Beyond the Green Doors – May 2019 Newsletter

Beyond the Green Doors – May 2019

The newsletter of the
Peterborough United Methodist Church
43 Concord Street, Peterborough, NH
May 2019

Sun Worship Service 10a
Sun Adult Bible Study 11:30a
Mon Confidential Meeting 6-8p
Tue Office Hours 9-12
Wed Office Hours 9-12
Wed Choir Rehearsal 11a
Wed Life Groups 4:45p
Wed Covenant Discipleship Group 6:30p
Thu Office Hours 9-12

May 12 Free Community Breakfast 8a
May 14 Church/Administrative Council 6:30p
May 17 Open Mic Night 7p
May 18 Spring Work Day 9-12p
May 18 Hundred Nights Tailgate Dinner 4p
May 21 PUMC Book Group *location TBD 1p
May 21 Missions meeting 6:30p
May 25 Men’s Monthly Breakfast 7:30a
May 26 Free Community Breakfast 8a
May 28 Newsletter submissions due
Jun 1 George Eastman memorial service
Jun 4 UMW Salad Supper 5:30p

Katie French
Greg Robidoux
Patty Echavarria
Don’t see your birthday? Just leave a note in the church office!

Membership Anniversaries:
Vi Banks
Nancy Belletete
Randy Bemis
Doug Breda
Gladys Bugler
Andrew Dunbar
Courtney Dunning
Ed Hernandez
Gail Hernandez
Carol Hill
Scott Keenan
Nathan Luscombe
Karen Ravndal-Emery
Robert Venning
Lynda Volante


For more than 40 years, New Life Home for Women and Children has served as a champion for transformation. New Life Home is a place where women and their children’s broken lives are restored. It is a voluntary, residential treatment facility like few others and one of the oldest of its kind in our nation.

In past years PUMC has supported New Life Home during the Christmas Holidays and we plan to continue that tradition. Earlier this month the people at New Life Home contacted us concerning their 2019 New Life Home for Women and Children Golf Tournament fundraiser which will be held on June 17. Here is the link if you are interested in participating or donating.

Nineteen new chairs for Fellowship Hall have arrived. The chairs have fabric covered padded seats and backs and will be put around the central tables in Fellowship Hall. The new chairs should make meetings and study groups much more comfortable for everyone. The chairs were $33.00 each. If you would like to donate to help defray the cost of a chair(s) please write “New Chairs” in the memo line of your check made out to Peterborough United Methodist Church. Thank you.
The Trustees

Saturday May 18, 9 am – 12 pm
We will be doing yard work outside and cleaning the inside of the church.
Please bring rakes, shovels, brooms, etc. if you would like to work outside.
Cleaning supplies for the inside of the church will be provided as we will be washing windows and cleaning woodwork.
Join us and help make the church look good!

Every month in the PUMC Newsletter there will be a section called THE RECYCLING CORNER. If you have something (or things) you would like to find a good home for, just email Melissa French before the newsletter monthly deadline (the last Tuesday of the month), let her know what you have and she will list it under “REUSABLES” along with your name.
IF you happen to need or are looking for a particular item(s), again email Melissa and she will list it under “REQUESTS” along with your name. Please don’t be bashful about using the RECYCLE CORNER because it is a Win-Win situation for everyone!

• 2 large glazed ceramic flower pots 12” high x 15” top diameter (Sue Norton Poplin)
• 39” tall wooden plant stand (Sue Norton Poplin)


Spirit of God
we thank you for raising up Jesus.
Though we are yet in the body,
raise us up too into newness of life.
-Kate Compston

Thank you to everyone that helped with the Lenten Dinners. And special thanks to everyone that attended as your fellowship contributed to our sense of family and community during the season.

Everyone has a place at our table.


On Saturday, April 27 the men and women of PUMC hosted a breakfast for 27 members of our congregation and guests. The PUMC men provided the main course and did most of the cooking while the PUMC women provided savory baked goods. During the breakfast, Andrew Card gave the group a very lively and entertaining talk concerning life at the White House during his tenure as Chief of Staff.

The fellowship and community and love that was felt during the event was a blessing to everyone. A big thank you all that contributed to the success of this event. We all look forward to more combined meetings like this in the future.


