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PNNE-Connections for January 6, 2023
In this issue:


The Epiphany of Our Lord

"On entering the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother; and they knelt down and paid him homage.  Then, opening their treasure chests, they offered him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh." MT 2:11

Christians who celebrate the Twelve Days of Christmas may give gifts on each of them, with each of the Twelve Days representing a wish for a corresponding month of the new year.  They may feast on traditional foods and otherwise celebrate the entire time through the morning of the Solemnity of Epiphany.  Contemporary traditions include lighting a candle for each day, singing the verse of the corresponding day from the famous The Twelve Days of Christmas, and lighting a yule log on Christmas Eve and letting it burn some more on each of the twelve nights.  For some, the Twelfth Night remains the night of the most festive parties and exchanges of gifts. Some households exchange gifts on the first (25 December) and last (5 January) days of the Twelve Days.  As in former times, the Twelfth Night to the morning of Epiphany is the traditional time during which Christmas trees and decorations are removed. ~ WikiPedia

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,

So calling all Ministers and Elders!  Have you registered for the January 12 Presbytery Assembly yet?  Please do so, for in addition to worshipping together and hearing and reviewing reports, we will spend time voting on over 30 amendments of our Book of Order.  A gifted team of people from the Leadership Commission reviewed these amendments and have offered their advice on concurring or not concurring with these amendments.  Thanks for your work!

This is good and necessary work for us, as the Book of Order helps us as Presbyterians to worship, grow, and serve and live in community as followers of and believer in Jesus Christ.

"See" you next Thursday!

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, January 6:  Matthew 12:14-21

14But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.

15When Jesus became aware of this, he departed.  Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them, 16and he ordered them not to make him known.  17This was to fulfill what had been spoken through the prophet Isaiah: 
18  “Here is my servant, whom I have chosen, 
          my beloved, with whom my soul is well pleased. 
     I will put my Spirit upon him, 
          and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. 
19  He will not wrangle or cry aloud, 
          nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets. 
20  He will not break a bruised reed 
          or quench a smoldering wick 
     until he brings justice to victory. 
21  And in his name the Gentiles will hope.”

A possible reason for Jesus keeping secrets or speaking in riddles was that “He feared that people would only focus on His miracles, and overlook His real reason for coming into the world — to save us from our sins.”

Jesus did not come to earth to heal physical sickness or restore peace; he came to teach, he came to die, and he came to defeat death so that men and women could be restored to their Father in Heaven.  The people wanted miracles and blessings, but when those dried up, followers faded away.

Numbers were less important to Jesus than the hearts of his followers.  In Acts 5:34-39, Gamaliel the Pharisee described two false Messiahs who had amassed crowds of devotees.  Their uprisings were quashed, and the leaders were forgotten.

They and their names were lost to history at their death.  Jesus’ following dwindled the more intense and challenging his message became.  John 6 recounts how Jesus fed the people, then revealed Kingdom truths, and his listeners found them unacceptable.

Common Prayer for Sunday Jan 8:  Leeds Community Church, Leeds, ME

Pastor:  Rev. Steven Richard Allman

Carole Barker (Clerk), Brenda Lake, Barbara Grant, Larry Jewett

Board of Deacons
Bill Grant, Sandy Nutting, Pat Leblond, Irene Woodward, Donna Holt, Sue Jewett, Jo Brackett


Leeds Community Church is a small rural Presbyterian Church located in Androscoggin County, Leeds, Maine.  We are centrally located approximately 20 miles Southwest of the state capital of Augusta and 20 miles Northeast of the cities of Lewiston/Auburn.  We are associated with the Presbytery of Northern New England  and Mission at the Eastward (MATE).

Leeds Community Church is proud of its history of making its facilities open to the wider community.  After our building being shut down to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.  We have reopened the sanctuary for worship.  The food pantry has continued to serve the Leeds community.  Other uses of the building are being phased in gradually.


