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ALL IN-PERSON EVENTS CANCELED pursuant to the Governor's Order, which as of this writing is  May 4 , but anticipated to be at least  May 18 

Once returning to church becomes viable, we are planning a phased return to maximize safety for all involved. We anticipate continuing to offer our livestream worship services for the foreseeable future.

Click here to access the church calendar, including future meetings and events.
 





HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
Elsie Brison 05/03
Jeffrey Estabrook 05/04
Lilah Chezick 05/04
Mary Hanchett 05/05
Joshua Bernardo 05/06
Isabelle Blackburn 05/08
Bill Broadrick 05/09



Spencer Kingsland healing from stroke
Kelly Fullerton, recovering from laryngitis 
Concord Hospital Staff
Trustees as they meet 5/7

This week is Good Shepherd Sunday. We will hear the scripture from 1 Peter 2:19-25 which describes enduring challenging times and returning to the shepherd and guardian of our souls. Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen will share scripture, sermon and song delighting in the guidance of the Good Shepherd during this difficult time.

Ken Gallager is our talented organist, Deborah Venator compiles and produces our video, Ben Lemay is our liturgist this week, Christina Catino will share a delightful children's message and Lynne Lemay has prepared slides with lyrics and prayers for you to follow along at home. Ben Greene and Alan Schulte have prepared music for the anthem and offertory. Laura Fry will record the prayers you type into the chat screen and share them with our Prayer Chain.


Participate in next week's service!
Next week we'll talk about Christ as cornerstone of the church. It is also Mothers' Day. Share your photos of foundations and cornerstones in your life including parent/child relationships for a congregational photo montage by sending your photos to Deborah Venator 


CCLI License #2293792


May 10 - 1 Peter 2:2-10 - Living Cornerstone
May 17 - Acts 17:22-31 - God does not live in temples made with human hands
May 24 - Luke 24:44-53 - Ascension Day - HERITAGE SUNDAY!!
May 31 - Acts 2:1-21 - Pentecost
June 7 - Matthew 28:16-20 - Trinity Sunday and Graduation Sunday
June 14 - Matthew 9:35-10:8 (9-23)  - You are the equipment!


You can also check out our archive of this week's service after it is aired, as well as previous services on our YouTube channel.


Photo credit: Nancy Fransen
Monday Morning Quarterback
Bible study questions to continue studying the scripture from this week’s service at home.

Read 1 Peter 2:19-25 and John 10:1-10

1. Jesus is The Good Shepherd. We don't have many shepherds in the greater Concord area. What might Jesus use for this analogy today? (Think of both following bad leaders and Christ as The Good Leader.)
2. Because we follow Christ as The Good Shepherd, we are identified as Christians. He calls us by name and we know his voice. What else helps you identify yourself as Christian?
3. What's the connection between enduring suffering and being Christian? 
4. When we return to the shepherd and guardian of our soul, we find peace. How?
Join us for worship live on our YouTube channel "Concord Wesley UMC (NH)" each Sunday at 10:30am. You can also click here for our virtual welcome clipboard to let us know you joined us to keep in touch throughout the week or connect with us for the first time as a guest.
Pastor Cheryl is available by phone, Zoom, Facebook messenger, text or email for pastoral support or to discuss church business. Set a time by emailing her at this link.
Our Virtual Fellowship on Zoom following worship last week was delightful! Please join us this week to catch up with your church friends, see their wonderful faces and hear how they're doing! Right after Ken's postlude on our YouTube broadcast, grab your coffee and come on over to Zoom at this link or using the credentials below:

Meeting ID: 826-9124-7213
Password: Wesley
Phone: +1 929 205 6099, with numeric password: 570260
Keep up the great work participating as a congregation each week! Thank you so much to those of you who have sent pictures in. The staff invites you to send in photos for the following special upcoming events:

  5/10 - Parent/child pictures to honor Mother's Day
  5/17 - Pictures of church, home or sacred wilderness places to demonstrate that God doesn't live in temples made with human hands
  5/24 - Pictures with notes about how long you've been at Wesley for Heritage Sunday
  5/31 - Pictures of you wearing red for Pentecost or of beautiful geraniums or fire
  6/7 - Pictures of our graduates for Graduation Sunday, along with their degree, school they're graduating, note of future plans like college, military or work.
6/14 - Pictures of you AS the equipment, doing ministry, loving your neighbor, etc.

All of these can be sent to Deborah Venator, our webmaster.
Congregational singing for Sunday May 3, 2020.

