september 2015 - First Congregational Church of Eliot



september 2015 - First Congregational Church of Eliot
Good News for the People of God
The First Congregational Church of Eliot, United Church of Christ
September 13
This is a time to celebrate the start of a new
program year. Join us in Fellowship Hall to
register for Fall adult small groups, Children’s
Formation and Youth Experience groups.. You can
also sign up for sanctuary flowers and Sunday
leadership. Welcome home to the place where you
are invited to learn, grow, serve, rest and worship. !
We have four classrooms for learning and growing
in faith. Registration forms are helpful to our
Christian Education team to best meet the needs
of our many students. Please plan to fill one out
on this day and enjoy an introduction to our
teachers and leaders for this year of faith and
fun.Classes will begin on the 20th. Children begin
in worship with a special message each week. !
The Echo
Bring your back pack, your briefcase, or your
satchel. A backpack blessing is a wonderful way
to bless!part of our everyday lives, to connect
Sunday and the rest of the week, and to lift up
gifts and vocations of teaching and learning. This
will also to be a blessing of the many students,
teachers, school administrators, and other school
workers in our congregation.
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
A Special Thank You
September 20
I have learned over the past couple of years
and especially this year what a truly amazing
family and fellowship FCCE really is. Faced
with financial difficulties, this community has
reached out to me on numerous occasions and
this summer has been no exception. !
When I posted on "Eliot on Line" trying to
find someone to do my lawn care cheaply,
Peggy and David Grey stepped in and have
been doing an amazing job. It is such a
pleasure driving up and seeing a nicely kept
All God's critters got a place in the choir! On
September 20th FCCE will be celebrating animals
of all kinds and blessing pets in a special morning
service. Your pet is invited in real time or in
photograph form as we honor the roles our furry
family has in our lives. !
We will have a special ribbon and branch
ceremony for those pets who are now with us only
in our hearts. !
The other day I got a call from Diane Burbank
about someone had read that I was looking for
help this winter, through a posting on "Eliot
on Line", and that I still owed for last year,
again this amazing community came together
and not only paid my balance but Jan also let
me know that her husband Russ McMullen
was going to plow my driveway. They also
pointed me in the direction of the high school
and help for shoveling.!
This will also be a day to collect dog and cat food
so that we can make a donation to the local
shelter. !
Please use cages or leashes as appropriate to your
pet. The worship service will conclude outside
( weather permitting) so that animals who might
not like a pew, will still be able to attend and
receive a blessing.!
Mother Earth, our mother birthing
Ev’ry creature from the ground.
Jesus too was flesh and breathing,
Kin to all that’s green and brown.
Celebrate with all creation:God has joined
the web of life.
The Echo
Never in my life have so many people showed
such kindness to me. I don't even have the
words to express how blessed I feel and I
praise God for the day Bruce and I walked
into FCCE and said yes, we have found our
Thank you to each and everyone involved in
all of this.
Sincerely in Christ,!
Rosemary Stevens!
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
Christian Education
Spiritual Formation and Reflection
This year’s VBS theme was EVEREST,
conquering challenges with God’s mighty power.
It was a great success with over 50 people
participating. !
Take a moment to check out our photos on the
bulletin board in the entry hall. Thank you to all
the leaders and participants, all who gave us
money & supplies or loaned us items, those who
helped decorate & undecorate, and to all those
who drove neighbors, grandchildren & even great
grandchildren so that they could attend VBS.!
Special thank you to Sherri Anderson-Wormwood
for donating all the food for Mountaintop Treats.
First timers Ann Bailey, Keith Goodnough, Simon
Roberson & Sierra Rodenhuis jumped right in –
admit it, we know you had fun, see you next year? !
The children brought in a large amount of
donations for End 68 Hours of Hunger. Due to
the Everest VBS theme and the recent
devastating earthquake in Nepal, the children also
brought in monetary donations for relief aid
totaling $75! !
