Conway Village

Congregational Church

June 2024

Click the newsletter link below to view or download the newsletter

A Year of Challenges

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not yet seen.”                                                                                            Hebrews 11:1

2024 has been “A Year of Challenges”. On Monday, December 18, 2023, when the flood waters breached our church, the destruction was sudden and overwhelming. The chaos that resulted put a halt to our developing programs as well as to our established missions to the greater Mount Washington Valley. The church was always faithful to its commitment to the health and wellbeing of our neighbors and community when our way of life came crashing to a halt. Our church has since been confronted with very real challenges.

The demands we face call for new commitments, new directions, new collaborations. Insurance companies, FEMA, town officials, fire codes, remediation requirements, grant writing, emergency funding, zoning restrictions, building codes, contracting, and engineering, all had to be addressed in a timely and consistent manner. Weekly staff meetings confronted complex problems with determination and competing demands with prioritization.

Through it all, our leadership sustained a confident spirit and genuine faith. Our focus is directed to positive out- comes and innovative thinking. The vote taken on April 21st at the Special Church Meeting reflects the integrity of our community and is an affirmation of our work over the past 5 months.

We now are to reestablish our missions before we consider returning to worship in our sanctuary. This two- step process demonstrates what our community values most. We envision our mission of feeding those with food

insecurity, offering direction to the aimless and lost, and supporting those overwhelmed by crisis as our priority. We will be reopening the top floor of our existing building, creatively using our limited space to reestablish the Dinner Bell, Food Pantry, and our self-help groups. This will demand a clearer understanding of how available space will be used, a flexibility in how different groups collaboratively support each other, and a commitment to rethinking what church is and how it must operate.

We have already seen how the Conway Village community is responding. The American Legion Post 46 Fish Fry was a great success and yielded solid financial support. Tuckerman’s Brewery is dedicating a Sunday,

June 9th event to raising restoration funds, while a joint effort with the Historical Society and Robert Frost School is being planned. Musicians and bands are asking if they can help raise money for our recovery as well.

The faith in our church, and the community’s response to it, is inspiring! Hebrews 11:1 says, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for”, meaning people of faith are meant to live with “confident expectation”, that inspires them to work for a future reality. We are in a faithful time when people are living through events which

will positively reshape their lives and clearly impact the lives of people around them. Our “Year of Challenges” continues. Someone recently asked, “Do you think God is testing you?” to which I replied, “I think God is calling us together … to a new and exciting future!

Thank you all for your continuing support, inspiration, and faith,

Rev. John Hughes                                                                                         June 2024

Notice of Special Meeting

Dated: May 22, 2024

TO: All Members and Friends of the Conway Village Congregational Church

Special Meeting to be held Sunday, July 21st 2024

Change of Worship Service for July 21st, 2024  to begin at 9:30am

 We have moved the service time to 9:30 am to provide sufficient time for both our worship service and our special meeting, while being mindful of the Majestic’s schedule.

A Special Meeting of the Membership of the Conway Village Congregational Church will be held on Sunday, July 21, at approximately 10:30 am following the church service in person and via Zoom. As in the past, the vote will be for members only and will be conducted by roll call. Please use the weekly link for the church service to participate in this vote if you are attending by Zoom.

The purpose of this Special Meeting will be:

  1. Building reopening
  2. Review the 2024
  3. Review Church
  4. To conduct any other business that may come to the floor of the

Dated at: Conway, New Hampshire, on the 22nd of May 2024

Melody Bergman,
Administrative Assistant

Our Little Brown Church

Our little Brown Church is now quite a mess,
Mother Nature was cruel but we know we are blessed . . .
To have been spared for so long from a ravishing flood.
To be awakened by the awesome power of the Lord.

In so many ways we really were spared
And the work will continue ‘till all is repaired.
It’s going to take time—so we all must abide,
So much to be done—God will provide.

A church is not an ordinary place,
It’s the House of God where we find peace and grace.
In a “blink of an eye” this was taken away.
When we’re brought to our knees, then we must pray!

Who knows why God had this in his plan.
Was it just a reminder to show us he can . . .
Shake us all up to our very core,
Show us life is not always an open door?

One thing is certain—we have many good friends
Who have offered support and their wholehearted blessings,
Our Little Brown Church will soon mend together,
Fullfill it’s commitments and be better than ever.

Meanwhile, let’s be thankful for our many blessings.
Pay attention and learn from valued life-lessons.

Mary Russo

Sunday, June 2nd – Membership Sunday/Communion
Scripture: Psalm 139:1-6, 13-18,    1 Samuel 3:1-14,   2 Corinthians 4:5-12
Sermon: “We are Treasures in Clay Jars”

Sunday, June 9th – 3rd Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: Psalm 138,    2 Corinthians 4:13-5:1,   Mark 3:20-35
Sermon: “I Believed, so I Spoke”

Sunday, June 16th – 4th Sunday of Pentecost 
Scripture: Psalm 20,    1 Samuel 15:34-16:3,    Mark 4:26-34
Sermon: “We Don’t Know How the Kingdom Grows”

Sunday, June 23rd – 5th Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: Psalm 9:9-20,    1 Samuel 17:32-40,   Mark 4:35-41
Sermon: “Why are You Afraid?”

