Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter SEPTEMBER 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,
Co-pastors 
Meriden Congregational Church 
603-469-3235
Pastoral Ponderings

“Our Love should not be just words and talk.
For Love that is true, shows itself in action.”
- 1 John 3:18.

            As we continue to deepen our understanding of what we mean when we say that our mission as a Beloved Community is to “choose love,” Susan and I find ourselves increasingly inspired and challenged by this insistence that Love must be enacted, embodied, enlivened in some actual way in order to be experienced and known as LOVE. For indeed, when Peter responded affirmatively to being asked, “Do you love me?” by the risen one whom our faith celebrates as the incarnation of God’s love, Jesus replied, then “feed my sheep,” which is essentially to say, “then show me, not just with your words, but with your actions, in particular, with the ways in which you love and care for those whom I love.”  

Especially in these conflicted times, when so many argue against programs and policies that might unduly help those most in need, does not this question go to the heart of who and why we say we are? Whether documented or not, immigrants and refugees ask us, “Do you love me!?” In a nation still obsessed with over-valuing “whiteness,” people of color plead with us, “Do you love me!?” In the richest country the world has ever known, people without adequate food, clothing, housing, and health care, cry out, “Do you love me?!” On a planet hurtling toward human-imposed devastation, all creation screams, “Do you love me!?” Such a simple question, such a difficult challenge, at least for those of us who understand that no is NOT an acceptable answer. But if we would answer YES, then how would anyone know? Where is our “Love in Action? ” What actions, what social policies, what advocacy, what efforts toward collective liberation are called for by our would-be yes? 

When I heard that our denomination’s bi-annual national meeting intentionally took time to protest our nation’s immoral and inhumane immigration policies, chanting “this is what the love of God looks like,” I realized that the same could be said for our recent Immigrant Solidarity Walk, as it could be for our “Black Lives Matter” vigils here in town and our ICE vigils in Manchester, our LISTEN and Claremont Soup Kitchen meals, our worker justice ministry, our active participation in the United Valley Interfaith Project, our affirmation of our LGBTQIA+ friends and neighbors, our sexuality education, faith formation, and summer camp ministries with our children & youth, and so many other ways through which we seek to be a faith community affirming that how we love matters far more than what we believe, that seeks to “choose love” as our reason for being.  And for all this, and so much more, Susan and I are deeply grateful to be engaged with all of you in our shared ministry of “transforming lives as a compassionate community.”

Thus it is that we look forward throughout this coming year to exploring even more fully and clearly how our actions affirm whom we love in profound, healing, and liberating ways. Tragically, it seems as though far too many churches and religious people somehow either justify not loving whomever they have “otherized” out of their circle of love, or stop at affirming their love on Sunday morning without fully embodying it throughout the week. For some time now we have been discerning how to get beyond our church walls in terms of the ways in which our love is known and experienced, especially by those most un-loved as being worth less by those either deluded into thinking they are somehow worth more, or suffering from the oppression of fearing that their worth depends upon excluding or de-valuing others. We have resonated with prominent African-American theologian Cornell West’s declaration that “justice is what love looks like in public,” we have been challenged by our UVIP lead organizer, Asma Elhuni, to realize that our most important church is not within our building, but out in the streets, and we have been inspired by civil rights icon John Lewis’ description of their “love in action.” But what does this mean for our efforts to build what UCC theologian Robin Meyers calls a “Beloved Community of resistance and spiritual defiance?’

Whatever else our continuing efforts to embody our ‘love in action” may look like, we feel certain that the climate of fear, hatred, violence, racism, xenophobia, and greed that is increasingly being cultivated and encouraged, or at least not resisted, by too many of our prominent political and religious leaders, is challenging us to be even more vocal, visible, and active in our efforts to “get in the way,” in the words of John Lewis, and to “drive spokes into the wheels of injustice,” as urged by pastor and Nazi resister, Dietrich Bonhoeffer (see elsewhere in this Newsletter for details on our next Reel Soul film about him). As tempting as it is to remain uninvolved, we cannot say we love, without being willing to put that love into some meaningful action, especially because silence and indifference only exacerbate the wheels of injustice and oppression. 

