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PNNE-Connections for January 20, 2023
In this issue:


Week of Prayer For Christian Unity, Jan 18-25


"As we pray for Christian unity, this year’s theme invites us to reflect beyond the confessional divisions that exist among Christians,” said Rev. Dr Mikie Roberts, WCC programme executive for Spiritual Life.  “We are being challenged to allow the cries for social justice to also inform our praying together for Christian unity.”

The Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is an international Christian ecumenical observance kept annually around Pentecost in the Southern Hemisphere and between 18-25 January in the Northern Hemisphere.

Isaiah 1:17
"learn to do good; seek justice; rescue the oppressed; defend the orphan; plead for the widow."

( This article will be added to the PNNE.ORG home page until the event has passed. ~ed. )

Click this button for WPCU resources at the World Council of Churches website

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

As Kurt's wonderful drawings (in this newsletter below) show, it was a wonderful PNNE Assembly meeting last week!  We ably discussed and voted upon amendments to the Book of Order, installed new officers, worshipped together, and approved the presbytery's Child Protection Policy.  And as also mentioned below, this policy is for presbytery sponsored events.  This action is again a reminder to all congregations that they have their own child protection policies to ensure the safety of their youth.

Thanks to all as we worship, grow, and serve together in Christ!

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, January 20: Mark 4:35-41

35On that day, when evening had come, he said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.”  36And leaving the crowd behind, they took him with them in the boat, just as he was.  Other boats were with him.  37A great gale arose, and the waves beat into the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped.  38But he was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  39He woke up and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!”  Then the wind ceased, and there was a dead calm.  40He said to them, “Why are you afraid?  Have you still no faith?”  41And they were filled with great awe and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

In the Old Testament, we see that only God can control the weather (Psalm 65:7; 89:9; 107:23–32), although those who make their living from the sea can usually predict it (Matthew 16:3).  Some Old Testament prophets announce when God would bring or take away rain, or pray for rain based on God's instructions, but they never command weather directly and by their own authority.  The disciples have seen Jesus' authority over injuries and illnesses, as well as demons, but they are only beginning to understand who Jesus really is (Mark 4:41).  Jesus calms the storm because the disciples are afraid of dying.  They need to see that His authority extends to the external circumstances they will meet.

That does not mean that He will deliver them from all harm; this is one of the great ironies in the Christian life.  God can control everything and make all things right and we must have faith in Him and be content even when He doesn't act (Philippians 4:12–13). 

In Acts 27:13–38, Paul and his entourage get caught in a horrible storm that tears apart their ship and forces them to swim to safety.  But because of his faith, Paul is able to use the circumstances to earn the trust of the crew and minister to the people they meet on the island (Acts 28:7–10).  Our own spiritual stability is more important than God's exhibition of power over our troubles.

~ BIBLEref

In last week's Common Prayer for Hospital Chaplains, we mistakenly did not include Chris Fuhrmeister, who is a CRE and a chaplain at Gifford Hospital in Randolph, VT.  We're sorry for the omission.  The COMMON PRAYER list has been updated. ~ ed.

Common Prayer for Sunday Jan 22:  First Presbyterian Church, Barre, VT


God of new beginnings:  We are thankful for your presence at First Presbyterian Church in Barre, Vermont.
You have called us to enter this new year with a new interim minister, and we seek your guidance as we discern how to be faithful to the vision to which you will reveal.  Inspire our ministries locally and beyond that we will do our part in bringing about love, peace, and justice in our world.  
Blessings may we be. 
Rev. Bret S. Myers 

Choir Director: Peg Lawson
Organist: Dan Krymkowski
Pianist: Alison Cerutti
Secretary: Cindy Hooker
Treasurer: Kathy Adams
Custodian: Jennifer Milne

Click to read more about the staff on their website


Breaking the Myth of Presbyterian Fear of the "E" Word

A Leader Formation Webinar
for Ruling Elders and Deacons

February 23, 2023; 7-8:30 pm ET

Registration Deadline February 15, 2023
Presbyterians have a long and rich history of evangelism.  Rekindling the yearning to share the Good News of Christ’s love, we will incorporate the Yao mores of kalibu and ulongo, radical welcome, and relationship.  Employing these concepts we can live into our quest to answer Jesus' call to make disciples of all people.

This event is provided for free for participants and is funded through your per capita dollars.  It does not come without cost, however.  Knowing the diversity of language within the PC(USA), this webinar will be provided in several languages with interpretation based on requests made through the registration process.  As a result, there is a registration deadline of February 15, 2023, in order to be able to have time to arrange for those services.  Advanced registration is not necessary for access to the recording which will be available in English following the event.
Click here to register for the Webinar
Click for more info

Regarding Ruling Elders - January Issue

Regarding Ruling Elders Logoemail-template-subhead.jpg

Regarding Ruling Elders

The January issue of Regarding Ruling Elders has been posted online. This is the first in a new set of articles that will focus on ruling elders as "they are chosen by the congregation to discern and measure its fidelity to the Word of God, and to strengthen and nurture its faith and life." (Book of Order G-2.0301).

