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PNNE-Connections for December 30, 2022
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."

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

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,
I opened the email from Presbyterian Outlook just now and found this Prayer for 2022 and 2023 written by Allysen Schaaf. All I can add is AMEN!

God of years past and new beginnings,
we throw our hands up to you,
offering all that we have been and hope to be.

In the palm of your hands,
we have giggled and played,
sang and danced to celebrate
holidays, birthdays,
a snow day and a clear diagnosis.

In the palm of your hands,
we have sought shelter and asylum,
and shuddered at the news of war and gun violence.

Sickness and strife turn round and round
the same old news that we heard before.
So, we pray, and we pray:
Can this new year really bring anything new?

God of years past and new beginnings,
we want to close the door on ’22 and forget all the fights
that tore us apart, all thinking we were right.
Yet with courage, we pray
that you keep our hearts open wide
to truly believe and join in your strides,
creating and making all things new.

We pray that out of the rubble and flames,
emerge new steps in caring for the earth
and investment change,
conversations across the aisle
welcoming diversity and doing justice.

We pray the rights of all people, colors, genders and nations be nourished,
for equity, housing and daily bread to flourish,
and for mercy, humility and love to define
a year of life shared, not kept as yours or mine.

God of years past and new beginnings,
open our hearts to see you in each headline,
our souls to listen intently to one another,
our fists to find strength in openness and grace,
and our minds to the hope that justice will roll down.
So that, as we carry the old news into the new year,
our lives will reflect our love for you and every neighbor,
and in every neighbor, your holy presence noticed and welcomed,
and in every neighborhood, signs of your new creation bursting forth.


Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, December 30:  John 7:53-8:11

7:53Then each of them went home, 
        8:1while Jesus went to the Mount of Olives.  2Early in the morning he came again to the temple.  All the people came to him and he sat down and began to teach them.  3The scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery; and making her stand before all of them, 4they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery.  5Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  Now what do you say?”  6They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him.  Jesus bent down and wrote with his finger on the ground.  7When they kept on questioning him, he straightened up and said to them, “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”  8And once again he bent down and wrote on the ground.  9When they heard it, they went away, one by one, beginning with the elders; and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  10Jesus straightened up and said to her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  11She said, “No one, sir.”  And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.  Go your way, and from now on do not sin again.”

The scribes and Pharisees had demanded that Jesus sentence the woman to death, as taught in Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22-24.

[The NASB Study Bible notes that “they altered the law a little. The manner of execution was not prescribed unless the woman was a betrothed virgin. And the law required the execution of both parties, not just the woman”]

If Jesus had said to stone her, they would have charged Him with hypocrisy, because He was always teaching about mercy. If He said not to stone her, they would have charged Him with breaking the Mosaic Law.  Spotting their trick, He stooped down and wrote something on the ground, saying:

If anyone of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her. (John 8:7)

He then proceeded to write something else on the ground, after which they dropped their stones and walked away.

O Lord, the hope of Israel, all who forsake You will be put to shame. Those who turn away from You will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord, the spring of living water. (Jeremiah 17:13)

I would like to offer that this passage seems to indicate that Jesus first wrote their names in the dust and perhaps then wrote a sin that they had committed next to their name.  Busted by Jesus, they walked away in shame and frustration. You see, being Yahweh, He knew what was in their hearts.

~ Dr. David Kyle Foster

Common Prayer for Sunday Jan 1:  First Presbyterian Church of Antrim, NH

Pastor:  Rev. Jan Howe

O God, we thank you that you continue to be working in our midst and challenging us to move in new directions as the Holy Spirit calls us.  Even though we are considered a small church we feel called to ministry and to reach out into our community.  We pray that we will always listen to your voice calling to us to your ministry and will and not our own.  Continue to bless us and to move us as a congregation.
(Prayer provided by Rev. Jan Howe -ed.)


There's room at McCleary House !!

MATE Announces a Young Family is in McCleary House !

Mission At The Eastward (MATE) met their goal of hosting a family by the end of 2022.  A young family has a warm and safe place to call home this Christmas season!  MATE expresses their thanks for helping to support our community members and give them a chance to get back on their feet! 
(From the "MATE MATTERS" newsletter Dec 20, 2022. -ed.)

Synod Grant Applications due Jan 10: Campus Ministry, Youth Leadership Development


● Engage students in deep and meaningful encounters with Christian spirituality.

● Develop students as leaders on campus, in their community, and/or in their congregation.

● Exemplify the Synod’s values of Community, Diversity & Inclusion, and Missional Identity.

● Partner with local Presbyterian congregations or other Presbyterian entities.

Click this button for Campus Ministry Grant info

● Develops youth and/or young adults as leaders in their community and/or in their congregation.  For the purposes of this grant, “youth and young adults” encompasses middle school students through recent college graduates transitioning into the next phase of life.

