Please enjoy our newsletter for August 2017.
Beyond the Green Doors
The newsletter of the Peterborough United Methodist Church
43 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH
MARK YOUR CALENDARS:
Wed 16 Book Group 7p
Sat 19 Faith & Family Night
Sun 20 Special Collection Human Relations
Wed 23 Prayer Shawl Group 1p
Sun 27 Sizzlin’ Sunday Potluck 10a
Wed 30 Newsletter due
Sun Worship Service 10a
Sun Adult Bible Class 11:15a
Thu Drop-In Bible Study 2p
CHURCH FAMILY CELEBRATIONS
Amy Clason-Gilmet Aug
Ella French Aug 31
Karen Keenan Aug 6
Linda Wallenstein Aug 3
Acknowledging that some people prefer not to see street language, I have set up the Facebook Page Pastor Lena Mark. This Page is appropriate for church family and peers. If you are looking for my street presence and advocacy work, and do not mind street language and crudeness, you can follow me at my personal account Lena Rose Mark.
Our church is able to contribute $60 to Native American ministries and $149 to the Peace with Justice efforts of UMCOR because of your generosity. Thank you!
Your CONGREGATIONAL CARE COMMITTEE is here to help!
If you, or someone you know in our congregation, is in need of any of the following areas of help please let Pastor Lena or one of us know.
God asks us to care for one another:
First John 3:17
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
Food Help Coordinator is Gladys Bugler.
Gladys organizes food distribution for the sick or grieving.
Grief Coordinator is Kristel Gatcombe.
Kristel sends out a four-part series of books to members or member’s families experiencing grief
Transportation Coordinator is Linda Wallenstein.
Linda provides or facilitates transportation for members needing rides to church, doctor appointments etc. as needed.
Card Care Coordinator is Sue Norton Poplin.
Sue sends out get well cards or sympathy cards to members or member’s families when needed.
Thank you for caring.
Sue Norton Poplin, Congregational Care Committee Chairman
The Trustees completed the annual facilities review and there are no major issues to be addressed this year. We are awaiting quotes for some roof and siding repairs, and we’d like to get the parking lot sealed and striped this year. Another workday will be scheduled for later in the summer/early fall for some interior painting work, and other odds-and-ends… stay tuned!
No, time has not stopped! The antique clock in the back of the sanctuary is broken and awaiting repairs (there is a lengthy backlog so it will be awhile!).
An Emergency Defibrillator has been purchased and will be installed in the near future. We will have a couple training sessions on its use for anyone who is interested (everyone is encouraged to participate as you could be the one with the opportunity to help save a life).
Thanks to everyone for making the keyless entry system such a successful transition.
Are you interested in joining the Trustees? I have announced my resignation effective the end of this year as it is time for a change (for me and the church!), and we will have a couple other openings then as well, so please ask one of us what is involved and let your interest be known. It will be a big help to the nomination committee and will be an easier transition if we have some new members in place this fall.
Chair – Board of Trustees
Are you looking for something good to read this summer? Check out our newly organized library shelves. The books are arranged in sections: fiction, bible studies, biography, children, music, a shelf for UMW magazines, and another with albums of pictures taken of church activities over the years.
Among the fiction books there are some great stories about Amish life. The same characters come to life in each book of the series. Try one by Janette Oke or Bevely Lewis. Take home a children’s book to read to your children or grandchildren.
Please remember to sign out each book so we can keep track of those that are taken out. Enjoy!
OUR MEMBERSHIP VOWS
According to The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, members make covenant to do the following: 1. To renounce the spiritual forces of wickedness, reject the evil powers of the world, and repent of their sin; 2. To accept the freedom and power God gives them to resist evil, injustice, and oppression; 3. To confess Jesus Christ as Savior, put their whole trust in his grace, and promise to serve him as their Lord; 4. To remain faithful members of Christ’s holy church and serve as Christ’s representatives in the world; 5. To be loyal to Christ through The United Methodist Church and do all in their power to strengthen its ministries; 6. To faithfully participate in its ministries by their prayers, their presence, their gifts, their service, and their witness; 7. To receive and profess the Christian faith as contained in the Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments.