If you would like to record yourself singing the hymns and Doxology for this Sunday please follow the directions below.
  1. Print the music for each hymn at this link.
  2. For each musical selection you will listen to the recorded organ part to the selected hymn at this link. Listen to this recording using headphones. 
  3. When ready to record yourself listen to the recording of the organ and and at the same time using the voice memos app on your phone record yourself singing.
  4. When you are finished save the voice recording and send it to Choir Director, Ben Greene. Make sure I have your name. Only send one email for each recording.
  5. Please start with the Doxology as I want to use this recording each week for our services.
  6. if you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask and I look forward to having you be part of this ministry.
Take care,
Ben Greene
If you'd like to join other Prayer Messengers please contact coordinator, Norma Kane to volunteer. You may also forward your prayer requests directly to our prayer chain coordinator, Laura Fry.
 Join Byron Champlin for virtual Adult Sunday School at 9:00 am on Sunday mornings on Zoom at this link.  We're studying the Psalms and you can jump in any time. Newcomers welcome!
Meeting ID: 824 9476 3383
Password: 817519
Phone: 1-646-558-8656
 See our Virtual Children's Time with Miss Christina each week.

Join Sunday School Zoom Sundays from 10:30-11
Meeting ID: 211 945 061   Password: 030905

Join Youth Zoom Sundays from 1:00-1:30 NOTE NEW TIME
Meeting ID: 306 446 927   Password: 026325

For other children's activities, check out Wanakee's Facebook page where you'll find occasional livestream craft demos and more!
While Wesley UMC is closed, we will be holding meetings and Bible studies via conference call and Zoom. Links can be found on our website and Facebook to all of our media. If you need help using any of these programs, please contact Paula Delbonis-Platt.
We've designed a plan to keep us in touch with one another. If you're not already connected and would like to hear from your church friends more regularly, please let Jane Broadrick know. We'd love volunteers to write notes to our homebound members. Find a list of their addresses at this link.

Give or tithe online to Wesley's mission and ministries through this secure web page using debit, credit or PayPal. You can also send a check to Wesley UMC, 79 Clinton Street, Concord NH 03301.Upper Room Magazines Christian Daily Devotional Readings Back image 0
Are you missing The Upper Room
Let the church office know and we'll make arrangements for you to pick up or have your copy delivered.
Grace and peace, dear one.

I was invited by the Concord Hospital Chaplain recently to write to staff members providing encouragement for this challenging time of pandemic. I'd like to share what I wrote to encourage your prayers for them, as well:

Dear Concord Hospital Staff member,

Please know that your community deeply appreciates your work in our midst during this pandemic.

We acknowledge your sacrifice.

We are grateful for your knowledge and skill.

We pray for your safety and emotional well-being.

Over the years I have raised my son, we have seen a lot of movies. During some of that time I was in seminary on my way to becoming an ordained pastor. I was often deeply engrossed in learning and understanding more about the Divine, but when I was with my son at the movies, I found opportunity to apply all that heady religious stuff to our everyday lives. Often as we drove home or stopped for ice cream along the way, I would ask him, "Who was the Christ-figure in that movie?" We understood that character to be the one who was always concerned with others, more than her or his self. It was the one who would seek peace in the midst of turmoil; the one who was willing to sacrifice for the common good. It was the Lorax, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Sister Helen Prejean in Dead Man Walking, Percy Talbott in Spitfire Grill, or any one of a dozen other characters.

Today, in real life, in real time, it is you.Obi-Wan Kenobi Disney+ Series Original Logline Revealed | What's ...

You are concerned with the welfare of others.

You are the one seeking peace in the midst of turmoil.

You are the one willing to sacrifice for the common good.

Thank you.


God bless you.

Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen, Pastor
Wesley United Methodist Church
Concord NH

Visit Pastor Cheryl's blog for inspiration and encouragement
4th Sunday of Easter
 
The Great Gift of Easter
by Dennis Broussard, former Catholic Priest
 
“ The Man in Christ rose again: not only the God. That is the whole point. For the first time we saw a real man. One tin soldier—real tin, just like the rest—
had come fully and splendidly alive. ”       CS Lewis
 
Prayer: 
 
