Vol. 168/No. 3 Congregationalist.org SEPTEMBER 2016 Published by the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches Being a Pilgrim i n 2016 Lessons from Thanksgiving Congregating with Congregationalists Rethinking Near-Death c o n g r e g a t i o n a l i s t . o r g Experiences
Vol. 168 No. 3  Congregationalist.org  SEPTEMBER 2016  Published by the National Association of Congregational Christian C...
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A   I   M COMFORTABLE RETIREMENT AIS PASTOR, NOT SOMETHING AEVERYONE FINANCIAL PLANNER. SHOULD SINK INTO.  THANKFULLY, MY ...
S t r a n g e r s And P i l g r i m s . . . Queen Kaahumanu (1772-1832) T he great King Kamehameha I, who united the Hawaiian Islands into a single nation, had twentyone wives, but Kaahumanu was his favorite. She was between ten and thirteen years old when she married the king, but by the time he died in 1819, she had become an imposing figure, six feet tall and three hundred pounds. And when Kaahumanu became regent upon the king’s death, one of her first acts was to order the destruction of all idols, even though her people had worshiped these “gods” for two thousand years. She also allowed women to eat with their husbands, and she threw out the prohibition against women eating pork and bananas. After the young crown prince died, Kaahumanu became the first reigning queen of Hawaii. There was civil war in reaction to these radical changes, but it did not last long. Kaahumanu’s loyal warriors quickly crushed the rebellion. For a year, the Hawaiian people had no temples, no priests, and no gods. Providentially, the missionaries arrived in 1820, and Kaahumanu was instantly attracted to Christianity. She established churches and schools, and she fought against adultery and prostitution. When she wanted to be baptized, however, Hiram Bingham refused because, he said, she was “not yet born from above with the power of the Spirit of God.”200 In late 1824, Kaahumanu became seriously ill. Mrs. Bingham cared for her devotedly until she recovered. The experience changed Kaahumanu’s heart. The Binghams were now able to write in their diaries, “She was humble in Jesus.” Finally, on December 4, 1825, the queen was baptized, taking on a new name, Elizabeth. After her baptism, Elizabeth Kaahumanu said, “Teach me to read.” It took her only a few days to learn to read. When she had read the Bible, she announced, “The law of Jehovah is the law of the land.” New laws were based on the Ten Commandments. A legal system was established, and in the first jury trial Kaahumanu herself was the judge. Infanticide was made illegal. Education was mandatory: the queen declared, “When the missionaries open schools, everyone must learn to read.”201 In those early years of Hawaiian Christianity, only Congregational churches were allowed. When Catholic missionaries arrived, they were driven out of the islands. She was wise in the way of politics, and she recognized that many of the Westerners who had come to the islands had another agenda. Not only did they want to bring Christianity to the natives, but many of them also wanted to gain power over them. She insisted on Hawaii’s sovereignty, and she thwarted what she saw as the efforts of the white people to take over the Hawaiian kingdom.203 200 Fullard-Leo, “The Woman Who Changed a Kingdom,” Coffee Times, June 1998 «www.coffeetimes.com/july98.htm» (accessed 29 Apr 2012). 201 Roddy, “Hawaii’s Most Amazing Queen,” The Congregationalist, January 1966, in Larson. 203 Fullard-Leo, “Woman Who Changed.” 3
S t r a n g e r s And P i l g r i m s . . .  Queen Kaahumanu  1772-1832   T  he great King Kamehameha I, who united the Ha...
Vol. 168/No. 3 Congregationalist.org SEPTEMBER 2016 FEATURES 8 Psalterium Americanum: 11 Cotton Mather and the Psalter in Puritan America by Joel Boyd Thank You To Our 2015 Supporters 18 Assessing Thanksgiving through the Lens of Anachronism by Scott Couper 21 Our Pilgrimage Continues 26 A Pilgrim People Yet Today by William C. Lange Barry W. Szymanski 29 Working With the Reality of Near- Death Experiences 4 by Rev. Lee Witting
Vol. 168 No. 3  Congregationalist.org  SEPTEMBER 2016  FEATURES         8  Psalterium Americanum   11     Cotton Mather an...
Ed i t o r i a l S t a t e m e n t All content in The Congregationalist appears by the authority of the editor. We reserve freedom of expression to our authors and freedom of opinion to our readers. Except for service information clearly sponsored by the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches or its component parts, content does not necessarily reflect policies and opinions of the National Association. Neither The Congregationalist nor the National Association has a creed or holds positions on social or theological issues; but we recognize the authority of each local church to do so for itself, if and as it wishes, and we encourage thoughtful and respectful discussion of our agreements and differences. D e pa r tm e nt s 3 Vol. 168/No. 3 SEPTEMBER 2016 STRANGERS AND PILGRIMS… Queen Kaahumanu (1772-1832) 6 OUR VOYAGE TOGETHER Together With The Family 32 ALONG THE WAY 34 NECROLOGY 36 NEWS AND NEEDS 39 CALENDAR For Letters to the Editor and More, visit The Congregationalist Facebook page. Barry W. Szymanski 38 PASTORATES AND PULPITS ON THE COVER: Derek Martin, Burnsville, MN, at First Congregational Church in Detroit. 5
Ed i t o r i a l S t a t e m e n t All content in The Congregationalist appears by the authority of the editor. We reserve...
OUR V O Y AGE TOGETHER Together with the Family T by Michael Chittum he Nobel Peace Prize recipient from Burma, Aung San Suu Kyi, is quoted as saying, “One wants to be together with one’s family. That’s what families are about.” We experienced family at the 2016 Annual Meeting. We shared stories together. We laughed together. We showed love to one another, especially those who were facing problems and crises. We worshipped together. Some of us even “strutted our stuff” to the sounds of Motown and more following the closing dinner. If you were not there, here is a very partial list of some of the things you missed: We welcomed eight churches into our NACCC family: SHANDON CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, SHANDON, OH; CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF CANTON, CANTON, MA; UNION CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF OAKVILLE, OAKVILLE, CT; CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF MENIFEE, MENIFEE, CA; FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF STANTON, STANTON, MI; NEW PILGRIM FELLOWSHIP, RIO VISTA, CA; ENTERPRISE COMMUNITY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, ENTERPRISE, OR; and CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH OF KINSLEY, KINSLEY, KS. Please pray for these congregations and reach out to them, especially if you are near one of them. We welcomed back two churches into member church status: GRIDLEY CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, BELOIT, WI and SECOND CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, ASHTABULA, OH. Please pray for these and reach out to them, too. We recognized two CFTS graduates: Emily Miller-Todd and Kathy Farnum. We were inspired and challenged by the Congregational Lecture presented by the Reverend William C. Lange. We delighted in hearing the stories of and meeting many of our NACCC missionaries. We were inspired and challenged by the Bible Lecture presented by the Reverend Dr. Stephen Butler Murray. We shared Tuesday dinner with the young women and men of our HOPE group. We heard from women from WISDOM (Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit) and learned about a wonderful approach to building interfaith relationships. We approved, unanimously, the revised NACCC Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws to complete the process to become a single entity organization. Make plans NOW to be part of the 2017 NACCC Annual Meeting to be held on the campus of Piedmont College, Demorest, Georgia from June 24-27. The PF and HOPE groups will be on campus with us. It will be a grand time for another family get together. Grace and Peace, Michael Michael Chittum Executive Director 6
OUR V O Y AGE TOGETHER  Together with the Family  T  by Michael Chittum  he Nobel Peace Prize recipient from Burma, Aung S...
Table Mountain Robben Island Stellenbosch University SAVE THE DATES Thurs., July 6--Tues. July 11, 2017 International Congregational Fellowship - ICF CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA COST: $48/person/day includes lodging & meals Many people from many lands and many cultures Called to Freedom Through one Lord, Jesus Christ Freedom in Worship Freedom of Mind Freedom to Serve Join us on Facebook International Congregational Fellowship Can’t attend the meeting but are blessed with means to help others go? Checks can be written to AMCO, earmarked, “ICF South Africa.” Mail to Sue LeFeber, Treasurer, 3011 W. Woodland Court, Mequon, WI 53092
Table Mountain  Robben Island  Stellenbosch University  SAVE THE DATES  Thurs., July 6--Tues. July 11, 2017 International ...
????????????????????????????????????????????????????? A champion of musical literacy ?????????????????????????????????????????????????? Cotton Mather and the Psalter in Puritan America By Joel Boyd Wikimedia Psalterium Americanum: Cotton Mather, by Peter Pelham, artist. D espite having not walked the earth for nearly three centuries, Cotton Mather (1663-1728) still cuts an imposing figure in the 21st Century American religious landscape. Long slandered for having contributed to the hysteria of the Salem Witch Trials, Mather has largely been acquitted among Puritan history scholars of having played the demonic role perpetuated by his detractors. In his book, The First American Evangelical (2015), Dr. Rick Kennedy makes the case for Mather as a brilliant leader, pastor, and scholar, as well as, perhaps, the first evangelical in the New World. Cotton Mather’s Psalterium Americanum (1718) comprises his own translation of the complete psalter with companion biblical commentary. At 464 pages, the Psalterium Americanum is a significant contribution to the psalter genre by one of America’s most influential religious leaders. What is so perplexing is why the Psalterium has been, in large part, neglected since its first publication. The Psalterium is not currently available in a commercial print edition. In research, two original editions of Mather’s psalter were consulted at The Congregational Library in Boston, Massachusetts. After only a few moments of studying the Psalterium, it becomes clear that one is experiencing the work of a giant in American religious history. Full of biblical quotations, critical commentary that engages the scholarship of its day, and faithful, non-rhymed, original translations of the Psalms from the Hebrew, Mather’s psalter is a sight to behold. This article has been adapted from “The Neglect of Cotton Mather’s Psalterium Americanum,” a paper written in fulfillment of the N.A.C.C.C. Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies (C.F.T.S.) Boston Seminar in 2015. 8
                                                      A champion of musical literacy                                      ...
