very intentionally by entering into the prayerful practice of walking a labyrinth--through guided meditation during our service itself or afterward on the beautiful labyrinth (modeled after that of the French cathedral of Chartres) that will be set up nearby in the KUA gym. Treat yourself to enjoying this ancient spiritual practice known around the world! Then share your experience with others over refreshments during our Hospitality Hour. 
A Storytelling Event Hosted by
Long Story Short &
United Valley Interfaith Project
IMMIGRATION STORIES 3pm – 5pm The Lebanon Senior Center, Lebanon, NH 10 Campbell St,
Lebanon, NH 03766

J oin us for an afternoon of storytelling. Immigrant storytellers will share their experiences coming to and living in the US. The event is by dona on. All proceeds will go to support the immigrant support fund of the Upper Valley Refugee Working Group. United Valley Interfaith Project is committed to working for justice by building relationships and grassroots power in New Hampshire and Vermont. Long Story Short is a small Upper Valley group of storytellers and story lovers. We believe everyone has a story to tell and deserves an audience.

Join us for this Special Sunday Morning
Prayer Experience on March 31st!

            There is something profoundly meditative about the weaving of gently repeating songs, simple scripture readings, and extended silence in the style of Taize’ prayer, drawn from the Christian community by this same name located in Taize’, France. During our sabbatical in 2006, we visited the Taize’ Community and were deeply moved by the spiritual experience that this contemplative form of prayer offers. When we shared a Taize prayer service last month, we were encouraged to do so again soon.
 Sooo, as we have done during the meditative season of Lent,  on the last Sunday of his month (March 31st) we shall once again offer a Sunday morning prayer service in the Taize’ tradition by way of sharing the spiritual blessing of this contemplative prayer experience.  Don’t miss this beautiful service which will touch your hearts and spirits and invite you to experience deeper dimensions of intimacy with God within our Beloved Community. And please feel free to invite friends and neighbors to join us as well!!

MCC Movie Night: Reel Soul
In keeping with our theme this year of discerning “ Whose Neighbors are We?” and in celebration of this Women’s Herstory Month, all are welcome to join us for the next film in our Reel Soul movie series:

R (uth) B (ader ) G (insburg)”
View trailer at:
Friday--March 15 th     @ 7:00 PM
In the Parish House,
with refreshments and animated discussion sure to follow!

At the age of 84, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has developed a breathtaking legal legacy while becoming an unexpected pop culture icon. But without a definitive Ginsburg biography, the unique personal journey of this diminutive, quiet warrior's rise to the nation's highest court has been largely unknown, even to some of her biggest fans – until now. RBG is a revelatory documentary exploring Ginsburg 's exceptional life and career from Betsy West and Julie Cohen, and co-produced by Storyville Films and CNN Films.

Sanctuary in Grief
Offering Companionship INSIDE
the Grief You’re Living
Every Other Friday—March 1 st , 15 th , & 29 th
@ 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…”
-       Les Miserables
           
Welcome to a safe, private community - a community of grievers, a place where we hope all can find sanctuary. Through mutual respect and compassion we seek to bear witness to each other’s pain, and to support and hold each other as we try to find our way in the unbearable, unimaginable world of deep grief and loss. 
Everyone is welcome to this community. It does not matter what your religious views are or even if you have no religion. Maybe you are looking for a spiritual path, or maybe you are so mad at God you don’t even want to think about that path.
While we shall focus primarily on grief as a result of death, we hope you will find refuge and respite if you are facing imminent loss, such as a terminal illness of a loved one or even yourself.  If you are grieving the death of a loved one, it doesn’t matter how long ago it was. Grief has no time limit or expiration date. 
We will not pass judgment on your grief or loss, nor your reaction to it. We shall not try to fix you or tell you how to “move on” or “get better.” As Megan Devine, author of “It’s OK That You’re Not OK ” tells us, “Some things cannot be fixed. They can only be carried.   
Worship and Music Ministry News

Here Comes LENT: 

You and I are born story-makers and story-tellers. Like all families, we remember our lives through story—we take bits and pieces of our lives and assemble them into a meaningful narrative that unites us one with another. Over the years the narrative grows more vibrant and we “re-make” the parts in new and creative ways when we get together. There is always something new to add and integrate—a birth, a death, a wedding, a reconciliation, a graduation or even a new puppy! 

