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January – February 2017 News Letter

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year’s everyone!   Looking back at 2016, I feel so blessed by the work, the worship, and above all, the people of St. David’s!  We are a small parish, but we do so much.  Again and again, as people visit, they comment about how they felt they were truly made welcome.

But I think we are in a critical transition point.  The past three years we have lost a number of members – some due to death, a couple to other churches, and most due to moving to another area of the state or country.  Typical of the culture, many are attending less frequently resulting in smaller numbers on Sunday mornings.  Currently the 10 AM service is not that much larger than at 8 AM.

St. David’s is doing nothing wrong!  This is a cultural shift being experienced by churches across all denominations except for the large ones.  The question is, do we want to continue what we’ve been doing in all the ways we’ve been doing it – and probably continue to experience a slow decline – or do we want to engage in spiritual renewal, prayerfully discern where God is leading us, and step out in faith to move in new directions?

This year our annual meeting will be January 29.  It is always a great time when both 8 o’clockers and 10 o’clockers  come together for worship, to eat (always a good thing!), attend to some business matters, and celebrate our life together.  We’ll do the same this year.  But what the vestry would like to do is to dedicate the bulk of our time after worship to talk with you about a proposal as to how we might begin to move forward as an entire congregation into a new future.

SO PLEASE COME TO THE ANNUAL MEETING!  January 29 – 9:00 AM.

God’s blessings!

Carolyn

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Family Promise

There has been a lot of change the past two months at Family Promise.  Craig Everett, who had been the director for 2016, accepted a call to pastor a church.  Wayne Trombly, a member of St. Christopher’s and a member of the Family Promise Board of Directors, has stepped in as interim director.  Dawn Lavigne is continuing as Case Manager.

For most of 2016, the program has been full with either four or three families.  (Sometimes the program couldn’t take on a fourth because of the number of people in the three families.)   Most of the families have moved on to their own housing!  There was a rapid turnover in December with the Case Manager reporting:

Hello, Everyone….

Here is an update on the three families we have had within the past month:

Dale, Emmie, and Michael have moved into their own apartment December 1st and are doing well. We were able to help them move and help them with any furnishings they needed. I have spoken and seen Dale and Emmie each week since the 1st and they are doing well. Emmie continues to work, Michael is in school, and Dale continues to search for work.

Cassandra, Aiden, and Madilynn just moved on to a transitional living apartment (Marguerite’s Place in Nashua) Monday, December 12th. I have seen and spoken to her and she is doing well and she and her children love the idea of having their own apartment.

Taryn, Aaliayah, Noah, and Ethan continue to be in the program. Taryn continues to search for housing. She does have a lead on an apartment and is waiting to hear back from the landlord at the end of the week or early next.

I’d like to also share with you a note from the coordinator at Calvary Bible Church:

Fellow coordinators, Merry Christmas!

I want to share my early Christmas Gift with each of you.

I happened to be in the FP office yesterday when Dawn took a call from California. To my surprise it was Debby Neubauer. Many of you remember Debby and her 2 girls. She was just checking in to let us know how she was doing. They are doing great! Debby has gone back to school and is working as a nursing assistant at a hospital. She is looking at continuing on in school to get her LPN. The girls have regrouped and are doing well. She asked me to tell everyone that she thinks of us often and is so thankful that we were there for them when they had not where to go.

I know we all have times when we grow weary during our host week, but if we can take a look back and remember all those families we have been able to show God’s love to in their darkest hours, it makes it all worthwhile. Please keep all the Debby’s in mind as we regroup and move forward with this Ministry. Thank you for all you do and for standing together to make Family Promise of GRC a program we can all be proud of. Wishing all a very Merry Christmas.

I’d like to thank all those who went to help host at our team church, First Congregational, this December!  Sometimes it may not seem like we are doing a lot, but we are making a huge difference in the lives of these families!

