News & Views January 2012
I haven’t turned the page to 2012 yet but my mind is most definitely there. I’m making and remaking resolutions, beginning with cleaning out several closets and drawers, donating clothes I haven’t worn for three or more years, and separating photos of the kids into labeled boxes. All that may well take me until 2013, but it’s a start. I’m feeling like shedding things and organizing what’s left. Warren has taken to leaving me sticky notes here and there that say “This is not yours to give away”, or “Leave this, PLEASE”. I love our house, but I love it even more when it isn’t cluttered. Shedding things makes me feel calmer. Bill Coffin once told me “greed is when you have so much, you don’t know what you have.” I want to feel less greedy. I’m hoping it makes me feel less anxious.
Just this morning I read this staggering news report. The number of homeless children in the United States is at its highest levels in the nation’s history, according to a study released last week from the National Center on Family Homelessness. 1 out of every 45 children is homeless. A majority of them are under 7. The Christian Science Monitor quotes the study about what the children have lost and the consequences of losing these possessions: “Despite their growing numbers, homeless children are invisible to most of us; they have no voice and no constituency,” the report says. “Without a bed to call their own, these children have lost safety, privacy, and the comforts of home, as well as their friends, possessions, pets, reassuring routines and communities.” Children experiencing homelessness also tend to struggle with hunger, poor health, and missed educational opportunities. A majority of homeless children have limited proficiency in math and reading, according to the report.
Having a reliable place to live, with or without clutter, ought to be a protected right. I cannot imagine what a child must do, emotionally and physically, without a consistent, reliably secure home, can you? There is a quiet little strand through the Christian narrative that honors homelessness, beginning with the full inn of Bethlehem, and continuing through some of Jesus’ difficult words about leaving the dead to bury their own dead, and foxes have holes and birds have nests but the Messiah has no place to lay his head. I’m absolutely certain Jesus wasn’t talking about homeless children, but rather, a kind of loyalty-to-place that gets in the way of devotion to God. If where you live means more than how you live, that is an issue. If how you live means more than with whom you live, that is an issue. And if you know one, just one homeless child and haven’t made a lot of noise about her or his circumstances, that’s really an issue.
Of all the ways we judge one another, of all the gradations of value and worth we use to describe each other, the most difficult one to explore and relinquish has to do with wealth. We can uncover our deep-seated racism, sexism, and homophobia. We can unpack our tendency to see our Christianity as superior to other religions. The older we get, the easier it is to see how we demean the old in this culture. But money? When you’re swimming in the water of economic privilege, it’s really difficult to imagine any other way to live.
So, in 2012 I’m going to be shedding things I don’t even know now that I have, so that I can cherish those things I do have, beginning with a warm, comfortable, safe and reliable home.
Love to us all - Carla
Worship Schedule for January
Unless otherwise noted, Sunday worship begins in the Sanctuary at 10:00 AM
January 1 First Sunday after Christmas
Carla Bailey, preaching
Isaiah 60:1-6; Ephesians 3:1-12; Matthew 2:1-12
January 8 Baptism of Christ
Rob Grabill, preaching
Genesis 1:1-5; Acts 10:1-7; Mark 1:4-11
January 15 Second Sunday in Ordinary Time
Carla Bailey, preaching
1 Samuel 3:1-10; 1 Corinthians 6:12-20; John 1:43-51
January 22 Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
Carla Bailey, preaching
Jonah 3:1-5, 10; 1 Corinthians 7:29-31; Mark 1:14-20
January 29 Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Carla Bailey, preaching
Deuteronomy 18:15-20; 1 Corinthians 8:1-13; Mark 1:21-28
Neighbors in Need special offering supports the UCC’s ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States. Two-thirds of the offering is used by the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries to fund a wide array of local and national justice initiatives, advocacy efforts, and direct service projects. Through UCCTakeAction.org, our national Justice and Witness Ministries office offers resources, news updates, and action alerts on a broad spectrum of justice issues. Working with members of the UCC Justice and Peace Action Network (a network of thousands of UCC justice and peace advocates), Justice and Witness continues its strong policy advocacy work on issues such as the federal budget, voting rights, immigration, health care, hate crimes, civil liberties, and environmental justice.