Our annual recounting of the end of Jesus’ life each spring brings our Beloved Community to the same point—a sad and painful story that has a positive, uplifting ending. This Lent will be no different: We’ll be asked to contemplate Gospel stories of temptation, glorious transfiguration, questions about tragedy, the welcoming back of a prodigal, and a foreshadowing of Jesus’ death. These are both holy stories and recurring human stories.

But what actually happens when we read and re-read these stories as the church?   We encounter what the Apostle Paul calls “Faith, Hope and Charity (Love)” in one of his letters. Maybe Lent is like the family “story-making” above: 

·          “Faith” is always putting our stories together into meaningful sets of relations. When we revisit the story we are ready to integrate new understandings to the “Good News.” Faith is not about rigid doctrine or dogma.

·          “Hope” is the vibrant expectation that our lives will move toward more and greater meaning—we’ll know more about our story as time goes on. Hope is neither naïve nor wishy washy.

·          “Charity/Love” is the ultimate realization of our deep familial relation, close and distant, within the “Beloved Community.” Sharing the story builds and strengthens bonds that the Community holds around a shared Gospel. Love in the Beloved Community is not about either romance, “bromance,” or mushy emotions.

So, how does your personal and familial story meet the Gospel stories we’ll hear during Lent 2019 that will lead us to Easter 2019? Happy contemplating!!

Ed Cousineau for Worship and Music





Welcoming and Caring Ministry News

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

Right now this Ministry is planning a PARTY! It will be on Friday March 22nd at 6:00pm. The main dishes will be provided, just bring a side dish to share. This party is to thank all the people who have helped the Hospitality Ministry Committee in the past or the Social Committee in the far past.

What is in the Future? Would you like to Mentor a new family? Start a Yoga Program at MCC? There is a 90 yr old woman in Plainfield who needs a weekly visit --Would you be able to help with this? The sky is the limit with your imagination and energy.
Also please contact me if you have a need or could use some of our services. See you soon!

Kathy Wright, Coordinator for Welcoming and Caring Ministry
Church Number 603-469-3235; Home Number 603-675-5989
Stewardship News
STEWARDSHIP News by Rod Wendt
Despite our most valiant efforts, we remain $6,718 short of "closing the gap” in our 2019 Ministry Spending Plan. Your new Leadership Team, elected at Annual Meeting on January 27, will have to consider reducing spending in some ways to close the gap at our next meeting on March 12.

We left Annual Meeting with a “gap” of $22,294. About half of that — $11,100 — was pledged by 8 donors to “match” another $11,200 to be donated by the rest of the members and friends of the church. To date, we have received challenge pledge increases and 1-time gifts of just $4,482, leaving us $6,718 short of a balanced budget.

If, as you read this you feel drawn to help eliminate that final $6,718 “gap”, please take action BEFORE the March 12 Leadership team meeting! You can email your pledge to Assistant Treasurer Rod Wendt at  RodWendt@tds.net , or snail mail him at PO Box 430, Meriden, NH 03770, or call him at 469-3190.

Cuts to lean budgets are never easy. A great deal of effort was put into reducing the 2019 budget to the leanest possible level BEFORE Annual Meeting. If something doesn’t change in the next 10 days, we are faced with cuts like the following that NOBODY wants:
1.      Reducing the Co-Pastors salary. We have already reduced their reimbursable items (mileage, continuing education, etc.)
2.      Reducing Kelsey’s hours or eliminating her position. Nobody wants that, and John and Susan would rather take a personal reduction than reduce or lose Kelsey.
3.      Major reductions in our music program. Why would we damage our precious music resource?
4.      Further reduce our Missions budget, after a 15% reduction in 2018.
No, there are no easy alternatives. So much better to raise the money we need! We are praying — HARD — for that miracle in the next 10 days!
Your Leadership Team

Thanks!

