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PNNE-Connections for March 10, 2023
In this issue:


One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)

February 22 - April 9, 2023

Serve the "least of these" among us by providing relief to those affected by catastrophic events, giving sustainable food resources to the hungry, and changing the structures that perpetuate poverty, oppression, and injustice.  The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing:

  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
  • Presbyterian Hunger Program
  • Self-Development of People

all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope.

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

Our dedicated IT volunteer, George Huggins, has requested to have Holy Week off from editing our weekly newsletter, Connections.  He has proposed, and I support, that Connections for Good Friday, April 7, be made up of greetings from staff and leadership of PNNE.  He is willing to compile and format the greetings into the Apr 7 special edition of Connections.  Please send any greetings that the Spirit leads you to send, either general greetings, or anything about Holy Week, from Palm Sunday to Easter.  Pictures of congregational and family celebrations are especially welcomed and appreciated.

If you are willing, please submit whatever you have by NOON on Maunday Thursday, April 6, to George at “” which is the PNNE email address that he monitors.

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, March 10:  John 5:30-47

John testified about Jesus.
Jesus' works testify about Jesus.
Scripture testifies about Jesus.

30“I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.

31“If I testify about myself, my testimony is not true. 32There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. 33You sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. 34Not that I accept such human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. 35He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. 36But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. 37And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form, 38and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.

39“You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. 40Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. 41I do not accept glory from human beings. 42But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. 43I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. 44How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? 45Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. 46If you believed Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. 47But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”

"Jesus does not need to rely on the testimony of humans.  John gave his witness about Jesus but this is not the testimony on which Jesus relies.  Jesus brings us John to teach the people that John was right.  You should have listened to John!  He came preaching about me so that you would be saved.  John warned you to repent because the ax was laid at the root of the tree.  You should have listened to John and made yourselves ready for my arrival.  John was not the true light, but he was a bearer of the light."
~ Brent Kercheville

Common Prayer for Sunday Mar 12:  Ushindi Presbyterian Church, North Chelmsford, MA  

Rev. Joseph Kimatu
Ushindi - a Swahili word meaning Victory!
Ushindi is a village in  near villages Kimugul and .

During the March, 2019, Stated Meeting of Presbytery, the Ushindi Fellowship was chartered as a congregation of the Presbytery of Northern New England.  The Presbytery ordained and installed elders for the Ushindi Presbyterian Session.  Their pastor, Rev. Joseph Kimatu delivered the charge to the new elders.

In 2020, Ushindi moved to 108 Middlesex St. in North Chelmsford, MA. During that time they added ten new adult members and five new children.  The congregation continues to focus on Mission and the feeling is that the congregation is in the midst of revitalization.

The Ushindi congregation was recently visited by members of PNNE.  One either end are unidentified members of Ushindi.  Second from left is Resource Presbyter the Rev. Scott DeBlock, followed by Ushindi Pastor the Rev. Dr. Joseph Kimatu, then members of PNNE COM, Elders Kristine Shultis and Ruy Costa.


Prayer for Ushindi
Lord Almighty you have been our refuge and strength
We have seen you all these years.
When we felt abandoned, you stood by us,
You have helped us through thick and thin
And today, here we stand
With full confidence singing that old Spiritual
We shall Overcome!
We pray for an increase in our Membership
We pray that you expand our territory
We pray we may be obedient to your will always.
Receive all the honor and the glory?
Hear our Prayer Lord, In Jesus Name!

~ Rev. Dr. Joseph Kimatu


Visit FaceBook page for Ushindi PC


Ghost Ranch May 2023 Workshops

May 10-14

Bluegrass Camp 2023 - G230521

Southwest Style Hats with Thunderbird Hats - G230522

Bird Watching at Ghost Ranch with Raymond VanBuskirk - G230523

Hiking the Harmonies of the Land with Connie Burkhart - G230524

Bolos and Bangles with Jamie Halpern - G230525


May 18-22

Chacoan World Excursion with Dr. Martha Yates G230541

The Mission of Ghost Ranch Education & Retreat Center is to foster well-being and spiritual health through this historic, inspiring southwest landscape.

