Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
The season of winter continues to offer challenges as we move carefully and ward off colds and flu. Jan. 1 marked the death of a faithful and talented member of our church family, Judy Spinella. On Jan. 13 we were host to a remembrance that like her life will be remembered for the artistry of beauty and the meaning behind the sharing of God’s gifts with others.
The commencement of Lent on Ash Wednesday falls on St. Valentine’s Day. Easter 2018 will be April Fools’ Day. I cannot remember when, if ever this intersection has happened. Can you?
Worship in February begins with our guest, Rev Catherine Cadieux leading us on YOUTH SUNDAY and celebrating the Sacrament of Holy Communion. Feb. 11th will focus on the Transfiguration of Jesus and on Ash Wednesday we will hold a service at 6:00 pm. As Lent continues we will study the gospel of Mark during the final Sundays of February.
A highlight for us will take place on Feb. 24th when our leadership will travel to Concord for the annual PREPARED TO SERVE event sponsored by the NH Conference of the United Church of Christ. We are blessed to have an opportunity to discover ways to enhance our faith and grow the church with other NH churches.
As your interim pastor I am pleased to announce some initiatives to help us prepare for God’s future. The Pastor Parish Relations Committee (PPRC) has begun to work by using a manual to study the expectations and responsibilities we place on the pastor and the parish and to demonstrate ways to celebrate, process conflicts and make decisions.
The past six years has brought many things to light about the church and its leadership. I am encouraging the Executive Committee and the Council to explore ways we can understand and evaluate the partnership of ministry that can exist between a pastor and a parish. Goal setting is vital to our wellbeing but first we need to be honest with ourselves by fostering direct communication and being open to experimentation and using our imagination. Some changes that may bring growth have to take place.
We are pursuing the creation of two work spaces within the current church office. This initiative has been on my mind for over a year so I am gratified to see us moving forward with creating useable space for the pastor and the secretary. I will continue to help you explore our worship experiences together. Music is a key ingredient and I will move away from our hymnal to new songs. While tradition will remain central, exploring worship as a participatory experience is important. Keeping our database up to date, developing an engaging website and offering educational and community building activities are all on my “radar” as the interim continues.
May the peace of Christ be with us all, Pastor Christine