Saturday, December 24, 2011

Web site of interest...

Priscilla Merrill recommends that you check this out:

There will be two Christmas Eve services: one at 7 pm and another at 11 pm.

On Sunday, our worship service is at 9 am.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

From Pastor Gayle

This week was our children's pageant and it was wonderful.   It included cows almost falling off the podium, a busy angel who guided Mary, the shepherds, and the Wise Men, and our great children.  What particularly struck me about this week's worship service is how much we mean to each other.  It was not just the parents of the children who delighted in the pageant.  It brought back wonderful memories for me when my three sons were the Wise Men in our church pageant, but we referred to them as the Wise Guys. Many of us watched our children retell the story with their actions and we were moved.  And I think this points out one of the great strengths of a faith community.  We live in a world divided by so many things;  wealth, age, gender, interests, educational experience.  EXCEPT IN THE CHURCH where we share a common faith in Jesus Christ and that helps us cross a lot of uncommon ground.  Grandmother smiles at the high school student who just received an award.  Grouchy, tired workers pass the peace to someone who has just come back from a mission trip.  Young adolescent teaches the middle aged man all about his world view.    You are so good to have made the commitment to be a part of this congregation.  You are people who are motivated by your faith to be transformed by the wonder of our relationship with God.  You reflect the differences that there are in people everywhere.  But we are a community together because our love for God is stronger than our differences  and the community feeds each other.  Thank you.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Advent 2011 Thoughts - Let Us Bring Him Silver and Gold

Recently, I heard the Christmas standard, "Little Drummer Boy."  I remember loving this song as a little girl because I didn't have much I could have given Jesus, but I loved it that the drummer boy gave him what he had, his drumming.   Pretty sappy, but true.

This year when I heard the song, another section in the verse about the wise men jumped out at me.  "The Child, the child shivering in the night.   Let us bring him silver and gold."  I listened to this in the context of knowing that the Federal Government has slashed the Heating Fuel Assistance to our nation's poor, and there are or will be many children shivering in the night.
We all know that the Wise Men brought their silver and gold because they believed this child to be someone special.  But hearing the line isolated of that meaning said there is a child shivering in the night, let us respond.

The New England Congressional Delegation is active in trying to restore level funding to the Fuel Assistance Program, but we can raise our voice in their support when we contact your Congressman and Senator.  I have been told that it is important to voice our concern to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid because our local representatives understand already how important this funding is.

Email or phone calls are the way to go because snail mail takes up to a month to get through security in Washington.   Here are the contact information for each of them (email is now done exclusively through their web sites.

   Senator Kelly Ayotte        622-7979
   Senator Jean Shaheen        647-7500
   Senator Harry Reid            202-224-3542
       Representative Frank Guinta  641-9536
   Representative Charlie Bass    226-0064
   Representative John Boehner  202-225-0600

What they need to hear is that it is cold up here in New Hampshire and that there are people who need help with their heating.   I would like to see us restore at least enough funding to serve the people who were served last year.

Every day some of our neighbors are shivering in the night and hungry in the day.   We respond generously to those needs, but some of the needs are bigger than our individual responses, and that is what we need our government to help with.  Thanks for your caring.

-Reverend Gayle Murphy

Friday, December 2, 2011

Forum on the homeless December 4, 2011

Good people of the Northwood Congregational Church, UCC
This Sunday, after a snow cancellation, at last we will be holding our forum on homelessness.    Kyle Beaulieu of Families in Transition will speak to us after worship.   He will inform us of the homelessness in New Hampshire, challenge our assumptions about homeless people, and share with  us the resources which are out there for the people who are without homes in New Hampshire.
The idea for this forum came out of our Congregational meeting on Mission as a part of our Envisioning process. 
So come and join us on Sunday to be informed and to find the hope that is out there for the homeless in our community.

Saturday December 3

Please join us!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lighting of the first Advent candle

Advent is under way and I invite you to observe this season as a way to spiritually get ready for Christmas.   One of the focal points of Advent is the lighting of the Advent Candles and it opens all of our worship services in Advent and Christmas.   The candles have traditionally stood for hope, peace, love, and joy.   This year, we are taking a different approach to these candles, assigning them different meaning and using them to invite us into active participation in Advent by becoming, "Flames of the Faithful."

