Recently, I attended a NH Library Trustees Annual Conference. I do this to stay current with trends and information I might need to fulfill my position as a Lane Library Trustee. The topic was, “What Constitutes a Great Library?” The speaker was dynamic, funny and very informative! I realized that his information just as easily can be applied to the question, “What Constitutes a Great Small Church?” So, using some of his ideas, I have substituted “church” for “library” and share below his main points for our summer reflections and perhaps, actions:
- Historically, a small church imagined itself, “great” if it had a “great building” or “a great sanctuary for weddings, or a great organ or a great historical artifact – “a pew where Abraham Lincoln sat” or the original oil lamp chandeliers.
- Later, the business model brought with it the idea of “customer satisfaction” and churches asked, “In order to be great, what can we give you so you will keep coming?” Answers included: yoga classes, wi-fi, café areas, praise music, with guitars and drums, etc.
- Most recently, the efforts to create a “great church” have included making community connections – asking ourselves, “How could we collaborate with school boards, PTAs, elected officials, local businesses or civic organizations so we could become a great community partner?”
There is nothing wrong with any of these transformations. Each turning point in time leads the institution to reflect on who it is, and for what purpose it exists. However, in all of the reflections what must not be forgotten is the truth that great churches are most often great because of their single most important resource – their people! If this “great People” resource happens to be a group who makes the following choices then their greatness is most often visible in multiple ways:
Great people choose these things:
- They choose encouragement of others as their priority.
- They choose teamwork, because they know that one might go faster alone, but if they go together they will all go farther.
- They choose inclusiveness and generosity; never shying away from welcoming the stranger.
- They choose flexibility and gratitude in every relationship they make with each other.
- They choose to respect one another, and best of all they choose laughter as their secret weapon when they confront failure, disagreement, conflict and challenge.
I believe we are such a great church, filled with great people! So, this summer, when you are relaxing offer a prayer of gratitude for your church. Choose to welcome a stranger along the path. Choose to laugh with your children and work together on a summer project – going farther together than alone. Keep practicing at “being a great church in all these ways” and we’ll see you in worship, where we can acknowledge that all this greatness begins and ends in the heart of our marvelous God! Love, Rev. Deb
Lectionary Readings and Sermons for July & August
July 2 Sacrament of Communion Genesis 22:1-14 & Matthew 10:40-42 “What do you See?”
July 9 Genesis 24:34-67 “Chosen Journeys”
After church, July 9th, there will be a special meeting during coffee hour to inform the congregation about the Wardens’ plan to fund the repairs to the roof and an update on our pending capital projects. Questions are always welcomed.
July 16 Genesis 25:19-34 “A House Divided”
July 23 Genesis 28:10-19a “A Place of Blessing”
July 30 Genesis 29:15-28 & Matthew 13:31-32 “Weaving the Future”
August 6 Sacrament of Communion/Hiroshima Day Genesis 32:22-31 “Face to Face”
August 13 Genesis 37:1-4, 12-28 & Romans 8:31-39 “When All Seems Lost”
August 20 Genesis 45:1-15 & Romans 11:1-2a “Behold I am your Brother”
August 27 Psalm 124 & Romans 12:1-8 “Be Transformed”
You’ve Heard of Paying if Forward?
Such a trusting gesture; such a welcome sign of covenant; such a “righteous deed, man!” What are we talking about? Paying your pledge forward, is such an act that might conjure these responses. It certainly helps the church maintain its mission in the world even while we might be “out of the building” for a few weeks. You never know when YOUR kind act will express the very hope needed for another to keep going.
Summer Cross Roads Dates
Our Summer Cross Roads Meals will need to be delivered on Wednesdays, June 28, July 26 and August 23rd. This means that we would love to have a family, a business, or a group of worshipers who are willing to stay after worship on June 25, July 23, and August 20 to cook and another individual(s) to deliver on the Wednesdays listed above. The cooking takes about 90 minutes and the delivering about 1 hour.
WORSHIP TIME CHANGE
JUNE 19 – FATHER’S DAY- to 9AM and this continues until SEPTEMBER 3. ON the 10TH we go back to 10AM.
SUMMER SPIRIT SEMINARS 2017
Mondays 7:00 – 8:15 p.m. or Wednesdays 12:00 noon – 1:15 p.m.
Join us in a group discussion setting as we explore 10 engaging topics.
Come for 1 or 2 or all.
- Stewardship and Hospitality: How Are They Linked? (June 19 & 21)
- What Gen X, Gen Y, and Gen Z Want From Us As the Church (June 26 & 28)
- BREAK WEEK – No Meeting (July 3 & 5)
- What On Earth Happens After Christ’s Second Coming? (July 10 & 12)
- Amen and Hallelujah! The Meaning of Church Words (July 17 & 19)
- David’s Dance Across the Line (July 24 & 26)
- Why Should I Read the Bible? (July 31 & August 2)
- The Immigration Debate: What Does the Bible Say? (August 7 & 9)
- Did Jesus Look Like Brad Pitt? (August 14 & 16)
- An Interfaith Experience (August 21 & 23)
From the Music Director Summer Music – We are looking forward to special music over the summer. If you have a musical gift to share, please sign up in the music robing room or see Jennifer. We need musicians of any style or genre from June through Labor Day.
UKAMA CONTAINER SHIPMENT – On September 9 another container shipment will go out from Keene church to the NH UCC Conference partner churches in Zimbabwe. We have asked for a dozen boxes. The list of desired items can be found in the Narthex by the front door or in Fellowship Hall on the table beneath the screen. Donations accepted until September 2. Please sort and place them in the marked bins in Fellowship Hall.
