NH Council of Churches - NH Religious News February 2012

Moving Forward...

pastor jean
It is with mixed emotions that we announce that Rev. Jean O'Bresky will be leaving NHCC/NHBS to start her ministry as Senior Pastor of First Congregational Church, UCC in Springfield, Vermont.  Her last day in Concord is February 24th. 
Jean has served our organizations for over three years; first as a consultant, then as Office Manager.  Her gifts in ministry and technical skills have taken our organizations to new levels of visibility on-line while continuing to grow personal connections with churches statewide.
The Boards of NHCC/NHBS would like to take this opportunity to thank Jean for her contributions and wish her well in her new ministries.
Taking Jean's place in the office will be Carol Michael.  Carol has worked in the non-profit sector with families and children for over 20 years.  
NHCC Receives Matching Grant Challenge 
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 17, 2011, and April 30, 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.
Please help us meet these challenges! Send your donations to the NH Council of Churches, PO Box 1087, Concord NH 03302-1087. Thank you!
Homelessness & Housing Advocacy Training  
      When:  Friday, March 16, 9 am - 1 pm       
New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority  
                   32 Constitution Drive, Bedford, NH.

You'll learn:
  • Where homeless service resources and policies come from;
  • How the state and federal budget and appropriations processes works, and how we can influence those processes;
  • The "Dos" and "Don'ts" of advocacy;
  • How to share our stories, ideas, concerns with our elected officials.

Lunch is provided; registration is required.

For more details and to register for this training, click: 


National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT): March 23 - 26 in DC   


2012 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference

Advocacy Days logo


NRCAT is coordinating four conference events, with details below: 
  • An interfaith pre-conference briefing on Friday, March 23 - open to all and conference registration is not required to attend this free briefing (more details below).
  • A workshop on "Human Rights in an Era of Economic Uncertainty: Organizing During a Recession" on Saturday.
  • A skills building workshop on state advocacy, led by Leslie Manning of the Maine Council of Churches on Sunday.
  • A film screening of NRCAT's soon-to-be released Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard (20 min) followed by discussion on Saturday evening at 9 p.m.

A description of each of the four events is at www.nrcat.org/ead.


NRCAT Briefing:

On Friday, March 23 from 4pm-5:45pm, NRCAT will host a film screening and discussion of how the religious community can provide leadership on two current issues: prolonged solitary confinement and efforts to combat anti-Muslim sentiment. All are invited to this free pre-conference briefing (conference registration is not required). Please RSVP for this session

  • Leslie Manning, President of the Maine Council of Churches, will tell the story of the "Maine miracle" - how the religious community helped secure a 70% reduction in the number of Maine prisoners housed in solitary confinement last year. The story is also highlighted in NRCAT's new 20-minute DVD Solitary Confinement: Torture in Your Backyard.
  • Christina Warner, Director for the Shoulder-to-Shoulder campaign, will discuss the religious community's efforts to combat anti-Muslim sentiment and show clips from the video Hawo's Dinner Party.

The speakers and NRCAT staff will accompany a group of participants for a quick meal off-site, prior to the opening plenary of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference.

Interfaith Seder - Sunday, March 25th
Where:  St Paul's Episcopal Church
             21 Centre St, Concord NH
When: 5:00 - 7:00 pm 
All ages welcome!  Program will include the traditional telling of the Passover story, followed by a traditional Seder meal, vegetarian option available. 
or call 603 591-7877
Save the Date: May 9th
Workshop on Congregations and Mental Illness. 
On Wednesday, May 9, 2012, from 9am-3pm, the Spiritual Care Department at New Hampshire Hospital is offering a FREE workshop for all clergy on Congregations and Mental Illness.
If you have questions now, please contact either:

Partnership with Methodist Church and "Witness to Innocence" Project. 


Since May Partnership has encouraged the voices of death-row exonerees - those wrongly sentenced to death - to be heard in United Methodist churches across the country. This partnership has been so powerful we are offering the opportunity to host an exonerated death-row survivor at your church, and GBCS (General Board of Church & Society) will partially underwrite your costs for doing so.


The speakers, all professionally trained storytellers, will share their journeys from death row to freedom and their take on the current state of the American criminal justice system.


Because the exonerees depend on speaking events for their income, the events cost $600 plus travel expenses. For a limited number of events, GBCS will cover half the cost of the speaking fee. Your congregation pays $300 for the speaking fee and at the event and will take a love offering to go towards the speaker. Your church (plus any other congregations you bring together to host this event), is responsible for is $300, travel expenses - and many of the speakers might already be in your area or close to it - and a love offering. This is a limited-time offer available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please contact Kathy Spillman at kspillman@witnesstoinnocence.org for more information on arranging this truly special event.

Contact person:

Ray Bilodeau, Community Organizer

New Hampshire Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty



Check Out Our Website: 


    If you have ideas or events to share, send your information to info@nhchurches.org or

call Carol 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.
Please send checks made out to: 
New Hampshire Council of Churches 
and send to:  
NHCC, PO Box 1087, Concord NH 03302
Thank you!

New Hampshire Council of Churches
125 Airport Road
Concord, NH  03301