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PNNE-Connections for February 24, 2023
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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,

This Lenten season has begun.  And at the same time, we reflect upon and lament the reality it has been one year since Putin's unjust and criminal war against the people of Ukraine began.  And again, others' words are far better than my own.  Here from Presbyterian Outlook is a prayer from Arianne Braithwaite Lehn:

Merciful Jesus,

I cry for our world.
I cry over broken bodies
and broken homes
and broken hearts.

I cry over violence
and exclusion
and indifference.

I cry most of all over the children!

Through my body and breath,
I pray for your kin-dom …

For all to have
nourishing food and nurturing homes,
edifying work and safe, skilled schools,
compassionate healthcare and dignified wages,
soft beds to fall into at the day’s close …

For the children to be protected,
the elderly honored,
and both hugged every single day …

For reparative justice,
cherished diversity,
and peaceful purity in what’s
breathed, eaten, and drunk.

I cry and I pray,
confessing the many times
I’ve declared what I deserve
rather than asked what I could give.

I cry and I pray,
knowing I’m complicit in the pain
and essential to the healing.

I cry and I pray,
trusting my tears mingle with your own,
hoping this tearful river softens and shapes
the hardest canyons of injustice —
or at least lays the groundwork.

I pray and I act,
moving my body and resources
toward your kin-dom vision,
trusting my skills and gifts
carry forward the new, just world you imagine
and are always bringing.

I remember this work is mine to do.

“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which
he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which
he blesses all the world…”†

O Jesus, have mercy
and help me.


This prayer, “When I cry for the world,” is adapted from Ash & Starlight: prayers for the chaos & grace of daily life by Arianne Braithwaite Lehn. It was published in 2019, and the copyright is owned by the author. The prayer is republished here with permission from Chalice Press. All rights reserved.

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, February 24:  John 1:35-42

John's disciples follow Jesus.
Jesus names Peter.

35The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”  37The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.  38When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?”  They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?”  39He said to them, “Come and see.”  They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day.  It was about four o'clock in the afternoon.  40One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  41He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed).  42He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John.  You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).

Jesus turns to face and initiates a conversation with the two disciples.  This shows us God’s heart.  He does not leave us to search and search on our own, but He is there helping us all along the way, even in the seeking itself.  God is like the prodigal’s father.  He is One who is always standing vigilant, waiting for us, wanting us to turn to Him.

Common Prayer for Sunday Feb 26:  East Craftsbury Presbyterian Church, VT

Rev. Larry Jones, Transitional Pastor
Click here for East Craftsbury PC, VT, website

Presbyterians in Craftsbury began meeting occasionally around 1810, and the gatherings grew as Scottish farming families began to migrate to the area (some descendants of those families still attend today).  On September 14, 1816 the church was chartered under the Reformed Presbyterian Church of America, commonly called the Covenanters, who were orthodox Calvinists deeply opposed to slavery and who did not use musical instruments in worship.

In 1906 the church’s governing board voted to dissolve relationship with the Reformed Presbyterians and to affiliate with the United Presbyterian Church (now called the Presbyterian Church (USA)).  They also purchased a reed organ, which is still used occasionally in worship today.  Our church building was dedicated in January, 1910.

The emphasis of the church has been to promote the personal and corporate worship of God through Jesus Christ, to serve those with needs, and to participate in spreading his good news throughout the world.


Good God, this church is seeking to serve you, although many of its members are aging.
This church sees problems in the world around us, although many of its members are tired.
This church wants to reach out and be a redeeming and reconciling congregation, although possibilities seem rarer than limits.
And this church also believes in the power of the Holy Spirit, 
   in the strength of the human spirit, and 
   in the miracles that happen when humanity and the divine work together.
Use us to renew this broad community, as your witness here continues to thrive in unexpected ways.
In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

