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!