NH Religious News December 1, 2011

Action Alert - Stop Expanded Gambling 

On January 3 or 4 the NH State House of Representatives will vote on HB-593, the casino bill that would allow construction and operation of two casinos to be built in New Hampshire and establishes a permit process for table gaming and video lottery.  While Governor Lynch did New Hampshire a great service by pledging to veto this or any casino bill, his term of office ends in about a year and some candidates for governor are already openly campaigning to legalize predatory slot casino gambling.


Call Your Reps


The NH Council of Churches is opposed to House Bill HB593 and we urge people of faith to call your state representatives this week asking them to vote NO to HB-593.  Click here to view NHCC's statement on expanded gambling. 


Key Negatives of HB-593  Details Here 

  1. Creates Unfair, Unconstitutional Monopoly
  2. Market Saturation by MA Casinos - Leaves NH w Convenience Casinos Only - Revenue Cannibalization and Loss of Jobs at Existing NH Businesses
  3. The Great Give Away: HB-593 Written by Gambling Lobbyists, Very One Sided 
  4. Charity Wipeout
  5. Dangerously Weak Regulation 
  6. Crime, Addiction, and Moral Concerns  

For more information on expanded gambling go to the Granite State Coalition Against Expanded Gambling's website: www.noslots.com

From the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty   
Death Penalty Vigil
This week the Concord Monitor published this article on the further expansion of the death penalty in New Hampshire:  Proposal Makes All Murders Death Penalty Eligible.

PLEASE call to your elected officials and tell them how wrong this legislation is.  NH cannot afford this expansion either fiscally or morally.  This could be one of the most important phone calls you make this year!!!  Please help.  We only have about four weeks to explain why this is so wrong for New Hampshire.  To find your representatives, go here:  http://gencourt.state.nh.us/house/members/wml.aspx
For more information about death penalty expansion in New Hampshire click go to the NH Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty website at http://www.nodeathpenaltynh.org/
NHCC Receives Two Matching Grant Challenges 

Two denominational partners of the NH Council of Churches have recently made matching grants challenges to further the Council's work in prison ministry and social justice.

In October the Office of the Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Manchester announced that the Bishop's Charitable Assistance Fund was providing an outright grant of $2000 to assist with the spiritual needs of women who are incarcerated at the New Hampshire Women's State Prison in Goffstown. The Fund's Board also offered a challenge grant for up to $2000 to match new contributions for the NH Women's Prison Ministry and Ecumenical Chaplaincy between October 17th, 2011, and April 30th, 2012.

The Women's Prison Ministry, with the Rev. Beth Richeson serving as chaplain in an active program of spiritual support for the incarcerated women of New Hampshire, is a primary ministry of the NH Council of Churches.

In November, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire offered the Council a challenge grant of $4000 to support the hiring of a part-time, year-round public policy expert to increase the Council's efficacy in advocating for justice issues in the state. With the legislature already active preparing bills for the next session, we need to move quickly to put a person in place.

Please help us meet these challenges! Send your donations to the NH Council of Churches, PO Box 1087, Concord NH 03302-1087. Thank you!

Worshiping Together Well


"Truly 'ecumenical' worship is like a rocket that fires us into God's trajectory--the transformation of the whole world into family."  - Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh


Over thirty clergy and lay people from several denominations gathered together on November 4 to explore crafting liturgy within the context of inter-denominational communities.  This inspirational day opened with a lecture by the Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh, a noted theologian on mission and the church.  


After the lecture workshop participants split up into small groups to write together an ecumenical worship service of blessing for the upcoming primary elections. 


Indeed the lessons learned at this workshop will have a wide impact on the work of faith groups throughout the state of New Hampshire.  Michelle Scott member of the NH Faith and Labor Union Work Group stated, "It dovetailed nicely with the work of the Faith/Labor Union.  I will be sharing ideas for an ecumenical worship service with them."  

New Hampshire Catholic Bishop to be Installed  

The Most Reverend Peter Anthony Libasci will be installed as the tenth Bishop of Manchester on December 8, 2011 at St. Joseph Cathedral in Manchester.  

Due to limited space in St. Joseph Cathedral, the installation is open by invitation only to representative groups of the Church in New Hampshire, including representatives of every Catholic parish and school.  However, the installation will be broadcast and webcast live.  The webcast will appear on www.CatholicNH.org and www.WMUR.com.  
For more information go to the Roman Catholic diocesan website, www.catholicnh.org, in the coming weeks. Visit the diocesan website for a full biography, photos, and video of Bishop Libasci.
Observe Advent and Feed the Hungry 
Ecumenical Resources from the Society of St. Andrew 


Passing Peace Booklet
Advent Booklet - Passing the Peace
Passing the Peace is an Advent devotions and giving program to help keep us focused on Jesus' coming while we also provide a meaningful gift to feed hungry children and adults here in the United States.
Through daily devotions, scriptures, and prayers, this Advent Devotions program will nourish your spirit while providing an opportunity to feed the hungry. For each day in Advent, this booklet provides:
  • a suggested Scripture reading
  • a reflection prepared especially to help you prepare yourself for the coming of the Christ Child
  • a prayer to help you move into God's grace and to share God's grace with others.

