On Sunday October 8, 2017, we welcomed Pastor Jeff Long-Middleton as our interim pastor, and then followed up with ice cream sundaes during fellowship time. The Board of Mission & Social Action provided items to make up Church World Service heath & school kits, so that the congregation could assemble their own. It was a fun and happy morning. You can see some photos below.
Help Kids India and Extravagant Hospitality
Catherine Kidder and the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder
The Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ,
May 14, 2017
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Help Kids India Sunday
Psalm 31; John 14:1-14
Top: Hilda Isaac, Executive Director, and Angel, a crèche child. Below: Beulah, Jasminepriya, and Benjamin.
Part I, by Catherine Kidder, Vice President, Help Kids India, Inc.
We know what the crèches do for the children but there are mother stories, too. I’d like to tell you two of them in honor of Mother’s Day. One story belongs to Hilda Isaac, the woman whose vision, dedication and boundless love drives the whole crèche project. The other is about a crèche cook, Beulah, who credits Hilda and her job at the crèche with transforming her life.
Hilda is the executive director of the Betsy Elizabeth Trust, which Help Kids India and your church support. She manages five crèches, two sewing centers for poor women, and a community health center. She oversees thirty staff members, two rickety jeeps, seven properties, and the education, health, and care of 270 children.
Hilda grew up poor in a small coastal village, Porayar, where two of the crèches are now located. Her parents were Dalit, or untouchables, but could read and write. Continue reading Sermon, May 14, 2017, Help Kids India
Catherine Kidder, from Help Kids India, will be speaking to our congregation on Sunday, May 14 about her trip to India this past fall. We will learn about the work of HKI to help impoverished children and mothers.
In addition she and her husband Tom will be at Tenney Library for a slide show “Love at the Creches: Education, Health and Hope for Impoverished Children in South India” on Sunday, April 30, 6-7 pm.
Open and Affirming Covenant
We, the members of the Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ, Bradford, Vermont, regard all people as beloved children of God. We give thanks for the many and diverse gifts of God among us.
Jesus welcomed all. As First John says, “God is love, and those who abide in love abide in God, and God abides in them…. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
We declare ourselves to be an Open and Affirming congregation, welcoming and accepting into full membership and participation people of every age, gender, race, national origin, faith background, marital status and family structure, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, mental and physical ability, addiction, economic and social status, and educational background.
We affirm all lives and all relationships founded on the principles of God’s love and justice. We pledge to work to end oppression and discrimination whenever we encounter them, and, guided and empowered by the Holy Spirit, to help create the beloved community of God’s realm.
Whoever you are, wherever you are on life’s journey, you are welcome here.
adopted on March 26, 2017
The Board of Missions and Social Action has a long standing commitment to the wonderful work of Help Kids India. Each year we make a contribution from the earnings of our annual Wild Game Supper. Catherine Kidder will visit this spring to share slides from her trip to India in the Fall of 2016. So stay tuned!
It is not too late to join the Board of Mission and Social Action’s upcoming book group for adults. We are reading Little Bee by Chris Cleave. It is a novel about a refugee girl fleeing Africa and trying to build a new life in London. The Boston Globe said Little Bee is “one of the most vividly memorable and provocative characters in recent contemporary fiction…. Cleave paces the story beautifully, lacing it with wit, compassion, and even at the darkest moments, a searing ray of hope.” We will have a book discussion and brunch on Saturday, March 18 at 10:00. Please let Lucia, Patrick, Holly or Ginny know if you would like to borrow a book, or email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to see the book’s page on Amazon.
March 5th was the first of three workshops presented by Nancy Brown who specializes in helping beloved communities seeking to listen and communicate with intention and love. Folks came from 5 different worshiping bodies, 2 municipalities, several Associations, and the VT Conference!
The next workshop is April 2nd and the third is on April 23rd. Find out more information and register for either or both at http://bradforducc.org/calendar-page/healthy-communication-and-beloved-community-events/
Above is a photo of just some of the LOVE CREW that assembled the scores of bags, totes, bins and baskets full of sweets and joys and handmade Valentines. All these Sunshine Baskets were blessed on Sunday, February 14 before being hand delivered to each person, group home, and family. 20+ individual bags, 20+ couple totes, a half dozen or so large baskets containing breads, cookies, candies, fruit, drinks, popcorn, and Valentines handmade by children. . . so much love! Our church has been sending out these Sunshine Baskets for many years now. (More photos of the assembly in progress below.)
Want to be a Book Angel for the Sunday School library? There are 3 categories of $5, $10 and $15. Pick a book you’d like to sponsor and you will be that book’s Book Angel!
A huge THANK YOU to all the folks who participated in the Book Angels project on Valentine’s Day. Together we provided more than 20 new books to begin a children’s Sunday School library. More books will be available for purchase at the Christian Education’s Winter Warmer Dinner on February 20th.
This just in from the Bradford Food Shelf: right now they’re in great need of pasta, canned fruit, and canned stew. Anything you can donate will be GREATLY appreciated.