Bulletin 09-April-2017

Sunday, April 9, 2017 – Saturday, April 15, 2017
Sixth Sunday in Lent/Palm Sunday
8:30 AM:  Worship
10:00 AM:  Worship, Sunday School & Childcare
“Hunger Games”
Rev. Dr. Andrew W. Armstrong
Isaiah 50:4-9a   Matthew 21:1-11
Music: First Folk and Joyful Noise

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Holy Week Worship Schedule 

Palm Sunday, April 9
8:30 & 10:00 AM: Worship Services
10:00 AM: Sunday School & Childcare (infants- age 2)

Daily Devotional
Visit The First Church Facebook page for Rev. Andy’s daily
posting of scripture, devotion and prayer.  View it at your
convenience and share the video post with
an important person in your life.

Maundy Thursday, April 13
7:30 PM: Service of Word, Sacrament & Tenebrae, Sanctuary

Good Friday, April 14
Noon: Good Friday Ecumenical Service
Church of the Good Shepherd

Sunday, April 16 – Festival of Easter
9:00: AM: “An Easter for All the Senses”
Rev. Dr. Andrew W. Armstrong
John 18:1-18, 24-29

11:00 AM: “Shocking”
Rev. Dr. Jeffrey C. Evans
John 20:1-18
Music: Chancel Choir & First Brass
Childcare (infants-age 5) available at both services.

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NOTES FROM THE CHANCEL

This Sunday, the Sixth Sunday in Lent – also called “Palm Sunday” in our Christian tradition –commemorates Christ’s triumphant arrival into Jerusalem and the start of the most solemn time of Lent: Holy Week. Nestled among the traditional “chestnuts” of First Folk offering two excerpts from Jean-Baptiste Fauré’s “Les Rameaux,” and Stephen Adam’s setting of “The Holy City” are additional choral works to underscore this special Sunday in Lent.

Joyful Noise’s “traditional German” offering, actually draws its melody from the first theme of Johannes Brahms’ (1833 – 1897) Academic Festival Overture. Common in teaching the great orchestral works to smaller children (think of how many rewrites there are of common opera and symphony themes on Sesame Street or the Muppet Show), a great melody was often paired with a sacred text to breathe new life into a sacred treatment of classical repertoire. The story of the waiting throng and a King who rides in majesty is proclaimed in this historic offering.

First Folk’s Offertory of Triumphal Entry offers a majestic, yet also bittersweet take on Christ’s arrival to Jerusalem. Written in a minor key, reminiscent of the tonal palette found in Hebrew modal scales, the driving modern rhythm tells the story of Christ riding on the donkey’s colt, yet also leaves us with a sense of something not being quite right. Through proclaiming Hosanna, there is still a slight uneasiness in the tonality of the choral writing. This clearly points to the coming Holy Week, where Christ will be crucified, despite his triumphant entry to Jerusalem, just days before.

Our Prelude this morning, offers contrasting mediations on the hymn tune of our opening hymn, and another melody which has become a staple of Lenten Hymnody.

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 MUSIC IN WORSHIP DURING HOLY WEEK
April 13, 2017
Maundy Thursday
7:30 PM    

All-Church Choir

April 16, 2017
Easter Sunday
9:00 & 11:00 AM

Chancel Choir
First Brass

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER 

Today in the Sunday School   April 9, 2017

Today is the Sixth Sunday in Lent and the liturgical color is purple.

NURSERY CARE – The church nursery opens at 9:45 AM to care for children under the age of 3 during the 10 AM worship service.  Nursery coordinators are on hand to greet parents and explain the procedure for checking in and picking up your child.

Today in the Sunday school

  • 3/4 yr. olds- will hear the story of The Empty Tomb. Matt. 28: 1-10
  • K-2nd grade will hear the story of the Upper Room. Matt. 26: 26-28
  • Grades 3-5 will join the Confirmation class in the dining room for a reenactment of Passion Week.

Confirmands attend 8:30 worship service and then meet in the dining room for the Passion Week reenactment. 

