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
I wonder what is going to happen?
When we think about time, we tend to imagine it as a line. We imagine a line that starts with our birth, way back behind us, moves up to the present moment, and then extends out into the future in front of us. Our language reinforces this idea: we say things like, “back, when I was a kid…” or “I’m really looking forward to Christmas…”
But there is something strange about this idea.
Imagine you are looking out from the top of a hill. You can see everything that is in front of you. But if someone comes up behind you – you don’t see her until she taps you on the shoulder.
The Maori people, who are native to New Zealand, picked up on this peculiarity. Because of this observation, they believe that the past is in front of us. We can see the past. We can’t see the future. So the future, they believe, is behind us.
This Maori view of the world came up in our Lenten discussion of Cry, The Beloved Country when we were considering the main character, Steven Kumalo’s, statement that “…pain and suffering are a secret. Kindness and love they are a secret.” I understand this to mean that we simply don’t know what will happen, and because of this we have no control at all over what our lives bring. The future is behind us – we don’t feel its presence until it taps us on the shoulder.
But perhaps there is another way of looking at all this. While it may be true that the future is impossible to see, does this necessarily mean that we are helpless before it? Does the fact that the future is a mystery mean that the future has no meaning?
As a Christian I insist that this is not so. As a Christian, I insist that there is a story – a story that helps us find meaning as we find our way through the mystery of time. This is the story of Jesus Christ. As we have just been reminded, during the Easter season, this is not an easy story. It is a story that is both realistic about human suffering, and filled with the promise of grace.
“I have learned,” Kumalo goes on to say, “that kindness and love can pay for pain and suffering… [and] so, in my suffering I can believe.”
Yours in Christ,
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.” I’ve offered little stories about Thailand, where I was born, and Singapore, where I lived as a child. That was where I left off.
In 1973 my father got a job teaching religion at a university in Dunedin, which is located in New Zealand’s South Island. Until we landed in New Zealand, my entire childhood had been spent in the tropics, so it was quite a confusing transition for me. I have a distinct memory, for example, of the first time I walked outside in the cold and saw my breath. I honestly thought that I was burning up on the inside and smoke was coming out of my mouth! My mother laughed when she explained it to me. You can imagine my relief!
New Zealand, as you know, is a land of extraordinary beauty. One incredible thing about the South Island, where I lived, was that you could drive across the width of the island in about 5 hours, and in that drive you can see ocean, pastureland, desert, lakes, rainforest, snow-capped Alps, and finally fjords. It’s like all of the diverse terrains and ecosystems are condensed into one magnificent core section.
I loved New Zealand. It was the paradise of my youth. I spent my time running with the local kids, out on the streets, and also in the native temperate rainforest that was a short walk from my home. I lived in New Zealand from the age of 8 to 13 – from 1973 – 1979, so it is also the place that I associate with (what I considered) the great social trends of that time – ABBA, the BeeGees, David Bowie, Elton John. I cannot hear any of this music, today, without tearing up, thinking of that wonderful land, lost to me. Perhaps… just perhaps, I will someday find a way to get back there.
THOUGHTS FROM OUR MODERATOR
Such a wonderful season we had been experiencing here at the UCJ! We have been blessed with outstanding music, excellent preaching, thoughtful reflections, joyful children, and new folks coming to visit every Sunday! What a beloved community we are and just imagine where we can go from here!
Our church planning retreat will be a bit different this year. We will be offering egg casserole, muffins, fruits, orange juice, coffee and tea. While we enjoy this delicious meal we will be informed about the work that The Advisory Group has been doing on developing a new governance system that is streamlined and focused on our community now and flexible to accommodate us as we grow into the future. We are interested in getting the community’s involvement during this planning process and everyone’s input is needed!
After the presentation and discussion we will quickly map out the coming year’s calendar May 2017-April 2018. Remember that we are looking for new items that could be added and also let’s look at what we might want to remove. Not just the same old calendar but one that demonstrates the community we have become and are becoming!
Please make an effort to come and join us on Saturday, May 6th from 9 a.m. until 12 noon in the Mildred Cutter Memorial Hall.
Mary-Lu’, UCJ Moderator
Have you been coming to church lately? Would you like to become a member? We would love to welcome you into our community! If you are interested in becoming a member, please get in touchwith Pastor Mark either at the church phone number (603) 532-7047 or his email address (email@example.com). In the near future we will coordinate a time to run a New Member Welcome Session. Blessings!
May 7 Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lay Reader: Cynthia Hamilton
Acts 2 : 42-47
1 Peter 2 : 19-25
John 10 : 1-10
May 14 Fifth Sunday of Easter
Lay Reader: Mary-Lu’ Esposito
Acts 7 : 55-60
Psalm 31 : 1-5. 15-16
1 Peter 2 : 2-10
John 14 : 1-14
April 16 Easter
(Regular worship at UCJ at 10:00 a.m.)
May 21 Sixth Sunday of Easter
Lay Reader: Helen Coll
Acts 17 : 22-31
Psalm 66 : 8-20
1 Peter 3 : 13-22
John 14 : 15-21
May 28 Seventh Sunday of Easter
Lay Reader: Tina O’Neil
Acts 1 : 6-14
Psalm 68 : 1-10, 32-35
1 Peter 4 : 12-14; 5 : 6-11
John 17 : 1-11
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).
