The East Church MESSENGER 51 Mountain Road, East Concord, New Hampshire 03301 Phone: 603-224-9242 www.eastchurchucc.org October 2014 A BIT FROM THE BLOG: THE LESSONS WE SHARE In what I suppose could easily be described as a pastorвЂ™s version of a вЂњbusmanвЂ™s holiday,вЂќ 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 wouldnвЂ™t have ordinarily been asked to do this; but as it happened, the familyвЂ™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 hadnвЂ™t seen in well over 30 years. So how could I say вЂњnoвЂќ 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 вЂњDeaconessвЂќ (as they were known then!) who recommended that I be granted вЂњin-careвЂќ 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 вЂ“ old neighbors, former classmates and family friends вЂ“ 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 вЂњHomecoming Sunday,вЂќ 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 вЂњchild friendly.вЂќ Our opening hymn was вЂњIt Is Good,вЂќ an epic childrenвЂ™s song about GodвЂ™s Creation with a chorus that will, I promise you, stay in your head forever (!); and the ChildrenвЂ™s Message for the day had to do with вЂњimitating GodвЂќ 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, вЂњHow do you even keep a straight face when you do that?вЂќ). Afterward, the children met with their teachers, and together they developed a classroom covenant in which they promised, among other things, to вЂњtreat other people how theyвЂ™d like to be treated.вЂќ 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 вЂњblogosphereвЂќ and elsewhere about Christian Education and ChildrenвЂ™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 todayвЂ™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 weвЂ™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 itвЂ™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 faithвЂ¦ вЂ¦and years later, whether they know it or not, these will be lessons they will share with their own children. Shalom, and See You Sunday, Rev. Michael Lowry (This piece, along with many others, can be found on the pastorвЂ™s blog at www.pastoralponderings.wordpress.com!) Crop Walk вЂ“ Ending Hunger One Step at a Time! 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 вЂњto do in partnership what none of us could hope to do as well alone.вЂќ In 1946 вЂ“ 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 вЂ“ 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 вЂ“ 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 www.cropwalk.org or www.greaterconcordinterfaithcouncil.org/cropwalk to learn more. 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 вЂ“ but thereвЂ™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 вЂњBlessed to Be a BlessingвЂ¦вЂќ вЂ¦so what kind of blessing will you be? East ChurchвЂ™s 2015 Stewardship Campaign has begun and thatвЂ™s the question weвЂ™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 churchвЂ™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! DonвЂ™t forget: Stewardship Sunday at East Church is October 19! вЂњвЂ¦all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.вЂќ вЂ“ Genesis 12:3b (NIV) Guest Speakers at October WomenвЂ™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 вЂњRSVPвЂќ program is one part of the Friends Program, a nonprofit group that also provides emergency housing for families, mentoring for atrisk youth ages 6 вЂ“ 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 вЂ“ bring a friend! If you need transportation please see Sherrie or Kay, we will do our best to help. 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 UCCвЂ™s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects. Through UCCTakeAction.org, 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 UCCвЂ™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 ucc.org/nin; 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 вЂ“ 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 вЂњclean aluminumвЂќ pieces to the church for recycling, which not only helps this important ministry, but also the environment! Yard & Bake & Craft & Clothing Sale a Success! 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. вЂ“ 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 вЂњFor the members and friends of East Congregational Church, UCC, Concord, NH вЂ“ 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. IвЂ™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. вЂ“ 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 oneвЂ™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 GodвЂ™s love. As noted in the book, God is more powerful than anybodyвЂ™s past, no matter how wretched. This book has such a powerful message and cites through actual peopleвЂ™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 There? 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 вЂ“ 6:30 $8.00 for adults, $4 ages 6 вЂ“ 12, Free for 5 & under Church is 3/10 mile north of I 93 exit 16. We are wheelchair accessible. вЂњPROCLAIMING OUR UNITY:вЂќ 2014 ANNUAL MEETING OF THE GATHERED NEW HAMPSHIRE CONFERENCE, UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST CONVENES OCTOBER 25 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 вЂњProclaiming our UnityвЂќ, 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 вЂ“ вЂњThat they may all be oneвЂ¦вЂќ, this yearвЂ™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 вЂ“ 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 GodвЂ™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 4 4 7 7 9 10 12 13 17 17 20 25 25 29 29 30 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 Are YOU Connected with East Church? These days people do communicate in a wide variety of ways, and thatвЂ™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 www.eastchurchucc.org 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 вЂњlikeвЂќ us and press the button that says so, youвЂ™ll receive those updates on your Facebook page as they become available). Rev. Lowry also maintains a online blog called вЂњPastoral PonderingsвЂќ where he posts Sunday sermons and usually a mid-week devotional reflection. Also, every week (usually on Friday) we send out a weekly вЂњAll Church EMailвЂќ which includes announcements on the following SundayвЂ™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 вЂњe-mailing listвЂќ or the traditional mailing list for вЂњsnail mail,вЂќ please see the pastor! Merrimack Association Holds Fall Meeting at East Church; Dancing Unto the Lord Ensues! 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 dayвЂ™s program was on "Sacred Dance," led by East Church's own Sarah Lowry, along with Beverly Droulet and the Sacred Dancers from Havenwood Heritage Heights. And special thanks to Sherrie Berube and the WomenвЂ™s Fellowship for providing refreshments for the time of fellowship following the meeting! Upcoming at East Congregational UCC East Congregational United Church of Christ Sunday, October 5 вЂ“ Morning Worship with Sacrament of Holy Communion, 10:00 a.m. Followed by Stewardship Informational Meeting Sunday Schedule Worship and Sunday School -10:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 7 вЂ“ 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 вЂ“ Deacons Meeting, 10:00 a.m. WomenвЂ™s Fellowship, 1:30 p.m. Saturday, October 11 вЂ“ CROP Walk, 12:30 p.m. Sole Head of This Church: Jesus Christ Sunday, October 12 вЂ“ Morning Worship, 10:00 a.m. Ministers - The People of the Church Tuesday, October 14 вЂ“ Mind, Body and Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m Pastor - The Rev. Michael W. Lowry Phone: 603-856-8406 (h) 207-415-9674 В© Email: [email protected] Wednesday, October 15 вЂ“ Trustees Meeting, 5:45 p.m. Church Council, 7:00 p.m. Organist/Choir Director - Susan Goulet Moderator - Lance Parsons Clerk вЂ“ Deb Wilcox Deacons Chair вЂ“ Sherrie Berube Trustees Chair вЂ“ 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 вЂ“ Harvest Supper, 5:00-6:30 p.m. Sunday, October 19 вЂ“ Stewardship Sunday at East Church Morning Worship, 10:00 a.m. (Ingathering of Pledges and Commitments) Tuesday, October 21 вЂ“ Mind, Body and Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m. Choir Rehearsal, 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, October 22 вЂ“ By-Laws Task Force, 6:00 p.m. Sunday, October 26 вЂ“ Morning Worship, 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, October 28 вЂ“ Mind, Body and Soul Sisters, 5:15 p.m. Saturday, November 1 вЂ“ 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 вЂњGodsendвЂќ to someone in our community! Another way to give to the Love Offering Fund is by bringing your Aluminum Cans and other вЂњclean aluminumвЂќ 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!
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