Thank you to the volunteers who ran an informal
Kidz church all summer. You did a great service to
our children and gave our teachers a much needed
rest. !
Rally day is scheduled for September 13th. This
year we plan to have 4 groups which will consist
of 3 classrooms and the nursery. Kidz church and
nursery attendance continues to grow and we are
adapting to accommodate all of our children’s
needs to the best of our ability.!
for Adults
Book Circles : Participants are invited to sign up
in the fellowship hall on September 13 and then
begin reading the first selection,“Carry On
Warrior” by Glennon Doyle Melton. Those
interested in exploring this easy to read but
powerful collection of stories.“Glennon Doyle
Melton is church and Carry On, Warrior reads like one
of those old rollicking hymns that make you want to
stand up at the end and shout, “Amen!” Life is indeed
“brutiful” but Glennon’s humor, warmth, and honesty
are profound reminders that there is beauty in our
struggle. I can’t stop thinking about this book.” (Brené
Brown, Ph.D. New York Times bestselling author of
Daring Greatly:$
Book Circles will be led onTuesday
mornings at 10AM and Wednesday
Evenings 5:30-6:30 beginning the first week
of October. !
Classroom Excitement
Little Blessings Nursery Group for those 3 and
under. Sonya Quinn, Director!
Holy Moses one: (pre K- 1st grade) Ann Baily and
Carrie Carelton, teachers$
Holy Moses two (2nd -5th grade) Sherry
Re- Form: Tweens and teens (6th ,7th 8th and 9th) !
Film and Faith, Hollywood and Holy
Once a month a special group of teens and tweens
will be invited to meet during the sunday school
hour with high school senior, Lydia Hoffman and
her friends to watch a movie and talk about how
Hollywood can inform our relationship with God.!
Dates will be announced on September 13th The Echo
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
Ruth Vetter Memorial Garden
Late this spring, the Vetter family gave the church
a sum of money that was to be used in Ruth’s
honor. It was decided between Pastor Beth and
Ruth’s son that a memorial garden would be
something Ruth would have enjoyed. We gathered
together a small group of people who were
interested in working on this project and have
spend quite a bit of time in initial discussing and
planning. !
For a site, we decided upon the plot of land
between the parking lot and the back of the
church where the crabapple tree stands and
blooms so beautifully in the spring. We envisioned
a curving walkway leading to a bench sitting under
the tree surrounded by beautiful perennial
flowers; a place of peace and serenity where one
could sit quietly for a moment’s reflection or
enjoy a pleasant conversation with a friend. !
We have also decided that we would like to build
the walkway of memorial bricks where others who
have been important to our church and church
family could be memorialized and remembered.
But our plans have hit a couple of snags. First, the
crabapple tree is in very bad condition. The inside
of the tree is rotting away and several inside limbs
have already died. !
It makes no sense to build a walkway or plant a
garden surrounding a dying tree. Therefore, the
tree will have to be removed and we will need to
plant a new tree. Secondly, our original plans were
a little grandiose for both our budget and our
workforce. We are now scaling back our plans and
collecting prices for different elements of the
project. !
We would like the entire church to be involved in
making the decision to remove the tree.!
The Echo
Therefore, we want to take this matter to a
church meeting, maybe our annual meeting in
January. If this site does not work out, we will
move our plans to an alternate location. Spring is
a much better time to plant trees and selection is
also much greater then. !
These two things together have told us that we
need to wait until spring to start work on this
project. We will use the winter months to have all
plans ready to go when conditions permit. For any
who have said they would like to donate
perennials from their own gardens for this
memorial garden, don’t start digging until spring!
This will give us all a reason to get out and clean
up our gardens when Spring has arrived.!
Jan McMullen !
Choir returns!
Music is life. That is
why our hearts have
beats.Make a joyful
noise! Please join
us! Choir rehearsals
will begin
on Wednesday,
September 9th at
6:30pm. We are
always looking for
more voices to join our happy group! !
