News & Views May 2011
This morning I finished my last class for the spring term. Now it’s on to writing a few papers and preparing for a final exam. Also this morning, I met with a church member about our property lines, record of deeds, inventorying our building contents and arranging for some accounting counsel. Now I’m writing News and Views, and then it’s the staff meeting and the Sunday bulletin, preparing for the Nominating Committee meeting, maybe catching a walk downtown. It’s funny – I just read last year’s May Bailiwick and I have to say, it captured the same mood I’m in today – a little tired, a little unorganized, dreaming of summer. I imagine it’s always this way once Holy Week is over and the weather is (finally) warm. Bring on the rest and relaxation!
We’re working on some great spring to summer programs, including a visit from one of my favorite authors, Julia Spencer-Fleming. She writes murder mysteries set in upstate New York with two extremely lovable protagonists – an Episcopal priest and a chief of police. The titles of her books are lines from hymns – the first, In the Bleak Midwinter, and her most recent release, One Was a Soldier. It is this latest book that brings her to Hanover on Memorial Day. She will be our keynote speaker in a program about returning veterans (see inside this News and Views for details), an afternoon that includes a variety of speakers, a chance to purchase her books, and a closing organ concert by Susan Ferre. I think it will be a perfect way to observe this most somber of holidays.
But Memorial Day isn’t the only spring/summer event – Rob is taking the Confirmands to Heifer Farm for a weekend together right before they join the church, we’ll be remembering Pete Gardner in a memorial service, there will be nominations to boards, an All Boards’ Dinner, Mothers’ Day, Fathers’ Day, a couple of weddings. And you will be making your own spring to summer transitions – vacation planning, raking, gardening, cleaning.
One of the gifts of church life is the heightened awareness of a year of seasons. The liturgical seasons take us through the life of Jesus while at the same time we observe school seasons, life seasons, changing weather seasons, political seasons. Right after Pentecost, which is late this year, we enter the liturgical season of ordinary time. It’s actually my favorite season of all – ordinary. Ordinary time includes ordinary stories about Jesus, ordinary observances, ordinary events of worship. I think of it as time to do ordinary things in life as well – read good books, do a little sewing, paint some walls, take walks, visit family and friends.
There are people in our lives who are action junkies. They need drama to get a jolt of energy and if life doesn’t provide them with it, they create it. You know a few people like that, I bet. Sometimes it’s fun to be with them for an evening. The conversation is lively and entertaining. But personally, I like the ordinary folks who, like ordinary time, fill life more with nutrition than the empty calories of drama. Maybe it’s because I’m a little tired that I think this way. Maybe you’re a little tired, too. Maybe “Ordinary Time” was created for just such a season of recovery, rest, and relaxation as many of us seem to need. I know I’m looking forward to it – about as much as I’m looking to my first spring nap in the swinging chair on the back porch.
Love to us all -
Worship Schedule for May
Unless otherwise noted, Sunday worship begins in the Sanctuary at 10:00 AM
May 1 Second Sunday of Easter
Carla Bailey, preaching
Acts 2:14a, 22-32; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31
May 8 Third Sunday of Easter
Carla Bailey, preaching
Acts 2:14a, 36-41; 1 Peter 1:17-23; Luke 24:13-35
May 15 Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 2:42-47; 1 Peter 2:19-25; John 10:1-10
May 22 Fifth Sunday of Easter
Carla Bailey, preaching
Acts 7:55-60; 1 Peter 2:2-10; John 14:1-14
May 29 Sixth Sunday of Easter
Carla Bailey, preaching
Acts 17:22-31; 1 Peter 3:13-22; John 14:15-21
Notes from Ernie Drown
Monday, May 30, Memorial Day, 4 pm. An organ recital by Susan Ferré in the sanctuary. For her third recital here, Susan will present organ music and stories in a program she calls “Stories from the Human Village : The Walled City of Gold”. Through her stories and organ music, Susan will tell the long cultural history of this mythical city. Works on the program include pieces by Scarlatti, Cabezon, Correa de Arauxo, De Lalande, Bach, Dubois, Ahrens, Langais, Vierne, and Alain. Free will offering will benefit a designated charity.
And—mark your calendars. Sunday, June 5, the Children’s Choir will present their annual spring play. This year, it’s called Paul and Company, and tells some of the adventures shared by Paul, Timothy and Silas in their missionary journey to Macedonia.
Mother’s Day Cards for BLANKETS+ Program
Again this year, CCDC Outreach Board will be selling Mother’s Day Cards to support the Blankets + program of Church World Service. Blankets+ is a special mission opportunity for all ages. Some 8,000 congregations and groups across the U.S. hold CWS Blankets+ events, providing funds to help people in need around the world, including the U.S.
