The Good News!
July 2020. What came to mind when you read those words? Was it patriotism, freedom, independence, a picnic in the park with fireworks to follow? Maybe you were hoping July would remind our leaders in Washington about the “perfect vision” our forefathers wanted to provide for America. Did God come to mind? As we celebrate the birthday of our country, I would like to share my thoughts and reflections of what came to my mind.
As a young girl, I can remember anticipating July 4th. It was a day full of excitement spent at my Grandpa and Grandma Divine’s house. My dad had two younger brothers and their families would join us also. In all, we had 17 family members gathered in the same place. This was always special. We all looked forward to spending the day together. The kids would play in the backyard on the trampoline and the swing set. We would jump high and do flips on the trampoline, which made my grandmother nervous. Of course, this enticed us to jump all the higher and flip even more! Our parents would challenge each other to tennis matches on grandpa’s backyard court or to a game of pool in the recreation room.
Then it came time to eat. There was always plenty for everyone. If you went hungry, it was your own fault. Grandpa’s huge mouth-watering summer hamburgers with all the fixin’s, homemade vanilla ice cream, watermelon, corn on the cob, pasta and/or potato salad…I can still taste it all. Every year, it seemed my grandmother would never fail to build a hamburger so big with ALL the fixin’s that she would make the comment, “I don’t know how I’m gonna get my mouth over this!” To which all three of her sons would reply, “Don’t worry Mom. We’re sure you’ll manage.” I can still hear my dad and his brothers laughing hysterically at their response. Conversations between the adults would ensue. Usually they were about my grandfather’s experiences in the valley I grew up in. Stories of how he came to the valley, what he did for work, where that lead him, the movie stars that visited the valley and those he had conversations with. It was something I learned to appreciate listening to as I grew older…and miss now.
FIREWORKS!!!! Fireworks as a kid were the most anticipated time of the day. After we were all stuffed from dinner, we would gather in my grandparents “forest”. This was an area beyond the backyard and the tennis court towards the back of their property. Grandpa had planted several different kinds of trees amongst the grass and built a white gazebo in the middle of it all. From their “forest”, we had a perfect view of where the town shot off the fireworks. We would lay out on blankets or sit in lawn chairs and gaze at the beautiful night sky, just waiting for the light show and the big bangs we could feel in our chest as the fire- works exploded overhead. We exchanged oooh’s and aaah’s, depending on the size of the bang, the type of firework and the colors.
As the night drew to an end, we all exchanged hugs and kisses and bid each other goodnight. It had been a good day filled with laughter, competition, storytelling, good food, time with family and memories that will last a lifetime and passed on to future generations. Through it all, I know God was there! He was there in the hands that made the food. He was there in the laughter shared by brothers teasing their mother. He was there in the stories that a father/grandfather shared with his family. He was there through the tennis and pool competitions (probably had a hand in helping my grandfather with his trick shots in both sports). He was there in the worry that my grandmother had for her grandchildren jumping and flipping too high on the trampoline. He was also there in the foolish grandchildren who jumped even higher and flipped even more!
He was with us all as we gathered together to celebrate this great nation’s birthday…colorful fireworks add- ing to His already beautiful starry sky.
I asked you earlier if God came to mind when you thought of July 2020. He definitely came to my mind. For I know I have been blessed with wonderful people that provided me with love, compassion and an appreciation of family, country and knowing what a loving God can do in your life. I realize that many of us will not be able to celebrate our country’s birth this month as we have done before
surrounded by family or friends because of the Covid-19 pandem- ic. However, we have many ways of keeping in touch with those we care about. You can plan an old-fashioned phone call, a letter, a card or maybe a new-fangled Zoom meeting. No matter how you may choose to communicate, know that God is already there with them and with you! So celebrate, my friends. Celebrate what God has given and has yet to provide in your life and in theirs! Have a blessed 4th of July, make memories and praise God in your life always!
