Newsletter - East Congregational Church

The East Church
51 Mountain Road,
East Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Phone: 603-224-9242
October 2014
In what I suppose could easily be described as a pastor’s
version of a “busman’s holiday,” while on my recent summer
vacation I was asked if I might step in and lead a graveside
memorial service at the cemetery in my home town. In the
interest of full disclosure (and proper pastoral ethics), I should
add here that I wouldn’t have ordinarily been asked to do this;
but as it happened, the family’s pastor had concluded her
ministry at their church just a few days before and had already
left the state; the funeral director, a long-time friend and
neighbor on the lake, was in dire need of clergy and knew I was available (!); and, as it turned out,
this service would include a great many people from that town and congregation where I grew up,
some of whom I hadn’t seen in well over 30 years.
So how could I say “no” to that?
It ended up a rather moving experience for me, as before and after the service I was greeted with
smiles and tears by old friends who, each in their own way, were instrumental in the nurturing of
my Christian faith as a youth, as well as in the discernment and cultivation of my own call to
ministry: the Sunday School teacher who brought scripture to life by coming to our classroom
dressed as biblical figures; the Deacon and “Deaconess” (as they were known then!) who
recommended that I be granted “in-care” status (as that used to be known) by the Aroostook
Association of the United Church of Christ; the woman with whom I once sang in the choir and
who, as a UCC lay minister in her own right, in my early years of ministry became a valued
colleague in many a wedding, funeral and worship service;
and so many others – old neighbors, former classmates and
family friends – people who opened up a floodgate of
memories for me; and who, whether they knew it or not,
shared a great many lessons of life, faith and ministry that I
still carry with me all these many years later.
Recently at East Church we celebrated “Homecoming
Sunday,” which traditionally has marked the beginning of a
new year of Sunday School; and so, much of our service on
that particular Sunday was purposefully and joyfully “child
friendly.” Our opening hymn was “It Is Good,” an epic children’s song about God’s Creation with
a chorus that will, I promise you, stay in your head forever (!); and the Children’s Message for the day
had to do with “imitating God” in all things, and featured truly horrendous animal imitations on
the part of this pastor (the highlight was when one of the kids asked me, “How do you even keep a
straight face when you do that?”). Afterward, the children met with their teachers, and together
they developed a classroom covenant in which they promised, among other things, to “treat other
people how they’d like to be treated.” There were stories, games and even an after-church pizza
luncheon with the whole church family.
And all through the day there was laughter, and love, and above all, faith shared and nurtured.
As of late there has been much written on the so-called “blogosphere” and elsewhere about
Christian Education and Children’s Ministry in this current age; the gist of these articles being that
the traditional model of Sunday School is long since outmoded. These articles inevitably speak of
how much the world, culture and the family dynamic has changed over the last 25 years (which is
true); how stressed-out and time-poor today’s average family has become (also true); how churches
need to minister to families as they are today, not how they were (or at least how we perceived them
to be) years ago when Sunday School classrooms were usually filled to overflowing (sadly, yes).
Granted, these ministries have fallen on hard times in our churches; but the answer is not, as some
have opined, that we simply let go of the idea of Sunday School altogether. On the contrary; it
seems to me that now is the time for broadening our understanding of Christian Education; for
churches to embrace the idea that to truly nurture the faith of the next generation of believers
requires a holistic approach; in which we welcome our children, youth and seeking adults into
the whole life and experience of the church: a ministry that
certainly includes Sunday School, yes; but also involves
worship and fellowship as an experience that involves the
whole congregation, that includes shared mission and
outreach as a caring community, and which ever and
always emphasizes the mutual care and support that comes
in being part of a family of faith.