All materials for this Advent devotional program are free from the Society of St. Andrew.  


alternative christmas card Alternative Christmas Card
Honor your family and friends while feeding the Hungry.  While you and your family celebrate the joyous Christmas season, many Americans will experience first-hand the reality of hunger and poverty in our land of abundance. This Christmas, you can give them hope by the simple act of honoring your loved ones with a gift donation to feed the hungry.

The Alternative Christmas Card was designed exclusively for the Society of St. Andrew by Texas artist Jerry Malzahn. The full-color, 7"x5" card features original art on the front. Inside is an original, inspirational verse. This one-of-a-kind card announces your generous gift to feed the hungry in the name of your chosen honoree(s). You will also receive the same card with St. Andrews thanks and confirmation of the number of people you honored.


Each $12 gift donation to the Society of St. Andrew provides about 600 servings of fresh, nutritious food to America's hungry families. It's a sincere and loving way to feed the hungry and honor special people in your life. Each person you so honor will receive an exclusive Christmas Gift Donation Card announcing your generous gift in their name.

To order these items from the Society of St. Andrew:

-  online: www.endhunger.org/advent.htm

-  by phone: 800-333-4597.
From the National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative

Advent is upon us and the latest issue of the National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative newsletter is here.


People of faith across the nation have been working and praying for a faithful budget, forming circles of protection around vulnerable people. Despite the failure of the Super Committee and continued hardships of all who struggle with foreclosures and hunger, we live in an Advent season of hopeful anticipation.


This hope is not based in naive optimism. Hope comes from the knowledge that just as God came to dwell with us in Christ Jesus, so too can God's reign become manifest on Earth. Each Advent, anticipating the coming of Jesus newly opens our hearts to God's grace, inviting us once again to give all the words of our mouths and mediations of our hearts over to God's purpose.


May this season of Advent renew your sense of purpose, energy, and hope. May Christ's presence and peace be with you. And may a Christian hope re-kindle your spirit to put "the least of these" first in your prayers and actions.   


Michael Livingston

Director, National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative

CFBI Are Looking for People of Faith with a Passion for Caring for Children 

Do you have a passion for children in foster and/or adoptive care?The NH Division for Children Youth and Families (DCYF) and Juvenile Justice Services (DJJS) Community and Faith Based (CFBI) Advisory Council needs representation from people of NH faith communities to join their advisory council.   


The advisory council meets six times per year in the Concord area on the 3rd Thursday of the month at 9:00am.  They are working with technology that will allow attendance via computer as well.


Click here more information.

Blue Christmas Service

Bow Mills United Methodist church will be hosting a quiet service of prayer, reflection and music for those having difficulty during this season, due to grief, depression, illness, family situations and other struggles.

This will be a time to acknowledge feelings of sadness and concern, to remember that we are not alone, and encouragement to live the days ahead.

Wednesday December 21
Bow Mills United Methodist Church
505 South St.
Bow Mills, NH
For more information contact 603-224-0884.  All are welcome. 
Request to Complete Survey 

The Merrimack County Coordinated Community Response Team is asking for your help.  To improve their community responses to and services for older adults throughout the county who experience abuse in later life one of their first steps is to gather information from older adults and those who serve them.

As a representative of a faith based group or organization that interacts with older adults, they would appreciate some information from you that will help them plan and implement new strategies for addressing the growing problem of abuse in later life.

Please take about 10 minutes of your time to complete an electronic survey using the link below: 


By clicking on this link - or pasting it into your browser - you will be able to fill out the survey and send it back to us electronically. Thank you very much for your help.  Your responses are valued and much appreciated!  A summary report of the survey findings will be available in early 2012.  

NHCC/NHBS Office Closed for Vacation

Our office will be closed December 1-9.  It will be open again on December 12 during our regular hours of 9-2 Monday through Thursday.  
Check Out Our Website 



If you have ideas or events to share, send your information to info@nhchurches.org or
call Jean at 603-224-1352.  Thanks!

NH Council of Churches Needs You!


The New Hampshire Council of Churches as the state's ecumenical vehicle for unity and inter-religious actions needs your support:
  • Prayers
  • Sharing our concerns and your concerns with each other.
  • Funds to continue incarnating God's annunciation of the Good News.

Donate now by mailing your tax exempt donation to:


New Hampshire Council of Churches

PO Box 1087

Concord, NH  03302-1087