“If prayer is not easy, we are wrong…There is only one kind of person who can really pray, and that is the child-like saint…Let us never forget that our prayers are heard, not because we are in earnest, not because we suffer, but because Jesus suffered…Because He went through Calvary, we have ‘Boldness to enter into the holiest’ ” (see Hebrews 10:19).
– Oswald Chambers, If You Will Ask
The Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words. —Romans 8:26
O Lord our God,
fill us with hope in the shadow of Your wings;
protect and sustain us.
You will uphold us, right from our childhood until our old age,
because our present strength,
if it comes from You, is strength indeed;
but if it is merely our own strength then it is weakness.
When we are close to You we find living goodness,
but at the very moment we turn aside from You
we become corrupt.
So, Lord, make us retrace our steps,
so that we are not defeated.
HUMAN RELATIONS SPECIAL OFFERING
Together, we extend a helping hand to those in crisis so they can overcome formidable obstacles.
Turn on the news or drive around the outskirts of your town and you will find what Jesus called “the least of these.” Those living in the margins of society, struggling to survive. People like:
• An immigrant teenager in Texas’ poorest county, being recruited by a local gang
• A father struggling for sobriety in Little Rock, Arkansas
• An Oklahoma woman recently released from incarceration looking for work
Over and over Jesus served people like this, embracing them. And that’s what we want to model as the people of The United Methodist Church. To continue the ministry of Jesus we established Human Relations Day as a Special Sunday that calls all of our churches to participate in helping all God’s children to realize their potential.
Will you continue to support Human Relations Day? Will you continue nurturing at-risk youth, strengthening communities’ self-improvement efforts and advocating for the oppressed? Thank you!
BIBLE STUDY ON THE BOOK OF JAMES
A “Drop-in” Bible study on the book of James meets every Thursday at 2:00 PM through August 31.
Come when you are able–no commitment required. Try it!
No preparation is required, but if you’d like to read and consider the passage ahead of time, this is the schedule:
July 27 James 1:19-2:13
August 3 James 2:14-26
August 10 James 3:1-12
August 17 James 3:13-4:12
August 24 James 4:13-5:6
August 31 James 5:7-20
Let James show you what the true Christian lifestyle looks like by challenging you to put your faith into action. For more information, please contact Janet Hazel.
from Upper Room July-August, 2017
The Good Samaritan
“Who is my neighbor?” Jesus responds to the lawyer’s question with a story about a man traveling the Jericho road who was robbed, stripped naked, beaten, and left for dead. In his helplessness he was passed by twice — first by a priest and then a Levite — who walk all the way to the other side of the road to avoid the man.
The road between Jerusalem and Jericho was widely known to be dangerous. Traveling along it was potentially hazardous, and halting one’s journey for any length of time courted serious risk. The priest and Levite may have weighed this risk in their minds and decided that the increased threat to their safety wasn’t worth it. It’s easy for me to shake my finger at them both. Shame on you, priest and Levite! But I can’t shake my finger long before I feel the pangs of hypocrisy.
I too am guilty of their choice. I have done what I could to avoid someone in need of help, and I can imagine what the priest and Levite might have thought: I have somewhere to be or Someone else will offer help or I do plenty for other people. I do not know what grief they felt — if any — at having left the man for dead. What I do know is that neither the priest nor the Levite did anything; it was a Samaritan who took action.
By all accounts, the priest and the Levite were the ones I would have expected to help the man. I have to wrestle with the fact that it was a Samaritan — an outsider and foreigner — who bandaged the man’s wounds, put him on the Samaritan’s own donkey, and found him a place to stay.
I generally think I am a neighbor to someone when I bake them a pie or water their plants while they are out of town, and someone is a neighbor to me when they bake me a pie and water my plants. Of course these are good and decent things to do for each other. But if I pay careful attention to the parable, I come away from it uncomfortable about what it asks of me. Being a neighbor is about more than baking a pie or watering plants. These are things I would do for people I am expected to help, people who might be expected to do something for me in return. But what about the people no one expects me to help? What about the people I will step around to avoid?