Our first Sunday to sing will be September
6th (yes, Labor Day weekend). Please join us
September 6th at 8:30am to go over a couple old
anthems for that morning. !
Do you play the guitar? A woodwind
instrument? Brass? Percussion? Please
contact Lisa at 207-450-8079 if you are
interested in helping us out with worship this
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
Financial Update
At our Annual Meeting in January, we passed an
Operating Budget reflecting our anticipated
spending for the year and an anticipated income
for the year. Now, in the middle of August, which
is 61.5% of the way through the year, how are we
doing? A check of our Operating Budget figures
shows that we have collected 64.7% of our
anticipated income and have had expenses
totaling 58.8% of our anticipated expenses. This
tells us that our income is coming in just about as
expected and we are doing a good job of holding
our spending down. !
One group to thank for helping keep our financial
picture looking positive is the new Fund Raising
Committee. This group has worked hard
throughout the year and has held two pancake
suppers, a fashion show and silent auction, and a
concert - add Andy’s Yard Sale for a total of
almost $3800 added to our income. As of this
writing, the Blueberry Festival is yet to come!!
But our operating budget is only one aspect of
our financial picture; let’s look at some other
activities. The Mission Group has organized and
shipped 75 school kits, 55 health kits, 11 baby kits,
and one clean up bucket, all going to areas of our
country to help the needy and people suffering
the losses of hurricanes, flooding, tornadoes, etc. !
been started this year with the goal of purchasing
a new sound system for the church. To date,
$1860 has been contributed to this fund. We have
also added $1960 to our Community Fund/
Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. This fund is set aside
to help people experiencing financial difficulties.
Through this fund we have purchased oil for heat,
food, electricity and other necessities for people
needing temporary assistance. Our Vacation Bible
School had another great week this summer. Over
50 kids were in attendance, many for the whole
week, some for only a day or two. Some of these
children do not attend church or Sunday School
on a regular basis so VBS is their only opportunity
to learn of a life with Christ. We are glad to give
them this opportunity. Our Church, and all it
does for so many people, is a great asset to the
community. We need to reflect more on what we
do to help and, in a positive way, change the lives
of others!! !
Jan McMullen, Treasurer !
( Editor’s note: A huge and hearty thank you to our
treasurer for these great words and her great work !)$
Half Price Sale
Thursday September 3!
3 P.M. - 6 P.M.!
Saturday September 5!
We sent $827.70 to the Amigos program to
purchase food for children in Honduras who have
very little food during their winter months. This
food helps keep them nourished, but, because it is
distributed through the schools, it helps to keep
them in school. We have paid $285 to ship the
mission kits and have sent $204.54 to One Great
Hour of Sharing. !
This Christian effort works worldwide to provide
water, food and relief from disasters. A fund has
The Echo
9 A.M. - Noon!
Thursday September 17!
3 P.M. - 6 P.M.!
Saturday September 19!
9 A.M. - Noon!
We are no longer accepting items for the Thrift Shop!
We will be open every Thursday and Saturday!
Church Newsletter
in October until the end of the month.
Good News for the People of God
Suppers at FCCE
Ham and Bean suppers have been a tradition in
our church for many, many years. They have
contributed to our operating budget as well as
provided an outreach into the community. For
several years, attendance has been dwindling to
the point that the outcome does not support the
effort. !
Therefore, we have decided to end the reign
of Bean suppers.
This opens the door for others to step up with
new ideas. There has been a supper at FCCE on
Eliot Festival Day every year since the Festival
started. Who would like to continue that
tradition this year? And what kind of supper? !
Years ago the Festival Day supper was a
Smorgasbord. Should it be again? Or something
else? Suppers at our church do not need to end.
But they do need new leadership and a new vision.
Who will say, “I/we can do this”?!
Jan McMullen and Joan Donhauser!