This all makes one wonder why the work has been neglected for so long. Why has it not been reprinted since the 18th Century? Why is it nearly absent from mention in the history of psalmody and hymnody in early America? Does any of this indicate that it was an unsuccessful endeavor in its own time? Indeed, one wonders how it is possible for a work by one of America’s most prominent Puritan forebears to be so unknown, forgotten even. The religious songs of the church in Rome were the first to arrive on the shores of the New World: “Catholic service books were published in Mexico as early as 1556.”1 While Catholicism brought Gregorian chant, the Reformation brought “a repertory of songs suited to congregational singing” with song texts in the vernacular.2 Although Martin Luther provided musical settings for psalms, non-biblical songs and hymns, it was John Calvin who most inspired the rise of metrical psalmody throughout Europe, and eventually the New World. Calvin saw psalm singing as a way to “arouse one’s ardor for God.”3 At the turn of the 17th Century, the hymnody of Isaac Watts was “eclipsing metrical psalmody as the dominant mode of singing in Puritan worship in America.”4 One of the reasons for the rise of hymnody in Puritan New England was the difficulty encountered in attempting to “line out” verses in metrical psalmody. Before congregational singing took firm root, psalms were intoned by rote in worship, with frequent incorrect notes leading to confusion and cacophony in the congregational response. It is also noted that “throughout the history of metrical psalmody’s impact on Puritan New England, there exists that conflict in desire between faithful text and melodious verse.”5 Mather was no newcomer to work on the psalter, and he acknowledged both the importance of a translation which was faithful to Hebrew Scripture as well as the need for greater accuracy in congregational singing. Cotton Mather associated himself with those in favor of reading music in worship. Despite this, Mather’s work towards increasing musical literacy in America appears to be almost as unknown as his Psalterium Americanum, photo Joel Boyd. Psalterium. Mather was not only a passionate preacher, public health advocate (he was instrumental in the administering of the Small Pox vaccine to the public), and biblical scholar, but he was also a poet, a composer of hymns, and an advocate for the important role of music in worship. In A Dictionary of Hymnology, Vol II. (1892), Mather’s Psalterium is listed under the heading “Curious Examples.” The authors of this dictionary state how “experiments are very eccentric […] The strangest is Psalterium Americanum by Cotton Mather, printed like prose, but in reality simply the Authorized Version thrown into unrhymed C.M. for singing.”6 Dictionaries are typically thought of as being objective, and yet this 1. Albert Christ-Janer, Charles W. Hughes, and Carleton Sprague Smith, American Hymns Old and New (New York: Columbia University Press, 1980), 4. 2. Ibid. 3. Charles A. Packer, A Matter of Divine Necessity: the History, Use, and Meaning of the Psalter in Early Puritan New England (Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies Papers, 1999), 2. 4. Packer, ibid, 1. 5. Charles A. Packer, A Matter of Divine Necessity: the History, Use, and Meaning of the Psalter in Early Puritan New England (Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies Papers, 1999), 13. 6. John Julian, John, editor, A Dictionary of Hymnology, Volume II: P to Z (New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1957), 916. 9
This all makes one wonder why the work has been neglected for so long. Why has it not been reprinted since the 18th Centur...
entry seems to have no small amount of editorial bias against Mather and/or his work. We know that Cotton Mather was passed over for the presidency of Harvard College, a post which his father Increase Mather previously held. Following college President John idiosyncrasies prove him to be of a character such that the people of his own time found it challenging to accept the whole man of Cotton Mather? To what degree have continually published and reprinted slanderous remarks contributed to Mather’s long- After only a few moments of studying the Psalterium, it becomes clear that one is experiencing the work of a giant in American religious history. Leverett’s death in 1724, Harvard continued on the path set by Leverett, who opposed the efforts of the Mathers, father and son. Scholarship now shows that Mather was not responsible for the results of the Salem Witch Trials in the way the public recalls. Surprisingly, Mather actually wrote in support of leniency for the accused. It is also true that Mather and his first wife Abigail took in those considered suffering from the vexation of witches, both in an earlier occurrence in Boston, as well as during the time leading up to the Salem Witch Trials. Nevertheless, the period of history immediately following Mather’s time did not look kindly upon him, his work, or his theology. Perhaps this was due to the rising conflict between advocates for a more progressive theology and those who would still maintain an orthodox theology, the latter of whom numbered Cotton Mather and his father Increase. The changes in leadership at Harvard College seem to indicate that Mather was living at the dawn of a new era in New England’s development of its theology. Could Mather have rubbed some influential leaders the wrong way, in effect, paving the way for his future damaged reputation? Might his insistence on a more theologically orthodox view of Scripture have placed him out of step with the popular tide of an increasingly prevalent progressive theology in New England? Did his eccentricities and, at times, flamboyant 10 compromised reputation among the wider American public both today and in the three centuries following his death? Or, perhaps, did Mather simply write his Psalterium at a poorly placed time in history, when the hymnody of Isaac Watts flourished, and the Psalterium did not, despite the reported support of Mather’s work by such prominent Puritan leaders as John Winthrop, among others? The story of Mather’s Psalterium is a foray into the world of Puritan politics, battles over aesthetics and the proper form of worship music, the crucial role of the biblical translator, and the dramatic stage of professional publishing and theological tension in Puritan New England. One can only wonder how many other works have suffered similar fates due to bias, slander, neglect and a short collective memory. Joel K. Boyd is serving his seminary internship as the Licensed Interim Minister at St. Jacobi Congregational Church in Richfield (Wisconsin). A C.F.T.S. Fellow, Joel is an in-care status seminarian and member of the First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa (Wisconsin), and an M. Div. student at Western Theological Seminary (Holland, Michigan). Joel is a classical music composer and editor, and he lives in Milwaukee with his wife Heidi and their three children. joelkennethboyd@gmail.com.
entry seems to have no small amount of editorial bias against Mather and or his work. We know that Cotton Mather was passe...
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Bruce   Lavone Chestnut  Ann Hutchings  Jo Parker  Joseph   Judy Clarke  Phil   Michelle Jackson  Joseph Parshall  Bruce C...
to Our Fair Share Churches T he National Association of Congregational Christian Churches wishes to thank all the congregations who gave to our Shared Ministry Fund in Fiscal Year 20152016 (April 1, 2015-March 31, 2016). The following churches contribute to the Congregational Way beyond the local church through their gift. We especially thank Fair Share and Fair Share Plus churches. Every attempt has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of this list. If your church has been omitted, please contact Morgan O’Hara at 800-262-1620 ext. 1615. Fair Share Plus Churches $15 and above per member City/State * denotes churches giving at sponsorship level of $18 a member or higher Church Sponsor Anchorage, AK Freedom Congregational Home Church Church Sponsor Burlington, IA First Congregational Church of Burlington Marbury, AL Union Congregational Christian Greenville, IA Grace Congregational Church Of Greenville Church of Marbury Spencer, IA First Congregational Church of Spencer Del Rey Oaks, CA Church Of The Oaks La Mesa, CA Central Congregational Church of La Mesa * Beardstown, IL First Congregational Church of Beardstown Lemon Grove, CA Lemon Grove Community Church Maywood, IL First Congregational Church of Maywood Los Angeles, CA * Thomson, IL York Community Congregational Church * San Diego, CA First Samoan Church of San Diego Toulon, IL First Congregational Church of Toulon * San Diego, CA Plymouth Congregational Church North Manchester, IN Congregational Christian Church of San Diego Congregational Church Of The Messiah of N Manchester Twentynine Palms, CA Desert Congregational Church Reelsville, IN Croy's Creek Church Colebrook, CT South Bend, IN Community Congregational Church of South Bend * Colebrook Congregational Church Derby, CT Second Congregational Church of Derby * Harwinton, CT Founders Congregational Church * Terre Haute, IN First Congregational Church of Terre Haute Norwich, CT United Congregational Church * Hutchinson, KS First Congregational Church of Hutchinson Uncasville, CT * Wichita, KS Plymouth Congregational Church of Wichita Cape Coral, FL First Congregational Church of Cape Coral Becket, MA Becket Federated Church Naples, FL First Congregational Church Of Naples Goshen, MA Goshen Congregational Church Atlanta, GA Center Congregational Church of Atlanta Rochester, MA First Congregational Church of Rochester MA Demorest, GA The Methodist-Congregational Mohegan Congregational Church * Machiasport, ME First Congregational Church of Machiasport Dewy Rose, GA Liberty Congregational Church * Marshfield, ME Allison Congregational Church * Little Deer Isle ME Saunders Memorial Congregational Church Federated Church Allison, IA 14 * City/State * Marshfield Congregational Church Searsport, ME First Congregational Church of Searsport *
to Our Fair Share Churches  T  he National Association of Congregational Christian Churches wishes to thank all the congre...