This week our Liturgical Season cycles into the Fourth week of Easter.  At the same time members of our church community, along with the rest of America, enter into the sixth week of  stay-at-home.  We need to pray for one another that each one us may endure  the challenges the pandemic drops on us.  We pray especially for those members of our church family who are experiencing an emptiness because of the increasing felt absence of their friends and family who are missed more and more each day. We pray for those who are concerned about finances. May the fear growing in their heart that their job may be gone. We pray for those who have the virus and are facing a fear that can overwhelm our humanity.  We pray our church family will see and know the genius of the Father who reveals to us his perfect unblemished  love in  the humanity of our Lord. May we be blessed with faith impregnated with love that leads opens us up to joy and peace; in the midst of suffering. We pray that we enter our own solitude more and more until we discover the growing need to discover the resurrected one who has gone before us and waits for us to discover His presence, a presence that is  realized more and more and more as we grow  nurtured by his love. His presence is closer to us than we are to ourselves. May the space in our soul  become our refuge and endure after the pandemic has passed and the painful memories of today be eclipsed in the future by today’s discovery of the need to pray and understand Paul’s dark discovery of the nearness  of our Lord to each one of us.  
 
Reading:
I Corinthians, Chapter 13: 4-13
 
Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, [love] is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. If there are prophecies, they will be brought to nothing; if tongues, they will cease; if knowledge, it will be brought to nothing. 
For we know partially and we prophesy partially, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I used to talk as a child, think as a child, reason as a child; when I became a man, I put aside childish things at present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known.
 So faith, hope, love remain, these three but the greatest of these is love.
 
Reflection:
 
A Religious Ed director told a story to a group of her adult religious ed teachers gathered together for a meeting.  The story took place during the Easter Service several years ago, when she taught the 4th grade.  At the time for the Children’s Liturgy the teacher invited her 4th grade students to the front of the church to sit in semi circle facing her for their lesson. She began the lesson asking her students a question: “Today we celebrate Easter. Jesus was resurrected from the dead. Now what do you think  Jesus said after he stepped out of the tomb?”
A 4th grade girl in her new Easter dress quickly raised her hand. The teacher invited her to step forward and stand by her side beside her to speak into a microphone she held for the student. The teacher asked the question again:”What do you think  Jesus said after he stepped out of the tomb on that first Easter?”
 The 4th grade girl answer the question,  loudly and confidently; “He said, TA DA!”
 
The Resurrection of our Lord is an event that appears to be fall outside the realm of our earthly experience. It is difficult to understand exactly how the resurrection is the  Divine act of love that brings us our salvation.  It can be to one degree or another a  “Ta Da experience”. 
 
A minister preached at the Christmas Service and said something remarkable that surprised the members of his congregation and made them think.  The minister said:  “ Today we celebrate the birth of our Lord that took place in a most humble way. He was born in a manager, in a barn, into poverty.  That first Christmas 2000 years ago, appears now to be ancient history, disconnected from our everyday lives. It will never mean much until we experience the birth of our Lord taking place in the poverty of our being.”
 
I think we can say the same thing about the Easter Resurrection of our Lord that took place 2000 years ago. The resurrection of our Lord often does not have much meaning for us. Like Christmas  experience of our Lord’s resurrection needs to take place  in our soul, in our time bound being.  The resurrection of our Lord  is the foundational experience of our existence and our spiritual life.
 
The Experience of God: 
It is a surprise to modern day Christians that until the16th Century  religious experience was a common occurrence among earlier Christian. They did not think it unusual to experience the presence of God in their lives. Their experiential Faith as knowledge impregnated with love for the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit was the  fruition of reading and reflecting on the Gospels. Divine Reading is still the practice to this day in many Christian Churches of all denominations.  It was not until 1540 that bibles were printed for the masses. Before the printing press was invented Christians memorized the Gospels and worked from their memory to reflect on the Life, Death and Resurrection of our Lord. The Word continues to this day our knowledge of Lord that over time, that knowledge led to a heartfelt love.  This is the only way we can know our Lord intimately and experience He the revelation of the Father’s love in human experience. No imagination could event this story.
 
This period of Experiencing God has taken a pause due the arrival of few events. The major event was the practice of Jansenism. Jansenism was a theological movement, primarily in France, that emphasized original sin, an emphasis on human depravity, the necessity of divine grace and predestination. The movement originated from the posthumously published work of the Dutch theologian Cornelius Jansen, who died in 1638.
 
