Meriden Congregational Church Newsletter

 October 2022

We are a Spiritually Progressive,

Open & Affirming, Sanctuary Congregation 

dedicated to 

Transforming Lives

as a Compassionate Community,

extravagantly welcoming EVERYONE,

celebrating diversity, cultivating awe & wonder,

and seeking Peace with Justice for all Creation!

Join us for our Intergenerational

Faith Community Celebrations

Each Sunday at 10:00 AM

In the Parish House

with optional masks and physical distancing,

and zoom option as well!

Watch for weekly e-mail notices,

and/or contact

[email protected]

Here it is! Volume 4 Issue 7 of our e-mail newsletter



PASTORAL PONDERINGS--The Spiritual Practice of Antiracism

Welcoming and Caring Ministry

  •    Crop Walk after church October 9th

Worship & Music Ministry News

  • Our Sunday Faith Community Celebrations in October
  • Meriden Community Camp & Faith Formation
  • Music and Ministry Notes
  • Tenderly Held in our Hearts and Prayers
  •  Into God’s Hands
  • New Children of God
  • Joined Together in God's Love

Spiritual Formation Opportunities

  • "Revolutionary Love" Study Circle Continues in October 

OCTOBER CALENDAR of EVENTS in the Life of our Spiritual Family

Horton Center Weekend Reflection and Photos

NH UCC Conference Annual Meeting

All Saints Service November 6th

MCC Administration & Finance News

  • Buildings and Grounds Initiatives for 2022
  • Report of the Assistant Treasurers
  • COVID-19 Task Force Update

Birthdays and Anniversaries

Growing a Just World for All

  • Peace & Justice Ministry Coordinator's Report
  • LISTEN Community Dinner & Claremont Soup Kitchen
  • Economic Justice
  • Report from our Worker Justice Minister
  • Tuesday Oct. 18th Webinar 
  • Support for the PRO Act
  • Racial Justice Ministry Team Becomes Antiracism Ministry Team
  • "Who We Are" Screening on Wednesday--October 12th
  • Next Meeting on Thursday--October 20th @ 7:00 PM
  • Continuing Black Lives Matter Vigils
  • Social Justice
  • Immigrant Justice
  • Climate Justice
  • "Inside Climate News" award winning Newsletter
  • Legislator Contact Information
Ukraine Emergency Appeal
The United Church of Christ is appealing for support for refugees who have fled Ukraine to neighboring countries and for elderly and other vulnerable people who are displaced within Ukraine and unable to leave. Mail a check made payable to the United Church of Christ PO BOX 71957 Cleveland, OH 44194. Please be sure to note “Ukraine Relief Fund” on your check in the memo section. For more information, and/or to donate on-line, go to
Visit our website

Revs. John and Susan Gregory-Davis,


Meriden Congregational Church


j[email protected]

[email protected]

[email protected]

 “Practice Antiracism. 

Christianity began as a movement

of revolutionary love

toward a just world for all

through the teachings of Jesus.

 As followers of Jesus,

we believe it is our mandate

 to work for and seek racial justice.”

-      United Church of Christ “Join the Movement”  

     As we begin this new church year, the heart of our church’s Mission Statement, our commitment to “choose love” as our way of being with and for each other, and the whole of creation, feels especially critical in the midst of these divisive times when even many who call themselves “Christian” sound anything but loving toward those they have “otherized” as somehow unworthy of love. Indeed, in stark contrast to the “Christian Nationalism” dangerously contending that true Christianity entails valuing “Christians” more than anyone else, the ministry and teaching of Jesus (so rarely mentioned by many claiming to be “Christian”), was always about expanding our hearts more fully into God’s love, with special concern for those in any way excluded, or marginalized, or devalued, or considered worth less, by those deluded into the heresy of believing themselves to be worth more. For we agree with theologian Brian McLaren who contends that Jesus called people not so much to be “Christian” as to be students within the divine “School of Love” wherein we are invited and challenged to learn to love ever more deeply and fully.


           As we reviewed on this past Recovenanting Sunday, our church’s Mission Statement commits us not only to “choose” love, but to “practice” love as well, recognizing that there is no better measure of our humanity than the extent to which we are living as “God’s Friends and Lovers.”  Thus will we be exploring throughout this church year where and how we are being invited to grow in our love for ourselves, each other, those whom love already, and those whom we have yet to learn to love, in ways that empower us to transform the walls dividing “us” from “them,” into bridges connecting us within the at-one-ment of Beloved Community.


           Two related practices that we shall be especially focused upon in our “School of Love” this year are resisting the related lies of both Christian nationalism, and white supremacy.  Through choosing to “join the movement” toward racial justice embraced by our denomination on both the national and state levels, we hope to grow spiritually as an antiracist church, recognizing that living & loving into the antiracism at the heart of God’s Beloved Community is neither inherently obvious nor easily accomplished in a society so thoroughly enmeshed within the confines of systemic racism and white supremacy. Practicing the love of antiracism means choosing to de-center whiteness as the normative way of living and being.  Seeking to dismantle the anti-black racism so endemic to our lives is profound “soul work” in terms of the kind of spiritual transformation it asks of us.  For the fullness of our humanity depends upon our intentionally cultivating an antiracist identity in a society so invested in the theological heresy of a hierarchy of values that favors whiteness in countless subtle and blatant ways. The spirituality of antiracism thus entails choosing the justice that is love embodied with and for the Black, Indigenous, People of Color with whom we are blessed to share our world. 