In stark contrast to the privileged deception that love can ever be neutral, the hard (heart) choice of love means taking sides with those being most harmed and unloved by those whose power allows them decide who lives and thrives, who suffers and dies. But this “love in action” is not so much about pushing people away, as it is about drawing people in, and insisting that their lives be valued and cherished no less than those of anyone else. To place ourselves in solidarity with anyone marginalized in any way is to risk the wrath of those fanning the flames of hatred and exclusion. But not to do so is to risk losing that which makes us most human and makes life most meaningful. For it increasingly feels as though it is both spiritually and literally true that our survival as a people and as a planet depends upon our bold and intentional “love in action” in ways that recover the ancient wisdom of our Mayan, Indigenous, and African kin that our existence is inextricably linked such that whatever we do to others we do to ourselves. For the love of God, for the love of everyone injured and oppressed by unjust and inhumane policies and practices, and for the love of ourselves as well, may we be people known for the courage, justice, and fierce tenderness of our “love in action,” both near and far. 
So grateful to be “Choosing Love” together,
Your devoted Co-Pastors,
John & Susan

OUR SUNDAY FAITH COMMUNITY CELEBRATIONS IN SEPTEMBER

SEPTEMBER 1 @ 10:00 AM
Communion Sunday, meeting in the Parish House! On this Labor Day Sunday, join us for our shared reflections on the sanctity of work and sabbath rest.

SEPTEMBER 8 @ 10:00  AM
Regathering Sunday! Join us in celebrating the gift of our church family and our new church year as we re-gather after these summer months! We will be sharing about our 2019-2020 church theme:  "Love in Action"  as we reflect on how God calls us to widen and deepen our hearts and our commitment to our neighbors near and far. Also, our children and youth are invited to bring their backpacks to church for our Annual Blessing of the Backpacks as well as any school supplies they might like to contribute to a special backpack that will be donated to a child in need. A festive luncheon to which ALL are invited will follow our Regathering Sunday Celebration!

SEPTEMBER 15 @ 10:00 am
International Peace Sunday and First Day of Church School! Join us as we reflect on God's call to be channels of peace, justice and love in our world! Hospitality Hour to follow!

SEPTEMBER 22 @ 10:00 AM
Whether you join us for Sunday morning prayer and celebration here at our church OR at Horton Center in the White Mountains (for our annual all-church camping weekend--ALL are invited!), grant yourself the gift of this Sabbath time to renew and replenish your spirit! Hospitality Hour to follow!

SEPTEMBER 29 @ 10:00 AM
Sabbath prayer and celebration awaits you us on this day, featuring reflections upon the recent Climate Justice Youth Summit. Hospitality Hour to follow!

OCTOBER 6 @ 10:00 AM
World Communion Sunday! Join us for this festive service when we celebrate our connections to our human family across the globe. 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
CHURCH SCHOOL IN SEPTEMBER

I am so excited for another year of enriching youth programming at Meriden Congregational Church. Please join us for the upcoming fun!

I look forward to beginning our time together this year at our Recovenanting Service on September 8th. During this special service, we'll welcome our youth back from their summer vacations with our "Blessing of the Backpacks." Your children are invited to bring their backpacks to this service to make sure that they have a little extra goodwill and luck to take with them to school! 

Following this, our first day of church school will take place on September 15. We hope your child can join us for a fun and interactive Spirit Sunday! I look forward to coming back together and hearing about your children's summer adventures. Our Spirit Sunday curriculum will continue to consist of workshops that promote spiritual and emotional development, guided by positive and child-friendly affirmations. 

We are also very excited to kick off our year of youth programming with an Open House on Saturday, September 14th, from 10 - 11 am. We hope to use this time to share information about the many enriching programs that our church offers for local families, including Meriden Community Camp, our Spirit Sunday church school program, our Parents' Night Out/Night Off program, the Our Whole Lives curriculum, and more.

Have a wonderful Fall and see you soon!
 
Kelsey MacNamee
Spiritual Formation Coordinator
Meriden Congregational Church
(603) 504-4257


 

SEPTEMBER CALENDAR
MCC Movie Night: Reel Soul

In keeping with our theme this year of embodying “
Love in Action,”
all are welcome to join us for the next film in
our Reel Soul movie series:
“Bonhoeffer”

 “A riveting and poignant overview
of the life and work
of the German theologian
who pointed the way forward
to a bold new vision of Christianity.”
-        Spirituality & Practice

-       View trailer at:



Friday—September 27 th , @ 7:00 PM
In the Parish House,
with refreshments and animated discussion sure to follow!

