After our church Service on Sunday, December 9th, the congregation will gather for our annual "Old Fashioned Christmas." We enjoy a shared pot luck dinner and then we begin decorating the church for Christmas. All are welcome to attend and we'd love to see you!
The Board of Deacons met on November 26th and finalized plans for a New Members Meeting on Monday, December 3rd from 6 - 7:00pm. If you are interested in becoming a member of our church, we invite you to attend. You will hear about the process itself, our church congregation and our denomination. There will be time for you to ask any questions you may have, as well. If you are interested, but cannot make this date or time, please let Rev. Calvo know.
Today is Giving Tuesday throughout the nation. Black Friday was followed by Small Business Saturday which was followed by Cyber Monday. Now after making purchases for us and ours, Giving Tuesday asks that we give back to a charity of our choice. There are so many wonderful and worthwhile charities out there that need and appreciate our support. We at Hatfield Congregational Church would also ask you to consider a donation to our church on Giving Tuesday. Remember - all of this giving is because of the approaching birth of Jesus. Maybe give Jesus a birthday present this Giving Tuesday. And thank you.
Didn't make it to the Installation Service on November 11th watch it right here :)
Rev. Randy Calvo was called and accepted as the pastor of Hatfield Congregational Church on November 12, 2017, one year ago today. Yesterday I was Installed formally by the Hampshire Association, UCC. The Installation Service began at 3:00pm.
Clergy from the Hampshire and Franklin Associations processed into church as a sign of our covenant and bond.
Those who had formal roles in the Installation Service were seated in the Chancel. Our Music Director, Anthony Tracia, led us in our entrance hymn. The choir was seated in the front row.
Amy Novak, Senior Deacon, then offered words of greeting to all gathered and led us in the Call to Worship.
Janet Varnon, Hampshire Association Moderator, then greeted us on behalf of the Association and asked us to share the gift of peace. Rev. David Neil and Rev. Sherril Willis read from Isaiah 43:1-11 and Galatians 2:19-20, respectively.
The choir sang "Here I Am Lord" in an absolutely beautiful a cappella version. Rev. Dr. Cynthia Crossan-Harrington offered the sermon. Rev. Cynthia was extremely helpful in the transitioning of Rev. Randy into his UCC ministry. She was named his mentor by the Committee on Church and Ministry. And the two have been friends since she came to the Whately Congregational Church ten years ago. Her sermon was entitled "And then God laughed." She spoke about the unexpected surprises that God keeps in store for us even when we think we are so certain what are plans for the future may be. Her inspiring words can be heard on the video upload of the Installation Service, which should be available tomorrow.
Rev. Barbara Turner Delisle then offered the Pastoral Prayer. Gordon Pullan extended the Invitation to Give and the Prayer of Dedication. The collection benefited the Hampshire Association's Scholarship Fund.
At this point, the actual Service of Installation began. Glenda Flynn, Moderator at Hatfield Congregational Church, presented the church's request to install Rev. Randy as their settled pastor and teacher. Bob Varnon of the Hampshire Association reported the Association's examination and consent.
Rev. Robert Livingston extended the Exhortation to the congregation, the pastor and to all present. At this point, Rev. Randy was asked to stand front and center, and Rev. Jill Graham, Associate Conference Minister, then oversaw the covenant between pastor and congregation, and then also the covenant with the Hampshire Association, UCC.
Rev. Barbara Seamon offered the Prayer of Installation for Rev. Randy and then Rev. Jill proclaimed the Declaration in the name of Jesus Christ that completed the Service of Installation of Rev. Randy as pastor at the Hatfield Congregational Church.
When Rev. Randy served a church in South Deerfield, Rev. Dr. Will Sencabaugh was the pastor at the South Deerfield Congregational Church for 10 years. Rev. Will is an energetic soul, to say the least. Rev. Randy had asked him to offer closing thoughts at the end of the Service, not knowing exactly what to expect, and that's exactly what he got. Rev. Will was kind enough to drive north to his old haunts from his current pastorate in Lebanon, CT. I simply cannot do justice to Rev. Will's closing thoughts, but he had us all in tears. Tomorrow I hope to upload the video of the Installation Service, you'll have to see for yourselves.
We then gathered in the parish hall for light refreshments. I thank everyone who baked and worked to make everyone welcome.
My sincere thanks to Rev. Jill for formally installing me, the clergy who gathered, the Association representatives, the members of the congregation who came back to church a second time and the guests who traveled to be there, Anthony for leading us in our music and the Chancel Choir for their gift of music. I thank the congregation for the green stole embroidered with the pictures of all the stained glass windows in the church, and to Glenda for making it.
What a great way to celebrate my first anniversary at Hatfield Congregational. May our covenant help us to work together for the good of all of us, for the community and for the sake of Christ's gospel in the world.
Hatfield's oldest resident and our most senior member joined us at church on November 11th as she celebrated her 100th birthday. Her family joined her from the area and even from California and Colorado. Our younger members presented Marge with flowers and a very special card. The card traveled with us on Election Day to the Town Hall where residents were invited to sign it. The card also visited the Hatfield Elementary School, our recent Pork Roast Dinner and a couple of Sundays at church. There were page after page of well wishes for our centenarian. Marge was born on the day the Armistice was signed ending World War I and she is still doing remarkably well. What a joy to have her in church with us on this special day.
