News

Forgiveness, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 17, 2017

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on September 17 2017, Fifteenth Sunday after Pentecost. The Gospel reading was Matthew 18:21-35.

When you were a kid and got into trouble for doing something that an adult didn’t think was nice to someone, didn’t you hate it when they said, “Say you’re sorry”?  And didn’t it infuriate you even more when they said, “Say you’re sorry…and, this time, mean it.”  I wasn’t sorry so how could I apologize, let alone mean it! Continue reading Forgiveness, A Sermon by the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 17, 2017

“God’s Work. Our Hands.” Reflections on Serving Others, Delivered by Lars Johanson and Rosemary Affeldt, September 10, 2017.

These reflections by members Lars Johanson and Rosemary Affedlt were delivered to the congregation during worship on Sunday, September 10, 2017, as we celebrated a ELCA churchwide “God’s Work. Our Hands.” day of service. 

Lars GWOH When we consider the ELCA motto, God’s Work, Our Hands, it is not always immediately clear what our hands should do. There are so many needs and so many ways to help.

One way to start is to recall the words of Paul in the second chapter of Philippians: “In humility count others better than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interest of others. “

But how do we match the interest of others to the persons we are? Sometimes we need the right circumstances and moment before we realize that our appropriate activities are a reflection of who we are. Continue reading “God’s Work. Our Hands.” Reflections on Serving Others, Delivered by Lars Johanson and Rosemary Affeldt, September 10, 2017.

Sunday Morning Study Group to Discuss “October 31, 1517, Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World” by Martin Marty

october-31-1517The Sunday Morning Book Study Group will be reading October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World, by Martin Marty.  Books are available now at church, $15. This new book shows how Martin Luther’s insights still speak to the church today about reconciliation, repentance and the need for “a change of heart.” Please read the first two chapters in preparation for discussion on September 17th.

You can start reading now thanks to a preview of the book, provided by the publisher.

There are many opportunities to worship, learn, serve, and celebrate with us.  Join us as we explore the reformation

Sanctuary, Support, and Accompaniment for Immigrant Justice

Several of us were able to attend the Interfaith Vigil for Immigrant Justice in Manchester, NH on September 5th. Hundreds turned out from all over. Please pray for undocumented immigrants and their deep fear about being deported and separated from loved ones.

These are very difficult times for our neighbors who face the growing threat of deportation from their homes. The United Valley Interfaith Project  (UVIP) is urging all faith communities to discern how we can make an offering of our many capabilities to stand in solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Many members of UVIP have been gathering in Manchester on the 2nd Tuesday of the month at the Norris Cotton Federal Building to provide support, prayer and witness as immigrants come for their required check in with I.C.E.

At the August 1st check-in appointment, 27 Indonesian immigrants were told to come back in September with one-way plane tickets proving that they will leave the U.S. in November. Three Latino immigrants and one Indonesian were held and detained for deportation on the spot. What we have feared has become real, awful and urgent; emphasizing our need to act now.

What can we do? As a UVIP Member Group, which has expressed energy for immigrant justice work, there are many ways — large and small — that we all can help.  We can…

  • Attend any of the upcoming ICE Prayer Vigils in Manchester, NH on September 11 or 19
  • Offer financial, spiritual or other support to a family whose breadwinner has been deported.
  • Raise funds for legal fees or plane tickets.
  • Write letters, sign petitions, and use the power of the pen in other ways

The bottom line is that we cannot allow this to happen right before our very eyes without supporting our immigrant sisters and brothers in some way.

There is also a small Immigrant Justice Core Team which needs to be made bigger by including at least one person from each member group which has expressed interest and energy for engaging in the Immigrant Justice work that UVIP and others in NH and VT are ramping up to do. Paul Manganiello has agreed to be our point person with Lars Johanson as a back up.  We can always use more people.

Please contact Gisela Jones or Rosemary Affeldt or the church office if you are interested in getting involved or just learning more about these efforts.

Self Care and Loving Genuinely in a Beautiful but Broken World, A Sermon the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 3, 2017

This Sermon was preached the Rev. Nancy Vogele on September 3 2017, Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost. The readings and Psalm were Jeremiah 15:15-21, Psalm 26:1-8, Romans 12:9-21, and Matthew 16:21-28.

I have a big problem and it has to do with all the negativity found in every single one of our readings this morning!

The reading from Jeremiah (15:15-21) begins with

O Lord, you know;
remember me and visit me,
and bring down retribution for me on my persecutors.

“Help me get even, Lord.”

Plus he cries out, “I did not sit in the company of merrymakers, nor did I rejoice.”

I didn’t do this.  I didn’t do that.  I did everything you told me to do.  In fact, you, O God, are the one who has fallen short: “Truly, you are to me like a deceitful brook, like waters that fail.”

And our psalm (26:1-8) continues this righteous view of self: Continue reading Self Care and Loving Genuinely in a Beautiful but Broken World, A Sermon the Rev. Nancy Vogele, September 3, 2017

Blessing of Animals, Sunday, October 1st, 2:00 p.m.

Blessing of Animals October 1st a 2 pm

We are delighted to offer a blessing to our animal companions, large and small. This half-hour service will take place in outside on the front lawn.  In the event of rainy weather we will gather inside. We will gather (or regather after the morning’s worship) at 2:00 P.M.

The gathering will last approximately 45 minutes, allowing for 15 minutes of settling-in time.  If you would prefer to bring a photo of an animal companion or farm animal to be blessed you are welcome to do so.  Please bring dogs on leash and cats in a carrier. Other companions or creatures in whatever carrier is appropriate for them.

Please share this with neighbors or friends who may also like this opportunity to have their special animal companions blessed. Our prayer will be one of thanksgiving for these creatures in our lives and a petition for God’s help to care for their well-being.

We thank God for the gift of this creation and for the blessing of companions, human and other, to share this journey.