City/State Church Sponsor City/State Church Sponsor South Paris, ME First Congregational Church of South Paris Ventnor, NJ Ventnor City Community Church * Standish, ME Sebago Lake Congregational Church Brooklyn, NY Hyde Park Christian Church * Breckenridge, MI First Congregational Church Of Breckenridge * Farmington Hills, MI North Congregational Church * East Bloomfield, NY First Congregational Church of East Bloomfield Staten Island, NY Oakwood Heights Community Church Grand Junction MI First Congregational Church of Grand Junction Berea, OH Heritage Congregational Church of Berea Hudson, MI First Congregational Church of Hudson Bowling Green, OH Agape Church of Prayer Laingsburg, MI First Congregational Church of Laingsburg Lansing, MI * Mackinac Island, MI Little Stone Church Bowling Green, OH Plain Congregational Church Mansfield, OH Plymouth Congregational Church of Lansing * * * Little Washington Congregational Church * East Smithfield, PA Federated Church Stanton, MI Traditional Congregational Church McKeesport, PA Evangelical Congregational Church * Clayton, NC Amelia Christian Church Crossville, TN First Congregational Church of Crossville * Ashby, NE Ashby Congregational Church Salt Lake City, UT First Congregational Church of Salt Lake City Ashland, NE First Congregational Church of Ashland Winchester, VA Congregational Christian Fellowship Church * Brunswick, NE North Pownal, VT North Pownal Congregational Church * Beloit, WI First Congregational Church of Beloit * Brunswick Congregational Church Hemingford, NE Hemingford Congregational Church Hyannis, NE Hyannis Congregational Church Campton, NH * Grafton, WI Ozaukee Congregational Church Campton Congregational Church Kingston, NH First Congregational Church of Kingston $ City/State Franklin, WI Faith Community Church * Wauwatosa, WI First Congregational Church of Wauwatosa 13 to $14.99 per member Church Sponsor City/State Church Sponsor Anchorage, AK First Congregational Church of Anchorage Gorham, ME West Gorham Union Church Sun City, AZ Jonesport, ME Sawyer Memorial Congregational Church Congregational Church Of Sun City National City, CA First Family Community Church Lubec, ME Lubec Congregational Christian Church Redlands, CA First Congregational Church of Redlands Millinocket, ME First Congregational Church of Millinocket Salida, CA First Congregational Church Of Salida Warren, ME Second Congregational Church of Warren Sherman Oaks, CA Congregational Church Of The Chimes Bloomfield Hills, MI Pilgrim Congregational Church of Bloomfield Hills Norwich, CT Greeneville Congregational Church Fruitport, MI First Congregational Church Of Fruitport Bonita Springs, FL Lighthouse Fellowship Chapel Grand Rapids, MI Fort Myers, FL Morenci, MI First Congregational Church of Morenci Thomas Edison Congregational Church Trinity Congregational Church of Grand Rapids Meadowbrook Congregational Church Sanford, FL Grace Fellowship Congregational Church Novi, MI Summerfield, FL The Congregational Church Of The Villages Olivet, MI Olivet Congregational Church Berwick, IA Berwick Congregational Church Roscommon, MI First Congregational Church of Roscommon Clear Lake, IA First Congregational Church of Clear Lake Saugatuck, MI First Congregational Church of Saugatuck Marshalltown, IA La Moille Congregational Community Church Three Oaks, MI First Congregational Church of Three Oaks Peterson, IA First Congregational Church of Peterson Vermontville, MI First Congregational Church of Vermontville Galesburg, IL Central Congregational Church Remer, MN Remer Congregational Church Tinley Park, IL Tinley Park Community Church Iberia, MO Congregational Church of Iberia Becket, MA First Congregational Church of Becket Bound Brook, NJ Congregational Church Of Bound Brook Braintree, MA South Congregational Church of Braintree Brooklyn, NY Cadman Memorial Congregational Church Marshfield, MA Brooklyn, NY Plymouth Church of Brooklyn First Congregational Church Of Marshfield Petersham, MA Orthodox Congregational Church Crown Point, NY First Congregational Church of Crown Point Plympton, MA Silver Lake Chapel Little Valle, NY First Congregational Church Of Little Valley Wollaston, MA Union Congregational Church of Wollaston Columbiana, OH Grace Church of Columbiana Yarmouth Port, MA First Congregational Church Of Yarmouth Gomer, OH Gomer Congregational Church Frostburg, MD First Congregational Church of Frostburg Mansfield, OH Mayflower Congregational Church of Mansfield Biddeford, ME Second Congregational Church of Biddeford Pomeroy, OH Trinity Church Of Pomeroy Dixfield, ME Glenolden, PA Glenolden Congregational Church Dixfield Congregational Church East Machias, ME First Congregational Church of East Machias West Warwick, RI Riverpoint Congregational Church 15
City State   Church     Sponsor  City State   Church     Sponsor  South Paris, ME First Congregational Church of South Par...
$ City/State 13 to $14.99 per member Church Sponsor Bennington, VT First Congregational Church of Bennington City/State Church Sponsor Madison, WI Heritage Congregational Christian Church of Madison Snohomish, WA First Congregational Church of Maltby Racine, WI Plymouth Congregational Church of Racine Dalton, WI First Congregational Church of Dalton Richfield, WI St Jacobi Congregational Church Hartland, WI Lake Country Congregational Church Ceredo, WV First Congregational Church Of Ceredo Kewaunee, WI Community Congregational Church of Kewaunee $ City/State Church Sponsor Berkeley, CA Grace North Church El Dorado, CA El Dorado Community Church Laguna Hills, CA Mayflower Congregational Church Paradise, CA Craig Memorial Congregational Church Porterville, CA First Congregational Church Of Porterville Rio Vista, CA First Congregational Church of Rio Vista Soquel, CA Congregational Church Of Soquel Lyons, CO Old Stone Congregational Church Middletown, CT Third Congregational Church Pleasant Valley, CT First Congregational Church of Barkhamsted Stafford Springs, CT Stafford Springs Congregational Church Marco Island, FL United Church Of Marco Island Mount Dora, FL Congregational Church of Mount Dora Pomona Park, FL Pilgrim Congregational Church Of Pomona Park Elkader, IA First Congregational Church of Elkader Marshalltown, IA First Congregational Church of Marshalltown Mt Pleasant, IA First Congregational Church of Mt Pleasant Port Byron, IL Big Piney, WY Community Congregational Church of Big Piney 6.50 to $12.99 per member Anaheim, CA First Congregational Church of Anaheim Port Byron Congregational Church Princeton, IL Hampshire Colony Congl Church City/State Church Detroit, MI First Congregational Church Of Detroit Jackson, MI Arbor Grove Congregational Church Lachine, MI Long Rapids First Congregational Church Lake Odessa, MI First Congregational Church of Lake Odessa Lansing, MI Mayflower Congregational Church of Lansing Muskegon, MI McGraft Memorial Congregational Church Onondaga, MI Onondaga Community Church Pittsford, MI First Congregational Church Of Pittsford Royal Oak, MI First Congregational Church of Royal Oak St Johns, MI First Congregational Church of St Johns Suttons Bay, MI Suttons Bay Congregational Church Wayne, MI First Congregational Church of Wayne West Bloomfield, MI Pine Hill Congregational Church Bayport, MN People's Congregational Church Burnsville, MN SouthCross Community Church Duluth, MN Duluth Congregational Church Waseca, MN First Congregational Church of Waseca McCook, NE First Congregational Church of McCook Barnstead, NH Barnstead Parade Congregational Concord, NH Immanuel Community Church Pittsfield, NH Roscoe, IL First Congregational Community Church Brooklyn, NY Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Maple Hill, KS Lockport, NY Maple Hill Comm Congregational Church East Freetown, MA East Freetown Congregational Christian Church Greenfield, MA Robbins Memorial Congregational Church Sponsor Central Lake, MI First Congregational Church of Central Lake Quincy, IL First Union Congregational Church of Quincy Wichita, KS University Congregational Church 16 CONTINUED First Congregational Church of Pittsfield Cambria Congregational Church Saugerties, NY First Congregational Church of Saugerties Newton Falls, OH First Congregational Church of Newton Falls Springfield, OH Lawrenceville Community Church Holbrook, MA Winthrop Congregational Church Toledo, OH Pilgrim Church of Toledo Longmeadow, MA Longmeadow Congregational Church Milton-Freewater, OR Ingle Chapel Congregational Church Oakham, MA Oakham Congregational Church Pittsburgh, PA First Congregational Church Of Etna Squantum, MA First Church Of Squantum East Hardwick, VT First Congregational Church Of East Hardwick Williamstown, MA White Oaks Congregational Church Tacoma, WA First Congregational Church of Tacoma North Anson, ME First Congregational Church of North Anson Adams, WI Orrington, ME East Orrington Congregational Church Fox Point, WI North Shore Congregational Church Portland, ME Kenosha, WI Plymouth Congregational Church of Kenosha North Deering Congregational Church Trinity Congregational Church of Adams Warren, ME Pilgrim Community Church Of Camden Mukwonago, WI First Congregational Church of Mukwonago Britton, MI Britton Congregational Christian Church Rochester, WI First Congregational Church of Rochester WI
   City State   13 to  14.99 per member  Church     Sponsor  Bennington, VT First Congregational Church of Bennington  Cit...
