NH Religious News December 23, 2011

The Staff and Board of the New Hampshire Council of Churches wish you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year.
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Dear friends of the New Hampshire Council of Churches,


Last month the Rev. Dr. Christopher Duraisingh addressed a gathering of clergy and lay people at a workshop on ecumenical worship sponsored by the NH Council of Churches


He began his talk by sketching a line on a big sheet of newsprint. Just a simple line, beginning at the bottom left hand side of the page, then surging up and over to the right top corner and  finally disappearing right off the page. "This," he said, "is God's ongoing action in the world. What is its direction? What is its goal? To transform the whole world from strangers into family, a family marked by openness, trust, and justice."


Listening to him, I realized that his little drawing perfectly captures the mission of the NH Council of Churches, ten denominations-American Baptist, Methodist, Roman Catholic, Society of Friends (Quakers), Greek Orthodox, Lutheran (ELCA), United Church of Christ, Episcopal, Unitarian and Presbyterian-seeking to serve our one God.



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!
Action Alerts

Extreme Death Penalty Expansion  

HB 162  a bill "relative to capital murder for purposely causing the death of another," will come up for a vote in the New Hampshire House of Representatives on January 4, 2012. If the bill is passed by the House, it will proceed to the Senate, which will assign it to a committee and schedule a public hearing later in the year.


Adoption of this bill will lead to a dramatic expansion in the use of the death penalty in New Hampshire.


Action Needed by January 4:  Contact your State Representatives to urge them to vote "NO" on HB 162.


Click here to read more about HB 162


Click here to view NHCC's statement opposing the Death Penalty.


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 State Representatives to urge them to vote "NO" on HB 593.


The NH Council of Churches is opposed to House Bill HB 593 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. 


Click here to read more about HB 593


Kwanzaa Celebration 

December 26, 2011 
3:00 p..m. - 6:00 p.m.
Bishop O'Neil Center 
30 Elm St.
Manchester, NH
Kwanzaa is a cultural holiday based on Continental African harvest festival traditions.
Hear the Explanation of Kwanzaa.
Experience the community building power of the Kwanzaa Ritual.
Participate in the Community Karamu (feast) by bringing a dish. 
Practice Ujamaa -Cooperative Economics at the AFRICAN Market.
(Vendor information available)  
Save the Date - Greater Concord Interfaith Council MLK Day of Service 

January 16th, 2011

9:00 am Service Rally at St. John's (72 South Main St.)

10:00 am - 3:00 pm Service projects

7:00 PM movie and discussion

"At The River I Stand"

Red River Theater


Call: (603) 224-4600 for reservations


Come out and give of yourself for others. Show our pride in Concord.

"Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve."

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity   

January 18-25, 2012 is the annual observance of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. The theme chosen for 2012 is "We Will All Be Changed by the Victory of Our Lord Jesus Christ." (cf. 1 Corinthians 15:51-58). Throughout 2012, join Christians everywhere in praying "that they may all be one" joining our prayer with that the Lord Jesus Christ. For more information go to: www.geii.org



NHCC/NHBS Office Closed for Holidays

Our office will be closed on December 26 and January 2 for the Holidays.
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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.