Neighbors in Need also supports our American Indian neighbors in the UCC. One-third of the offering supports the UCC’s Council for American Indian Ministries (CAIM). Historically, forebears of the UCC established churches and worked with Lakota, Dakota, Nakota, Mandan, Hidatsa, Arickara, and Hocak in North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and northern Nebraska. Today there are 20 UCC congregations on reservations and one urban, multi-tribal UCC congregation in Minneapolis, Minnesota, all supported by CAIM.
Here are just a few of the other organizations this special offering has helped to support in the past year:
~ As a NIN grant recipient, the San Francisco Night Ministry’s mission is to provide middle-of-the-night compassionate non-judgmental pastoral care, counseling, referral and crisis intervention to anyone in any kind of distress, every night of the year.
~ Formally incorporated in 2005, Mano en Mano-Hand in Hand is the “go-to” agency in Down East Maine for Latino/Latina, immigrant, and farmworker issues. As a 2010 Neighbors in Need grant recipient, Mano en Mano provides a wide variety of direct services in English and Spanish.
~ Church of the Apostles UCC of Lancaster, PA, uncovered a new purpose. They discovered in the local newspaper a ministry to at risk adolescents as an alternative to street gang membership. The ministry, DigIt, teaches life skills through youth-centered programs with a focus on sustainable agriculture.
~ In 2010, Just Economics received a NIN grant to support Voices, an eight-week leadership training program designed to help low-income people find their “voice” and advocate for themselves and others.
“You have been a refuge for the poor, a refuge for the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat. For the breath of the ruthless is like a storm driving against a wall.” Isaiah 25:4
Please consider joining our congregation and other UCC churches in supporting ministries like these through this special offering on January 15th and 22nd.
from Our Church President Tom Wilson
Every Sunday at our worship service we sing three hymns. There are some that are rather quickly forgotten, but for me, many are meaningful and well remembered. So many we know by heart. I’m thinking of those that we
have been singing all our lives for Easter or Thanksgiving or the Christmas Season.
I find inspiration in music from great composers. We sing Handel’s music from Judas Maccabeus when we sing:
Thine is the glory, Risen, conquering Son;
Endless is the victory Thou o’er death has won.
The Ode to Joy music from Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony gives us:
Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee God of glory, Lord of Love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, Opening to the sun above.
And the wonderful music for this hymn is from Finlandia by Jean Sibelius:
Be still my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain.
There are many hymns that have special associations for us. I probably started singing this one 75 years ago when I was in Church School:
All things bright and beautiful, All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful: The Lord God made them all.
My mother’s family came from Maine, and her ancestors included sailors and captains of sailing ships. We sang this hymn on Sunday evenings in the living room of the family home, which was at the mouth of the Kennebec River. My grandmother would play it on a fine old pump organ. The view out the window was of the rocky coast and of an island with a lighthouse and then on out to sea.
Eternal Father, strong to save, Whose arm doth bind the restless wave,
Who biddest the mighty ocean deep Its own appointed limits keep:
O hear us when we cry to Thee For those in peril on the sea.
I went to Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts, and we had Sunday evening sings there every week. Imagine 500 young lusty voices belting out:
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before thy throne arise.
Abide with me: fast falls the eventide; the darkness deepens;
Lord, with me abide! When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
I have more stories about hymns to share next month. If you have favorites and want to tell us why certain hymns are especially meaningful for you, e-mail me at . With your permission, I’ll include your stories in the February News and Views.
Martin Luther King, Jr Events at Dartmouth
Sunday, January 15 - Community Faith Celebration with Bob Moses, PhD, Founder & President, The Algebra Project 2–3:30 pm, Rollins Chapel.
Monday, January 16 - Keynote Address by Herman Boone Former Coach of the T. C. Williams Titans, with remarks by President Jim Yong Kim, MD, PhD and Joan Leslie ’12, President of the Afro-American Society 7 pm, Moore Theater, Hopkins Center for the Arts . Reception to follow at the Top of the Hop.