Up to $6.49 per member City/State Church Sponsor City/State Church Chandler, AZ Congregational Church Of The Valley Rockland, ME Rockland Congregational Church Apple Valley, CA Community Church At Jess Ranch Skowhegan, ME Skowhegan Federated Church Los Angeles, CA First Congregational Church of Los Angeles Pomona, CA Pilgrim Congregational Church of Pomona Sponsor Allegan, MI First Congregational Church of Allegan Ann Arbor, MI First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor South Pasadena, CA Oneonta Congregational Church Clarkston, MI First Congregational Church of Clarkston Bozrah, CT Durand, MI First Congregational Church of Durand Bozrah Centre Congregational Church Colchester, CT Westchester Congregational Church Eaton Rapids, MI First Congregational Church of Eaton Rapids Farmington, CT Grace Congregational Church of Farmington Frankfort, MI First Congregational Church of Frankfort Hanover, CT Hanover Congregational Church Grand Rapid, MI Wallin Congregational Church Hartford, CT South Congregational Church of Hartford Greenville, MI First Congregational Church of Greenville Jewett City, CT Second Congregational Church of Jewett City Horton, MI Horton Congregational Church North Haven, CT Christ First Community Of Faith of North Haven Jackson, MI Sandstone Congregational Church Preston, CT Preston City Congregational Church Livonia, MI Mount Hope Congregational Church Stonington, CT First Congregational (Road) Church Merrill, MI Merrill Congregational Christian Church of Stonington Rapid River, MI Rapid River Congregational Church Stony Creek, CT Somerset Ctr, MI Somerset Congregational Church Church Of Christ Congregational Thomaston, CT Eagle Rock Church Tipton, MI Tipton Community Congregational Church Citrus Springs, FL Community Cong'l Christian Church Watervliet, MI Plymouth Congregational Church of Watervliet of Citrus Springs Edina, MN Colonial Church Of Edina Jupiter, FL Jupiter First Church Minneapolis, MN Plymouth Congregational Church Stuart, FL Stuart Congregational Church of Minneapolis Garber, IA St John's Congregational Church New Richland, MN First Congregational Church of New Richland Nashua, IA The Little Brown Church In The Vale Tilton, NH Atkinson, IL Atkinson Congregational Church Little Egg Harbor, NJ Southern Ocean Congregational Church Northfield-Tilton Congregational Church Galesburg, IL Beacon Congregational Church Newton, NJ Baleville Congregational Christian Church Warrenville, IL Big Woods Congregational Church Warren, NJ Pilgrim Congregational Church of Warren Emporia, KS First Congregational Church of Emporia Akron, OH First Congregational Church of Akron Sedgwick, KS Gahanna, OH Gahanna Community Congregational Church Plymouth Congregational Church of Sedgwick Fall River, MA First Congregational Church of Fall River Gallipolis, OH Little Kyger Cong Christian Church Florence, MA Florence Congregational Church La Fayette, OH Congregational Christian Church of LaFayette Hanson, MA First Congregational Church of Hanson Mansfield, OH First Congregational Church of Mansfield Nantucket, MA First Congregational Church of Nantucket Sullivan, OH First Congregational Church of Sullivan New Bedford, MA First Congregational Church of New Bedford Toledo, OH Mayfair-Plymouth Congrl Christian Church Quincy, MA Christ Evangelical Congregational Church Corry, PA West Spring Creek Congregational Church Richmond, MA Berkshire Community Church Pittsburgh, PA South Hills Congregational Church South Egremont, MA First Congregational Church of South Egremont Peacham, VT Taunton, MA Warden, WA Warden Community Church Pilgrim Congregational Church of Taunton Peacham Congregational Church Williamsburg, MA First Congregational Church Of Williamsburg Beloit, WI United Church of Beloit Windsor, MA Windsor Congregational Church Green Bay, WI Pilgrim Congregational Church of Green Bay Carmel, ME Lancaster, WI Bethlehem Evangelical & Reformed Church Carmel Union Congregational Church Denmark, ME Denmark Congregational Church Lancaster, WI Lancaster Congregational Church Dennysville, ME Dennysville-Edmunds Cong Church Lone Rock, WI Community Congregational Church East Baldwin, ME First Congregational Church of East Baldwin of Lone Rock Harpswell, ME Elijah Kellogg Congregational Church Pewaukee, WI Fox River Congregational Church 17
Up to  6.49 per member City State  Church        Sponsor  City State   Church     Chandler, AZ   Congregational Church Of ...
Understanding Our History By Scott Couper Assessing Thanksgiving through the Lens of Anachronism L egend has it that in the classic 1964 movie Zulu starring Michael Caine in his first major role, there is a battle scene wherein one of the Zulu warriors fighting the British in the 1879 Anglo-Zulu War is wearing a wristwatch! Likewise, I have come across seemingly vintage American Civil War images, complete with smoky battlefield scenes, wherein, if one looks very closely, there is, by the treeline in the background, a Ford pick-up truck with a porta-potty in the bed! These are just two amusing examples of what is referred to in the discipline of history as “anachronism.’ An anachronism is, very simply, ‘something misplaced in time.’ But it need not be a physical object such as a wristwatch or a pick-up truck out of context. Nor need the term be confined to things historical. Anachronism is also a concept that needs to be relevantly applied ethically and theologically. For example, it is anachronistic and thus historically inaccurate to say that slavery, up until Britain and other countries incrementally abolished it (before and after the 1834 Slavery Abolition Act), was ‘immoral,’ as slavery existed globally since the beginning of human civilization. Few before the nineteenth 18
Understanding Our History  By Scott Couper  Assessing Thanksgiving through the Lens of Anachronism  L  egend has it that i...
century would consider slavery to have been morally or ethically wrong. Of course, today we rightfully advocate slavery is morally and ethically wrong. Yet, to judge our progenitors for practicing slavery presents complications, because the majority did not know what we know – they did not think as we think. Before the nineteenth century concepts, the rights of humans brought by Enlightenment philosophers did not exist. Anachronism explains, for example, why neither the Hebrew nor the Christian scriptures condemn institutional slavery. Another example: it is anachronistic and thus historically inaccurate to say that physically disciplining children and having them employed to supplement the family’s income before Britain and other countries incrementally abolished it (before and after the 1838 Factory Act), were ‘immoral’ as these practices existed globally since the beginning of human civilisation. Few before the nineteenth century would consider corporal punishment of children and the use of their labour to be morally or ethically wrong. Of course, today we rightfully advocate that children should not be disciplined with force nor should they work in textile factories. But, to judge our predecessors for using force to discipline children or having children work in the fields is ‘unfair’ also, because they did not know what we know – they did not think as we think. Contemporary values attached to childhood and even the concept of children’s rights had not yet been discerned by most, if any, societies. Anachronism explains, for example, why the Bible advocates using the ‘rod’ to discipline children. cooperation (perhaps even across theological and racial divides) – all of which should be highlighted and celebrated. Indeed, there is much to celebrate. On the other hand, even the most rudimentary exposure to more accurate revisionist historiography reveals that there is much to lament concerning the settlement of Puritans in the Americas during the seventeenth century. The common Thanksgiving narrative silences regrettable truths concerning our ecclesiastic and The Thanksgiving holiday season is one of great historical and theological juxtaposition. On one hand, the events of the 1621 harvest meal celebrate the pioneering and faith-based events of our ecclesiastic ancestors. The Pilgrims’ three-day festive feast with local Native Americans, otherwise known as ‘Thanksgiving,’ conveys many lessons about appreciation, reflection, struggle, perseverance, friendship, faithfulness and May I propose the concept of ‘anachronism’ to assist us in struggling with our past as reformed Protestant Congregationalists whose faith ancestors were the very Pilgrims whose feast we re-enact each year? For if we claim from our faith ancestors that which is worthy to celebrate, we are obligated to also claim (or ‘own’) that which is lamentable, so as to not be like the hypocrites Jesus derides. I believe the concept of anachronism assists How do we celebrate that which was good and lament that which was tragedy? national history, for example truths about invasion, theft, disease, genocide, betrayal, war, theocracy and bigotry. Indeed, there is much to lament. So, the juxtaposition for us as people of faith this Thanksgiving is this: How do we celebrate that which was good and lament that which was tragedy? How do we, in one holiday, hold ‘fellowship and cooperation’ in one hand and ‘invasion and genocide’ in another? As people of faith, dialectic is nothing new. Our tradition constantly has tried to balance contrasting opposites, e.g. God’s wrath (God’s justice through which we merit death) and God’s love (God’s grace through which we inherit eternal life). 19
century would consider slavery to have been morally or ethically wrong. Of course, today we rightfully advocate slavery is...
us greatly is discerning our interpretation of the past so that we are able to walk confidently forward in faith. The core dilemma with which we are confronted this Thanksgiving is an acknowledgment of that which is positive and that which is negative (historically and currently). We can either celebrate or judge our Puritan ancestors. We can either emulate or condemn our Puritan ancestors. However, I propose that the choice is not ‘either/or’ but rather ‘both/and’. With the concept of anachronism in hand, we can acknowledge the positive aspects of our faith ancestors’ history without censoring the calamity incurred by native Americans when Europeans arrived, and we can weep for the genocide of the native Americans without unfairly judging and condemning our ancestors in faith. Our Puritan ancestors in faith, whose history we recognise on Thanksgiving, present us with a quandary. How do we honour and respect those who are worthy of emulation without glorifying and sanitising them? How do we lament that which is worthy of lament without unfairly demonising and condemning our forbearers? The concept of anachronism allows us to acknowledge the positive and negative without engaging in hagiography and without unfairly judging. Yes, genocide is wrong! Undoubtedly. But our ancestors in faith had not the religious, spiritual, philosophical, anthropological, historical, cultural tools that we have in our ‘box’ today. It is almost impossible to comprehend the degree to which we know they did not. In fact, in 1621 there were few if any intellectual disciplines such as theology, philosophy, history and anthropology to help them make sense of the world as we today make sense of the modern (or, post-modern) world. We live in different worlds. Does anachronism justify or excuse the genocide (cultural, spiritual and racial) that ensued after the Pilgrim landings as a direct or indirect result of their 20 bigotry? No! Does it explain it? Yes, to some extent. And it must be explained. For an accurate interpretation of our present requires an accurate interpretation of our past. When white members of Oregon’s militia arrogantly and ignorantly claim to be reclaiming ‘their’ land – the church must speak out in opposition. When conservative politicians engage in xenophobic diatribes, threatening to ban other faiths or expelling immigrants from our shores, as a people of faith we must remember our own faith-based history and from where we came and to whom we belong (God). When those who understandably cry out against atrocities committed in the past, as a people of faith we must advocate for restorative justice. Our faith holds together justice and love. The concept of anachronism allows us to celebrate what should be celebrated and to lament what should be lamented. This Thanksgiving, in name of Jesus Christ, “Forgive them, for they know not what they did” but simultaneously “Go, and sin no more!” Scott E. Couper was appointed as a long-term volunteer by the Common Global Ministries Board of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ to the United Congregational Church of Southern Africa (UCCSA) to assist Inanda Seminary as a resident historian and serve as pastor of Bethel Congregational Church.  Scott also teaches at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary as an adjunct lecturer and the University of KwaZulu-Natal’s School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics as an honorary lecturer. He and wife Susan Valiquette have two children. Scott was ordained in 1999 at Christian Church (DOC), Kalamazoo, MI. The ecclesiastical authority is with the Florida Conference of the UCC. Scott’s church membership is with the First Congregational Church, Winter Park, FL.
us greatly is discerning our interpretation of the past so that we are able to walk confidently forward in faith. The core...
