FROM THE PASTORS PEN
Ten years. A Decade. An important definer of a significant period of time.
Ten years ago this month, on June 24th, the members of the First Congregational Church of Pelham, United Church of Christ, extended a Call to ministry to me. After a period of Discernment and Search, we came together over a Pot Luck Supper and the next day gathered for worship after which a vote of the Congregation was made, and you welcomed Maureen and the boys and me into your church family. A decade ago….
In so many ways the time has flown by so fast. This time of year I enjoy gathering pictures over the years for our Graduates and Confirmation Classes to document our time together and look back at those pictures from their early Sunday School and Youth Group years. As when we reminisce we undoubtedly get nostalgic and lament time moving so quickly. I have done the same with this important milestone. The average length of Call for a Pastor to a local church in the United Church of Christ is between seven and eight year of ministry. While I am not quite there yet, the kids who are graduating now were seven and eight years old when we arrived. You have invited me to be part of special events; baptisms, weddings and Funeral services, Old Home Days and Fourth of Julys, Christmases and Thanksgivings and Easter services.
I do so appreciate and hold you all so close in my heart for the time in ministry we have spent together. And we have continued memories to build in the time we have left to spend together living and working for the glory of God! I would like to thank my outstanding co-workers for their support over the past ten years; Tom as our Music Director, Sue as our Church Organist, Sharon as Bell Choir leader, Joe as Church Treasurer, Laurie as Sexton and those who served previously in these positions. This month I say goodbye to my “Radar O’Rielly”, (for you M*A*S*H enthusiasts), Peggy Murphy, as she sets out on her path of retirement. Peggy, thank you so much for your service to me personally and to your church family!
A decade. Businessman Ming Chan says this about the importance of a “decade”; “We had finally become who we wanted to be: specialized, agile, partners. A lot of things changed over the last 10 years for us to fully embody and embrace those three words. The prospect of creating change gets us up and ready to go every morning. The partnerships that enable us to make this happen are the lifeblood of what we do.”
In terms of being a church who is called to preach the Gospel and to share the vision of God’s love for all God’s children, teaching the ways of Jesus Christ and with the guidance of the Holy Spirit, your partnership enables us to make this happen as you are the life-blood of what we do!
In our worship
Congratulations to Deb and Joe Calabro on the April 18th arrival of their new
granddaughter, Ava Rose.
CONGRATULATIONS CONFIRMATION CLASS
On Sunday June 4th we will welcome our 2017 Confirmation Class as they accept
the responsibility for their own walk in faith in Jesus Christ and as they affirm their baptismal vows of their parents on their behalf as their own, then welcome them into the full life and membership of the First Congregational Church of Pelham United Church of Christ. We welcome:
MICHALY MARGARET OXNER – daughter of Margaret and Michael
KYLE ROBERT SURPRENANT – son of Melanie and Kenneth
COLE JOSEPH WILKERSON – son of Lucy and
WITH PROFOUND THANKS…
For over nineteen years, Peggy Murphy has been our Church Administrator here at First Congregational Church of Pelham UCC. After serving for many years as the Director of the Steepletop Kindergarten program, she moved “upstairs” to handle the responsibilities of running the Church office and has been invaluable to our needs.
A Church Administrator plays many roles in that position. Peggy has been responsible for the care of our church records, for the critical Clerical work that needs to be done, (anyone doing clerical type of work or assisting church leadership, trying to keep Committee Chairs on task, and Pastors informed knows it is no easy task.) She has been responsible for coordination of events of our church, the “Keeper of the Calendar”, and has served as the first contact of people who call in or stop by the church for help.
Many pastors would feel lost without this type of Church support. Often Peggy has undoubtedly made the three Pastors she has worked beside, and others as well, look better than they really are and rarely gets the credit. Many ministries would be disorganized and floundering without this help. Often people do not stop to think about why things run so efficiently.
Many people would not have a good first impression if someone wasn’t there to warmly greet and connect them to the help they need. Often we don’t think of how important that is to outsiders.