Heifer banks will be presented this morning during the 10:00 worship service.  All money collected goes directly to Heifer International. 

Candle lighters – If you have a child in grades 3-6 and they would like to sign up to be part of this fun and meaningful opportunity, please contact Diane Matthes at [email protected] or call the office during the week at 882-4861.

First Church Scholarships and Educational Grants – Applications are now available on the church’s website: www.firstchurchnashua.org.  Scholarships are awarded largely on the basis or service to the church and only First Church members are eligible. Grants will be offered for members who are further along in their pursuit of higher education. Completed applications must be returned electronically no later than noon April 15, 2017.  Applications submitted after the deadline will not be considered.

Donations to the Scholarship Fund are always welcome.  Checks should be payable to First Church with “Scholarship Fund” in the memo, and may be dropped in the offering plate or mailed to the church office. 

Horton Center is now accepting reservations for its 2017 summer programs for adults and youth.  More information and registration can be found online at www.hortoncenter.org.

Opportunities for Heifer Farm – Space is still available for Heifer Farm this summer, July 30-August 3 for incoming 6th-8th graders.  The $75.00 deposits are now due.  Senior High students are invited to participate in a Heifer Farm 3-day weekend November 3-5, 2017.  The $50.00 deposits are due April 16th.  For more information, see Deb Hoyt or email her at [email protected]

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Church Happenings and Outreach – New/Current 

Rev. Jeff’s Retirement Party is being held on Saturday, April 22. Today is the last day tickets will be sold after services.  Tickets will be available until April 14 through the church office.

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Today is the last day to order Easter flowers. Stop by the table in Fellowship Hall to place your order.

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Today is the Nashua Soup Kitchen and Shelter’s “Run/Walk for Food & Shelter,” at Rivier University (Kids’ Sprint–12:30 PM, 3K Walk, 5K & 10K Run–1:00 PM).  First Church has a Running/Walking Team and all are invited to participate.  Please consider supporting this effort by running, walking, or making a donation–or just come out to cheer us on!  Join the team or make a donation at the Outreach Table in Fellowship Hall or contact Steve Blunt, [email protected] or 888-3866.  Online registration, donation, and further details are available at: www.nsks.org.

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Lenten Appeal – First Church has focused this year on “Igniting your Passion for God.”  Rev. Andy is very pleased to report that one family was so inspired by the Lenten Appeal that they have decided to establish a bequest to keep their passion for God alive for generations to come. Details coming soon.

If you haven’t already, please to be sure to join others with your own response to the Lenten Appeal. Your gifts and prayers are sure to warm your heart and bless our fellowship for all that’s coming in 2017.  Pledge cards can be found in today’s bulletin for your convenience.

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Donation Drive for Humane Society for Greater Nashua – Confirmand Katie Almeda will be available after worship services today to collect items and monetary donations.  She will also be selling homemade dog biscuits and cat toys and the proceeds will be donated to HSFN.  Information will also be available to educate about the important service that the shelter provides to our community.

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First Music Concert Series – Tickets for the April 23rd Concert, Pops for Pipes VII, will be on sale today following both worship services in Fellowship Hall.

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WMUR’s NH Chronicle will be doing a feature story on our completed organ restoration, which will be aired during Holy Week, on Tuesday April 11, at 7 PM.

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Church World Service (CWS) Hygiene Kits – In the face of natural disasters, violence, or grinding poverty, hygiene kits can mean the difference between sickness and health for struggling families.  Instead of layettes, CWS is requesting donation of hygiene kits.  The Outreach Board is requesting donation of the following items from our congregation:  one hand towel measuring approximately 15”x 28” to 16”x 32” (no fingertip, bath, dish towel or micro-fiber); one washcloth; one wide-tooth comb removed from the package; one finger nail or toe nail clipper removed from the package; one bath size bar of soap in the wrapper; one toothbrush in the package; ten standard size Band-Aids.  All items need to fit inside a one-gallon plastic zipper closure bag.  Remove the excess air from the bag and seal before boxing.  Do not add any extra items or toothpaste.  A tube of extended expiration date toothpaste will be added to each Hygiene Kit just prior to its journey.