Fellowship abounds at 62nd Annual Meeting Our J Continues ust a few years ago, people were predicting the demise of Detroit, Michigan. Some claimed that this once-great American city had seen its heyday and, with the decline of jobs in the auto industry, had become irrelevant. This past June, the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) held its 62nd Annual Meeting and Conference in the Detroit-Dearborn area, witnessing first-hand how the people of Detroit are working to reclaim its past glory and build for a better tomorrow. Several speakers at the NACCC gathering made a similar case for Congregationalism when they encouraged attendees to cherish our history, yet adapt for the future. The Rev. William C. Lange, Congregational lecturer for the Annual Meeting, put it this way: “To survive, our churches need a change of culture and renewed covenant commitment of all the members to more fully tap into the power and genius of the Congregational Way.” His Saturday afternoon lecture, “A Pilgrim People Yet Today,” gave a captivated audience much to think about. “I always enjoy this presentation, because a well-known Congregationalist talks about our historical and present significance, “ said Jim Hopkins, Year-Round Delegate from Riverpoint Congregational Church, West Warwick, RI. “ This year Rev. William Lange reminded us of our need to continue to be pilgrims by adapting to the world in which we live, honoring our traditions while acting in the present.” The theme of the 2016 conference, “Who is My Neighbor?” (Luke 10:29), was especially timely. Workshops and Bible lectures helped Congregationalists learn how building interfaith relationships can be an enriching experience, an issue the people of greater Detroit and, indeed, Michigan in general have taken to heart. The event’s host committee, Southeastern Michigan Association of Congregational Churches, set the tone of the conference with a presentation by three members of Women’s Interfaith Solutions for Dialogue and Outreach in MetroDetroit (WISDOM). Patricia Harris, WISDOM co-founder and a Roman Catholic; Padma Kuppa, a Hindu; 21
Fellowship abounds at 62nd Annual Meeting  Our J  Continues ust a few years ago, people were predicting the demise of Detr...
Rev. Barry Szymanski illustrates the typical life cycle of a church during his workshop on Vision and Failure for Non-profit Churches. Larry Sommers Rev. Dr. Mary Biedron “Pluralism is not diversity alone, but the energetic engagement with pluralism.” - Dr. Diana L. Eck, Director, Harvard Pluralism Project and Gigi Salka, a Muslim, shared their experiences in building interfaith relationships through their involvement with the organization. Being Christian in a Pluralistic Society, which offered pathways for sharing the Gospel and the Congregational Way while respecting diversity of faith traditions. According to Salka, WISDOM allows women to bond across faith traditions by sharing their life experiences. She added that the biggest impact on her own life has come through getting to know the other members as women and friends, adding that “change comes through our hearts, not our heads.” Meeting attendees also were invited to tour Dearborn’s Islamic Center of America, one of the most prominent mosques in the U.S. The conference offered various opportunities for exploring issues of pluralism and interfaith relations. The Rev. Dr. Mary Biedron, North Congregational Church, Farmington Hills, MI, facilitated the workshop, Other workshops offered creative insights on a range of topics: Hands-on Local Mission Projects, The Nuts and Bolts of Online Giving, Vision and Failure for Non-profit Churches, Devotional Writing, Warriors’ Journey: how churches can support returning veterans, The Congregational Library: a resource for churches, and The Last Puritans – Mainline Protestants and the Power of the Past. Thought-Provoking Lectures Rev. Lange is in a unique position to juxtapose the past with the present. He was called to serve the First Congregational Church of Detroit in 1978. Established in 1844, the church occupied two previous buildings before it came to its present location in 1891. Its historical roots are deep. The basement of the old church at Fort and Wayne Streets was used to hide enslaved people on their way to boats that would ferry them to freedom in Windsor, Canada. 22 Photo by Barry W. Szymanski The challenges and opportunities offered by a pluralistic environment was a theme that reemerged in the much-anticipated Congregational Lecture and Bible Lectures. The Rev. William C. Lange, Congregational lecturer, and the Rev. Dr. Stephen B. Murray, Bible lecturer, both of Detroit, challenged their audiences to examine their faith with new eyes.
Rev. Barry Szymanski illustrates the typical life cycle of a church during his workshop on Vision and Failure for Non-prof...
Congregational Lecturer Bible Lecturer Rev. Wm. C. Lange Rev. Dr. Stephen Murray Butler Today, the church serves a vibrant and changing community. According to its website: “In many ways, the congregation of ‘Old First’ is as unique as the Romanesque and Byzantine architecture of the building and stands firm in the belief that the Christian life is one of discovery and a dynamic process of growth in faith. “ On Sunday of the conference, all were invited to a worship and communion service at the historic First Congregational Church, followed by a homemade dinner in the church’s social hall. The Bible Lecture was presented in three parts by the Rev. Dr. Stephen Butler Murray, President of the Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit where he also teaches homiletics and theology. Ordained in the Baptist tradition, Dr. Murray most recently served as Senior Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Boston, Massachusetts and as American Baptist Chaplain to Harvard University. Dr. Murray said that the entire Bible is culturally conditioned. The Old Testament was written for a homogenous society, and its story climaxes with Jesus the Christ. He noted that both Jesus and Paul treated the Old Testament with a mixture of “respect and cavalier skepticism.” On the other hand, Dr. Murray said that the New Testament is a covenant charter for people of God. That charter means that the agenda for today’s Christian church is to confront our world by speaking authentically of God’s judgment and mercy. Dr. Murray’s Bible Lecture was in three sessions, each organized around a question: Lecture I – “How do we read the Bible for a relevant Christian faith with a world of Gods around us;” Lecture II – “How do we examine the authority of the Bible?;” Lecture III – “How are people of Christian faith to interact with persons of other faiths in an increasingly pluralistic society.” “Let the Bible be the Bible,” said Dr. Murray. “Avoid convention masquerading as the authority of scripture.” He also cautioned that God did not give us the Holy Spirit to make us infallible, and warned against using the authority of the Bible to” force people into little boxes.” Dr. Murray suggested, instead, that the Bible is designed to function through people. (Watch for more about Dr. Murray’s lecture in the December 2016 issue of The Congregationalist.) Business of the NACCC The 62nd Annual Business Meeting was run by Moderator Jim DeLine, with assistance from ViceModerator Laura Hamby, Secretary Judy Campbell and Parliamentarian Sherry Glab. Most important of the work accomplished, the delegates unanimously approved the restated NACCC Articles of Incorporation and By-Laws to complete the process of making the NACCC a single, 501(c) (3) organization. New members of the leadership team installed at the business meeting for two years each include: Laura Hamby, Soquel, CA - Moderator; and James Waechter, Brooklyn, NY - Vice Moderator. The following individuals were re-elected: Judy Campbell, Farmington Hills, MI - Secretary; Jeffrey Dillon, Franklin, WI - Treasurer; and Rev. Norm Erlendson, Middletown, CT- Historian. Continued on page 24 23
Congregational Lecturer  Bible Lecturer  Rev. Wm. C. Lange  Rev. Dr. Stephen Murray Butler  Today, the church serves a vib...
Other leadership elected or reelected: • Board of Directors – Rev. Don Olsen, Wichita, KS, Member at Large, 4 years; Varn Philbrook, Dennis, MA, Foundation Representative; • Growth Ministry Council – Curt Schmidt, Bound Brook, NJ, 3 years; Carol Taylor, Beloit, WI, 3 years • Vitality Ministry Council – Irven Gammon, Florence, MA, 3 years; Doug Gray, Quincy, MA, 3 years • Mission and Outreach Ministry Council – Joelle Sommers, Madison, WI, 3 years; Janet Wilson, Greenville, IA, 3 years; Rev. Peter Smith, Hanson, MA, 2 years; Greg Jurewicz, Maywood, IL, 1 year • Leadership Council (1 year): * Youth Representative – Patrick Stewart, Marshalltown, IA * Growth Ministry Council Reps – Rev. Dawn Carlson, Terre Haute, IN; Pastor Carol Taylor, Beloit, WI * Vitality Ministry Council Reps – Rev. Mike Fales, Jackson, MI; Rev. Phil Jackson, Yarmouth, MA * Mission & Outreach Ministry Council Reps – Rev. Patti Haaheim, Burnsville, MN; Greg Jurewicz, Maywood, IL. • Annual Meeting & Conference Team – Colleen Murray, Ghanna, OH, Member at Large, 3 years Nominating Committee (3-year terms) – Rev. Dr. Tom Richard, Marshfield, MA; Rev. Linda Anderson, Livonia, MI CITATIONS AND AWARDS Outgoing moderator Jim DeLine was recognized for his service with a certificate from NACCC Executive Director Michael Chittum. Jim, in turn, thanked the 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference Host Committee for their hard work and creativity in organizing the successful event. The Board of Directors Citation for outstanding meritorious service to the NACCC was awarded to Dr. E. Neil Hunt of Punta Gorda, FL. The Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies (CFTS) honored two recent graduates, Kathy Farnum, who graduated from Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI, and Emily Miller-Todd, who graduated from Perkins School of Theology in Dallas, TX. Ms. Miller-Todd was awarded the AD Grey Award and the John W. Claxton Memorial Award. 24 Vitality Ministry Council Awards were presented to the following individuals: Rev. Don Mayberry, South Paris, ME, received the Marion Bradshaw Award for his personal commitment to Congregationalism. Rev. Dr. Robin Carden, Suttons Bay, MI, was honored with the Harry R. Butman Award, named for Rev. Butman, a founder of the NACCC.  The award recognizes Rev. Carden for having given over a decade of service to an NACCC church and demonstrating a personal commitment to Congregationalism. Brenda Gammon, Florence, CT, was recognized with this year’s Jeanette Butman Award, established by Harry R. Butman in honor of his wife. The Missionary and Outreach Council presented the Charles Rush Award to Arturo Panama
Other leadership elected or reelected      Board of Directors     Rev. Don Olsen, Wichita, KS, Member at Large, 4 years  V...