As I sit with the parable, I am beginning to understand that Jesus is calling me to act with unguarded compassion toward the person who doesn’t look like me, speak like me, or have the same customs and ideas as I have. The good Samaritan reminds me that being a neighbor to someone may involve risking my comfort, my own concerns and priorities, or my time and commitments. It reminds me of the times I have passed someone in need; and if I take the story seriously, I can no longer leave someone “lying on the side of the road.” It also reminds me that the next time I find myself in dire straits, it could be the most unexpected person who stops to help.
Several meditations in this issue address our responsibility as Christians to help those in need. You may want to read again the meditations for July 1, 5, 17, and 19 and August 6, 9, 18, 23, 26, and 29 before responding to the reflection questions below.
Questions for reflection:
1. Read Luke 10:30-37. Which character in the parable of the good Samaritan do you identify with most closely? Why?
2. Can you recall a time when you saw someone in need of help but passed them by? What was the situation? What did you learn from the experience? What will you do differently if you find yourself in a similar situation in the future?
– Andrew Garland Breeden, Upper Room July/August issue
LAY MEMBER’S REPORT TO THE ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Dear Church Family
Before too much time passes I wanted to share with you what I felt were the highlights of the New England Annual Conference held 15 to 18 June 2017. As your representative, I feel obligated to share a very important aspect of our conference life.
Thursday’s schedule was packed with important Holy Conference business as well as worship activities. If you are enticed by this article, please feel free to visit the Conference website at www.neumc.org that will pull you into the details of most of the activities we experienced.
Two resolutions were passed during the morning session concerning updating the Conference Rules and Conference Policies and Procedures. Although the Rules Committee did offer some editorial changes to the resolutions, no substantive changes were made from the pre-conference materials published prior to the meeting. Of note several clergy and lay persons participated in the updating process on the committee, which was led by Pastor Lourey Savick.
The Conference approved collection of offerings for the Nicaragua Covenant ($4,580), Mission of Peace ($3,258), Ministerial Call Fund ($2,808), and the NE Jurisdictional Multi-ethnic Center ($2,544). Collections were made during worship services over the three days of the Conference as indicated.
Resolutions concerning Clergy Couple Housing and Updated Racial Harassment Policy were approved by the Conference.
On a more somber note, the Conference approved the closing of six churches, i.e., two in Maine, two in Vermont, one in Rhode Island, and one in Massachusetts. The Bishop prayed for the Clergy and Laity who worked hard to save the churches but noted that many of the assets of these churches are used to start new churches. This leaves the conference with 596 active churches. Another Conference action approved the transfer of the Parsonage of the former Grace Immanuel UMC in Waltham, MA to Grace Vision UMC in Watertown, MA.
A memorial Service was held for those Clergy and Spouses that passed during the last year. Pittsburg PA Resident Bishop Cynthia Moore-KoiKoi, this year’s guest speaker, lead the service.
After the morning sessions and service we shared lunch on the lawn of the hotel in downtown Manchester.
The afternoon session was marked by what the Conference termed a Circle Process. Each attendee was given a number on their credentials and invited to convene at a table with that number. The discussions between five to seven individuals, from varied backgrounds, ensued. We watched videos that posed important questions that we were asked to discuss. Each video dealt with different issues surrounding race in our society and its effects on all of us. The videos posed the following questions:
When did I first become conscious of race?
Where have I recognized personal prejudice in myself or others?
Where have I recognized institutional/systemic racism?
What can I do every single day?
I can tell you from my life experience, that racism is alive and growing under today’s society of intolerance and bullying. However, we can lessen its impact if we talk to each other about how it may be affecting the way we interact with each other and open our hearts to understanding its effects on our neighbors and ourselves. What is most important is that once we discuss the effects of racism and understand its impact on us all, we must do something about it.
During his Episcopal Address, Bishop Devadhar stressed the necessity of United Methodists to welcome all people and to open our hearts and minds to the immigrants that are coming to our shores. I do not believe we can ignore what is happening around us and the turmoil it is causing throughout society.
