Newsletters

cropped-drawing-of-new-church1.jpg

The First Congregational Church of Wilmot, UCC publishes a weekly newsletter.   If you would like us to add your email address to our mailing, please contact us at: wilmotucc@gmail.com.

Thoughts, Prayers and Ministries from FCCW

September 17, 2020

Dear Friends,
 
We are so excited to announce our plan…

Toward Becoming a Racial Justice Church

Do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with your God  -Micah 6:8

Part A.  It is with deep and genuine enthusiasm that The Racial Justice Steering Committee (RJSC) shares our initial thoughts, resources, and plans for what will likely be a year-long journey toward becoming  a Racial Justice Church.  Please walk with us (Sara Marean, Donna Reade, Nancy Allenby, Nancy De Vries, Paul Currier, & Bonita Betters-Reed) as we collaboratively respond to the following UCC Call which is encapsuled below:

Awakening to Racial Justice 

The New Hampshire Conference of the United Church of Christ (NHCUCC) and the Racial Justice Mission Group welcome your congregation as you engage in an ongoing process of Becoming a Racial Justice Church in accordance with the resolution passed at Annual Meeting 2018: Resolution of Christian Witness in Support of New Hampshire Conference United Church of Christ Congregations Awakening to Racial Justice (see the Appendix, pages 14-17 in the guide below for the full text of the resolution). Our UCC denomination embraces this same intentional awakening. In outlining both the strength and urgency of our commitment to racial justice and to confronting racism in all its manifestations, the UCC, via its website (https://www.ucc.org/justice_racism_racial-justice-in-the-ucc), states: For all of you are the children of God. —Galatians 3:28

Each person is created in the image of God. But whenever we devise, maintain or perpetuate systems and structures that oppress people based on race and/or ethnicity, we interfere with God’s purpose and the opportunity for all God’s children to be fully who they are created to be. Racism is an affront to God.

Racism is racial prejudice plus power. It is rooted in the belief that one group has racial superiority and entitlement over others. Its power is manifested in every institution and system, both nationally and internationally, which was historically established and continues to function to benefit one group of people to the disadvantage of other groups. Awareness and education will help us to become anti-racist individuals and foster the development of anti-racist systems and institutions that can eliminate privilege for some and oppression for others.

The United Church of Christ and its predecessor churches have made a priority commitment to supporting policies and structures that make real our Christian commitment to racial justice. The UCC’s emphasis means more than simply challenging personal prejudices but involves a commitment to in-depth analysis of societal policies and structures that either work toward the elimination of racism or perpetuate it.

During General Synod 23 an addendum was added to the 1993 Pronouncement calling the UCC to become a Multiracial, Multicultural Church. The addendum called the UCC to also become an “Anti-Racist” denomination. In doing so, we encourage all Conferences and Associations and local churches of the UCC to adopt anti-racism mandates, including policy that encourages anti-racism programs for all UCC staff and volunteers (p. 4 of the Guide)

The Process for Becoming a Racial Justice Church  (GUIDE): New Hampshire Conference, United Church of Christ (NHCUCC) Racial Justice Mission Group

http://nhcucc.org/uploads/documents/conference-ministries/justice-witness-ministry/Racial%20Justice/Process%20for%20Becoming%20a%20Racial%20Justice%20Church.pdf

 

FCCW’s Framework

 

Our Racial Justice Steering Committee (RJSC) has been at work for a couple weeks, reviewing the NHCUCC guide and considering how we might best move forward with our call.  The six of us had participated in the book discussion group that read Toni Morrison’s The Bluest Eye and Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and were excited about our next steps.  Taking the lead from the Racial Justice Mission Group (authors of the UCC Guide), we adopted their call which asked that we be:

LEARNERS in a community of mutual accountability studying the historic and continuing impact of white privilege and slavery on racism; INTERRUPTERS of the continued cycle of racism; and  ALLIES with People of Color in challenging race-based injustice in the areas of criminal justice, environmental degradation, economic deprivation, and exclusion from full participation.  We think that these three diversity roles fit well with a “time frame lens” that would look at racial justice from three perspectives: historical, present day, and future action.  With the historical perspective we will be learners seeking create a common understanding.  With the current perspective, we will explore current events and issues with the intent of becoming interrupters and advocates.  With the future perspective, we will look at our church’s social impact and our potential role in our greater communities.

 

Within this framework, we discussed the need to consider local and national and transnational settings, as well as various racial and ethnic groups, and issues of social class. We want to be thoughtful of various types of learners in our congregation who would resonate with different types of methods and medium.  We also want to be mindful of the many challenges of our current environment (pandemic, politics, and holiday season around the corner), and look for ways to integrate our plan with the church’s organizational life.  There are so many ways to find synergy with our Sunday services, our ministry, our committees, our communication, and our Christian Education.