“Dietrich Bonhoeffer was a young German theologian who offered one of the first clear voices of resistance to Adolf Hitler. Bonhoeffer openly challenged his church to stand with the Jews in their time of greatest need, and he eventually joined to plots to kill Hitler. Extensive research in the U.S. and Europe brings to life this inspiring story of moral courage in this remarkably timely documentary, which stands as a moving memorial and a fitting tribute to this formidable German theologian who was hanged on April 5, 1945, at Flossenberg prison camp for his role in assassination plots against Hitler. It is really quite amazing to see how relevant the ethical concerns that Bonhoeffer struggled with are to the moral dilemmas of our time when war and power plays dominate the world scene and the suffering of countless people is ignored. Across the years, this courageous and principled pastor speaks to us: "The ultimate question for responsible people to ask is not how we can extricate ourselves heroically from the affair, but how the coming generation is to live."
-       Excerpted from a review by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat



Addendum on Urgent Maintenance:
The Money needed to paint the Parish House has been raised. Thanks for all your help and efforts!! We are now waiting for additional monies to fix the ramp for the church. The Parish House painting will start in September!!

Gail Kinney, Our Worker Justice Minister, preached in the Esterbrook Room of the Parish House this summer on July 21, July 28 and August 4 . I hope you joined us for relaxed worship in the round!
Worship and Music Ministry News

Here Comes AUTUMN: An Invitation
From the Worship Team….

Our summer garden has started to go to seed—it began with a couple of bolted heads of lettuce and some basil that flowered too early. The peas went by quickly, but they sure were sweet while they lasted. The “Black-eyed Susans” are past and birds have gotten some of the blueberries—but, trust me, I am certain that next summer’s crop will be even tastier.

Life’s seasons come--and they go--with a regular rhythm, bringing sweet rewards with each onset and leaving wonderful memories as they pass away in rotation. In the four months ahead, our church family will experience a similar seasonality—coming back together, a time for grateful harvest and a prayerful time of potential and new birthing.

The Worship Team is calling you to join in helping to fashion our Sunday celebrations during the next four months. We’re calling you—yes, YOU! Can you join us for one or more of the seasons below? We’ve kept them purposefully short so you can both focus your limited time and energy but still enjoy your commitment.

Season of “Regathering” (August 18 — October 6),
Season of Thanksgiving (October 13 — November 24), and,
Season of Advent and Christmas (December 1 — 25).

Maybe you’ve got a certain prayer or have found a topic meditation that starts you thinking deeply.  Could you share it?  Or maybe you like to read poetry or scripture aloud, giving unexpected nuance and syncopated rhythms to your listeners. Could you lend your voice? Or maybe you like to make colors and shapes come alive before others’ eyes.  Or maybe you would like to work with us and make suggestions for structuring worship services during one or more of these seasons. Could your hands—along with your heart--bring your vision to life for our congregation?

Whether you are a musician, an artist, a shepherd of children, a prayerful pew-sitter or a joyous ringer of bells, our Sunday worship needs you. This is not just a call for volunteer helpers, but an open invitation to bring more of yourself to Sunday mornings and to derive more nurture and nourishment to sustain you throughout the rest of the week.

Just like a summer garden, what you put into something determines what you get out of it for the rest of the year. Please consider joining us for one or more of these upcoming seasons of worship.   The church’s Sunday banquet awaits that certain dish that only you can prepare in quiet.  The recipe is simple and starts in the garden that you alone have been tending.

Please let Cindy Marx Wood of Ed Cousineau know if you are interested in making a short-term contribution.

Welcoming and Caring Ministry News

This summer the church gatherings have been in the Parish House, allowing for a more informal atmosphere and instant Coffee hour during the service. We have enjoyed the Ministry of Lee Oxenham, Rev. Gail Kinney and Ed and Laura Cousineau while John and Susan Gregory-Davis have been away. They are back from their vacation now!

We will be meeting in the Church for our Re-Gathering Sunday on September 8th! We will have a picnic with cold cuts and rolls provided by the church and we invite people to bring side dishes and desserts as we celebrate the beginning of the church year.

There are opportunities to help the church by ushering or providing Coffee Hour each Sunday! This summer hospitality has been provided by Kathy Wright, Shideko Terai, Gail Kinney, and Lee and Evan Oxenham! Thanks to each of you!