Religious Education Update Rob Grabill
Merry Christmas! Still. Even though the secular celebrations have gone by, we are still well within the 12 days of Christmas that lead us to Epiphany, when we have even more of a chance to consider Jesus’ entry into our lives. That countdown can mean more to many of us than our New Year’s celebrations. Epiphany is all about discovering Jesus, and we don’t have to share it with any of the commercial entities which are in recovery/refund mode. We have always honored Epiphany at this church, and we are looking forward to a big celebration with the children on Epiphany Sunday, January 8th, complete with the traditional cake with three hidden coins. Find the coin, and you’re king/queen/magi for the day. Along the way, we’ll retell the story of the travelers from the East, and Herod, and the flight into Egypt. We hope that you will all be holding Christmas in your hearts long after the trees and wreaths have been recycled.
This is an appropriate time of year to look forward, of course, and there is much to anticipate. The Board of Deacons for Religion Education has been busy planning several educational initiatives, beginning on Sunday, January 22nd with a Second Hour presentation entitled: “ The Hi-Speed Teen Brain: Getting Rewired Till 25”.
Our guest speaker will be Dean Whitlock, who is the Strategic Prevention Framework Program Coordinator for the Mount Ascutney Prevention Partnership. This will be an informative, cutting-edge presentation (in layperson’s terms!)of the brain science that underlies adolescence, and how these normal changes lead to risk and reward behaviors among teenagers. The presentation provides insight into why smart kids sometimes do very stupid things, and what parents can do to help their teens stay on track. Adolescence is normal, a time of change and growth, with all the potential for success. This is a great opportunity for parents and grandparents to learn how to understand some valuable background information. Please feel free to invite other baffled parents to join us!
We’ll continue our educational offerings on the following Sunday, January 29th, with the first of a three-part series entitled “ABCs of the UCC”. These classes will be from 4:00 – 5:15 on Sundays, and will look into the history, the organization and outlook for our denomination. Most of us, when pressed, can identify ourselves as a member of the United Church of Christ. Fewer, perhaps, can describe how the UCC came to exist in 1958, and what historical steps led to the merger of several progressive Protestant denominations into one occasionally happy family. We may know that our church has, for over two centuries, been proudly Congregational, but perhaps know less of the overall history that brought us to our current precarious position as a groundbreaking, convention-busting branch of the Christian church family tree. We’ll also look at the ways in which the United Church of Christ is organized, and why we don’t need to take orders from the front office in Cleveland, or for that matter the regional branch in Pembroke. We won’t get into an in-depth analysis of the decades-old tension between autonomy and covenant, but we will emerge with a clearer understanding of how the way in which we are organized and joined together makes us who we are. Finally, we’ll look at what the UCC of today is up to. Many of us are aware of some of the important initiatives and issues that characterize our overall denomination, such as the highly successful “Mission: 1” drive against hunger.
“ABCs of the UCC” is designed to help CCDC members who are new to the church, or new to the denomination, become a bit more grounded, and familiar with the acronyms and vocabulary words (Quick: what’s OCWM?”) (What about “NIN”?) that get tossed around in church by the veterans. You’ll hear a bit more about the specifics once we start dating our correspondence “2012”, and hope you will join us.
Finally, for those of you who have been following all of the national and local discussions about the “Occupy” movement, stay tuned for more information about a forum presented by the Dartmouth United Campus Ministers on January 12th entitled “Occupy Dartmouth: Voices Crying in the Wilderness?”. The panel will include Dartmouth students, faculty and campus ministers who will discuss the impact of “Occupy” both locally and nationally.
We bid Christmas a fond goodbye, but will continue to strive to maintain the message as we charge into a fresh, exciting new calendar year.
Interview with Charlotte Quimby by Amy Stringer
If you are someone who drives around the Upper Valley, you probably noticed at some point political signs asking for your vote for Matthew Houde. If you live in New Hampshire, you know that Matthew is currently one of your state senators. But did you know that his mother, Charlotte Quimby, is a new member of our congregation? And as proof that Matthew is an apple who has not fallen far from the tree, Charlotte herself was a representative in the New Hampshire House for four years.
Recently I had the delightful opportunity to visit Charlotte (and her sweet, soft and solidly built apricot Bijon-poo, Toby) at her New Hampshire residence and learn this and many other fascinating things about her life.
