May 20, 2018
Words from the Pastor
The following prayer for Pentecost Sunday (which is today) seems to capture well a response to the question that was asked by many in the crowd, "What does this mean?" Pentecost should not be thought of as a one-time occurrence but as what happens whenever the church pays attention to the presence of God in its midst and opens itself up to the leading of the Spirit. This prayer is taken from For All Seasons by John Winn.
O Giver of Life,
We are the People
who have heard a word we cannot unhear;
who have felt a warmth that cannot be chilled;
even a fire that will not be quenched.
It moves among us
connecting us to one another,
despite our different languages,
our different races,
our different religions,
our different cultures.
It is a language that cleanses
like a spring shower,
and at the same time warms our heart
in a way that bonds us as One.
And no one can stop it from happening,
for at the heart of all Creation is a Unity
we are still discovering,
which instinctively we know will save our civilization.
Let us meet at that Center,
combining all the experiences that have made us who we are,
and sharing the many ways we have
heard that word, felt that warmth, and
been illuminated by the light from the fire.
5/27 Trinity Sunday
Celebrating the Baptism of Carter Thomas
Scripture: Isaiah 6:1-8; Romans 8:12-17
Theme: "Of Visions and Callings"- While serving in the temple, the priest/prophet known to us as Isaiah of Jerusalem experiences a powerful vision that serves as a prelude to being called by God as a prophet. His prophetic job was to speak to a people who refused to hear what God had to say to them. The apostle Paul reminds us that we are all "led by the Spirit" to likewise bear witness to the Risen Christ by speaking a word that might not be welcome by others.
Calendar for the Week of May 13
On Monday, May 14th we received our occupancy permit from the city which allowed us on May 20th (today) to re-consecrate our newly refurbished sanctuary along with the new sound system; video projector system and new nursery (an extension of our sanctuary for our children) along with the connector and elevator. Although I am writing this the day before these long-awaited events will take place I think that I can say with some assurance that this has been a wonderful day of celebration.+ Now we have the opportunity to live into these new spaces in ways that hopefully will lead to many experiencing the love of God through worship, fellowship, nurture, education, and service. We await God's future with expectancy and hope.
150th Anniversary Plans Continue to Unfold
Please save the date of Saturday and Sunday, September 28th and 29th for the major celebration of our 150th anniversary. Saturday will begin with a special concert in our sanctuary featuring Emily Adams. We will continue with an evening banquet that will be held in the St. Patrick's gymnasium located just up the street from us. It will be catered by Celebrations Catering and will provide an opportunity for many former pastors, staff, and members to return to join us in looking back to the past while preparing for a bright future. Finally, our Bishop, Sudarshana Devadhar will be our guest preacher on Sunday at the 10:30am worship service. You won't want to miss this spectacular weekend!
PS: Just this week Pastor Sue Job (pastor from 2000-2008) confirmed that she and her husband, Don, are planning to be with us for the anniversary weekend in September!
Opportunities for us to Engage with our Community
Sunday, June 3rd at 5:00pm: Hymns and Hops at the Peddler's Daughter
Saturday, June 9th from 2-6pm: Tree Streets Block Party
Sunday, June 17th through the middles of October: Farmers' Market on Main Street in front of the church
Saturday, June 30th, time yet to be determined: Gay Pride Gathering in front of city hall
Mother's Day/Blanket Sunday: Thank you for your generous gifts of $1215 in support of Church World Service blankets. Somewhere in a refugee camp or a disaster area, a mother will be able to keep her children warm because you honored your mother with a gift on Blanket Sunday.
Father's Day/Tools of Hope: But we can't leave fathers out!! On June 17, Father's Day, we will celebrate again with gifts that can purchase tools that will add to a family's ability to make a living. The tools may be hand tools for working the land or working with wood, fishing nets, a sewing machine, or even a well for a village. We will take a "tool" note to the bulletin board in the front of the church so that we can honor and remember our fathers and those who have acted as fathers to us. Children are very welcome to participate.
Food Pantry and Letter Carriers' Food Drive: Thank you to everyone who remembered to put out a bag for this year's "Stamping Out Hunger" Food Drive by the Postal Service Letter Carriers. If you forgot to put out food for the letter carriers, please leave a bag of food in the blue bin in the vestry, and Nashua Soup Kitchen/Main Street volunteers will get it to the Soup Kitchen. Needed items usually include 2 pound bags of rice, canned baked beans, canned meat, and ramen noodles.
Save the date! September 15 is the water walk! http://thankyouproject.org/waterwalk/will give you more information about this walk which will fund the installation of a second well in Nigeria. You can sign up on site or talk to Nonny Egbuono.
-submitted by Phyllis Appler
A Conversation with Steve
"Freud had some crazy ideas, but he did have something right when he said it's all from the parent." Steve, a Café Agape regular, went on to explain that his father was a successful artist and designer, but a violent drunk. His Swiss mother, who has a degree in English literature from Notre Dame, suffered from manic-depression. Steve, the youngest of four children, didn't know any other family dynamic growing up, initially in Ballardvale, a part of Andover, MA and subsequently in many other places in the country where his well-to-do father had homes. They spent many years in Australia, and when they returned, Steve was about twelve years old. His mother and father divorced and he ended up being passed around between his parents and his older sister.
When he was fourteen and his father went to Europe on business and left Steve and his older brother for three weeks with no food in the house--that was normal. When his father returned to find that they had skipped school and smoked his pot, he beat them with a 2 x 4. Steve ran for his life outside and had the neighbors call the cops to get his brother out.
"Parents can mold you to believe anything--like this is a planet full of aliens and we are only food for them."
When I asked if he had any happy memories of his father, Steve told me that once when he was five years old he went to the studio where his father was painting. He peeked in cautiously because his father was working, and he wanted to see what he was doing. His father told him to come in and gave him a lollipop.
In the 70's one of his sisters became schizophrenic. Then a decade later his brother Scott, a paranoid schizophrenic, committed suicide. His father didn't go to the funeral.
Steve said, "A small percentage of people are able to weather the miseries of life and function in a positive way, but the majority are severely affected by the things that happen to them in life."
After attending Rivier College, U Mass Lowell, and University of Maine in Augusta seeking a degree in psychology and later engineering, Steve dropped out and got work in manufacturing for 20 years. He became a cable contractor and started a cable company, which he ran for ten years. At one time he managed six crews installing line and made lots of money.
But he couldn't escape his upbringing. He has been to as many as eight psychiatrists with no success, and admitted that until he is willing to do the work to delve into his past and dig deeply to get it out, he won't be cured. In the meantime, he has diagnosed himself as having abandonment issues, self-sabotage, OCD, and ADD. Plus he has had multiple injuries and surgeries. He uses alcohol and drugs to self-medicate.
Steve's number one goal is to get an income and a place to live. And he promised me that when he is ready, he will seek psychological help and do the difficult work it will take to get well.
-submitted by Mary Marchese