During the Friday session five Constitutional amendments to the Book of Discipline were brought forward for Clergy and Laity to vote for or against. Given that all annual conferences vote on these amendments, the results won’t be known for some time. Our votes are sent to the UMC Council of Bishops, as are all other annual conference ballots. At least a two thirds majority of all votes cast are required to pass an amendment. The amendments were specified in the pre-conference materials available at the conference website.
Also, delegates that represented the conference at the 2016 General Conference were elected to attend the 2019 special session of the General Conference. A motion was introduced to elect a new slate of delegates for the 2019 and 2020 General Conference sessions during next year’s annual conference. Although some indicated that the current list of delegates were not representative of the ethnic mix of the conference, the vote to continue the mission of the 2016 delegates was sustained.
Retiring clergy were recognized. The total years of service to the UMC was 596 years in ministry. The retiring clergy passed a traditional gift to the new clergy entering service, it was a walking stick. It was given to represent the need to get out beyond the walls of the church and on the street to minister and walk with the people where they are.
I was unable to attend the Commissioning service Friday evening due to fatigue. However, two ministers were ordained as full elders, three pastors were commissioned to provisional deacons, and three pastors were commissioned as provisional elders. Having witnessed the ceremony in prior years I can assure you the conference makes sure it was a moving service.
One of the highlights of the Saturday session was the presentation of the Wilbur C. Ziegler Preaching award to Rev Thomas Blackstone, pastor of Pleasant Street UMC in Waterville Valley, Maine. His acceptance speech was a masterful presentation to the Conference. His theme involved asking us to stop putting the Spirit within us into compartments of fear so it can’t change us. He wants us to release that Spirit. His message met with a resounding applause. He is indeed an inspired messenger of our Lord.
Also of note, 19 Local Pastors were licensed by the conference this year. Included among them was a gentleman you may remember who preached at our church this February, now Pastor Bob Stewart.
Resolutions requesting divesture of Motorola, Caterpillar, and Hewlett Packard investment securities and avoiding the purchase of Hewlett Packard products were approved. These firms continue to do business with those involved in the construction of Israel settlements on Palestinian lands of the West Bank. Actions that only drive the two parties further apart.
The conference approved a resolution directing the Conference Secretary to write the Governors, Congressional Representatives, and ranking members of the state legislatures considering laws that forbid any organization from divesting or boycotting a firm or organization. The Conference was informed that some states are considering legislation that would outlaw any protest action. The resolution was entitled: Protecting the Right to Peacefully Address Injustice through Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions.
The Conference also agreed to promote the use of gluten and dairy free products in the making of bread for the communion elements. Many members are affected by these products and although gluten free bread is available, cross contamination is possible. There are many recipes available for making the bread.
I would like to state that the experience was quite moving. To see 1,200 individuals representing churches throughout New England; all with the focus of sharing God’s love for us in so many different but enthusiastic ways is nothing short of inspiring. Thank you for allowing me the honor of representing you at this wonderful event.
Lay Member to the Annual Conference
Peterborough United Methodist Church
BEYOND THE GREEN DOORS
Church leaders should not be the only ones contributing to the newsletter! Send in your thank yous, birthdays, photos, events, testimonials, prayer submissions…
Please submit all materials for the next newsletter (September) to our editors by the last Wednesday of the month, August 30 . This is the newsletter that will be released on Sunday September 3 and cover until Sunday October 1. Send to Melissa French, with the subject “Newsletter submission.” Thanks!
PETERBOROUGH UMC COMMUNICATIONS
In addition to “Beyond the Green Doors,” Peterborough UMC offers the following ways you can keep in touch.
We are at the church. Come visit us, Sunday at 10 am!
We are on the web: http://www.PeterboroughUMC.org
We are on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/peterboroughunitedmethodist/
This newsletter was compiled by Melissa French. Any concerns with content can be addressed with Pastor Lena.
43 Concord Street (Rt. 202)
Peterborough, NH 03458