“whatever you do for the least of these…”
“Strangely Out of Place”
As we come to the end of 2020, we will have been in quarantine from March 15th through December 31st, 291 days! It has been quite a year for “The Brown Church”. Charles Dickens opens his novel, A Tale of Two Cities, with a quote:
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,
it was the age of foolishness, it was the age of wisdom,
it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness,
it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair …”
Charles Dickens uses the quote to contrast 2 cities, London and Paris, before and during the French Revolution, yet in our case, we could use the quote for how different individuals have responded to the Covid- 19 Pandemic. It seems as if we are witnessing thoughtful, methodical moments, at the same time, we were witnessing thoughtless reactions and chaotic stupidity.
At Conway Village Congregational Church, we chose to not react to the Pandemic by demanding our religious rights and keeping a strict ‘Separation of Church and State’. Instead, we worked with public recommendations, as well as, applied for public grants, to guarantee the health and welfare of the Mt. Washington Valley. That has always been the mission of our Church, to serve our greater community.
While we have met (and to continue to meet) virtually for worship and Bible study, we have adapted our in-person, community feeding programs to meet a heightened demand. Food insecurity is on the rise! Our pantry is a good example. We continue to accept ‘walk-ins’ (41 families which means 101 people) and ‘regular clients’ (114 families which means 273 people served), for a total of 155 families (374 people) who, because of food insecurity, are continually relying on our services. Our Thanksgiving Baskets numbered 129 for 2020; our Thanksgiving Baskets last year numbered 68.
Some people will see these numbers and say, “It’s the worst of times … the number of families who are hungry has doubled … How terrible!” Yet, at the same moment, other people reading the same figures will say, “How wonderful that the generosity and the volunteers of our Church has allowed us to serve twice as many meals in a secure, sanitary environment to guarantee the health and welfare of our Valley!”
Perhaps it is best to quote humorist, Art Buchwald, who once said:
“Whether it is the best of times or the worst of times…
It is the only time we have.”
At “The Brown Church”, we have made the best of the times (and the demands) we have been given. Whatever the future holds, we continue to hope and pray, that God will guide us to serve those who most need our assistance.
Rev. John Hughes
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Notice of Annual Meeting
TO: All Members and Friends of the Conway Village Congregational Church
The Annual Meeting of the Membership of the Conway Village Congregational Church will be held on Sunday, January 31, 2021, at approximately 11:30 am in the Fellowship Hall of the Conway Village Congregational Church after worship. Please be aware that the Annual Meeting will be conducted right after church via Zoom meeting platform. Voting will be done via roll call method. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the office for the phone in information.
The purpose of this Annual Meeting will be:
- To hear reports of the officers, board and standing committees for the preceding year.
- To approve a Budget for 2021.
- To elect officers, board and standing committee members for 2021.
- To conduct any other business that may come to the floor of the meeting.
Dated at: Conway, New Hampshire, on the 22th of December 2020
Dawn Vitters, Clerk