April 2023 Newsletter

~ The Good News ~

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Pastor’s Message

Celebrating Holy Week 2023

 Our Schedule for Holy Week:

Sunday, April 2nd Palm Sunday, communion                           
Psalm 16
Scripture:         Philippians 2:5-11
Matthew 27:11-26 Sermon: “Jesus Refuses to Speak

Maundy Thursday, April 6th6:00 p.m.                             
Psalm 116:1-2, 12-19
Scripture:         1 Corinthians 11:23-36
Meditation: “Redirecting Our History

Good Friday, April 7th – 6:00 p.m. at Christ Church Episcopal, North Conway

The Service of Tenebrae (Service of Shadows) **

** We are pleased to announce there will be an Ecumenical Good Friday Service this year, hosted by Christ Church, Episcopal in North Conway at 6:00 p.mOur host pastor will be the Reverend Father Sinclair “Skippy” Ender. Father Sinclair received his Master of Divinity at the University of the South in 2018. He was ordained at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Davenport, Iowa, serving as Curate for 2 years. Later serving as a Lieutenant, Chaplain Corps, United States Navy, “Father Skippy” served as Hospitaller of Saint Martin. He now returns to Pastoral Ministry at Christ Church. He and his wife, Emily, have 2 daughters and will be living in Conway Village.


Easter Sunrise, April 9th – 6:00 a.m. 
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Scripture:         Jeremiah 31:1-6       John 20:1-18
Meditation: “Mary … It’s Me!

Easter Breakfast served in Fellowship Hall following Sunrise Service

Easter Morning Worship, April 10th10:00 a.m.                           
Psalm 118:1-2, 19-29
Scripture:     Matthew 28:1-10      Matthew 28:11-15
Meditation: “Jesus Got Up! What do We do Now?

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Thank You for Dinner

The Conway Village Congregational Church (the Brown Church) wishes to acknowledge the Mexican Restaurant, Café Noche, for donating the chicken used to create the Mediterranean Dinner on March 10th.  Sales for the dinner brought in $770.00 for the general budget. The generosity of Tom Kugel and Leah Folsom, owners of the Valley Original Restaurant, is greatly appreciated. We also wish to acknowledge the youth who decorated placemats for the evening’s event (it only cost me hot fudge sundaes!).

The Mediterranean Dinner was surprising. Why? We made desserts for 60 people and 38 people who sat down for the dinner ate them all! People came for dinner and stayed long after the event was supposed to end!  Volunteers donated hours of their time and were not only upbeat but joyous! The number of “eat-in” diners went up dramatically from our last dinner!  People could not decide whether the chocolate-chocolate chip, gluten-free cookies tasted like brownies or meringues!

The success of the evening was due to the generosity of so many people. The last tray of chicken was broken up to be delivered to people who because of illness or transportation issues could not attend. Overall, the event created so much joy. Thanks to everyone who made the event the success it became.

Rev. John Hughes

Thank You for the Gift of Music!

A farewell celebration for Stephanie Miles Vacchino was held during the fellowship hour following her last Sunday with us on March 19th.  This culminated her eight months of offering music on Sunday mornings for the Conway Village Congregational Church. Stephanie brought her experience as a Public-School Music Director, Piano Instructor, Choral Director, and Musical Support for various churches. Her contributions to our worship experience were not only deeply appreciated but will be sorely missed. We appreciate her patience, good-nature, and adaptability as we navigated the “virtual realities” of broadcasting music over the internet.

The Brown Church offers its prayers and best wishes to Stephanie as she begins as Organist, Accompanist, and Choir Director for the North Falmouth Congregational Church, in Falmouth, Massachusetts

From the Deacon’s Bench

The old saying is “April showers bring May flowers.” I would like to suggest that this April brings showers of blessings, gifts, and promises. Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter all come to us this month.

We are blessed with these special days to remind us of the gift from God of his Son whose life was sacrificed for us. We are given the promise of everlasting life if we believe in our Savior, Jesus, and follow his teachings. We receive God’s grace every day, even though we may fall short of our responsibilities and God’s expectations for us.

Yes, April is the month where we anticipate the coming of Spring and new beginnings. We look forward to warmer weather, green grass, blooming plants, and beautiful flowers. All those things we embrace with great anticipation. Let us also embrace God’s grace and his gift of eternal life for us. Let us have a new beginning this Spring to renew our faith and dedication to a Savior who gave all for us.

May you have a blessed Easter!  Nancy Divine

John 3-16-17: For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him.

Nancy Divine, Deacon of the month


Co-Chairs – Louise Saxby & Judy Workman; Treasurer – Dawn Vitters; Secretary – Beth Campbell, and Nancy Divine

Council Connections

The meeting was started with the approval of use of the simplified Robert Rules of Order for small groups which was supplied by John Edgerton. This is a much less formal setting that allows the group to interact, but still get things done.

