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NSUMCNorth Salem United Methodist Church

The Messenger

March 2004

Volume 1, Issue 10

What Does it Mean to be a Christian Steward?
Events Calendar
Trustees Report
Staff Parish Relations Committee
Coming Events
Prayer List
Message from the Pastor
Jacob and the Gift
Church Fundraiser
Sunday School Report
Youth Group

United methodist church, worship services in North Salem New Hampshire

What Does it Mean to be a Christian Steward?

by Lay Leader Keith Boucher

"What does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?" (Micah 6:8, NRSV)

Stewardship is the regular practice of returning to God a portion of all that God has given us. It involves teaching ourselves how to create a life built upon the notion that all that we have is a gift from God. This includes teaching the holy habits of keeping Sabbath and tithing and the concept that giving regularly of our time, talent, and money to God's work on this earth is as much a spiritual practice as prayer and worship.

Christian stewardship is grateful and responsible use of God's gifts in the light of God's purpose as revealed in Jesus Christ. Christian stewards, empowered by the Holy Spirit, commit themselves to conscious, purposeful decisions.

Stewardship is lived out in:

  • Living and telling the Good News
  • Hearing God in seeking justice, peace, and the integrity of creation in an interdependent universe
  • Wisely employing God-given human resources, abilities, and relationships
  • Sharing the material resources we hold and giving them in service, justice, and compassion
  • Providing for future generations, sharing in the life, worship, and responsible stewardship of the Church and of its mission

Both for the individual and for the community, stewardship is a joyful act for the sake of God's world.

Stewardship is everything you do once you say yes to Christ.

When my kids were younger they occasionally would complain about having to go to church or having to do something to help others or some type of decision... One time out of frustration I said to one of them, "That's fine, you do what you want to do... that's between you and God!" Of course most times they showed up at church or made the right decision about helping someone.

If we have a relationship with God, and since you're reading this, you do at some level, you understand that God is with us and that he has given us ALL that we have. Maybe, however, you're just not to the point where you trust him enough or that you understand enough.

In this time of Lent as we go on our journey over the coming weeks talking of stewardship, listening to what the Bible has to say about it; hearing testimony and witness from people in our congregation on why they love their church and give of their gifts to the North Salem United Methodist Church; think about your relationship and why you come to church.


Events Calendar


7th - "All Church Meeting" with discussion of ideas and goals and pot luck lunch
14th - After service Sunday School Teachers meeting and Healing Service
21st - After service Membership Class
28th - Stewardship Sunday with Luncheon


8th - Maundy Thursday with re-enactment of Last Supper
9th - Good Friday, Tenebrae Service

Easter Sunday

April 11th
7 am - Sunrise Service
7:30 am - Easter Breakfast
9:15 am - Easter Service

Trustees Report

by Bill Ermer

The first meeting or 2004 was an organization meeting with election of officers:
Chairperson - Bill Ermer
Vice Chairperson - Gary Bulpitt
Secretary - Nancy Graichen
Treasurer - To be announced

The following committees were established:
Building and Ground Maintenance - Harry Bovee, Gary Bulpitt, Alan Eldredge, Nancy Graichen, Janet Lavalle, Art Richert and Paul Simms
Building Committee Representative - Bill Ermer
Equipment Maintenance and Inventory - Art Richert and Harry Bovee
Parsonage Committee - Nancy Graichen and Janet Lavalle

A discussion of the mission of the United Methodist Church is to make disciple of Jesus Christ and link that purpose to the passion of the people to see what amazing things can happen to our church. The goal is to work toward the mission.

The needs of our church for the coming year were discussed and included:
Mobile classroom removed by 6.30.04
Finish Youth Center
Add lighting to walkway and on side of the church
Review of pre-school lease
Lighting and playground work for pre-school

The need for more space to grow the church and for the Sunday School was discussed. There were many ideas to be expanded upon at the next meeting of the Trustees.

Staff Parish Relations Committee

by Merrianne McDonald, Chairperson

With winter withering away and spring right around the corner, it is nice to think of the new beginnings that the Easter Season and spring brings to all of us. A time for reflection and new starts. I just love to see the buds on the trees sprout and everything that grows come to life again. It reminds me of our savior rising from the dead to take away our sins. It is so powerful and so great.

SPRC has been busy preparing for another great year. Pastor Jan has been appointed our Pastor. We will be linked to the Raymond church where she will also serve as their part time Pastor. This is great news for us. Her contributions to our church this year have been many and we welcome and look forward to several years of leadership under the direction of Pastor Jan. Come and join us as we celebrate this great news.

SPRC and the Administrative Council will be holding an all-church meeting on March 7th to discuss where we want our church to go in the months ahead. A Pot Luck luncheon will be hold following the meeting. Everyone is encouraged to attend this meeting.