After the worship Service, we had a birthday cake waiting for Marge that all of us enjoyed during Chat 'n Coffee in the parish hall. Happy Birthday Marge and many, many more.
We hope you will be able to join us on Sunday, November 11th.
At the morning Service we will celebrate the 100th birthday of Hatfield's oldest resident and a member of our church. Birthday cake will be part of our Chat and Coffee after church.
At the conclusion of the Service, we will peal our church bell as part of our observance of Veterans Day. Veterans Day falls on November 11th because on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour in 1918 the armistice ending World War I was signed, which will be exactly 100 years to the hour when we peal our bells at the conclusion of the 10AM Service.
And at 3PM you are invited back to church for the Installation Service of Rev. Randy Calvo. Clergy and guests from the Hampshire and Franklin Associations will be attending and participating. A light reception will follow in the church hall.
Hope to see you Sunday.
CROP Walk 2018
"It was a perfect day for a walk in the country and our hosts in Leyden were most gracious -- and 13 of our Association churches participated in this year's Franklin County CROP walk to Stop Hunger Now!!! Attached is a picture of our Franklin Association "crew" -- which included 70 human and at least 5 canine "walkers" -- we don't know the final total raised -- but when we do, we will pass it along -- it was great to see so many walkers of all ages coming together for such a great cause. Thanks to David Neil for taking the photo."
We at Hatfield Congregational Church have been invited to participate next year in the CROP Hunger Walk to help Church World Services battle hunger right here and around the world. We wouldn't be the first, we'd be the second church outside of Franklin County to join their Walk, but it could be fun, and it would be so helpful.
Let me know what you think. Maybe we can organize a team for 2019.
Churches Called on to Ask Members to Sign Creation Care Voter Pledge
October 18, 2018
The Environmental Ministries Team of the Massachusetts Conference, UCC is calling on congregations to ask their members to sign the Creation Care Voter Pledge.
Here’s Why and How
The UCC declares that God’s great gift of Creation – the context in which all life seeks fulfillment – is in crisis. As people of faith, recognizing that the earth is the Lord’s, it falls upon our generation to embrace imperatives that constitute a new moral era. The UCC views the current climate crisis as an opportunity for which the church was born.
But voting data consistently shows that people concerned about the environment and the climate do not vote nearly as often as the general populace. “In the 2016 presidential election, about 68 or 69 percent of registered voters turned out to vote. The problem is only 50 percent of environmentalists turned out to vote. In the 2014 midterms, only 21 percent of environmentalists voted”.
What Can You Do About This?
Ask the members of your congregation to sign the Creation Care Voter Pledge. It costs nothing, but when someone makes the pledge the likelihood significantly increases that the person will actually show up and vote. Each person who pledges will get an email on election day reminding them of their pledge. (And a thank you note after the election is over.) This small pledge “contract” has great effect.
There are many ways to invite your congregation to take the pledge. Several are listed below and you can make up your own approaches and use several approaches at the same time! But time is very short, so act now. Affecting the mid-term elections is a moral imperative for all of us.
Approaches for Obtaining Creation Care Voter Pledges:
The pledges need to be typed into an online pledge form found here. If you cannot arrange to have this done, please contact Karen Methot for help. Do not mail them to Rev. Brooks Berndt in Ohio – there is not enough time for processing before Nov. 6th!
Why is your pledge important?
The Environmental Ministries Team of the Massachusetts Conference, UCC
The story of Noah is a favourite of many. We love the idea of Noah saving all those doomed animals. Well, we need a bunch of Noah's to sign on as Creation Care voters.
The World Wildlife Foundation's biennial "Living Planet Report" is not only disheartening for what it reveals about our stewardship of God's good creation, it speaks of a real danger to human survival. The link to the report is below. Please read this information and then consider signing-on as a "Creation Care Voter."
"Exploding human consumption" has caused a massive drop in global wildlife populations in recent decades, the WWF conservation group says.
In a report, the charity says losses in vertebrate species - mammals, fish, birds, amphibians and reptiles - averaged 60% between 1970 and 2014.
"Earth is losing biodiversity at a rate seen only during mass extinctions," the WWF's Living Planet Report adds.
It urges policy makers to set new targets for sustainable development.
Tuesday, October 23rd 7 - 8:00pm
We are about to begin reading the Final Act of Mark's Gospel. Jesus arrives in Jerusalem. He doesn't sneak in. He accentuates the turmoil and disturbs those in power by marching into the Holy City to cries of "Hosanna to the Son of David." But where is the Messiah of power? Where's God's grandeur? Maybe Jesus catches us thinking the wrong way about God and God's way, and this probably gives us a forever-warning to not grow complacent when it comes to being a follower of such a Saviour. Jesus' message will always challenge power and often our expectations of even God's power. Jesus speaks and stands for all not the few, even if the few cloak themselves with God-talk. It's action that matters as we discover when power asks about Jesus' credentials. He challenges us to follow in His path as people who think of the greater good, of the common good. I invite you to come and join us as we move on to read Mark 11. The stories may be familiar, but we can never grow too comfortable with its message. Come and read with us, Share your thoughts and reactions to the text. Let's work together to hear that truly God is still speaking.
Faith, love and chitchat.
Sunday 10-11am (9:30am July + August)
Children Sunday School 10-11am
Nursery care available during worship