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Conway Village

Congregational Church

March 2020

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March 2020 Newsletter

A Time of Reflection

“Blessed are those who learn to acclaim you and walk in the light of your presence, Lord.”         Psalm 89:15

Following the Sunday worship services for March 22nd and March 29th, there will be two educational opportunities offered.  On the first Sunday, March 22nd, we will look “What Pastoral Leadership does/should the Brown Church have?”   Then “How does the Conway Village Congregational Church function?” will be the focus of the March 29th session.

These are interactive classes which will make presentations, break participants into small groups for decision, and then have a joint session to share our discoveries and conclusions on “who are we?” and “what should our church be going forward?

Our first session will ask us to reflect on a well-known Bible passage which defines Pastoral Leadership.  We will then compare what we do in our own Church with what is done in our ‘sister churches’ of the North Country Association, UCC.

Our second session will look at how we operate as a church and whether this meets our expectations.  Both Sessions are designed to be fun and inspirational.

The information we learn and share in these sessions will help us determine how our church should be designed for future ministry.  Reflecting on our church and ministry together is important before we begin to make decisions about our Capital Campaign.  “What should we, as the Brown Church, be looking to become?” is fundamental to our success.

I hope you can be available for these times of reflection,

Rev. John Hughes

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Hello all,

As a Deacon of the Month, we are responsible for a few things including an article for the church newsletter.   Most of us struggle finding meaningful thoughts to write to you.   (yes, it’s true).

As this month’s DOM, I would like to share a few thoughts about church membership.  We have wonderful members of our congregation and some equally wonderful “friends’ of the church as well.  According to the current by-laws (our rule of law as it stands)  members are expected, to the best of their ability, to attend regular services of worship, to contribute financially to the support of the church and its benevolences, to participate in its life and work, and to manifest their faith in their daily living.

Interesting, huh? Open for interpretation for sure.  I am going to break it down and ad lib a bit….just for grins and giggles.

†    Attend regular worship – this is a no-brainer.   “Congregants” (a term I will loosely use) congregate…..what more can I say about this.   This is a commitment that one would expect as any family member . . . .show up.  Of course, there are many reasons why one couldn’t attend regularly and is a perfectly acceptable excuse.  This is our church family.

†    Contribute financially to the support of the church- true.  Do what you can to contribute to your church family.  If it can’t be financial, time is a commodity that is not always counted as such.  Spend some time, if you can…

†    Participating in its life and work.   (see above)  So many projects to participate in.   Find one that suits you and go with it.

†    Manifest faith in daily living – one could interpret this in many ways.  I find myself talking a lot about the Brown church to anyone who will listen to me.  I let them know about Dinner Bell, the food pantry, our choir and of course, our Sunday services.   I invite people to join us, to come hear John put the scripture into reality on a weekly basis.  I pray.  I pray in the car, in the grocery aisle, at work.

Our “friends’ of the church, according to the current By-Laws, are members who haven’t responded to communications from the church in two consecutive years and, by vote of the Board of Deacons, are placed on the friends list ( essentially inactive) until they ask to be reinstated.

We have MANY friends of our church who are not members, active or inactive.  We are blessed to have them participating in our life and work of the church.   We currently have about 100 members.   We likely have at least that many ‘friends”.

Active member or not, we are a community of faith.   Period.    No more to add here….

Our By-Laws are dated . . . . and are being reviewed.   One can only imagine how difficult writing rules for membership of a church can be during this century.    It is a moving target in my mind.

As an active member and Deacon, I am incredibly blessed by this church family.   I encourage you all to participate in the church life and work.  We have much to do.   Don’t be shy, don’t wait for an invitation.  It is OPEN to you.    Ask someone to join you for a Sunday service and fellowship.

I hope these thoughts might be meaningful to you today,

Louise Saxby

CVCC Deacon of the Month

CVCC Diaconate:  Louise Saxby          Dawn Vitters          Judy Workman          Suzanne Rancourt          Mitzi Fitch          Buel “Star” Almquist-Lee          Nancy Divine          Holly Necochea


March Worship Services

March 1, 2020          1st Sunday in Lent                    Communion              

Guest Musicians – Al Hospers & Louise Saxby

Psalm 32:1-7              Gen. 3:1–13          Matt. 4:1–11

Sermon: “Pass the Apple”

Praise: Lord, I Lift Your Name on High

Hymn:  I was There to Hear Your Borning Cry

Hymn:  Guide Me, O, Thou Great Jehovah


March 8, 2020 2nd Sunday in Lent

Psalm 121 Gen. 12:1–9 John 3:1–17

Sermon: “Living Out Someone Else’s Dream”

Praise: You Are My All in All

Hymn:  Gather Us In

Hymn:  Like a Child

Hymn:  Lift High the Cross


March 15, 2020 3rd Sunday in Lent           Pulpit Supply: Carl Vitters

Psalm 95:1-9 Ex.17:1–7        John 4:5–26 (27–30, 39–42)

Sermon: “It’s Time To Do Something”   

Praise:  Shout to the Lord

Hymn:   I Sing the Almighty Power of God

Hymn:  Oh, How He Loves You and Me

Hymn: My Savior’s Love


Mineral Springs Worship – 1:00 p.m.

