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Announcements and News
from the pages
of The May 05 Tower

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The Tower Is Coming The Tower Is Coming

Whoa now,
do we have enough money
to pay for it?
The answer is… yes, and no.

We have pledges and cash in the amount of approximately $180,000 to be paid by 2006. This mostly covers the tower construction. However the necessary add-ons such as structural engineering, refinishing the clock tower, removing and reconnecting electrical and mechanical systems are in the ball park of our $225,000 original goal. Let's hope for no new construction surprises.

What do we do? We have paid about $70,000 to Southgate Steeplejacks from the early pledge gifts. Now we must borrow to pay our bills until the congregation finishes their giving. (This was voted and authorized by the congregation at the 2004 annual meeting.)

How can you help? One BIG way is to pay the remainder of your pledge as soon as possible. Time is money and whatever you give today saves us borrowing money tomorrow. And if any of you are feeling more blessed and generous, please make a larger donation your priority. When you see the new tower going up I guarantee you will feel a sense of pride and joy that you helped to make this happen.

Thank you all for your great support. Stay tuned for the actual dates for taking down the old tower and putting up the new replica. It should all happen in May.

Judy Schultz and Carl Peterson,
Tower Project Fund


Christian Growth Announcement

"We thank (Elizabeth)
for the superb job
she has done and bless her
as she continues working
towards her ordination".

As wonderful as our time with Elizabeth Barnum has been, she will be moving on to exciting new opportunities at the end of June, when her interim position comes to a close. We thank her for the superb job she has done and bless her as she continues working towards her ordination.

Looking ahead, the Church Council has recommended a short-term search for a new person. The Deacons have authorized that a search committee be formed from the Christian Growth Committee. This search committee has been formed and includes a Deacon as well as six members of the Christian Growth Committee. Advertisements have been placed on the UCC web sites, at seminaries and in various publications. We look forward to keeping you apprised of our progress.

Phyllis Kennedy, Co-Chair of Christian Growth


Mission And Action

During the month of May, we have the opportunity to help provide blankets to third world countries, as we participate in the Church World Service program called "Blanket Sunday". You can remember a mother who has passed away, or honor a living mother by donating $5.00 in their name to Blanket Sunday. Cards will be available beginning on April 24th, May 1st and May 8th. So please stop by the "Blanket Table" in the Vestry and help with this wonderful project! We will print all the mother's names the Sunday following Mother's Day to acknowledge them, and your generosity.

The Mission and Action committee, on your behalf, was able to help nine needy families this year over the Easter holiday. Each family was provided with small baskets of food, goodies and a flowering plant. Most of the families consisted of adults who would be alone. All the baskets were well received and we look forward to continuing this project in the future.


Just a quick update on the steeple replacement project.

Spring is finally here and the steeple work has started. Our weathervane is now in Vermont being refurbished and will be returned to once again sit on top of our new steeple. Due to our commitment to keep the church driveway clear for Mother's Day, the actual construction date is now May 16th. Plan to stop by and see the action and get a close look at our new steeple.