270 items were donated to the PEASE
reminds us that this is the time of year to look
for school supplies for the school kits. On July 1st,
fourteen ladies went out to eat at the Dinnerhorn
in Portsmouth, and on August 5 eleven went to
the Grill 28. Our next meeting will be
September 2 at 12:30 in the Parish Hall.
Doris Grover and Marion Eldredge will have
devotions and refreshments. Remember to bring
in school supplies for the school kits. !
Jane Spinney!
8-10-15 meeting: Present: D Burbank, W & L
Gove, J McMullen, L Boyer, S Norris, L Futterrer
Absent: B Grogan, S Anderson-Wormwood, R
Wheeler, M Dodge, Pastor Beth,( At Pilgrim
Lodge with campers). R Donhauser !
Devotions- Loraine !
Everyone thanked and congratulated Loraine &
Diane for a job well done on Sunday servicer.
Seemed to be enjoyed by all. !
Tyler Spinney Sound System – $ 1870.00 collected
thus far; with additional $400 + $900.00
collected this week. This gives us in hand total
$3170.00. Suggested there be an informational
presentation to the congregation to describe; what type of
system we are looking at and what it will do for our
church services. $
Electronic giving - Only 2 people signed up,
charges incurring monthly seems to be more than
anticipated. Richard to follow up during
Stewardship campaign. !
Vitality Team 2015-16 with Church Coach Paul
Nickerson ( Pastor Beth, Loraine B. Linda G.
Sherri A) – Brief review of who and clarity on cost
of $1500.00 to church. This will be not added
expense to church as will come from existing
Education fund, along with Conference donations
and grants. It is aimed at being a new spark to
invite people to church! More to come soon!!
Meeting schedules – has been difficult to define a
meeting day/time that accommodates everyone’s
schedule. Loraine will send email to all Deacons
to get a sense of folk’s schedules and availability.
Meetings will continue to be Tuesday @ 7:00 for
remainder of this year. Next meeting Tues 9-15. !
-Linda Gove, Secretary
The Echo
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
close the end of October. In September the ladies
will be bringing in articles for the Mission School
Bags. !
August 18, 2015!
Present: Jane Spinney, Jan McMullen, Joan
Donhauser, Jean Paulantonio, Liz Futterrer, Sandi
Norris, Dayle Shiverick, Sherri Goodnough and
Pastor Beth.!
Chairman Joan Donhauser, opened the meeting at
6:00 PM with devotions. !
Deacons: Plans for the Memorial Garden for Ruth
Vetter have been put off until Spring. Many
different ideas have come about. One area for this
being where the crab apple tree is now. It has
been suggested that we put an article on the
agenda at the Annual Meeting about removing it.
It appears to be not in good condition. !
The Deacons are trying to find a day for the
monthly meeting that most can attend. !
Financial Reports: Jan McMullen, Treasurer,
shared the church finances by presenting a sheet
of information on income and expenses so far this
year. She feels we did well this summer meeting
expenses. Things are very tight with only $600 in
the check book and end of the month payroll
coming up. She is hoping for a good Blueberry
Festival day income. !
Christian Education: Sherri's report was received
by e-mail. VBS was a great success. It was
suggested that a pre-school class might be added
next year. Church School will need teachers for 3
classes this year. The nursery has grown and will
need more help. Church School Rally Day will be
September 13th.!
Ladies Circle: The Thrift Shop has lots of
clothing. Sales will start in September until we
The Echo
New Business:!
Sherri spoke of the idea of having the children
collecting a million pennies this year. Last year
they collected over $800 for the Amigo program.
She feels this is very possible and would be
enjoyed by everyone. !
Sherri also spoke of the Sunday morning concert
at the Methodist Church last week. What a
wonderful way to enjoy fellowship with people
from area churches and good music.!
The next meeting will be September 15th at 6 PM
with Dayle Shiverick having devotions. The
meeting adjourned at 7:10 P.M.!
Jane Spinney, Secretary !
