The United Church of Jaffrey
An Open & Affirming / Just Peace Church
of the United Church of Christ
54 Main St., Jaffrey, NH 03452
Our Mission: To Grow our Christian
Faith Through Acts of Love Toward All.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR MINISTER
Go well… Stay well.
Every Tuesday during Lent, about ten of us have been meeting to discuss the book Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton. The book takes place in South Africa during the height of the apartheid era, and involves an old man’s search for his lost son. I chose the book because it is profoundly religious, but also because it is just such a pleasure to read. The main character, Steven Kumalo, is a black pastor from a rural area who is well on in years, and though he is a simple man (or perhaps because he is a simple man), he is a great Christian teacher.
Here’s an example. Each time Kumalo parts from someone, he does not say goodbye. Instead, he says “Go well.” To which the other person replies “Stay well.”
I love this.
In truth, it’s not that different from our own word “goodbye” which is a contraction of the Middle English Godbwye or “God-be-with-ye.” “Go well” sounds similar to our tradition of saying “take care.” In each case, we offer of our wish for the other person’s safety and well-being – no more, no less.
Steven Kumalo’s way of parting is not that different from ours, but it is just different enough to awaken us to how beautiful it is when we hold simple hopes for each other’s health. It is the everyday-ness of this wish that makes it easy to forget. It is also the everyday-ness of this wish that makes it part of our Christian character.
Lent is never what we expect it to be. This year, our experience of Lent has been overshadowed by loss. As the winter ended and spring finally arrived, three families in our church — the O’Neil’s, Niskala’s, and Bergeron’s – all suffered the sudden loss of a loved one. Our church responded to these tragedies with amazing demonstrations of compassion. Annie Niskala and Matt Bergeron’s funerals both exceeded the seating capacity of the church, but didn’t come close to exceeding the combined effort of the ladies of Triple-D, who kicked into gear, filling the Mildred Cutter Memorial Hall with spreads that were… let me see…
D-lectable, D-lightful, and (of course) D-licious.
Go well John. Go well, Annie. Go well Matt…
Stay well, UCJ.
Stories from Small Mountain
In the December 2016 edition of The Pathfinder, I offered a quick biographical sketch of my life. I also promised to “fill in more of the details in later editions of Pathfinder.” Hence this series: “Stories from Small Mountain.”
In 1970 my father received a telephone call from the Port Authority of Singapore. Dad was not an importer or an exporter of goods. He was the Dean of the Association for Theological Education in South East Asia. What did the Port Authority of Singapore want with a Japanese theologian?
A Malaysian shipping company had purchased a Japanese cargo ship, but the new crew refused to go aboard because a forgotten Shinto shrine had been found presiding over the shadows of the hold. Koyama, the only Japanese person concerned with religious matters who was available in Singapore at the time, was called in to remove the sacred object. By the time he got to the terminal, however, the shrine had been removed and taken to the offices of the Port Authority where it had been gingerly placed in a corner. The desks of all the clerks and bureaucrats had been moved to a safe distance.
Dad wrapped the shrine in linen and brought it home under his arm. It became a play-thing for me and my sister Mimi. It was an unassuming and beautiful wooden house, and I remember how its pine doors gave a satisfying squeak when I opened and closed them. Behind successive doors and curtains, one finally came upon the holy-of-holies, which was a box that fit easily in the hand of a child. The doors of this box opened to reveal a small mirror.
During the Second World War, the Japanese, in their imperialist zeal, pushed across China and into Malaysia, killing untold millions of people. For the Malay sailors, the Shinto shrine in the hold of the ship represented that bloody legacy. And yet this symbol, placed in the hands of children, became a plaything. Is there something sacred about this innocence? Is there sacredness to children’s play?
This transformation reminds me of how Christ’s vulnerability turns an executioner’s tree into a symbol of hope. This transformation reminds me of Isaiah’s words: let us beat our swords into ploughshares.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR MODERATOR
Our church planning retreat is scheduled for Saturday, May 6th from 9 – 12 in the Parish Hall. Please remember to bring all dates that you want included on our yearly calendar. Plan to bring something new to add to the calendar!
There will be a short presentation at the meeting. Topic? You’ll be interested, I promise.
Communication is such a valuable tool for all of us here at The United Church of Jaffrey!
One of the ways to keep involved with all the happenings is to attend our monthly Church Council meetings. All the ministries are reported at that time and everyone is invited to attend. It is also the time to ask any questions you may have about the issues presented from the various committees. Although I strongly encourage attending the meetings in person each month, anyone interested can also read a copy of the monthly meeting minutes which will be posted in the church office beginning this month.
P.S. We also serve great refreshments while we meet!
Hoping to see you there,
April 2 Fifth Sunday in Lent
Ezekiel 37 : 1-4
Romans 8 : 6-11
John 11 : 1-45
April 9 Palm Sunday
Matthew 21 : 1-11
Psalm 118 : 1-2, 19-29
Matthew 26 : 14 – 27 : 66
April 13 Maundy Thursday
Joint service at UCJ at 6:00 p.m.
EASTER SUNRISE SERVICE
Cathedral of the Pines 6:00 a.m.
Hosted by UCJ
April 16 Easter
(Regular worship at UCJ at 10:00 a.m.)
Acts 10 : 34-43
Psalm 118 : 1-2, 14-24
Colossians 3 : 1-4
John 20 : 1-18
April 23 Second Sunday of Easter
Acts 2 : 14a, 22-32
1 Peter 1 : 3-9
John 20 : 19-31
April 30 Third Sunday of Easter
Acts 2 : 14a, 36-41
Psalm 116 : 1-4, 12-19
1 Peter 1 : 17-23
Luke 24 : 13-35
BIRTHDAYS & ANNIVERSARIES
A Birthday/Anniversary book is in the narthex. If you wish your birthday or anniversary noted in the Pathfinder, please add the date(s).