More simply stated, the lessons we’ve learned as Christians
and as the church are the very lessons we need to teach to
our children. Sometimes those lessons do come in the
form of goofball songs, bible stories and arts and crafts
that happen in an hour on a Sunday morning; it might happen in a moment of prayer and reflection
at a worship service; or else it’ll be found in the warm smile and loving embrace of the person
sitting next to at the pot-luck dinner. But make no mistake, these will be the lessons that our kids
will remember, and which will take root in their hearts as they grow in faith…
…and years later, whether they know it or not, these will be lessons they will share with their own
Shalom, and See You Sunday,
Rev. Michael Lowry
(This piece, along with many others, can be found on the pastor’s blog at!)
Crop Walk – Ending Hunger One Step at a
It seems like charity walks are everywhere these days. But did
you know that the very first charity walk, started 40 years ago,
was the Crop walk to end hunger? Church World Service began
in 1946, following World War two. Seventeen different church
denominations came together “to do in partnership what none
of us could hope to do as well alone.” In 1946 – 47 more than
11 million pounds of food, clothing, and medical supplies were
sent to war-ravaged areas in Europe and Asia. In the years since
then CWS has grown and changed in many ways, but the
mission remains the same – feed the hungry, bring water to the
thirsty, clothe the naked, heal the sick, comfort the aged, shelter
the homeless, and educate the unschooled.
When we see all that is happening in the world, it is easy to feel
that we, as individuals, can't really make much of a difference. But we can! In the past 20 years
Crop hunger walks have raised more than $294 million to help people feed, clothe, shelter, and
educate their families – both around the world and around the corner. 25% of the money raised
stays right here in our local community!
You have the power to make a real and lasting
change in someone's life. How?
п‚· Join the Crop Walk on October 11. There
are two routes, a 2 mile walk and a 5 mile
walk. Collect donations from family, friends,
and coworkers. See Kay for a pledge form.
Please return all pledge envelopes to church
October 5.
п‚· If you cannot walk, how about making a
donation to an East Church walker? Any
amount is needed and appreciated. Checks
should be made out to CWS/Crop.
п‚· Non-walking volunteers are also needed to
serve as crossing guards and water / apple
station attendants.
п‚· Visit or to learn
Please see Kay with any questions or to sign up to walk. Thank you!
It is that most wonderful time of year again: our
annual Church Holiday Fair, which will be held
at East Church on Saturday, November 1
from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Already, tables
have been assigned, raffle items decided, and the
ladies are in preparation mode – but there’s still
lots to do to get ready! If you would like to help
with working on the different tables, preparing
or serving our Corn Chowder Luncheon, setting
up on the week before the fair, or pricing clothes
or items for the Treasure Room, we would love
to have your help! Also,, there are signup sheets
for food for the Deli, Bakery, and Luncheon
available in the Fellowship Hall, or by contacting
Sherrie Berube.
Along with the beautiful and warm quilt made
by Donna Rust (for which raffle tickets are now
available!), again this year there will be six raffle
baskets, with winning tickets to be drawn the
day of the fair.
Items needed for these baskets are as follows:
1. Going to the Dogs
2. Chocolate Delights
3. Relax with a Spa Basket
4. Just for Kids
5. Christmas is Coming
6. Cooking in the Kitchen
We Are “Blessed to Be a
…so what kind of blessing will
you be? East Church’s
2015 Stewardship
Campaign has begun and
that’s the question we’re
asking of ourselves in the
coming weeks. As part of that
stewardship emphasis, there
will be a special informational
church meeting following
worship on Sunday, October
5 with information from both
the Board of Trustees and the
Stewardship Committee
regarding our church’s
budgetary needs for the
coming year; please plan to
attend, and give thought and
prayer as to your support of
our shared ministries of faith
and love here at East Church!
Don’t forget: Stewardship
Sunday at East Church is
October 19!
“…all peoples on earth will
be blessed through you.” –
Genesis 12:3b (NIV)
Guest Speakers at
October Women’s
Fellowship Meeting
Special guests at the
upcoming October 8
Woman's Fellowship
meeting will be Carolyn
Rich and Katie Lynch,
program coordinators for
the the Retired Senior
Volunteer Program. The
“RSVP” program is one
part of the Friends
Program, a nonprofit
group that also provides
emergency housing for
families, mentoring for atrisk youth ages 6 – 18, and
a foster grandparent
program. Come and learn
more about this
wonderful resource in our
community! Our group
will gather at the church at
1:30; devotions will be led
by Connie Schossler, and
refreshments provided by
Effie Watts. All are
welcome – bring a friend!