Rod

Rod Wendt
Assistant Treasurer
Meriden Congregational Church
603-469-3190

Legislator Contact Information
 FEDERAL     
                                                                                 Rep. Annie McLane Kuster                        
137 Cannon House Office Building               
Washington, DC 20515                                 
Phone: 202-225-5206 (Washington) 
18 North Main Street, Fourth Floor
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-226-1002 (New Hampshire)

Sen. Maggie Hassan                        
B85 Russel Senate Office Building   .
Washington, DC 20510                                 
Phone: 202-224-3324 (Washington
1200 Elm St. Suite 6                          
Manchester, NH 03101                     
Phone: 603-662-2204 (New Hampshire)     
www.hassan.senate.gov        
           
Its. Jeanne Shaheen
506 Hart Senate Office Bdg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2841 (Washington)
2 Wall St #220
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 602-647-7500 (NH)
STATE

Rep. Lee Walker Oxenham
92 Methodist Hill Road
Plainfield, NH 03781-5415
Phone: 603-727-9368

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

Sen. Martha Hennessey
Legislative Office Building, Room 105 
33 North State Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-3067
Administration and Finance Ministry News

March 2019


We have some minor maintenance items to report. A new rope has been installed on our church bell, the bell rope guide wheels have been lubricated. The bell is not swinging quite as easily as before, and we hope to address that by lubricating the main bell bearings. The other maintenance item is the repair of the fluorescent lights in the basement. Joanna Sharf of Emily Electric replaced the wall switch that controlled the faulty light fixtures, and that fixed the problem. Joanna generously declined payment for the work.

We will soon be replacing the phones in the parish house and the church with new cordless phones. We have discovered that the phone handsets in the Parish House kitchen and in the church sanctuary no longer work, and the phone line in the Bryant Parlor has been inoperable for several months. It is essential for safety reasons that we have a working phone in the church sanctuary so this replacement has a high priority.

Once the new phones are in place we ask that if you are in the sanctuary or the Parish House and you hear the phone ring, please answer it. On occasion people have tried to contact family members in the sanctuary or Parish House and no one has answered the phone, even though they were in the building. It may be important for someone to contact a family member, so please pick up if you hear the phone ring.

A&F is working on updating our Building Use policy, which will guide us in renting the church sanctuary, Bryant Parlor and Esterbrook room to outside organizations. We anticipate that consistently renting our space will require someone to act as a Building Use Coordinator, who will be responsible for managing any rental activity, taking the burden off our co-pastors who currently manage the use of our buildings by external groups. We do not anticipate that this would be a very time consuming ministry, as historically we have not seen much demand, but this may be because we have not advertised that the space is available for use. If anyone feels moved volunteer to assume the role of Building Use Coordinator, please contact Evan Oxenham.



Evan Oxenham Co-coordinator of Administration and Finance Ministry



REPORT OF THE ASSISTANT TREASURERS
     
          
Through the end of February we have received $16,371.45 for pledges and plate collections combined. We also received $5,430 in 2018 pledge payments and $2,000 toward the pledge challenge. We received $195 for the After School program, $500 for camp scholarships and $250 for the Gretchen Taylor children's Fund.

