The Good News!
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March 2022 Newsletter
“Starting a Lenten Journey”
“… follow me And I will make you Fishers of people.”
Wednesday, March 2nd, we begin our Lenten Journey at 6:30 with our Ash Wednesday Service. Then, since Lent is a countdown event, making us ready for our Easter celebration.
We will begin Lent by meeting personally in our sanctuary as we move from a Pandemic to an Endemic community. Even as we work to return to “normal” in worship and finally with our community meals, we pray everyone will be patient and tolerant. There will be confusion at times and there will be continual adjustments.
Lent is 7 weeks of reflection and preparation. “Do I have to give up something for Lent? The shelves are bare, and I can’t get anything anyway!” someone joked this week.
Jesus is calling people to “follow me” as he leads his followers during Lent into the heart of the world’s suffering and struggle. Human sin is not only personal but systemic, it is ingrained in the world’s struggles to dominate, possess, and control. Jesus faced the fear and suffering of the overwhelming power of Rome in Jerusalem; we witness the world’s confusion and struggle in the Ukraine as Christians in the Orthodox faith face real pain and suffering. The Human Predicament is eternal as is the need for humanity to be redeemed. People suffer the realities of war, while oth- ers suffer trying to feed their families, and make ends meet . There is real suffering on many fronts.
The purpose of Lent, the reason it has become a yearly discipline, is that it works to set us free, personally and corporately, from the forces that enslave us. Whether it is our appetites for power, greed, control, or food , Lent has always been a time of intense reflection, self-scrutiny, and reincorporation of the community into its core beliefs. It is a time to sanctify a season for “turning ourselves around” and believing afresh the Good News, hearing God’s call for new life and mak- ing that the principle focus of our lives.
Looking forward to a meaningful journey,
Rev. John Hughes
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The Covid Conundrum
Here we are in another New Year
Same old virus – same old fear.
Are you as tired of this as I?
Will we ever be able to say “good-bye”?
What to do, what not to do?
Something old, nothing new,
Then there’s our mask, that thing we scoff
Do we leave it on, can we take it off?
We all got shots in our upper arm
Guaranteed to keep us free from harm.
Years have passed, we still don’t know,
Do we stay at home or can we go?
One day it’s this – another that,
After awhile it gets “old hat”.
Do we hear the truth, can we believe
The facts we get from The Powers That Be?
Trust in God’s healing hands
It’s all too much and frankly crazy
And the TV info a little hazy.
Yet good folks get sick and that’s so bad,
And for these stats we all are sad.
There you have it the actual scope.
Still remember where there’s life there’s hope.
We all need to laugh so I wrote this poem
And I’m sure we’ll survive the Omicron!
So please take care – do the best you can
Then trust in God and his healing hand.
The Meaning of Lent
Ash Wednesday is the beginning of the season of Lent. Lent and Ash Wednesday are a season of 46 days before Easter. Lent is 40 days not counting the Sundays during this time. Lent usually includes repentance, fasting, reflection, and at the end the celebration of the risen Christ. The season represents Christ’s time of temptation in the wilderness, where he fasted and Satan tempted him. Lent asks believers to set aside a time each year for similar fasting, as Christ had done in the wilderness. In many churches Ash Wednesday is observed by placing ashes in the form of a cross on the foreheads of those in attendance at a service. The ashes are made from burning the palms from the previous year’s palm branches used on Palm Sunday. Lent lasts until the end of the 40 days when Maundy Thursday happens, when Christ meets with his disciples for the last time before he is crucified, Good Friday, where Christ is hung on a cross to die and then laid in a tomb, and then Easter Sunday, where he rises from the dead on the third day. Let us all remember that during this time which starts this year on March 2, that we should repent, fast when we can, reflect on our lives, and then celebrate the risen Christ on Easter Sunday.
Written by Dawn Vitters
Diaconate: Louise Saxby, Chair; Beth Campbell, Secretary; Dawn Vitters, Treasurer; Judy Workman, Mitzi Fitch, and Suzanne Rancourt
From the Trustees
It is 51 degrees outside, 7 AM. New England weather. This month we change clocks on March 13th. Spring coming?
The trustees and Capital Campaign Committee reviewed the recent surveys we sent to the congregation. A big thank you to those who completed one. We were disappointed in the response however; seventy were sent out and 14 were returned. We are at a critical point to make some decisions to go forth with some much needed work to the church. We got the message from the surveys to concentrate on the critical items to preserve the building.
The congregation’s input is critical; it is your church. The Trustees and committee need your input to go forth with the technical team. It is not to late to send your survey back. We would like to also offer you a walk-through to see the issues for yourself and too look more closely at the options we are considering for the Sanctuary. PLEASE let us know a time that will work for you.
On March 6th, we hope to see Fellowship resume after church. We hope you can join us, we have missed this time together. It can also be a time to take that walk-through!
Save the dates: Take out dinner, March 16th, Irish Stew, thank you Carl Vitters.
April 20th, Turkey dinner, thank you Paul Weld.
Co-Chairs: Anne Getchell, Nancy Divine
Duddie Andrews, John Edgerton, Nancy Irving, Paul Weld, Tom Workman
Ex-officio member Carl Vitters – Church Treasurer
The Food Pantry had their annual inspection from the NH Food Bank last month. It had been two years without one due to Covid. Christy from the FB did our inspection, she has only been with them for a year. We have worked with her at the Mobile Food Pantry that we have done.
We went thru all questions they need to ask. Then we did a tour of the pantry. First we took her into the small warehouse, she was very impressed. Then we took her into the pantry, checking the freezers to make sure we had our thermometers in place. Then we entered the distribution room. She was very impressed and asked if she could take pictures. When all was done she said, “Let me tell you, you passed 100%”. Paul and I want to give a BIG THANKS to all the Volunteers and everyone that helps in other ways. Without all of you it wouldn’t have been possible.
March Worship Schedule/Lectionary
Wednesday, March 2, 2022 – Ash Wednesday
Matthew 6:1-6, 16-21
Meditation: “Celebrating Ornamental Lent”
Sunday, March 6, 2022 – Lent Communion
Psalm 91:1-2, 9-16
Sermon: “Do You call upon God … by Name?”
Sunday, March 13, 2022 – Lent 2
Sermon: “Is Your Mind set on Earthly Thing?”
Sunday, March 20, 2022 – Lent 3
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Sermon: “Daring to Test the Limits of Faith”
Sunday, March 27, 2022 – Lent 4/Rose Sunday
Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32
Sermon: “Being Overwhelmed Silently”