Bulletin 10-March-2019

Sunday, March 10, 2019
8:30 & 10:00 AM: Worship
10:00 AM: Sunday School & Childcare
First Sunday of Lent
Deuteronomy 26:1-11    Luke 4:1-13
“Shortcuts”   Rev. Dr. Andrew W. Armstrong
Music: Decibells & Chancel Choir

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Schedule of Worship Events for the Lenten Season

March 12, 7:00 PM:
Contemplative Supper with Rev. Andy, dining room
Readings by Thomas Merton

March 19, 7:30 PM:
Meditation with Rev. Jami, dining room

March 26, 7:30 PM:
Service with Rev. Ken, dining room

April 2, 7:30 PM:
Fasting with Rev. Andy, dining room

April 9, 7:30 PM:
Prayer with Rev. Jami, dining room

April 18
 6:00 PM: All Church Seder Supper, dining room
7:30 PM: Maundy Thursday Service/Tenebrae, sanctuary

April 21, 9:00 &11:00 AM:
Easter Services

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Fridays at First Organ Series

The First Music Concert Series is offering three, FREE 30-minute
programs during the Lenten Season on Fridays at 12:15 PM. Each
concert is designed to replenish the soul with beautiful music for
the workday or to get the weekend off to a great start.

March 15 – Brett Greene
Church of the Good Shepherd, Episcopal, Nashua

March 22Michael Laird
Merrimack Valley Baptist Church, Merrimack

March 29Johnna Ross
Nashua Community School, Nashua

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER

Today in the Sunday School     March 10, 2019

Today is the first Sunday in Lent. The 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.

What Students Will Be Learning Today

  • 3 yr. olds-2nd grade will learn about Lent this week.
  • Grades 3-5 will continue their unit on the Parables, with the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-33
  • 6th grade will assist with making pretzels.
  • MAD will meet in room 9 with Rev. Ken to rehearse for Youth Sunday.

Following the Children’s Story, 3 year olds-MAD will meet in the dining room to make

PRETZELS and then return to class.

Fresh hot pretzels will be passed out during coffee hour! 

March Is Christian Education Volunteer Appreciation Month –  Every year in March we pay tribute to and lift up our amazing group of volunteers that help make the Christian Education programs at First Church work. We are blessed to have over 70 giving people volunteering their time and talents to the education of our youth. If you ever need something to help you keep a positive outlook on the world, try working with our young people-they are truly inspiring. From the youngest in the nursery with their happy smiling faces to our senior high students venturing off on mission trips, our kids, with the guidance of volunteers help make a difference in the world.

When you see someone wearing a “Thank You” pin (volunteers, please stop by the CE Corner table to pick up yours) be sure to thank them for the time and talents that they give to the Christian Education programs at First Church.

Parents are invited to join in this thank-athon.  There are baskets of notepaper at the CE Corner in Fellowship Hall and on the landing of the second floor of the Walker Building. Feel free to write a note of thanks to your child’s teacher(s).

In honor of our volunteers, the CE Board is making a donation of a Dream Basket to Heifer International. Heifer’s Dream Basket is filled with shares of a sheep, heifer, goat, rabbits, and a flock of chicks. Women will also learn how to feed and care for their livestock. The Dream Basket gift donation will improve health by feeding hungry families and  provide plenty of milk, wool and eggs to sell for income. This hope continues as each family passes on gifts of animals and training to another.

A high point in Appreciation Month is the announcement of the 2019 Wendel Gibson Award.  Named for a man who dedicated 50 years of energy, vision and heart to the Christian Education program at First Church, this annual award is presented to the one volunteer who most exemplifies the ideals for which Wendel stood.  The presentation of this award during the 10:00 AM service on Youth Sunday, March 24 will be the highlight of Appreciation Month.

Horton Center Summer Camping – Registration is now open for the 2019 Summer Camp season. Visit www.hortoncenter.org to view the schedule and to register. If you cannot register online, forms are available in the CE Office.

Horton Center is the Outdoor Ministry site owned and operated by the New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ. Horton Center is a seasonal site, located on Pine Mountain in the Northern part of the White Mountains, just outside Gorham, NH. During the summer months, they operate a program for children, youth and families. In the non-summer, warmer months (May- June and Aug – October) the facility is available to rent for church groups, colleges, schools, or other groups whose mission is in line with our mission. 

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Church Happenings and Outreach – New/Current

Preview the November Holiday Fair: Patriots themed items sewn by First Church women will be available for purchase today in Fellowship Hall following both worship services. All proceeds go to the Ministers’ Discretionary Fund. And, let us know if you would like any specific items for this year’s fair.

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The Christmas Fair Committee is seeking a Silent Auction chair!  Contact Barbara Stone, 978-925-9015, for more information.

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Contemplative Soup and Bread Supper – Join Rev. Andy for a contemplative supper this coming Tuesday, March 12 at 7:00 PM in the dining room.  We’ll enjoy a candlelight supper with soup, bread, and contemplative readings based on the celebration of spiritual discipline.  Please sign up at Sign-up Central if you plan to attend and/or will bring soup for 10 (heated in a crockpot, please) or bread.