2 – Justice Alexandra Ferro
4 - Griffin Hendrickson
5 - Jay Hagstrom
5 - Samantha Newton
6 - Jade Patterson
14 - Brandon Carland
15 - Jean Bergeron
16 - Judy Sawyer
18 - Ken Bacon
19 - Michael Tenters
20 – Sarah Ellis
21 - Owen Houghton
23 – Peter J. Baird-Baldacchini
25 - Maria Carbone
25 - Wallace Watson
26 - Debbie Weissman
28 – Tessa Spingola
29 - Isabelle Tenters
29 - Tevye Yoblick
7 - Erich and Rikki Bolewski
Chancel Guild: Pat Bullock
Communion Leader: Tina O’Neil
Director: Alison Bergeron
Happy Spring everyone!!! I can’t believe how quickly time flies and I am thinking alreadyof Easter, Earth Day, and Children’s Day, etc.
I hope you are all doing well after the winter.
Easter Sunday there will be no regular Sunday School. Children are encouraged to enjoy that special time in church with their families.
Earth Sunday is really close to Easter this year so we are making plans for how we can celebrate our earth together. More specific information will follow soon.
And…save the date, May 22nd will be Children’s Sunday. This is the day we conclude Sunday School for the summer and celebrate the children in our midst. Please plan to join us for that special Sunday.
Lastly, plans are underway to think about and talk about our Sunday School program for the fall. We need feedback from you all about what you’d like to see in the program, how you think it might be improved, whether we should have two classes for different ages, and also how we all can provide support for the program etc. All ideas are welcome! Please share your thoughts so we can have the best possible program for our kids. Thanks!
– Alison Bergeron
JUSTICE AND PEACE
Sandi Carland & Owen Houghton
We are in the process of meeting again after a “winter hiatus.” We are looking into ways to help some of the missions we support, upgrading the Wi-Fi network for the Food Pantry, and planning our annual Earth Day Service.
We are happy to welcome two new members, Brenda Pelkey and Mary-Lu’ Esposito, to our team!
The Monadnock Hunger Walk has been scheduled for Saturday May 6th ! The walk is to be in Greenfield, a delightful 5.1 mile level walk around Zephyr Lake and through quaint Greenfield center. Crop Walk is no longer having an event in our area, so a local event has been organized! Each sponsor of a walker will be able to designate which food pantry they want their donation to be assigned to. Their donation will be in the form of a personal check made out to the specific food pantry of their choice! This means ALL the donations will go to a participating local food pantry.
If you are interested in walking or being a sponsor, please talk to one of the Justice and Peace Team members.
Our Annual Earth Day Service will be on April 23rd. We are anticipating another great service with Rev. Mark, the kids, and hopefully involve other members of our congregation as well. Hope to see you all there !
This we know.
The earth does not belong to man.
Man belongs to the earth.
This we know
OPEN & AFFIRMING
The first Open and Affirming Church of the United Church of Christ in New Hampshire at Plymouth celebrates the 25th year since its declaration, serving as a reminder to UCJ that we can’t be far behind.
Our history reports: “1994 January – Annual Meeting passed the recommendation from a study group to declare The United Church of Jaffrey an Open and Affirming Church (2nd in New Hampshire Conference). In the spring, Plymouth Congregational Church (1st in NHCUCC) presents us with burning bush planted during worship on front lawn of church.” [currently at the base of our Rainbow Flag!”]
Dear UCJ Family,
There are no words to express the thanks we want to convey for all you have done for our family during this sad time. There have been prayers, phone calls, cards, food and a reception beyond belief. Mark’s service was so beautiful and sincere. We appreciate every gesture. Please continue to pray for us as we try to heal from this devastating loss.
With love and thanks,
The Bergeron Family
FLOWERS FOR THE ALTAR
Openings for altar flowers for the rest of the year include: May 28; July 2, 9, 16 & 23; August 6 & 27; September 3, 10, 17 & 24; October 15 & 22; November 12 & 26; December 10.
The flower sign-up board is in the narthex or contact Pat Cournoyer.
President: Sarah Ellis
Triple-D is still collecting school bags and hygiene kits for Church World Service. The kits need to be completed by the end of April and will then be delivered to the distribution center in Bow, NH the beginning of May. You may contact Pat Cournoyer (532-7922, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org) if you have questions.
SAFETY PIN PROJECT
On Sunday, Nov. 20, 2016 we introduced the wearing of a safety pin as a way of stating
that you are a safe ally for anyone who is discriminated against in our current national upheaval. As an Open and Affirming, Just Peace congregation, we must be an ever-present advocate for those who are not being treated as the precious creation of our loving Creator.
This is only one way to let our voices be heard. May we come together and think of a multitude of ways to stand with our brothers and sisters. Safety pins will continue to be available in the narthex.
PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY
Please join us each 3rd Thursday of the month from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in the parlor to continue our Prayer Shawl Ministry.
There is a NEW UCJ Chat group hosted at Googlegroups.com. Our old group, hosted on Yahoo, will be retired. As always, the UCJ Chat group is a place where we can continue to BE the CHURCH in between worship and meetings. We post prayer requests, news of the church family, announcements of church events and happenings, requests for help at church events, our joys and concerns, and other items that we’d share with each other on Sunday mornings or church gatherings.
Deb Weissman will continue to administer UCJ Chat. If you wish to be included in the chat group, please email Deb at email@example.com with the email address you wish to use. It will be necessary for members of the old group to send her your email so that you can be invited.
Sunday Worship at 10:00 a.m.
Communion is the first Sunday of each month.
Sunday School Director
Choir and Music Director
Reverend Mark Koyama
Reverend Mary-Lu' Esposito