Letter from Birmingham Jail - Public Reading

On April 16, 1963, from his cell in a Birmingham City Jail, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. penned a public letter addressed to several of Alabama's leading white religious leaders, who had openly questioned the pace and the confrontational nature of civil rights demonstrations.  This "Letter from Birmingham Jail" has been called "the most important written document of the civil rights era."  In it, Dr. King argued that racial violence and oppression demanded a more urgent response — that lukewarm words of support were inadequate, that only nonviolent direct action would result in real progress toward change.

Because the work of racial justice is far from finished, and because Rev. Dr. King's challenge to religious communities and leaders is as relevant today as it was 57 years ago, we will come together on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2023 for a public, online reading of the Letter. 

Co-hosted by the Maine Council of Churches and The BTS Center, and sponsored by The United Methodist Foundation of New England's Justice In Our Time Fund, this online event will include readers from Maine’s faith and social justice communities, contemplative music, and space for reflection. Registration is open at this link.

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

Lent 2023 Resources from the PCUSA Store

Welcome to the PCUSA Store Lent 2023 resource guide!  You’ll find everything you need to fully honor and experience the season of Lent.  If you view the guide on your computer or other device, you can click on any title or cover to be taken to the product page on PC(USA) Store.  Also, look for the dark blue blocks to download resource samples throughout.  You can also email or print this to use for personal research or with committees.

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


Culture of Generosity Webinar - Synod of NE, Feb 7

TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 7, 2023, 10:30 AM

Facing the challenges of our post-pandemic world in your church?  If your congregation’s approach to stewardship is stuck in a rut, the Presbyterian Foundation can help church leaders create a culture of generosity that celebrates the resources God has given us and understands the spiritual impact that giving away those resources has on individuals and congregations.  Rev. Dr. Rose Niles, our Ministry Relations Officer in the Northeast Region, will bring an interactive Culture of Generosity workshop to us in a webinar on February 7, 2023, to help churches move from conducting a traditional stewardship campaign to building a year-round, spiritually-based culture of generosity.  Register now and plan to join us!

( This article will be added to the PNNE.ORG home page until the event has passed. ~ed. )
Click this button for Registration info for the Generosity Webinar

Camp Wilmot Winter Weekend with NE GLOW Feb 24-26

Join Youth Groups from across New England for a weekend of fellowship and fun hosted by Camp Wilmot and New England GLOW!  We'll gather for dinner Friday night and wrap up with Sunday breakfast in time for everyone to make it back to their respective churches for worship.  In between we'll enjoy outdoor games, art activities and baking, bible study and plenty of sledding.  Our theme for the weekend is "When Did We See You?", guided by Matthew 25 and the curriculum published by the PCUSA.  Cost is $100 per youth.  Scholarships are available.

( This article will be added to the PNNE.ORG home page until the event has passed. ~ed. )
Click this button for Registration and Scholarship info


Changes to the PNNE website

  • The notice for the pastoral opening at Christ Church, Presbyterian, Burlington, VT, has been posted on the PASTORAL OPENINGS page.
  • Articles appearing in Connections will be added to the PNNE.ORG home page until the event has passed.
  • Gun Violence Prevention Took Kit has been moved to the RESOURCES page.

Changes in the Book Of Order

The Presbytery of Northern New England (PNNE) will vote on the amendments to the constitution at the PNNE stated meeting on January 12, 2023.  We are giving advance notice because it is a lot of reading.  If you have questions as you review them, you can contact the Stated Clerk, T. J. DeMarco at  The 225th General Assembly (2022) approved 33 proposed amendments to the Book of Order—including a replacement for the entire D-section—to be considered and voted on by the 166 presbyteries prior to July 9, 2023.  For an amendment to be adopted, 84 presbyteries must vote to approve it.
Proposed Amendments to The Constitution Booklet - DOWNLOAD


The January 12 PNNE Assembly will be a virtual meeting via Zoom.  A special notice will be sent when the Agenda is ready, or watch the website MEETINGS page.  If you plan to attend, please register on the same page.
Please be sure your Commissioners know they can subscribe to this PNNE newsletter, Connections, HERE.

~~~~~~~~ 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

Epiphany Present

Three things are given
three gifts to set our souls afire
To recognize the hand that makes us
Reach out and touch the hand that shakes beside us
Set free the hand that wakes within us
And in all this to dance
the dance of death
along to life again.

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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