*   Week one - the Prophet Candle.  The promise of God to bring light into the darkness of our lives.
*   Week two - the Bethlehem Candle.  The preparation which is done by all those in Bethlehem to welcome the Christ Child.   
*   Week three - the Shepherd Candle.  The excitement and fear that the shepherds experience when they come to meet Jesus.
*   Week four - The Angel Candle.   The angels  voices of praise and the desire to shine in God's glory can be shared by us.  
*   Christmas Eve - The Christ Candle, in the middle of everything signals that Christ has come into our world.

You can make an Advent wreath as your own way of participating in this Advent season.  Just figure out how to have four candles around a taller or pillar candle.  Then beginning today, light the prophet candle each time you are together for a meal or want to invite God to take a more active role in your lives.  Then each week, add a candle to your lighting.  As the light from your wreath increases, so will the possibility that Christ's light has broken into your life.

May it be so.   Advent Blessings, Gayle

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thanksgiving time

Thanks to the generosity of our members, others in our community will enjoy wonderful meal baskets!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Church Care Day

Thanks to everybody who helped with our Church Care Day on November 13th, including Andrew!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Gift Boxes For The Children Of Haiti

 While you're out, will you pick up some items for the Christmas Gift Boxes that we're sending to Haiti?
On November 20sth we'll be sending gift boxes out as part of the Samaritan's Purse's Operation Christmas Child project.  Our kids are filling 10-15  shoe boxes with gifts for impoverished children.  Dolls are especially valued by little girls.  We're expecting to send half to girls and half to boys.
Other good gift items include:
small cars
stuffed animals
small Etch-a-sketch
toys that light up or make noise (with extra batteries)
nothing war-related
pens, pencils and sharpener, crayons or marker, stamps and ink pad sets, writing pads or paper, solar calculators, coloring and picture books, etc.
HYGIENE ITEMS: toothbrushes, mild bar soap, comb, washcloths
OTHER: hard candy (nothing that melts or is out of date), sunglasses, mints, gum, t-shirts, socks, ball caps, hair clips, toy jewerly, watches, flashlights with extra batteries, etc.
Caution:  nothing that's breakable or liquid, though, and no aerosol cans because of leakage and maiing restrictions.  Please don't send vitamins or medications.  Thanks!
Shelley Frost,
CE Committee

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Death of Rev. John Schroeder

We were hoping to get this word out to you in person on Sunday, but the snow and weather of New Hampshire made it otherwise.
Rev. John Schroeder died last week after a fairly short period of declining health.  Rev. Schroeder served as interim minister here at the church for a while in the 1990's, and has preached here periodically since.  Often he would play the keyboards for our Apple or Strawberry Festival and was an intellegent, faithful man who touched many of us with his wisdom and insight.
Rev. Schroeder also was Jo Chase's Dad, probably his most important role.  The Schroeders lived with Jo and Tom until just a month ago.
There will be a memorial service on Saturday, November 5 at noon.  The services will be held at the Middle Street Baptist Church at 18 Court Street in Portsmouth (which is on the corner of Court Street and Middle Street).
 Please hold the Schroeder family in your prayers, both in thanksgiving for the great life that Rev. Schroeder lived and the family who feels his loss.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Worship is Cancelled but you have Homework!

Winter is beginning with a vengeance and it comes our way as we prepare to gather for worship. So Catherine Dill and I spoke concerned about power outages and unsafe driving conditions. The predictions of snow are growing to 9 inches in Northwood and the snow is predicted to fall until about noon time.

So we decided to cancel church for tomorrow, October 30. We will try to get the word out as effectively as possible, but please let anyone that you know about the cancellation. And, check out this week's announcements from the bulletin in the "This weeks announcement's" tab from the home page.

Please be safe in this New England weather pattern. And be reminded that if we do hold church, you are the ultimate judge about whether you should venture out or not. We love to have you worship with us, but never at your peril.

Catherine suggested that I give you "homework." Something to think about and pray on during the time we traditionally would have gathered. Let us know what you think about this kind of an exercise.

The sermon was to be about God's grace and the Scripture passage is II Corinthians 12:7-10.