Throughout the next two years, monthly articles will alternate between a deep dive into the the ways ruling elders discern and measure the life of a congregation through the ministry of members and real life glimpses into the varied ways that ruling elders are serving within congregations and ministries throughout the country.
Read "Reading the Room" in EnglishSpanish, and Korean

Synod of the Northeast Coaching Scholarships available

A new round of Synod of the Northeast Coaching Scholarships is now available.  We are accepting new scholarship applications at the link below for individual and team coaching.  If you or your church would benefit from individual or team coaching, please click the button below.
Click here for more info and to apply for a scholarship

Maine Council of Churches Faith-Based Advocacy Series

Designed to inspire and equip people of faith to advocate for policies and people that align with their deepest beliefs and values, this training event will include four online sessions beginning Tuesday, January 31 and concluding Thursday, February 9, followed by an in-person tour of the State House in late February.  This series is designed to offer inspiration, camaraderie, and spiritual nourishment to people of faith—whether they’ve been doing faith-based advocacy work for decades or are just dipping their toe in the pond for the very first time!  More info is found HERE.

Advanced registration is required
Cost for individual participants: $30
Cost for churches that register 5 or more members at once: $100

For those for whom this cost would be prohibitive, we are happy to provide scholarship assistance. To request a scholarship please email

Click here to register

Per Capita Sunday - January 22, 2023

On January 22nd, Presbyterians are invited to join together for Per Capita Sunday — a day for centering our worship on how we gather as a connectional church in service to God and one another.  Resources have been made available on the OGA Website to help you craft your service and begin conversations.  These resources include liturgy, suggested hymns, and video “Moments for Mission.”  An updated brochure on the basics of per capita can be found on the Per Capita Resources site or downloaded directly here.


REMINDER:  Events previously featured in Connections will be on the PNNE HOME PAGE until the date of the event passes.  If you're looking for an event you saw in Connections, check our home page.

Moderator Training Mondays, 7pm-9pm January 23, 30, & Feb 6.

Training for Moderators - for Pastors and Commissioned Ruling Elders (CRE) who want to sharpen their skills as a moderator; for Ruling Elders who want to consider becoming a CRE, who serves as a lay pastor; for formula of agreement pastors serving PNNE. 

Topics include:
  • duties of the session;
  • structuring session meetings;
  • the session's partnership with the congregation.
Instructor: the Rev. Dr. Allen D. Timm, PNNE retired pastor, member of COM and adjunct professor, Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit.

Community Church of New Boston, NH, hosted Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

On Sunday, January 15, 2023, the Community Church of New Boston, NH, observed the national celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, JR.  The featured speaker was New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen.  Sen. Shaheen was the first woman to serve as Governor of a state and then as a United States Senator.  She was the driving force in New Hampshire observing the Federal Holiday of Martin Luther King, JR, Day.

Click here to go to the church website to view a recording of the service

Mission InSite Webinar, Feb 21, 2pm ET

Demographics and Predefined Reports - February 21, 2pm EST

Using shapes and plotting, we'll discuss the use of pre-defined reports found in MissionInsite. This webinar is for those who are new to MissionInsite reports, or as a refresher for our more advanced users.

MissionInsite is a community analysis tool, to reveal demographic and financial insights about the community around you, so you can move from data to decisions.  A link to the MissionInSite website is near the bottom of the PNNE TRANSITIONS AND TERMS OF CALL page of our website.
Register for Demographics and Predefined Reports

A Graphic Representation of our Assembly

The Presbytery of Northern New England met in Assembly Meeting on January 12, 2023.  Thanks to Rev. Kurt Shaffert for this graphic presentation of some of the proceedings.


The CPP that was approved during the Jan 12 PNNE Assembly is the CPP for the Presbytery of Northern New England, for its own youth sponsored events, not for each and every member congregation.  Congregations must have their own CPP, as required by the Book Of Order, G-3.0106:  

"All councils shall adopt and implement a sexual misconduct policy and a child and youth protection policy."

Please feel free to refer to the PNNE CPP as you prepare your own congregation's CPP.

Changes to the PNNE website

~~~~~~~~ REGULAR FEATURES.........

Connecting: For All Ministers

We have two weekly opportunities for ministers to connect for support and encouragement.  Click here to join the Zoom meeting at the days and times, below.

  • Mondays at 10:00 am
  • Tuesdays at 3:00 pm

Connecting: For Retired Clergy

Fourth Wednesday of the Month at 10am.

Prayer Calendar

2023 Common Prayer Calendar


PNNE sign-up form

News from Camp Wilmot

Mission at the Eastward (MATE)

PNNE Presbyterian Women:

The Grapevine Fall 2022

On Facebook

Our larger church:


Synod of the Northeast

Marking Time

These full calendars
we mark and run our lives by
can recall us - given half a chance -
to timelessness.  Our millennium,
after all, was just another year to
the Chinese, Arabs or Israelis,
our January 1 a simple, ordinary
day, insofar as any given day is
ordinary, given that the present
is the only, and the best gift
we will ever have.  Please
open it with care!

J. Barrie Shepherd

PNNE Contact Information

Resource Presbyter, Scott DeBlock            Stated Clerk, T.J. DeMarco | 518-423-7901 | 401-523-7417

PNNE Website
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