APRIL 2019

Our mission is to spread the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the love of God

under the authority and guidance of the Holy Spirit.

A Message from Pastor Jim

An Example for Others


Every year at this time, as spring arrives in fits and starts, God reminds me of the circle of life. Seeds must fall to the earth and die before they can sprout into new life. As the ground warms, the crocus and the daffodil rise, celebrating with us the end of winter.

As we have journeyed through Lent, we have become aware of the storm clouds on Jesus’ horizon. Pushing too hard against the political and religious leaders, he seals his fate, and is arrested, convicted, and killed. But we know the rest of the story – the tomb cannot hold him, the resurrection being the greatest of all examples of new life after death. Please plan to participate in our services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, Easter Sunrise and 10 am so you experience the full impact of this story and Jesus’ journey.


The church is always changing too, and I am very excited about our new venture, Connections. We had our first gathering on April 3rd (we’ll meet the first Wednesday of every month at 6 pm) and shared a great meal, listened to a short presentation about time, and then had conversation around our tables. While our regular members who attended really enjoyed Connections, our hope is that over time it also serves as a spiritual opportunity for those who aren’t regularly attending any church. It is one of the ways we are shining The Light on the Hill over our community. I am very thankful for the Vitality Team who has rallied and volunteered and committed to make Connections work, and to Shirley Orio who prepared the delightful roast pork meal.


And remember, you are our church’s marketing department and evangelism team! Every time you share a post from our Facebook page, it reaches dozens or even hundreds of people who otherwise wouldn’t know the great things going on in our congregation. If you haven’t yet, check out the new Facebook page for Connections at:  

Moreover, when someone asks you about the smile on your face or your positive attitude, you can mention how being part of our community of faith grounds you and feeds you.

And thank you to all of you who give, not just financially, but with your time and talent and spirit to make our congregation thrive. We have a bright future ahead of us!


Pastor Jim


How wonderful to be in the midst of meaningful experiences leading up to celebrating Easter. Lent began March 6, with part of our commemoration happening “in the streets,” thanks to our second “Ashes to Go,” now a tradition. We received amazing, unexpected front-page coverage in The Eagle-Tribune, which highlighted the event’s premise: to give folks who otherwise wouldn’t go to an Ash Wednesday service the benefit of ashes and a blessing. Thank you, Pastor Jim, for bringing the Ashes to Go movement to ACC.


With Holy Week almost here, we’re reminded to pause and take time to reflect on God’s great love for us. His love is so fantastic that we can’t even come close to understanding it – we just know that it is. We also know that it’s our job to be fully awake in letting God know of our generous gratitude. It’s difficult to fathom that God brought Jesus to us, who ultimately died for our sins – and who offered everyone from that point forward the gift of eternal life, so long as we believe in Him. Wow. Those thoughts are goose-bump worthy every time we think of them!


As deacons, we take our role seriously to help meet the needs of the spiritual life of ACC. If you know someone whom we should reach out to, whether they’re sick, or down – or for any reason – please let any deacon know. We can also reach out anonymously, if desired.


Moving ahead, we look forward to our next Soup Sunday, April 14, which is Palm Sunday. We can never have too many soups, so please sign up in Lovejoy Hall! Before you know it, May will be here – when we’ll once again celebrate Mother’s Day with our third annual Ladies’ Hat Day, inspired by Gini Murphy.


We’re also continuing our video series of conversations. As an ongoing project, we’ve been delighted and inspired by the interesting lives of every congregant we’ve spoken with. We’d love to chat with you if we haven’t already. Please let a deacon know!


We’re also looking to start a new project that we hope will enable congregants to grow even more closer to each other. More information will be forthcoming in the coming months.


Finally, speaking of deacons, we’re thrilled that Dorothy Graaskamp and Mike Shaw are now part of our team – they’re naturals at this role! At the same time, we wish Jane Goodwin and Gloria Dodge the very best, as they graciously relinquish their active, deacon duties. That said, all deacons live by these words: once a deacon, always a deacon!


There’s a lot going on this time of year. It’s easy to grow weary or impatient. Think of this passage during times like these – doing so with a sense of humor may also help, even in a small way: “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34


In joyful service, Shirley Reed, Vikki Quick, Joe Churchman Jeanne Elliott, Dorothy Graaskamp, Sue Goodman, Mark Miller, Mike Shaw and Dina Williams

Note: If you’re not yet a church member and would like information to become one,

please talk to any deacon, or contact Shirley Reed at 603-362-5752 or Shirley Orio at 603-362-5519.