As we approach our Stewardship Sunday on March 28th, prayerfully think about what you can do for our church, not only by giving, but also with your talents and time. This is one asset our church has; many working together for our God. What can you do? What do you like? Where are your interests? Do you build things? Do you do crafts? Are you good in administration? Look to your heart on where you might want to place your talents as we go forth in Christ.

Blessings to all of you during this Holy Season of Lent and Easter.

Coming Events

June 5 - Women's Club

Flea Market and Plant Sale

As always, we need your donated items to make this a success and we'd like to count on you for some plants as well, preferably flowers, herbs, or shrubs/bushes from your own gardens.

June 19 - The Men's

Annual Chicken Barbeque

Mark this date now for a delicious dinner complete with all the fixings, thanks to the hard work of the men in our church.

Prayer List

All military men and women and elected officials serving our country

Minerva Sarkisian
Gretchen Seigfried
Patrick Bovee
Linda Keeler
Pat Berube
Bob Lutey
Paul Quartarone
Allyn Billings
Linda Bellomo
Matthew McDonald
Dick Noyes
Nina Goulet
Merrianne McDonald
Peggy Murray
Joe & Connie Quartarone

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There's work to do
Deadlines to meet;
you've got no time to spare,
But as you hurry and scurry -

In the midst of family chaos,
"Quality time" is rare.
Do your best; let God do the rest -

It may seem like your worries
Are more than you can bear;
Slow down a take a breather -

God knows how stressful life is;
He wants to ease our cares,
And He'll respond to all your needs

Message from the Pastor...

by Pastor Jan Parke

Christmas has come and gone, and we are now in the season of Lent, a time of reflection on what Jesus Christ's sacrifice means for each and every one of us. It is time for each of us to examine our own lives and turn away from those things that separate us from God and from one another. The snow is gone, at least for the moment, and the promise of the renewal of spring is in the air. I smelled a skunk on the way to Boston this past week - always a sure sign of the coming of spring.

Lent began with an Ash Wednesday service and lasts through the celebration of Easter. During Holy Week we will have services on Maundy Thursday and Good Friday. On Easter Sunday morning we will joyously celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. I look forward to joining you at the Easter breakfast, as I hear it is quite an event. I also look forward to sharing Holy Week and Easter worship services with you.

I am particularly delighted that I have been reappointed to North Salem UMC for the next year! In addition, I will also become the pastor of the Raymond UMC. It will be wonderful to graduate from seminary and be able to devote my life to full-time ministry.

Each week we gather to worship God and enjoy our Christian community, I realize what a blessing it is for me to be at North Salem United Methodist Church! This is a wonderful community church filled with warm and involved people who make ministry a joy for me. We are in the midst of our annual stewardship drive, when we examine how we will take care of our church and the work that it does. God has blessed each of our lives, and this opportunity to return some of those blessings to the work of God's church. Consecration Sunday will be Sunday, March 28. The worship service will be followed by a dinner.

A few weeks ago, several of us went to see Mel Gibson's movie, "The Passion of the Christ." After the movie, most of us went to St. Luke's UMC in Derry to participate in Holy Communion. While this is not a movie for young children, I would urge those of you who are curious about the movie to go and see it and decide for yourselves what you think about Gibson's presentation of this powerful story of Christ's sacrifice for our sins.

Our youth group continues with its fun and mission-oriented activities. Thank you to all of you who take the time to work with and support the youth of our church! I understand that the skating party and S'mores were wonderful, despite the icy weather.

We have several activities planned for this spring. I have already mentioned our Ash Wednesday service. On Sunday, March 7, we will have an all-church planning meeting and pot luck. This is a chance for us to meet together, share in fellowship (and food) and express our ideas about what we might like to see that church do in the coming years. I am excited to hear many new and exciting creative possibilities for programs, worship, and fellowship opportunities. In the fall, I plan to start a choir and/or drama group for the youth of the church.

March 14 will be "bring your teddy bear to church" Sunday. I urge you to bring extras if you have them so that everyone will have a teddy bear to hug during the worship service. The service will be followed by an opportunity for healing prayers and anointing for those who wish to participate. I will meet with our wonderful Sunday School teachers after that.

I graduate on May 16 and will be commissioned (the first step of ordination) at Annual Conference in June. I thank you all for your support during this last year of seminary. Please do not hesitate to call me at any time - responding to emergency calls at any hour of day or night is an important part of what I am called to do. There are answering machines on both my home and cell phones. As school winds down I will have more and more time to spend on church activities, and I am truly looking forward to this.

As we prepare for the celebrations of Easter, the most holy time in the Christian church year, I wish you all the blessings of the Risen Christ.