NCAAA welcomes the eight churches installed at the 62nd Annual Meeting and Conference: • The Shandon Congregational Church, Shandon, OH • Congregational Church of Canton, Canton, MA • New Pilgrims Fellowship, Rio Vista, CA • Congregational Church of Menifee, Menifee, CA • Union Congregational Church of Oakville, Oakville, CA • Enterprise Community Congregational Church, Enterprise, OR • First Congregational Church of Stanton, Stanton, MI • Congregational Church of Kinsley, Kinsley, KS Jim DeLine congratulates the 2016 Host Committee Co-Chairs: Rev. Mark Jensen, Beth Borland and Rev. Mary E. Biedron Moderator Jim DeLine, Vice Moderator Laura Hamby, Secretary Judy Campbell, Parliamentarian Sherry Glab. from Indian Trails Mission in Payson, AZ. The award is given to a minority individual who exemplifies the spirit of Rev. Rush in working toward personal and social goals. There was no shortage of fun at the 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference. From a Friday night ballgame at Tigers Stadium to a palate-boggling choice of ethnic restaurants, there were lots of ways to spend down time in Detroit. Bonnie Acree FUN AND FROLIC KGB Band Monday evening featured music from the ‘50s through the ‘70s performed by Dave Welcome’s High Point Band. Tuesday night the Motown sounds of the KGB Band brought people to their feet. Dave Welcome’s High Point Band Throughout the conference, the music of Collin Whitfield, keyboard artist and vocalist, entertained folks as they congregated in the lobby of the Doubletree. For information about next year’s NACCC Annual Meeting & Conference go online to www.naccc.org. Editor’s note: Look for a summary and photos from the 2016 NAPF/HOPE mission project in the December 2016 issue of The Congregationalist. 25
NCAAA welcomes the eight churches installed at the 62nd Annual Meeting and Conference       The Shandon Congregational Chu...
Pilgrims embrace the new and unknown APilgrim People Yet Today The following is excerpted from the Congregational Lecture, presented June 25, 2016, at the NACCC Annual Meeting & by William C. Lange Conference, Dearborn, MI. I love you! That is what God is saying to us. He says it time and time again to his people. We stray. He calls us home. We turn away. He turns us around. We forget. He reminds us. We stop looking. He sets himself in front of us. At other times, deep inside ourselves, we seek God. At other times we need to go some great distance to be with God. It can be physical distance. It can be emotional distance. When we do respond to the call of God we become a Pilgrim. What do Pilgrims do? They seek. They go places they have never been before. They meet people they have never met before. They meet all kinds of people they would have never thought to meet. They hear music they have never heard before. They hear old music like they have never heard it before. Pilgrims wear clothes they never wore before. They eat food they never ate before. Pilgrims do things they have never done before. Pilgrims are touched by God in ways they could not conceive before. Our spiritual ancestors came to be called Pilgrim because they did these things. They left their home…two, three times. They left their jobs. They left family. They 26
Pilgrims embrace the new and unknown  APilgrim People Yet  Today  The following is excerpted from the Congregational Lectu...
Barry W. Szymanski left familiar things. They left security behind for a greater goal. They went on a dangerous journey. They took these risks because they tasted greater treats. They had found, for themselves, God. They found, for themselves, a closer and better way to be with God. They found a way to be closer to the animating, life-giving source of all creation, and they wanted more for themselves, their families, their church, their nation… everyone. We are the spiritual heirs of the miles they traveled, the risks they took, and their seeking and searching and aiming for sainthood. Does Congregationalism have a future? We will survive if we are truly a Pilgrim people; if we truly live in covenant, walking with God, and our fellow members with whom we have promised to walk. This is not to say that I am not alarmed by our shrinkage in numbers and energy. You and I stand on the edge of the future. Growing up, my home church and the churches of the National Association invested so much energy in their survival as churches and a denominational way of life. The generation that fought for their truth and their Way is almost entirely past. That energy has been spent. The challenge now is what we will do with what has been given us. We will fail if we just seek to preserve a form and function. It will die. It will be like the fragmented ruins of empires all over the world. It may live internally to some extent in others, but it will never be the same without someone using the name and the Way in living and growing ways. There is power and energy in the congregation. It is truly where the church lives. Others find it, even when we, ourselves, get distracted. How do we move forward? It was necessary for Congregational Churches to stay focused on organization and polity from the ‘50s into our current century. To survive, our churches need a change of culture and renewed covenant commitment 27
Barry W. Szymanski  left familiar things. They left security behind for a greater goal. They went on a dangerous journey. ...
of all the members to more fully tap into the power and genius of the Congregational Way. Now is the time to use our power and genius to stoke the fires of faith. We will grow spiritually, and I think in numbers, too, when we proclaim the Good News to the world with both our actions and our words. How are we different from the rest? We are covenant churches, not creedal churches. We hark back to our historical heritage. Many outsiders are sick of that, by the way, and see it as not being helpful… as being stuck in a time warp. We can use our heritage and use it well if we make our congregations strong. Whether they are large or small, each congregation can be strengthened when we are intentional about our church life. Live in the promise of God. Remember, God loves you with an everlasting love. God gives Himself and His whole creation to you, and for you. To me, this means living the covenant I have made with God and others. There has been much good brought to life by Congregationalists, the Pilgrim People. Some of our fruits have developed from our natural adoption of a pattern of freedom and responsibility. Practices like teaching all the children to read so they all could read the Bible and find God, whether or not that family practiced faith in God, was revolutionary! What good it has brought: every one of God’s children equal in the love of God, equal in worth. This revolution has been to our benefit and will continue to benefit us into the future. The causes our churches have taken up, with all of their good intentions, are some reflection of freedom and responsibility and the worth of every person.The abolition of slavery, education for all, child labor laws, universal voting rights, worker safety laws, pollution restrictions have made us closer to living a true kingdom of God. Even our failed attempts, like prohibition, had some good effects. This ever-growing experience of the value of every person is a wonderful thing. Great and wonderful things have happened in our living this attitude and more will come in the future. Of course there are dangers and many ways to stray. Not keeping in balance freedom and responsibility is truly a way to failure and demise. Keeping in balance the individual and the community is a path to life and success. Rank individualism, solipsism, is a way to failure and demise. Taking all of the responsibility will do you in, or get you thrown out. Be a Pilgrim Let us resolve not to hark back to the Pilgrims if we are not acting like pilgrims. Are we seeking? Are we going places or sitting at home? Are we getting ourselves to places we’ve never been before? Have you asked a friend, neighbor, or fellow worker to your church lately? Are you listening to music you have not heard before? Are you willing to listen with “new ears” to the old? Are you willing to hear like you’ve never heard before? Have you eaten any food you never ate before; danced dances you have never danced before? Pilgrims get themselves to places to be touched by God in ways they never conceived before. Let this generation and the next celebrate as they continue this most important journey! God be with you and God bless you on your journey. A Pilgrim People yet today! The Reverend William C. Lange was called to serve the First Congregational Church of Detroit in 1978, and was Chaplain and Coordinator of Spiritual Care at the Detroit Medical Center for 26 years. He also has served seven interims in Michigan Wisconsin and Illinois. He has made important contributions as member and chair of the NACCC Congregational Foundation for Theological Studies and was a founding member of the Washington Gladden Society. Rev. Lange is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Certified Counselor and Master Additions Counselor.
of all the members to more fully tap into the power and genius of the Congregational Way. Now is the time to use our power...
Encountering God and heaven Working with the Reality H of Near-Death Experiences ave you ever wondered what it was like for the writers of the Bible – how God might have contacted them, how the words came to their minds? And by what means did God communicate content – by visions, dreams, a voice in their heads, automatic writing? Or perhaps, as with many near-death experiencers, their souls were transported to heaven itself, where they spoke with God and the angels about what they should convey of God’s holy word. Tradition tells us the first books of the Old Testament were given by God to Moses – dictated perhaps under cover of Moses’ tent, as the Spirit hovered over the Ark of the Covenant while Moses copied down the early history of the creation. The prophet Isaiah speaks of a vision, while Jeremiah says, “the word of the Lord came to me.” Ezekiel spoke with a fiery man-form with a rainbow-like radiance around him, who gave him a scroll to swallow. By Rev. Lee Witting One of the favorite hymns at my seminary’s get-togethers was, “Here I Am, Lord,” derived, of course, from Isaiah 6:8: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I said, “Here I am. Send me!” All of us sang with the secret hope that our calling was genuine and personal, and would amount to something important. We could relate to that notion that God calls us out by name to bring his truth to those in need of hearing. What we chose to ignore was the mission God gives to Isaiah. He said, “Go and tell this people: Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people calloused. Make their ears dull and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts, and turn and be healed.” Fortunately, Isaiah’s report of his own personal mystical experience of God opened our ears, eyes and hearts – despite God’s instructions on how to debilitate the congregations. 29
Encountering God and heaven  Working with the Reality H  of Near-Death  Experiences  ave you ever wondered what it was lik...