This fall there will be an opportunity to get to know people in our community a little better. See the article about Supper Clubs! Please sign up by September 15th so we can make groups of families/individuals to get together for supper monthly for the next three months!See the sign up sheets in the church or call 469-3235 to express your interest. You can also e-mail me at secretary@meridenucc.org.

Looking forward to seeing you in September!

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 funding for painting the Parish house has been raised and the painting will start in September. Thanks go to all those who donated for this project and to the generous church member who matched dollar-for-dollar the first $10,000 donated by friends and members of Meriden Congregational Church.

We still need additional money to replace the ramp on the Church. It is hoped to do that construction next summer. The existing ramp has been reinforced so it will last through the winter. We still need to raise money to pay for the new ramp.
 
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
A new way to contact your legislators--They need to hear your opinions! Join us on September 15th!
Have you taken part in any of the “House Church” services this summer in the Parish House? The most stimulating (and fun!) part of it is the give and take discussion that has taken place about the scriptures . Were you there on 8/18? The discussion came around to contacting our elected representatives with Donna Beaupre mentioning she writes to our Senators and Representative. 

This led to an observation that post cards are a more effective way to write as they are not held up at the Capitol to be inspected for possible contamination with foreign substances. It was decided to organize periodic postcard writing sessions. The first one will be after Church on Sunday, September 15. All are invited to stay for a short while and write a few postcards. One can easily write 4 or 5 postcards in about 1/2 hour. We will decide on that day how we want to proceed with this. 

This is your chance to be in direct contact with your elected officials. All materials will be provided. Well, bring your own pen!
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
September 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.

Summer Camp
The camp lasted from July 1st until August 16th. Kelsey MacNamee was the
Director and Erin Gregory-Davis was the Assistant Director. There were 8 counselors and 5 junior counselors. There was a good attendance at camp--some weeks there were 40 children. The children were treated to lunch every week at Poor Thom's Tavern. There were trips to the Lebanon Pool, trips to the KUA facilities, and time for tie-dying shirts, and other fun. The playground in back of the Parish House was used daily.

 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 and repairing the church ramp so it will be able to wait to be replaced until next summer.

We completed increasing the height of the rail around the parish house deck by early July.

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 has been successful. . The contract with painter has been signed, and the painting work should be completed in September. Funding for the ADA compliant ramp is still being raised. We have identified a carpenter who can do the work on the ramp but he will not be able to start on that until 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. 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
     

            Through July and August we received $12,350 in pledge payments for a year to date total of $88,940. Plate donations were $514 for a total of $6,378. We also received $375 for the pledge challenge, $72 for the After School Program, $3,050 for the Bryant Fund and $6,153 for the Urgent Repair Fund. Through two thirds of the year we are at 67% of the total pledge actually collected. We are exactly where we should be!

               The first pledge update statements were finally mailed on Tuesday 8/27 and include all pledge payment and other donations through the end of August. I was unable to locate a source for the pledge envelopes, so mailed them all in Church envelopes.

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

WANTED: MCC families who want to get to know other MCC families better while having fun!

MCC Friends,
The Welcoming & Caring Ministry Team at MCC hopes we can create ways for MCC couples & singles to get to know each other better while having fun. Worship and Coffee Hours are great, but…they don’t quite allow us to develop and feed deep friendships.
The IDEA: “Supper Clubs”. A couple/single signs up to be part of it. You are paired with 2 other couples/singles that you may not know all that well. You agree to have “supper” (or any meal for that matter) together 3 times over the course of 3 months, either in your homes (rotating, probably potluck) or going out together, or some of each. Each Supper Club decides its own course on these things. No agenda – just building relationships and friendships. After 3 months, you can continue socializing with your new friends – or you can sign up to be in a NEW Supper Club (shuffle the deck) and meet NEW friends over the next 3 months. Or, you can do BOTH (many do).

We would really like your reaction to this idea. Please reply to secretary@meridenucc.org
  •  Does the idea appeal to you overall? Why or why not?
  •  What changes would you suggest to make the idea even stronger?
  • Should Supper Clubs of 3 couples/singles combine older and younger couples/singles? Or should we have Supper Clubs for younger couples/singles (with younger children) and Supper Clubs for older couples/singles (with older or out-of-nest children)? Or some of each?
  • If couples/singles with young children want to be part of this, but worry about child care, should the church schedule its NOGO (Night Out, Get Out) nights offering MCC drop off child care for $10 per child for the evening to allow Supper Club couples/singles to have easily and affordable child care while they Supper Club?
  •  Any other ideas or thoughts you might have?