Owned by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with a history as colorful as the surrounding red and yellow cliffs, Ghost Ranch offers a diversity of programs and adventure.

The landscape of Ghost Ranch – made famous by painter Georgia O’Keeffe – encompasses 21,000 acres of towering rock walls, vivid colors and vast skies.

People from all over the world come to work together in creation care, to paint, to write poetry, to hike, ride horseback, to research globally renowned archaeological and fossil quarries or simply to rest and renew their spirits.

Click for more Info and To Register

Columbian and Seattle Presbyteries Collaborate

el Presbitero de la Costa (Presbytery of the Coast) in northern Colombia
Seattle Presbytery

Mutuality and co-learning are guiding principles in
collaboration between
Seattle and Colombian presbyteries

The Rev. Cristhian Gómez, executive presbyter of Presbytery of the North Coast and pastor of the First Presbyterian Church in Barranquilla, commented on the Seattle group’s recent January visit both hope-giving and challenging.  Hope is emerging in a post-pandemic church featuring a return to face-to-face ministry while the challenge is moving from broad, contextual issues to serving the specific faces in the community.

“My biggest takeaway was rediscovering the need to ‘be’ and ‘walk together,’” Gómez said.  “This pushed us all to see our common needs and to work to meet them.  One of the needs is the mental health of our members.  Our siblings’ visit led us to create spaces for listening and perceiving this need shared by our people both here and there.”

Over the past eight years, more than 40 people from Seattle Presbytery have made the trip to Colombia, which Maxim notes was always intended to nurture a relationship different from the traditional idea and practice of “mission,” which has historically meant the church going abroad to bestow change.

Read full article on PCUSA Mission website

Pilgrim Lodge 2023 Summer

Pilgrim Lodge, United Church of Christ, announces 2023 Summer Schedule
Pilgrim Lodge has been owned and operated by the United Church of Christ since 1956. 

We have new campers every year as well as multiple generations of families attending.  Great-grandchildren attend Grandparents’ Camp with their great grandmother who is introducing Pilgrim Lodge to yet another generation of campers who love and return to Pilgrim Lodge.

Pilgrim Lodge website has more info!

Thanks from NH Council of Churches, Rev. Heidi

"...We are ending this week with a HUGE thanks from the [NH Council of Churches] Council Board and staff to all of the clergy and faith leaders who made their way to Concord this week to stand with our LGBTQ+ youth.  I lost count on Tuesday morning of the dozens of clergy who were present!  We heard from passers by, legislators, and many members of the LGBTQ+ community:  "We had no idea so many clergy stand with and support us.  Thank you!"  Special thanks to all of the clergy who testified in person, or in writing.  As always, my deep gratitude to our coalition partners at NH Voices of Faith...."
~ Executive Director, The Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath,

Montreat Conference Center - Discovering Renewal


In today's busy world, burnout is rampant.  Our jobs, obligations, and even churches often expect us to work relentlessly. And while hard work is good, it shouldn't be our only goal.  Take some time to experience Sabbath more fully this spring during Discovering Renewal, a retreat designed to help you encounter rest through simple spiritual practices.  Read more about the available track options below, or visit our website to learn more.
Montreat website - read more about Renewal and register!


Lenten Resources offered by Rev. Barrie Shepherd

Book available at $15 (plus postage)
Proceeds (beyond cost) donated to Chebeague Island and Scarborough Maine food pantries

We are only a few days into Lent.  If you are seeking a little book to guide your way through this traditional season of prayer and reflection may I suggest my Faces By the Wayside - Persons Who Encountered Jesus on the Road When it first appeared ten years ago now the publisher's cover described it in thus:

"If only I could have been there..." Did you ever wish you could have been among those who actually encountered Jesus in person; mingled, perhaps, with those throngs beside the lake; feasted among the five thousand in a Galilean meadow; crowded along the village street as the carpenter from Nazareth passed by?  This month of daily meditations seeks to accomplish just that; to place readers in the ways that Jesus walked..... For Lent, Faces By the Wayside can set you once again in the presence of the Master.