           Shepherding us along this journey which we hope will result in our declaring ourselves to be an antiracist church at our Annual Meeting next year will be our Antiracism Ministry Team. To this end we are all encouraged to view, either together on Wednesday-October 12th @ 7:00 PM, or on our own on Netflix, the provocative documentary, “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America,” as detailed elsewhere in this Newsletter. And on a related note, we likewise encourage participation in the webinar organized by our Worker Justice Minister on Tuesday—October 18th, entitled “Public Education and the Common Good Under Attack: Understanding the Free State Movement and Christian Nationalism in NH.”  (See flier in this Newsletter for more details). So too do we recommend the recent book by one of our mentors, the Rev. Carter Heyward, “The 7 Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism—A Call to Action.”  A recording of a webinar with Carter about her book may be viewed here: The Seven Deadly Sins of White Christian Nationalism - with author and theologian Carter Heyward - YouTube.


           The bad and frightening news is that the toxic twins of Christian nationalism and white supremacy are gaining strength and endangering not only the fabric of our democracy, but the nature of our humanity, and even the survival of our planet. But the good and hopeful news for those of us of European descent it that it IS possible to be white and antiracist in ways that move us toward collective liberation for us all. We can choose to learn and practice antiracism, and in so choosing, we can give our hearts to the Love that lies deep within and all around us as the enlivening, healing, liberating energy of our universe. 


In the solidarity and hope of revolutionary love,

Your faithful Co-Pastors,

John & Susan  

Transforming Lives as a Compassionate Community:

Growing Spiritually as an Antiracist Church”


(In-Person and on Zoom,

in the Sanctuary or Parish House, with masks optional)

OCTOBER 2nd @ 10:00 AM


Join us for this long-awaited return to our beloved sanctuary, as we rejoice in our comm-union with the full and wondrous diversity of our friends and neighbors, both near and far, throughout the whole wide earth!

OCTOBER 9TH @ 10:00 AM

Indigenous Peoples Sunday! Join us as we delve into and are blessed by expressions of Native American spirituality, such as Prayer to the Four Directions, ancient smudging, and readings that share the wisdom of Native American peoples. Then join us for the CROP Walk in Lebanon!

OCTOBER 16TH @ 10:00 AM

This intergenerational service of Sabbath prayer and celebration, will feature highlights from the previous day's NH Conference Annual Meeting!

OCTOBER 23rd @ 10:00 AM

Come share with us in this observance of United Nations Day, as we renew our commitment to embracing the unity in diversity which we are so blessed to enjoy with our neighbors near and far!

OCTOBER 30th @ 10:00 AM

Reformation Sunday

Join us as we explore what it means to be a reformed and reforming community of faith, ever responsive to our Still-Speaking God, led by our Worker Justice Minister, the Rev. Dr. Gail Kinney.

NOVEMBER 6th @ 10:00 AM

All Saints Communion Service!

Join us for this beautiful service in which we remember and give thanks for our loved ones who have died in the past year, lighting a candle, tolling the bell and speaking their names as our Saints of God.

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

share in all our
Spiritual Family Services, Celebrations,
and Activities!



Happy October!!! It has been such fun to reconnect with some of our children, youth and families  this past month--whether on Sunday mornings, at Horton Center, or as we have spontaneously met up in the community! We look forward this month to beginning our church programming for our children and youth! This will continue to include: Sunday morning Intergenerational Stories  offered by Kelsey MacNamee, our Coordinator for Children, Youth and Families; in-person, Church School twice per month for our elementary school aged children, Faith Odyssey twice per month for our sixth through seventh graders, and Senior Seekers for our high school students. We also look forward to offering the OWL Program to our Grade 4-6 and Grade 7-8 children during the 2022-2023 church year!

And watch for exciting info about NONO--"Parents Night Off and Night Out!"--a fun time for children in our church and community to engage in supervised play here in our parish house while parents enjoy a much needed break! Our first NONO will be Saturday, October 8, from 6-9pm!  Contact [email protected] if your family or other families you know would like to participate in this awesome double-fun (kids AND parents) event!  

And if you love supporting children, youth and families, you are so warmly invited to join us on the-- Spiritual Formation Ministry Team! (Odile Clavier, Cathy Rodriguez, Kelsey MacNamee, and Susan Gregory-Davis).

Do you find a deep sense of  joy and gratification in reaching out and helping others? If so, you are warmly invited to join our church's Caregivers Team!