~~ Rev. Larry Jones


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

From Passwords to payments, learn how to protect your church

The start of the 2020 pandemic saw many churches scrambling to do ministry digitally, leading them to create a plethora of online accounts hastily.  Now that the pressure has subsided, it’s time to review these accounts to assess what’s working and ensure that your organization’s online security is not vulnerable to attacks.
Read on PCUSA Mission website

Office of Christian Formation awards 58 Sabbath Grants

A special one-time grant program from the Office of Christian Formation suggests that rest may be the hardest thing to learn when practicing what you preach.  Applications were received in the spring of 2022 and awarded that summer.  According to Miatta Wilson, mission associate for Christian Formation, 58 grants of $1,000 each were awarded to Christian formation leaders from across the country “serving in many different roles and ministries including volunteer, part- and full-time as educators, youth directors, campus pastors, small church solo pastors and camp staff.”
Read article on PCUSA website

Pilgrim Lodge - Arts Alive!

Maine Conference UCC
Featured Camp
Arts Alive:  June 25 - July 1, 2023

For campers entering grade 7 - high school post-graduates, Arts Alive is an opportunity for campers to connect with each other and their faith through the creative process.  No auditions necessary for this fabulous week of new opportunities.  Arts Alive brings together treasured camp traditions with workshops to explore the visual arts, theater, music, and more!
Click here for details on Arts Alive!

Portsmouth, NH, hit by Antisemitic Graffiti

From New Hampshire Council of Churches Executive Director,
The Rev. Heidi Carrington Heath

[Monday, February 20] our colleagues at Temple Israel in Portsmouth, and over one dozen businesses and organizations (many Black-owned) were targeted by hateful, antisemitic graffiti.  These acts of white supremacy, and hate are an act against both God, and neighbor.

As we have focused our newsletters for the month of February at the intersection of the life of faith and Black History Month, it is imperative we say loudly, and clearly that we stand united with our friends and neighbors against antisemitism, white supremacy, and hate whenever and wherever we find it (acutely so during Black History Month).  You can read more at the link below (including today's reporting from the Portsmouth Herald).

More here:

I am especially grieved as a Christian that crosses were included alongside some of these images.  These acts had nothing to do with the command to love our neighbor, or build a more just world in God's name.  May we continue to join our voices together, and work together to build a better world.  Wishing you a blessed beginning to the Lenten season tomorrow [Wed, Feb 22].


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

Teaching Elder Ordination Dates - March

First Name     Last Name          Ordination Date    Years Ordained
Susan Lynn     Gleason               03/26/2000                  23
Amanda B       Lape-Freeberg    03/17/1991                   32
Joan I              Mabon                 03/01/1977                   46
J Philip            Zaeder                 03/01/1966                   57

Lord, I lift up the hands of my pastor and their family.  Place them in the shelter of the Most High to rest in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say of the Lord, You are their refuge and fortress.  You will preserve their family time.

Something New - What's Outreach??

    Outreach is what we do to reach out to the community around us.  It's our ministry to our neighbors and our community.  We used to call it 'local mission' but it's so much more than that!  It's also how we live out our goal of being a Matthew 25 Presbytery - doing for the least of those around us as we would do for Christ.
    PNNE has a new sub-committee of the Leadership Commission - the Outreach - Engagement & Interpretation Subcommittee - to focus on that part of our ministry.  We were formed in just the last year and are still getting on top of our role.
    We are charged with shaping the outreach of PNNE as a whole - but also with enabling our congregations to support and encourage each other in their ministries.
    So, we've sent out a questionnaire to all our churches asking how they engage in outreach in their communities.  We plan to use that info to share ideas and practices that work well with each other - to strengthen and enable each other.
    We hope to have that information ready to share with the presbytery at our April stated meeting.  We look forward to your responses!

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

Some twenty eight or forty days
these purple seasons nudge  us, slow
but sure, along the royal pregnant path
of pain and preparation seeking
for a place to ease the weight,
to set the Savior down,
bind his holy body tight with bands,
then, breathless, wait the cry of birth
 that sends us forth beyond the gate,
the cradle and the grave.
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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