Ministry Coordinators Begin
A big welcome to SONYA QUINN and LISA
MARSHALL as they begin job sharing the role of
Ministry Coordinator in September. This role will
take the place of the church secretary as once
fulfilled by Jane Spinney and Office manager, most
recently filled by Sandy Norris. !
Both Sonya and Lisa bring a great deal of
experience to the roll and have invested their
spirits into the life and workings of our church.!
The big advancement of this position is the
connection to all the ministry of the church and
less desk time during the week. Volunteers are
welcome to staff the church office with Pastor
Beth for hospitality needs. Someone is reachable
24 hours a day by phone.!
The Ministry Coordinators serve as a source of
communication support and guidance for the
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
(Ministry Coordinators Con’t) faith community of
FCCE and as a representative to the public.!
They shall develop familiarity with the ministries
of the faith community. The joy and challenge of
this role is the balance between a visionary's
comprehension of emerging and evolving
ministries, and a manager's awareness of tasks
that require attention.!
The Ministry Coordinators work with the Pastor
and key leaders.The Ministry Coordinators
maintains the master schedule and coordinate
with the Sexton and groups who use the building.
They also handle the distribution and collection
of building keys and keeps a record. The Ministry
Coordinators oversees the communications and
public relations of the faith community.
Delegating wherever possible, and oversee
telephone, postal mail, email, website, social
media, notebook of team minutes, and
communication infrastructure in the office.The
Ministry Coordinator(s )oversees the physical
look and presentation of the church office. !
The Ministry Coordinators work with the
Financial Secretary to assure that the weekly
deposit has been made in an accurate and timely
manner. While regular office hours are minimal,
availability through telephone and email, as well
as in person by appointment, is expected.A
commitment of 8 hours per week in addition to
being a familiar presence in Sunday worship and
having an awareness of congregational life.
Additional duties and responsibilities will arise
and be addressed as needed.!
Let us welcome Sonya and Lisa into this key role!!
Lisa has been working through the summer
already and Sonya joins in on September 1. !
The Echo
Seminarian Says
It has been a wonderful summer. Amidst
working hours at Kitchen & Company in
Newington, I have enjoyed the lazy hazy days of
summer. My days were filled with small
household projects, writing sermons for pulpit
supply at local churches, and reading books for
pleasure (no school books for the summer!). It
was wonderful having more time to spend with
Liz, and she and I took several small day trips
But now school is about to begin again and thus
my heart and mind is preparing for the fall. I
have already registered for my fall classes and am
excited for what I will be taking. They will be
challenging courses but also diverse, and also quite
different from what I have already had. !
The first course is "American Religious History:
Colonial to Present.” The focus is on the diverse
people, groups, movements, themes, events and
institutions that have shaped and characterized
the American religious landscape, and their
relevance for contemporary leadership/ ministry
The second course I'm taking is "The Heroines of
the Qur'an." This course introduces students to
women figures that appear in Qur'anic
narratives. Particular attention is given to those
women who play central and heroic roles.
Attention is also paid to ethical and ministerial
lessons that arise from the narratives.!
My third course is entitled "Introduction to
Pastoral and Spiritual Care: Healing and Hope
Through Seasons of Loss." This course will
explore in depth the ministry of pastoral care and
counseling in times of grief and loss, with an
emphasis on the theological dimensions in both
Judaism and Christianity which assist persons to
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
(Seminarian Says Con’t ) find hope and meaning in
the aftermath of loss. I really appreciate this
course given the losses we have had in our church
this year.!
that euphoria of Spirit consumption and nothing
else...but that has to wait. We must descend
those mountains and be God's hands and feet and
heart in this fallen, hurting, world. Hard as it
is...our job is to give away our contentment and
euphoria. Those who only long for the
mountain top become blind and miss the HUGE
opportunity to share the gifts given on "the
mountain". Like that magic penny in the
children's song...if we give away some of our
mountain top gains...we actually have more.