Charlotte was born and raised in a traditionally Catholic family in New Hampshire. Her father was a grocer, and her mother a gourmet cook who prepared much of the food (sometimes hundreds of pies at a time!) sold at the store. Charlotte and her two siblings attended Catholic grammar, high school, and Charlotte went on to college. She got her BS in nursing at St. Anselm, noting, “I fell in love with maternity nursing from my first day in maternity nursing.” Troubled by witnessing the highly medicated births of that time, and feeling there had to be a better way, Charlotte later went on to get her Master’s in Midwifery at Yale. Also during this time, Charlotte married, had six children (four boys and two girls) and walked down a path of tremendous personal, spiritual and intellectual growth. (One humorous aside, at least in retrospect – Charlotte was sent to Georgia one summer as part of her Yale training in assisting with births. They were unable to find housing for the summer, so the family of eight lived in tents. The children remember it as great fun…Charlotte, “Not so much.”)
During the 1960s, Charlotte had the opportunity to join a women’s group, a consciousness-raising gathering typical of that time. As she read and learned more about the feminist movement and became a feminist herself, she found she had a hard time reconciling the dogma of the Catholic Church with her evolving view of the world and a woman’s place in it. Working as a maternity nurse, then as a midwife, Charlotte had ample opportunity to witness the incredible strength and power of women and found it impossible to view them as second-class citizens whose role the Church minimized. After Charlotte became a widow, she later met her current husband, Tony, and they were married at the United Church of Christ at Dartmouth College in 1989. She found that the UCC mirrored her own beliefs far better and has been part of this denomination ever since.
When asked what important lessons she feels life has taught her, Charlotte is passionate in her response: “The value of education. I would have been in a terrible predicament when my husband died if I had not had my Master’s. Because I had that, I was able to support my children.” Her experience in the legislature taught her that, “You really can make a difference.” This philosophy is evident in the work Charlotte continues to do in her life. She is currently a Senior Consultant for Centering Pregnancy, an organization that encourages and educates pregnant women about pregnancy and birth while at the same time providing them with a group of other women in the same situation. She is a member of the United Valley Interfaith Project, an organization of individuals and their churches dedicated to standing up for the needs of the poor and disenfranchised. This year, the group plans to speak up against bills put before the NH legislature that they deem harmful to, or stand in support of bills they think will be helpful to, the elderly, the young, job security and housing needs.
Charlotte and Tony have nine children and ten grandchildren between them, “Not too bad ZPG (Zero Population Growth) wise!” It is for her grandchildren especially that Charlotte has important hopes for New Hampshire. She notes with dismay that while New Hampshire ranks 4th in the nation in terms of per capita income, it ranks 50th with respect to contributions to its state universities. She is hopeful that others who believe as she does in the importance of education will work to change that.
Next on her life’s to-do list is to write a book. Again, this would be for her grandchildren more than anyone else. She would love to share with them stories of not just her life as a midwife, but those of her year in Uganda with Tony. Charlotte is a woman of great energy and intelligence. The stories of her life are fascinating to hear, and I would be one of the first in line to read any book sharing more of them.
MASLAND CHAPEL, THE STORY BEHIND THE ROOM Bob Keene
In a letter titled “Memories of the History of the Chapel”, Mary Norton Masland wrote: “At the age of 12 in 1935, I remember the former fraternity house being moved up the street to become attached to the new CCDC being built – an interesting and exciting venture to watch!
The room that is now the Chapel was used upon completion for two main purposes: The Sunday School children met there for worship together before going to their respective classes. How well I remember Creola Bayse in her hat playing the piano for our hymns – she sort of swayed back and forth as she played. The other main purpose of the room was to provide a home and a meeting place for the Women’s Association when they gathered in their best clothes, hats and white gloves for their monthly devotions, speakers and tea. The room currently used for choir robes was a well furnished and functional kitchenette. All the Communion Service cups were stored, prepared and washed there, too.
In 1949, after the death of his wife Harriet Gilbert Masland, John W. Masland, a Professor of International Relations at Dartmouth, had the room redecorated in Harriet’s honor and memory. There were new chairs, a lovely Madonna and Child painting hung above the east wall fireplace which had a pair of brightly polished candlesticks on the mantel. The room was used as before.