Those of us who sang “Here I am” find ourselves today in a society similar to Isaiah’s. As a hospital chaplain, I visit many patients who describe themselves as “None’s” – no religious affiliation – on their admission sheet. Along with the None’s are a handful of pagans and wiccans, while teens and younger are particularly taken with notions of vampires, zombies and immortals. But for adult patients under "...like Paul, they believe they’ve been given an assignment to describe our role on earth and the nature of eternity." 50, the None designation predominates. As a chaplain I’m usually welcome regardless, since an interest in what happens to us when we die remains strong, and reports of near-death experiences are interesting to nearly everyone. Christians who relate to near-death experience (NDE) stories often refer to St. Paul’s NDE. Saul the rabbi participated in the killing of Christians. Knocked down by his reprimand from Jesus, he changed his ways. But it was very possibly the vision of the “third heaven” he writes about in 2 Corinthians 12:1-7, where he was given “surpassingly great revelations” -- perhaps all of Paul’s understanding of Christian theology. This near-death experience probably took place when a crowd stoned him nearly to death. With an estimated 774 NDEs happening in this country every day, and with a growing acceptance of their reality (even by the medical community), it’s becoming harder to believe God is not communicating with us through NDEs. Some of the more extensive contemporary NDEs involve a download of knowledge so profound as to change the lives of the experiencers. It’s one thing to be told by Jesus that it is “not your time” to die. It’s quite another to strike up a conversation with him, ask questions you find he’s willing to answer, and then be told there are things in your life you still must accomplish – including the sharing of what you have learned. If some modern NDE reports are any example, Paul could have received in one NDE the entirety of why Christ came to earth, taught what he did, and offered salvation through his death and resurrection. It seems possible that Paul was fully enlightened in one shining visit to the hereafter, and returned to his body with a heightened clarity of vision, and a renewed dedication to the difficult assignment he’d been given. 30 My own near-death experience, a drowning when I was seven, didn’t hand me profound answers to the mysteries, except to prove to me the eternal nature of my soul. But as a hospital chaplain working with trauma and palliative care patients, I have heard all the different levels of experience that can happen during an NDE. And as publications director for the IANDS group (International Association for Near Death Studies), I have interviewed many of those who have written books, given TV interviews, travelled the lecture circuit and so forth, because like Paul, they believe they’ve been given an assignment to describe our role on earth and the nature of eternity. As our techniques for resuscitating stopped hearts have improved, NDE accounts abound, books about NDEs proliferate, and many more experiencers today than ever before have the courage to speak, write, paint, and create music in an effort to describe the indescribable. And while the basic structure of an NDE seems the same across all cultures and religions, each experience carries a personality as unique as each individual experiencer. And yet, many NDErs are still hesitant to speak about what they learned. Some are close-mouthed for 20 years or more, until someone shares their experience with them, and they decide it’s time to tell
Those of us who sang    Here I am    find ourselves today in a society similar to Isaiah   s. As a hospital chaplain, I vi...
their story in return. This year a pastor in Arizona began an Easter series of five Sunday sermons on near-death experiences. By the end, several members of his congregation came to him and told of their own NDEs. A few were brave enough to share theirs with the congregation. Throughout the centuries, many visionaries have been declared saints by the Catholic Church for sharing their communications from Mary, Jesus and the Hereafter. Still, many priests and pastors remain afraid to involve contemporary, personal mystical experiences in their discussions of God. “If the King James Version was good enough for Jesus, it’s good enough for me!” is an old joke with a new twist when it comes to NDEs. And yet, God is still speaking to us through people he has chosen to return to life. Many of them bring gifts as profound as many Bible passages we teach. The messages are almost always about love – God’s love for us, the nature of God as Love in the hereafter, and the reminder that we are here to practice love with one another. What Paul learned about love in his NDE, I think, formed the basis of his profound teaching in 1 Corinthians 13 – that all elements of religious practice become meaningless without love. For Letters to the Editor and More, visit The Congregationalist Facebook page. We needn’t think of NDEs as definitive descriptions of the hereafter. Each is an experience so personal that I can’t help but believe it was intended primarily as an instructional gift to the experiencer. Even distressing experiences (which occur about twenty percent of the time) are to instruct the experiencer. But sharing such testimony, however personal, can be a great gift for both the teller and the hearer. As a hospital chaplain dealing more and more with unchurched patients these days, I find these reports of contemporary NDEs to be immensely interesting and instructive to patients and their families. And my Sunday congregation is equally interested, as well. God is still speaking, and pastors who ignore the reality of NDEs and other personal mystical experience are missing an important element in their congregants’ lives. Rev. Lee Witting is a chaplain at Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, Maine, and pastor of the Union Street Brick Church in Bangor. He received his doctor of ministry degree in NDE studies from Bangor Theological Seminary in 2010, and serves as publications director for IANDS, the International Association for Near-Death Studies. Lee hosts a weekly Internet radio show, NDE Radio, featuring interviews with experiencers, and the theological implications of NDEs. All past shows are available at the website, nderadio.org. 31
their story in return. This year a pastor in Arizona began an Easter series of five Sunday sermons on near-death experienc...
A lo n g t h e Way News from the fellowship of churches Small Church with a Big Heart Among the current membership at First Congregational Church in Cape Coral, FL are a number of individuals who first became acquainted with the church at one of its car shows. The church reached out to the community again this year with its Fifth Annual Classic Car Show. Over 30 diverse antique automobiles were displayed by their proud owners at the March 19 event. Trophies were awarded to owners of the top cars, while some lucky attendees took home door prizes. Church volunteers prepared a scrumptious lunch of sloppy joes, egg salad sandwiches, hot dogs, and various drinks, which was available free to all entrants. Others could purchase lunch at a nominal price. Another talented church member and her assistants sold their delicious array of homemade chocolate candy. This year’s volunteers wore tee shirts adorned with the church’s logo: The Small Church with a Big Heart. Notes church member Maggi Payne, “We all enjoy the opportunity for the fellowship this event provides as we welcome back returning exhibitors and spectators and make new friends.” Plans are already underway for the 2017 show. Vintage cars took center stage at the First Congregational Church in Cape Coral, FL car show. 100 Years and Counting - People’s Congregational Church, Bayport, MN, is celebrating its centennial on September 25, 2016. The 10:15 AM Celebratory Worship Service will feature a Reunion Choir and special guest, the Rev. Dr. Michael Chittum, NACCC Executive Director. The Rev. Linda Tossey, Senior Pastor at People’s Congregational Church, will be preaching. Pastors and those who were ordained by PCC have been invited as guests of honor. 32
A lo n g t h e Way  News from the fellowship of churches Small Church with a Big Heart Among the current membership at Fir...
Following the service there will be an outdoor celebration from12:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. in the park next to the church. The church will celebrate the Congregationalists’ First Thanksgiving meal of 1621 with (you guessed it) turkey and all the trimmings. Congregants dressed in Pilgrim costumes will add authenticity to the proceedings. Adults and kids alike will be treated to musical entertainment, a bouncy house, balloons, pumpkin decorating and face painting. “Not Just a Cake Walk” will offer cakes and lots more as prizes. People’s Church will also take this opportunity to honor their local civil servants with a police car and fire truck on display. There will also be tours of the church and an historical display during the celebration. All are invited! Season of Celebrations - Dr. Brian Anderson, pastor of the Congregational Church of Sun City, AZ, was honored by his congregation this past April to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his ordination. Dr. Anderson was ordained to the Christian ministry on April 27, 1991, in Donegall Street Congregational Church, Belfast, Northern Rev. Dr. Brian and Heather Anderson Ireland. In May, the congregation celebrated the 40th anniversary of the church’s founding by the late Dr. John Alexander. The Congregational Church was constituted and formed at a special service held on Sunday, May 2, 1976, in the community hall of Western Savings and Loan Association, Sun City. Warm Welcome in Detroit! 33
Following the service there will be an outdoor celebration from12 00 p.m. until 3 00 p.m. in the park next to the church. ...
N E C ROLOG Y LOYAL B ISHO P P astor Loyal G. Bishop, age 86, passed away on June 11, 2016, from Parkinson’s disease. Rev. Bishop attended Wittenberg University and graduated in 1955 with a Master’s of Divinity degree from Hamma School of Theology. An honored athlete, he met and married wife Marilyn while a student. Rev. Bishop served as pastor in Bowling Green, OH, Bay Village, OH, Lexington, KY and Terre Haute, IN. Committed to his congregations, he still found time to play sports with his children and grandchildren, coaching softball and volunteering as a track and cross country official at ISU and the Lavern Gibson NCAA events. When he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, Rev. Bishop started a support group for others living with the illness. Following retirement he was a volunteer with the Hospice of Wabash Valley, Family Service Association, and the Parkinson’s Disease Support Group, among others. He was preceded in death by his wife of 46 years, Marilyn Beattie Bishop. He is survived by his four children, their spouses, 15 grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Donations may be made to: The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research, Donation Processing, The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, MD 2174-5014; Booker T. Washington High School Nursery, All Nursery C/O Booker T. Washington High School, 3707 South 7th Street, Terre Haute, IN 47802; or Trinity Lutheran Church, 2620 Ohio Blvd., Terre Haute, IN 47803. N OR M A N RUST T he Rev. Norman Rust, 77, of Standish, ME, passed away on June 11, 2016, surrounded by his family, after suffering a cardiac arrest. Rev. Rust attended the University of Southern Maine, followed by Bangor Theological Seminary. He served many of Maine's communities in his 52 years as a minister for the U.C.C. and the Congregational Christian Council of Maine. He thought nothing of driving 200 miles to conduct services at three different churches in a single day. He was a proud member of the Order of the Eastern Star, Oxford Chapter 168, and Chaplain Emeritus of the Grand Lodge of Maine. Rev. Rust is survived by his wife Betty; son Brian, daughter Barbara; grandchildren; great-grandchildren; brother, Bill Rust and wife Ann, sister Nancy Adams; and many nieces, nephews and cousins. Donations can be made in his memory to West Gorham Union Church Memorial Fund, P.O. Box 854, Gorham, ME 04038. 34
N E C ROLOG Y LOYAL B ISHO P  P  astor Loyal G. Bishop, age 86, passed away on June 11, 2016, from Parkinson   s disease. ...