CVCC Deacon of the Month
Pillars of the Church: Helen and H. Boardman Fifield
If you look on the wall in the rear of the church sanctuary, you will notice a list of the first few charter members. Among them is a married couple, Helen and H. Boardman Fifield. It is likely that no couple was more influential in the history of the Brown Church than these two. Would you like to know about them? If so, read on.
Mr. Holmes Boardman Fifield came from the Portland area and was the son of J. M. Fifield. He and his wife had at least two sons, the other named Horace. Boardman had the occupation of a “drummer” which most of the present generations are unfamiliar with. Back in the late 1800’s, wholesale establishments sent out to stores in smaller towns traveling salesmen to solicit trade (“drum up some business”). This was an ancient tradition of beating a drum to call attention, and the term “drummers” became established. Having to travel by railroad, the drummers found it necessary to spend a night in each village that they visited. They were a moneymaker for the local hotels. Signs were posted in the Conways saying, “the drummers stay here” which guaranteed nothing but the best food and accommodations around.
In 1885, Mr. Fifield became a partner of Frank Davis (previously highlighted) who was Conway’s station agent and telegrapher. Mr. Davis started his business back in 1875 and it became a grain store, a grocery, and dry goods establishment. This was located right where Kennett Middle is nearest the tracks. You may remember that was the original site of Conway’s first cemetery. When the tracks were laid, all of the bodies had to be exhumed. For years, villagers recall seeing ghosts in the area. Apparently not all of the deceased enjoyed their move to a location on Pleasant Street! For a dozen years the store was known as Davis & Fifield’s. Boardman added a lady’s apparel shop at the location. His brother Horace, who had worked at the store with his father and brother, decided ultimately to establish his own grocery store in Lynn.
We do know that the Fifields erected the spacious house on Washington Street (the jewel street of the town” in 1892). Located at 44 Washington Street, it was later the home of Arthur and Ruth Brown. (The Browns were also pillars of the church and Arthur cooked and initiated the famous pot roast suppers while Ruth was a leading lady of the Litahni). Mrs. Fifield was Helen Gibson, sister of James Gibson and aunt of Harvey Dow Gibson, famed Cranmore “monument” and of the Gibson Center legacy of North Conway. The house was for a long time known for its wainscoted, zinc-lined and sawdust-insulated ice room.
All of the Fifield children were reared at Second Congregational. Janet Hounsell relates in her book, “On the fiftieth anniversary of our church, a colorful event was held known as the Society Circus”. The Station Square was enclosed with unbleached seating two widths high and within this enclosure was all you would expect of a circus. Elephants, tigers, giraffes were all made by the clever hands of the Ladies Social Circle. Young boys and men hidden in the realistic hides furnished motive power for the beasts. Ernest, son of Helen and Boardman, was the ringmaster. He wore a tall silk hat, formal attire and brandished a whipping stick. “There were side shows, souvenir hawkers, pink lemonade, ice cream and that all resulted in much coinage for our church.
Ernest’s sisters, Mildred (Moulton) and Lillian (Demerritt) were at one time the oldest members of the church, joining back in 1918. As a matter of fact, Lillian was one who began the Litahni. She also convinced my mother to come across the street from the Methodist Church to the Brown Church. She said, “You need to come here as all the Wiggins are here”. My mother obeyed. God bless the Fifields and we will long remember your contributions in our earliest history!
Brian P. Wiggin Historian
July Worship Services
Sunday, July 5th
Scriptures: Romans 7:15-25a Matthew 11:16-19, 25-30
Sermon: “Take my Yoke and Learn”
Sunday, July 12th
Scriptures: Genesis 25:19-34 Matthew 13:1-9
Sermon: “Sibling Struggles”
Sunday, July 19th
Psalm 139:1-12, 23-24
Scriptures: Genesis 28:10-19a
Matthew 13:24-30, 36-43
Sermon: “Expecting a Glorious Future”
Sunday, July 26th
Psalm 105:1-11, 45b
Scriptures: Genesis 29:15-28 Romans 8:26-39
Matthew 13:31-33, 44-52
Turkey Dinner Fundraiser – August 7th
On Friday August 7th the Conway Village Church will hold its first fundraising dinner since the January Suppers. We will be serving a full Turkey Dinner. However, instead of serving a sit-down dinner in Fellowship Hall, we will have the dinners all packed up and ready for you to take and enjoy in the comfort of your home. We will have online sign-up for our volunteers to help with prep and distribution. We will also have a method in place to provide for preordering dinners. We hope you will plan to come and buy dinners for yourself and your family and pass along this information to your friends and coworkers. It will be well advertised in the newspaper and on Facebook. Please like our Facebook page and share the ads on your timeline.