Ponder these ideas and questions:

1. This is the cover explanation of Annie Lamott's book, Grace (eventually) "Wherever you look, there's trouble and wonder, pain and beauty, restoration and darkness - and sometimes all at once. Yet amid the confusion, if you look carefully, in nature or in the kitchen, in ordinariness or in mystery, beyond the emotional muck we all slog through, you'll find it eventually; a path, some light to see by, moments of insight, courage, or buoyancy. In other words, grace. It's been an erratic journey, and some days go better than others. "I wish grace and healing were more abracadabra kind of thing," she writes. "Also, that delicate silver bells would ring to announce grace's arrival. But no, it's clog and slog and scootch, on the floor, in the silence, in the dark." "

A more traditional definition of grace is: "free, unmerited act through which God restores God's estranged creation to God's self"

So what do these statements say about grace?

And what does grace mean to you?

2. Frederick Buechner says that grace is something that is so wonderful we can only "catch a glimpse of it", and yet those glimpses are enough to convince us of its reality and move us to look for it all around us.

So grace is lived out, impartially now, in our every day lives, but pointing us towards what can be.

Where have you seen a glimpse of grace in your life?

What does grace point you towards?

3. Read II Corinthians 12:7-10. This passage says that in human weakness, we find divine strength, and that is grace. Then God reminds the writer that God's grace is all we need. In our weakness, God is made strong. And so we can take our limitations in stride because Christ takes over.

Grace is a resource for us in our suffering as well as a reminder of God in our lives.

"Still Here" by Langston Hughes

I been scarred and battered.

My hopes the wind done scattered.

Snow has froze me

Sun has baked me.

Looks like between 'em they done

Tried to make me

Stop laughin', stop lovin', stop livin'.

But I don't care.

I'm still here.

When are the times in your life when you have needed grace?

When were the times in your life when "I'm still here" because of God's grace.

4. To end the session, ponder what a grace-filled life looks like.

How can you open yourself up to that becoming a reality in your life?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Meet with Families in Transition on October 30

Good People of the Northwood Congregational Church, UCC
There has been interest expressed several times this year in learning more about homelessness and the homeless situation in New Hampshire, and particularly in Northwood.
So we have invited Kyle Beaulieu from Families in Transition to speak with us Sunday, October 30 after church.  He can give us the facts and help to challenge our assumptions about people who are homeless.   He will also share some of the services which are available to them.  
It should be a great session and informative to us all.  Please plan on joining us for this event a week from Sunday.
If you have any questions, please contact Gayle Murphy.
May God bless you on this day,

Monday, October 17, 2011

Charlotte Klaubert

NORTHWOOD - Charlotte Elizabeth Allen Klaubert, 77, of Jenness Pond Road, died late Oct. 14, 2011, at the Havenwood Nursing Home in Concord.

Born Feb. 1, 1934, in Lynn, Mass., she was the daughter of the late Rev. Charles T. Allen and Myrtle Strong Allen.

Charlotte was very active with the Northwood Congregational Church and she also served on the board of directors for Rochester Visiting Nurses Association for 15 years.

Charlotte is survived by her husband Earl Klaubert; two sons, Brian Klaubert and his wife Nola of Atlanta, and Jeff Klaubert and his wife Christina of Lincoln; one brother, Fred Allen and his wife Shirley of Florida; three grandchildren, Allison Klaubert, Nicole Klaubert and Lauren Loughlin.


SERVICES: Visiting hours will be held Monday from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Northwood Congregational Church, 881 First NH Turnpike in Northwood. Funeral services will be held Tuesday at the Northwood Congregational Church at 10 a.m. with burial to follow at Pine Grove Cemetery in Northwood. Arrangements are under the direction of Purdy Memorial Chapel in Lee.


Friday, September 23, 2011

Please check the "Announcements" page for our current Worship Announcements.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Celebrating birthdays and anniversaries

At each service we acknowledge those who are celebrating birthdays and
anniversaries. A penny for each year is put into a small bank we call
the Birthday Angel. Here, Bill and Lois D. are celebrating 63 years of
marriage. Congrats!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Urgent - help needed for important fund raiser

Commitment Needed by September 11 for Deerfield Fair!


There are still volunteer slots in order for the church to fulfill our commitment to the Fair for 2011.  We must fill these slots, so the Fair will seek us out for next year (in jeopardy at this time) and in order to meet our fundraising goal to balance the church's budget.  An added plus, it's a fun time.