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It’s a Sign of Spring! The thrift shop is now accepting spring and summer clothing and accessories.  Items (clean and in good repair) may be left in the marked bin near the stained glass window at the courtyard entrance during office hours or on Sunday.

Here is a list of the items we need: boy’s and girl’s clothing up to size 14; baby clothes; women’s clothing, all sizes (jeans, pants, shirts, suits, dresses, spring jackets and sweaters), costume jewelry; pocket books and accessories; and small knick knacks

Please take winter items to the Salvation Army.

Volunteers are needed to work in the shop a few hours a month.  The shifts are 10:00 AM-noon, noon-2:00 PM, or 10:00 AM-2:00 PM.  This is a great way to meet folks!  For more information, call Gale Cummings at 883-2278.

All the money collected is used to support outreach in the Nashua community. Thank you for your continued support.

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Mission Trip to Puerto Rico – June 29 – July 6, 2019 – Join us this summer as we work together in Puerto Rico to help families recover from the devastation caused in 2017 by Hurricane Maria.  We will be working through the recovery efforts of the United Church of Christ’s Disaster Ministries to serve families in the Humacao region on the island’s east coast.  Adults and young people who will be 16 or older by July are welcome to participate.  To learn more about this opportunity to serve, please contact Rev. Ken in the church office.

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Men’s Ministries at First Church – Rev. Andy leads the Mid-Week Men on Wednesdays, 8:00-9:00 AM in the parlor, adjacent to Fellowship Hall.  Join him for coffee, fellowship and topical discussions.

Rev. Ken leads a monthly fellowship that will include engaging speakers, group outings, and good food.  The next event is coming up on March 14 at 7:00 PM. Stay tuned for the details!

In both ministries, knowledge of the Bible is not expected.  The relationships we build are as important as what we learn. Sign up at Sign-up Central.

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12th Annual Corned Beef & Cabbage Brunch
Sunday, March 17, 2019 at 11:30 AM
Traditional Irish Dinner including Irish Soda Bread
and veggies, prepared by Mary Dopp.
Sign up at Sign-up Central or contact the church office, 882-4861.

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All-Church Choir 2019 – For those who may not have the time for a full choir commitment, or those contemplating joining one of our ensembles, we have a special worship project coming up in March 2019, for a single Sunday of making a joyful noise!

Rehearsal will be held at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, March 12. The choir will sing during worship services at 8:30 and 10:00 on March 17!

All voice parts welcome and the music is picked specifically to be accessible to try us out!  JOIN US! Contact Joseph with any questions.

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Annual Nashua Soup Kitchen Run/Walk for Food and Shelter – Join your First Church Family and Friends for the Annual Nashua Soup Kitchen Run/Walk for Food and Shelter starting at the Muldoon Fitness Center at Rivier College on Sunday, April 7th. Events begin at 12:40 PM with the kids sprint; 1:00 PM: 5k &10k; 1:10 PM: 3k walk.  EVERYONE is invited to participate by running, walking, volunteering, cheering on your friends or family members, or by donating to this very special fundraiser for our neighborhood Soup Kitchen. Let’s get together and make this our biggest team yet!

All proceeds raised from this event support the wonderful programs at the Soup Kitchen. Not only is this a great cause, it is also a ton of fun and an awesome event that gets our First Church friends and families together and enjoy exercise, finish line food, and fresh air while helping out in our community! Talk about a win/win situation.

To donate to the First Church Team, or to let us know you plan to join us, sign up today at the “Soup Kitchen Run/Walk table in Fellowship Hall.  Register for the event online at: https://nsks.org/run-and-walk-for-food-and-shelter/ and be sure to select “First Church Team” on the drop down list when prompted.

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Music in Worship Next Week
Sunday, March 17, 2019
2nd Sunday of Lent
8:30    All-Church Choir
10:00  All-Church Choir & Chapel Chimers

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What’s Happening at NHCUCC?  The New Hampshire Conference of the UCC has seven mission groups who meet monthly to address issues of social justice in our churches and communities. Attend a mission group and learn more about how our church can follow our Lord’s request: “…to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Micah 6:8)

Environmental Stewardship Mission                 Monday March 11, 3 – 5 PM
Peace with Justice Advocates Mission              Wednesday March 13, 10 AM – noon
Racial Justice Mission Group                          Thursday March 14, 5 – 8 PM
          “Whose Streets?” is a 2017 documentary film and discussion
ONA Concerns Mission Group                         Tuesday March 19, 5 – 7 PM
(This meeting will be held at the First Congregational Church, 508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104)
Economic Justice Mission Group                      Wednesday March 20, 2 – 4 PM
Immigrant & Refugee Support Group                Friday April 5, 10 AM – 12 noon
Environmental Stewardship Mission                 Monday April 1, 3 – 5 PM
All meetings are held at the New Hampshire Conference, UCC, 140 Sheep Davis Rd, Pembroke, NH 03275.