Even if you have only a few minutes a month to write a short "thinking of you" or "get well" card, your loving care will be so appreciated by members of our church community.  If you would rather make occasional phone calls or in-person home visits, there is a place for you on the Caregivers Team, too!!!  Everyone is welcome to offer gifts of care with no effort ever too small!  Our Team meets quarterly with the loving guidance of our Chair, Kathy Wright. If you are interested in joining or talking further,  please contact Kathy at [email protected] or Susan ([email protected]).  We warmly welcome you to join in the very meaningful ministry of this small group with a BIG HEART! 



      Our Welcome Home Picnic for John and Susan on September 11 was a great success. More than 30 people gathered for our outdoor service and delicious Cook-Out. Many Thanks go to Ed Cousineau for expertly grilling as well as to Evan Oxenham . Thanks to Cindy Marx-Wood for the delicious Angus beef patties and to John and Susan for the vege burgers.  The many people who brought desserts and salads made the picnic complete. Thanks to our clean up wizards--Steve Beaupre and Thom Wolke for their help.

     Our church services are now in the Church! We need ushers and people willing to provide food for our Coffee Hours! I may be contacting you to help. Please say yes. It takes many people to build the community and to make our fellowship strong. If you would like to help with any of this please contact Kathy Wright at (603)469-3235 or at home at (603)-675-5989



Kathy Wright, Coordinator of the Welcoming and Caring Ministry


Every October, as the leaves change color there is the Lebanon Crop Walk to get us out in the fresh air and to End Hunger locally and around the world.  This October 9th at 1:00pm starting from the Lebanon Green we will gather again for this worthy cause.  To help  you may get an envelope to gather pledges or you may donate online by going to  We have a Meriden Congregational Church Team and we hope you will contribute to us!!

After the walk there is wonderful Cool Down gathering at the Lebanon Congregational Church on the Green in Lebanon.  They feature soups and cider and many different kinds of sweets.  It is a thank you for taking part in this important effort.

Also we will be gathering non-perishable foods at church in the next few weeks. Pleases bring some peanut butter or tuna or stews or soups or anything which is perfect for people visiting a food bank.  We will deliver them to LISTEN.  Jill Marshall has been telling us that there are many more families using the food bank.



Kathy Wright\

Music and Ministry Notes

Music and Ministry

October 2022

Colder nights, shorter days, Pumpkins, mums, apples, cider, orange to wear in the woods, socks and fleece. Fall is here and we are returning to the sanctuary for worship services. With great excitement and many thanks to Elaine Lenz, Dalton Winslow and our tremendous singers we are welcoming the return of a small MCC choir. We have not heard the beautiful voices since the beginning of the Covid pandemic. It’s been a long time. We will be meeting in a couple of weeks to continue planning for the Fall season and then the celebration of Christmas.

Please join us for worship, masks optional but welcome, common sense social distancing and singing!! Things are beginning to feel a bit more “normal”.

Happy Autumn!!

Cindy Marx-Wood


Music and Ministry

Tenderly Held in Our Hearts and Prayers

       Throughout this Season of autumn, we give joyous thanks for all that makes our faith community such a  WELCOME home for us all. We fervently pray for the safety of the people of Ukraine and for an end to the war being waged against them, even as we likewise pray for the families of the many lives still being lost to COVID 19 in this country and all throughout our world, and for all those affected in any way by this continuing pandemic. So too do  we celebrate with those bearing new life, as well as those yet trying to conceive or seeking to adopt a beloved child of God.  

    We pray as well for our friends in Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zambia, the Dominican Republic, Indonesia, and Zimbabwe, and all those living in such troubled lands as Puerto Rico, Haiti, Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Syria, Pakistan, North Korea, Hong Kong, Yemen, Nigeria, Burma, South Sudan, the Congo, Iraq, & Iran.  And we pray too for all immigrants & refugees seeking sanctuary & welcome throughout our worldthat we may be among those who offer an oasis of hospitality & compassion within the kin-dom of God’s heart.  We likewise pray with our BIPoC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) friends and neighbors, seeking to build with them a world wherein Black Lives Matter!” truly and fully.

              Our prayers are with these members and friends of our faith community currently receiving treatment for cancer: Mary Halley-Streeter’s uncle, Joseph Paparella; Bill Chappelle & Laine Gillespie’s neighbor, Barbara Gifford; Becky Luce; Carol Hartman’s nephew, David Busch; John’s friend, Peter; Shideko Terai’s Uncle, Ted De Luca; Laura Cousineau’s friend, Lee Willard, as well as Laura’s brother-in-law, Eric; Cecilia Hampton’s best friend Victoria’s mother, Bev; Sue Turner’s brother, Kurt, as well as Sue’s sister-in-law Bev, and Bev’s step-daughter, Sarah, and Sue’s cousin Jesse’s husband, Ron Letterchio; Connie Kousman; Gail Kinney’s brothers, Charles & David; Linda Perkins’ friend, Linda Stone; Suzanne Lenz’ brother, Bob, as well as Suzanne’s nephew, Billy; Bailey Sibert; Ed Foltyn; Jo Evarts, as well as Jo’s sister, Jingles; Robert Bryant; Jeff McNamara; Lauryn Moeller’s daughter-in-law, Lisa Rae Moeller; and Kevin Ramos-Glew’s nephew, Duncan.