Tower Bob


Our Tree Of Life

  • The Aaronians requested prayers for two aunts: Rich's Aunt Libby and Peg's Aunt Betty
  • Elizabeth Barnum had emergency surgery for a serious infection on Friday, April 8. She was able to leave for her Dance Workshop in California on Monday, April 11, and will return on Saturday, April 23. Elizabeth will preach May 8, and there will be a celebration of her ministry with us on June 5th.
  • Libby Bickel has had a setback in the progress she was making. She is back at Eventide as of April. She talks wonderfully well, and is working on regaining use of her arm. Libby loves visits, and likes to get "the news"! Nancy Rockwell credits her spirit!
  • John Dabney, long a member of our church who moved to Virginia in 2000 to be near his daughter, died on April 7. A memorial service was held on April 16 in the church, with Rev. Bobby Thompson, Chaplain at the Academy, participating. Noreen Johnson and the Memorial Committee prepared a reception. Interment was in the Memorial Garden. Notes may be written to Nancy Dabney whose address is on the bulletin board outside the church office.
  • Congratulations! Michael Denney will graduate from Bangor Theological Seminary this month.
  • Dot Eaves had eye surgery planned for the week of April 10th.
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Maggie Hassan, on the death of her father.
  • Sue Jones had a hip replaced on March 30, and is recuperating at home under the tender care of Ray.
  • Teddy King was in a 650 mile bike race in Georgia on April 23rd. He was hit by another team's car and was airlifted to a nearby hospital. Specifics on his injuries have been hard to get, but Margie knows he has suffered a concussion, a separated shoulder and major road rash. She was able to speak with him by phone. We pray for his speedy and complete recovery.
  • Barbara Morrell is home after surgery and rehab, and is delighted with her recovery and prognosis.
  • George Olson received an ovation in church on April 3, the final day of his 18 year long career as Exeter Town Manager. Later that day, a dinner in his honor was held at the Towne Line Grill, to which George, Sue, her mother and their daughters were driven in a STRETCH limo, led by an ambulance and followed by a dump truck, a squad car, and a fire truck. The speeches ranged from the sublime to the ridiculous. George's was the best. He'll be back after a month in Florida (he's still a Deacon, and has duty!) so you can ask him about it all. In the fall he and Sue are taking their long planned dream trip to Australia and New Zealand.
  • Kathy Brownback's mom, Rita Brownback, died on Monday, April 11 in Lewisburg, PA. Kathy and one of her brothers was with her. She died peacefully, after a brief illness, at age 87. There was a funeral for immediate family members, with a memorial service planned for this summer in Eagles Mere, Penn., where she lived for many years.
  • Bravo to Carl and Nancy Peterson for repairing and repainting the Lincoln Pew in the Vestry, and for getting the cushion recovered. It looks worthy of a President!
  • Stephen Richardson was hospitalized on April 8 at Exeter Hospital.
  • Thanks from Cheryl Samans for your prayers and support after her hip surgery. She is now getting around on crutches.
  • Baptisms upcoming in May: May 8, Jackson Moller, son of Laura and Jon, who was Baby Jesus in the pageant; May 22, the Kennedy twins, Eva and Grace, daughters of Phyllis and Jim.
  • The Children's Bell Choir played an Easter hymn in church on Lay Sunday, April 10, under the able direction of Alison Hobbie.
  • Bob Daigle's parents just celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, congratulations!

-If you have cares and joys to share, or if you have an additional note, please contact Susan Scales at susan.scales@comcast .net, or call 778-9033.


Women's Book Group

An organizational meeting of the women's book group was held in April and we decided on our next book: Mountains Beyond Mountains by Tracy Kidder. This is the true story of Paul Farmer, a medical doctor and intellectual whose life's calling is to diagnose and cure infectious diseases and to bring the lifesaving tools of modern medicine to those in the world who need them most. It is a lesson in how a truly meaningful life can be created. What a great discussion we are likely to have!

We hope you will be inspired to pick up this book at the library or the local bookstore and join us for our next "Discussion and Tea" to be held upstairs in the church on Sunday, May 15th at 7:00 pm. Please join us for conversation and fellowship.

Another goal of May meeting is to set a year-long schedule of books and meeting times. So bring along ideas for future reads when you join us in May. If you cannot attend this meeting but would like to be on a "contact list," please call Nancy at the church or Alison Hobbie at 772-7157.

When you encounter cruelty, show kindness.
When you see turmoil, convey peace.
When you discover hate, express love.
As you go through the week ahead keep kindness,
peace, and love in your heart. Amen
Benediction by Dave Montgomery

Events and Happenings

  • May 1st - Newcomers meeting in Nancy's office during coffee hour. Open discussion of the faith of this church and our own lives.
  • May 8th - Mother's Day. Jackson Moeller, son of Jon and Laura, will be baptized.
    New members to join our congregation.
  • May 15 - Day of Pentecost, Confirmation will be held .
  • May 21st - Memorial service for Jane Leonard at 2:00 p.m. Reception to follow. The Hendersons will be here.
  • May 22nd - Eva and Grace Kennedy, daughters of Phyllis and Jim are baptized
  • May 29th - Memorial Day Observance with Men's Choir, led by John Martin singing the Navy Hymn, and other songs.