Following John’s death in 1968, David Yohn, the pastor at that time, talked with me about the possibility of turning the room into a chapel, feeling the need for an area smaller than the sanctuary for worship, baptisms and weddings. It had great appeal and we got to work immediately with an architect and small committee. The west end became a somewhat raised area set up with a table altar with an open Bible and candles and several chairs on each side. There were folding doors, which could be drawn across if the room were to be used just for meeting purposes. We bought a small Hammond Organ for it, too. A new plaque with John’s name being added to Harriet’s was placed on the wall to the right of the door as one exited.
The Chapel proved to be very useful in the ways that we had hoped [During the late 60’s and early 70’s it was the worship site for the Junior Church aka Sunday School church] and indeed for a few years it was used every Sunday morning by a Korean Congregation who had no church home of their own.
In 1979 following the death of our daughter, Joann Ellis Masland, at the age of 35, her name was added to the plaque as well.
It has always been a great pleasure for me to take visitors from all over the world into the Chapel. On a day when I had friends here from England and we were there, Ian observed that the Bible was open to the 121st Psalm. He had been in the British Navy during WWII and said that the Captain of his submarine had printed and kept on his bureau the words to the 7th and 8th verses and that they had seen him safely through the war. I have always repeated them to myself when taking off or landing in an airplane: “The Lord shall preserve thee from all evil, He shall preserve thy soul. The Lord shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even forevermore.””
Thank you, Mary for sharing this bit of history. The recent renewal work was an attempt to make the room a multi-directional space for worship and meetings. While this has been accomplished, the whole addition to the church building was super insulated, re-sided on the exterior and rewired to bring it up to code. The fireplace has been sealed of and the chimney capped to reduce heat loss. Of the original 9 radiators only 6 remain and three of those are turned off because the room can be nicely heated with only three unless the weather gets extremely cold. The wider corridor and glass double doors also add to the more welcoming feeling to the space.
The final touches of cushioned window seats and comfortable rocking chairs will make the southeast corner a cozy reading and meditation corner as well.
Many thanks to those people who contributed to continuing the legacy of the Masland Family. The Chapel was re-dedicated on Sunday, November 20, 2011.
Hamilton Library Update Jean Keene
Happy New Year from the Hamilton Library
It’s time for New Year’s Resolutions and one of mine is the promise to spend more time reading the several periodicals that are housed in the alcove just off the Batchelder Lounge. Yes, it is an extension of the Hamilton Library and books and magazines that are there have library cards and may be signed out with the cards left in a small box that is labeled for that purpose.
In addition to the three periodicals on the magazine rack in the alcove are other church related materials that anyone wanting to know more about CCDC can browse through and take, if they wish. These materials include current and back issues of News & Views, pamphlets about the United Church of Christ, CCDC annual reports, and some materials from church boards such as Religious Education.
The UPPER ROOM is a small devotional periodical that is published every two months. Each day for those two months there is a devotion and prayer for that particular day. Often there is a unifying theme. Many of the devotions are written by lay people and some by clergy. If you are waiting in the lounge, it is often good to have some short directed thoughts and ideas to ponder.
The CHRISTIAN CENTURY is a biweekly periodical. Its stated purpose is “Thinking Critically, Living Faithfully.” It is really a “news” magazine from a Christian perspective. In most issues there are Letters; an Editorial; CenturyMarks (news, often politics of relevance; Articles by well known theologians; Reviews of books, film, art; Columns from the Editor; “Living by the Word,” written by various religious educators on the subject of the current lectionary; Faith Matters. There is also poetry, some art, and even classifieds! There is advertising for courses and workshops to be given at various seminaries, new book titles, and much more. Of course there is a web site, christiancentury.org
The third periodical is SOJOURNERS, whose purpose is “Faith in Action for Social Justice.” It can also be subscribed to online at . Some article titles from the January 2012 issue are: “Iraq: It’s Finally Over- and it Was Wrong”, “A Turning Point on Immigration?”, “America, the Exceptional”, “Poisoning Eden”, “Challenges Ahead for the Post-Vatican II Church”. It also contains letters, several book reviews, films, poetry and art.
