Lamplighter – Winter 2011
Welcome New Members!
Litchfield Presbyterian – A Community Church recently received four new members into our congregation. We are delighted to welcome Melissa Levesque, Tanya Levesque, Cheryl Wolczok and Jean Lister.
Melissa and Tanya are sisters and are friends of Chris and Jim Marsden. Melissa is a graduate student at UNH Manchester and lives in Bedford. Tanya lives in Manchester and is mom to 4-year-old Victoria and 13-month-old Kalub. Melissa and Tanya joined our church by re-affirmation of faith.
Many of you know Jean Lister. Jean is mother to deacon Joan Franklin and mother-in-law to ruling elder David Franklin. Jean has been worshipping with us for quite some time and is very involved in the life of our church. Jean joined by re-affirmation of faith.
Also joining by re-affirmation of faith is Cheryl Wolczok. Cheryl is a resident or Merrimack, NH and is a dialysis nurse. Cheryl and her sister Cindy have been worshipping with us for over a year now and are close friends of Phil and Elaine Durand.
We are so pleased to welcome these new members and we hope you will take a moment on a Sunday morning to seek them out and introduce yourself.
The Deacons thought that our congregation might be curious as to what it is we do as Deacons. Throughout the year the Deacons have made ourselves available to distribute food to those that were in need and Pastor Quinlan has been willing to maintain open food pantry hours during his office hours and has distributed food to community members in need. We have seen an increased use of the food pantry throughout the year and have averaged 23 families (served more than 1075 meals weekly). But our tasks do not begin and end with the food pantry and throughout the year we are making every effort to celebrate and comfort those congregation members and family and friends of those members who are celebrating, suffering or grieving through cards, letters, and visitations. The Deacons regularly reach out to the Board of Selectmen, Town Hall Staff, Police, Fire Dept., and School Staff to aid us in finding those community members who are in need but are not necessarily members of our congregation. Along with Pastor Quinlan, the Deacons reach out to all those area businesses that we can for contributions to help us do Gods work.
On August 13th we had our annual yard sale in which the church received a moderate turnout for the event but this event has traditionally been the Deacon’s main fundraiser.
The Deacons, on Oct 29th, prepared the church’s Harvest Supper (despite our first snow storm arriving). A total of 5 turkeys were cooked and brought to the church to go along with all the other food being prepared. An evening of good food, great people and lots of fun were enjoyed by 90 persons that attended.
On Nov.19th the Deacon’s prepared and distributed approx. 25 Thanksgiving baskets. In December we organize the angels hung on the angel tree in the church and then on Dec. 17th the Deacons will be preparing and distributing Christmas baskets and Angel tree gift bags to about 24 families and 27 children throughout the Litchfield community.
The Deacons would like to thank the members of our congregation for their support and assistance through the year and are happy to get any suggestions you may have to help us do more for them and our community.
Lessons and Carols
The idea of a quiet, reflective service weaving together readings from scripture with music of the Christmas season came about in the early part of the 20th century as worship leaders sought new ways to tell the ancient Christmas stories. The first service of lessons and carols to be offered in the United States was held in Harvard Yard in 1909.
Our service of Lessons and Carols follows a pattern planned for use at the Chapel at King’s College, in Cambridge England, for Christmas Eve in 1918. From that time on, the service has always begun with the hymn “Once in Royal David’s City.”
The service has been broadcast annually from the Kings College Chapel since 1931, even during the Second World War, when the ancient glass (and also all heat) had been removed from the Chapel.
Today millions of listeners worldwide tune in through radio broadcasts and internet streaming, making Lessons and Carols the most familiar of all services of Christian worship.
Once again this year, we invite you and your family and friends to join us in the historic Litchfield Presbyterian Church on Christmas Eve at 7:30 for our traditional Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols.
(Parts of this history were adapted from an article published by St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church in Dover, MA)
Christmas Sunday Worship
It’s fairly unusual that Christmas falls on a Sunday. You might be tempted to say “once every seven years,” but that is not exactly so. You have to take leap year into account in the calculation. In the 20th century, Christmas fell on a Sunday 14 times, but not on exact seven year intervals. In the 21st century, the last time was in 2005 and it won’t happen again until 2016 and then not until 2022.
In any case, this year Christmas falls on a Sunday, and barring an unforeseen blizzard, we’ll be gathering for worship as usual that Sunday morning. The worship service will abbreviated – basically just a hymn sing and a short Bible lesson. There will be no Sunday school and no coffee hour that day. We hope you will share in the celebration of the birth of Christ, by joining us in worship in Sunday, December 25, 2011.
Buildings and Grounds
Just a quick update on a couple of things around the ‘Ol Buildings and Grounds.
We have a bit of a problem in the library in the front of the sanctuary. It looks like there is, or was, a leak in the roof and the ceiling has buckled in a couple of places. We’re probably going to need to re-shingle that portion of the roof a will definitely have to replace the drywall in the ceiling.
This will also require a knowledge of electrical work that I don’t have. It’s going to be a job and we are looking for help. Professionals (roofers, electrical, etc.) or armature volunteers. We need to keep costs low, so keep that in mind. Any suggestions are always welcome.
Bob McGilvary is putting together a plan to renovate the bathrooms in the basement. He’s shown me his ideas and they’re awesome. It will be quite an upgrade. Thanks to Mr. Bob!
The good news is this will be our first full winter with our new furnace. Hopefully we will realize some savings in the oil bill with a more efficient unit.
In any event, just remember: if the wind blows too hard and knocks the whole place down, we’ll all meet at Couture’s house the following Sunday. Bring a covered dish.
Yours in Christianity for the Rest of Us,
Upcoming Event Calendar
Save the dates on your calendar for these upcoming events:
December 10: Second Saturday Breakfast: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
December 24: Lessons and Carols: 7:30 p.m.
January 14: Second Saturday Breakfast: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
January 22: Annual Congregational Meeting: 11 a.m. (immediately following worship)
February 11: Second Saturday Breakfast: 8 a.m. – 11 a.m.
Visit www.litchfieldchurch.org/calendar for updates.
December 11: Steve Quinlan
January 9: Alyssa Hilson
January 15: Jennifer Couture
January 20: James Dabrowski
January 25: Elaine Durand
January 27: Jan Hilson
January 31: Kyle Hilson
February 2: Matt McQuesten
February 2: Joe Tinkham
February 16: Christie McQuesten
February 18: Janine Danzi
February 20: Cindy Couture
February 28: Barb Edwards