    Many thanks to all the members of the music committee, and especially Susan Scales, who have been working so hard on the Louis Bagger concert. I anticipate a wonderful afternoon.

    John Martin is organizing a repeat performance of the men's choir, Sunday May 29th, Memorial Day weekend. This year we are honored to have Henry Wing, conductor of the Rockingham Choral Society, conduct the group. They will perform the traditional Navy Hymn and one other selection. All men are invited to sing with this group. Tell your friends. Their will be a rehearsal on the Thursday night prior at 7-9 PM. Contact me or John Martin for further details.

    Children's Sunday is coming up in June. We will be looking for children interested in playing the musical selections of this service. All singers, instrumentalists and dancers are welcome. Contact me or Elizabeth if you are interested in participating.

    Sarah Brink, Music Director

    Youth Bell Choir
    The youth bell choir will be back in "full swing" on May 3rd, rehearsing every Tuesday evening from 6:15-6:45pm. Now would be an excellent time for those of you who are interested in ringing to give us a try. We will be preparing music that we will play on Children's Sunday, June 5th. We hope to perform at least three pieces - what fun! The choir is open to all grade-school aged children. Interested? Call Alison Hobbie at 772-7157.



    Kudos to the all who participated in Lay Sunday, and most of all to Peg Aaronian who orchestrated the service and encouraged everyone who participated. The shared sermon, by Bill Johnson, Joanna Pellerin, Betsey Burke, John Martin and Don Cole was a sharing of stories of how different things used to be in this church 50, 40, 30 years ago. As this group covered the decades and the changes, the reality that the church is always changing, always revising and reinventing itself, became clear. Walls went up and down, chandeliers were moved, the pulpit changed, the furniture behind it, too. And the fashions of the worshippers also changed. Betsey and Joanna sported white gloves and fox furs. All talked about the formality of worship, how little participation there was by those in the pews.

    Others who led worship were: Nancy Brown, Gwyn Coogan, Dave Montgomery, Ted King, and Michael Denney. Bravo and Thanks be to God!



    • The Food Pantry Ministry was honored during worship on April 3. Fred and Ginger White, Sue Bowman and the late Jim Bowman, who founded, expanded, and still sustain this work, were honored, along with other volunteers. The food pantry is in need of Fruit Juice, Juice Boxes, Crackers, Shampoo, and instant coffee. Any donations would be appreciated.
    • Ukama Project Five members of our church attended the day long Conference on Zimbabwe in Plymouth NH, sponsored by the Ukama Project of NHCUCC. A letter from our Ukama Partners at the Marlborough church in Harare, Zimbabwe is posted in the vestry for all to read.
    • Can We Afford to Grow Old? A group from the Unitarian Universalist Church and our church have been meeting to talk about a public program on Social Security, to be held in late September or early October. From our church the participants are: Sue Jones, Don Cole, Lew Hitzrot, Will Eaves, and Nancy Rockwell.


    Memorial Day

    Originally called Decoration Day, is a
    day of remembrance for those who
    have died in our nation's service.
    A Memorial Day Prayer
    Eternal God,
    Creator of years, of centuries,
    Lord of whatever is beyond time,
    Maker of all species and master of
    all history -- How shall we speak to you
    from our smallness and inconsequence?
    Except that you have called us
    to worship you in spirit and in truth;
    You have dignified us with loves and loyalties;
    You have lifted us up with your loving kindnesses.
    Therefore we are bold to come before you without groveling
    [though we sometimes feel that low]
    and without fear
    [though we are often anxious].
    We sing with spirit and pray with courage
    because you have dignified us;
    You have redeemed us from the aimlessness of things'
    going meaninglessly well.
    God, lift the hearts of those
    for whom this holiday is not just diversion,
    but painful memory and continued deprivation.
    Bless those whose dear ones have died needlessly,
    wastefully [as it seems] in accident or misadventure.
    We remember with compassion those who have died
    serving their countries in the futility of combat.
    There is none of us but must come to bereavement
    and separation, when all the answers
    we are offered fail the question death asks of each of us.
    We believe that you will provide for
    us as others have been provided
    with the fulfillment
    of "Blessed are those who mourn, for they
    shall be comforted."


