Book Discussion Group

As we look ahead to the fall of 2021 and plan our Adult Book Group, we welcome your joining us at our first zoom meeting on Sunday October 3 at 6pm for a one-hour discussion our new book, How to Heal Our Divides: A Practical Guide by Brian Allain.  Many in our congregation have expressed interest in learning how to “dismantle walls, one brick at a time.”  The following is a description of the book:

“If we didn’t recognize them already, 2020 put a spotlight on several serious, deep divides that have had strong negative impacts on our society – racial, political, religious, and other divides. Much has been written describing these divides and how they came about, or encouraging us to look deeply inside ourselves to discover our own flaws.  All good things! But there has been a lack of attention regarding what to do about it. ‘How to Heal Our Divides’ is a book aimed at building awareness of organizations that are taking real action to address these issues. The book is not an attempt to gloss over serious problems or “make happy” but instead to highlight tangible efforts that are solving problems – actually healing divides in effective and practical ways.”  

Our October 3 first meeting will also be an opportunity to greet each other on Zoom, share what interests each of us in learning more about solving “divides and conflicts” and reviewing our Covenant for Book Group.  This book is written in such a way that even if you can only attend several sessions, you will still be able to participate and learn.  All congregants, first time participants, and return readers are welcome.  Locally, the book can be ordered thru the Norwich Bookstore.  If you have questions or would like the Zoom link, please contact Wendy Manganiello or the church office.

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Opportunities to Put Your Faith in Action

Advocate for Others: As members of the ELCA, we believe that we are freed in Christ to serve and love our neighbor. God uses our hands, through our direct service work and our voices, through our advocacy efforts, to restore and reconcile our world. Through faithful advocacy, the ELCA lives out our Lutheran belief that governments can help advance the common good. The latest issues of ELCA Advocacy can be read here.

ECLA Advocacy Action Alert – Join faith leaders in contacting Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act (H.R.4). Learn more about the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act here. Send a customized message today through the ELCA Action Center.

Donate Pantry Items:  Current Top Needs:  Canned beans, shelf-stable milk, canned tomatoes, cooking oil, and bottled water.  Always Needed: peanut butter, pasta of all kinds, canned vegetables, pasta sauce, soups, macaroni and cheese, canned tomatoes, canned fruit.  Also needed, Personal Items: shampoo, body wash, toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, feminine hygiene products.  You can learn more about the Upper Valley Haven here.  You may bring donations directly to the Haven or bring them to worship on Sunday and make sure they get there.

Sign up to Volunteer at Cover – Outdoor Projects Every Week!  The COVER Home Repair program relies on the participation of community volunteers like you. By lending a hand with home improvement projects, you can help greatly improves the quality of life for local families, elderly, and mobility challenged.  It’s a great opportunity to learn new skills.  View volunteer opportunities and sign up here!

Volunteer with Sustainable Hanover and the Norwich Energy Committee (From our Creation Care Team): Sustainable Hanover and the Norwich Energy Committee are collaborating with the Maine-based non-profit Window Dressers  https://windowdressers.org/  to make custom-built, interior storm window inserts for Norwich and Hanover residents or those that work in Hanover and live within 30 minutes. The inserts are easy to install, remove, and reuse. They let light in, keep drafts out and reduce heating costs.

You can sign up for inserts and learn more on our two town websites (the signup button is the same for both
towns because this is a joint initiative):

Hanover: https://sustainablehanovernh.org/windows

Norwich:  http://norwichenergycommittee.weebly.com/window-inserts.html

Volunteers including those ordering window inserts will build the inserts at a Community Build, a barn-raising-style community event on November 12-17, 2021, at the Norwich Congregational Church.

The well supervised construction process will accommodate participants with a wide range of ability and mobility levels, making it an accessible and
fun event.

Low-income households may pay far less than the prices paid by others.  They will also be asked to pitch in as volunteers.  Renters can use the inserts as well!

