Conway Village

Congregational Church

August 2023

The Good News!

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Pastor’s Message ~ Making Crisp Decisions

Recently a call came in from Amy Mahoney.  Will you be starting up HalloweeTown again?”, I asked. The Laura Foundation for Autism & Epilepsy has benefited from the fun draiser, Halloween Town, the decoration of 25 cabins, (both scary and funny), for local families and their children. The Brown Church has always supported the event by selling Apple Crisp and donating the proceeds. The event is especially important to families who live on dark and remote roads where trick and treating cannot be done safely. It was a source of fundraising for 11 years before the Covid-19 Pandemic cancelled it, in 2020.

Amy said Halloween Town, was restarting Saturday, October 21st from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. This year”, Amy explained, the event is critically important because my other yearly fundraiser, Pond Hockey, had to be cancelled because the month of January was so warm, and the ice was unsafe. The Laura Foundation is in dire need of funds.

A quick call was made to Carl Vitters to make sure our Fryeburg Fair needs will be met, and that extra apples could be available for Amy s needs. Apples are expected to be in short supply (and perhaps elevated in price) , due to unexpected Springtime frost which blighted orchards in New England.  Carl confirmed our church will have an ample supply to support both events. A return call to Amy allowed a Crisp Decisionto be made. Later it was learned that the refrigerator unit in the Apple Crisp trailer will need to be replaced, so it has been included in the Trustees Appeal. Churches run on prayers and generosity ”, my seminary professor used to say, churches are always in need of both .” (No truer words were ever uttered!)

Please join me in supporting our church and neighbors in need, through your prayers, volunteering, and generosity.

Rev. John Hughes <’}>< <’}}><< <’}}}><<<<

Diaconate Message

We have heard the song “Bring the Rain” by Mercy Me many times but have we thought of what that song is saying to us. The first line of the song is asking how can we praise God with what we are going through. Well that’s easy one for me to answer because without God by my side through everything I have been through, I would have been a total wreck. It’s a profound thought because it can be challenging to find gratitude and praise when we’re going through trials. He is always there for us even when don’t think he is. The song also talks about how life has changed before these rainy days. While the lyrics may not be literally referring to rainy days, they serve as a metaphor for the hardships and changes we encounter throughout life. The storms we face can be physical, emotional, or spiritual. Regardless of the nature of these challenges, the song suggests that God is our shelter and protector, providing safety and peace even in the midst of chaos.             

During the tornado watch on Sunday, I had a sense of security and peace which illustrates the trust and faith we have in God’s protection. This is a beautiful testament to the belief that God is always present, even when we may not perceive His presence immediately.

The song, in its essence, encourages us to turn to God in all circum- stances and find hope in His unchanging love. May your faith continue to bring you strength and comfort, and may you always find solace in God’s presence. Here is the link to the YouTube channel to listen to the song:  Bring the Rain by MercyMe

Written by Dawn Vitters, assisted by (AI-ChatGPT)

Diaconate: Judy Workman and Louise Saxby, Co-Chairs;  Beth Campbell, Dawn Vitters, Nancy Divine

Food Pantry Wish List

Ramen Noodles-Chicken or Beef
Rice-A-Roni-Chicken or Beef
Ketchup – 20 oz.
Mustard – 20 oz
Mayo – small jar
Stable Milk box – 20 oz.
Juice – Orange or Apple – 64 oz.
Small Soup – Chicken Noodle or Tomato
Jelly – Grape or Strawberry-16 oz.
Small canned Chicken or Tuna-5 oz.
Baked Beans – 15 oz.
Tomato Sauce – 15 oz.
Beef Stew – Canned – 15 oz.
Boxed Crackers – 1 lb.
Boxed Spaghetti – 1 lb.
Canned Veggies – Peas, Carrots-15 oz. Instant Oatmeal – 1 lb.
Paper Towels
Toilet paper – individually wrapped
Shampoo – White Rain or Suave-24 oz.
Dawn Dish detergent – small size

Council Connections

We have made it to the half-way point in the budget year. We have had to draw some funds from the endowment to cover expenses. To date we have drawn $17,000 from the endowment. This isn’t great, but it’s a big improvement considering that we are half-way through a $60,000.00 deficit budget.

