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PNNE-Connections for March 24, 2023
In this issue:



"...The Lenten season is a season of change.  It is when we reflect upon our sin and embark upon a journey of repentance.  Yet, too often our reflection stops at the personal.  Now more than ever, what Lent needs to be is a time of communal reflection and corporate repentance.  We need systemic change away from “weak resignation to the evils we deplore” and toward the courage to face our propensity toward violence and division.  Such reflection requires bravery because it will necessarily challenge our notions of our own goodness, both personal and communal.  We must be willing to tell the truth about ourselves, acknowledging that even the most well-meaning intentions and initiatives all need to be examined and interrogated in the light of love, truth, and justice.  We must be willing to tell the truth about why some things – gun violence, systemic racism, anti-LGBTQ violence, Islamophobia, and antisemitism, to name a few – seem to be far too common among us."

Rev. Denise Anderson, Director, Compassion, Peace & Justice

Click to visit PCUSA Compassion, Peace & Justice website

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

I will be brief this week!  It's not too early to start thinkig about and praying about our April 20th Assembly meeting!  Materials will be coming soon and on the website, but I hope to "see" you all soon! (Yes, it's by Zoom).

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, March 24:  John 6:52-59

Jesus instructs the Jews to eat the bread from Heaven.

52The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”  53So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.  54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink.  56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them.  57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me.  58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died.  But the one who eats this bread will live for ever.”  59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.

"It is time to open ourselves to fully accepting Him into our lives, by participating in the Holy Eucharist, for the soul needs as much nourishment as the physical body; by having faith and wholeheartedly receiving His flesh and His blood, as well as praying for those who cannot yet and helping them open their eyes and hearts to the truth."

~ from Daily Lasallian Reflection

Common Prayer for Sunday Mar 26:  Fairbanks Union Church, Farmington, ME   

Pastoral leadership is in transition.
Moderator is the Rev. Richard Waddell, UCC, Retired.


For over sixty years, the Fairbanks Union Church has joined together with other West Central Maine Presbyterian churches in Mission at the Eastward (MATE) and service ministries inspired by Christ to worship and work, “reaching the last house on the last road” with God’s gifts and graces so that they are exemplified, multiplied, and shared with others for the good of all.

A Prayer of Thanks for Fairbanks Union Church

          How gracious you have been and continue to be, Loving God, to the people of Farmington, Maine, by placing Fairbanks Union Church and its congregation in their midst.  This congregation gives you praise.  The members show your love.  They carry out the ministry you have given to them, even in the absence of regular pastoral leadership.  As a holy community and as individuals they contribute to the well-being of the town by their citizenship and their service.  They are testimony to the out-pouring of the Spirit of the Risen Christ in their ministries of love and compassion for one another and for the wider community.
          Thank you, Holy God, for bringing into being this servant community, Fairbanks Union Church.  May you bless and sustain them as they continue to walk the path of compassionate service in rural Maine and wherever else your Spirit leads them.

~ Prayer by Rev. Dick Waddell

Click to visit Fairbanks Union's website


Synod Updated Grant Platform

The Synod of the Northeast is pleased to announce the rollout of a new and improved grants platform. This new online platform will simplify the process of applying for a grant and make it more accessible for everyone. With our new system, you will be able to begin your work on your application, save it, and return later to continue writing or to add required documents. You can make changes to all parts of your application until you are ready to submit it. With this new system, you can track the progress of your application and receive real-time updates.


Clergy PRAYcation at Pilgrim Lodge, June 5-7

Authorized ministers, Retired Clergy, Members in Discernment,
students of Maine School of Ministry...

Registration for Clergy Praycation is now open!
This two night retreat from June 5-7 is your time for retreat and rejuvenation at camp.

To support clergy in their work and wellness, Maine Conference UCC Vitality Funds
are available to support the cost of this opportunity.
If you would like to apply for funds, please complete this
scholarship application form.

Synod welcomes new Administrative Coordinator

Nichol Burris joins the staff of the Synod of the Northeast as the new Administrative Coordinator.  She will begin her service to the Synod on April 3, 2023.  Nichol is a minister, coach, pastoral counselor, conference presenter, event planner, and experienced volunteer manager.  She previously worked for Hartford HealthCare, Habitat for Humanity, and Community Presbyterian Church in New Castle, Delaware.  Nichol’s acknowledgments include being a presenter for Volunteers of America and receiving the Distinguished Woman Award, National Action Network, New York Chapter.  Nichol studied theology at the International Christian University and received a doctorate and a master’s degree.  Dr. Burris lives with her husband, Rich, and children in Granby, Connecticut.

MACC:  Lydia Fellowship for Bivocational Pastors

Massachusetts Council of Church (MACC) is excited to announce the relaunch of the Lydia Fellows program.  We received major funding to learn about and support bi-vocational clergy in the Commonwealth.  Due to COVID-19 and staff changes, the Lydia Fellows program was paused.  The MACC has worked to gain understanding from the previous cohort.  We are ready to invite people to join the Lydia Fellows Program.
Deadline for this cohort is March 31, 2023.
Apply now to Lydia Fellowship


Outreach Sub-committee requests your Input

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.
          So the PNNE Leadership Commission has a new sub-committee - the Outreach-Engagement & Interpretation - 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 assembly.  We have received responses and are asking for your input.
Retrieve the questionnaire HERE in WORD format or HERE in PDF.
Complete the Outreach Questionnaire on PNNE website.

First PC of Haverhill, MA, to Celebrate 125th Anniversary

March 28 of this year marks Haverhill's 125th anniversary.

          On Sunday, March 26, the First Presbyterian Church of Haverhill will commemorate its 125th anniversary with a celebration immediately following the 10:30AM Sunday service.

          The First Presbyterian Church of Haverhill was founded on March 28, 1898, with 23 charter members.  The church was originally located on Summer Street, where the congregation worshiped for over 80 years.  Due to damage from a fire years before, the church building was lost but its replacement was built by devoted members in 1986 where it remains today, 346 Broadway in Haverhill, just off I-495.

          Today, FPC Haverhill remains a congregation focused heavily on mission work, with tremendous outreach throughout the Merrimack Valley.  Members are involved in donating to and working at food pantries, supporting local social service agencies, and providing support to those in need in the community during all seasons of the year.

          Services are held every Sunday at 10:30AM, both in-person and on Zoom.  Those looking to learn more about the church may visit, email, or call 978-374-8029.
~ Contributed by Clerk of Session, Josiah Morrow

Who gets funds from Outreach?

News from the Outreach–Engagement & Interpretation Subcommittee
of the PNNE Leadership Commission
Bright Start Childcare Center at Mid-Coast Presbyterian Church in Topsham, Maine, is a very grateful recipient of one of the checks from the end-of-the-year distribution of Mission Giving & Campus Ministry Funds of 2022.  Bright Start Childcare at MCPC has been a provider of childcare services in the area since August 2000. PNNE was crucial in seeing this ministry becoming a reality as financial resources were provided for start-up costs, through the formerly-known-as Mission Committee.
~Submitted by Rev. Diane Hoppe Hugo

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,


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.    Zoom link.
For more information contact Dave VanArsdale

Common 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

In the Fast Lane

Slowing down, this holy season,
may be the way to go.
Letting go, at least an hour
here and there,
of that wheel with which you drive,
or which drives you.
Pulling over, kicking back,
searching for a rest area.
Shutting down
those surround sounds of music
and the breaking news
that keep you wide awake.
And tuning out and in again
to all those hungers never met
in daily destinations.

J. Barrie Shepherd

“You must not lose faith in humanity.  Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

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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Your Connections editor is George Huggins
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