Congregational Engagement

 The Congregational Engagement Team is happy to begin their work, serving the church family. So far, they have worked on establishing the Team’s mission, purpose and duties. The Team members are: Patty Cole, Sue Cunningham, Gwen Grotenhuis and Julianna Hale. Dorothy Graaskamp is the Deacon Liaison to the Team, and Gwen is the representative to the Church Council. There is one vacant seat.

The purpose of the team is to “support programs that enhance the church’s ministries within the congregation.” The mission of the team is “to minister to and engage the congregation by supporting meaningful connections, outreach and experiences.” In other words, whereas the Community Outreach Team ministers to those outside of our congregation, the Congregational Engagement Team ministers to those within.

The team’s duties include support of work groups, including Faith Formation, Vitality, Music, and Scholarship. They also will oversee Fellowship hour. This list will be tweaked as they continue to work on their “playbook,” which will list specific duties.

The Team playfully nicknamed themselves the “Conga Team.” Picture a group of people in a Conga Line, joyfully moving forward (though not always in a straight line!), connected and encouraging everyone to join the action. They hope to serve you through both their duties and their positive attitudes, and look forward to what this first year will bring.

Respectfully Submitted,

Patty Cole, Sue Cunningham, Dorothy Graaskamp, Gwen Groetenhuis and Julianna Hale

Community EngagementREPORT

We welcome Linda Jowett as our newest member and CommET representative to the Vitality working group. Our team is currently meeting monthly on the second Tuesday.


  • The Annual Auction which netted $2800 for the general fund and engaged both the congregation and the community. Thanks to all that participated.  Special thanks to Selectman Grosky for serving as our auctioneer.
  • A field trip to Isaiah 58 to learn about the good work they do with the homeless and housing insecure in the area was completed. David Yasenka, the founder, was scheduled to address the congregation on March 17th.
  • We are working on finalizing the first rendition of our team Playbook.
  • Linda Fisher was elected representative to the Council.
  • We are continuing involvement with St Luke’s and St Anne’s food pantries, Sonshine Soup Kitchen and NyDay Syria.
  • Plans are starting for the CROP walk and Lynne Thomas has agreed to coordinate that project.


  • $500 one- time donation to Isaiah 58 client for security deposit on an apartment.
  • $100 Ways Meet (UHN campus ministry)
  • $100 Rockingham Department of corrections
  • $200 Pregnancy Care Center
  • $250 SoRock (Teen healthy living program)
  • $300 Safe harbor (addiction treatment)
  • $250 Lazarus House
  • From the Margaret Kinney fund:
  • $400 Community Caregivers
  • $400 Salem Caregivers


We continue to look for volunteers to participate in our community projects. Please let us know of your interest.

Warm Regards,

Linda Fisher, Cheryl Riehl, Holly Weisenburger. Jennifer Howe, Linda Jowett

Church Support

The Church Support team has started with regular meetings, and feel the new structure is working well.  We have been busy, but not too busy.  Few updates:


We have to limit the use of Tuthill House to church school only due to fire code issues. We are working through the details and will be presenting options to the Council in coming meeting.  As a result, the home school group that was using our location has had to leave us.


You may have noticed the hill between the parsonage and Tuthill House is fresh dirt. This is the result of a water leak between the two buildings.  We are very fortunate to have great friends in the Hampstead Water Department and Christine and Harold Lewis.  They came in with their crew and fixed it at zero cost.  They have also forgiven three months of really high-water bills that came as a result of the leak.


Easter flower sales are happening with Kim Ridley taking the lead again.  Orders can be made until Palm Sunday.  See Kim in Lovejoy hall after worship.



Spring Clean-up May 4th 

(Rain Date will be May 11th)

Bring you rakes, leaf blowers, and gloves.  Many hands make light work.  We will start at 8:30am.  Hot coffee and treats will be on hand to keep everyone fueled.  Hope to see you there.


 Jay Goodman,  Kristen Diamond, Adele Dillon, Ray Zergarski, Bill Ball



New Team Structure - Who do I go to for what?

The teams are the overseers.  If the question or issue is handled by a small group under the team they will refer you to the right person.

  • Deacons - prepare sanctuary for services and manage worship and special services, help with spiritual needs, extravagant welcome, visitation
  • Church Support - facilities/campus care, memorial donations, stewardship, marketing/communications, offering collections, safe church, ordering supplies, flowers, 
  • Congregational Engagement  - visitation (supporting Deacons), music, fellowship, hospitality, faith formation., scholarship, nominating, new ideas for serving the congregation
  • Community Engagement - missions local and global, community connections and outreach, public relations, 
  • Pastoral Relations - relationship between pastor and church members

Thank you for your support,

Sue Cunningham, Kristen Diamond, Linda Fisher, Jay Goodman, Sue Goodman, Julianna Hale, Shirley Reed