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The Good News!
Isn’t Easter Just a Celebration of Spring?
It is a common misperception that Easter is a celebration of Springtime. People often comment, when Easter is early of the calendar, “It’s a shame we can’t celebrate Easter when the flowers are in bloom.” Or, a businessperson will say, “I am sorry I missed Easter this year, I was away traveling for business that weekend.” People often believe Easter is a “once-sleeping-now-awake” holiday, i.e., the flower bulbs looked dead, but they were only sleeping, waiting to regrow. This is not the meaning of Easter.
Easter, in the Christian tradition, is the celebration of a season, known as “the 50-Great Days of Easter”, this year, April 4th to May 23rd. It includes 2-special Holy Days, Ascension Day (always on a Thursday, 40-days after Passover) and Pentecost (the final day of Easter, the 50th day from Passover). You may wonder, “why isn’t this well-known?”
Our culture is not Christian – – (though some like to claim it is!). The secular world is interested in Christmas and Easter because you can make money selling gifts and candies. There is no financial gain to be made either on Ascension Day or Pentecost. In fact, they are days which celebrate Jesus leaving the ma-terial world behind. (not exactly a marketers or salespersons dream!) The 50-Great Days of Easter celebrate how we receive the revelations of God and how we incorporate the power of God into our lives.
The Season of Easter is a counterpoint to our culture, which promotes consumption, status, and secu-rity. The Season of Easter supports self-sacrifice, gratitude, being worry-free, and emptying oneself for others, often anonymously. The Season ends with Pentecost, (50 days from Passover), when we are to offer God our “first-fruits”, our very best gifts in response to how God has surprised us with abundance. It is an appreciation for how life is a glorious blessing!
Do you want to celebrate Easter? Great! Just offer God 50-days of gratitude and praise and you will discover your spirit is resurrected and your disposition revived. Isn’t this a message our culture needs to hear?
Rev. John Hughes
Rev. John Hughes
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May Worship Schedule/Lectionary
Theme: “where God is found”
Sunday, May 2nd – Communion
Scriptures: Psalm 22:25-31, Acts 8:26-40, John 15:1-8
Communion Reflection: “Can You explain?”
Sunday, May 9th
Scriptures: Psalm 98, Acts 10:44-48 John 15:9-7
Sermon: “Our God Remembers”
Sunday, May 16th
Scriptures: Psalm 47, Acts 1:1-11, Luke 24:44-53
Sermon: “How God Comes to Us”
Sunday, May 23rd ~ Pentecost Sunday
Scriptures: Psalm 104:24-34, 35b, Acts 2:1-21, John 15:26-27, 16:4b-15
Sermon: “The Power is On”
Sunday, May 30th ~ Trinity Sunday
Scriptures: Psalm 29, Isaiah 6:1-8, John 3:1-17
Sermon: “Erupting with God’s Presence”
From the Trustees
Spring is trying to stay; between snow storms!
The trustees review financials weekly and the church is keeping up with the bills thanks to the weekly plate collection and pledges. We thank everyone.
The Capital Campaign Steering Committee met with Bergeron Technical Services on April 6th. We focused on the priorities for Phase 1. These include the sanctuary, structure, roof, siding, and drainage. We met again on April 20th to discuss just the sanctuary. The architect will need the information we come up with to provide a schematic of the layout.
The church voted on April 18th to begin the process to open up the church. Thank you to all who attended. This will not happen overnight, no date is set. We will need to look at the various guidelines and incorporate them before we can open. We have received a quote from the cleaners to do a deep cleaning of the sanctuary.
Carl will be back in the kitchen on May 12th for a cordon bleu take out meal. You can go on to the church’s website now and order or if you do not have access, call the office. The volunteer sign up will be going out soon.
Chair: Anne Getchell
Duddie Andrews, John Edgerton, Nancy Irving, Kim Murdoch, Paul Weld, Tom Workman
Ex-officio member Carl Vitters – Church Treasurer
Let us do the cooking – Wednesday, May 12th –
Chicken Cordon Bleu Supper To-Go
served with Cauliflower & Carrots, Roasted Potatoes and Strawberry Shortcake.
Click here to order on line or call the church (603) 447.3851 to order.
After the 7th Sunday of Easter which is May 23rd this year, we celebrate Pentecost. This festival of Pentecost commemorates the decent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles. In the New Testament the Apostles were inspired to talk in tongues when the Holy Spirit descended on them as they prayed together at the Shavuot festival. While hearing the unfamiliar language spoken by the Apostles the gathered crowd in Jerusalem thought them to be drunk! But Peter explained they were in fact inspired by the Holy Spirit, and then Peter delivered the first Christian sermon which led to the conversion and baptism of about 3000 people. It is this sermon that many believe was the birth of the Christian Church as an official movement!
Many Christians and Hebrews have a traditional greeting for this day. So I am giving this to all of you now;
“May you be blessed by the Holy Spirit with Happiness,Good health, great fortune, and prosperity!”
Oh, don’t forget the Ascension Day on May 13th, when our precious Jesus ascended to H
eaven where He is making a place for us.
Happy Mother’s Day to all Moms on May 9th!
Diaconate: Louise Saxby, Mitzi Fitch, Judy Workman, Dawn Vitters, Suzanne Rancourt, Beth Campbell
A Reflective Look at Youth Groups in the Brown Church
It is a certain fact that youth groups were an integral part of our church since 1960. They may have been in existence before that, but our oldest church members: Roger Berry, Frank Hackett and Mary (McClellan) Chesley do not recall them during the 1940’s with Reverend Morehouse. Charlyne Gray doesn’t recall any involvement in the 1950’s although we will check with Duddie Andrews to see if Reverend Chase formulated any.