Even back issues of these magazines have articles of interest and relevance. Stop by and browse. Sign out an issue, take it home and don’t forget to return it for others to enjoy!
CCDC Reads Bob Russell
Readers are invited to meet at 11:15 AM on January 15 in the Hamilton Library, following Sunday worship. We will be discussing Saving Jesus from the Church, a new book by Robin Meyers. You may have seen its outside cover: an image of the Savior’s face with an ugly strip of duct tape plastered over his mouth.
Meyers’ message is clear: the Church is stifling Jesus’ message to the world.
Meyers, a local UCC pastor, in a series of arresting chapters, shows how the church builds a structure of beliefs and doctrines about Jesus, getting in the way of our own listening and directing response.
Meyers’ subtitle is “How to stop worshipping Christ and start following Jesus.”
Read this book and join the conversation on January 15th!
from Our Parish Nurse Ann Bradley
I may be letting the cat out of the bag, but one of the advantages of having office space on the fourth floor is that I very often get to listen to Ernie’s wonderful music and sometimes, the music of both Ernie and Heywood Alexander as they practice, and if I listen real closely, I can sometimes catch a few words of the good natured banter between them. It is both energizing and inspiring to have these two talented musicians accompany me occasionally on my daily planning or whatever I happen to be doing. Truthfully, sometimes I am even called upon, under close direction, to help tune one harpsichord or the other. I feel privileged to work among these and other talented people.
In fact, as we all know, talents abound among our congregation. The willingness of people to share their talents when called upon is also enormous. Sometimes people volunteer to help with a move or to move a piece of furniture, or sometimes they are called upon to fix something simple or sometimes to take on a complex project that enhances the building and quietly makes it more beautiful or more accessible. Sometimes they are called upon to just provide a little company to relieve the monotony of another’s day.
Recently, one of our parishioners moved into an assisted living facility. I learned that he would appreciate visitors from our church since he feels so strongly connected here. So, I sent the request out to our CCDC Cares group. Within a day, I received replies from 14 people who said that they would be happy to be on that list. Wow! We hope you will consider asking CCDC Cares to lend a hand if you are in the process of downsizing, for example, if you need a friendly home visitor, or perhaps you have a chore for which a second pair of hands would be helpful. Maybe some things need to be taken to the dump or be recycled or clothes taken to L.I.S.T.E.N as the seasons change. These are just a few examples. The group will also be offering a clean up day in the Spring, so stay tuned for that date.
I am sorry to report that Tai Chi classes are suspended, at least for the time being, because of low enrollment. Instructor Anne Bower has said she may offer a new class in the spring, incorporating more qi gong, which is Chinese, breathing/moving exercises used for health. This class would have a bit more emphasis on stress reduction and relaxation, including seated tai chi. So stay tuned. . .
Meanwhile, join us if you would like for the CCDC Cares lunch on Jan. 9 in Sanborn Room at 12:30 to hear from Hospice representatives of VNAVNH of New Hampshire and Vermont. Bring a sandwich. Dessert and beverage provided.
I wish you all a safe, happy and healthy New Year!
Words from Warren Warren Turner
One of my co-workers has a “digital photo frame” on her desk. Beautiful color pictures appear on the little monitor, each scene or portrait showing for about 30 seconds or so before fading to the next. As Christmas approached I thought it would an excellent present for my 94 year old Mom. However, she has made it clear that she wants nothing to do with any of the high tech, computer-like gadgets. Getting it going is simple, I might say, but as we all know when it comes to this new electronic stuff, what can be easy for some of us can be incomprehensable to others. This gift was such a good idea that if someone could help set it up and update the photos from time, it would be perfect. Luckily, my sister could do that especially with the help of her computer savvy son-in-law. (I will let you know how it goes)
Many of us will experience the same thing when our younger relatives and friends, who have grown up with the Macintosh and the cell phone and the remote-controlled TV, (etc, etc) will give us devices or want us to communicate with their electronics. The Senior Advocate position was created specifically to address this problem so please call me and let me help you with these issues. I keep it slow and simple and will return as often as needed. Many times I have worked with somebody to get beyond the initial anxiety so that they could enjoy these devices without stress. If you need that, please contact me at anytime.