RECENT EVENTS

HARVEST LUNCHEON

Held right after Sunday worship on October 13th our Harvest Pot Luck luncheon brought more than 35 First Church members and friends gathered in clusters of four or six at tables ‘hosted’ by cheerful scarecrows. In fact, before worship that morning some of the scarecrows had migrated to the Sanctuary, perching on the altar and waving to all in the pews.

Many human friends brought quantities of delicious food for sharing! Organized by Suze Campbell, Millie Vigneault, Janet Grant and others, our Parish House serving tables became groaning boards offering a broad range of delicacies. Good time held by all. The scarecrows agree and have asked to be invited next year.

BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS

The new 3-lamp floodlight on the 2nd floor corner of the Parsonage turns on at night when you walk past it. It illuminates the rough paving and puddles at the junction of the driveway and road and also a fair amount of the Meeting-house parking lot. The Parish House has a new south-facing roof and the Connector ramp to the red brick Church has a new roof on both sides. The parsonage study and living room have modern electrical outlets.

Suze Campbell has installed two 3’ x 7’ handsome bookcases, donated by Marc and Sally O’Brien, in the Parish House. They now hold the FCIJ Library collection and flank the entrance to the connecting ramp to the Sanctuary. The change allows a more comfortable arrangement of the furniture in the living room area.

WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY

Rev. Felton asked us to imagine the communion table stretching around the world so that we would be in communion with all of the world.

At this service, the Neighbors in Need special offering was made.  Rev. Felton pointed out that american indians were a major recipients of the Neighbors in Need program and described his work with the Lakota tribes in South Dakota.  He also shared his collection of quilts, which were given to him for participating in Lakota funeral services. The quilts are a powerful reminder of the Lakota's spirit struggling with poverty, joblessness, death, and the associated hopelessness. Rev. Felton reminded us of how important our support of programs like Neighbors in Need is in helping the UCC address hopelessness preying on the Lakota.

QUARTERLY CONGREGATIONAL MEETING

The focus of this meeting was on the work of the Bylaws Task Force.  With lots of helpful input from the congregation, a new Covenant statement has been created for the Bylaws and a new simplified statement of Membership.  The remaining work of the Task Force is defining the organization of the church.  At this meeting the Task Force reported on the existing organizational structure and encouraged input from the congregation on how the existing structure should evolve.  The organization was described in terms of the Elected Officers: Moderator, Clerk, and Treasurer as well as the eight Circles.  Each Circle was described in terms of its function.  The current members of the Circles and the chairs of the Circles were identified.

The new Bylaws: Convenant, Membership, and Organizational Structure should be voted on at the Annual Congregational Meeting in January.

First Church in Jaffrey is in the process of transitioning from term pastor Rev. Robin Lunn to an interim pastor. 

REV. DAVID FELTON'S FIRST SUNDAY AT FIRST CHURCH

Rise Up on Eagle's Wings

A sermon that focused on the unique attribute of Christianity as a religion in that God comes looking for us like the shepherd leaving the 99 to find the lost sheep.

The service ended with a rousing recessional hymn in a New Orleans gospel style with Gene Faxon on piano and Bruce Larsen on the standup base.

Rev. Felton greets Linda Grant Reiman

Rev. Richard Slater (white hat) adds a cross while Rev. Mark Koyama (blue shirt) guides others in adding crosses to the field

MEMORIAL CROSSES FOR VICTIMS OF MASS VIOLENCE

First Church members participated in a prayer action at the United Church in Jaffrey honoring victims who perished in mass settings by gunmen. While solemn hymns were sung, prayers expressed and bells tolled, people hammered 286 white crosses into the lawn of the church.  These crosses are a powerful reminder of the toll that gun violence has played on our nation.

Rev. Suzanne Lamport of our congregation offers a prayer

WARM WELCOME FOR REV. DAVID FELTON

On Labor Day, 28 members and friends of First Church met and talked with Rev. David K. Felton, First Church’s interim minister for the next year, at a “tea and cookies” Parish House reception. 

David comes to us from Sioux Falls, South Dakota, where he was the conference minister and became close friends with his successor, the Rev. Gordon Rankin. Gordon is now the NHUCC Conference minister who preached at First Church in June, and helped persuade David to come to Jaffrey.

He is shown hanging a gift honoring his work with the Lakota tribes of South Dakota in the parsonage.

103rd Summer Fair

The 103rd Annual Summer Fair in Jaffrey Center was a success! We had good crowds and 2 hours of sunshine before the rains came! In spite of the weather our outstanding leaders and workers persevered and worked tirelessly to fulfill our Fair mission.
Thank you to all who worked so hard! FCiJ sponsors the Fair but more than half of the 75 leaders, workers, and donors come from the greater Jaffrey and Monadnock area communities.

Elise Strickland, her granddaughter Caroline and Ann St. Cyr setting up luncheon.

Sally and Bruce Larsen setting up the Art Gallery

Millie Vigneault, Pam Hill and Ann St. Cyr serving luncheon.

Dorrie Upton with kitchen goods in the Meetinghouse

The Children's Fair was busy before the rain.

Randy Morse, Janet Grant and Skip Cornelius help a customer at the furniture sale

Gene Faxon and Nancy Elder-Wilfrid with the hot dog stand

The Model T drives by First Church

Bruce Hill and Rick Stein celebrate another great Jaffrey Center Summer Fair

PENTECOST SERVICE

Rev. Gordon Rankin preached an inspiring sermon around the delightful, engaging metaphor of a phantasy music concert, with all the different instruments standing in our steads, as friends and neighbors working, playing and attempting to be God’s people by listening to one another.  He linked this metaphor to the experience of the disciples at Pentecost speaking in different languages but providing a message that could be heard by all.

MEMORIAL DAY SERVICE

Rev. Ilona Kwiecien, a US Army veteran, preached a sermon on honoring those sacrifices by creating peace. A theme of the service was the prayer of St. Fancis.  Music Minister Gene Faxon led the choir and played the piano accompanying cellist Andrew Katronbas.

The Polish, US, and Russian army hats are momentoes of peace negiotiations in which Rev. Kwiecien was involved

EASTER SUNDAY

First Church celebrated Easter with special music. A string quartet using Baroque instruments and led by cellist Andrew Koutroubas played selections from Vivaldi’s Gloria with harpsichord and choir at our Easter services.  Music Minister Gene Faxon conducted and played his harpsichord, with members of the Monadnock Chorus singing with the First Church choir. The Laudamus Te soprano duet was sung by Betsy Feiker and Debby Kaiser, and the Domine Deus, Agnus Dei alto solo was sung by Janet Grant.
The Rev. Robin Lunn gave a two part sermon, on “Gloria in Excelsis Deo.”

(603) 532-7979

14 Laban Ainsworth Way,

P.O. Box 673

Jaffrey, NH 03452, USA

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