MARK YOUR CALENDARS!! The annual Salad Supper will be held on June 4th at 5:30PM. Susan Lindquist will be hosting us in her home in Fitzwilliam. This is always a wonderful evening of delicious food and great fellowship! There will be carpooling from the church. More details will follow.


Eastertide – So many heartfelt thanks to everyone who supported the Lenten and Eastertide activities at the church. What a beautiful time of fellowship and contemplation! Many thanks to everyone who helped read at the Maundy Thursday Tenebrae service. The sanctuary was truly joyous on Easter morning. Thank you, Arnie Johnson for sharing your beautiful Mary’s artwork! Many thanks for the many lilies that created a beautiful scent in the sanctuary! Thanks for the folks who shared their snacks and savories at the Easter fellowship hour! We are a blessed congregation.

UMM/UMW Breakfast – Thank you, Andy Card! Your presentation was an amazing insight into the doings of the President and the White House corps of public servants! Thanks UMM for putting on such a terrific breakfast … Methodists DO eat well, don’t they?

Monadnock Hunger Walk – Thank you everyone who is supporting the Monadnock Hunger Walk 2019 in any way, be it walking, donating, or cheering the team on. Let’s pray for good weather!!!

HUNDRED NIGHTS DINNER – Saturday, May 18th – 4 PM
The next Weekend Supper for the Homeless will be on May 18th at Hundred Nights Drop-In Center in Keene. That also happens to be the day of the Spring Clean-Up Day here at PUMC. Knowing that it will be a busy day for folks, the needs for dinner items is minimal this month. Please see the sign-up sheet for simple items to round out a Shepherd’s Pie dinner that is prepared and in the freezer just waiting to be popped in the oven. Needs for rounding out the meal include: loaves of bread, boxes of store-bought cookies, bags of frozen vegetables, milk, and water. Thanks in advance for helping out on this important anti-hunger mission!

PUMC BOOK GROUP – Tuesday, May 21st @ 1 PM
The next meeting of the PUMC Book Group will be on Tuesday, May 21st. This month, the group is reading Jayber Crow, Wendell Berry’s gentle telling of the life and times of a homespun small town barber whose reflections on his life events are a poignant comment on family, faith, place, and nature. Copies of the book are available through inter-library loan, free download to your Kindle or other computer device, or through borrowing from a book group member. All you have to do is ask! All are welcome to come chat up the book! Stay tuned for the location of this month’s book group!

PUMC ANNUAL YARD SALE – Saturday, June 8th – 9 AM -2 PM
Planning is starting for the June event! Carol Owen and Susan Lindquist have volunteered to help coordinate the event, but here’s what is needed:
• 2 Methodist men to help create a yard sale layout grid for inside and outside the church and to coordinate the setting up of the tables/sawbucks and any signage for the event
• 1 person with graphics ability to create and print flyers for the event
• 1 person to help coordinate pay stations for inside and outside and prepare the money boxes for the event
• 4-5 people to help with sorting and setting up yard sale items the week before the event
• 1 person to man the kitchen on the morning of the event so that workers can get a hot beverage and a muffin or two, first thing and a bowl of soup and a sandwich at lunchtime.
• 5-6 people to work the event on the Saturday of the sale.
• 2-3 men to help with the boxing up and breaking down after the yard sale.
• 1 prayer leader to pray over everyone, as they work to prepare, complete, and clean up afterward.
We will be available to help and guide volunteers, as our team forms up and gets humming along! Please call Carol (525-4125) or Susan (585-6923) to fill these niches! Pretty please with sugar on top!