           So too do we pray for Rod Wendt; Dalton Winslow; Leslie MacGregor; Karen Sutton’s friend, Amber Howard; Patricia’s parents; Laine Gillespie’s friends, Josh & Perry;  Greg Marshall; Juliette Hampton’s friends, Mikka, & Elizabeth; Betty Walker; Penny Arcone’s friend, Dick Slubin; Connie Kousman’s sister, Joyce; Beth Kopp’s father, Jim Kane; Allyson Wendt; Linda Perkins; Jody Schubert’s brother, Rick; Jim Schubert’s sister, Martha; Jeannie Hines’ father, Joe McClellan; Joan Burch; Suzanne Lenz; Carol Hartman’s daughter-in-law, Michelle; Judy Croitoru; Robyn Carpenter;  Chris Dye; Linda Perkins’ friends, Dorothy, Barbara, Albert, & Doug; Caren Saunders’ father, William HomeyerRod & Barb Wendt’s granddaughter, Ada Jane; Susan Turner’s cousin, Buddy Stevenson, and Sue’s friend, Barbara Zenker; and Odile Clavier’s mother, Marie-Claire, as well as her niece, Amelie Marie.

         If you or someone you know would like a name to be added to our Prayer List, please let us know. In an effort to keep it as up-to-date as possible, please also let us know when you would like a name removed

Horton Center 2022!

Have you always wanted (or at least thought about wanting) to join our church on the 3rd weekend in September for our annual Horton Center Retreat? Here is a Personal Account of this year.

I missed seeing most of you at the annual MCC Horton Center

retreat in September. Although this was only the second year I have attended the retreat it immediately became one of my favorite church activities. I was blessed to reconnect with eight long time friends and meet two new ones this year.

You’ve never been to Horton Center? Well, if you like the

outdoors and a camping experience this is the weekend for you. It certainly isn’t luxury living, but it isn’t backwoods backpacking either. Yes, there are bunk beds with mattresses to sleep on. Yes, there are flush toilets in each cabin (No running in the middle of the night to an outhouse!). And yes, there are even hot showers. There is a large dining hall with a fully equipped kitchen to make preparing and eating meals easy and comfortable. But those are only the physical characteristics of the facility.

What really makes it special, of course, are the people you attend with all week-end. While John and Susan do not prepare any program or theme for the weekend, (No boring readings to discuss!) you will have plenty of opportunity to connect and re-connect with other friends and members of our wonderful church. It is a totally relaxing time to pursue whatever interests you; hiking, reading, conversation, napping, whatever you feel moved to do.

Myself, I got to go on a fairly easy hike with three other folks, which paid off with a spectacular view down Crawford Notch. I, and others also hiked to the ledges on the ridge of Pine Mountain where we were treated to another spectacular view of Mt Washington on a perfectly clear day. We could even see cars making their way up the

auto road. Of course we all participated in worship on Chapel Rock on Sunday morning, the one true planned event of the weekend. You have not really participated in communion until you have done so with rainbow bread made by Odile Clavier and Charlotte MacNamee.

A few years ago I spoke as a witnessing steward about

landmarks in my life. I define a landmark as one of those specialplaces that bring us physical, emotional or spiritual renewal. Horton Center has quickly become one of the landmarks in my life, one that I hope to be able to return to every year. Please come join us next year and experience this renewal yourself. You will be glad you did.

Richard Atkinson

Into God's Hands 

    Like the brilliantly colored leaves falling all around us, the loss of dearly beloved friends and relatives has made this a bittersweet time.


         Our hearts also ache with for Nora Kells Gordon and her sister, Barbara Hanna, and her family, as they reel from the tragic death of Barb’s granddaughter, Gabrielle.


         Likewise do we  mourn with Murray, Tyler, & Morgan Dewdney, and the whole Dewdney/Howe family, as well as everyone in the KUA community and beyond, the premature death  of Cynthia Howe, on Sunday—September 18th, 2022, just shy of her 66th birthday, following her valiant 5 year battle with ovarian cancer.


           We also extend our prayers and sympathy to Glenn, Cindy, and Ben Griffin upon the loss of Ben’s cousin, Arianna Winger, on Tuesday—October 4th, 2022.


     As God has welcomed these much beloved 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 mourning.

New Children of God!!

           We celebrate with Shea Harris  the birth of her baby son, Cameron!!  Born on Wednesday—June 22nd at 11:13 PM,  baby Cameron weighed in at just 4 pounds, 11 ounces.   In joyful company with Cameron’s mama, we enthusiastically proclaim,


 WELCOME to our World,


     We celebrate with Pam & Bob Annis  the birth of their granddaughter, Addison Maeve Gabrault!!  Born on Saturday—October 1st at 7:03 PM, baby Addison weighed in at 7 pounds, 7 ounces, and measured 20 inches long. In joyful company with Addison’s Mama, Nicki (Annis) & Papa, David Gabrault, as well as her delighted grandparents, we enthusiastically proclaim,

WELCOME to our World,

Addison Maeve!

Joined Together in God's Love!!