We ARE family! We hope this idea can help us become even MORE family! Your ideas and thoughts are really welcome!

Kathy Wright
Welcoming & Caring Ministry Coordinator

red_ribbon_heart.jpg
         As the beginning of our new church year brings us back into this community of faith which is 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 Connie Kousman; Joan Dumont; Ilsa Pinkson-Burke; 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 ; 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 days of summer shorten, 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!!

           Our hearts ache with our Sexton, Sue Richardson , as she grieves the tragic loss of her husband, Michael Hammell on Monday—August 5 th , only a year after the tragic death of her son, Jacob.   
           
           Recognizing how dear our pets become to us, we also extend our sympathy to Anne Tracy , upon the loss of her faithful canine companion, Shalom (Shally) , as well as Elaine & Jim Lenz upon the loss of their beloved dog, Sadie, and Bob and Robyn Carpenter on the loss of their beloved dog, Abby

As God has welcomed each of these dearly departed ones back into the realm of God’s eternal embrace, may their families and loved ones be comforted with God’s healing presence in the midst of this time of mourning.



The UVHS & The Plainfield Community Resource Room have teamed up to help all
Cat & Dog Owners in our area. Every Month on the 3 rd  Saturday when the Resource Room & Food Pantry is open the UVHS will be present to provide   FREE Cat & Dog Food.
For more information
please contact Stephanie at 469-3201.

SEPTEMBER BIRTHDAYS
9/1         Olivia Jameson
9/2         Amanda Arcone
9/2         Glenn Griffin
9/3         Murray Dewdney
9/3         Amber Castell
9/4         Dorothy Mori
9/4         Laura Dintino
9/4         Sebastian Keen
9/5         Matt Catabriga
9/6         Richard Atkinson
9/7        Megan Hartman
9/7         Allen Rogers
9/7        Cooper Williams
9/7        Tobias Marzilli-Ericson
9/8         Len Saunders
9/9        Bailey Sibert
9/9         Lindsay Pullen
9/10       Ryker Beaupre
9/10      Tyler Cooper Gammen
9/11       Calvin Ramos-Glew
9/11       Ashley Inman
9/12       Kevin Filiault
9/14       Jim Taylor
9/14        Bill Cable
9/15       Julie Haskell
9/15       Karen Anikis
9/16       Scrib Fauver
9/17       Emily Robbins
9/17       Jim Ouellette
9/18       Kate Evarts
9/20       Steve Bishop
9/20       Delaney Croke
9/21       Doug Chapman
9/21       Dan Dewey
9/22       Nicholas Robbins
9/22       Anya Rendall
9/23       Alieke Feid
9/23       Kaitlin Chamley
9/23       Cory Healy
9/24       Liz Taylor
9/24       Tyler Dewdney
9/24       Greg Stender
9/26       Morgan Dewdney
9/27       Mara Castell
9/27       Anne Tracy
9/28       Lily Borchert
9/28       Judy Houde Hardy
9/28       Nancy Filiault
9/28       Cynthia Howe
9/28       Ross Wood
9/28       Andy Inman
9/30       Cooper Hardy
9/30       Jackson Davies
9/30       Alicia Goodwin
SEPTEMBER ANNIVERSARIES
 

9/1                Kevin and Vicki Ramos-Glew
9/4                 Susan and Lewis Greenstein
9/6                Judy Houde Hardy and
Gregory Hardy
9/6                 Wendy and Ken Johnson
9/11               Clara and Kevin McNamara
9/12               Susan and Richard Pullen
9/17               Terry and Dan Dewey
9/19               Heather and Brian Giaccone
9/20               Sandy and Jim Ouellette
9/21               Sarah and Mert Hastings
9/22               Jerry Judd and Lourdes Tolentino
9/23              Len and Caren Saunders
9/24               Susan Sanzone and
Scrib Fauver
9/28               Karen and Stephen Jameson
9/29             Hilarie Schubert and Jeremy Warren
9/30               Susan and Allan Reetz






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

 
    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