GAMETIME! NH Fisher Cats versus Hartford Yard Goats in Manchester on Sunday August 27th@ 1:35PM. Tickets are $9.00 reserved grandstand first base. See Joe Lysitt for tickets.
SAVE THE DATE! – Miniature Golf & Ice Cream at Captain’s Cove on Lafayette Road from 12:30 on. Great Family Fun! Sunday September 10th (Golf Cost TBD at this time)
Oh the places you’ll CE this summer! July & August 2017
Portsmouth Farmer’s Market – through November 4, 2017 8am – 1 pm. 1 Junkins Ave. Portsmouth NH
Prescott Park Arts Festival’s production of Disney’s Mary Poppins June 23 – August 20, 2017 visit https://www.prescottpark.org for more info and specific dates and times.
Leddy Center for the Performing Arts Epping NH – Presents Annie July 7– 23. Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm. Sundays and Wednesdays at 2:00pm . For ticket information visit their website at http://www.leddycenter.org
Hampton Beach Monday Movies on the Beach – July 11-August 29th Hampton Beach across from the playground. Bring the whole family. This event starts at dusk weather permitting. Admission FREE
Little Miss Hampton Beach Pageant – July 30 2:00 – 5:00 pm Seashell Stage for more info call Director Stephanie Rose Lussier 603-512-5257
Hampton Beach Wrestling Tournament – July 29, 10:30 am – on the beach 170 Ocean Blvd. Wrestlers compete on sand, inside a 23′ diameter circle – from a standing position only, no ground wrestling . For more info contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Miss Hampton Beach Pageant – July 31 2:00 – 5:00 pm Seashell Stage for more info call Director Stephanie Rose Lussier 603-512-5257
Hampton Beach Children’s Festival Aug 14, 2017 – Aug 18, 2018 10:00 am – 3 pm The annual Hampton Beach Children’s Festival is the family fun event of the summer, kicking off Monday, with a magic show by BJ Hickman on the famous Hampton Beach Seashell Stage at 10 a.m., and building up to a Giant Costume Parade that marches almost the length of Hampton Beach on Friday. Each day will be a blockbuster, filled with non-stop fun.
email@example.com – Rev. Deb Knowlton
firstname.lastname@example.org – Arlene Radford
email@example.com – Jennifer Ramsay
firstname.lastname@example.org – Sally Wool
email@example.com – Donna Makechnie
firstname.lastname@example.org – John Recupero
Enjoy your Summer!!!
Minutes from FCC Women’s Guild Annual Meeting/ Luncheon June 8, 2017
Attending: 34 people attended the luncheon which began at 12:00. An annual meeting followed.
Devotions: Reverend Debbie offered grace prior to the meal.
Minutes: Minutes from April 6, 2017 were read by Linda Reid and were accepted as read.
Treasurer’s Report: Karen reported a balance of $40,962.25. Karen also thanked Marcia Jenkins for her work as Asst. Treasurer and others for their assistance. The 2017-2018 Women’s Guild Budget was presented by Karen. The only changes were to Programs which was increased to $400.00 and the item listed as Wardens was changed to Church General Fund. The budget was approved with these minor changes.
Walkway Railing Contract– Maggie reported that the contract with Platinum Fence to install a new railing on the left side of the church will soon be signed. Questions about said railing were answered by Maggie who reviewed the history of this project
Rummage Sale 2017– Maggie thanked all who helped to make this year’s sale a success. Changes are there will not be large furniture next year. The men will be assisting in other ways. Thanks to them for all their help.
Kitchen Committee– Katie and Marcia are heading up this committee and reported that John, our custodian, has repaired drawers in the kitchen. One more volunteer is needed on this committee to assist the Deacons in Coffee Hour. Please see them if you have any questions.
Wardens– Sandy and Alison reported that bids will be sought for the roof and parking lot. A budget will then be put together. A discussion about these major projects ensued. More to come on these items.
Nominees for 2017-2018
President Maggie Ginieres
Vice President Alison Lysitt
Secretary Linda Reid
Asst. Treasurer Dawn Emerick
Past President Sharon Buck
Nominees were approved.
Jingle Bell Fair – We are still looking for co chairs for this year’s coming Fair. Crafting will begin this summer. Maggie will be sending out two dates for June, the last 2 Thursdays at 6:30pm. Please sign up for the one that is most convenient for you.
Coming into the 21st Century– Maggie encouraged people to use the FCC webpage for all kinds of information. Stephanie suggested that we list the various committees and what their responsibility/role is. She also volunteered to be the website Coordinator and will be putting this information the church’s website. Also, we are looking into ways to encourage youth participation.
Sunshine committee- Judy Ashenden reported sending out 349 notes and 17 cards this year. Great job and a big thanks to Judy for adding her personal touch to these notes.
Flower Committee – Marcia Jenkins reported no new news.
Nursing Home – Margaret Dennett reported that she assists with Bingo on the fourth Wed. of the month. Another volunteer is needed for this task. It’s a 1 ½ hour commitment once a month.
Visitation Com.- Denyse Cumins reported that they are visiting 8 or 9 people and finds it very worthwhile.
Thanks to all these volunteers who give so freely of their time!
Sept. 29 and 30th retreat- Alison shared some information about a retreat for women titled How to Live Together in 1 World. Information will be forthcoming.