We celebrate with 

Alex Jameson & Kori Griffin 

their magical marriage on Saturday—September 10th, 2022!


Congratulations  Kori & Alex!!


We wish you deep joy and all God’s blessings

          throughout your life together!! :

“The work of revolutionary love belongs to all of us. . . .

We all have the ability to participate in this great love story.

Imagine the stories we tell, the institutions we will build,

and the lives we will lead when we affirm that every person is a person.

     Imagine the world we will birth when we see no stranger!”           - Valerie Kaur

Faith Odyssey for Adults!!

“Revolutionary Love for our Times”

Friday—October 7th, 2022 @ 10:00 AM

At the Home of Selden & Jan Lord

(27 Serenity Drive, Cornish)

and at this Zoom Link:

    Those of us who have been sharing in the "Revolutionary Love" Study group have inspired to continue exploring and delving into the principles and practices of what Sikh activist, Valerie Kaur, calls “revolutionary love.” In the spring of this year, we began a 10 session course designed to help us dive deeper into the principles and practices we have already explored, guided by Valerie, and supplemented by nearly 30 other visionary leaders. Valerie believes our nation to be at a pivotal turning point, a time of choosing whether we shall devolve into chaos, division, and violence, or evolve into a nation that has never been, but is yearning to be born, “a nation that is truly MultiFaith, multicultural, multiracial, where we strive to ensure the dignity of every person.” 


           There is no advance reading required for this course, as we gather to view and listen to presentations on each principle, and then be able to discuss them further among ourselves, as inspired by the various speakers’ reflections. Nor is having participated in our first “Revolutionary Love” study a requirement for sharing this one with us.  We meet next on Friday morning—October 10th at 10:00 AM, both in person at the home of Selden & Jan Lord (27 Serenity Drive in Cornish), and on line at the above zoom link, with future meeting dates yet to be decided upon.  And we would love to have you join us!   If interested, but not available at this time, do let us know, and we’ll do our best to accommodate your schedule.


MCC Summer Camp had a Good Year

The Meriden Community Camp celebrated its 19th summer this year, much thanks to the care and support of the Meriden Congregational Church. Over the course of seven weeks this summer, an average of 30 kids per week from six towns enjoyed full days of hands-on exploration, quiet and active times, games, and plenty of outdoor time together. Highlights for participants this year included hiking, swimming, gardening, cooking, arts and crafts, and bonding time with our top-notch counselors. 

We are grateful to the staff, including Director Micah Dewey, Assistant Director Kelsey MacNamee, and their excellent team of counselors, who dedicated their summer to caring for our community's children. This is never a small feat, but perhaps particularly challenging this year due to the toll the pandemic has had on too many children's social emotional development.

Families always look forward to our community camp because it provides a powerful and fun learning environment. Campers are challenged every day as they exercise their creativity, collaboration, and communication. They build social and problem-solving skills and take a break from technology over the summer with plenty of outdoor play. And what do the campers say about MCC? They enjoy joy-filled days with new friends and caring counselors in a traditional camp experience.

Thanks to the generosity of many people and organizations in our region, we were able to offer many scholarships to participants and also ensure a wage of $15 an hour for our counselors.

Thank you Meriden Congregational Church friends for your support of this important program! Jill Marshall, Organizing Committee Member

New Hampshire Conference, UCC

2022 Annual Meeting

Saturday, October 15th, 2022

Hybrid event to be held in-person at the Grappone Center, Concord, NH

and via Zoom Webinar, YouTube Livestream

Video invitation from our Conference Minister:

THEME: This year we will explore the theme “Sing a New Song” as inspired by the words from Psalms 40 & 96, “O sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!”

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Our keynote speaker will be Richard Bruxvoort Colligan, a full-time composer and musician, who serves across denominations teaching about music and spiritual formation. Known for hymn forms, simple chant and pop-rock arrangements, he has several albums of original worship music. Richard is Currently immersed in a long-term study of the Psalms. He is the owner of

All Saints Sunday Worship November 6th

       The NEIGHBORS IN NEED offering, which we will receive on Sunday—October 9th, supports the ministries of justice and compassion of our denomination, the United Church of Christ, (UCC) throughout the United States. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries, to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects. Through, (a resource we highly recommend) our national Justice and Witness Ministries office offers resources, news updates, and action alerts on a broad spectrum of justice issues. Working with members of the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network (a network of thousands of UCC justice and peace advocates), Justice and Witness continues its strong policy advocacy work on issues such as the federal budget, voting rights, immigration, health care, hate crimes, civil liberties, and environmental justice.

      The 2022 theme for Neighbors in Need invites u“Behold!” the need for all workers to be paid living wages.  By way of affirming our connections with our American Indian neighbors in the UCC, one-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM), and our denominational advocacy to address centuries of injustice stemming from the “Doctrine of Discovery.” Historically, forebears of the UCC established churches and worked with Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arickara, and Hocak in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and northern Nebraska. Today there are 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban, multi-tribal UCC congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, supported by CAIM.