February saw the church bring in $10,632.68 for the month, some of which were restricted dona- tions. The church has managed to make it through two months in the black. However, the surplus that we started the year with is almost gone. March will likely be the month where we start to see the effects of the deficit budget kicking in. The Council requested one tweak to the cash flow report so that it shows a run- ning balance by date rather than just the typical credits and debits. This will let everyone know how the cash flow is happening without having to add or subtract payments that are not due yet.

Since the Deaconate is footing the bills for worship programing, it was decided to put the Marshall Fund dividend of $578.00 in the Deaconate checking account. It was also decided that a new checking account would be opened for Outreach. This way the money that the church designated for mission will go directly into that account to be available for disbursement when needed. Past years, if the money was not used it was just absorbed into the general checking. This will be a fairer way of showing the congregation that the money that they earmarked for mission will actually get spent on mission work.

The Pastor’s account has been hit very hard as late and only has about $36.00 left in the account.

The Council agreed to put out a donation jar during Easter breakfast to help replenish that account.

The Council discussed at great length the plans for the Spring Fling. Anne is willing to head this fundraiser, but we need your help. Women’s Bible Study is heading up the plant sale, Wally & Beth Campbell are heading up the food. We are looking for volunteers to make crafts to sell, good condition items for a yard sale, volunteers to go to area businesses to gather gift donations and to pitch the tree lighting program that we hope to expand this year in the village. We are also looking into running a bingo event and to have live music playing during the Spring event. So, if you can help the church out with assisting in any of these important functions, please let the office know.

Church dinners as a fundraiser may be ending, as the cost of food is prohibitive to making money with only charging $15.00. The church would have a hard time selling any dinners if the cost was set to $25-$30 per plate. This does not mean that church dinners won’t happen anymore, they just won’t happen as a stand – alone fundraiser.

Easter plans are all set, Palm Sunday service, Maundy Thursday service, Easter Sunrise with breakfast following and Easter services. Please invite all your friends and family to attend.

Blessings to all,

Carl F. Vitters, Moderator


April is here already. We hope to soon be greeted by crocuses, daffodils and more blooming through the snow, new life to signal the coming of Spring. Just as we celebrate Holy Week and Christ’s resurrection bringing new life to each and every one of us on Easter Sunday.  While on the topic of flowers and Easter, most churches are filled with iconic white Lillys at Easter. I never put much thought into why the Lilly, in particular is the Easter flower. I always assumed it was just because they are white and beautiful and a flower mentioned many times in the Bible. But it turns out there is more to the story;

The Easter Lily is an iconic symbol of Spring with deep roots in American and Christian traditions. The Easter Lily features long, slender leaves encircling large, beautiful white blooms. In the Christian tradition, the Easter Lilies were nicknamed “white-robed apostles of hope” and their white color symbolizes the purity of Christ. The trumpet shape of the Lily bloom heralds the message that Christ has risen on Easter Sunday. Their growth cycle also echoes the Christian tradition of the Resurrection. An Easter Lily begins as a brown, stubby bulb that grows in the ground for three years before emerging with a beautiful white bloom. These three years echo the three days Christ spent in the tomb before his resurrection on Easter Sunday. This symbolic tradition associates the Easter Lily with hope, purity and rebirth.1

We hope to see many of you during the upcoming Holy Week at the church or via zoom. Happy Easter!

The trustees thank John Hughes and all of the volunteers who made the March 10th dinner possible, and those who purchased dinners.   It was wonderful to welcome back some folks we had not seen in a while,  and to hear the joyful noise coming from fellowship hall. Thank you to Café Noche for their generous donation of the food for this dinner.

Our next event is our typically our second biggest annual fundraising event, the Spring Fling which will be on Saturday, May 20th.  There are many aspects to this event, and we will need a lot of time and talent contributions from our church community both in preparation for the event and for the actual event on the 20th.  Here is a list of the segments we expect to incorporate into this event, which areas speak to you that you might help with?  Yard Sale, Plant Sale, Bake Sale, Gift Baskets Sale, Pick-a-Prize raffle, Crafters, and BBQ Luncheon. We are hoping to expand the event to include some additional items this year, under consideration are: Fresh Produce Sale, Balloon Sales, Live Music, Children’s Activities, and some form of Military/Veteran’s recognition, as it will be Armed Forces Day and shortly before Memorial Day.  There will be a lot of pre-event work to be done for this event, approaching area businesses for donations, particularly those businesses in the Conway Village area, organizing yard sale donations, baking for the bake sale, and event logistics. Please reach out to a trustee or council member to let us know what you would like to help with.  We also need everyone to talk up this event among your friends & family, at the hairdressers/barbershop, at work or social events. We will have flyers available for distribution. Thank you in advance for your contribution to the success of this event.

We wish you a Happy and Blessed Easter and a joy filled Spring from the Conway Village Church Trustees.

Trustee Board: Anne Getchell, John Edgerton, Duddie Andrews, Nancy Irving, Nancy Divine, Tom Workman, ex officio member, Treasurer

1 Credit to Flower Works Blog posted April 4, 2021, by Andrea Forsberg