Thank you for your support in this fundraising effort.
What a great tool Zoom conferencing is! We meet this way on a regular basis as do other committees. John and others have done a great job with the Sunday services; we thank you.
We recently received word of the passing of Star, a beloved member of this church. The trustees offer prayers to the family and the dedicated care givers.
SAVE THE DATE: Sunday July 12th, PLEASE, either stay on Zoom meeting after the service, or connect at 11:00, for a special meeting to discuss the 2021 budget. We have worked on this earlier this year to give all a heads-up well in advance of the fall Stewardship. Please plan to attend, members and non-members welcome, however the members are the only ones who can vote.
We are going forth with the August 7th Turkey Dinner by curbside service. More details to follow and volunteers will be needed for food prep and distribution. A sign-up sheet will be available electronically.
Hope you and your families are all healthy and safe.
Anne Getchell Nancy Irving Duddie Andrews John Edgerton Nancy Divine Paul Weld Kim Murdoch Gabe Necochea Carl Vitters, ex officio member (CVCC Treasurer)
Outreach – NH Food Bank’s Mobile Pantry
On Saturday, June 20, 2020, the NH Food Bank, and the NH National Guard brought the Food Bank’s mobile pantry to Conway. They set up for distribution in the parking lot at Kennett High School, on Eagles Way. The distribution started at 10AM and went for four hours.
They brought enough food for 1,000 families. The cars were lining up early. By 9:30 they were stretched from the parking lot to the intersection of Rte. 302 traffic lights. At the end of the day, they had ser- viced 500 families. The food left was split between 3 pantries and to anyone who would like to take it and distribute it to those they knew could use it.
We had a 10-foot U-Haul loaded from the roof to the door. This included: milk 6 cases; chicken strips 30 cases; breaded chicken pat
ties10 cases; nonperishable items 40 cases and 80 cases of fresh produce. The accompanying photos give you a visual of all that went at the site.
The Virus Be Gone!
Is anyone out there tired of all this?
Is anyone ready for a moment of bliss?
I think of the good old days gone by
when we all were happy and wore a big smile.
Now we all wear gloves and very tight masks
can’t speak clearly-struggle thru tasks.
The one saving grace, we’re not all alone
we do have our laptops and our I-phones.
But life just isn’t fun anymore
I go to the mall to my favorite store Struggling to breath, not wanting to touch. Be this the new-norm? Oh, this is too much!
When you read this poem, it’s my fervent plea
that this virus will just be a bad memory, and things will be better-they will I swear,
no more masks, no more gloves, no more scraggly hair!
Now we must not forget, we’re in this together
The virus will pass, life will get better, God will provide in mysterious ways
Thanks be to the Lord and to him be all praise.
Remember this is the US of A
When we’re given lemons, we make lemonade.
NHCUCC News & Updates
It’s gone viral! Not just the Covid-19 pandemic, but the Instagram post by Leslie Dwight encouraging us to look at 2020 from a different perspective – as a year of change and hope.
What if 2020 isn’t canceled?
What if 2020 is the year we have been waiting for?
A year so uncomfortable, so painful, so scary, so raw – that it finally forces us to grow.
A year that screams so loud, finally awakening us from our ignorant slumber.
A year we finally accept the need for change.
Declare change. Work for change. Become the change.
A year we finally band together, instead of pushing each other further apart.
2020 isn’t canceled, but rather it’s the most important year of them all.