That said, we have some unbudgeted repairs and purchases that need to be paid for this year.

The Trustee Appeal is asking for the following items: First and foremost is a new two-door cooler for the fair. We are looking around for best prices, but the price range looks to be $2,400 – $3,000. Second, the temporary roof repair that I applied to the valley in the roof over 12 years ago is beginning to fail. We are gathering prices from some roofing companies. We can’t even guess what this would cost and whether or not any roofer will be willing to do a repair to a repair. Third, the large classroom downstairs which has an old tile floor is breaking apart. Removing the tiles would be costly. So we are proposing to get carpet that can be glued down over the tiles. We are getting estimates from a few local companies, but the price range is $2,800 – $3,500 depending on the type of carpet used. Fourth on the list is some electrical work that is needed at the parsonage. The estimate for this work is $3,500.

The Trustee Appeal is for a minimum of $10,000. Even though this was not brought up at the semi-annual meeting on July 16th, the Deaconate has expended a lot of money on things in the sanctu- ary. The latest cost being a nearly $3,000 bill for new electrical wiring so that the church could finally get it’s occupancy license renewed.

I know things are tight in everyone’s personal budgets these days, and the church is simply asking you to help out in any way you can. With the Fryeburg Fair fast approaching, we will need your volunteer services to get us through to the end of the year. Next year’s budget will most likely be one of the hardest budgets to propose. Unless we can increase the pledging numbers of members, there will be some diffi- cult decisions that will have to be made. The path that we are now finding ourselves on is not sustaina- ble.

On a happier note, we are knee-deep in Fryeburg Fair preparations and we are really excited about the Tree Lighting/Holiday Fair event in December. We are looking forward to growing this event and the local businesses are eager to help participate. I am already scouting out another tree that I can cut for in front of the church.

Curt Reynolds and I will be covering for Rev. Hughes while he is away. Curt will be doing two ser- vices and I will be doing two services. We look forward to bringing you the good news of Christ from a Lay Minister’s point of view. We hope that you will come out and give your support to us. During Covid, I know what it felt like to preach in an empty sanctuary. The word really comes to life, and you can really feel the spirit when two or more are present.

Blessings to all, Carl F. Vitters, Moderator

From the Trustees

Whoever has been praying for rain (or rain dancing) lately, you can take a break now!

The church had a mid-year meeting after the service on July 16th. Thank you to the 30 at- tendees either in the sanctuary or on zoom. It is important to keep the congregation up to date on the church’s finances. We appreciate all and any feedback.

We thank all those who are keeping current with their pledges. As explained, the church is challenged to make ends meet. The Trustee appeals help us take care of unbudgeted, unplanned expenses.

Fundraisers help to fill the cash flow gaps, but take a lot of time and energy from the volunteer base we have at the Brown Church. The most important fundraiser of the year is the Fryeburg Fair.
While it is not until the first week of October, the planning and organizing has already begun. Securing the apple order from an orchard and buying the dry goods and all supplies happens now.
We need you all to be thinking about volunteering for the fair prep and working in the booth. A volunteer list will soon be available in Fellowship Hall and in the office. If you need more information on what the tasks are, you can ask a trustee. Please look it over and if you can commit now, it helps with the planning.

You may not know that the preparation and baking of the 480 pans of crisp is typically done by 4 or 5 individuals. They spend many hours on their feet! If you would like to help them this year, check with Nancy Divine.

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

Church Humor

Adam & Eve, the first people to NOT read the apple terms & conditions.

Tweet others as you would like to be Tweeted.

There are some questions that can’t be answered by Google.

Are you hot? Come inside, we’re prayer conditioned.