The Community Conversation that was scheduled for Thursday, May 24 from 6pm to 8pm at Holy Cross has been postponed. If you have thoughts about topics, please email Lise (vicar at holycross-weare.org).
On March 22nd, thirty-two people gathered in the Holy Cross Community Center to eat together, hear short talks, and discuss the needs and resources in Weare around food and hunger. We learned about:
Who is hungry and what the resources are in Weare (Deb Urella, town welfare officer)
- The town food pantry and thrift store that helps fund it (Peggy Bailey, director)
- A community garden project at the John Stark Regional High School (Suzanne Carmichael, Gabrielle Bougher)
- Prime farm lands in Weare and the efforts to encourage farming and make it economically sustainable (Wendy Stevens, Weare Agricultural Commission)
- Successes in conserving working land (forest, farms); efforts to connect landless farmers with landowners of agricultural lands who aren’t working them (Ian McSweeney, Russell Foundation)
- The idea of permacultural—“permanent culture,” which functions as nature does to provide beauty and food with a minimum of effort (Val White, EarthScapes of NH, Weare Garden Club)
There was great energy and enthusiasm about working together to make Weare a place that feeds its people, encourages local agriculture, and builds community. Some of the needs or ideas included:
Expanding the food pantry to having hours on a Monday or Friday—8 to 12 volunteers needed
- Getting townspeople to help care for the garden at John Stark RHS during July and August, so that the produce is used at the food pantry
- Investigating the idea of community dinners to provide community and food to those who hunger for relationships or food or both
- Having master gardeners be mentors to new gardeners
We also talked about starting a food blog or central website for sharing information and events. We also are considering a showing of “The Power of Community,” a film about Cuba’s agricultural revolution, which was born out of necessity when its oil supplies were cut off. This may happen at Holy Cross on Friday, April 27th. Stay tuned! There will be other “Community Conversations” in the future.
The children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atria are marking the Sundays of the Advent season, making their own paper Advent wreaths, working with a liturgical calendar and hearing stories of the Annunciation and the Visitation – the first when the angel visits Mary to tell her she’s going to have a special baby and name him Jesus, and the second when Mary visits her cousin Elizabeth, who is carrying her own special baby to be named John the Baptist.
Placing Jesus as a real man in a real place and time has been the work of the children leading up to these Infancy Narratives. The Level 1 children have a sandpaper globe, a puzzle map of Israel and a relief map of the region. They are able to touch and discover the important cities in the life of Jesus – Nazareth, Bethlehem and Jerusalem.
In Level 2, further geography work includes pin maps and a scavenger hunt-type card work that challenges them to look up Scripture passages to complete a search for cities of the early life and ministry of Jesus. They also hear about Mary and Elizabeth, going a bit deeper into the details of the stories and hearing more of the Magnificat, Mary’s special prayer of praise.
The oldest children in Level 3 have been concentrating on the Plan of God, marking Advent with Bible study and recalling how the birth of Jesus is the beginning of one of the three great moments in the Kingdom of God – Redemption. The other two are Creation and Parousia (when God will be all in all).
The children at Holy Cross especially enjoy the lighting of the Advent wreath that hangs in the Gathering Space, if only because it involves fire – observing it and helping start it! Light of the world, come! Come, Lord Jesus, come!
The Rev. Darrell Huddleston presided and preached his last Sunday in an interim capacity on November 20.
Fr. Darrell, a current resident of Concord who retired in 2007 from full-time ministry, currently assists on occasion at St. Paul’s in Concord. Before coming to Holy Cross for a time during our vicar search, Fr. Darrell had completed an interim assignment at Grace Church in Manchester. Over the years, he has served a variety of congregations as well as the regional director of Heifer Project International. He and his wife Bunny have lived, worked or traveled extensively in 27 countries.
Bishop Arthur Walmsley, a parishioner at Holy Cross, and Fr. Darrell have been sharing interim duties at Holy Cross during the summer and fall as the vicar search continued. The vestry recently called Lise Hildebrandt to be our new vicar and she will officially begin December 1.
We will miss Fr. Darrell but wish him well on his continued life’s endeavors.
The parish gathered on November 19 to celebrate the end of our Stewardship Campaign with a potluck dinner and a raffle. Lots of food and fellowship was shared, and the raffle doled out some fun, interesting and useful prizes. It’s always a good time when the Holy Cross family gets together for a meal and a good time.
The children in the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd atria worked recently in the garden space between the old and new building. The space adjoins a play area fenced off several years ago, but never fully completed.
Before the snow sets in for good for the winter, the children worked very hard in both areas to rake, move stones and old building materials, replant perennials, dig out stumps and other tasks. Plans were also mapped out for the spring, taking into account the shady areas as well as those that will receive enough sunlight for flowering plants.
We hope to use those flowers for our arranging work in the atria. We’d also love to plant a “pizza garden”! Want to help? See Laura Arvin.
- The youth group room, located in the basement of the old building, recently received a fresh coat of primer and paint, courtesy of a wonderful, hardworking group of volunteers of all ages. The project is ongoing, so if you’d still like to help out, contact Derek Larkin. And many thanks to those who’ve gotten messy for the cause (or those who supervised those who got messy! :-)
a sermon by
The Rev. Canon Charles LaFond
Proper 28, November 13, 2011
Holy Cross, Weare, NH
When I was a child, I had a collection of post cards from my grandmother. One day, a friend, staying at my house as our guest, ripped the corners off most of them to steal the stamps. When I saw what had happened, I confronted him and he said he did not think I would miss them. The relationship was permanently damaged. That experience was my first exposure to what I do now as my life’s work – encouraging this conversation we are having in the church around stewardship. I did not love my friend less, however, I was always aware that there was less joy in our friendship after that. When we hold back our pledge, it is not the love between us and our god which is sapped – rather it is some of the joy that is reduced. And the irony is that it is OUR joy which is withered by the self-worship of that particular flavor of greed.
This morning’s readings from the prophet Zephaniah, from Paul’s letter to the Philippians and from the Gospel are all pointing to right relationship. The entirety of the Holy scriptures of the Hebrews and the Christians can be summed up as a story about the difficult relationship between God and God’s created humans. And this set of readings is no different.
by The Rt. Rev. Arthur E. Walmsley
Exodus 32:1-14; Psalm 23; Philippians 4:1-9; Matthew 22:1-14
The telephone rang just as we were sitting down to dinner. Often such calls come from someone trying to sell us something — new siding for our house, maybe, or cheaper car insurance — I seldom remember what it was five minutes later. I sometimes get irritated when the seller is insistent, even though my better judgment says that the caller is probably low-paid and has taken the job because he — usually it’s a he — because he needed work and is paid by the volume and success of his calls. So I try not to be abrupt.
This time the call came from a pollster wanting my views on the economic situation and the upcoming election. He was well-spoken and obviously well-trained, and I was hooked.