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For the Week of October 23, 2022

News from Your Church Council – Building an Inclusive Church.
 
At our September meeting, the Church Council voted to form an exploratory team to lead the congregation through the "Building an Inclusive Church Journey," which is essentially the Open and Affirming process.
 
Why are we going to explore this? During the discovering our “why” process, it was clear that "welcoming and accepting each one" was a large part of who we are. The council agreed that this would be a natural next step in our evolution as a community of faith professing God's love for all.
 
What is Open and Affirming? Open and Affirming (ONA) is the United Church of Christ’s (UCC Denominations) designation for congregations, campus ministries, and other bodies in the UCC which make a public covenant of welcome into their full life and ministry to persons of all sexual orientations, gender identities, and gender expressions.

This will be a journey, and it will be a process that will involve the entire congregation. It will involve congregational participation, education, and in the end, it will involve a congregational vote to develop a welcoming statement. The hope is that the journey will lead us to what is the heart of the congregation, much as the "finding our why" process did. It is important to know that all voices will be heard.
 
A team has been formed to act as guides on this journey. They are Jake Higgins, Dick Tharp, Dawn Shippee, Gail Hiltunen, John Dozet, Joan Cuetara, Nancy Bergeron and Liz Higgins. Rev. Mike is an ex-officio of the group but is not taking part in leading it.
 
The team has recently had its first meeting, and is in the process of trying to understand the tool kit provided by the wider UCC, as well as webinar training sessions that are available. They will provide more information to us as they learn more.
Its Faith Promise Season. It is a time of reflection of what the church means to each of us; a time to reflect on the missions of the church, the fellowship, the community outreach, the faithful community of our congregation and how we choose to support the church financially. Faith Promise is also a time to discern how to support the church in other ways. There are so many aspects of the church to consider: Church Council, assisting with missions, fellowship, worship, building and grounds projects, ushering and greeting, coffee hour refreshments, and more. The doors are open to new opportunities.

In looking back at prior year letters sent out during Faith Promise, I found this segment from the October 2019 letter that still resonates with me: “During the season of Faith Promise I find myself focusing on how my own spiritual journey has been helped through my membership in this church. I love bible study classes where I am exposed to the perspective of others, allowed to share my own thoughts and learn valuable lessons.  I love Sunday church services where I can sit and enjoy insightful sermons, joyful music, the sound of children, and the warmth and love of a faithful community”. 

We have survived a pandemic since that 2019 letter was sent out, and now some normalcy has finally returned in our lives. Last year we struggled with establishing a viable budget for the church, and a need for better communication regarding the Faith Promise process was shared and heard. 

What is Faith Promise? The Faith Promise season is a time to prayerfully, joyfully, and graciously discern how to support the financial needs of the church. It is a faith agreement with God to be personally involved in ministry of the church, and the amount is determined after earnest prayer. Faith Promise is not a tithe; it is an offering of thanks.

How is Faith Promise different this year? Our theme this year is our new “Why” statement: “To joyfully share in God’s unconditional love, welcoming and accepting each one into a life of inspiration, growth and service.” You will hear more about this during the October and November church services.
o    Faith Promise has had a long history in the church and this way of giving is very important to some people. Please note: the new simplified Faith Promise form provides an option to include your contact information OR to continue to provide your Faith Promise amount anonymously. For those providing contact information, please note that only our Office Administrator will view the information in order to upload the information into the church accounting system. By including your contact information Danny can set up your account and provide detailed quarterly statements. (In 2022, approximately 60% of the Faith Promise forms included contact information.)
o    Simplifying the process: We are using a single form this year.  (click link to view)
  • The forms can be mailed or dropped off at the church. There will be a special box near the door of the church office. Please note Faith Promise on the envelope if mailed. 
  • OR you may choose to enter your Faith Promise electronically through the church website. (click the link) Select “Ways to Give” from the menu bar and Click on Faith Promise to fill out the form and submit.   (Please note: this method cannot be used for anonymous giving)
o    As in prior years, you can continue to use the Direct Giving option through Vanco, (click the link) or the Sunday offering plate to submit your actual Faith Promise offerings. After submitting your 2023 Faith Promise amount, please make sure to confirm that the information is current in your Vanco account, or update it as needed.  