     Our Neighbors in Need offering is one powerful way through which we express our love for ALL God’s people.    We therefore encourage all of us to give as generously as we can, either through sending a check to Meriden Congregational Church, PO Box 187, Meriden, NH 03770, with “Neighbors in Need” on the memo line, or on-line at any time at:

Building and Grounds Initiatives for 2022 as reported in the Annual Report


As of October 2nd we received $9,385 in new pledge payments. Our pledge total for the year 2022 makes $109,131 for a total of year 2022 so far. Also we received an additional $382 in plate contributions as of October 2nd making a  total of $10,896 Plate contributions for 2022 so far. So the grand total of Pledge and Plate Donations for the year so far is $120,027. As of October 2nd there was $205 collected in church for the Crop Walk. This number does not reflect online donation. Some other funds may have been contributed through stocks

This is a high total because many people choose to pay their whole pledge at the beginning of the year.

Cindy Marx-Wood and I have been trying to keep a faithful accounting of all contributions so far. Let us know how we are doing.

Kathy Wright

Cindy Marx-Wood

News from the COVID Task Force

COVID-19 Task Force Update, October 2022

That pesky Covid family is still a continuing and unsettling presence among us. Over recent weeks nearly 54,000 new cases have been diagnosed each day and, on average, the United States still reports more than 350 deaths per day. We are still learning about the lingering effects of “Long Covid “and the kinds of subtle damage that may have been done to some of us that will only become evident in the future. I’ll get back to that uncertain future in a minute.

Like you, the MCC COVID-19 Task Force is asking “What’s ahead for our church this year?” Simply stated the watchwords are “continued vigilance.” The acute stresses to an overwhelmed health care system and the shocks to an unprepared world that characterized the early pandemic are now lessened. Many of us are immunized and boosted—but not all. Our seniors and those of us with underlying health conditions are still most vulnerable. The

presence of the ever-evolving coronavirus has not gone away, but is, at least for the moment, somewhat reduced. This is the endemic stage. We still need to be careful. Here’s how:

--Please continue all sensible precautions.

--Don’t take heedless risks.

--Practice regular hand sanitation.

--If uncertain, wear a mask. In our church masks are welcome but optional.

--Stay up to date on immunizations, if not for yourself then in consideration of others.

--If feeling ill, stay home.

And, yes, these same cautions in all sectors of our lives will help our wider communities too. But very personally, I have to confess some deep concern about the lingering psychological, social and faith effects of our past (and possibly future) Covid quarantine experiences. What’s happened to our minds, to our communities and to our souls during these Covid months and


Okay, now you’re right, I am not a psychologist, nor a sociologist, nor am I an ordained minister. Yet I find myself asking whether my faith remains the same as it was before Covid? Perhaps you too know what I am pondering. Did something shift inside ourselves these past thirty months?

Frankly, I cannot tell if I am more faith-filled or less faith-filled. But I detect that a real difference is dawning—my faith seems more defined and focused, whatever that means. The Covid months are also marked by the racial tragedies of 2020, economic uncertainties and the political and electoral upheavals of late 2020 and early 2021. Our social quarantine took a deep

toll on our minds, our communities and our spirits. How could this not have an effect that will long endure, and perhaps, one that could undermine some of our previously held beliefs and spiritual anchors points? Do we yet know what this will mean for each of us individually? For all of us as a beloved community?

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that your faith has changed. Or even that it has got to change. I am suggesting that it might take a while for the lingering effects to shake out and manifest themselves—maybe a year or two, maybe a decade or so out, or maybe never. Changes in our faith perspectives are not signs of weakness but are signs of vital hope, personal growth and inner renewal.

Here’s hoping you stay safe, keep well and that we as a faith-filled community stand with one another during the coming months and years. The Covid family and its Omicron offspring are here for a long, messy and most unwelcome visit. We may have some unanticipated clean-up to do when they finally move on.

Ed Cousineau

Convener, MCC COVID-19 Task Force



10/01  David Weidman

10/02   Jim Borchert

10/03  Edward Foltyn

10/03  Laura Cousineau

10/03  Jan Lord

10/03   Andrea Brown 

10/04   Rick Cunningham

10/05  Catherine Sensenig

10/06   Linda Darlington

10/06  Augustin Ramos-Glew

10/07  Erik Heaton

10/07   Nicholas Custer

10/08  Alicia Foster

10/08  Arthur Perkins

10/09  Benjamin Reetz

10/11  Micah Dewey

10/11   Mikki Jaeger

10/12   Karen Lenz

10/12   Kuda Muhlauri

10/12  Susan Pullen

10/13   John Houde

10/13   Evan Oxenham

10/13 Suzanne Spencer

10/15   Sean Elliot

10/15  Allison Foltyn

10/15  Teagan Goodwin

10/16  Susan Nugent





10/18  Grayson Davies

10/19  John Brooks

10/19  Tinashe Muhlauri

10/20  James Fadden

10/20  Steve Gordon

10/20   Carl Sandin

10/21  Jennifer (Phelps) Tibbets

10/21  Susan Gregory-Davis

10/21   Marian Zens

10/22  Hallie Zens

10/22  Michael Hogan

10/23  Dan Croitoru

10/24  Marianne McGraw

10/24  Fiona Davis-Walsh

10/24  Jen Williams

10/26  Jim Griffths

10/26  Jaden Giaccone

10/26  Telemos Tomlinson

10/26  Franccesca Marzilli-


10/27  Elizabeth Church

10/27  Jeffrey Wilkinson

10/27  Molly Beaupre’