March 22, 2020 4th Sunday in Lent   Rose Sunday  

Psalm 142 Eph. 5:8–14             John 9:1–34

Sermon: “Of What Sight are We Talking?”

Praise: Open My Eyes, That I May See

Hymn:  Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Hymn:  The Lord’s My Shepherd

Hymn:  There is a Redeemer

March 29, 2020 5th Sunday of Lent

Guest musicians – Fiona + Julia Howell

Psalm 130 Ezek. 37:1–14       John 11:17–27, 38–53

Sermon: “Jesus Wept … Plain + Simple”

Praise: Christ Beside Me

Hymn: Be Thou My Vision

Hymn: In the Garden

Hymn:  Lord of the Dance


At the first meeting after the Annual Meeting, the trustees voted Anne Getchell and Nancy Divine co-chairs and Carl Vitters as scribe.

A meeting was held with Shawn Bergeron, Bergeron Technical Services, to get an update on his progress with the building inspections, review and recommendations.  He hopes to be done by the end of March.  He did want to bring some safety concerns to the attention of the church that should be addressed as soon as possible.

The immediate concerns are:

  • Bringing the fuel lines to code
  • Fire Alarm- new master panel, communications, transmitter, smoke detectors and more.
  • Sprinkler System- essential to protect the building

He is looking into the cost of the first two items, the third would be incorporated into the capital campaign when all other construction is done.  The trustees voted to designate the Easter offering to go towards these repairs.

The January suppers and the Valentine’s dinner are done. Thanks to all who helped with food prep., serving and cleanup.

Please save the date for the St. Patrick’s Day Traditional Corned Beef dinner on Tuesday, March 17th.  Consider bringing a friend!

We have begun working on the Spring Event which will be on Saturday, May 16th.  It will include a plant sale, bake sale, BBQ and music under the tent,  we are excited to add entertainment to the event this year, we will have the Christian rock band Clayfoot performing.

Anne Getchell          Nancy Irving          Duddie Andrews          John Edgerton          Nancy Divine           Paul Weld             Kim Murdoch          Gabe Necochea              Carl Vitters, ex officio member  (CVCC Treasurer)


I write to you this month not only as your moderator but as your treasurer.  As you know the church approved a deficit annual budget for this year.  As we begin March, we are already seeing the signs of the deficit.  The small surplus that we started the year with is now depleted.  We are now at the point of week to week.  We are trying to bolster this by having extra church suppers in months that we typically never had one.  The Valentine’s dinner went well but only served 64 dinners.  In order for the dinner to be really successful we need 90-100 people to turn out.  The difference is making $300-400 or making $900-1,000 in profit.

We have another church dinner coming up this month on Tuesday the 17th for St. Patrick’s Day.  This is something new to the church that we are doing a dinner on a Tuesday.  We really need you to talk it up to your neighbors and friends. Tell people about how great of a dinner they get for the ridiculous price of only $14.00.  I went to McDonalds the other day and got a double quarter pounder with fries and a drink for $12.40.  No salad, no soup, no dessert and I had to wait 15 minutes and serve myself.  And that money did nothing extra to help our community, unlike our church supper that not only helps to support our budget but to offer the programs and space for groups to get the help they need, the food they lack, and the spiritual nurturing to make it through their day.

You will be hearing more about this from the Trustees and in next month’s newsletter.

The Easter offering that we will be taking this year has been designated to help defray the cost of an unexpected expense that needs to be addressed immediately. The issue was brought to our attention from the report from Shawn Bergeron who is doing the church inspection and analysis for the Capital Campaign. We haven’t gotten an estimate yet for this project but I can surmise from my experience that this repair will cost in the neighborhood of $1500-2500 depending on what other unknown things we run into while trying to do the work in an old building. More details will be available soon as to the scope and costs of this unbudgeted repair.

The choir has been working really hard on learning some new contemporary anthems and will be supported by Al Hospers on bass guitar and Louise Saxby on the flute. While Lent can sometimes be a bit sad, and music generally is not really upbeat until Easter, we are offering a nice compromise by having guest musicians come and play along with the choir. This takes a lot of practice and time and I hope that you will be pleased with the results and let Roger and the choir know that their extra efforts did not go unnoticed. Donations to the music fund are always appreciated!