3 - Mariah Chamberlain
4 - Cynthia Hamilton & Stephen Turelli
6 - Bill Esposito
7 - Jerry Elliott & Sophia O’Neil
8 - Patrick O’Neil Sr. & Alexander Yoblick
10 - Weltha Barker
12 - Sally Soney
14 - Richard Ellis
27 - Kiaja Hendrickson
28 - Lee Alfred Sawyer
2 - Michael and Becky Newton
3 - Archie and Helen Coll
15 - Tevye and Kelly Yoblick
16 - Paul and Peggy Despres
24 – Mike and Nicolle Tenters
Chancel Guild: Dorothy Bacon
TRUST & CARE
Coordinator: Archie Coll
We need facilitators for the summer months. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex and help is available with the duties.
We are now looking for ideas for the gazebo side of the parking lot – garden or grass?
Give us your ideas and thoughts on this area.
I am now catching up on how this past winter affected our properties. Thanks to all who took good care while I was away – Ken Bacon, Jerry Elliott, Sarah Ellis and others.
JUSTICE AND PEACE
Sandi Carland & Owen Houghton
The One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) collection in March totaled $434.00 Thank you all for your donations !
The Earth Day Service on April 23rd was wonderful. We had a flying fish, a talking owl, great music, the Native American Lord’s Prayer read by Jade Patterson and all received gifts of seeds to plant and pencils to write with.
And remember…. EVERYDAY should be EARTH DAY ! ! !
“When all the trees have been cut down, when all the animals have been hunted, when all the waters are polluted, when all the air is unsafe to breathe, only then will you discover you cannot eat money.” Cree Prophecy
COMING ON Saturday MAY 6th…… The Monadnock Hunger Walk will start at the Greenfield Covenant Church. Registration begins at 8 a.m., the walk starts at 9 a.m. The route is a gentle stroll from Greenfield village out and around Zephyr Lake. Maps will be available at registration. The route is approximately 4.1 miles.
Proceeds of the Walk will go to the Food Pantry of the walker’s choice. We need walkers and sponsors. Get your friends and family involved and we will do our best to arrange for good weather! If you would like to participate, there will be walk information and sponsor sheets available in the narthex and in the office (during office hours) or from Sandi Carland at church on Sunday, April 30, 2017.
In 1974, following our vote to accept a covenant welcoming persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities and expressions into our Christian community, The United Church of Jaffrey was certified as an Open and Affirming Congregation. The national United Church of Christ presented us with a handsome certificate dated April 4, 1994 which hung on the wall between the Pastor and Main Offices for over 20 years but at some unknown time disappeared. The ONA Team was able to obtain a copy of the original which is now back in its rightful place – please observe and help us keep it there as we begin to think about celebrating our 25th Anniversary in January 2019!
President: Sarah Ellis
The March program, HOW TO BE AND STAY SAFE, was presented by Jaffrey patrolmen Thomas Bishop and Joe Galinski. It was an excellent overview of how to recognize and avoid various types of scams including telephone, financial, lottery and sweepstake scams. A printed handout from the Jaffrey Police Department was provided with additional valuable information. Anyone wishing a copy of this material may get in touch with Sarah at 465-8893.
Hosts Bob and Gail Ballou treated us all to our own tiny green plant, as well as packages of delicious gourmet roasted peanuts. My plant is growing strong and ready for a larger pot!
Host Tina O’Neil offered a reading on the origin and proper use of some familiar phrases such as ‘Black Maria’, ‘eye of a needle’, ‘haywire’, ‘steward’ and ‘sty keeper’.
It was a fascinating and entertaining evening!
April’s program, MISSIONS, was presented by Travis Kumph. Travis reported about the effort he is involved in with FNE International, a Boston based non-profit organization that works internationally, mostly in South America helping communities with issues of health, housing and education. FNE stands for Facilitate, Network and Empower. Travis especially enjoys the trips he helps to organize for high school and college age students who wish to contribute to FNE’s projects. He started hosting trips to Peru in 2008 and has made 14 trips since! For more information, please go to FNEINTERNATIONAL.ORG.
As usual, the hosts provided a wonderful program and delicious refreshments!
Thank you to Cynthia Hamilton, Joan Shelor and Estelle O’Neil !
The May Program will be our Annual Banquet, hosted by Helen Coll and Norma Sands.
June brings the town-wide yard sale to Jaffrey. As we have in past years, Triple-D will organize our church’s yard sale, beginning with coffee and doughnuts at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 24th. Please scour your house for anything that could be someone else’s treasure! For more information about donating time or items, please contact Cynthia Hamilton at 532-6064.
July 4th weekend brings the Annual Strawberry Festival, organized this year by Pat Bullock and Pat Cournoyer. Please watch the bulletins for details!
In August, Triple-D will be cooking and delivering meals to Mary K Duquette. If you would like to participate in this labor of love, please contact Sarah Ellis at 465-8893.
Triple-D will host the Church Supper on the second Saturday in October.
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.
AMERICAN FLAG NEEDED
Every June, as close to the official Flag Day (June 14) as possible, the Memorial Gifts Committee has a special moment after the official church service has ended. We invite the entire congregation to gather on the Mildred Cutter Memorial Hall lawn and we have the American Flag lowered and replaced with a new American Flag. Each flag flies for the entire year. This special service started after 9/11 when we wanted to show our loyalty to our United States. We have always asked for flag donations from the parish family. This year we are asking again. If anyone has an American Flag that can be used outdoors and would like to donate it to the church, please contact the church office or Cynthia Hamilton. Thank you.
The United Church of Jaffrey
Mildred Cutter Memorial Hall
July 31 – August 4, 2017
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
$10 fee for the week
Healthy snack provided.
Please bring a lunch.
This year will be focused on music in our lives. And as always Friday will be Water Fun Day!!
All children entering Kindergarten through 8th grade are welcome!
Plan now for a week of great fun with friends old and new!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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