You can pick up a shopping list at the Outreach Booth.  Please return your CWS Hygiene Kit by May 14th to the Outreach booth.

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Men’s Softball Update – The league informed First Church that a minimum of 16 persons be on our team to avoid forfeitures in case of scheduling conflicts.  Given the fact that we do not have those numbers at this time, we will try again next year trusting that advance notice will help our recruiting efforts.

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Kitchen Training – The Kitchen Kabinet is planning a kitchen training session, covering safe food handling, sanitation and kitchen equipment operation for April 20 at 7 PM.  If you would like to attend or if you have any questions, please contact Don Dillaby at [email protected] or 888-2766.

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The Prayer Shawl Ministry is looking for new members!   Prayer shawls provide strong spiritual comfort to our members and friends of the church.  It is a ministry that can be done on your own time, when convenient to you, or can be done with a group during a regular meeting – but always done with prayer.  If you enjoy knitting or crocheting and are looking for ways to provide simple comfort to others, this is a way to do both.

For more information, please contact Karen Bianchi, [email protected] or 603-897-0788. Co-coordinators are Karen Bianchi, Laurel Lang, and Amanda Steere.

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Faith Promise at Anne-Marie House – First Church volunteers at AMH the week of April 23, 2017.  Contact Beth Raymond, [email protected] or 595-0053, to sign up.

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Epilepsy Support Group – If you are or someone you know is affected by epilepsy, save the date for Epilepsy Foundation New England’s new support group, on the 4th Tuesday of every month at 6:00 PM, beginning on April 25, right here at First Church.  Kindly RSVP to Susan Linn at [email protected].

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First Church Ornaments will be on sale by the Mission Trip Task Force, Sunday April 23, April 30 and May 7, in Fellowship Hall after both services. This fundraiser will benefit future mission opportunities.  These ornaments make great Confirmation and Graduation gifts, Christmas ornaments, gifts for all occasions. The cost is $25.00, includes the ornament and stand. 

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The Associate Minister Search Team announces that the search is now live.  Visit http://www.nhcucc.org/Resources/ChurchesinTransition/ to see the want ad and/or brochure.  The search committee asks that you keep them in your prayers as they ask the Holy Spirit to guide them.

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Church Happenings and Outreach – Ongoing

The Bible, Friends, and Coffee Bible Study meets every Monday, 9:30-11:00 AM in room 15, in the Walker Building.  The discussion group is facilitated by Rev. Jeff and Rev. Andy.  No sign-up is required.  If you have a Bible, bring it; if not, one will be supplied for you. 

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Pulpit Flowers – If you would like to provide flowers for the pulpit, sign up on the chart in Fellowship Hall or contact the church office. Flower arrangements can be purchased from your favorite florist or can be created from flowers you’ve purchased or grown.

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The Giving Card offers an option for those folks who give electronically or monthly to symbolically participate in the offering.  Cards can be found in the pews and in the basket at the back of the sanctuary.  Simply place it in the offering plate.

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Rev. Andy’s Drop-in Hours are held on Wednesdays, 1:30-3:30 PM at Riverwalk Café (note the new location).

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First Church directory –  If you have yet to submit a picture of you/your family for the church directory, you can do so at [email protected] If you have any questions, please call Lee Hauenstein at 888-5829 or Sue Haas at 889-1326.  Don’t be left out of the directory. An information sheet can be found at the In-Reach table.

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The Craft Group meets on the third Wednesday of the month 6:30 – 8:00 PM in the dining room.  The next session will be held on April 19.  We welcome anyone who is interested in crafting for the November 3 – 5, 2017 Christmas Fair.

The fair is a ministry of fellowship and service.  Fair proceeds help those in need through our ministers’ Pastoral Aid Fund. We would love to add new talent and items this year.  If you have any questions or ideas, please contact Jocelyn Henning at 880-1839.