If you need transportation
please see Sherrie or Kay,
we will do our best to
See you there!
Imagining Another World Is Possible:
2014 Neighbors in Need Offering
The 2014 Neighbors in Need offering, which we will receive at East
Church on October 26, supports United Church of Christ ministries of
justice and compassion 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, 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.
Neighbors in Need also supports our American Indian neighbors in the
UCC. One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for
American Indian Ministries (CAIM). 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. These churches and their
pastors are supported by CAIM. CAIM is also an invaluable resource
for more than 1,000 individuals from dozens of other tribes and
nations who are members of other UCC congregations in the U.S.
Through these programs and many others,
Neighbors in Need helps make another world
possible. And your support makes a difference!
FMI, visit; thank you!
A Call to Outreach!
The Love Offering is a
fund that allows our
church to meet
emergency needs in the
community, as well as
helping to provide for the Thanksgiving Baskets in November – with that outreach approaching
soon, we are great need of funds to replenish that offering! Please consider making a gift to
the Love Offering Fund; you can also help by bringing your Aluminum Cans and other “clean
aluminum” pieces to the church for recycling, which not only helps this important ministry, but
also the environment!
Yard & Bake & Craft & Clothing Sale a
HUGE thanks to everyone who contributed to
the 2014 Yard Sale! The sale went very well
and earned $1751. 87. For those of you who
enjoy big numbers, that is the equivalent of
over 7,000 items at 25 cents each! We had a
very strong turnout of volunteer support, and
you are all very much appreciated. Many
people ask what we do with the unsold items. All unsold goods are given to
other charitable organizations, such as Goodwill, Boys
and Girls Club, and the Epilepsy Foundation. Your
donations continue to do good work in our community
even after our sale is over. Now is the time to start
saving for next year! Thanks again for your support of
this successful fundraiser. – Kay Garrigan
Think Ink!
You know that we collect used ink cartridges for recycling, but did you know . . .
п‚· 2 or 3 recycled cartridges can purchase
disinfecting wipes
п‚· 6 cartridges pay for a ream of 8 ВЅ x 14 paper
п‚· 15 cartridges provide ink for Michael's printer
п‚· 18 cartridges purchase a case of 2000 multifold
paper towels
Your donation of used cartridges helps our church budget in many ways. Thank
you for your contributions!
A Note of Thanks
“For the members and friends of East Congregational Church, UCC, Concord, NH
– I appreciated your cards and calls for my 91st birthday. Also for the get well
cards over the past months. My legs have pretty well given out thus limiting my
mobility. I can still get to the monthly meetings with Pastor Lowry at Havenwood
plus the Sunday Vesper Service there. I’ll continue to provide my offering pledge to
East Church. Know you have my blessing on your ministry to each other and the
greater community. I give you this text: John 20:30, 31. – Rev. Robert W. Wood
From the ECC Library. . .
Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire by Jim Cymbala
This is a book that opened my eyes and heart. Jim Cymbala
emphasizes the importance of the Word of God and Prayer.
Throughout the book he gives example after example that
demonstrates how focusing on the Gospel and prayer brings fresh
wind and fresh fire to one’s life and the church in His Name.
Pastor Jim Cymbala has made the prayer meeting the barometer
of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church. Many from various walks of
life have walked through the doors of the Brooklyn Tabernacle
Church over the years and seen and experienced God’s love. As
noted in the book, God is more powerful than anybody’s past, no
matter how wretched. This book has such a powerful message
and cites through actual people’s testimonies how people raising their voices together in
prayer to God turned the Brooklyn Tabernacle Church into a Church of Prayer. Their life story
shows how anything is possible through God. All the glory goes to God.