Reverend William E. Mack came to the Second Congregational in 1960 and was right at the top of the list of the most beloved pastors ever. A retired military chaplain, it was during his pastorate that we reached an all-time high of 150 students registered in Sunday School – and Conway then had less than half of the people then than the present census. Reverend Mack decided to reinvigor-ate the teenage population which we called Pilgrim Fellowships before we joined the United Church of Christ, belatedly in 1963. The Junior High group met on Sunday afternoons and the Senior Fel-lowship met at night. There was always a biblical lesson and discussion combined with a fun activi-ty. There was a ping pong table used extensively in Fellowship Hall and plenty of games. It was not a long session – usually only an hour or so. Back then, there were many outside activities and the older youth frequently went to the Bushee Thorn Retreat up in Jackson, owned by the four local Congregational Churches. All of the ministers of the respective churches were heavily involved and there was hiking, skiing, and frequent picnics where the youth of the different churches got to know one another. There was also a beautiful camp in Pembroke, New Hampshire, and each church had scholarships to help us attend during the summer. It was owned by the State Conference.
I became President of both Youth Groups at one time which was quite an honor. Marion Brown, Leon Carpenter and Althea Sheaff also became presidents. We helped to clean up the back yard of the church which was in deplorable condition. However, we also experienced fun times such as ski-ing at the Edge Farm in Eaton with the beloved George T. Davidson accompanying us. Mr. Mack was helping Mr. Davidson get his ministerial accreditation. The slope had just one rope tow but times were simpler then and we were so happy for the occasion as most of us could not afford ski passes. Times were simpler then! A memorable moment was when we all attended a movie with Reverend Mack at the Majestic Theatre. The movie was quite risqué (for the times) and we didn’t know quite how to react with the minister sitting with us. Apparently it was a good lesson for the minister as well because we limited our choice of movies thereafter to ones with religious themes.
Naturally we lose track of church activities once we go to college and move away. However, I know folks such as Jill (Vierus), my two younger brothers, Craig and Errol, the Merrill and Chase girls, and scores more continued to be involved in youth groups in succeeding pastorates of Dr. Downes and Reverend Stineford, Horvath, MacDuffie and others. By the time we came back to Conway Village in 1985, the youth groups were pretty much depleted. Nancy and I decided to change that. My teaching career helped in this regard as did Reverend Wilcox who was most supportive. We eventu-ally had fifty registered, but generally twenty or so came to the meetings, which we held at midweek, right after school. We eventually had two students be in charge of our weekly suppers, although Nancy most always brought a dessert. Food talks! There were several students who attended, whose churches had no youth group – including the Catholic and Methodist. Members brought their friends and we had several from Fryeburg and elsewhere who had no church attachment. One memorable Sunday afternoon, in 1986, we had a softball game against the North Conway Church on the occasion of our Church Centennial. Dale Hamilton and Paul Weld played for First Church at that time.
They were surprised at all of our youth playing – and we consequently beat them handily. We also had great athletes such as Sut Marshall, Bill Kane, the MacDonald Brothers and Andy Trimble play-ing for us. The moment we will never forget was when a Fryeburg fella was running from third to home plate and he obviously was going to be tagged out at home plate. He did a huge somersault flip over the crouched catcher and put his hand on the plate. We were all aghast when the ump hol-lered, “SAFE!”. Now that was a miracle from above.
We also had fundraisers which included book and food sales. We raised enough money to buy a complete set of Bibles for the sanctuary which lacked them or were so old that they came over on the Mayflower. The youth also collated the Centennial Church Cookbook supervised by Nancy and my mother (another story). The kids were also in charge of the early Easter sunrise services under the direction of Dr. Wilcox. This even made the front page of the local paper with a full photo-graph. We went to Old Orchard Beach with Reverend Fred (Pojen) Lee and laughed endlessly on the rides, especially the roller coaster. Some of the Fryeburg students had never been to the ocean which to us was unbelievable. We got lost on the way back and ended up in a hen yard. Several eventually joined the church.
Eventually our three sons were getting to the age where they would be in youth groups. It was time for us to end our directing. Folk such as Stephanie and Dan Franz, Jill and Todd Barber, and Ned Baldwin came forth to lead the youth. These lasted at least until the turn-of-the-century. May we see them again at some point.
Brian P. Wiggin
Food Pantry Wish List 1
Ramen Noodles-Chicken and or Beef Rice-A-Roni-Chicken or Beef
Ketchup – 20 oz.
Mustard – 20 oz
Mayo – small jar
Stable Milk 32 oz.
Juice – orange or apple 64 oz.
Soup (small) – Chicken Noodle or Tomato
Canned Fruit -15 oz – any kind
Jelly – 16 oz. grape or strawberry
Canned Chicken and Tuna 5 oz.
Food Pantry Wish List 2
Canned Chicken and Tuna 5 oz.
Baked Beans – 15 oz. – any kind
Canned Pasta – 15 oz., any kind
Diced Tomatoes – 15 oz.
Tomato Sauce – 15 oz.
Pasta Sauce – (can) 15 oz.
Pasta Sauce – (jar) 32 oz.
Beef Stew – Can or Pouch
Boxed Spaghetti – 1lb.
Boxed macaroni – elbow 1lb.
Crackers – 1lb.
Food Pantry Wish List 3
Canned-Peas, Carrots, Green Beans, and corn – 15 oz.
Cold Cereal – 10.8 oz any kind
Instant Oatmeal – 1lb.
Toilet paper – individually wrapped
Shampoo – White Rain or Suave – 24 oz.
Dawn Dish Detergent- small size
Laundry Detergent – Tide-small size
Lg. Laundry Detergent – Dollar Tree brand in green container
Hand Soap – Dial 2 or 3 pk bars