Respectfully submitted,

Richard Atkinson
Jim Lenz  
The Senate Commerce Committee hearing on SB 10 will take place this coming Tuesday—March 5 th , beginning at 1:00 PM in State House Room 100.  New Hampshire's $7.25 an hour minimum wage is a starvation wage and an aberration in New England where every other elected state government demands that employers pay their workers between $10.10 and $12 an hour. Join us at 12:15 pm in the Hall of Flags (lobby of the State House) to show support for raising wages in New Hampshire.  We ask you to sign in and/or speak in favor of  SB 10 , while calling for wages to go to $15/hour by 2024.
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
         During this Women's Herstory Month , 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 Jenny Araya; Tecla McCann Kathy Wright’s sister, Carolyn Youtz ; Gail Kinney; Selden Lord; Rich Pullen; Eva Castillo; Randall Balmer; Christine Greenough’s father, Doug; Judith Kaufman;   Gianna Marzilli Ericson’s dear friend , David Ilsa Pinkson-Burke; Karen Jameson’s mother , Letitia ; Wendy Barros’ mother, Colleen; Greg Castell’s father; Becky Luce; Scot Zens; Rev. Jed Reardon; Bob Carpenter; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law , Michelle; Jim Schubert’s niece , Wendy; Suzanne Lenz; Chris LaFont; Erik Heaton; Len Saunders’ mother, Deb;  Laura Cousineau’s mother, Laura Keener Kreisl;  Beth Kopp’s friend , Jody Austin; Julie Barber; Tony Wellhaven; Allyson Wendt ; Sue Pullen’s nephew, Jaime; Greg Marshall; Larry Burch’s parents, Bill & Olive; Linda & Arthur Perkins; Glenn Griffin’s nephew , Jeffrey; Susan Turner’s first father-in-law , Cecil Baker , as well as Sue’s friend, Jane Miles , and Sue’s cousin , Buddy Stevenson;  Andrea Keen’s father , Max Bueno; Tim Timmons; Maura Hart’s father , William; Becky Luce’s nephew , Matthew; Allen Roger’s father, Earl Rogers; Vicki Ramos-Glew’s mother , Carol Spencer; Laine Gillespie’s mother, Marilyn, as well as Laine’s uncle , Paul; Bill Chappelle’s friend, Mel; Odile Clavier’s colleague , Jim Barry, as well as Odile’s mother, Marie-Claire, and Odile’s niece , Amelie Marie;  Susan Sanzone’s parents, Norma & Sal Sanzone, & Susan’s aunt , Rita.
So too do we pray for these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer: Selden Lord’s brother-in-law, Edward; Jan Lord’s former daughter-in-law , Michelle; Chuck Chamley’s mother, Joan Chamley; Laura Cousineau’s brother-in-law, Eric; Judy Houde-Hardy’s cousin, Michael Morin; Hunter Townsend; Suzanne Lenz’ sister, Marlene, as well as Suzanne’s friend’s father , Tom Martin; Jo Evarts, and her sister, Jingles; Robert Bryant; Dawn Forbes; Cynthia Howe; Penny Arcone’s brother , Stuart Hills, & Penny’s friends , Dick Slubin and Gail Graham; Karen Anikis’ friend, Randi Welhaven, Joan Dumont’s stepbrother, Lowell Toof; Jeff McNamara; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan.

          
As gradually warming weather leads us to yearn for the new life of spring, so too have our hearts ached with the loss of dearly beloved friends and relatives of our faith community.
We extend our sympathy to the family & friends of one of Meriden’s former Fire Chiefs , Doug Grearson , and to his fire-fighting “family” both here in Meriden, and in Kennebunk, ME.  Doug passed away peacefully in his home on Sunday—February 3 rd , 2019 , and was remembered with much joy and gratitude at a memorial service held here in our church on March 2 nd

           So too do we grieve with J Rendahl & Suzanne Spencer, as well as Anya & John , upon the loss of J’s father, Gerald David Rendahl on Sunday—February 24 th , 2019.    

            As the Spirit of Love has welcomed each of these dearly departed ones into the evolving Life of our universe, may their families and loved ones be enfolded within healing and tender care in the midst of this time of mourning.

Note: Due to the weather on the First Monday in March the Foot Clinic has been rescheduled for Friday March 8 from 12-5.
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.