For some reason Spring makes me think of the preacher Qoheleth in the book of Ecclesiastes. A few years ago, a class I was teaching tried to answer the question, “Why would the ancient Hebrew people who want to show their dependence on God read the book of Qoheleth?” This question still pulls at my heart. I can hear Qoheleth’s words, “‘Meaningless! Meaningless!’ says the Teacher. ‘Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless.’ What does man gain from all his labor at which he toils under the sun?” (1:1-3)
When the text claims, “One generation goes, another comes, But the earth remains forever the same,” (All I can think of is the Federal Government. So, when Qoheleth says, “Only that shall happen Which has happened,” (l :9) I find myself shaking my head in assent.
In our land of repetitive motions, why would anyone try to change? As a person who has tilted windmills, I suggest that there are times when I get weary. Usually, though, I discover that I am trying to do things on my own. When I would relax and pray, a kind of folk wisdom would take over. All that I needed to do was to settle “into the moment.” Qoheleth describes this tension and release when he maintains that “as wisdom grows, vexation grows,” creating in us the feeling that the more we learn the more we know how little we know.
Interestingly, although Qoheleth tells us being wise is unwise, he sees being a fool as still no better. He reminds us that neither the fool nor the wise man is remembered or immune from death. (2:16) So, Qoheleth finds himself able only to eat, drink and make merry. Nevertheless, this benefit is easily stifled, when Qoheleth discovers that even those who displease God can do this. The overwhelming message he seems to be sending is, “Why bother?” So here I sit, in the spring of the year, asking us to reflect on how vulnerable we are. It would be easy to refuse to hear what Qoheleth is saying; but I want to encourage us to hear him out. If we look at his message—I think we can see where truth dances with hope.
In the same breath that we are told that God allows both good fortune and misfortune, (7:14) we hear that “there is no one good man on earth who does what is best and doesn’t err.” (7:20) While we cannot argue with the overall validity of these statements, we cannot rest easy in them, either. So, I repeat, “Why would a group of people, who want to show their dependence on God read the book of Qoheleth?”
As a book of insightful sayings, Ecclesiastes reminds me of a post-modern, Faulknerian stream of-consciousness. I feel as if everyone has met Qoheleth at some recent social event. He is witty; he knows the current nuances; and he even introduces some novel ideas. However, he also makes people uncomfortable. Interestingly, Qoheleth seeks wisdom knowing “it is far from him.” (7:23) Thus, the reader is left to wonder, why is Qoheleth so determined? If we remember Jeremiah asking God, “Why does the way of the wicked prosper,” (12:1) we might be able to understand Qoheleth better. He is only asking the same questions any intelligent person might ask when he or she says, “Why do the innocent suffer?” Qoheleth is not a man without faith. He is a man without inhibitions. He questions God. He warns human kind; and he reveals the paradox of the human condition—if God is in control, what does it matter what humanity does? At this point I thought about John Wesley. Wesley created a powerful movement around the simultaneous impartation of justification and sanctification that could lead ultimately to perfection. Wesley spent a lifetime trying to explain systematically what human choice was. Qoheleth summed it up neatly by proclaiming that “God will call you to account for all such things.” (11:9)
Qoheleth does not call humanity into senseless actions. His reality describes God’s judgment (11:9) as vividly as God’s acceptance, “Go eat your bread in gladness, and drink your wine in joy; for your action was long ago approved by God.” (9:7) I believe he calls humanity to be totally present to the moment—but I think Qoheleth sees being present to the moment in the context of community. He is not describing the modem-day quick fix of “feeling more comfortable.” Rather, I think Qoheleth is saying we need to see that nothing that humanity has amassed will last. (2:27) Ultimately, when Qoheleth says the “only worthwhile thing there is for them is to enjoy themselves and do what is good in their lifetime,” I think we tend to emphasize the enjoyment and downplay the “do what is good in their lifetime.” (3:12) The ancient people who read this text felt an intimate, if not unpredictable, relationship with God. In our post-modern culture of self-actualized people, it is difficult to surrender to the present in the way Qoheleth has described. Yet, the notion of living totally in the present and with a confident trust that God is participating, too, is intriguing. What harm lurks in this message?
My conclusion is that Qoheleth is describing how humanity tries to put God in a box, is unable to find a box that works, and ultimately discovers that God is more fluid, sticky, tangible and confusing than humanity ever thought. The futility comes in thinking we can master our relationships with God or with each other. My new question is, “Why would people in the year 2019 who want to show their dependence on God read the book of Qoheleth?” My answer: Why not?
Blessings, Rev Card

Everyone is invited to contribute to the newsletter! Send in your thank yous, birthdays, photos, events, testimonials, prayer submissions…
Please submit all materials for the next newsletter (June) to our editors by the LAST TUESDAY, May 28. This is the newsletter that will be released June 2 and cover until Sunday June 30. Send to Melissa French at 924-4294 or email, with the subject “Newsletter submission.” Thanks!

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!
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This newsletter was compiled by Melissa French. Any concerns with content can be addressed with Reverend Card.