Many of our congregations move into a season of Lenten reflection on Ash Wednesday, February 13th. Much is in our hearts this year. Ash Wednesday has particular significance- because we are newly aware of our human frailty and mortality.
Continued financial strain in our communities, proposed legislative responses to Newtown and continuing violence in places like Syria and Mali make us starkly aware of the human need for repentance and healing. As we gather in our studies and worship, in our action teams and prayer groups we bring the fractured pieces of life with us.
I give thanks for the Council of Churches! Together we find strength and encouragement in our oneness as a Council of Churches. Across much that could divide we share a common hope and a bold Easter promise. In the New Hampshire Council of Churches we gather our voices and prayers across ten denominations representing tens of thousands of believers across the state. Together we discover opportunities where we can mightily pray with one voice and act with one heart on the most important matters facing us today.
Never has our unified witness been so badly needed. Thank you for being part of significant ministry. Each member and friend makes us stronger and truer to the vision of God in Christ that we all one-both at the cross and at the empty tomb.
Blessings for a meaningful and healing Lenten season May the power of Christ attend your way
Rev. Linda Lea Snyder Interim Director
Interfaith Call-in Day to Prevent
Lift your voice to prevent gun violence by joining the Interfaith Call-in Day to the U.S. Congress on Monday, Feb. 4. Members of Congress need to hear the reason that preventing gun violence is important to you as a person of faith. The call-in number, which will be activated on
Feb. 4, is 1-877-897-0174.
When you call, say that you are calling as a member of the faith community, that gun violence prevention laws work, and that you support the following:
requiring universal background checks for all gun purchases;
banning semi-automatic assault weapons and high-capacity magazines;
making gun trafficking a federal crime; and
improving access to mental health care services.
Register online with the National Council of Churches to receive a reminder email and detailed talking points on the morning of the call-in day.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies supports gun control, and its board recently adopted a Public Witness Statement on Gun Violence.
Staff Changes at NHCC and NHBS
After saying a fond farewell to Carol Michaels, who served us so well for nearly a year, we picked ourselves up and dusted ourselves off. Carol will be sorely missed for her good cheer, attention to detail and great organizational skills as she moves into the ground floor of developing a business in estate planning. Carol will be a blessing to the new venture.
Now, we are excited to introduce our new administrative assistant who will begin on January 22nd. Susan Gagnon comes to us from Granite State College, where she acted as a consultant to the marketing and recruitment of new graduate programs. Susan brings an array of experiences serving within non-profit communities of NH (i.e. Concord Homeless Resource Center, Concord Cold Weather Shelter and The Friendly Kitchen), as well as marketing management for 8 years at New England College (Henniker, NH) and in the advertising industry (Boston area). She earned a BS in Communication Studies from Emerson College and is a member of St. Andrews Church, Hopkinton Village. Susan's skills and gifts seem a particularly perfect fit for equipping the visions of both the NH Bible Society and NH Council of Churches as they continue to move into faithful futures of serving congregations and believers throughout the state. Give Susan a call, or stop by if you are in Concord (call first to insure she will be there to greet you 224-1352.) You can also check out the great selection of Bibles on hand-and order any you might not see.
Response to Gun Violence Many of our denominations have issued statements in response to the growing gun violence in American culture. Folks are using them in their churches and as they approach legislators. Many steps need to be taken-- these documents offer good starting places and express a common calls for action. Such unanimity is sometimes rare. Together people of faith may have an unprecedented opportunity to shape and impact the conversations that are taking place. We welcome you sharing what's taking place with you-- ideas can be shared in future posts.
Northeast Ecumenical Stewardship Council presents:
Because generosity is liberating!
Attend a two day conference for clergy and lay leaders on stewardship. This conference is designed for stewardship committees, vestry, trustees, pastors, leadership and all who are interested in using money faithfully. Holiday Inn, Boxborough, MA, March 15-16. Visit www.nestewardship.org for details.
For Pastors and Christian Educators
Reducing the Risk Workshop
Let the Children Come to Me
Safe Practices for Ministering to and With Children and Youth.
For Pastors, Christian Educators, Ministers of Discipleship
and Youth, and Lay Church Leaders.
Participants will gain an understanding of:
* 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 safe environments?
* Recognizing and maintaining appropriate and safe boundaries
Sponsored by the NH Council of Churches
Reducing the Risk Workshop
Friday, February 8, 2013 (snow date: March 1, 2013)
9:00 am - 1 pm
125 Airport Rd.
Concord, NH 03301
Facilitators: Rev. Linda Lea Snyder
Interim Director NH Council of Churches and former faculty at Yale Divinity School
Mary Ellen D'Intino, M.S.W.
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. Please register by 2/5/13. For questions and to register, contact, LLSnyder@nhchurches.org or call Susan at 224-1352. You can pay the fee upon arrival.
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:
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.