Faithfully yours,

Carl F. Vitters, Moderator

Outreach Moments

This month we are looking at ways that CVCC can help the Way Station.  The Way Station is a Day Resource Center for Homeless & Housing-Insecure Residents of Mt Washington Valley.  Who are the Homeless and Housing -Insecure Residents?  From the Way Station “Teenagers couch-surfing with friends.  Families doubled up in apartments or living in hotels or cars.  Adults camping in the woods all winter.  People living in rough shelters without water or heat or basics.  Homelessness is invisible in the valley, but it lives here.  Although we do not provide overnight shelter, we can offer access to services for people who need the basics: laundry, showers, internet access, PO box for identification, toiletries, small storage lockers, emotional support, and referrals to other services and resources.”

The Way Station is located at the Lutheran Church on Grove Street in North Conway.  Rev. Nathan Hall and Rev. Gail Doktor are the contact people for the Way Station.  Hours vary depending on the availability of volunteers.  We will be looking for some items to help the Way Station in the coming months.  If you have any questions please ask one of the Outreach members: Sylvia Weld, Anne Getchell, Charlyne Gray, Shawn Sylvester, Laura Sorensen, or Dawn Vitters.  It takes a village to make a difference in communities and we have one of the best villages in the area.

Dawn Vitters

Outreach Secretary

Outreach Committee: Anne Getchell          Dawn Vitters          Laura Sorensen          Charlyne Gray          Shawn Sylvester             Sylvia Weld


There is likely no family name more important in the history of the Conways than KENNETT.  They have for generations contributed vastly to the culture and industry of our town.  Also, they are right at the top for the initial success of our Congregational Church.  This month we will concentrate on the most known of the clan –         A. Crosby Kennett.

     A great local trivia question would be, “What was A. Crosby Kennett’s first name?” Old timers such as Maurice Lovejoy, who Kennett took under his wing as a kid, said he hated the name and therefore went by the middle name.  The answer: Alpheus. Mr. Lovejoy also relayed that whenever Stone’s Drug Store came out with a new flavor of ice cream, A. Crosby would take him there to try it out. “That probably did not help his health at all as he loved ice cream,” Maurice related.

     The Kennetts were of Scottish origin and came to America in 1741 and settled in Kittery.  They then moved to Wolfeboro and then Eaton – which part is now in Madison.  Crosby was the oldest child of William and Sarah (Russell). . He was born in Madison on July 27, 1859.  He attended the New Hampton Literary Institute.  As a young man, he drove a stage for his father between Madison and Ossipee and demonstrated “a remarkable capacity for work.”  He became interested in telegraphy and was put in charge of the station in South Berwick. , later Salmon Falls, and ultimately West Ossipee.  In 1888, he bought the Henry Metcalf Spool Mill in Conway (which became the largest in the world), extending into every part of the nation and Canada.  He added a planning mill and a box factory, eventually becoming the Conway Company.  At one time he ran eleven portable sawmills.  He owned as much as 70,000 acres in all of the local towns and the State of Maine.  In 1904 he became manager of the B.F. Sturtevant Company’s shoe peg mill.  He was instrumental in bringing the Lumber Company to Conway.

     Mr. Kennett was once the President of the Conway National Bank; a director of the Ossipee Valley Telephone Company; and treasurer of the Memorial Hospital.  In politics, he was a staunch Republican and was elected to the State House in 1893 and the Senate in 1897.  He was a member of the Governor’s Council and served with the rank of Colonel.  As a member he secured the passage of a bill which prohibited the throwing of sawdust of mills into streams.  He also secured passage of the State library law.

     In local affairs, Kennett gave of his time freely.  He was a town moderator and always interested in the development of educational opportunities.  Therefore, in 1923, his widow and sons, erected and gave to the town the A. Crosby Kennett High School where it was dedicated on September 15th.  It was then one of the most complete and up-to-date educational institutes in the state and some said the finest looking structure.  He was also a member of the Masons, Palestine Commandery, Knights Templar of Rochester and the Veterans Association. His religious devotion was always to the Congregationalists.  He was the chief financial contributor to the edifice of our Second Congregational Church in 1906 on what was heretofore Kennett property.  As most of you likely know, the Kennett barn stood where the Catholic Church was erected in 1952 which is today Salyards.  At that time, all of the land on both sides of the tracks, where the elementary and middle schools now stand, were level Kennett fields.  The Kennetts served tirelessly on many committees as have succeeding generations.

Crosby Kennett’s first wife was Carrie B. Gerrish of South Berwick whom he married in 1884. She died the very next year.  In 1888, he married Lora Ferren of Madison. They were the parents   of two children: Frank Edison and Robert Harmon. When Mr. Kennett died on December 5, 1917, there had never been such a gathering of locals and dignitaries attend a funeral.  Known nationwide, he was beloved by friends and family as well – a great counselor, collaborator and industrialist had gone on “to higher levels.”

(Much info from Hobart Pillsbury’s, “New Hampshire: A History” by the Lewis Historical Publishing Company of New York)

Contributed by Brian P. Wiggin