This is a must read book. We can all relate to reading a book that grabs you; this is that book
for me. When I think of this book the words love, hope, humility, courage, commitment, and
determination come to mind. The good news is that we have copies of this book in the East
Congregational Church Lending Library. I invite you to read this book.
Humbly on my knees,
Kathy Blodgett
An Offering of School Kits
for Church World Service:
How Many Kits Were
One hundred fifteen! That's
right, there were 115 Church
World Service School Kits
prayerfully dedicated during
our morning worship this
past Sunday... thanks to the
East Church Family for their
amazing response to this
mission project, and a special
thanks to Evie Joss, pictured
here, for all her enthusiasm
and inspiration!
Harvest Supper
Saturday, October 18
East Congregational Church
51 Mountain Rd., Concord
Enjoy a homemade supper of ham,
rolls, squash, carrots, mashed
potatoes, cabbage, red flannel
hash, and apple crisp!
Don't miss the quilt raffle!
Supper served 5:00 – 6:30
$8.00 for adults, $4 ages 6 – 12,
Free for 5 & under
Church is 3/10 mile north of I 93 exit 16.
We are wheelchair accessible.
Dear New Hampshire Conference Members:
You are officially invited to participate in the 213th Annual
Meeting of the New Hampshire Conference, to be held on
Saturday, October 25, 2014 at the Grappone Conference
Center, 70 Constitution Avenue, Concord, NH. Registration
will begin at 8:00am, and our time together will begin
promptly at 9:00am.
Annual Meeting 2014 will explore what it means to be part of
the New Hampshire Conference, the New England Region, and
the whole United Church of Christ. Join us in “Proclaiming
our Unity”, and exploring all the many blessings we enjoy, and
the mission we share with our wider church partners.
Building upon the founding principle of the United Church of
Christ, found in John 17:21 – “That they may all be one…”, this year’s Annual Meeting will feature
the Rev. Geoffrey Black , the General Minister & President of the United Church of Christ and
Conference Ministers from the other New England Conferences. Find out what is going on at the
national setting, what our New England partners in ministry are doing and discovering as they lead
through a time of enormous change, and what it means to be truly part of something much larger
than ourselves.
WORSHIP: Meaningful worship lies at the heart of our gathering. The meeting will open with a
worship service at 9:00 a.m. that will invigorate and unite us in word, song and celebration – and
will engage each of us as vital pieces of the puzzle that is our collective ministry and mission. An
offering will be received during morning worship for the support of the covenant we share in the
United Church of Christ.
Please feel free to contact the Conference Office with any questions regarding the Annual Meeting.
We look forward to seeing you on October 25th!
May God’s Peace be with you,
Your 2014 Annual Meeting Planning Committee
(East Church is entitled to 5 lay delegates to this meeting; if you are interested in attending this
meeting and/or representing our congregation, please see the pastor!)
Birthdays for
October 2014
Sonny Goulet
Barbara Cunningham
Haven Cutting
Griffin Hicks
Jessica Leberman
Harry Cunningham
Mary Parsons
Susan Corson
Jonah Rand
Karen Donnelly
Molly Cunningham
Jeremy Smith
Sara Wagner
Albro Patten
Esther Murray
Astrid Ruff
Connected with
East Church?
These days people do
communicate in a
wide variety of ways,
and that’s certainly
the case at East Church! Along with the weekly bulletin inserts
and this newsletter, which is published both in print and
electronically roughly six times a year, we have a website at that includes all sorts of vital information
regarding the life of our congregation, as well as a page on
Facebook that is regularly updated (if you “like” us and press the
button that says so, you’ll receive those updates on your Facebook
page as they become available). Rev. Lowry also maintains a
online blog called “Pastoral Ponderings” where he posts Sunday
sermons and usually a mid-week devotional reflection. Also, every
week (usually on Friday) we send out a weekly “All Church EMail” which includes announcements on the following Sunday’s
worship service and other upcoming events, as well as prayer
concerns and other vital information! If you would like to be
included on this “e-mailing list” or the traditional mailing list for
“snail mail,” please see the pastor!