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The Caregiver’s Support Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 2:00 PM in the Family Room next to the Shaw Chapel.  Contact the church office or Rev. Andy with any questions.

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The Men’s Breakfast Group meets every Thursday morning at 7:30 AM at the Pine Street Eatery, 136 Pine St., Nashua. For more information, contact Dick Zoerb, 886-8665.

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The Men’s Munchers meet on the first Tuesday of the month at noon for lunch and fellowship.  All men of the church and their guests are welcome.  Contact Dick Zoerb, [email protected], or 886-8665, for more information.

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The Ladies Lunch Bunch meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 12:30 PM.  The group will dine at Bahama Breeze, 413 Middlesex Rd., Tyngsboro, on April 12.  All First Church women- members and friends-  are welcome to attend.  Contact Arlene Richmond, [email protected] or 943-7970, for more information.

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First Church serves dinner at the Nashua Soup Kitchen on the third Tuesday and fourth Friday of the month from 4:00-6:00 PM.  New volunteers are always welcome to participate in this simple, but important outreach ministry.  To serve on a Tuesday please contact Patricia Cooper, [email protected] or 566-1826.  If you are interested in helping on a Friday, please call Cindy Staradub, 888-9561.

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The Thrift Shop is open on Thursdays, 10:00 AM-2:00 PM and the first Saturday of the month, 9:00 AM-Noon.  Donations of women’s and children’s SPRING AND SUMMER, clean and in good repair, and accessories, costume jewelry, and knick knacks may be left in the marked bin in the lobby at the courtyard entrance between 10:00 AM and 3:30 PM, Monday through Friday, or on Sunday.  Please take winter items to the Salvation Army.  Contact the church office with any questions.

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End 68 Hours of Hunger provides bags of food weekly to local elementary school children who would otherwise not have food over the weekend.  The following items are needed: nutritional cereal, canned soup/pasta, 18oz. plastic peanut butter, 20 oz. plastic jelly, canned tuna/chicken, small cans of fruit, boxes of macaroni and cheese, ramen noodles (no cups), nutrition bars.  Collection boxes are set up in Fellowship Hall.

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Weather Alert –  Sunday services are never cancelled!  Please use your discretion if there is inclement weather.  Do not park along the back side of the church, where there is the potential for falling snow and ice.  Danger signs have been posted.

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Community Happenings 

Helping Our Immigrant Neighbors – The Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP) has hosted several events for discussion of supporting undocumented immigrants who live in fear of deportation and separation of family member.  These meetings have been mainly attended by representative of churches from all parts of New Hampshire as well as members of the immigrant community.  The Nashua group will be meeting on Tuesday, April 18th at 6:30 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 58 Lowell St, Nashua, NH 03064.  Come and learn how we can help our immigrant neighbors in this very stressful time.

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Nashua Prevention Coalition Hosts Youth Summit – Greater Nashua students in grades 6 – 9 are invited to participate in a fun, interactive Youth Summit at the Nashua Community College on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 8:30 AM–2:00 PM.  The theme for the day is “Make Every Day Count.”  Students will participate in experiential workshops on the topics of Stress Management, Peer Mentoring and Diversity. Lunch is provided. There is no cost to participate, however, registration is required.  Register at: http://bit.ly/NPC17summit.  Registration deadline is April 28th. Nashua Prevention Coalition is the youth drug and alcohol prevention coalition that serves the City of Nashua. Visit www.NashuaCares.org for more information.

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Send-off reception – There will be a reception at the Anne-Marie House on Monday, April 10, 5:00-7:00 PM, to say “good-bye” to Tami McKay, Director of Volunteer Engagement.  All are welcome.

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One Last Fuel Oil Fill Needed!  The AMH is doing a fund raiser to help pay for their last oil delivery of the season.  PLEASE help us keep the 10 families, including 17 children and 1 pregnant mom, warm until the sun arrives!!  Please make check payable to:  Family Promise of Greater Nashua and mail to Family Promise of Greater Nashua, 180 Lowell Road, Hudson NH 03051

 


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