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PNNE-Connections for February 10, 2023
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From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

Please join me in praying this prayer offered by Brenden McClean in the recent issue of Presbyterian Outlook on the devastating earthquake in Turkey and Syria:

God of our refuge,

You are present in all our troubles,
present through all the changes
across the whole of space, place and time.
As you are with us,
be also with your children in Türkiye (Turkey) and Syria
as the earth below them has violently shaken,
bringing buildings crumbling to the ground
amongst the strife of civil war and the freezing weather,
making emergency responses more difficult.

Bless the thousands of families
mourning the loss of their beloveds,
that they may find comfort
in the community of love surrounding them.
Bless the aid and rescue workers
searching through debris and rubble tirelessly,
that their hands may be strong and their feet swift
in finding and reuniting your children with each other.
Bless the unknown number of your children
stuck or lost amid the chaos of disaster,
that their hope to be found may be met
with the great depths of your compassion.

Bless the thousands to millions more indefinitely displaced
from their homes and ways of life
that their basic needs of food, water, shelter and medical care
may be fulfilled both immediately and unendingly.

May all of your heavenly and earthly community
weep with all who are weeping,
holding each of those affected near in our hearts,
until the whole of creation knows your sacred solidarity. Amen.

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, February 10:  Mark 10:32-45

Jesus foretells his death.
James and John request priority seats.
Jesus teaches about being a servant; a slave of all.

32They were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them; they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.  He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them what was to happen to him, 33saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles; 34they will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again.”

35James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came forward to him and said to him, “Teacher, we want you to do for us whatever we ask of you.”  36And he said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”  37And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.”  38But Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking.  Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with?”  39They replied, “We are able.”  Then Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink; and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized; 40but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

41When the ten heard this, they began to be angry with James and John.  42So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their rulers lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them.  43But it is not so among you; but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, 44and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all.  45For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”

This speaks to the role of a leader in the church, who should become a leader, and the proper motivation of leaders in the church.  Often, people take a leadership position because their father was a pastor, they have free time, they are guilted into it, or they happen to be in the right place at the right time.  Jesus says the role of a leader in the church is that of a servant: someone who takes care of the needs of another.  Granted, servant-leadership often involves impressing upon people what it is they actually need.  But it is all for others, not for selfish ambition, pride, or honor.

Common Prayer for Sunday Feb 12:  Christ Church Presbyterian, Burlington, VT

Click her for Christ Church, Presbyterian, Burlington, VT, website

Christ Church, Presbyterian began in 1955 as a planted church in a Burlington, VT, TV repair shop.  From there, we moved to a chapel on the University of Vermont (UVM) campus but lost that lease in 2014.  Since then, we've had no church building but with 37 members and 17 regular participants we've met every Sunday at 4 pm either on Zoom or in a rented space at St. Paul's Cathedral in downtown Burlington.  Weekly, we celebrate communion in services planned by a committee in partnership with our two supply pastors, one of whom is Rev. Carl Hilton VanOsdall.  30% of CCP's budget goes to Mission.  Our Mission statement ends: "We are called to follow where Jesus leads us in service to our neighbor and each other." (Full mission statement HERE). In about two months, CCP will be out on the street again because St. Paul's needs our space.  Wish us well.
Contributed by member, Elinore Standard.


Christ Church, Presbyterian, Burlington, VT, has always valued sharing community outside of church.  We have done this by having monthly parish potluck dinners (Suspended due to COVID).  This gives those who choose to participate an opportunity to gather at someone’s home and share a meal on a Sunday evening.  It creates the feeling of “family” and gives us a venue to get to know and support each other in ways that may not be shared during our worship service or hospitality time.

Note: Read how CCP is extensively involved in action at every level on their Services page and sub-pages. ~ ed.


Camp and Retreat Sunday - Feb 12

        The PC(USA) designates various days on the church calendar for special emphasis.  Click the button below for a file with resources for celebrating Camp and Retreat Sunday on February 12, 2023.  (Or whenever your faith community chooses to lift up Camp and Retreat Ministry.)
        PNNE is fortunate that Camp Wilmot and Camp At The Eastward (CATE) have operated within its bounds.  Read about the background of CATE on the Mission At The Eastward (MATE) history page.
          And, we are fortunate that the Camp Wilmot Vice Chair, Rachel Allen, has provided a bulletin insert for use on Feb 12.  See the second button below for a PDF file, or download the file as JPG next to this text.