Jacob and the Gift

(from Rev. Dr. Randall W. Tremba, of the Shepherdstown Presbyterian Church in West Virginia)

"The tithe, as you may know, was based on an ancient legend, a shrewd deal that Jacob had made with God when he was down and out. Make me a rich man, the youthful Jacob said to God after his dream about a heavenly ladder out there in the middle of nowhere with not a penny to his name; make me a rich man and I will give you a ten percent cut. What a deal! When I hear that story now I'm struck by the humor in it. Nonetheless, Jacob (whose name was later changed to "Israel") and his people became wealthy and the deal was honored, more or less, by all his descendants."

"Jesus was a descendant of Jacob, but Jesus never advocated the tithe. In fact, he viewed it as a way of defrauding God, of buying God off, as though that was all we owed to God. 'All that we have belongs to God,' Jesus would say. 'Life is God's gift to us. How we live is our gift to God.'

"To live as a steward begins by abiding in Christ, abiding in the one who feeds the hungry and heals the sick, by being mindful of Christ's presence each and every day in the choices we face. To be a steward is to live humbly and fearfully knowing that our responsibility is to manage God's gift for a short time. It's an awesome yet exhilarating responsibility. And it should be fun."

Church Fundraiser

Palmer Gas Newsletter

Help is needed to fold, collate, insert, label and stamp the Palmer Gas Newsletter during the month of April. It's easy and fun, a great way to raise funds for the church while enjoying each other's company.

If you are retired and have time on weekdays you may show up at Palmer Gas any time during office hours. Otherwise, we meet at night and on Saturdays. Nancy Collier-Welch keeps us posted on these times.

Come one and all!

Sunday School Report

by Dawn Trusty

Laura Preston, Cindy Mattia and Courtney Richert have joined us in our quest to reach out to young people and encourage them to follow Jesus and grow in faith at North Salem UMC. I am pleased to have them join us in teaching the word of God.

The spring curriculum "Exploring Faith" has arrived. It speaks to our children/youth by relating to their lives. Activities like puzzles are a fun and educational part of their learning. Unit 1 is titled "Alleluia". The students will learn God send Jesus and how much he loves us. Unit 2 is "Paul". The focus is on Paul, a follower of Jesus. Much can be learned about following Jesus' example from Paul's letters.

Let's learn about Easter The teachers will have a meeting March 14th. We will discuss improving attendance and how to best utilize our curriculum. Our focus will be to bring the Easter message to the youth. On Easter Sunday, we will share a storybook of the Easter story. They will come away knowing Jesus has risen. Young students will enjoy an egg hunt. Older classes will be challenged by puzzles or trivia based on the events leading up to and including Easter Sunday.

Youth get involved in worship Singing "Clap Your Hands" in the fall was a special moment from many students of our Sunday School. Currently we are working on learning the song "Beneath the Storytelling Tree." We look forward to sharing their lovely voices with you so stay tuned.

Liturgists I am pleased that the youth have been encouraged to be Liturgists. You can look forward to hearing Jessica Mattia, Jenny Barber, Kelly Lavallee, Christopher McDonald, Kathleen Stacey and Amanda Keeler who are our newest readers. New readers are welcome.

Children's Sunday Tentatively set for June 13th. That's right around the corner. We'd like to encourage all the children to come to Sunday School often. Our goal is to give out as many pins and year bars as we can. Pins are earned by students with good attendance. We also reward several students with best attendance ribbons.

Youth Group

by Cindy Simms

The Youth has had a very productive and fun winter season! It's such a pleasure to work with a group of Youth with such great energy and attitude and so committed to serving others. We worked hard to raise $250 in cash and supplies to donate to the Salem Animal Rescue League. Thank you to all our church family for their generous donations and support. We had a great day at the Preston's by the Lake, warmed by a bonfire and hot chocolate, with pizzas, S'mores, skating and relaxation among great company. Thanks, Laura and George and family!

This spring we are working on our Youth Center, cleaning, painting and fix-up. See dates below or our wish list if you would like to contribute to our efforts. We will also be organizing an Easter service project later in March, as well as a recycling project. Stay tuned for more information.

Thanks to Jeannie Kregger and Aletha Wood, and the Woman's Group for their donations and support, and the parents of the Youth who assist and offer goodies and ideas.

Dates of upcoming events:

March 7, 3-5:30 - Painting the Youth Center, wear old clothes. (clean up and prep after church for any adults interested)
March 28, 4-6 - Planning Easter service project and fundraiser. For further information, contact Cindy.

Wish List for the Youth Center

Pool table needs top resurfaced
New pool sticks and balls
A net for a ping/pong table
Ping pong balls
A large table
A coat rack

Thanks to Aletha Wood for getting East Coast Lumber to donate paint for the walls at the Youth Center. And thank you to East Coast Lumber!

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