 
Miss Christina's Corner
Director of Children and Youth Ministries

For the YouthI am very proud to say that the youth of Wesley United Methodist Church have voted to keep our money with ASP to continue mission work in the best way we know how this year. 😛 We recognize that, though we may not be physically going on a mission trip this year and doing the work, mission work is STILL being completed through us with our money and ASP's wonderful ingenuity and passion in the new ways they are doing mission work along with supporting this pandemic response. We support that greatly! We hope that our small part leads to another 50 years (at least!) of service to the Appalachian region!

Great news!
Miss Christina


Graduation Sunday at Wesley will be held on 6/7 -  Send us pictures of your graduate, along with their degree, school they're graduating and a note of future plans like college, military or work for a special celebration!
 
VBS curriculum has been ordered and the dates of July 6-10 have been reserved. We're not sure whether it will be virtual or in-person yet, but stay tuned for more details.  
Abundance Orchard VBS
“Where faith grows and hungry people are fed”

We’ll bring community and faith family together with a Vacation Bible School experience they are bound to love in Abundance Orchard™ - a complete, all-in-one hunger-action themed VBS program. We’ll start with the Old Testament in Part 1 and walk our students through scriptures exploring God’s miraculous provision and abundance for His people. Then we’ll follow up with the New Testament in Part 2, and focus o
n scriptures illustrating Jesus’ use of meals to gather those most in need of His love.
Downtown, Inc. has reported that the Market Days Festival is still a go! Their Board of Directors has made the decision to reschedule Market Day to August 20, 21 & 22, 2020. We have a booth reserved for the State House lawn and will be planning activities and outreach to our community soon.
Mission and Ministry
Family Promise Update
Family Promise continues to host a family of three, the same family who stayed at Wesley in February. Due to the stay-at-home order, they are housed at the day center/parish hall of the IHM church. This week Wesley has been providing them with a few meals along with groceries and restaurant gift cards in order to maintain social distancing. Thank you, Diane McFall, Norma Kane and Lorraine Schindler for providing meals. To our other fabulous cooks, we will look to you next time! Pending the governor’s re-opening our upcoming hosting schedule is as follows: June 28-July 5, August 30-September 6, December 27-January 3 and March 28-April 4. Thank-you to our dedicated volunteers. If you would like to be involved in Family Promise, please contact Ruth Engel.
We know that there are some who need help with this new virtual world, setting up computers and phones to remain in contact with our beloved church community. If you NEED help or if you have the gifts TO help, please let the church office know at 224-7413 and we'll begin matching solutions!
Help with Groceries
Nicole Trent has graciously offered to help folks by delivering groceries on the weekend. Contact Nicole at this link.
Riverbend Community Mental Health finds that, because of Riverbend Now Has Mobile Crisis Services | Concord, NH Patchthe COVID pandemic, many of their clients are in need of food. (One family was down to a box of waffles in their freezer, for example.) You are welcome to donate nonperishable food items, bringing them to 278 Pleasant Street in Concord, and left for Sheryl Putney, who will distribute as needed. Call the church if you'd like help delivering your donations. Pastor Cheryl has also provided several $50 grocery gift cards to these folks from the Pastor's Discretionary Fund to help during this desperate time.

As soon as we launched the UMCOR COVID-19 Response, we received requests for assistance from partners around the world. Your gift, today, will demonstrate your compassion and care when it is most needed - now.
 
Through the COVID-19 Response Fund, UMCOR is committed to:
  • Reducing food insecurity
  • Providing water and sanitation facilities
  • Strengthening health care systems
  • Responding to economic instability 
Your response, today, can make that happen!
 UMCOR | United Methodist Committee on Relief

Together, we can quickly provide critical and tangible support to those most affected by COVID-19.
 
If you are able, please give, today through Wesley by indicating “UMCOR COVID-19” on your PayPal donation or check.
Concord Monitor logo
Letter to the Editor dated April 27, 2020

Thank-you to Pam Peterson (Sunday Monitor April 12th) for sharing the experience of her son and her with social isolation due to COVID-19 and its impact on the LGBTQ+ community. We offer our sincere sympathy on the recent loss of her son’s friend.

While many of us are missing in-person contact with our social groups, we are reminded that there are those who already experience fear, depression and/or loneliness due to their sexual-affectional-gender identity, and need our support now more than ever. We painfully acknowledge the unconscionable and hurtful rejection of LGBTQ+ people by some communities and congregations.

We in the larger United Methodist denomination in the New England area and elsewhere openly welcome everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. Along with other reconciling congregations in the Concord area, we at Wesley United Methodist Church affirm that all members of the LGBTQ+ population are not only welcomed but included in church leadership and fully celebrated in the faith and functions of our denomination.
To the LBGTQ+ community, know that you are not alone and that there is a faith community ready to love, listen and support you. Here are some websites that may give you encouragement: www.RMNetwork.org (Reconciling Ministries) and pflaginfo@pflagnh.org.
 
Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen,
Ruth Engel, Gail Page,
Carol Flavin-Veenstra
Paula DelBonis-Platt
Bill Platt
Members of Wesley United Methodist Church

 
This Week's Prayer and Scripture
1 Peter 2:19-25
For it is to your credit if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, where is the credit in that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God’s approval. For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps.
‘He committed no sin,
   and no deceit was found in his mouth.’
When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sins, we might live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed. For you were going astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.

Call to Worship

by Thom Shuman

In the laughter of children,
we hear the voice of the Gate of the Way,
and find our way home.
In the lap of a parent,
God's compassion cradles us
in the still waters of love.
The Shepherd of our lives
leads us through that door
into life with him forever.
We are baptized with living waters
which refresh us, restoring us
to follow Jesus all our days.
The Holy Spirit, Keeper of truth,
is the Light which guides us
through every shadowed moment.
The Breath of life stills our worries
and fears, as we are lead to that
peaceful place of God's heart.
Pastor's Notes from Committee Meetings 
This past week, the Ad Board met and decided to follow the guidelines set by the state as to when to reopen. We expect that sometime Friday, Governor Sununu will extend the Stay-at-Home order and make other provisions that will eventually lead to reopening the State to regular activities. The Conference, The NH Council of Churches and our Ad Board are reviewing a plan to return to church. It is likely to be a several phase process, gradually introducing more contact. Here is a link to the document we're using as a basis for our work. There are elements that will take a long time to ensure the safety of participants including those things that require close connection, as well as the participation of those in high risk categories. We realize this touches the very heart of who we are as a church that share hugs and meals together as sources of comfort and community and we will continue to provide connections and worship opportunities to enable us to love God and each other as we journey through this time.

The Ad Board discussed a variety of issues related to the departure of Step Ahead Preschool, including the process of inviting new groups to use our space. If you have a heart for this project or gifts in the area of realty, please contact Diane McFall to help work on this important project.

Dawn Haynes, our Treasurer, led the Board in sincere gratitude to the members and friends of Wesley for your faithful giving, helping us to sustain ministry work. She also noted how very helpful the Conference has been in supporting churches by deferring required payments for insurance and pension during the pandemic. We can really see our Mission Shares and connectional nature at work during this time.

The Ad Board unanimously voted to approve our application under the CARES Act so that our church can benefit from the Paycheck Protection Program where the Federal Government Stimulus Package offers a loan for our payroll which can be forgiven and become a grant if used for payroll and utilities. This issue will need to come before a Special Church Conference according to DS Kang. Details of that meeting to follow.

Sunday following worship, the Endowment Committee will meet via Zoom. Please keep these members in prayer, as they do the work of the church.

Chairperson-Erin Fogel, Spencer Kingsland, Jim Varrill, Terry Large, Pat Neal, Julie Runnells, Barbara Ward, Jim Batten and Jeff Savage.

Next week, the Board of Trustees will meet on Thursday at noon via Zoom. Please keep these members in prayer, as they do the work of the church.

Chairperson-Kathy Hamilton, Pete Engel, Bob Lundholm, Joan Tessier, Jim Meachen, Dennis Broussard, Dan Haines, and Joan Beldin.

Blessings,
Rev. Cheryl L. Meachen
Visit our website at this link 
VISITING
We have suspended in person visits during this time of contagion. Please contact Pastor Cheryl by phone, email or social media for prayer during this time.
VIEW SERVICES ON TV OR ONLINE 
If you can't be here on Sunday, that doesn't mean you have to miss the service. Concord TV, Channel 22, shows our service during the week: 
Sunday          1:30 PM
Monday       10:30 AM
Tuesday        4:30 PM
Wednesday   2:00 PM
Thursday     10:30 AM 
Friday            7:00 AM
Or view services at any time at this link.
AMAZON SMILE
Get 0.5% for Wesley. If you shop on Amazon, please consider naming Wesley UMC as your designated Smile charity. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible items purchased. Use this link to select Wesley UMC-Concord NH. Detailed instructions are available here.
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79 Clinton Street, Concord NH 03301

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Wesley United Methodist Church · 79 Clinton Street · Concord, New Hampshire (NH) 03301 · USA

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