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PNNE-Connections for January 13, 2023
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."

( This article will be added to the PNNE.ORG home page until the event has passed. ~ed. )

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

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

Again, please take the time to read through all of the pieces of this week's Connections, because there are so many new ways to worship grow and serve as a presbytery!  And above all, share Connections with everyone in your congregations!

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, January 13:  Mark 2:13-22

13Jesus went out again beside the sea; the whole crowd gathered around him, and he taught them. 14As he was walking along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he got up and followed him.

15And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples — for there were many who followed him. 16When the scribes of the Pharisees saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors, they said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 17When Jesus heard this, he said to them, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick; I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.”

18Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him, “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” 19Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. 20The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast on that day.”

21“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. 22And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”

They recline at the table, laying on their sides or bellies with their legs behind them, leaning on their left arms and eating with their right hand.

Tax collectors are easy enough to identify, but Levi also invites "sinners."  This is a technical term given by the Pharisees to Jews who do not have the time or inclination to attempt to follow their excessive rules.  They aren't necessarily breakers of the Mosaic Law, although undoubtedly some are. "Sinners" are also called "people of the land."

These "tax collectors and sinners" are identified in contrast with Jesus and His disciples.  The ungodly Levi and his friends are dining with the Son of God and His followers.  This contrast angers the devout Jewish religious leaders and other people in the community (Mark 2:16).  Yet Mark notes "there were many who followed" Jesus, including people who typically would not be identified as religious.  The appeal of Jesus has spread far beyond the synagogue to the "sinners" in the community who respond positively to His message.

Common Prayer for Sunday Jan 15:  Hospital and Hospice Chaplains

Revs. Karen Fleming, Mia Dyson, Devin Dickinson, Skye Murray, Deadra Ashton

( Rev. Ashton's name was incomplete in the first version of the COMMON PRAYER document on the PNNE website.  We regret the error.  Please retrieve the corrected version of the 2023 Common Prayer.  ~ ed )

A Prayer for Chaplains

Glorious God,
You call us to love and to serve, not only with words, but also in presence and actions.  Lord, you surround us completely in time, in space, and in spirit.  No matter where we go, you journey with us and use us to reveal your grace and mercy.  During this time of testing from the novel coronavirus, we pause to lift your beloved who serve as chaplains.

Whether they serve in health care, hospice, palliative care, prisons, with first responders, in commercial industry, or another institutional setting, guide and protect them and magnify your grace through them.

Through your chaplains open the eyes of those who fail to see your presence.

Through your chaplains encourage souls overcome with fear and worry.

Through your chaplains refresh those wearied from devotion to the works of healing, protecting, providing, and defending.

Through your chaplains assuage the anguish of death.

Through your chaplains give hope during joy and sorrow, chaos and calm, success and failure, rest and exhaustion.

Jehovah Jireh — provide your chaplains with endurance and protect them when they serve in heart wrenching, anxious, and dangerous places.  Give your chaplains wisdom to know when to be socially distant and when to be physically present, always connected to the precious soul you have placed in their path.

Lord, provide your chaplains with words of comfort and truth, whether they sit beside families of loved ones, staffs of institutions, or leaders of people.  May they effuse the peace that comes only from you.  Encourage your chaplains to embrace their significance as they help all people overcome during this national and global challenge.  Embolden chaplains to persevere in their essential calling.

Gracious God, we give thanks for your chaplains. Amen.


Montreat Schedule

The Manna Retreat - January 27-29, 2023

Fraught & Flummoxed - January 30-February 2, 2023

Discovering Renewal - April 10-13, 2023

Meister Eckhart as Guide for the Perplexed in Our Times - April 13-16, 2023

Arts, Recreation, and Worship Conference - May 8-13, 2023

Montreat Youth Conference - June 4-August 5, 2023

Worship & Music - Week 1 - June 18-23, 2023

Worship & Music - Week 2 - June 25-30, 2023

Montreat Middle School Conference - July 19-23, 2023

Women's Connection - August 11-13, 2023

Fall Craft Week - September 24-29, 2023

New Hampshire Council of Churches 2023 Prayer Circle

The 2023 prayer cycle is now live.  The New Hampshire Council of Churches invites you to join them in a weekly cycle of prayer for all of NHCC's member congregations across the year.  Everything else that we do is grounded in, and comes from prayer.  We are one in the Spirit.
Click to go to the NHCC 2023 Prayer Circle

