This Week

Wednesday, August 7
  • 9:00 a.m. Staff Meeting
  • 10:00 a.m. Music Committee
  • 12:00 p.m. 275th Anniversary Planning Committee Meeting

Sunday, August 11
  • 9:00 a.m. Mindfulness Meditation at the Scoville Memorial Library
  • 10:00 a.m. Worship

Monday, August 12
  • 11:30-5:00 p.m. Duplicate Bridge Club
Dear Friends,

Sunday morning brought the news of yet another mass shooting, this one in Dayton, Ohio, leaving ten dead and twenty-seven injured. This followed hard on the shooting in El Paso, Texas, with twenty-two dead and twenty-four wounded. Just a week before we had learned of the shooting in Gilroy, California, leaving four dead and twelve wounded.

Three mass shootings is bad beyond imagining. And yet I had not heard of the shootings between since Gilroy in Chippewa Falls (WI), Columbus (OH), Rosenberg (TX), Haskell (OK), Southaven (MI), Elkhart (IN), Suffolk (VA), Pomfret (MD), Chicago (IL), Grenada, MI), Memphis (TN), and Brooklyn (NY), resulting in an additional twenty slain and forty-four wounded. ( See data here .)

To pundits and pols who say that the problem of gun violence has mostly to do with mental illness, I say: "Enough! We cannot afford to waste precious time with false talking points and disproven theories." I have yet to read of studies that establish any meaningful correlation between gun violence and mental illness. On the contrary, I keep learning that those who have mental illness are more likely to be victims than perpetrators. ( See article here .)

Unless, of course, a person believes that guns save lives or reduce violence: I wonder if such a belief is itself an illness.

In Sunday's worship Betsy Beck offered a powerful witness as we were gathering joys and concerns: an anguished testimony against the brutality that infects us, and a call to stand and declare, "Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me." The anguish, the standing, and the declaring are good. And now: where to from here? Our neighbors in Newtown, CT formed "Everytown for Gun Safety" after the 2006 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary: they have resources for action here . The American Medical Association which, appropriately, calls this plague of violence a public health crisis has informative articles and action steps here .

If you have experience or information to share on how we can confront gun violence, please email me so we can share those with the church.

The social and commercial forces that promote and protect a culture of violence are deeply rooted. Defeating them will take time, grit, and faith. Yet we are Easter people. We are defined by the cross that stands not for a beginning but for an end to death: for "the victory of seemingly powerless love over loveless power."

For all of us, I pray to God for holy resolve and heavenly courage in our shared struggle for non-violence and fullness of life.

Pastor John
Sermon & Readings

T his Ninth Sunday after Pentecost, August 11, Pastor John's sermon will be " Sleeping Like Babies ".

From Jack Bowman, Minister of Music
Mezzo-soprano Jolanta Lorenc is singing the beautiful 13 th century chant as the introit this Sunday. Adoro Te Devote is one of the five beautiful hymns St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) composed in honor of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament at Pope Urban IV's (1261-1264) request. Jolanta is singing Mendelssohn’s O Rest In the Lord as the offertory. We welcome Charlie Noyes who will help introduce the congregation to a new hymn entitled Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning. This African American spiritual has a biblical basis in the parable of the ten maidens. Come prepared to “Keep your Lamps Burning.”

Soli Deo Gloria,  
From Barbara Collins, Director of Religious Education
Last week's family faith talk opportunity:  
Finish this sentence: I’d like to learn how to . . .

… play the tuba, dance the Merengue, speak French, make a pecan pie, knit a prayer shawl, make the world a better place. So why don’t I? All of these things are within the realm of possibility (except maybe the Merengue) but I need to go beyond the “I’d like to learn how to …” and actually get on with it.
We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
but God’s purpose prevails.
Proverbs 19:21 The Message

Deacons’ message for August
Submitted by John Estabrook

As lead deacon in July, it’s my turn to write a message from the deacons for the August newsletter. This is a huge challenge, as I am not a literary person and my usual reading material doesn’t lend itself to spiritual inspiration.  Recently, however, the name of English humorist P.G. Wodehouse popped into my head. My father was a devotee, as was his father, and you could say I was raised on P.G. Wodehouse stories about Bertie Wooster and his inimitable butler, Jeeves...
Calling all Canners!
This summer you may discover an abundance of fruit or cucumbers in your garden. If so, plan to make some jams, preserves, or pickles for the Fall Festival in October. These home-made items are very popular with visitors to the Country Kitchen during the week-end event. All proceeds from the Fall Festival at our church are given to the Board of Christian Action to donate to local organizations. It's a win-win for everyone!
Cleaning Out? Donate to Treasure Trove
Are you cleaning out your closets, cabinets, basement, attic, or garage this summer? If so, donate your unwanted “treasures” to be recycled to eager buyers during the upcoming Fall Festival. Leave your items on the table in the basement for Roseanne Lamson to sort and price. (Please—no books, clothing, computers, TVs, or exercise equipment.)   If you have questions, contact Barbara Collins at .
Construction at Church
This week Scooter Tedder began construction on the new ADA-compliant bathroom at the front of the church. The project will be completed over the next few months.
Planning Meeting for Church Anniversary
Planning Meeting on Wednesday, August 7 at noon:

On Sunday, November 24, we will have an all-church Celebration to commemorate the Church's 275th Anniversary. Mark your calendar an exuberant worship service and a boisterous birthday party!

For that day, we are collecting stories of service to our neighbors, near and far. Can you share how you have put your faith in action? Please contact Pastor John ( click here) or the church office.
This year's CROP  Hunger Walk is scheduled for Sunday, 29 September. Please mark your calendars - and if you have interest in helping to organize a group of walkers from our church, please contact Pastor John .

Help end hunger and poverty one step at a time!
Church Office Update
We have implemented a new security measure for the Church House: If any of the staff is in the building alone, the Library Street door will remain locked. If you stop by during office hours and find the door is locked, please press the intercom button to the left of the door. The staff person will come down and open the door for you!
For Pastoral Emergencies
For pastoral emergencies, Pastor John can be reached in the church office (860-435-2442, ext. 101), on his mobile (508-479-0724), or by email (
If you would like a church directory, they are available in the church office.
Church Office Hours
Pastor John Nelson will have office hours on Tuesday - Friday. He can be reached at (860) 435-2442 ext. 101, by email (, or by cell for pastoral emergencies during non-office hours (508-479-0724).

Melissa Adam, Financial and Communications Assistant, is in the office Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 9:00-2:00. Her email is:

Kathy Wiggins, Administrative Assistant, is in the office Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 8-3 and Thursday from 8-2.
Her email is:
The Congregational Church of Salisbury, United Church of Christ
125 Main Street, PO Box 392, Salisbury, CT 06068
 Phone (860) 435-2442