Bulletin 31-March-2019

Sunday, March 31, 2019
8:30 & 10:00 AM: Worship
10:00 AM: Sunday School & Childcare
Fourth Sunday of Lent
2 Corinthians 5;16-21   Luke 15:1-3, 11-32
“Boys Behaving Badly”
Rev. Ken McGarry
Music: First Chamber and Chancel Choir

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Schedule of Worship Events for the Lenten Season

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

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

April 14, 8:30 & 10:00 AM:
Palm Sunday
Rev. Andy 

April 18
4:00-6:00 PM: Walk the Labyrinth, Fellowship Hall
 6:00 PM: All Church Seder Supper, dining room
7:30 PM: Maundy Thursday Service/Tenebrae, sanctuary
Rev. Andy & Rev. Ken
First Chamber 

April 21
7:00 AM: Sunrise Service, Shaw Chapel
Rev. Jami
9:00 & 11:00 AM: Easter Services
Rev. Andy

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CHRISTIAN EDUCATION CORNER

Today in the Sunday School     March 31, 2019
Today is the Fourth 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

  • 3/4 yr. olds will learn the story of the Lost Coin. Luke 15:8-10
  • K-2nd will learn about the Prodigal Son. Luke 15:11-32
  • Grades 3-5 will end their unit on the Parables with the Workers in the Vineyard. Matt.20:1-16
  • 6th grade will have a lesson on Kindness and Prayer.
  • MAD will work on a Holy Week project. 

Last Sunday it was a pleasure to honor the following dedicated volunteers as part of CE Volunteer Appreciation Month.

Congratulations to Stan Tremblay, this year’s recipient of the 2019 Wendel Gibson Award.  Also recognized were four other long-time volunteers: Teacher Yvonne Laurie, and 3 Nursery workers, Heather Fauteux, Alison Dillman and Lynda Pearson (who has actually put in over 20 years in the nursery!) all received their 10 year awards. Together these 5 volunteers represent over 50 years of CE service to First Church!

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

Any students planning to attend Horton Center this summer should contact the CE office for information on First Church’s scholarship program.

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, 2019.  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.

Church Happenings and Outreach – New/Current

Prayer and Fasting…for Real?  Fasting as a Lenten discipline is among the most controversial and misunderstood practices in the church.  Even Jesus offered a challenging word to correct those whose fasts actually distanced them from God and their neighbor (Matthew 6:16-18).  Please join Rev. Andy for a study on prayer and fasting on Tuesday evening April 2 at 7:30 PM in the dining room.  We’ll reflect on the biblical and spiritual nature of fasting, its promises and pitfalls, then consider ways we may appropriate the practice today.  You will be invited to pray and discern if God may be calling you to pray and fast.

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Membership Orientation – An orientation for all those interested in learning more about The First Church and becoming members is being offered on Sunday, April 7, following the 10:00 AM worship service, in room 15 in the Walker Building. Please contact the church office, for more information and to register.

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Women’s Association Spring Retreat
Saturday, April 6, 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM – Church Dining Room

Randy Pierce will be the morning speaker. He is president of 2020 Quest, and a local hiker, marathon participant, author, philanthropist and motivational speaker who lost his eyesight at the age of 22 due to a neurological disorder.  A social time with refreshments begins at 9:30; Mr. Pierce’s presentation begins at 10:00 AM.

A luncheon will follow Mr. Pierce’s inspirational, interactive presentation.

The afternoon speaker will be Lisa Law, a local, leading, New England authority on how to create a welcoming home interior.  An expert in Fen Shui, she will offer ways to declutter our homes, and ways to create a welcoming interior that creates a sense of peace and harmony.  She is known for her miraculous home staging skills throughout New England.

Sign up at Sign-Up Central.  There is no fee for this event.

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Walk the Labyrinth – Our Labyrinth will be available to walk on Maundy Thursday, April 18 from 4-6 PM in Fellowship Hall.  Come experience a meditative, prayerful walk before attending the Family Potluck Seder in the dining room at 6:00 PM (more info to come) and the Maundy Thursday worship service in the sanctuary at 7:30 PM.  Please plan to set aside 45 minutes to walk the labyrinth.  Rev. Jami will be available to answer any questions.

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Easter Sunrise Service – Sunday April 21 – Shaw Chapel at 7:00 AM – Come celebrate the resurrection of our Lord with Easter liturgy and Rev. Jami. Please join us afterwards for a time of fellowship and refreshment; sharing the refrain, Christ has risen.  Christ has risen indeed!

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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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The thrift shop is now accepting spring and summer clothing and accessories.  Leave items (clean and in good repair) in the marked bin near the stained glass window at the courtyard entrance during office hours or on Sunday.  Items needed: 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 knickknacks

Please save your winter items for the upcoming clothing drive in May.

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Thinking of spring and organizing your closets?  We can help! First Church is holding a clothing drive fundraiser from the end of May through the end of August.  The money raised will benefit the Children’s Resiliency Retreat, a weekend program for children who have a family member struggling with alcohol or drug abuse.

Please put ALL textiles in 13-gallon trash bags.  Our goal is to collect 400 bags.

Items in any condition accepted. Anything that cannot be worn/used will be recycled.

All types of clothing, Uniforms, Costumes, Small throw rugs, Towels/ washcloths, Shower curtains, Drapes/curtains, Sheets/ bed linens, Tablecloths, Comforters/quilts, Sofa/chair covers, Shoes/boots/flipflops/slippers, Pocketbooks/backpacks/duffle bags

Single socks/mittens/gloves

For more information, contact Jessica, 978-618-2111.