PCUSA Unification Commission to join PMA and OGA

As instructed by the General Assembly, the commission must “provide governance for and have the authority to assume all governance functions” of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) “as the commission deems necessary.”  The commission will have to determine just what that means.  The commission must consult with OGA and PMA representatives and with other agencies, committees, staff and PC(USA) entities and their boards, including advocacy and advisory committees, as well as the denomination’s 16 synods and 166 presbyteries.

Click to read more

Session Checklist - From PCUSA Legal Services

PC(USA) General Counsel Mike Kirk has provided a helpful checklist of matters that sessions and mid councils should attend to every year — such as insurance coverage, training in policies designed to protect the vulnerable, and details related to the corporation.  When attending to #2 on the list concerning employee handbooks, these documents for sessions and mid councils may be helpful.
Click to access the checklist on PNNE website

Per Capita Sunday - January 22, 2023

On January 22nd, Presbyterians are invited to join together for Per Capita Sunday — a day for centering our worship on how we gather as a connectional church in service to God and one another.  Resources have been made available on the OGA Website to help you craft your service and begin conversations.  These resources include liturgy, suggested hymns, and video “Moments for Mission.”  An updated brochure on the basics of per capita can be found on the Per Capita Resources site or downloaded directly here.


Moderator Training Mondays, 7pm-9pm January 23, 30, & Feb 6.

Training for Moderators - for Pastors and Commissioned Ruling Elders (CRE) who want to sharpen their skills as a moderator; for Ruling Elders who want to consider becoming a CRE, who serves as a lay pastor; for formula of agreement pastors serving PNNE. 

Topics include:
  • duties of the session;
  • structuring session meetings;
  • the session's partnership with the congregation.
Instructor: the Rev. Dr. Allen D. Timm, PNNE retired pastor, member of COM and adjunct professor, Ecumenical Theological Seminary, Detroit.

Bedford (NH) PC Recovery Trip to Puerto Rico

The Bedford Presbyterian Church Recovery Team is heading to San Juan, Puerto Rico!  Join us March 18-25, to conduct ongoing disaster recovery work as a part of our 5-year commitment to Puerto Rico.  Anyone 18 years and older is welcome to participate.  Application to attend is due no later than January 27, 2023.  If you have any questions, feel free to contact George Reese at (603) 714-4317.
Click this button for more info and the BPC trip application form

Changes to the PNNE website

  • The MEETINGS page has been renamed to PNNE ASSEMBLIES to better reflect the content of the page.
  • The notice for the pastoral opening at Christ Church, Presbyterian, Burlington, VT, has been posted on the PASTORAL OPENINGS page.
  • Articles appearing in Connections will be added to the PNNE.ORG home page until the event has passed.
  • Gun Violence Prevention Took Kit has been moved to the RESOURCES page.
  • The 2023 Parliament of the World’s Religions has been added to the PNNE HOME page.

Presbyterians help forgive $13.3 million in medical debt across the Midwest

Nearly 15,000 people facing crippling medical debt received an early Christmas present thanks to congregations in the Synod of Mid-America and in neighboring states.

According to a news release from the synod, congregations in Kansas, Missouri and southwestern Illinois raised almost $58,000 as part of Project Jubilee during a coordinated effort to buy $13.3 million in medical debt held by low-income people in five states.  Churches and mid councils partnered with RIP Medical Debt, a national nonprofit that to date has eliminated nearly $7.4 billion in medical debt held by low-income individuals.

Click to read the full story on PCUSA - Presbyterian Mission
Connections would like to pass on your facts about your Medical Debt Forgiveness programs, or accounts of persons who have had their debt forgiven thru such programs.  Send to

~~~~~~~~ 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

PNNE Contact Information

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

PNNE Website
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