For over 60 years, Church World Service has worked in partnership with local communities to identify their needs and access the resources they need to build the foundation for a more viable future, including:
• Blankets, tents, food and other emergency supplies in the wake of a disaster
• Tools and seeds for refugees returning home to replant their fields
• Wells for families living in drought prone areas to provide clean, safe water to drink and to irrigate crops and gardens
• Literacy training and microcredit for women struggling to realize their potential.
This ‘n That
Lost and Found: Please check the Lost and Found table in the Batchelder Lounge over the next few weeks. Many items are there and will be donated if not claimed by May 15. Thank you!
We Need Your Help! We’re looking for head ushers for the spring/summer months. We’ll help you recruit the weekly ushers and give you a full set of tips and guidelines. Head ushers usually take one month but we are finding it helpful for head ushers to share a month - two head ushers to alternate Sundays. Can you help? Please email Carla or Kendra with your availability!
from Our Church President ~ Tom Wilson
There has been a lot written about bullying recently. I wonder, in the past did we just dismiss it as childish behavior? Now we are certainly more aware of the harm that bullying can do to the abused. Our son sent us the following story, and at the “March Madness” event we had in the Batchelder Lounge on March 25th, Joan picked it to read as a more serious part of the entertainment. Now we want to share it with the rest of you.
One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all his books. I thought to myself, “Why would anyone bring home all his books on Friday? He must really be a nerd.” I had quite a weekend planned – parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon – so I shrugged my shoulders and went on. As I was walking I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They knocked all his books out of his arms, and they tripped him so he landed in the dirt. His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him. He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him, so I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses. I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses I said, “Those guys are jerks. They really should get lives.” He looked at me and said, “Hey, thanks!” There was a big smile on his face. It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books and asked him where he lived. It turned out that he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said that he had gone to a private school before now. Before I would just never hang out with private school kids. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football with my friends. He said yes. We hung out that weekend, and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him. My friends thought the same of him too. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, “Boy, you are really gonna build some serious muscles with this pile of books every day.” He just laughed and handed me half the books.
Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began thinking about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown. I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, and that the miles would never be a problem. He was going to be a doctor, and I was on a football scholarship and planned to study business. Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was glad I wasn’t the one who had to get up and give a speech. On Graduation Day I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys who had really found himself during high school. He had filled out, and he actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had, and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous. Today was one of those days. I could see he was nervous about his speech, so I smacked him on the back and said, “Hey, big guy, you’ll be great!” He looked at me with one of those looks – the really grateful ones – and smiled. “Thanks”, he said.
As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began: “Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years: your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach, but mostly your friends. I am here to tell you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give him or her. I am going to tell you a story.” I just looked at my friend in disbelief as he told the story of the first day we met. He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked about how he had cleaned out his locker, so his Mom wouldn’t have to do it later, and he was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. “Thankfully I was saved. My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable.” I heard a gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and Dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize its depth. Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture, you can change a person’s life. For better or for worse, God puts us all in each other’s lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others. “Friends are angels who lift us to our feet when our wings have trouble remembering how to fly.” There is no beginning or end. Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. Today is a gift.
Religious Education Update by Rob Grabill
I am basking in the warm afterglow of a moving and meaningful Holy Week, a joyous Easter, and the promise of an exciting spring ahead. Certainly, the arrival of warm weather hasn’t hurt, but beyond that I have spoken with more than a few folks who felt launched by our Easter weekend. Debra and I started our Easter Sunday on the Dartmouth Green a few minutes before 6:00 a.m., chasing the chill of the last cold night, and sharing the warmth of the Dartmouth/Tucker Foundation Sunrise service. In addition to the readings, reflections and prayers offered by Dartmouth students and Tucker Dean Richard Crocker (also one of the readers in our Good Friday service), a student a capella group sang two wonderful anthems, and a student trumpet player unerringly accompanied our hymn singing.
Brass accompaniment was certainly one of the many highlights of our two well-attended Sunday services, thanks to our good friends, the Heritage Brass Quintet. For me, however, the highlight of the day was the amazing turnout of Dartmouth students. Perhaps you were there at the 11:00 service when I preceded the Children’s Moment to take attendance of Dartmouth undergrads, prompted by the large numbers I observed trailing into the sanctuary. Well more than thirty students raised their hands, and I promised to e-mail their parents and acknowledge their attendance. I borrowed that joke, I confess, from Harvard’s beloved Pastor Peter Gomes, who just recently passed away. He used to say that to visiting parents during services at Memorial Church, and I’ll employ that jest again in years to come to honor his memory, and at the same time remind the students how thrilled we are to see them. All told, we must have hosted more than 40 Dartmouth students on Easter, many of them regulars who are becoming known to several of us. This is a most encouraging trend.
