Category Archives: Mission News

Sermon, May 14, 2017, Help Kids India

Help Kids India and Extravagant Hospitality
Catherine Kidder and the Rev. Thomas Cary Kinder

The Congregational Church of the United Church of Christ,
Bradford, Vermont
May 14, 2017
Fifth Sunday of Easter, Help Kids India Sunday
Psalm 31; John 14:1-14

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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

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.

We Are an Open and Affirming Congregation

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

Join the Book Discussion!

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  bradfordvtucc@gmail.com.  Click here to see the book’s page on Amazon.

Little Bee Book Cover

 

 

March 5th Healthy Communication Workshop

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/

Some photos from March 5th:2016-03-05 01.18.49 2016-03-04 23.20.582016-03-04 23.38.27 2016-03-04 23.18.40 2016-03-04 23.15.36 2016-03-04 23.14.54

Sunshine Baskets 2016

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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.)

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Book Angels

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.

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Responding to the Syrian Refugee Crisis

At the beginning of Tom’s sermon on December 6, he mentioned Ahmad Majid and his family, which includes his pregnant wife, along with a small group of refugees from Syria.  This past summer Anemona Hartocollis, a journalist with the NY Times, joined this small group of desperate people as they traveled from Syria to find sanctuary.  To read a full account of their story please click this link:  http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2015/10/22/world/europe/syrian-refugees.html?_r=1

The Missions and Social Action Committee of our church has attended a couple of informational sessions to see how the people of the Upper Valley can be of help.  A group of several churches and synagogues is forming and researching ways to assists families in need.  On January 31, the Missions and Social Action Committee will be providing the sermon for the morning centered on the topic of our response to this refugee crisis.  Please feel free to talk to Holly Young, Lucia Button, or Tina Towle, or you can also contact Ginny Moore at 802-222-9675 or via e-mail (VirginiaMJMoore@gmail.com) if you would like more information or would like to help out.