    United Church Of Christ News


    United Church of Christ
    Family Conferences 2005
    On the Isles of Shoals 10 miles out from Portsmouth, NH

    Week I: August 7-13 Week II: August 13-19
    Come and explore Star Island and find out why this wonderful place is called "spiritual home" by so many. The food is plentiful, the sea breezes are soothing, the people are friendly, the Chapel worship is inspiring, the serendipity afternoon and evening activities are entertaining and the memories you form will last a lifetime. Speak with Elizabeth Barnum for more information.


    A Brief History Of Our Tower Bells

    Judy Schultz found in her files a letter dated February 3, 1999, which Don Schultz wrote to Jim Griswold, a brief history of our tower bells:

    "Bell's History lists the church bells dating from 1699 when the first building on the Front Street site was completed.

    1. 1699 Bell. Purchased by Peter Coffin, rung on Sundays to call people to worship and at noon and at 9 PM every day. This practice continued through the present bell, hung in 1882.
    2. 1739 Bell. Hung in the 2nd building on the Front Street site. Though that building was complete in 1731, the Steeple was constructed with private funds and sold to the town in 1739. The 1699 bell had been placed in the "Town House" (Gorham Hall site) and continued to be rung there. When the new bell was installed in the meetinghouse steeple in 1739, the 1699 bell was "Removed to Pickpocket" and hung in the factory there to call operatives to work.
    3. 1762 Bell. After the split with the Second Parish it was voted by the town to purchase a new bell (weighing 800 pounds - quite large). Fate of the 1739 bell is unknown.
    4. 1800 Bell. The famous Paul Revere Bell was delivered by sea from Boston to Portsmouth and then by river to Exeter. It was hung in the 3rd building (our present structure) in that year. It cracked in 1881 and was sold to Mr. Moses of the Baptist Church. They recombined the fragments with their own Revere bell and had it recast.
    5. The 1882 Bell. This bell was purchased by the town for $126, and is the bell still used today."


    The Spirit

    A short essay by Vermont theologian Frederick Buechner, from his book Wishful Thinking.

    "The word spirit has come to mean something pale and shapeless, like an unmade bed. School spirit, the American spirit, the Christmas spirit, the spirit of '76, the Holy Spirit -- each of these points to something you know is supposed to get you to your feet cheering, but which you somehow can't rise to.

    The Latin word spiritus originally meant breath (as in expire, respiratory, and so one), and breath is what you have when you're alive and don't have when you're dead. Thus spirit=breath=life, the aliveness and power of your life, and to speak of your spirit (or soul) is to speak of the power of life that is in you. When your spirit is unusually strong, the life in you is unusually alive, you can breathe it out into other lives, become literally in-spiring.

    Spirit is highly contagious. When people are very excited, very happy, very sad, you can catch it from them as easily as measles or a yawn. You can catch it from what they say or from what they do or just from what happens to the air of a room when they enter it. Groups also have a spirit, as anybody can testify who has ever been caught up in the spirit of a football game, a political rally, or a lynch mob. Spirit can be good or bad, healing or destructive. Spirit can be transmitted across great distances of time and space. For better or worse, you can catch the spirit of people long dead (St. Therese of Lisieux or the Marquis de Sade), people whose faces you have never seen and whose languages you cannot speak.

    God also has a spirit -- is Spirit, says the Apostle John (4:24) Thus God is the power in the power of life itself, has breathed and continues to breathe himself into his creation, in-spires it. The spirit of God, Holy Spirit, Holy Ghost, is highly contagious. When Peter and his friends were caught up in it in Jerusalem on Pentecost, people thought they were drunk even though it was morning. And they were, they were intoxicated with the Spirit.

    If the idea of God as both Three and One seems farfetched to you, look in the mirror someday-There is (a) the interior life known only to yourself and those you choose to communicate it to (God). There is (b) your visible face, which in some measure reflects that inner life (the Beloved One, some still say Son). And there is (c) the invisible power you have which enables you to communicate that interior life in such a way that others take it in till it becomes part of who they are (Holy Spirit). Yet what you are looking at in the mirror is clearly and indivisibly the one and only you."