Our days to volunteer as Ticket Scanners are Thursday, Sept. 29and Saturday, Oct. 1.  We still need 5 people for Thursday morning and 8 people forThursday afternoon.  Shift times are 7:30am to 2:00pm and2:00pm to 8:30pm.  Sixteen and older may volunteer.  If you have volunteered for the church at the fair in the past, we really need you this year.  Please call Pam English at 942-8501 or email her, or call the church office no later thanSunday night, Sept. 11 to sign up.  

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rally Sunday on Sept 11

Good people of the Northwood Congregational Church, UCC
This Sunday is Rally Day when we will kick off our fall program year and reunite as a community after, what I hope for you all, was a wonderful summer.  This Sunday, the church will also host a town-wide Remembrance service for Sept 11, 2001.  Let me tell you about each of them.
Rally Day   Join us for the worship service where we will gather to connect with the God who unites and grounds us all. 
    When the children go downstairs for Sunday School, the parents will also go down to learn about our curriculum, child safety policy, and ways they can support our Sunday School program.
    After church there will be a time when we can gather as a community for fun, games, and lunch.  This is NOT just for families;  we have set it up to help all the people in the church mingle and get to know each other. 
    We will end with a brown-bag lunch.  Please bring your own sandwiches and something to share with the congregation (veggies, dessert, chips, etc).  Drinks and place setting will be provided (plus deluxe peanut butter and jelley sandwhiches for all who forgot something to eat).
The weather is predicted to be nice, so we will have our picnic in the yard around the church.
September 11 Remembrance Service  This is a town-wide event which will take place here at our church at 4:00 on Sunday afternoon.   All the other churches will have leadership roles in the service and there will be representation from the Town Selectman and Fire Chief.  On this 10th Anniversary of the horror of September 11, 2001, I am thankful that we can host this event and open it up to the community.   Please join us and invite anyone in the surrounding area that you think might like to attend.
I look forward to all the activity that we are kicking off this Sunday.   But more than that, I am thankful that we are a community together, and I look forward to seeing you all soon.
Gayle Murphy


Chris Kofer

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Members Class Scheduled

We have scheduled a NEW MEMBER CLASS on September 18 from 3:30 to 5 pm. The invitation to join the church will be September 25 during worship. If you are interested in learning more about Northwood Congregational Church, UCC you are welcome to attend this class. Please call the church at 942-7116 if you plan to join us for this informational class.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Worship and Church Activities Canceled August 28

In addition to the morning worship being canceled, as Pastor Gayle wrote below, all other church meetings scheduled for Sunday, August 28 will be rescheduled. This includes the CE Meeting, the planning meeting for the September 11 Town Wide Memorial Service and the New Members Class.


Good people of the Northwood Congregational Church, UCC,
I am sending this email to let you know that our worship service will be canceled tomorrow, August 28, thanks to Hurricane Irene.
We don't want anyone to put themselves in danger, and my understanding of the weather pattern is that the worst of the rain and wind will be from 8:00 am - 11:00 tomorrow morning - just as we will be gathering for worship.
Please be safe and contact the church if the storm causes any damage to you or your home.  We want to be there for you in any challenge.
I hate canceling church, but I do know that with a hurricane coming through, few of you would want to be anywhere other than in the safety of your home.
Please know that in God is in the wind, and the rain, and in each of your homes, so find the peace of God in this time.  Come worship with us next Sunday when we can worship in safety and thanksgiving.
With love,
Gayle Murphy

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Class on Listening, Respect and Diversity

Good people of the Northwood Congregational Church,
I wanted you to know of an challenging opportunity to figure out how to apply your faith.
We will be holding a two session class "Towards Listening, Respect, and Diversity" which grew out of the deep concern about the way our society is so polarized.  This topic has become particularly relevant after the Arizona shooting, with the concerns raised about the contentiousness in our national dialog.
So join us for these sessions and be challenged by the teachings of Jesus Christ to listen, respect, and seek to understand the people who are different than we are.
The first session will begin during the second half of worship on January 16, continuing for another 45 minutes after worship has been completed.  The second session will be held after worship on January 23, ending with a pot luck luncheon.
Childcare will be available for both sessions.
If you have any questions, please contact Neil English, Jan Grande, Charlotte Klaubert, Thomas Masison, and Gary Smith.