10/28  Daniel Beaupre’

10/29  Susan Reetz

10/29  Shawn Phelps

10/31  Mark Pensgen

10/31  Charlie Williams


10/01 Don and Lindsay Parsons

10/02 Nancy and Paul Franklin

10/02 Nora Kells Gordon & Steve Gordon

10/03 Glen & Cindy (Svensen) Griffin

10/04 Tom and Lyn Lord

10/04 Susan and John Gregory-Davis

10/06 Ross and Beth Wood

10/10 Jeannie and Rick Hines

10/12 Brenda and Wally Caswell

10/16  Rigel Cable and Cam Lee

10/21 Anne and Alan Grover

10/24 Laine Gillespie and Bill Chappelle

10/25 Mark and Betsey Pensgen

10/26 Michele and Chuck Chamley

10/30 Laura and Ed Cousineau

Outreach News

Outreach, Peace, and Justice Ministry Teams

News for October, 2022 

"The way to heal the soul of the nation is to pass policies

that heal the body of the nation.

It’s the just thing to do.

That’s how we as a nation can move forward together."

~Rev. Dr. William J. Barber, Break the silence!


Listen Community Dinners Meriden Congregational Church has offered the commitment to prepare and serve dinners the FIRST Thursdays of the odd numbered months. The next date is November 3rd. If you know of anyone, including the broader community, who would be interested, please text, phone or email Shideko Terai. 603-252-7898 Sign up on our unique page on the volunteer hub website

Claremont Soup Kitchen Bill Chapelle continues to lead volunteer participation at the Claremont Soup Kitchen on the fourth Saturday of every month and this slot covers the hours 2-5:30 PM. No cooking experience necessary. October 22nd is the next opportunity. “We always have a lot of fun. You begin your Saturday night with a good feeling you have given nice people a delicious meal.” ~Bill Chapelle


     Putin invaded Ukraine on February 24, 2022. As of April 2, CNBC reports that Ukraine “has regained control of the capital city of Kyiv, while chances appeared better for peace talks ahead.” And what about the people of these nations? According to India Today, more than 3M refugees have fled Ukraine. 7K Russian soldiers have been killed, 14K injured; nearly 3K Ukrainian soldiers have been killed, 3.7K injured, 572 captured. War is still not the answer. As we continue to practice peace within our communities of family, neighbors, and spiritual friends: we radiate kindness and compassion with the intention of clear seeing, seeking justice, and refraining from doing harm. Contributions may be made by mailing a check made payable to the United Church of Christ, PO Box 71957, Cleveland OH 44194 & memo line: Ukraine Relief Fund.


Economic Justice 

     Please read Rev. Dr. Gail Kinney’s article below about a critically important webinar on Tuesday--October 18th, @ 7:00 PM--“Public Education and the Common Good Under Attack: Understanding the Free State Movement and Christian Nationalism in NH.”     Also check out the inspiring and informative new book by the former UCC Economic Justice Minister, the Rev. Dr. Edith Rasell, "The Way of Abundance."  This was one of John's favorite sabbatical reads, and we hope to bring Edie to NH to share more with us her research and her call to action. 

"There are millions of poor people in this country who have very little, or even nothing, to lose. If they can be helped to take action together, they...(and we) will be a new and unsettling force..."

- Martin Luther King Jr.

Racial Justice /Antiracism

     A few years ago our church formed a Racial Justice Ministry Team that has been guiding us in learning about the ways in which systemic racism and white supremacy undergird so much of our history and identity. Now, in keeping with the call of our denomination, the United Church of Christ, to become an antiracist church, our Racial Justice ministry team has evolved our name to become the Antiracism Ministry Team. The next meeting of our Antiracism Ministry team is tentatively scheduled for Thursday--October 20th @ 7:00 PM, during which we look froward to sharing more about our reading and reflection during these past few months.  

     In the meantime, we recommend viewing "Who We Are--A Chronicle of Racism in America," either here at the Parish House on Wednesday--October 12th @ 7:00 PM, or on Netflix.

    Our weekly BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils continue on Wednesday afternoons from 5:00 to 5:30, and all are welcome to join us anytime.

Social Justice 

Legislative advocacy continues for bills that protect the freedom to vote and oppose bills that pick apart voting procedures which have proven records that there is no voter fraud in NH; oppose bills that threaten women’s reproductive rights, threaten trans rights, threaten the unhoused, and tear apart laws that protect the environment and seek climate justice.

Immigrant Justice

The first Tuesday of each month NH Immigrant Solidarity Network (NH ISN) meets. Organizations include GSOP, AFSC, and clergy. It is interfaith and non-partisan. Next month's meeting on Tuesday--October 4th will be an in-person vigil at the ICE building in Manchester for the first time in many months. Please contact John or Shideko if you would like to learn more.