There were many opportunities during Lent and Holy Week for reflection and learning. On Palm Sunday, we had the final installment of our Bible Study Class with Professor Fred Berthold. Our discussions during “On the Road to Orthodoxy”, a study of the early Christian church, were meaningful and provocative. During our final session, the class honored Fred, presenting him with a unique certificate of appreciation and announcing that the class had collected $300 to be donated to CCDC’s Hamilton Library to purchase books in his honor. Fred didn’t hesitate to make a few suggestions right away!
The coming weeks of May will be pointing towards the culmination of a year’s worth of work by the Confirmation class. The eight Confirmands are currently engaged in important discussions abut faith and belief with their mentors, and will culminate their learning on May 6-8 with a weekend trip to Overlook Farm in Holden, Massachusetts, the New England Headquarters of Heifer Project International. CCDC has a long history with HPI. We have made generous donations in the past to this wonderful international effort to combat world hunger by encouraging self-sufficiency. Donations of all sorts of livestock help families break the cycle of hunger, supported by education and a charge to “pass it on” by asking recipients to share their gifts with others when self-sufficiency is attained. The Confirmation trip to Overlook farm will combine a number of first-hand educational opportunities to learn about world hunger, farm maintenance and animal care. We will leave Friday afternoon after school, and return on Sunday having grown as a group and learned a great deal about mission and outreach well beyond the confines of a classroom.
The following Sunday, May 15th, is Confirmation Sunday, and the members of the class who have chosen to be confirmed will become covenant members of our congregation as part of a very meaningful service. Confirmands will take part in the worship service in a number of significant ways, and have been working hard with Ernie Drown on a musical offering that will be very special. Thanks to Ernie for his extra effort and support. Two of the group will also be joining the Handbell Choir as guest ringers during the Prelude.
Easter is behind us, but Eastertide beckons with more than just warm weather. Onward to an exciting month of May!
from Our Parish Nurse ~ Ann Bradley
As I write this, it is a cold gray April day, and our first Day of Service by the CCDC Cares group has yet to come. Regardless of how many parishioners we serve this Spring, it is a great testament to a wonderful and committed group of people willing to make a difference to you and to one another.
The Tai Chi classes have been well received with many comments ranging from help with balance to the camaraderie of the group. People will be asked in the next couple of weeks whether they wish to continue with classes over the summer or if they wish to stop in May and resume in the Fall. If you have an opinion, do be sure to get it to Anne Bower or to me.
Meanwhile, this month I would like to give you some food for thought found in a Harvard Medical School article published this spring. The article is titled “Beyond Pills: 5 conditions you can improve with lifestyle changes.”
The article cites the wonderful convenience of taking a pill—so much easier than changing what we eat, getting up the energy and the willpower to exercise regularly, or fighting the uphill battle of weight loss.
Research published a few years ago extols the benefits of some weight loss (5.7%) combined with moderate exercise to reduce knee pain and to increase mobility in heavy people with mildly arthritic knees. Activity that targets certain muscle groups is a proven pain reliever; for example, having stronger quadriceps helps to relieve painful knees. Even for people who are not heavy, exercise that doesn’t put stress on joints, such as swimming and bicycling, works to reduce pain.
Eating for a healthier cholesterol level involves keeping foods like meat and full-fat dairy products off the menu. LDL (bad cholesterol) levels may drop as much as 5%. With each additional gram of soluble fiber contained in foods such as oatmeal, beans, nuts, and fruit, LDL levels can be reduced even further. Plant-based diets that are very heavy on the vegetables (10 servings a day) and legumes and nuts (4 servings a day) have brought down LDL by almost 10%. As for HDL (the good cholesterol), exercise is the best way to boost levels.
The best-known way to avoid cognitive decline is to exercise both mentally and physically, although there is stronger and more consistent evidence for the mental benefits of physical exercise than the evidence for mental gymnastics. However, it is important to maintain social contacts and to participate in activity that challenges the mind.
Many studies have shown that regular physical exercise seems to have an antidepressant effect. Physical activity may affect the brain directly by helping brain cells grow and make more connections where it counts.
If there’s one condition that you can change without a pill, it’s high blood pressure. Take your pick: lose some weight, get more exercise, eat less sodium, change your diet. They all work. Even small changes, such as reducing salt intake by 3/4 tsp. per day may drop your systolic pressure by 5 points and your diastolic by 3. The Dietary Approach to Stop Hypertension (DASH) is even better. Weight loss, exercise, and diet can make lower dosages of medication possible and even eliminate the need for medication altogether. The DASH diet was developed by the National Institutes of Health and has shown to reduce blood pressure, improve cholesterol levels and improve insulin sensitivity.