Today I find myself full of fear for leadership who
see the mountain top as a place to dwell, who
expect the coming days to be extensions and
continuation of that mountain top. It won't
be. God provides "mountain tops" to
encourage and feed us...but like Moses, with Son
burned faces, we must march straight back
down that mountain.
THE mansion is waiting. Christ has OUR
place prepared, but right now we live at the very
bottom of that mountain and we must see Jesus every single face we encounter.!
So these are my courses for the fall. I am excited
for them and what I will learn from them. Please pray for my heart even now that God will
prepare me for what (S)He has to teach me.!
I also have another prayer request. All Andover
Newton Students are required during their time
at Andover Newton to take a Border Crossing trip
to learn about how another segment of the
population lives. There is a trip this year to
Jerusalem that I would very much like to attend. There are several difficulties - limited availability,
cost, work scheduling, etc. Please pray that God
would make know his will to me regarding this
trip, and, that if it is God's will for me to go on
this trip, that God would make way for me to go.!
Thank you so much for your prayerful support.!
Editors note: Janet Andrews holds this congregation in
prayer from afar and wrestles as a true disciple and
Pastor Beth’s oldest and truest friend. $
Guest Reflection
by Janet Miller Andrews
Matthew 17:1-13!
Oh, those mountain top experiences. If you've
ever been there you know...building a "house" and
staying forever seems quite reasonable. You
don't want to leave. Who would? High on
Jesus and absolutely consumed by the Spirit, what
could be better? Well, the truth is ... nothing,
but we don't live on a mountain. We live here, in
this valley of a fallen world. If what we expect is
a 24/7 mountain top then discouragement and
disappointment will be our constant
companions. Of course we all want to reside in
the presence of our Savior. Of course we want
The Echo
Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
Sunday Servants
Fellowship Hosts for September
6 -Loraine Boyer and Paula Caswell
13 -Joanne Cultrera and Joan
20 -Marcia Goss and Sherry
27 Betty Grogan and Bobbi Gosslin-
Deacon of the Month
Robin Wheeler
Fellowship Hosts for October
4 -Peggy Gray and Robin Wheeler
11 -Dottie Edson and Fran and Sally
18 -Doris Grover and Jeanne Morin
25 -Nancy Hoyt and Jan McMullen
6 -Loraine Boyer
13 -Pastor Beth
20 -Diane Burbank
27 -Lydia Hoffman
6 -Liz Futterrer and Sandy Norris
13 -Brad and Jennifer Swanson
20 -Al and Jeanne Morin
27 -Walter and Linda
09/01 - Morgan Wayburn
09/02 - Peggy Gray
09/02 - Linda Libby
09/05 - Brooke Downey
09/06 - Emily Bersin
09/18 - Mario Colella
09/19 - Judy Pruett
09/20 - June Brackett
09/18 - Mr. & Mrs. Harry
09/21 - Mr. & Mrs. David
6 -Ushers
13 -Liam Quinn
20 -Isabel Fajardo
27 -Nicholas Norman
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Church Newsletter
Good News for the People of God
First Congregational Church of Eliot, UCC
Worship will be
Ladies Circle
Garden Club
At 10:00 am
Beginning September 6th
Banjo Lessons
Thrift Shop
Labor Day
First Choir
Banjo Lessons
Exercise 8-­9
Exercise 8-­9
Group 4-­7pm
Thrift Shop
Choir 6:30pm
Drowned V alley
will be with us in
worship today!!! A
bluegrass group!
Not to be missed!!
Sunday School
Rally Day!
Craft Group
Sr. Citizens
Grp 11:30-­
Exercise 8-­9
Exercise 8-­9
Thrift Shop
Banjo Lessons
Finance Comm
Craft Group
Board 5:30pm
Choir 6:30pm
Banjo Lessons
Exercise 8-­9
Exercise 8-­9
Hall reserved
Festival Day
No choir
C. Ed 11:30am
Craft Group
Group 4-­7pm
Thrift Shop
Group 4-­7pm
Banjo Lessons
Choir 6:30pm
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