Merrimack Association Holds Fall Meeting at East Church; Dancing Unto the Lord
A Day for Worship, Fellowship and celebrating our
"Connectedness" as the United Church of Christ, as East
Church hosts the Fall Meeting of the Merrimack Association of
the New Hampshire Conference United Church of Christ on
September 28. The meeting began with a time of worship, led
by Rev. Lowry, followed by the business meeting, led by
association moderator Rev. Nancy Talbott. The day’s program
was on "Sacred Dance," led by East Church's own Sarah Lowry,
along with
Droulet and
the Sacred
Havenwood Heritage Heights. And special
thanks to Sherrie Berube and the Women’s
Fellowship for providing refreshments for the
time of fellowship following the meeting!
Upcoming at East
Congregational UCC
East Congregational
United Church of
Sunday, October 5 – Morning Worship
with Sacrament of Holy Communion, 10:00
Followed by Stewardship Informational
Sunday Schedule
Worship and Sunday School -10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 7 – Communion at
Havenwood Chapel, 10:30 a.m.
Mind, Body and Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m.
Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 p.m.
Fellowship Hour follows Worship
Holy Communion Sunday is
celebrated on the first Sunday of
each month.
All are welcome!
Wednesday, October 8 – Deacons
Meeting, 10:00 a.m.
Women’s Fellowship, 1:30 p.m.
Saturday, October 11 – CROP Walk, 12:30
Sole Head of This Church:
Jesus Christ
Sunday, October 12 – Morning Worship,
10:00 a.m.
Ministers - The People of the
Tuesday, October 14 – Mind, Body and
Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m
Pastor - The Rev. Michael W.
Phone: 603-856-8406 (h)
207-415-9674 В©
Email: [email protected]
Wednesday, October 15 – Trustees
Meeting, 5:45 p.m.
Church Council, 7:00 p.m.
Organist/Choir Director - Susan
Moderator - Lance Parsons
Clerk – Deb Wilcox
Deacons Chair – Sherrie Berube
Trustees Chair – Don Hartshorn
Pastoral Relations Committee:
Jean Richards
Kay Garrigan
Becca Richards
Deb Monson
-----------------MEMBER OF:
New Hampshire Conference
of United Church of Christ
140 Sheep Davis Road,
Pembroke, NH
Saturday, October 18 – Harvest Supper,
5:00-6:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 19 – Stewardship
Sunday at East Church
Morning Worship, 10:00 a.m.
(Ingathering of Pledges and Commitments)
Tuesday, October 21 – Mind, Body and
Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m.
Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday, October 22 – By-Laws Task
Force, 6:00 p.m.
Sunday, October 26 – Morning Worship,
10:00 a.m.
Tuesday, October 28 – Mind, Body and
Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m.
Saturday, November 1 – East Church
Holiday Fair, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.!
East Congregational Church
United Church of Christ
51 Mountain Road
Concord, NH 03301-6905
The Food Pantry, Friendly Kitchen, & the Love Offering are just some of the ways we
at East Congregational UCC reach out in loving faith to our community.
Food Pantry: The grocery cart in the back of the sanctuary is for non-perishable food
items for the Food Pantry. The need is great! Thank you for thinking of others as you
are shopping.
The Friendly Kitchen, a local outreach ministry, provides meals to those in need
every night of the week. East Church is one of many local congregations, businesses
and organizations who volunteer to plan, cook and serve these meals. The East
Church Team cooks for Friendly Kitchen again on November 18.
Love Offering: The Love Offering is usually received on the Third Sunday of each
month. These funds allow our church to meet emergency needs in the community.
There are many requests, so know that your giving to this offering is appreciated and
a true “Godsend” to someone in our community! Another way to give to the Love
Offering Fund is by bringing your Aluminum Cans and other “clean aluminum”
pieces to the church for recycling (FMI on this, see Dick Auren). This is giving that not
only helps our shared ministry, but also the environment!
And finally, donations of empty Printer Cartridges are also welcomed, as they can
be redeemed for many office supplies!