Our next host week is scheduled for February 19-26.  With the departure of Joanne Ray, we need of someone who will, before each host week, check the supplies in the lower hall kitchen – toss out anything out of date, touch up the kitchen as needed (with the help of others), and put up a sign-up sheet for needed supplies.  I’m sure I can get the old one from Joanne and so it would only need to be tweaked.  Please let me know if you’d be willing to do this!  Also, invite your friends to help an evening or for an overnight.  It is an easy, time-limited way to make a difference!  Since Barbara Sager is already coordinating the volunteer schedule, she will take on making sure we don’t have duplicate meals.  Thank you Barbara and thank you all!

Dave Hall Fund

The Dave Hall Fund, which helps provide items and services for children in the foster care system, received another request since the last newsletter.  A mother in Derry with a three-year-old child has no car and had to either carry or have the boy walk to all appointments and shopping.  The case manager asked if we could provide a carriage/stroller for the child.  One was purchased for $125 and given to the mother.  St. David’s also provided space the Wednesday before Thanksgiving for the case workers to hand out Thanksgiving baskets for the families.

Chips

Once again St. David’s turned in a huge number of Christmas toys and books for children of parents who are incarcerated, as well as three big boxes of greeting cards for the chaplains to distribute.  The diocesan coordinator of the program saw all that we were loading in the truck and could only say, “Wow!  Thank you!”

Millennium Development Goals (helping the poorest of the poor)

Last year the congregation voted to support the Syrian refugees who continue to live in the middle east.  Our offering went to Sunshine USA.  But since then we learned of a local Muslim woman in Windham who started up her own organization to help the refugees.  It is called NuDay Syria.  We also learned that the Canon for Missions from the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts met with her, helped sort and pack a shipment of supplies, and his church raised a large sum of money to help her start a school.  So our December offering this year went to support NuDay Syria, and we hope to be able to meet with the founder ourselves.  Google the site for more info!

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Sunday School

In October, the number of children in Sunday School became too small to have a class.  So children are now worshipping with relatives upstairs.  We encourage our young members to participate in facilitating worship.  For smaller ones, there are rocking chairs, coloring books, and toys in back of the sanctuary and in the adjacent room where the service can be also easily watched and heard.

Adult Education

A number of members expressed an interest in learning about the historical, social, economic, and theological context of the Christian Scriptures.  Knowing what was written, why, by whom, and for whom, opens up the meaning and understanding of scripture in totally new ways.  Let Carolyn know if you are interested.  Keep posted for details!

WORSHIP

Christmas Eve – As always we had a wonderful service.  I’d like to thank especially the altar guild and the many hands who helped make our church beautiful; and Pam, the choir, and Kevin for their months of hard work enhancing our worship that evening!

January 29 – Due to our annual parish meeting there will be only one service at 9AM.

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Mid-Winter Doldrums Pot Luck and Gift Swap

A couple of years ago our December Yankee Swap was cancelled due to a snowstorm.  So we held it in February.  Everyone liked doing it so much at that time, it has become a new tradition!  Our Mid-Winter Doldrums Pot Luck and Gift Swap will be held Saturday Feb. 18.  The pot-luck supper will begin at 6 p.m. and afterwards we’ll have a gift swap.  The gift can be anything – funny, edible, toys or games, something you won last year or got for Christmas and want to get rid of, cheap, extravagant. Anything goes!  Even if you don’t want to participate in the gift swap – come anyway, it is loads of fun!

Craft Fair

There will be a brief craft fair meeting on January 15 at 9:15.  On the agenda will be any changes for the information going out to crafters for 2017, and to talk about the best way to make sure that meetings are scheduled and nothing is falling through the cracks as we move into high gear come summer.

SCRIP

For many years now, Scrip has been an easy way to help raise funds for outreach and to support capital expenditures.  With Scrip, you can purchase gift cards from almost any chain store or restaurant you can think of, and a proportion of your purchase will go automatically to St. David’s.  Order forms are in the foyer and will be collected by George Younker.  You can give him your order or drop it off in the wooden deposit box in the copy machine room. Gift cards can be used for gifts, but the program really pays off when people use them for their regular everyday purchases.  Orders will be mailed in as soon as several orders are received.