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A Message from Safe Church Committee – To further enhance the safety of First Church members, children, friends and guests, and on the recommendation of the Nashua Police Resource Officer, beginning Sunday April 28th the Sanctuary Doors will be locked at the start of each Service.  All access after that time will be through the main door from the parking lot to Fellowship Hall which will remain unlocked but supervised.  Signs will be posted at the locked doors directing access via the parking lot door.

This action is not based on any particular incident or threat.  The Nashua Police Resource Officer was invited to First Church last summer to review our facilities and provided several recommendations which Safe Church is evaluating and implementing to better secure our safety.  Locking the sanctuary doors during services was a high priority recommendation and provides additional security at virtually no financial cost.

We remain committed to being a Welcoming Church and providing access to those choosing to seek the Word of God.  We also recognize that access should be controlled to minimize risk by those intent on inflicting harm.  The Safe Church Committee welcomes any questions or comments.

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Easter Flowers – Orders for lilies and chrysanthemums will be taken on Sundays April 7 and 14, following the worship services. Order forms are also available in the April Messenger. Please be sure your orders are received in the church office by April 14. 

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Music in Worship Next Week
Sunday, April 7, 2019
5th Sunday of Lent/Communion Sunday
8:30    First Schola
10:00  First Schola & Joyful Noise

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Annual Nashua Soup Kitchen & Shelter’s
Run/Walk for Food and Shelter
Sunday, April 7 – Muldoon Fitness Center at Rivier College
12:40 PM: kids sprint; 1:00 PM: 5k &10k; 1:10 PM: 3k walk.

Join your First Church Family and Friends for the Annual NSK Run/Walk for Food and Shelter.  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!

For more information, see Dianne Smigliani at the table in Fellowship Hall, today. Register for the event online at: https://nsks.org/run-and-walk-for-food-and-shelter/.  Register under “Corporate Team”, and select “First Church Team” on the drop down list.

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Please consider Electronic pledging.   It is a convenient way to stay current with your pledge and it allows the church a more predictable stream of income. One way to do this is through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). You authorize your financial institution to withdraw funds from your bank account, on a schedule that you determine, and deposit them into the Church’s account.

Another option is Bill Pay services, available through most banks and credit unions.  You simply set up the payment schedule and amount, provide the name and address of the payee, and checks are mailed automatically to the church until changed by you.  Most financial institutions offer this service free of charge.

For more information, please contact Dianne Smigliani, Church Business and Marketing Manager at [email protected] or 882-4861.

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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)

Immigrant & Refugee Support Group      Friday April 5, 10 AM – Noon
ONA Concerns Mission Group               Saturday April 6,     8-3 PM – Healing the Divide
(Held at the First Congregational Church, 508 Union Street, Manchester, NH 03104)
Peace with Justice Advocates Mission    Wednesday April 10, 10 AM – Noon
Environmental Stewardship Mission       Monday April 8, 3-5 PM
Racial Justice Mission Group                 Thursday April 11, 6-8 PM
           “Whose Streets?” is a 2017 documentary film and discussion
All meetings are held at the New Hampshire Conference, UCC, 140 Sheep Davis Rd, Pembroke, NH 03275.

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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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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 Craft Group meets on the third Wednesday of the month at 4:00 PM to work on items for the Christmas craft 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, 321-9592 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 Mid-Week Men’s Group meets on Wednesdays, 8:00-9:00 AM in the parlor, adjacent to Fellowship Hall.  Join Rev. Andy for coffee, fellowship and topical discussions.

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Rev. Ken leads the Men’s Monthly Fellowship Group. It includes engaging speakers, group outings, and good food.  Stay tuned for details of the next event.

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The Men’s Munchers meet on the first Tuesday of the month at noon for lunch and fellowship.  The group will dine at The Homestead, 641 D.W. Hwy, Merrimack on April 2.
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 

RESILIENCE: The Biology of Stress & The Science of Hope Documentary is being shown at the Amato Center for Performing Arts on April 17th at 9:30 AM.  This is an educational opportunity designed to increase awareness of adverse childhood experiences that have the potential to contribute to long term physical health impacts, such as mental health and addiction issues, as well as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.  This event is FREE and open to the public.

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“Healing the Divide” – Saturday, April 6th 8:15 AM to 3 PM
 First Congregational Church, UCC – 508 Union Street
 Manchester, NH 03104 – 603-225-6647
Presented by the Open and Affirming Mission Group, NH Conference, UCC

Keynote speaker: Dr. Paula Stone Williams from Lyons, Colorado is an internationally known speaker on gender equity and LGBTQ advocacy.  She is the Pastor of Preaching and Worship at Left Hand Church in Longmont, Colorado.

The NH Gay Men’s Chorus will perform. James Crews will lead a generative writing workshop, and read from his poetry.

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Windows of the Heart: Music and Stories of Race, History and Hope with Reggie Harris; singer, song writer, story teller, freedom and justice educator
April 6th Noon-3:00 PM (light lunch at 11:30) – First Congregational Church UCC
177 North Main Street Concord, NH

Offered by: Racial Justice Mission Group, Economic Justice Mission Group, NAACP Unit 2069
Pre-register by email: economic [email protected], write “Reggie Harris” in the subject line

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Next Interfaith Prayer Vigils: April 2 and 16 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: Monday April 15, 6 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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