NH Council of Churches News December 2012

     Christmas Thoughts from the

     NH Council of Churches

"... in him was life, and the life was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not overcome it."
John 1: 4-5


In the midst of these Advent days we are startled, shocked and nearly overwhelmed with the news of last Friday's mass killing in Newtown, CT. The season of peace and joy is pierced clear through by thoughts of children and teachers, even a young gunman and his mother, all violently slain within minutes.


We know of such things; still our hearts newly break and the darkness seems especially dark just now.


I thought of words written by C.S. Lewis:


"God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks in our conscience,
but shouts in our pain; it is his (sic) megaphone to rouse a deaf world."


The pain of these days can rouse us to rail against the darkness, to say "Enough!" To call/write/visit our legislators and insist on reinstatement of the federal ban on assault rifles (i.e. the Feinstein Bill), to take new measures to limit rounds, secure background checks and close loop holes for all buyers.


All of these are would be a start in a country where there are 300 million guns in civilian hands and 80 deaths occur each and every day. In the world community we stand singularly in such a place.


Our railing will include confession; Isaiah's is not bad: "Woe is me. I am lost... I am a man of unclean lips and I live among people of unclean lips." Yes, we collude in creating an environment with too much overt violence as well as too few resources to meet the needs of those with mental illnesses and the people who love them.


In the middle of our Christmas plans we are roused by the pain we are experiencing. But we are roused, also, by the memory that God in the Christ Child entered into a world not wholly unlike our own. Even then the journey was dangerous, there was no room, and accommodations were dark. Still, God entered in, coming to be with God's people to become as one of them, to shine a light and show a way out.

God comes still in this fragile time of 2012. Emmanuel, God is with us. God breaks in and a great reversal of fortunes is underway.


So let us "rail on" against the darkness. Let us act now. And let us pray not only for those who grieve most in these Advent days but let us pray that we might be encouraged and emboldened by God's light come in Christ.


Every Blessing,

Rev. Linda Lea Snyder



 "Let the Children Come to Me"

Safe Practices for Ministering to and With Children and Youth



Friday, February 8, 2013 (snow date - Feb. 22nd)
9:00 am - 1:00 pm (includes lunch)
125 Airport Road, Concord, NH 03301

$20.00 for workshop and lunch.
Registration closes February 3, 2012


For Pastors, Christian Educators, Ministers of Discipleship and Youth, Lay Church Leaders

* What are the current mandated reporting laws?
* What are best practices in serving children and youth?
* How can we help our staff understand and reduce the

   risks and create the safest environments?
* Recognizing and maintaining appropriate and safe



Sponsored by the NH Council of Churches

* Rev. Linda Lea Snyder, Interim Director NH Council of

    Churches (former faculty at Yale Divinity School)
* Ms. Mary Ellen D'Intino, MSW & Director of Safe

     Environment Programs Compliance Officer, Catholic

     Diocese of New Hampshire.

Both Linda and Mary Ellen bring wide experience and training in this field.

For questions and to register contact: LLSnyder@nhchurches.org



Gov. Lynch Proclaims Homeless Memorial Day

December 21, 2012

Vigil to be held at Veterans' Memorial Park in Manchester.

For more information please go to our website: NHChurches.org


Martin Luther King Day Remembrances and Celebrations
January 21, 2013
Volunteer NH, in collaboration with AmeriCorps partners have planned a food drive to benefit the NH Food Bank (a program of NH Catholic Charities) for the morning of Jan 21st at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral, 650 Hanover St., Manchester (03104). This effort fittingly realizes Dr. Martin King's commitment and vision to serve the underserved. Great programming follows at the same location from 2 - 5 pm. For other food drop off sites please visit www.nhfoodbank.org




This is notification that the State of New Hampshire, acting through the Department of Health and Human Services' Division for children, Youth and families, has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to provide for spiritual services to residents at the John H. Sununu Youth Services Center in Manchester, NH.


The RFP will be published December 10, 2012 on the Department's website at www.dhhs.nh.gov/business/rfp/inde.htm.  


All qualified vendors who have an interest in providing this service are encouraged to submit a proposal by the due date of January 17, 2012.  All questions and request for clarification should be directed to Contract Officer:


John Harrington, Contract Specialist

DHHS - Division for children, Youth and Families

129 Pleasant St

Concord NH  03301603-271-0945




 NRCAT logo


 Message from NRCAT,

Zero Dark Thirty opens in New York and Los Angeles today. The movie depicts graphic acts of torture and implies that it played a key role in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. But soldiers, intelligence professionals, and interrogators have all told us that torture did not produce useful information that could not have been obtained by legal and moral means.

We believe that the report by the Senate Intelligence Committee on its three-year investigation of CIA torture will show that torture did not make our nation safer. This report must be made public.

Last week, the Senate voted to adopt the report, which was a huge victory for all of us. But the challenges before us are these:

  • We must urge the Senate Intelligence Committee to release its report.
  • We need to make it clear to the American people that torture is not only immoral and illegal, but it does not make our nation safer. The message of Zero Dark Thirty is simply wrong - read facts and fiction about Zero Dark Thirty.
NRCAT logo 

A message from:

Linda Gustitus, President NRCAT
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director NRCAT


Please email President Obama and encourage him to assist the Senate Intelligence Committee in quickly releasing as much information as possible from the CIA torture report.


Working together, people of faith from across our nation have achieved a significant success. A bi-partisan group of Senators from the Senate Intelligence Committee recently voted to adopt the more than 6,000 page report on CIA torture. This follows months of advocacy by NRCAT supporters. With NRCAT's leadership, people of faith played a major role in the success of this effort - meeting with key Senators, writing and submitting op-eds, and contacting leaders in government. Read more about it in our HuffPo post and press release.


The work is not done, of course. The report must be made public to make a difference in the effort to end U.S.-sponsored torture forever. We will work with you in coming months to see that this happens. You can help us begin this work by emailing President Obama today.


small NHCC logo


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.
  • Funds to support out Women's Prison outreach program.
Please send checks made out to: 
New Hampshire Council of Churches 
NHCC, PO Box 1087, Concord NH 03302
Thank you!

New Hampshire Council of Churches 
125 Airport Road                                 PO Box 1087 
Concord, NH  03301                Concord NH  03302
info@nhchurches.org                 www.nhchurches.org 
Office hours:  Please Call
(Please call before coming!)