Why is it important to submit your Faith Promise by the goal date of November 20, 2022?
•    Without your Faith Promise information, we will struggle again establishing the budget for the church.
•    The budget first needs to be established based on the needs of the church, then be approved by the church Budget Committee, the Church Council, and the congregation at the annual meeting. It is a lengthy process which becomes more difficult when Faith Promises are not shared or submitted by the requested date.

What are the Faith Promise funds used for? A listing of the church budget line items has been enclosed for your review. I hope you find this helpful. (click the link)

Please join me in “Joyfully sharing in God’s unconditional love, welcoming and accepting each one into a life of inspiration, growth and service” during this season of Faith Promise.

Blessings,
Nancy Bergeron
Church Council: Finance

Click this link if you would like a pdf of this letter 
TONIGHT at 6:30pm!
Calling all NH UCC Women!

Did you know that the NH Conference has a women's group?  That's right and all of us are invited to participate.  I cannot personally attest to the group but I can say that everyone I know who has participated has enjoyed it thoroughly.  To learn more about what they do, you can read their latest, twice yearly newsletter (click link).  Unfortunately, it comes to us too late to make it to their fall gathering, but the rest of the information is still valid!

~ Ellen Dozet
Click to see what's coming up at North Hampton UCC!
1.The Thanksgiving Little River vesper service will be held on  Wednesday,November 23. A reminder for those planning to attend,there is no working heating system,so please plan to dress warmly.
2.The handicap ramp construction is being delayed until spring due to concerns about frost affecting the concrete.
3.The Council discussed the fact that we will have several openings next year. The Council requests
that you prayerfully consider serving.
4.The Ladies Union request to hold a fund raising soup sale,after church services,in January,February and March,was unanimously approved.
Prayers of Joy & Gratitude for: 
  • Our first responders, doctors and nurses· 
  • The joy of Each new day that we receive and its many blessings.
  • The small blessings in life
  •  Our church leadership & many volunteers
.
Prayers of Healing, Strength & Comfort for:
  • The people of Ukraine
  • All those who suffer with anxiety and depression
  • John K and his wife Sandy- Paul & Chery's friends
  • Ally G.  God's care and protection
  • Katie, Jackie Sherwin's daughter
  • Eric N.
  • Pat and Rodger
  • Angela, Ceci's friend
  • Mike, Ted's brother
  • Jennifer B (Sue L.)
  • Glenn, Jo Jo's Brother in Law
  • Jane, a friend of Gale's
  • The people of Southwest Florida and first responders
  • Janet S. 
  • Claire: friend of Nancy L.
SUNDAY WORSHIP links are now found only in the Worship Reminder sent out on Sunday Mornings.
 REV. MIKE'S CONTACT INFORMATION

If you are reaching out for non pastoral emergencies such as a prayer request and/or normal church business, please call the church office at (603) 964- 8687 ext. 2, or email  at revmike@uccnorthhampton.org.

For pastoral emergencies ONLY, call 978-484-0049.  



PRAYER CONCERNS AND PRIVACY 
Where our services are streamed, please refrain from using individuals last names unless you have their express permission. Remember that whatever you say will be on the web for all to hear. If you would prefer to have Rev. Mike include the prayer please let him know before Sunday morning.
WEEKLY ZOOM CHECK IN
Tuesdays from 11:00 AM to 11:30 AM
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CHURCH OFFICE HOURS
Tuesday through Friday, 8am-1pm
"Spirit" and Sunday bulletin deadline: Wednesday at NOON.
Danny Smith, Office Administrator
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Our mailing address is:
295 Atlantic Av. North Hampton, NH 03862

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REV MIKE: ext. 2  e: revmike@uccnorthhampton.org

 






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United Church of Christ in North Hampton · 295 Atlantic Avenue · North Hampton, NH 03862 · USA

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