If you are interested, have questions or want to see a sample insert, please email Judy Payne  judy.payne@gmail.com


Make a Kit, Change a Life! Kits of Care Collection, June 21-25, 2021

When natural disasters strike or when war drives families from their homes, our hearts ache with compassion, but we don’t know how to help. Making Kits of Care is a simple, fun, and tangible way to offer comfort to those suffering and express love to our neighbors in need.

Our Savior Lutheran Church will welcome a truck from Lutheran World Relief to collect Quilts and Kits of Care for worldwide distribution those in need.  Make a kit, or two, or more – each kit will make a difference!  This is an easy way for you and your friends to turn ordinary items into extraordinary gifts – a hands-on way to help someone in need.  Visit lwr.org/kits for kit assembly instructions and tips.  Note: Personal Care Kits are the item in highest need right now. 

Make arrangements to deliver your Kits of Care by contacting the church office at 603-643-3703.  Collection will take place the week of June 21-25, 2021.

A Message from New England Synod Global Mission Team Middle East Advocacy Subcommittee

Statement on Escalating Violence in Palestine and the Holy Land:

The New England Synod has a deep and longstanding relationship with our companion synod, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land (ELCJHL). Many of us have visited the Holy Land to meet our ELCJHL Palestinian siblings and to experience the richness of their ministries. Our hearts are broken by the escalating violence now happening in Palestine and Israel.

The Palestinians have lived under military occupation since the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. At that time, a majority of the Palestinian people were driven out of their own homes and permanently displaced from their own land. The occurrence of this catastrophe – known as Nakba in Arabic – is observed in Palestine on May 15, the day following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

The Nakba continues in Palestine. Even today, the Israeli government is engaged in settler colonization, as they attempt to confiscate all Palestinian land without regard for the lives or safety of the Palestinian people and in violation of international law.

This most recent violence began with Israeli settlers demanding the eviction of Palestinian families from their homes in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. Then, during the holy month of Ramadan, Israeli forces physically interrupted Muslims praying inside the Al Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem on several occasions.

The situation has worsened dramatically over the last week. Violence has broken out in the streets of many towns and villages across the land. Hamas’ rocket attacks on Israel from Gaza and the counterattacks of bombs from the Israeli military complicate the quest for peace. These attacks have resulted in a disproportionate number of Palestinian deaths, including children and adults. Israeli casualties have been far fewer.

We denounce the ongoing violence and call for an immediate cease fire.

We pray for the safety and wellbeing of our ELCJHL companions and for all peoples living in Palestine and Israel. We stand with ELCJHL Bishop Azar in his May 8th call to pray for a just peace and reconciliation in Jerusalem. You can find Bishop Azar’s statement on the ELCJHL Facebook page.

We hope, for the sake of the world, that the international community and our government, specifically, will recognize the causes of violence, and the desperation behind it, and help put an end to it by insisting that Israel comply with international law.

Watch Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s May 12th message on Support Peace in Palestine and Israel to understand the position of the ELCA.

Learn how the ELCA is working for peace and justice in the Holy Land and sign up for Action Alerts by visiting Peace Not Walls on the ELCA website. The Action Alert for May is to urge President Biden to send a message to Israel to halt the illegal removal of East Jerusalem families from their homes and respect the Status Quo agreement and holy sites in Jerusalem.

The Rev. Robert O. Smith, PhD, Associate to the Bishop of the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod of the ELCA and former ELCA Area Program Director for the Middle East and North Africa, has written a detailed analysis of the current situation: The Present Violence in Jerusalem: An Explainer.

New England Synod Global Mission Team Middle East Advocacy subcommittee

May 19, 2021

Bread for the World Offering of Letters

As people of faith, we know that we are called to care for one another. We are called to speak out for all those in need, especially our children. What is critically needed now is our unified voice assuring that people receive the help they desperately need now. By participating in this year’s Bread for the World (BFW) Offering of Letters you will make a difference, not just to Bread for the World, but to those who experience hunger and poverty. 

Continue reading Bread for the World Offering of Letters