MARCH BIRTHDAYS
3/1      Eloise Hampton
3/1      Scott Zenz
3/1      Darrell Beaupre’
3/1      Tabor Chichakly
3/1      Beth Houde
3/2      John McGovern, Jr.
3/2      Sam Lappin
3/2      Margaret Smallwood
3/3      Steve Sheehan
3/3      Caroline Sheehan
3/4      Jennifer Bliven
3/4      Karlyce Rogers
3/5      Valerie Stender
3/7      Amelia Good
3/8      Anne Cragin
3/8      Anna Wolke
3/11    Anthony Arcone
3/11    Josh Johnson
3/11    Sara Greenstein
3/11    Ian Oxenham
3/12    Karen Rogers
3/12    Karen Jameson
3/13    Ray Webb
3/13    Mike Anikis                            
3/13    Harper Custer
3/13    Katie Chakoian
3/14    Alexander Good
3/15    Jeffrey Taylor
3/16    Ashley Brooks
3/16    Julia Salsbury
3/16    Miranda Guaraldi
3/16   Fiona Greenough
 3/16  Grace Perotti
 3/17   Aaron Franklin
 3/17   Stephanie Smarsik
 3/17  Karen McArthur
 3/17   Audrey Perotti
 3/18   Joan Burch
 3/19   Joachim McClellan
 3/20   Debbie Griffiths
 3/20   Vernon Braswell
 3/20   Frank Perotti
 3/22   Kathleen Raynak
 3/22   Michelle Chamley
 3/24   Jessica Giaccone
 3/24   Tucker Williams
 3/25    Indigo Kopp
 3/25   Kaitlyn Johnson
 3/25   Tom Chellis
 3/27   Kalin Gregory-Davis
 3/27   Matthew Houde
 3/27   Henry Wilber
3/27    Theodor Heaton
 3/29   Hugh McGraw
 3/29   Liam Cook
  3/30  Susan Turner
3/30   Nancy Franklin
 3/30   Phoebe Garfield
 3/30  Tim Goodwin
3/30      Lillian Mary Ratliff
 3/31   Charlotte Sirlin 

MARCH ANNIVERSARIES
 

3/4/72           Christine and John Brooks
3/16/74         Arthur and Linda Perkins
3/31/94         John and Corinne Tomlinson







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
FOR THE MARCH 2019 MCC NEWSLETTER

The Meriden Congregation Church was in the lead for two worker-justice related workshops featured at the February 23 rd NH UCC “Prepared to Serve” event. Gail led a workshop titled NH Faith and Labor: Building Beloved Community – We’re In This Together, and John and Gail, along with colleague Claudia Istel from the Acworth UCC, led a workshop titled Raising Up New Hampshire: What Should a Moral Economy Look Like In Our State? Slowly but surely we are bringing more people into conversations about the moral values shared by faith and labor and about how we, as followers of the prophetic example of Jesus, are called to advocate for a “moral economy” that works for all.

Individuals from the MCC have also been active at the NH State House in calling for a reinstatement of a state minimum wage (which was abolished altogether in 2011 – leaving NH with the embarrassment [and outrage] of a $7.25 minimum wage under current federal law). Three such bills were introduced in the House and one in the Senate. With this year’s improved legislative make-up, we believe that both a House bill and a Senate bill will pass and then there will be a blending of the two. It is much less certain that the Governor will sign any such bill. The sad thing is that, even if something passes, it will not be adequate in terms of enshrining into state policy the notion that ALL work has worth and dignity and should be rewarded with livable wages that lift full-time workers out of poverty and constant economic anxiety. So, we must keep fighting this battle, no matter where we end up this year. ALL interested MCC members should be signed up to receive the American Friends Service Committee-NH Program’s weekly e- State House Watch ( https://www.afsc.org/ea/concord-nh-sign-form?submit=Subscribe ) and the NH Voices of Faith email alerts (email mfogarty@afsc.org with a request to be added to this list) so that you receive up-to-date information about the NH legislative process in matters of social and economic justice. 

MCC members were prominent in their presence at a February 9 th MCC-led Faith and Labor Solidarity event hosted by the NH State Employees union. 42 attendees remained highly engaged during a 4-hour gathering full of dialogue, inspiration and hope for the future. One outgrowth is that we are planning a state-policy-focused “Dignity at Work Day” on Thursday April 4 in Concord. In addition to advocating for bills that get us closer to a living wage and a moral economy, we will also be standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are state employees as they yet again face foot-dragging and a lack of respect while they try to negotiate a reasonable work agreement with the State. Mark your calendar! Details to follow. And again, the MCC worker justice ministry will be in the planning lead.

A final note about April 4, 2019: This is 51 years, to the day, from the date the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in Memphis, TN as he stood in solidarity with striking sanitation workers (all of whom were African American) as they desperately sought to be treated as human beings. Dr. King knew then that workplace justice and fairness were (and are) central to all individuals achieving civil and human rights and living in dignity. Dr. King also modeled that church folks need to be prominent in this struggle. Let us never forget the message he was sending as he lost his life.


 
   As we transition back into Daylight Savings time this month, we shall move the time for our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils each Wednesday afternoon back to 5:00 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

 
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