UCC Issues Appeal in Response to Winter Storms
The United Church of Christ is issuing an appeal to assist people affected by this year’s Winter Storms.

The impact of massive and intense storms is being felt across a wide swath of the United States. So far Texas has been particularly hard hit, and the situation there is terrifying.

Learn more about the appeal or read the UCC News Story about how churches are already responding.
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Fasting for God’s Creation Lenten Challenge - Week Two
Congratulations from the Environmental Justice Mission Group (EJMG) for completing the first week of Lent without eating red meat! How easy was it for you? What did you learn? If you didn’t make it all the way through, what obstacles did you face? We’d love to hear your comments.
 
The second week of the EJMG Lenten Fast focuses on our overabundant consumerism. This week we challenge everyone not to buy anything new except groceries and medications as needed. At the turn of the last century, people went about their daily lives with far fewer things. Older homes didn’t have walk-in closets. Some didn’t have any closets! My grandmother told us of how she and her siblings shared one bureau. Each girl had one drawer. Within the last 30 years, an entire industry dedicated to storing all the “stuff” we own has appeared. There are “Pods”, heated storage facilities, garages to store cars over the winter, and homes featuring enormous amounts of closet space.
 
This week don’t buy anything new except groceries. If you need something, try to get it from a consignment shop or rental business. Ask if you could borrow it from a friend and be sure to return it as soon as possible. Items YOU no longer need may be sold on-line, donated or recycled, too. In this way, we slow the need for more raw materials to make new products. (A note about clothing...most of the world is saturated with our fast fashion. The need for donated clothing, even in “third world” countries has lessened. The same is true for electronics. You may need to do a little research to find the best way to recycle these items.)
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Recap of February 6th Board of Directors Meeting
The New Hampshire Conference Board of Directors held their first meeting of 2021 on February 6 via Zoom. Like many of our churches, we have now held all our meetings virtually for a full year.

Items on the agenda included:
  • welcoming the Rev. Richard Slater back from his Sabbatical and learning about his experience during that time
  • reviewing the Conference finances and sharing in the good news that fiscal year 2020 ended in the black
  • adopting an Inclusivity Statement for Horton Center and New Hampshire Conference Outdoor Ministries
  • voting on the Boards' mission statement for 2021
  • updating the application for Small Church Grants
  • familiarizing themselves with the work of the Wider Church Relations Ministry
  • bidding farewell to Board member, Rev. Norma Brettell

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Spring Boundary Training Opportunities
Leave-Taking Boundaries    
Thursday, March 11th, 9 am to 1 pm
Via Zoom 
Facilitated by the Reverend Peter Ilgenfritz
Registration Fee: $25

The Foundations of Understanding Boundaries
(This is the basic/initial boundary training and should be taken before engaging in other boundary training opportunities.)
Saturday, May 1st, 9 am to 1 pm 
Via Zoom
Facilitated by the Reverend Gordon Rankin
Registration Fee: $25

To register for either of these Boundary Training opportunities, please send an email to: events@nhcucc.org. Instructions for making the registration payment will be provided.
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Beware of Email Scams
The Conference has received numerous calls reporting an email scam using Rev. Gordon Rankin's name.

This was not an actual email from the Conference or Reverend Rankin. It was sent from a GMAIL account and not one of our official Conference emails. We would encourage all members of the Conference to be aware of such scams and if any email with the name of a Conference staff member raises concern please be in touch with us. 

Reverend Rankin also wants folks to know that he will never make a request for assistance with obtaining gift cards or handling confidential matters via email while he is busy in worship or a meeting. For your own safety please do NOT reply to these requests.
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Service of Loss and Lament Sponsored by the Merrimack Association
Sunday, March 7, 2021, 2:00 PM via Zoom
This has been a tough year and we have all suffered losses - small and large. Our faith tradition offers us a place to hold our losses, cry out to God, and receive assurance of God’s response. We will rely on Scripture, poetry, music, action, and silence.

Join us and please invite anyone who might benefit from this. Download the flyer for details >>
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A Moment of Choice and Consequence
A Letter to Our Churches from the Peace with Justice Advocates
As members and clergy of the United Church of Christ in New Hampshire, we condemn last month’s insurrection in Washington as evil and a threat to our fragile democracy. It saddens us that this week’s impeachment is of little interest to half the United States Senate. The time for accountability is now. Viability of the American project requires it.
 
This is a moment of choice and consequence, called a “kairos” moment in the Christian tradition. It is not enough to call for healing and unity if we do not bravely discern the evil among us and the damage it has done. Last month’s insurrection was not an isolated event, but developed predictably from divisive political leadership, derisive presidential rhetoric, and decades of injustice in American communities of all kinds. To seek healing now is to name this injustice, mourn it publicly, and turn boldly to new priorities and practices. This task belongs to all of us.  

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Please Remember in Your Prayers...
The huge numbers of people across America who are presently experiencing very harsh and cold weather, some of whom have been without power for days.

The many people, particularly in poorer neighborhoods, who are finding access to and availability of vaccines hard to obtain. Because this pandemic is hitting people of color and the poor with greater force, we not only pray for our brothers and sisters suffering from the pandemic, but we pray that the nation might live up to its ideal of ‘justice for all.'

O God, in your tender mercy,
Hear our prayers!
Across Our Conference
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Shore-Goss has announced his resignation as Pastor of the Federated Church of Marlborough, effective March 7th. Rev. Shore-Goss will be moving to Florida to assume the role of Chaplain at CornerStone Hospice. His last Sunday leading worship at Marlborough will be March 7th.

Mr. Daniel Adam has accepted the call of South Congregational Church, United Church of Christ, of Newport to be their Pastor and Teacher beginning March 7, 2021. Daniel is a Member in Discernment with the Grafton-Orange-Sullivan Association.

Rev. Kent Schneider will conclude his Interim Ministry at First Congregational Church of Farmington, United Church of Christ, on Sunday, April 4, 2021.

The Rev. Kurt Walker has accepted the call of the Deerfield Community Church, United Church of Christ, to become their Pastor and Teacher beginning April 5, 2021. Kurt comes to Deerfield having previously served in the Rhode Island Association of the Southern New England Conference of the United Church of Christ.

Rev. Gina Finocchiaro has announced her resignation as Pastor of the First Congregational Church of Wolfeboro, United Church of Christ. Her final Sunday "in the pulpit" will be Sunday, May 2, 2021. Rev. Finocchiaro will be starting a chaplaincy at Phillips Academy Andover.
Conference Minister
Sunday Schedule: February 28, 2021
The Rev. Gordon Rankin and the Rev. Richard Slater will be worshiping with our NHCUCC congregations via computer from their own homes.
Weekly News
The Weekly News is published to promote the mission and ministry of the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ.

These announcements are intended to be brief, timely, and of a general interest to our Conference readers. Supportive links are provided whenever they are available. We encourage you to forward these materials to others in your church using the link below and to share them in your bulletins and local church newsletters.

Send your items to WeeklyNews@nhcucc.org.The deadline for submitting items for the next issue is Thursday at 12:00 PM.
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