A copy of this article will be posted on the Parish Nurse bulletin board, just beyond the double doors leading to the Church office..
A dear church member, Pete Gardner died on Sunday, April 10. Please keep Pete’s wife Lou and their children Doug and Carol in your prayers. A memorial service for Pete will be held on May 21.
from The Reading Group ~ Bob & June Russell
At our last meeting, several members of the Reading Group reported their reactions to books they had read about life in Zimbabwe. The discussion proved to be so lively that we decided to continue it at our next meeting on Sunday, May 15 at 11:15 AM in the Hamilton Library.
Several of the Zimbabwe books are in the church library now. Jean Keene would be glad to help you locate them. We also encourage you to introduce other books on this subject and to join the group on that Sunday.
The lives of people in Zimbabwe are still in constant danger:
~inadequate food supply
Reading about what is happening in Zimbabwe will help us understand the lives and the problems facing the friends in our sister congregation, Glen View Church in Harare, Zimbabwe’s capital city.
Hamilton Library Happenings ~ Jean Keene
Next time you stop by to browse in the Hamilton Library, we hope you will notice the newly labeled shelf in the Library which displays resources relating to the health and well being of our congregation. Some of these materials have been used in courses and workshops planned and organized by our Parish Nurse, Ann Bradley. Highlighted here are a few of these interesting and informative books.
Two books being used by the participants in Jeanne Child’s course called “Listening in a Healing Way” are:
I Don’t Have to Make Everything All Better: Principles that empower others to solve their own problems while enriching your relationships by Gary and Joy Lundberg, and The Art of Listening in a Healing Way by James E. Miller.
Caring for Your Aging Parents : a guide to nurturing your loved ones while taking care of yourself by Kaeann Berman and Bernard H. Shulman, MD. This is a practical guide which includes topics such as communication, planning, role changes and suggestions for taking care of the caregivers as well as the patients.
The Faith Factor: Proof of the Healing Power of Prayer by Dale Matthews, MD, with Connie Clark. This book gives evidence of the effects of prayer on the health and recovery of medical patients. Dale grew up in this church and is the son of CCDC member Dorothy Matthews and the late Dr. Louis Matthews.
Still Alice by Lisa Genova is a beautifully written novel about the devastating effect that Alzheimer’s disease has on its victims and their families. The book is written from Alice’s viewpoint, describing what is going on in her head as the dementia increases. Genova does a wonderful job of showing the affect of Alzheimer’s not only on Alice, but on how her family struggles with the changes as the disease progresses.
The Hamilton Library is a quiet comfortable place to relax and read 24/7. Try it!!
Church World Service – Disaster Relief
A second article about Church World Service, answering questions about why we support their work.
JAPAN: One month after a massive earthquake and tsunami struck the coast of Japan and crippled a Fukushima nuclear power plant, the Japanese government raised the crisis level to 7 - the top of the global scale for nuclear incidents, on par with the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster. CWS will provide more than $2.8 million in assistance, focusing on emergency support to over 25,000 individuals living at evacuation sites in northeastern prefectures. Along with food and water, relief efforts by CWS and its local partners have included medical care provided by stationary and mobile medical clinics; patient transportation; hygiene items and toilet facilities; generators, high-pressure sprayers and washing machines. In addition, CWS partner Peace Boat has begun relief assistance in Ishinomaki City, Miyagi Prefecture, providing 2,000 hot meals per day to evacuees in the area and cleaning debris from evacuation sites and surrounding
HAITI: In an April 20 interview, Polycarpe Joseph, head of the Ecumenical Center for Peace and Justice in Haiti, told CWS staff that, for Haiti, it’s time to break the cycle of poverty and embrace true development. “It’s a time to move from violence to peace, from division to reconciliation,” he said. “Democracy, development, peace and unity: it’s all one dream.” Herode Guillomettre agrees. As president of the Christian Center for Integrated Development, a CWS partner, Guillomettre urged supporters of CWS to “stand behind the Haitian people, by developing a relationship that goes beyond partnership.” He wants the Haitian people to be active in their own development, to end their dependency.
More than a year since the January 2010 earthquake in Haiti, hundreds of thousands of people are still living in tents in Port-au-Prince and other locations. “You can’t have tent cities forever,” Guillomettre said. CWS is supporting several long-term initiatives, including working with SKDE to expand 13 food cooperatives in northwest Haiti; support programs for vulnerable Haitian children - including domestic servants, former gang members and teenage mothers, and supporting 1,200 disabled Haitians through housing repair and cash assistance programs.