GEORGE B URKERT C REE T he Rev. George Burkert “Burk” Cree, 81, died at his home in Zurich, Switzerland on May 20, 2016. He served as a Congregational minister for more than 30 years, serving churches in Wauwatosa, WI, Catalina Island and Carmel, CA. He was an avid reader, historian and genealogist, actively engaged in Congregational organizations and his college alumni association. He grew up in Indiana with his parents Edwin Dugal Cree and Anna Louise Burkert, and his sister Ruthann. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Earlham College, Richmond, IN. He continued his studies at Harvard Divinity School and was ordained a Congregational minister in 1960. He met his wife, Angelika Mueller, while traveling Europe following his graduation. “Burk loved the Congregational Church and recently did what he could to help the persecuted Church around the world,” wrote the Rev. Warren R. Angel, minister at Mayflower Congregational Church in Laguna Hills, CA. Burk and Angelika moved to her hometown of Zurich, Switzerland when she was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2005. Burk remained in touch with friends and family in the U.S. via frequent phone calls and emails. He is survived by his wife, sons Tobias and George, and sister Ruthann Hoods. HOWAR D LEWIS H oward L. Lewis Jr., 87, Charlton, MA died on May 31, 2016 after a brief illness. A member of First Congregational Church of Nantucket, he was active in the National Association of Congregational Christian Churches (NACCC) for a number of years. He served on Congregational Church Development and the Congregational Foundation Board of Governors. He was also a member of the 1620 Society. Lewis and partner Harry Reid were together for 52 years until Reid’s death in 2008. While living in Brooklyn, where they had a floral business, they were active members of Plymouth Congregational Church of the Pilgrims. Together, they were involved in restoring a slum area in Brooklyn now called Boerum Hill and started the Atlantic Antic Street Festival, which will have its forty-second anniversary in September. After moving to Nantucket, they joined First Congregational Church, where Lewis sang in the choir. Donations in memory of Howard J. Lewis, Jr. can be made to the First Congregational Church of Nantucket, MA, the Plymouth Congregational of the Pilgrims in Brooklyn, NY, or the Nantucket Historical Association. 35
GEORGE B URKERT C REE  T  he Rev. George Burkert    Burk    Cree, 81, died at his home in Zurich, Switzerland on May 20, 2...
N e w s a nd N e e d s o f O u r M i s s i o n s N EWS Missionaries Attend the Annual Meeting Thirteen missions were represented NACCC’s 2016 Annual Meeting and Conference this June in Detroit: Congregational Church of Myanmar; Fishers of Men, Mexico; Happy Life Children’s Home, Kenya; Pilgrim’s Presence, Kenya; Indian Community Fellowship, India; Love Worth Sharing, Haiti; Mission Mazahua, Mexico; Mission School of Hope, Cameroon; Panamerican Insti- MOMC Praying over Geoffrey Lipale from Pilgrim’s Presence, Kenya tute, Mexico; Hosanna Industries, PA; Indian Trails, AZ; Morgan Scott Project, TN; and Seafarer’s Friend, MA To encourage conversation with missionaries at their exhibits, the Mission and Outreach Ministry Council created the Mission Discovery Zone. People found “passports” in their Annual Meeting packets and could collect the signature of each missionary. Sharon Higgins of First Congregational Church, Anchorage, AK, was the first person to collect all signatures and received a basket of goodies from the missions. The Mission and Outreach Ministry Council reception featured Geoffrey Lipale, who spoke about Pilgrims Presence in Kenya, and Ida MacRae, who presented information about Seafarers Friend, Boston, MA. The other missionaries presented their missions to a receptive general assembly. Everyone attending the Mission 36 and Outreach Ministry Council reception received a Missions Discovery Pin. The Mission and Outreach Ministry Council (MOMC) interviewed each missionary for an update on what is happening at their mission, their goals for the next year and any problems they are facing. MOMC also prayed over each missionary. Charles Rush Award The 2016 Charles Rush Award was presented to Arturo Panama from Indian Trails Mission, AZ, at the Annual Meeting. The mission’s only paid employee, he has worked with Indian Trails for about 17 years. Richard Gossett, Merrill Congregational Church, MI, says, “Arturo means a lot, not only to Indian Trails but also to our family as well. It was a big decision for him to leave his family and everything he knew and come to Arizona, but he knew God was calling him and he took that leap of faith. Arturo is a man of God in the way he lives and works and is a worthy recipient of the Charles Rush Award.” Flooding in West Virginia The Mission and Outreach Ministry Council is collecting funds to help with the flooding in West Virginia through One Great Hour of Sharing. These funds can be sent to the NACCC Office. Hosanna Industries, PA, is also getting involved. Amanda Becker sends this message: “Hi Congregational friends, we need your help! Hosanna Industries, Inc. recently traveled to Southeastern West Virginia, to see how we could assist those affected by the recent flooding. We saw people in Richwood living in tents and camper trailers, because their homes were lost. This is a city that has a 46% poverty rate. We have come up with a plan to help them rebuild, but need lots of donations to make it happen. Can you or your church help? Every dollar makes a difference, and we’d really like to get some dehumidifiers there soon!”
N e w s a nd N e e d s o f O u r M i s s i o n s  N EWS Missionaries Attend the Annual Meeting  Thirteen missions were rep...
Linda Miller, Editor M i s s i o n T i db i t s Mission School of Hope, Cameroon, has just about finished their clinic building. Pilgrim’s Presence, Kenya, wants to partner with a local church to create Mercy Children’s Home. Fishers of Men, Mexico, announces that Martita, the eldest daughter of Julie and Victor Zaragoza, was married on May 4. Seafarer’s Friend, MA, is still looking for a director. Volunteers from North Shore & Ozaukee churches and IA/ NE Association For details go to: http://hosannaindustries.org/ hosanna-industries-raising-1-5-million-west-virginiaflood-relief/ Hosanna Industries, PA, gets a lot of volunteers from the NACCC family. A group from North Shore Congregational Church, Fox Point, WI, and Ozaukee Congregational Church, Grafton, WI, went in June. Iowa/ Nebraska Association of Congregational Churches sent a group of volunteers for a week in July. They helped four impoverished households  in the Southwestern Pennsylvania region with essential home repairs. Co mm u n i t y D e v e lo pm e n t P r o g r a m Indian Community Fellowship (ICF), India, has started a Community Development Program. They are teaching children to read and write, and women to sew. They also are starting a program to help low- income families earn money. ICF will give up to $100 to a family for a sewing machine or fees to pay for a stall in the market to sell such items as tea, vegetables, jewelry, and other crafts. Once the recipient family earns enough money, they will pay the money back to ICF so another family can be given the same opportunity. Panamerican Institute, Mexico, started classes August 10 with 73 students. Morgan Scott Project, TN, reports its biggest need is for dental care. They are looking into starting a dental clinic. N EE D S School is right around the corner for some of our missions. They can always use school supplies. Indian Trails Mission, AZ, needs a van for the Mexican churches. Indian Trails Mission, AZ, wants to restart their Muppet program. They need two more Muppets. Thank you for your support! For more information on any of these missions, or to make a donation to any of the above projects, please contact Linda Milller at the NACCC office, 800-262-1620, ext. 1618 or lmiller@naccc.org. The Mission and Outreach Ministry Council, NACCC PO Box 288, Oak Creek WI 53154 For a complete listing of NACCC Mission Projects, please go to our Web site, www.naccc.org, and click on “Missions.” 37
Linda Miller, Editor  M i s s i o n T i db i t s  Mission School of Hope, Cameroon, has just about finished their clinic b...
P ASTORATES A N D P UL P ITS Ordinations Northfield Tilton Congregational Church, Tilton, NH, ordained the Rev. Michelle (Betts) Lennon with the concurrence of a vicinage council, May 22, 2016. Recent Calls First Congregational Church, Porterville, CA, called the Rev. Kevin Roach as pastor. Rockwood First Congregational Church, Rockwood, MI, called the Rev. David Barnes as pastor. Arbor Grove Congregational Church, Jackson, MI, called the Rev. Daniel Kidder-McQuown as pastor. First Congregational Church, Peterson, IA, called the Rev. James Owens as pastor. In Search Senior Minister Ashby & Hyannis Congregational Churches (share pastor), NE Community Congregational Church, Kewaunee, WI Craig Memorial Congregational Church, Paradise, CA First Church of Christ, Lynn, MA 38 First Congregational Church, Allegan, MI Plymouth Congregational Church, Racine, WI First Congregational Church, Anchorage, AK Second Congregational Church, Jewett City, CT First Congregational Church, Ashland, NE The Shandon Congregational Church, Shandon, OH First Congregational Church, Interlachen, FL First Congregational Church, Roscommon, MI Associate/Assistant First Congregational Church, Salt Lake City, UT United Church of Marco Island, Marco Island, FL Minister First Congregational Church, Vermontville, MI First Congregational Church of Salida, CA Flatbush-Tompkins Congregational Church, Brooklyn, NY Gomer Congregational Church, Gomer, OH Hampshire Colony Congregational Church, Princeton, IL Olivet Congregational Church, Olivet, MI Orthodox Congregational Church, Petersham, MA Plain Congregational Church, Bowling Green, OH Non-NACCC Churches First Community Church of Joplin, MO First Congregational Church, Gray, ME Pilgrim Congregational Church, Billings, MT
P ASTORATES A N D P UL P ITS Ordinations Northfield Tilton Congregational Church, Tilton, NH, ordained the Rev. Michelle  ...
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Articles and editorials in The Congregationalist are by the authority of the editor and do not necessarily reflect policie...
8473 South Howell Avenue Oak Creek, WI 53154-0288 63rd NACCC Annual Meeting and Conference June 24-27, 2017 NAPF/HOPE Conference Dreaming, Talking and Acting will lead attendees, preachers, and speakers into myriad scripture texts Bible Lecturer Barbara Brown Taylor Harry R. Butman Chair of Religion, Piedmont, Among TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014 Hosted by Piedmont College – Demorest, Georgia