Peggy has announced her retirement as of June 2, 2017. She has faithfully served in her role of “ministry “and will be missed by all and blessed for her future journey as well! Thank you, Peggy, on behalf of the members of the church, for your pastoral role among us! You were and are indeed special and important and we were blessed sharing the journey together!
As you enjoy your retirement with Neal and your family, we offer you our continued love and support. Thank you for your years of service to our community!
Once again, our Summer Sunday Schedule will begin the first Sunday of July (3rd), with the time of Worship changing to 9:30 AM until the first Sunday of September (3rd).
We are looking forward to our worship time this summer, and offer many opportunities for members to share their musical talents and volunteer as Hospitality Hosts and Hostesses after church. If you would like to help with either, please speak with Tom Seniow or any member of the Hospitality Volunteers after church.
Congratulations to our Graduates!
On Sunday, May 21, we recognized and honored our 2017 High School Graduates!
(Front Row L to R)
Olivia Dorman, Sarah Hartz, Rachel Marion, Angela Getty and Artie Cummings.
(Back Row L to R) Hunter Duggan, Morgan Pratt and Kevin Frey.
In our classroom
As we draw closer to the end of the Sunday School Year, many of us are thinking of our summer vacations, beaches and time in the sun! However there are still lots of things going on with our Christian Education that we want to share with you!
Coming up on June 11th, we have Children’s Sunday, where the children will lead the service. We have something special and different planned where we will need congregation participation, so we hope you can plan to join us for this special Sunday! Our final Sunday School Rotation focuses on all the Bible lessons they have learned throughout the year and learning the Lord’s Prayer in Sign Language! And plan to stay for the picnic after Children’s Sunday service.
We plan to continue the same rotation model next year which will start in September, but over the summer we will be offering a one room type schoolhouse one Sunday a month to provide a different activity and learning opportunity for our Summer Sunday School attendees! If you would like to offer to help we would greatly appreciate it! Speak with Sandi or Kelley!
We also have our Mission trip coming up in July. We had a slight hiccup with our fundraising plans due to the water ban, but now that the Water Ban has been partially lifted, we are good to go to help our youth fund their trip.
Our final Adult Education Bible Study Class will be held on June 1st at 7 PM. “Making Sense of the Bible; Issues of Sexuality and Relationships in the Bible”. Join us!
Lastly, if you are interested in volunteering to teach one of our Rotation Classes for the 2017-2018 school year, please reach out to Kelly Sauer – it is never too early to sign up!
Stay well and God bless!
From the CE Committee
CHILDREN’S SUNDAY BAR B QUE!
Directly after church, in celebration of Children’s Sunday, the Stewardship Committee will be providing a BBQ! We will be serving hamburgers, hot dogs, watermelon and chips. There will also be cake for dessert! We will also be hosting a special raffle event that you can purchase tickets for.
The prize is 5 tickets to a Patriot’s pre-season football game on August 10th. The raffle tickets will be $1.00 each; $10.00 for 12 and $20 for 25. You must be present at the BBQ to win! We will be selling tickets ahead of time through the office if you would like to pre-purchase them.
“First Thursday Bible Study” continues on June 1st at
7:00 PM. This month, we will be discussing “Wrestling with issues
Of Sexuality and Relationships.”
YOUTH GROUP NEWS
YOUTH GROUP CAR WASHES ARE BACK ON!
SATURDAY MAY 27th 10 AM and SATURDAY JUNE 17th 10 AM
in the Church Parking Lot!
Help Support our trip to New Orleans!
LAST MONTH’S ANSWER
Acts 17 describes Paul speaking about God to the people of Athens in front of — incredibly! — a site that still exists. What is that site? A. The Panathenaic Stadium B. The Areopagus C. The Acropolis and the Parthenon D. The Temple of Hephaestus
Answer: B (See Acts 17:22.)