PDF file - info from PC(USA) on Camp and Retreat Sunday
Bulletin Insert for Camp Wilmot - PDF file

New Job Post: Synod of the Northeast Administrative Coordinator

The Administrative Coordinator will serve as a member of the Synod Mission Team providing administrative coordination for members of the Mission Team and ensuring the effective and seamless work of the mission and ministry of the Synod.  This position will be responsible for supporting logistics, communication and administrative coordination of Synod programs and supporting the ecclesial work of the Stated Clerk.

This is a full-time, exempt position – salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Applications are open to all qualified persons.  Once employed, the staff person must live within the bounds of the Synod of the Northeast.  Relocation costs are not provided.  Full medical benefits are provided through the Board of Pension.  The position has a 180-day probation period.
Click this button for full position description

Stated Clerk calls for a lift of sanctions on Syria

J. Herbert Nelson calls on support for victims of devastating earthquake
Photo from the GOPA-DERD, an ACT Alliance partner in Syria.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins our partners in the Middle East in calling on the U.S. government to lift its sanctions on Syria so that a speedy and effective humanitarian response can be mounted immediately in response to the devastating earthquakes on Feb. 6. The earthquakes that rocked Southern Turkey and Northern Syria resulted in thousands of deaths and injuries and hundreds of destroyed buildings. In Northern Syria, already suffering from years of war and U.S.-imposed sanctions, the earthquake has had devastating effects.

Map of the main magnitude 7.8 earthquake in central Turkey. From the U.S. Geological Survey.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) responds to the earthquake


     The scale of the disaster facing Syria and Turkey after the Feb. 6 earthquake is becoming clearer.  The 7.8-magnitude quake and its aftershocks have left more than 11,000 people dead and thousands more injured; these numbers will rise as search and rescue continues.  Buildings have been reduced to rubble, and roads and bridges have been severely damaged, resulting in dangerous conditions for first responders.  In some places, such as Aleppo, this destruction is compounding the damage of the now 11-year war in Syria.

     Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is providing emergency relief and short-term recovery in the impacted areas through long-standing partners in Syria, in addition to ACT Alliance members in Syria and Turkey, all of whom are already on the ground.  PDA will remain active throughout the entire recovery process, accompanying our partners in the area as they determine long-term program needs and providing financial support for building and resilience.

Financial support for relief efforts can be designated to DR999999-ST earthquake.  Gifts can be made online by clicking here.

Download and use the bulletin insert

Scroll back up to the top and pray, again, the prayer brought by Rev. DeBlock from Presbyterian Outlook.

NH State Commission on Aging accepting nominations for 2023 “Older Adult Volunteer” awards

Nominations close Friday, March 3, 2023

The annual recognition program of the NH State Commission on Aging (NHCOA) celebrates and recognizes individuals or couples over the age of 60 who are volunteering in numerous ways that help build and improve strong communities.  Examples of volunteer service could include leadership service on non-profit boards, town committees, service clubs, or civic organizations.  

To download the two-page nomination form click here.

Please send back the completed form to: to Chris Dugan at

An Awards Ceremony will be scheduled in May to observe Older Americans Month.  Governor Chris Sununu will be invited to participate in the presentation of the awards.  All nominees will receive a letter of commendation from the NHCOA to let them know that they are appreciated by their community.


Synod of the Northeast webinars are on YouTube

Did you miss a webinar from the Synod of the Northeast?  They're on YouTube!
Click to see Webinars on YouTube from the Synod of the Northeast


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.