 

Initial Steps

 

Sunday Service Moments for Social Justice

 

As we together walk humbly on a racial justice path,  we thought it might be helpful to have various members of the SJSC share a reflection of their own racial justice journey – a story of awakening, that is intended to help each member of our congregation engage in your own self-reflection. 

Our first Sunday Service moment for social justice will be presented by Donna Reade this Sunday, 9/20 as we launch our FCCW Social Justice program.

 

Stay tuned next week for Part B. of “Toward a Racial Justice Plan” when we share our  program plan for the History & Learners perspectives  which will extend through the holidays to 2021.

 

 
 
Calendar of Events
 
Sunday, September 20- 10:00- Worship via Zoom!  Bulletin attached, link below…
Join Zoom Meeting
Meeting ID: 882 4316 9266
One tap mobile
+19292056099,,88243169266# US (New York)
+13017158592,,88243169266# US (Germantown)
Dial by your location
        +1 929 205 6099 US (New York)
        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)
        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
        +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
Meeting ID: 882 4316 9266
Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kbMAwNEnpU
 
Tuesday, September 22- 9:30- Racial Justice Steering Committee 
Topic: Racial Justice Steering Committee
Time: Sep 22, 2020 09:30 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting
                                      1:00- Trustees Meeting (on the church lawn)  
 
    
Wednesday, September 23- 9:00- Online Coffee Hour
 
Thursday, September 24- 7:00pm- Choir Rehearsal via zoom-
            For more information or to join the choir email Will at williamogmundson@gmail.com
 
 
 
Announcements
 
Worship This Fall
At our Parish Committee Meeting this week we made the decision to alternate in-person and zoom worship services for as long as the weather permits.  So since last week was in-person this week will be a zoom week.  We hope to zoom the in-person services, and work out any technical issues that might arise!  Thanks so much for your understanding!    
 
 
Introducing Neighbors in Need
Did you know….. Neighbors in Need (NIN) is a special mission offering of the United Church of Christ that supports ministries of justice and compassion throughout the United States?  This year we will be collecting funds to support the Neighbors in Need program on October 11.  If you’d like to contribute, feel free to send a check made out to FCCW with NIN in the subject line to Carol Foss at 128 Camp Sunapee Rd., New London 03257.
 
 
Calendars for Inmates
It’s that time of year when calendars for 2021 have begun arriving in the mail.  Please don’t throw them out!  The Allenby’s former pastor from VT, UCC Chaplain Russ Gates of the Pennsylvania Correctional System, assures us that inmates at the new Phoenix Facility outside Philadelphia are extremely grateful to have a calendar of their choosing on which to mark the passing of their days during the coming year.  Several churches around the country partner with Chaplain Gates to provide calendars to over 3,000 men incarcerated there.  Calendars and pocket calendars are permitted as long as they do not have a spiral binding, and do not have pictures of children or weapons.  Please bring any calendars you wish to donate to the church office.  Thank you!
Rev. Sara’s Schedule This Fall
I wanted to give you an update on our family’s decisions about school and how they will affect my schedule and availability.  
Because of some health concerns, we have opted to do remote learning with our children this year.  This means that they will not be attending in person school at this point in time.  We have reached out to two families who we trust and have been safe and have children Milo and Wren’s ages to form a ‘pod’.  Together the children will rotate from house to house.  This means I will be ‘teaching’ seven children every Monday and every third Thursday.  Therefore unless it’s an emergency I won’t be available on those days.  Tuesdays will continue to be my day in Wilmot, so please stop by and get in touch!  Wednesdays I will just have my own children at home, so I’m available for calls, meetings, etc. – though you might hear voices in the background!  Two out of three Thursdays I will be available and Fridays I hope to make my sermon writing days.  
Since this leaves Zeph pretty much on her own most of the week, she will be coming with me to Wilmot every other Tuesday.  I know she would love to do outdoor distanced visits with folks as much as she can.  
I want to assure you that we are being very deliberate in when and how we come into contact with other people and are striving to be safe so as to keep our FCCW community safe as well.  
I know this is a change, and a little complicated, so please don’t hesitate to let me know if you have any questions or need clarification!  And also know, that I am so grateful for this congregation, for your support, love and caring for each other and for our family as together we navigate this time of strange new normals.
With love and gratitude,
Rev. Sara
And Don’t Forget-

CHURCH SUPPER

FRIDAY, Sept. 25th, 2020 

 5:00 – 7:00 PM

½ BBQ CHICKEN TO GO

 potato salad, cole slaw, roll, & cookies

 

AT THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF WILMOT

(19 No. Wilmot Road– next to Wilmot Library and Town Hall)

$12 PER DINNER  TAKE-OUT ONLY

                Curbside Delivery

     To Reserve dinners call 763-2884

 Tuesdays – Thursdays from 2-4 and 7-8

 (Or email Marie at amac1950@comcast.net)

 All proceeds support mission projects!