The “Trinitarian formula” occurs only once in the Bible. In which New Testament book do we read “in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,” and who said these words? A. Romans; Paul B. 1 Peter; Simon Peter C. The Acts of the Apostles; Luke D. Matthew; Jesus
The bee symbolizes various traits across cultures and faiths, including community, industry and resurrection. Its sting may represent judgment, while its honey calls to mind the sweetness of divine riches. Multiple times in the Old Testament, the Promised Land is described as “flowing with milk and honey” (e.g., Exodus 3:8), and the Psalms declare God’s words “sweeter than honey” (19:10; 119:103).
In Our Work
FROM THE DIACONATE
“My soul wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is
from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my
defense; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and
my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.
Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour our your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:5-8
Please join us for some wonderful events in June:
• June 4th: Confirmation Sunday and Pentecost
• June 11th: Children’s Sunday, Baptism, Church Barbeque Outside
• June 18th: Father’s Day
REMINDER: SUMMER WORSHIP HOURS BEGIN JULY 2nd 2 9:30 AM through the end of August.
ACOLYTES– We thank all of our Sunday School kids who participated as Acolytes this past year. You all did an awesome job! If you are here over the Summer we would be glad to have you help us during worship!
GREETERS– Summers are a wonderful time for visitors to come and spend time with us on Worship. If you would like to help as a Greeter to welcome them, please speak to any Deacon on Duty, listed in your Bulletins each week. This is a great way for you to meet your fellow members and visitors. You can sign up for one time or multiple times.
ALTAR FLOWERS– If you would like to purchase flowers for the altar, please contact the office. 635-7025. You are welcome to take the flowers after Service or ask a Deacon to donate them to a shut-in.
NAME TAGS – We are encouraging everyone to wear their name tags on Sundays. If you need a name tag, the signup sheet is located near the name tag bulletin board in the hall between the Sanctuary and Fellowship Hall.
FRIENDSHIP BOOKS– Speaking of names, we encourage everyone to please sign their names in the black books in the pews, pass this book down to your pew neighbor, and then pass it back to the center aisle. While you do this, take a look at the names of those sitting with you!
CHURCH DIRECTORY – Our Church directory continues to be available on the Church website, and was just updated with many of our new members! Click on “About Us” from the list on the home page, and then scroll down to the bottom to a viewing link. The Directory is open to ALL our church family, even if you are not a member. All are Welcome! PS: If you need (or forgot) the password to access, ask any Deacon or committee member (we never write it down!). If you haven’t already done so, please consider adding your (or your family’s) picture to the directory!
RIDE TO CHURCH? If anyone has a need for transportation to church or a church function (e.g. church dinners/suppers), please contact the church office or a Deacon
Worship Coordinators & Greeters for June
Rachael Grossman, Chris Bulkley Greeters: Woman’s Fellowship
The next Diaconate meeting is June 13th at 7PM.
As always, please contact a member of the Diaconate with any questions, comments, or suggestions. Diaconate Co-chairs Bob Diack can be reached at bob.disck@siriusdecisions,com and Chris Bulkley at Christopherbulkley@gmail.com.
In our ministry
FROM THE MISSION COMMITTEE
Our Mother’s Day collection of new baby and toddler items for the Upper Room
program in Derry was a huge success. We collected 120 total items and packages
including clothing, diapers, toiletries, baby wipes, blankets, bibs, changing pads, pacifiers and maternity, parenting and baby books. The Upper Room organization was thrilled to pick up your donated items on May 17th. Thank You!
June dates for our monthly hands-on mission projects include Monday, June 5th at the Wish Project in Lowell; Saturday, June 10th at the Nashua Soup Kitchen; and Monday, June 26th at Lazarus House in Lawrence. See the sign-up sheets in Fellowship Hall or just ask a Mission Committee member if you are interested in donating some of your time and talent to these worthy causes.
Our next Community Dinner night is Friday, June 16th, so listen and watch for requests for food donations, food prep, room setup, and wait staff and kitchen help. A very special thank you goes out to Enterprise Bank who made another very generous $500 donation in support of our Community Dinner program. This provides a very timely source of support when our existing Community Dinner funds had started to dwindle.