● Exemplifies the Synod’s values of Community, Diversity & Inclusion, and Missional Identity.

● Collaborates across Congregations/Presbyteries/Organizations.

Click this button for Youth Leadership Development Grant info

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!
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.
Click this button for Registration and Scholarship info

Mass Council of Churches produces PSA for COVID-19 for use by Churches

There are still many in our communities that have not received their COVID vaccines or boosters.  To help encourage all in our churches to become fully vaccinated, the Massachusetts Council of Churches created a COVID Public Service Announcement specifically for local church use.  You can use this in your streaming services, share it on social media or include it in your newsletters.  Thank you to Hull Bay Production for the excellent work!

Find the Public Service Announcement "It's Worth a Shot!" on our YouTube channel here: or our Facebook page here:

Presbyterians Today (PT) magazine to take a "Sacred Pause"

The new year is bringing lots of changes for Presbyterians Today.  Beginning after the March/April 2023 issue, PT will be taking a sacred pause, using the remainder of the year to  reimagine what it can be for the church today.  Paul Seebeck explains in his article, “Sacred Pause.”
Read More


January TE Ordination Anniversaries






Yrs ordained

Brendon M.   



Honorably Retired


William L








New England Pastoral Institute     



Hilton-Van Osdall      


At Large Member, PNNE





Previous Resource Presbyter





Pastor, Barnet


If your ordination anniversary is wrong or missing please contact:
You are the God who calls us and invites us.  You are the God who chooses us despite ourselves.  In you, we find a belonging and a purpose beyond our wildest dreams and beyond what we deserve or could ever achieve.  May our cup overflow with gratitude in the wake of this overwhelming grace.

(Prayer provided by the Rev. Dakota Whitaker of Barnet (NH) PC - ed.)

Sudanese Fellowship Observe Anniversary of Massacre of Juba Neur

On Sunday, Dec 18, 2022, the PNNE Sudanese Fellowship gathered at Mid-Coast PC in Topsham, ME, to remember December 15, 2013, when innocent Nuer civilians in South Sudan were murdered by Government forces.  Members of the Nuer Community were murdered in their houses, on the streets and hotel rooms simply because they were of Nuer ethnicity.  Independent estimates are that 20,000 Nuer were killed.  Since then, memorial services have been held yearly in the Portland area.  The pictures below are from the service of remembrance in the sanctuary of Mid-Coast, led by the Lay Leader of the Sudanese Fellowship, Matthew Long.
Click this button to read about South Sudan on the Human Rights Watch website
Click this button to read about South Sudan on the Amnesty International website

Bedford PC (NH) Adopt-A-Family Update

Thank you to all who coordinated, managed, and supported the Bedford (NH) PC 2022 Adopt A Family Program, with a special nod to program lead—Karen Bagnardi.  BPC helped 103 children and 13 adults receive packages of gifts and gift cards, with an additional 67 gift cards to support Amoskeag Health, the Dismas Home, and the BPC Pastor’s Discretionary fund.  Your generosity made a difference this Christmastime for so many!
(Report adapted from the Bedford PC newsletter -ed.)

(Pictures provided by Bedford (NH) PC)
Click this button to learn more about an Adopt-A-Family program

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.
Please be sure your Commissioners know they can subscribe to the PNNE newsletter (this!) 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

Time to be Careful

Since you never know
just when, and where and how
it might be manifest, watch children
and the rich in years, those winter birds
that wait with us through bitter months.
Renew the flame of quiet contemplation.
Dig out the old books and the songs
that fed you long ago back when
the soul was tender toward mystery
and holiness.  Above all else
be careful about care, so that
in the rush of doing things for others
you avoid spending all your time on things
not on the others.  That way lies
barrenness and Herod's hasty sword.


J. Barrie Shepherd

From PNNE staff, leadership, and volunteers: May God Bless Your New Year !!

God of our past, present and future, as the calendar turns and we greet another year, we ask not so much for answers to those questions that perplex us, but for confidence in your never-failing care for us.

As we reflect on the year we leave behind, we begin with gratitude for the moments and the milestones in which we experienced your presence.  As we look to the year ahead, we start with hope for a kinder, more just, lavishly loving world.  Through all the years, we depend on the abundance of your grace, the generosity of your mercy and the unwavering promise of your compassion.

Aid us, Almighty God, when we fail to be the people you create and call us to be.  Comfort us, Abba, when we face times of sadness, loss and grief.  Admonition us, Lord of all, when we neglect the teachings of our Savior, Jesus Christ.  Guide us, Triune God, all the days of this new year, and indeed, every day of our lives until that time when we see you face to face.

(Presbyterian Outlook, Rev. Jill Duffield, Dec 31, 2018)

PNNE Contact Information

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

PNNE Website
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