And Will Willimon added, Barrie Shepherd is our most poetic of preachers.  It is a joy to walk alongside Barrie and Jesus for these roadside encounters.  A fresh, beautiful presentation of the gospels awaits us here.

This book joined my Faces at the Manger and Faces at the Cross to form a trilogy of such seasonal meditations.  I commend it both for individuals and for Lenten study groups.  The list price is currently $20 but, with author's discount, I can make it available at $15 (plus postage) and still be able to donate all proceeds (beyond cost) to the Chebeague Island and Scarborough Maine food pantries.

Other books of mine suitable for Lenten reading include:

  • Faces at the Cross - A Lent and Easter Collection of Poetry and Prose
  • A Pilgrim's Way - Meditations for Lent and Easter
  • Prayers from the Mount - Daily Meditations on the Sermon on the Mount
  • Encounters - Poetic Meditations on the Old Testament
  • Seeing With the Soul - Daily Meditations on the Parables of Jesus

They all retail at between $20 and $25 and are available from me at a discounted rate.

To order these, or any of my books, send an email to Barrie at with name and mailing address.  Belated best wishes for 2023 and early blessings for the Lenten days ahead.

Barrie Shepherd

Minister ID cards are Available

Minister ID cards have arrived.
If you would like your card mailed to you,
please email the Stated Clerk at

What is MOM??

     MOM is short for ‘Maine Outdoor Ministry’ which is a task force working on encouraging children and youth to participate in Christian outdoor ministries in western Maine after the closing of Camp at the Eastward (CATE).  When the Hartford Church closed, it set aside monies to be used in Maine camping ministry and MOM has been given the responsibility to use those monies for camperships and outdoor ministry events for children and youth in western Maine.
     In the works are a sledding day in March, an Easter egg hunt at the Fairbanks church in April,  and a work event at MATE in July.  Camperships are also available to children and youth of western Maine to Christian camps – either weekend camping events or week long camp experiences this summer.
     To learn more about some possible summer camp experiences see the Camp Wilmot ( and Pilgrim Lodge ( websites.
     To learn more about MOM, visit our Maine Outdoor Ministry Facebook page and/or join our Facebook page.
    Questions?  Contact Sally Newhall at
Visit MOM's FaceBook page

Bedford PC, NH, to Host Choral Workshop, April 1

Join renowned singer/artist Christina DeMaio on Saturday, April 1, 10 AM–12 PM, and learn how you can improve your choral skills.  A light lunch will follow in the Fellowship Hall. Free and open to the community, sign up today!
More info and Reservations on SignUp Genius - Click here

Need your contact info updated?

Ministers, Clerks, Committee Members,
Pulpit Supply Preachers:

Please check your contact info in the
PNNE restricted Directories.
If your contact info needs updated,
please send the info to
Check your info in all of these Directories, PLEASE!

Connections Solicits Your Input!

Please submit input for the PNNE weekly newsletter, Connections,
to the Resource Presbyter, Rev. Dr. Scott DeBlock,,
or to the editor of Connections, George Huggins,

~~~~~~~~ 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:          PCUSA News              Synod of the Northeast

Borrowed Time

These forty days are Lent to us –
not counting Sundays –
a blessed space in time in which
to step aside, get out of line,
drop out of the mad rush toward
the six-foot drop and bring oneself
to life again. Six weeks, say –
more or less – until the note falls due,
those generous terms expire,
and the piper must be paid
under the palm branches
and dark twisted olive trees.

J. Barrie Shepherd

"The point of nonviolence is to build a floor, a strong new floor, beneath which we can no longer sink.  A platform which stands a few feet above napalm, torture, exploitation, poison gas, A and H bombs, the works.  Give humans a decent place to stand"......Joan Baez

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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