Climate Justice

Lee Oxenham has been alerting us about informative events and presentations connecting us to becoming more engaged in climate justice. Please contact Lee to find out the latest ways to be involved, and check out this award winning climate newsletter:  Scientists Again Call for Civil Disobedience To Spur Climate Action, Saying ‘Time is Short’ - Inside Climate News

In solidarity and hope, 

Shideko Terai (she/her), Outreach, Peace & Justice Coordinator

text or phone 603-252-7898, email [email protected]

Divisive Concepts Language
Doesn’t Belong Anywhere
in NH Law !


Worker Justice Update by Gail Kinney

Faith & Labor Join Together to Offer a Webinar on "Public Education and the Common Good Under Attack" - October 18th


    Given Croydon's general proximity to Meriden, it's likely that most of us learned this past winter/spring about the initially successful "Free Stater"-led effort to reduce the Croydon public school budget by a crippling 53% -- and about the monumental effort of hundreds of townspeople to overturn that vote. What most folks may not be aware of is the close relationship and ideological kinship between that "Free State" leader in Croydon and the NH Commissioner of Education. And many may not be aware that the efforts to slash public school funding and to ban teachers from teaching honest histories and present realities of racial and ethnic oppression and gender identity are part of a well-funded national movement. What we are witnessing is the intersection of anti-government zealots, Christian nationalists and right wing-extremists -- often cloaked as "parental' rights" advocates (the right to shield their children from honest teaching and inclusive classrooms, that is). These interlocking forces exist in NH as well as nationally.


   Our Worker Justice Ministry leads a growing statewide Faith & Labor coalition. In solidarity with our public school educator colleagues, we have teamed up with the NH Council of Churches, our UCC NH Conference and the American Friends Service Committee to offer an on-line program to raise our collective awareness of the forces that present a grave danger to public education, public services, the common good and our sense of "beloved community." On Tuesday evening October 18, from 7:00 -8:30 p.m., we are offering a Zoom webinar titled Public Education and the Common Good Under Attack: Understanding the Free State Movement and Christian Nationalism in NH. The webinar will feature a keynote presentation from journalist Jennifer Berkshire who follows these movements closely and is co-author of the book A Wolf at the Schoolhouse Door: The Dismantling of Public Education and the Future of School. In addition, Zandra Rice Hawkins of Granite State Progress will provide insights on the "Free State Project" in NH, and WNHN-FM radio host Arnie Arnesen will serve as program moderator. We are all strongly encouraged to participate in this webinar!  Registerhere:

Steve Beaupre' faithfully rings our church bell
each Wednesday afternoon at 5:00 PM as a clarion call to
our Community BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigil
Thank you, Steve!!
 We are continuing our Showing Up for Racial Justice BLACK LIVES MATTER Vigils each Wednesday afternoon, now happening from 5:00 to 5:30 PM, on the SouthWest corner of the intersection of Rte 120 & Main Street (at the blinking traffic light). We have “BLACK LIVES MATTER” signs available for folk to hold, but please feel free to make and/or bring your own signs.

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

MCC Movie Night: Reel Soul

           By way of living into our desire to grow spiritually as an antiracist community in the School of Revolutionary Love, Our Antiracism Ministry Team invites us all to view together:

“Who We Are:

A Chronicle of Racism in America”

View trailer at: WHO WE ARE | Official Trailer (2022) - YouTube


Wednesday—October 12th @ 7:00 PM

In the Bryant Parlor, upstairs in the Parish House


        “Who We Are: A Chronicle of Racism in America” brings history to life, exploring the enduring legacy of white supremacy and our collective responsibility to overcome it. This provocative film shows us how legalized discrimination and state-sanctioned brutality, murder, dispossession, and disenfranchisement continued long after slavery ended, profoundly impeding Black Americans’ ability to create and accumulate wealth as well as to gain access to jobs, housing, education, and health care. Weaving heartbreak, humor, passion, and rage, the film lays bare an all-but-forgotten past, as well as our shared responsibility to create a better country in our lifetimes.

John Gregory-Davis Speaking at the Budget Protest in Concord, NH-- June 24, 2021
Legislator Contact Information
                                                                                 Rep. Annie McLane Kuster
137 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Phone: 202-225-5206 (Washington)
18 North Main Street, Fourth Floor
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-226-1002 (New Hampshire)

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

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen
506 Hart Senate Office Bdg
Washington, DC 20510
Phone: 202-224-2841 (Washington)
2 Wall St #220
Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 602-647-7500 (NH)

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

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

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

Sen. Suzanne Prentiss
Legislative Office Building, Room 102
33 State Street
Concord, NH 03301
Phone: 603-271-3092
The UVHS & The Plainfield Community Resource Room have teamed up to help all Cat & Dog Owners in our area.
Every Month on the 3rd Saturday
when the Resource Room & Food Pantry is open
the UVHS will be present to provide  
FREE Cat & Dog Food.
For more information
please contact Stephanie at 469-3201.
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