Sunday, June 30th – 6th Sunday of Pentecost
Scripture: Psalm 130,    2 Corinthians 8:7-15,   Mark 5:24-34
Sermon: “I Will Be Well!”


Welcome June!
The Trustees continue to meet once a month, but a lot of work is done in between meetings.

In May, we met with the Masonic Lodge #87. They are in need of space for their monthly meetings and would like to use the church. They know the current status of the church, and will wait for us to get the work done to re-open.

We thank those who have kept up with their pledges, it helps to keep the bills paid. Our utility bills are down of course and we plan to begin working on 2024-2025 budgets and will add in the anticipated utility expenses once all the systems are up and running and the building is open. We do hope a new heating system will be much more economical.

PLEASE save the date, we plan to have another Special Meeting after church on Sunday, July 21st. At that time, we will review the proposed budget and bring you up to date on the work needed to re-open.

We all agree that we need to get the Food Pantry and Dinner Bell back up and running. It is unlikely that the old pantry space can be used for anything but storage for now. The temporary plan will be to have the pantry in Fellowship Hall.

In order to use the building, the church will need to get an occupancy permit from the town. At this time, we do not know what limitations there may be in using the bottom floor. We are hoping to meet with them, along with Bergeron Technical Services, in the near future.

Nancy Divine and Anne Getchell met with a FEMA team for the Recovery Scope Meeting. They had representatives addressing Civil Rights (ADA) , Environmental (oil spill and historical building), Mitigation (doing work beyond just replacing what was there, ex. the heating system) and NH Homeland Security. Kate from Bergeron Technical Services was with us. (We were glad to have her there!) The team’s function is to help us through the application process. They are not the same folks who are working with the town regarding Flood Plain zones, re-occupying flooded spaces etc. Kate noted that we will need to meet with the town in the near future.

Next steps:

  • FEMA site inspection week of May 28th
  • Weekly call in meetings start first week of June.
  • Bergeron still working on plan to re-open
  • Nancy D., Anne and Shawn Bergeron, will meet with the town to discuss what is needed for an Occupancy Permit.
  • We also need to discuss mitigation to prevent future flooding.

If you get a chance, take a look at the church siding in the area by the flag pole. Local contractor Jane Roberts took the rotted door out and replaced the siding. Water likely got into the church through that door.

SAVE THE DATES, we need your help.

  • June 1st– Clean up day. You will see a list of work needed at Sunday service.
  • June 9th– Tuckerman Brewing Fundraiser for the church. See flyer in newsletter
  • July 13th– Yard Sale, Bake Sale and Crafts, joint fundraiser with the Historical Society.
  • We will have 3 dates for people to drop off items: June 22, June 29, July 6, 10:00- 12:00. We will need help on those days, along with yard sale setup and take down on the 13th

The month of June: Warmer weather.
Schools out for the summer.
June 9, 2024 fundraiser at Tuckerman’s Brewery
June 16, 2024 Father’s Day (each year the third Sunday of June)
June 20, 1903 our “Brown Church” building was built & dedicated Pentecost often referred to the birthday of the Christian Church
Life is full of challenges. It’s through these we learn our most valuable lessons.
The flooding in December 2023 and it’s aftermath have certainly been and continue to be challenging. Our community activities have been disrupted. We learned during Covid that we can zoom and remain “connected” during church services & meetings.
We can’t “zoom” food for people who need items from the Food Pantry. We can’t “zoom” meals for the Dinner Bell. We can’t replace physically being in the presence of others. These things require a building. A facility to store food and prepare meals. The Conway Village community meeting place.
Our building is much more than a church, it’s home to all this and more.

The community is stepping forward now that we have a plan for recovery. This road has been and will continue to be very difficult. Many, many thanks to all of those involved.

Please join us on June 9 at Tuckerman’s Brewery for the next scheduled fundraiser and some much needed fellowship.
As we continue on our journey, may we learn, grow, and remember:
God’s promise is no matter what, we are never alone.
When my life presents challenges, I can count on my dad to remind me
“it’s ALL in GODS hands”.

Conway Village Church Diaconate: Co-Chairs: Louise Saxby and Judy Workman, Beth Campbell (Secretary), Jill Reynolds and Charles Monaghan.

My grandmother always drank her coffee like this! I thought it was because it was too hot.

Drinking from My Saucer

I’ve never made a fortune and it’s probably too late now.
But I don’t worry about that much, I’m happy anyhow.
And as I go along life’s way, I’m reaping better than I sowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

I don’t have a lot of riches, and sometimes the going’s tough.
But I’ve got loved ones around me, and that makes me rich enough.
I thank God for his blessings, and the mercies He’s bestowed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ’Cause my cup has overflowed.

I remember times when things went wrong, my faith wore somewhat thin.
But all at once the dark clouds broke, and the sun peeped through again.
So God, help me not to gripe about the tough rows that I’ve hoed.
I’m drinking from my saucer, ‘Cause my cup has overflowed.

If God gives me strength and courage, when the way grows steep and rough.
I’ll not ask for other blessings, I’m already blessed enough.
And may I never be too busy, to help others bear their loads.
Then I’ll keep drinking from my saucer, ‘Cause my cup has overflowed

by John Paul Moore