Our congregation was just recognized once again as a “5 for 5 Congregation” for supporting the 5 special offerings of the UCC in 2016. The five offerings include Our Church’s Wider Mission (OCWM) Basic Support, Neighbors In Need, One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS), the Christmas Fund, and the Strengthen the Church special mission offerings. This is no small feat because only a small percentage of New Hampshire UCC churches accomplish ‘5 for 5’ status, but our church has been doing it for many consecutive years now.
As always, thank you for your generous support of all our mission and outreach projects.
Submitted by Dan Murphy for Your Mission Committee
We recently received this recognition from the New Hampshire Conference of the UCC thanking us forour Contributions to Basic Support and each of thefour Special offerings throughout the year. It is the 7th year in a row we have been faithfulwith our contributions!
In our community
Book Club will be meeting, Thursday, June 22nd at 7:00 PM, in the Church
Parlor. This month’s book for discussion is “The Things We Keep” by Sally
Women’s Fellowship will be collecting donations for blankets (in honor of Mother’s
Day) and tools (in honor of Father’s Day) on Sunday, June 18th. Envelopes will be
included in the bulletin that Sunday.
Our annual summertime potluck picnic will again be held at Deb Schneider’s home
in Tyngsboro , MA on Tuesday, June 27th at 6:00 PM. Please bring an appetizer, main course dish or desert to share, and we will have a lot of fun and fellowship. All women in the church are invited to attend.
PELHAM PUBLIC LIBRARY SPEAKER
June 8th – 6:00 PM
The Pelham Public Library is presenting a program featuring Kati Preston, a Survivor of the Holocaust at 5 year of age. Join us as we hear the stories we should never forget.
PELHAM MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE
May 29th, 2017
9:00 AM VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARK
11:00 AM GIBSON CEMETERY
PELHAM GOOD NEIGHBOR FUND REQUEST FOR FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE
If you are a resident of Pelham and are looking for assistance with heat, electricity, food, rent and other household expenses, please call one of the following telephone numbers. Your call will be held in strict confidence or visit us on our website at www.pelhamgoodneighborfund.org. You can also make a credit card donation on line through the same website at www.pelhamgoodneighborfund.org or you can send us a donation by making your check payable to: Pelham Good Neighbor Fund
P.O. Box 953
Pelham, NH 03076
All donations are tax deductible since we are a non-profit 501(C)(3) charitable organization tax:
FIRST AID NEEDS
As we assess some of the needs of the church, one category that is often
overlooked is being prepared for Medical Emergencies. Our first Aid kit is
woefully inadequate, at the moment consisting of mismatch Band-Aid and one tube of ointment for scrapes!
We would like to purchase a fully stocked First Aid kit that we can have on hand for a very busy church! We would also like to purchase an AED Device. An “automated external defibrillator” (AED) is a portable device that checks the heart rhythm and can send an electric shock to the heart to try to restore a normal rhythm. AEDs are used to treat sudden cardiac arrest, a condition in which the heart suddenly and unexpectedly stops beating. The Pelham Fire Department has an EXCELLENT course in First Aid and in the use of an AED. Rev. Bill and Maureen recently completed the 8 hour training.
We are starting a donation Fund for the purchase of these items. If you would like to donate, please feel free to do so. Thank you!
Pelham, NH Old Home Day Hourly Raffle
Once again, you may reserve hourly raffle tickets by filling out the form below,
and sending it to the church with a check made out to First Congregational Church for the appropriate amount.
I will put your tickets in the raffle jar, and record your information beside the ticket #s in the raffle notebook.
I’ll be rounding up the prizes until the big day!! Each one is a winner – waiting for you! Good luck!
Have a great summer! See you in September!
O.H.D. Hourly Raffle Coordinator
Pelham, NH 111thOld Home Day Raffle
September 16th, 2017
1 Ticket ($1.00)______________ Name___________________________
6 Tickets ($5.00)_____________ Address_________________________
15 Tickets ($10.00)____________ Phone #_________________________
Return the bottom portion of this form along with the amount due to the First Congregational Church by 9/14/17.
P.O. Box 847
Pelham, NH 03076