Community Church of New Boston, NH, provides help


"We also helped a man who arrived right after worship in desperate need of help.  His name is Arthur and he is from the Congo.  He and his wife and young son had to leave their apartment in Manchester because they could not pay the raised rent.  A friend living in Georgia invited them to stay with him and sent plane tickets for Arthur's wife and son.  Arthur was to drive their car down to join them in Georgia.  Only problem was that he had no cash left for the trip.  He had come to churches in search of help.  He found help here at the Community Church in New Boston.  We got together $250 for his trip.  I just called him and he is about half way to Georgia, doing well and very grateful for our help.  I also want to thank our friend and neighbor Noel Sagna who spoke with him in French on the phone in my office to make sure I was understanding his story accurately.  Noel would have come down but is homebound with COVID.  His nonprofit organization, ASPIRE, helps refugees in our area but is really struggling for funds to carry out their work.  I am glad we were able to help.  I think that Jesus wants us to do what we can to help those in real need."

Maine Outdoor Ministry (MOM) and Camp

      Maine Outdoor Ministry (MOM) is a Task Force of the Leadership Commission of PNNE, committed to providing and fostering outdoor ministry in western Maine.  To learn more see our Facebook page: Maine Outdoor Ministry.
      Camp, it’s time to begin thinking about camp!!   MOM has some campership funds available to help children and youth of western Maine be able to attend camp and we’re excited to be able to point out some wonderful opportunities within our own bounds.
      Camp Wilmot – our own camp set in NH [] has wonderful camp opportunities for this July as well as a Youth Weekend this month Feb. 24-26.
     For Maine folk, there is a camp closer to home: Pilgrim Lodge.  This is UCC camp with which we have a great working relationship set in West Gardiner, ME.    It also has a busy camping season from the last week of June through the first week of August.   In particular, the week of June 25- July 1 has two camps running – one for Grades 4-6 and the other for Grades 7-12.   Check them out at
    For questions about MOM camperships, please contact Rob Heinze at

The 5-15 Rule for Hospitality

Something you can do to grow hospitality at your church is to train and equip volunteers and attenders to be hospitable at the doors and in your atrium space. For example, one of the ways we train our volunteers is the 5-15 rule.  This is from Horst Schultze, the godfather of hospitality. 

The 5-15 rule is whenever someone is within 15 feet you always acknowledge their presence with eye contact and a smile.  And, when someone is within 5 feet, you greet them verbally.

Mid-Coast PC, Topsham, ME, to send a Valentine of Love

J.B.Z. Ncevu Church in Queenstown, South Africa
Trying to rebuild

          Mid-Coast's (ME) South Africa Connection Team and members of the MCPC church family who correspond with those in the J.B.Z. Ncevu Church in Queenstown, South Africa have been following their efforts to build an outstation to serve folks who are too far away to get to the home church.  Ncevu’s Elders regularly lead worship & study in a number of nearby remote villages.
          The congregation lost their pastor, Rev. Vatela, to COVID in January 2021.  They welcomed a new pastor, Rev. Mbaru, in March 2022, and feel especially blessed as he was in the building construction business before he was called to ministry.  They began the actual building in August but with seriously depleted membership numbers as well as the energy crisis, worldwide inflation and unrest in the country, they’ve had difficulty meeting their financial needs for the building to continue.  With the approval of the Session, MCPC invites everyone to join in our sending a gift of love and support to our sisters and brothers in Christ, in South Africa, to complete the building of this new outreach station.
          Any contributions are welcome and you may send a check to MCPC with a notation that says "SA Love Gift."  Contributions can be made until February 28.
          The MCPC Connection Team: Bob Beringer, Paul & Elaine Brown, Joanna Damon, and Dick Reese
Read more about the Ncevu Church on Mid-Coast's website
Ncevu Church on FaceBook

~~~~~~~~ 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


Forest Snowfall
Before Sunrise

It is as if the light that is to come
had taken on a flake-like form and substance,
laid itself, in silhouette, along, against,
the windward part
of every naked trunk and branch. 
The ground below lies cloaked,
each blade of grass or bracken
with its radiant, glistening garment,
so that, even at the darkest hour last night,
a luminescence shone as if reflected
from whatever burns within,
cast a spell of sheer astonishment,
a silent, clear delight.
Is this, as some have said, only a foretaste
of that truer, fuller, loveliness ahead?
Or might the bright, celestial realm
lie here and now revealed,
its last impediment
my old, reluctant fear to enter in?

J. Barrie Shepherd

PNNE Contact Information

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

PNNE Website
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