Category Archives: Church News

Sermon, September 24, 2017

“How the Kingdom Comes – Part I”
Rev. Michael Caldwell
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Isaiah 49:1-6
Matthew 5:13-16
September 24, 2017

I felt so inspired last time I was here with you on Sept 3 – by our focus together – children and congregation – on the Lord’s Prayer – and how the kingdom comes – that I’m continuing it!

This kingdom of God for which Jesus taught us to pray… how does it come? How does it really come? In practical ways?

Praying the prayer implies acting in specific ways Continue reading Sermon, September 24, 2017

Sermon, September 17, 2017

“Help for the Helper”
Rev. David Pruitt
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Mark 14: 32-42
September 17, 2017

We like to consider Jesus as perfectly resourceful, without our human vulnerabilities, above the strife of life. But within this mornings scripture we read that distress and anguish came over him so that he confided to his disciples, “The sorrow in my heart is so great that it almost crushes me. Stay here and keep watch.” He had brought Peter, James and John with him into the Garden of Gethsemane. He did not go alone, he needed them to watch and pray with him in his hour of extreme need. He did not pretend that God’s presence alone was enough. Christ’s genuine humanity left him vulnerable to grief and sorrow and he felt the need for human companionship and human understanding. Continue reading Sermon, September 17, 2017

Upcoming Service Notes, Sept. 24, 2017

Both this coming Sunday the 24th and World Communion Sunday on Oct. 1st, Rev. Michael Caldwell will be in our pulpit.

Building on inspiration from his last time among us on Sept 3rd and using the Lord’s Prayer as a base,  Rev. Michael will focus on “How the Kingdom Comes” in two sermons Sept 24 and World Communion Sunday Oct 1. We can be very practical about how to live out Jesus’ prayer for God’s kingdom to come on earth as in heaven.

At Rev.  Michael’s request the opening hymn will be O Master Let Me Walk With Thee which in this arrangement of piano/organ duet carries in it the musical sense of walking together in harmony. Set to the tune of Maryton by H. Percy smith, the words of Congregational minister  Washington Gladden were not without controversy when he published his poem “Walking With God” and the stanza dealing with social justice was omitted in hymnals.

Here’s why: Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, Sept. 24, 2017

Painting the church

Thanks to the the efforts of the Trustees, the Act ‘n Sprire fundraising committee, and the painting contractors, the church is getting a fresh new coat of paint. The north and east sides of the church have already been scraped and primed, and what an improvement!


Benefit concert for Help Kids India Sept. 24 in Haverhill

Here’s another wonderful local event to benefit Help Kids India:

Wonderful news: “A Song for India,” a benefit concert for Help Kids India at Court Street Arts on Sunday, September 24 at 4 p.m. Two extraordinary vocalists, the legendary Betty Johnson and her
acclaimed daughter, Lydia Gray, will be joined by guitarist, Ed Eastridge, in a supremely engaging mix of classic pop and Latin classics.

And there’s more. Master fiddler, Patrick Ross! In honor of the beneficiary of this concert, Patrick has been experimenting with Indian music to bring yet another dimension to his endlessly creative performances.

Still more! Shop the Indian bazaar! We’ve joined up with a project that sells exceptionally fine Indian handicrafts made by women at risk—bags of all sorts, silk scarves, handmade journals, jewelry, irresistible items for the kids on your list… reasonable prices and HKI gets 50% return on sales.

The Court Street Arts Café will open an hour before show time at 3 p.m. with a selection of fine spirits, Indian soft drinks, and a sampling of Indian sweets: bread badam cake, carrot halwa, and gulab jamun. Tables are set for you and your friends.

This event is made possible by the extraordinary generosity of our friends at Court Street Arts and the dazzling Betty, Lydia, Ed, and Patrick.

Tickets have tiered prices ($10, $20 and $35) so you can give as the spirit moves you and finances dictate. General seating. Reservations? Call 603-989-5500 or go on-line at

help kids india IMG_5070

Upcoming Service Notes, Sept. 17, 2017

This coming Sunday we welcome back into our pulpit Rev. David Pruitt. David says:  “This weeks text is Mark 14:32-42.  We will focus on the genuine humanity of Christ as revealed to us through his struggles in the garden of Gethsemane.  His need for human support during times of great testing and stress can encourage us to humbly find saving comfort for ourselves during our own times of trial.  Further inspiration will be drawn from the great vulnerability of President Abraham Lincoln during his ordeals.  We will also find “heart help” from the way a young woman was ministered to during her stay in England from an unlikely source.”

John Atwood’s organ prelude this week will be J. S. Bach’s intricate  Prelude and Fugue in E minor, with the left hand and right hand rhythmically speaking to each other, and the pedals adding their weight to the conversation at intervals. Fascinating! Continue reading Upcoming Service Notes, Sept. 17, 2017

Sermon, September 10, 2017

“Rules for the Church to Live By”
Rev. Jeff Long-Middleton
Bradford Congregational Church-UCC

Matthew 18:18
September 10, 2017

Truly I tell you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

Pretty heavy stuff – loosed on earth, loosed in heaven. Do we even believe it? Let’s be honest. Most of the time the church seems a marginalized institution. There was a time when what the religious order proclaimed mattered. Now it is science that claims truth as its purview. And do you know of any church without its problems? I don’t. I have been at this for nearly forty years and served four churches. None of them was without sin. Do you know why?
Because the people were not without sin and although I am loath to admit it, neither was I!

I mention this because it is the first lesson I take from this passage in Matthew 18. Jesus talks about troubles among the faithful because there was trouble among the faithful. You don’t outline how to handle conflict if you never have any. Jesus knew of the need to speak of this  from the very beginning of His ministry. Remember how often the disciples seemed clueless? Continue reading Sermon, September 10, 2017