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Weather Alert – In case of inclement weather, please check our website, or call the church office, to see if there are any cancellations. Sunday services are never cancelled.  Please use your discretion if you are planning to venture out to services.

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Winter Parking Reminder – Use caution when parking along the north side of the church building. Heed the posted signs. Falling snow and ice can cause damage to your cars!

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The First Church Directory – The In-Reach Directory Team hopes you are aware of the very useful resource available to all of us in the First Church Directory.  The directory contains names, addresses, email addresses, and photos of families and individual members/friends.
Your help is needed to make the directory an even more effective resource to help each of us, our church committees, and ministers get to know us better.
If there currently is no photo of you or your family in the directory, please supply a photo, using the methods below:

  • Send it in an email to [email protected] as an “attachment”. Include your address, phone, and whether or not you want your email listed in the directory OR
  • Bring a printed photo to the office, or the In-Reach Table OR
  • Photos can be taken after most 10:00 AM services. Come to the In-Reach Table

For those of you with a photo already in the directory, you may provide an updated photo if you wish.  The method of supplying a new photo is the same as above.
More information is available at the In-Reach table, in the March newsletter and by calling the church office.

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Church Happenings and Outreach – Ongoing 

Bereavement Calendar – The church office has created a bereavement calendar to help us better remember and celebrate the lives of church members, friends, and loved ones who have recently passed away.  If your family experiences a loss, please contact the church office so that we can be sure to include you in our prayers and our records.

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

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The Caregiver’s Support Group meets on the second Thursday of the month at 3:00 PM in the library in the Walker Building.  Please contact Rev. Jami for more information.

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The Christmas Fair Craft Group holds monthly craft sessions, on the third Wednesday of the month at 4:00 PM to work on items for the fair. Crafters of all abilities are welcome to join the group.  Bring your love of crafting and your ideas! Sessions will be held in the dining room, through September. Contact Jocelyn Henning, 880-1839, or Deb Courville, 880-3791, for more information. The fair will be held on November 1 and 2, 2019. Save the dates!

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Drop-in hours with Rev. Ken – Join him at Riverwalk Café (35 Railroad Square) on Wednesdays, from 1:30-3:30 PM for some casual conversation.

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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 (updated list): Individually packaged snacks such as granola bars, cookies/crackers, microwave popcorn, Canned Soup, Peanut Butter 18 oz. plastic, Jelly 20 oz. plastic squeeze bottles, Boxes of Instant Oatmeal, Cans of fruit (not applesauce), Crackers (Ritz or Graham), Hot Chocolate or Carnation Instant Breakfast packets

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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 Bill Thorp, [email protected] or 236-6062.  If you are interested in helping on a Friday, please call Cindy Staradub, 888-9561.

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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 basket at the back of the sanctuary.  Simply place it in the offering plate.

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In-Reach Meals Team – Home cooked meals bring much healing to people as they recuperate.  For when I was sick, you looked after me. Mt. 25:36.   If you would like to help provide meals to parishioners who are temporarily in need, please register at Sign-Up Central and offer meals as you are able.

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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. Contact Ken Chapman, 521-7169, for more information.

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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 Ken Chapman, 521-7169, for more information.

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The Prayer Shawl Ministry – Knitters and crocheters are invited to work on prayer shawls at home.  Contact Karen Bianchi, 603-897-0788 or Laurel Lang 603-465-3372 to see how you can be involved in this simple, but meaningful ministry.

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

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The Visitation Ministry meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 1:30 PM in room 10 in the Walker Building. Please contact Rev. Jami for more information.

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Community Events 

Medicare, Medicaid, or Veteran’s benefit assistance – Anyone needing assistance with these benefits, is invited to call Darrell Spencer. Darrell is a longtime member of The First Church with 30 years administering Medicare and Medicaid. He is also a disabled veteran who can assist you with veteran’s benefits. Contact Darrell  at 888-2335.

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NAMI to Hold Family to Family Education Course – National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) will hold its spring Family- to-Family Educational Course beginning on Monday, March 4, 2019, 6:00-8:30 PM in the First Church dining room.  This FREE 12-week course is for family and friends of individuals with serious mental illness. Space is limited, enrollment is required.

For more information or to enroll, please contact Pam Burns at 888-6219 or [email protected], or Norma MacKinley-Smith at 882-6771 or visit www.naminh.org

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Interfaith Prayer Vigil: March 19 at 9:00 AM – Norris Cotton Federal Building,  275 Chestnut Street, Manchester – Join us for prayer, song and the Jericho Walk. The Jericho walk is grounded in Hebrew Scriptures when the Israelites used the power of prayer to topple the walls of Jericho. If you are unable to attend please take a moment to pray for love, peace and justice for ALL GOD’s people.

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Granite State Organizing Project (GSOP) Nashua meeting: March 18th
(Third Monday of the month) at 6:00 PM – Adult Learning Center, 4 Lake Street Nashua
We are a faith-based group that address immigrant issues affecting our brothers and sisters, hunger, and poverty. All are welcome! Come to a meeting and learn how we all can make a difference in our community.

 

 

 


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