Facing the Challenges of COVID-19
After almost 10 months as your interim pastor, I want you to know how much I’m enjoying being here and working with you. I want to thank you for the Masked Ball 80th birthday party for me. It was a total surprise. It was the best birthday party I’ve ever had. Janet Grant, as you would expect, did a great job of planning it. We had 50 people in attendance. Everyone wore a mask and kept a safe distance. It was so good to see all of you, members of the congregation and people from the community. It was a beautiful day and I think it felt good for everyone to be able to see each other. I began to realize why the Fair and the other community events that usually happen each summer are so popular.
Living through this COVID-19 time has been a challenge for everyone. Things have been changing so rapidly that it is very difficult to plan from one day to the next. Long range planning is impossible. I’ve been amazed by your good spirit and your flexibility as we’ve been living through this time of radical change. We really do not know what is coming next. I’m thankful that I’m here. I can’t imagine a better place to be during this time then with you.
One of the few bright spots in the midst of COVID-19 has been our meditations. We are producing our 16th one this week. We have an extraordinary team working together: Carol Hess is our producer photographer, Gene Faxon, Janet Grant and Betsy Feiker are our musicians, and Lisa Bostnar is our lay reader. It is such a joy to work with these people. Each one is quite gifted, and each person’s gifts are different. Together we are able to create something far better than any of us could do on our own. It’s a great image for what the church is called to be.
Looking ahead to Fall
I think that many of you know that the Rev. Richard Slater, Associate Conference Minister for New Hampshire will be on sabbatical from September 15 to December 31. The conference has asked me to fill in for him for that time as Interim on a half-time basis. I’m hoping to stay serving you at the same time. Because the virus has thrown off everyone’s schedule, I suspect that you will need me at least part of next year. I have no plans for the future at present, so I’m happy to stay as long as you and I both think this is helpful for the church. This is still an interim time. I will not become the called pastor. That is considered unethical. Let us use the time God has given us as productively as possible.
Thank you for the privilege of serving as your interim pastor.
As usual this week’s meditation has been video-taped in our familiar First Church Sanctuary. Having been in shirt-sleeves last week, David is dressed in more formal attire today, with his handsome and meaningful stole. (He’s going to talk about it in Part 3 of this series.)
Yes, today’s sharing is the first in a three-part series, to be followed on July 10th and July 17th with yet more insights in Matthew 11:28-30. Though brief, these are truly pithy… especially in these days.
The music ministry team is augmented this week by the lovely tenor voice of Joan Epro. We are grateful for her contributions! The musicians have prepared a special “salve” for us this week with a new and inspiring piece “Venite ad me omnes” (Come all to me) created in an older, traditional manner. Next week, you’ll encounter selections both beloved and familiar. No fair to spill the beans; besides they might change their minds in the meantime.
Moderator, the First Church in Jaffrey
Happy Birthday Rev. Felton!
DAVID FELTON’S remarkable “MASKED BALL” took place in front of the Meetinghouse, Jaffrey Center at 1 o’clock on June 13, 2020. Fifty friends, neighbors and even a dog came to this ‘surprise party’ to celebrate David’s 80 birthday! For those of you unable to attend, and those present who would like to reminisce, here are scenes from this special event on a brilliantly beautiful day. Thanks for photos taken by Suze Campbell and Carol Hess, preparatory planning Janet Grant and a team of many handing out Klondike bars, balloons and good cheer on this special occasion.
Click on https://youtu.be/yriBt4EtWFo or copy and insert in your search engine to join the party.
Carol B. Hess
Moderator, The First Church in Jaffrey
No matter who you are, or where you are on life's journey, you are welcome here.
EASTER SEASON MEDITATIONS & MUSIC
The Seventh Sunday of Easter
The Sixth Sunday of Easter
God is Our Refuge and Strength Rev. David Felton May 14 2020
Creator God, You Are There May 14 2020
The Fifth Sunday of Easter Mothers' Day
Mothers Akin to Eagles Rev. David Felton May 7 2020
A Musical Tribute to Mothers May 7 2020
You Raise Me UP May 7 2020
The Fourth Sunday of Easter
She Shall Carry You Pastor David Felton April 30 2020
Hear Thou my Prayer, oh Lord April 30 2020
The Third Sunday of Easter
Exodus in Our Times Pastor David Felton April 24 2020
Be Not Afraid April 24 2020
My Lord, What a Morning April 24 2020
Second Sunday of Easter
April 16 2020
April 16 2020
Best Friends April 16 2020
NO FAIR THIS SUMMER
Since the middle of Lent, First Church in Jaffrey has not been offering live Services. The church has been closed, but we have created video meditations with music weekly. We are now starting the season of Pentecost. You can see and hear these meditations and music by clicking on the underlined links below.
Third Sunday After Pentecost
Second Sunday After Pentecost
First Sunday After Pentecost
MEDITATIONS & MUSIC
We believe it would be prudent to cancel the Fair for August 5th. Considering the absence of most if not all of Wa-Klo camp, the susceptible age of most workers, possible reluctance of visitors, the nature of contact and interaction required, and the lack of confident projections that would deem it safe to hold a public event by early August leads us to recommend this action.
However, we are open to consideration of some smaller scale event, if the threats and distancing requirements have abated, later in August or September.