STEWARDSHIP OF FINANCES AND PROPERTY

Fall Stewardship Campaign and Finances

Our stewardship campaign resulted in 38 pledges.  Thank you for pledging!  There are not too many parishes that have such a high percentage of those who attend and pledge.  The initial end of the year budget is looking better than we expected – in part because several people gave more than what they pledged!  (Alex, our treasurer keeps saying what an amazing parish we have!)  More details will come out at the annual meeting, but it appears that our 2017 budget will be again one “cut to the bone”, but with a smaller shortfall than 2016.

Web Site

Barbara Scanlon will be taking over the web site.  Since it is THE way people find St. David’s, it is always helpful to regularly check it and make suggestions for improvement.  Also if you know someone who is experienced in managing websites that can provide Barbara with technical support, please let her know.  Thank you Barbara!

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  • It’s that time of year again!  We’ll soon be putting up a shoveling schedule for people to sign up for a week at a time.  It is just doing the deck, stairs, and entry ways if Carolyn gets too busy or is too lazy to do it herself!
  • A member of AA will be donating enough tiles to redo the lower hall floor.  The property committee and vestry will discuss installation costs and when that might be able to be done.  AA does give back!
  • The front entryway roof is leaking again.  Once the weather permits, the property committee will get that looked at.
  • A new small refrigerator was donated for the upper hall replacing the one that sounded like a mac truck was in the room!

DIOCESAN MATTERS

Safe Church – Safe Church Minister Wanted!

The Diocese requires that every parish have a designated Safe Church Minister.  The responsibilities are few but important.  The Safe Church minister reminds those who are in need of training or renewal to do so, helps the rector fill out a report to the diocese for the year, and – most of all – keeps an eye out for ways our church can continue to be a safe place for children.  The notifications and annual report takes less than a couple hours for the entire year.  So, if you are willing to step into this role, please speak with Carolyn.  Thank you!

PARISH PRAYER LIST (please let the office know of deletions and additions)

Flora Meyer, Catherine Meehan, Karen Crossland, Donna Conrad, Bea Moore, Jean Lynch, Carlene McKinnon, Elaine Schwager, Lynn Romano, Gary Schulte, Marsha Rothel, Charles Smith, Vincent Gallucci, Katrina LeBel, Jean Gregorie Fontaine, Jim Saucier, David Clark, Jeff and Deb Clark, Morgan Decker, Ed Brinkman, Norman and Mona Soucy, Rick McGibbon, Angela Randall, Sean William, Haylee O’Toole, Beth Soule, Theresa Kristen, Janice Josephine Carney, John Watson, Lovey & Roy Pritchard, Kristina Morrison, Marilyn McIntrye, Marnie Sheerin, Elaine Clark, Patrice Davis, Evelyn Fowler, Margaret Ryan, Lynn Clarke, Christopher Paquette, Louis Canter, Austin, Patrick Ryan, Vera Kirk

Also remember our homebound: Fred Miner, Harold Ford, Carolyn Duranko, Barbara Davis, Arlene Law, Carol Jones, Doris and Dick Deputy, and Jane Tennant.

OFFICERS

Sr. Warden ~ Lynn Clarke ~ (978) 790-5299 ~ dobe4lynn@msn.com

Jr. Warden ~  Doug Moore – (603) 898-7046 ~ jdmm@comcast.net

Clerk ~ Barbara Scanlon ~ (603) 893-1841 ~ babscanlon@gmail.com

Treasurer ~ Alex Frazier ~ (603) 475-3695 ~ 418ALEX@comcast.net

VESTRY

Marlene Pelkey – (978) 686-6054 ~ cpfamily@aol.com

Diane Martin ~ (603) 893-9278

Bob Habeeb ~ 603-401-8618 ~ rascals1@comcast.net

Phil Smith ~ 603-898-5249 ~ meegeorgette@myfairpoint.net

DELEGATES

Irene Curtin (978) 686-6054

Diana Seifert ~ (603) 893-9759

Marlene Pelkey – (978) 686-6054

 

Judi Habeeb ~ (603) 401-8618  (alternate)

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