May 12, 2015

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Sunday Sermon: May 17th; “The Possibility of Prayer”   Rev. Olivia Holmes

Some liberal religious folk scoff at the idea of prayer, seeing it as a way to get out of taking responsibility for ourselves.  I say, not at all; the possibility of prayer is a way to touch our innermost selves with gentle, humble honesty.  Today I will invite you to open your hearts and minds to new ways of thinking about prayer within the context of our UU faith.


Sunday Service Volunteers

Greeters:  Please sign up. We have no greeters for this Sunday!

Community Hour:  Phil Jones and Rick Miller

Flowers:  Meredith Martin in appreciation of Barbara Harlow and the Worship Committee

(To sign up, go to: Log in with your login name and password, or click ‘Find a Sign Up’ at the upper right, use as the email to search. Or you can simply respond to this email. If you call me after 4:30 on Thursdays, I will not get the voicemail. Email is better.)





Margaret Kolbjornsen shared this favorite family reading with me a few weeks back and I used it this weekend as the Opening Words to our Service of Worship. Apparently it was a BIG success because many of you asked me to post it.  So, at your request, here it is!  Enjoy!


“The Trembling Moment”,

From This Hill, This Valley – A Year of Country Living by Hal Borland

(Adapted by the late, beloved Rev. John Kolbjornsen)


The year holds one moment, which may last for several weeks, when tree and bush and vines are on the breathless verge of leafing out.  It is then that one can stand on a hilltop and look across the valley and see the scarlet and orange maple blossoms like a touch of pastel crayon across the treetops.


The breathless moment has started. The pear tree beside the garden will soon be dressed in green lace, its leaves not much larger than a little fingernail.  The lilacs are tufted at their stem-ends, each twin leaf cluster tipped with faint brownish purple and not a leaf among them is much bigger than a squirrel’s ear.  The wild raspberries beside the river have scarlet tassels not half an inch long, each tassel an unfolding group of leaves whose form can faintly be seen.  The early apple trees have silver gray nubs at their twig tips, each nub a young leaf cluster emerging from the bud, each leaf the size of a ladybirds’s wing and each red-tipped, as though blushing.  The bridal wreath bush is green at every joint with little rose-bud leaves.


Such things are here now, this instant.  Even an hour from now all will be changed.  Tomorrow it will be different.  This is the trembling moment when life stands between bud and leaf, promise and achievement.  A new world is in the making on the old fields and hills.


“Now is the trembling moment.” 




A Great Big Thank You

Thank you to Marsha Morrow and Karen Clement for imagining and executing a Spring Sale. This duo enlisted the help of dozens of people who transformed the Church into a complete downtown department store, with home furnishings upstairs, apparel and more downstairs, and lawn and garden, sporting goods and more outside. Thanks to everyone who donated, everyone who helped before, during and after the event, everyone who shopped AND to the anonymous angel who provided a matching gift of $2500. The event was a great success and it could not have happened without such willing volunteers.

From the grateful fundraising committee


Pancake Breakfast

Come and enjoy fresh pancakes and sausages at the church from 7:00 - 9:30 AM on Children and the Arts Day, Saturday, May 17th.

All you can eat for $5.00/adult; $3.00/children under twelve.


The Property Committee still needs donations of maple syrup or $ to purchase same for the breakfast so please contact  Jim Fearnside 924-2965 or with your help, thanks.


The Teal Deal

The ‘Teal Deal’ has been a great success – 44 people have donated a total of 62 copies of the supplemental hymnal to the church. This gives us a total of 82 copies for congregational use. Thanks to all of you.

We would like to order the copies by the end of the month, so if you haven’t already paid, now is the time to do so. See Rhonda Barkley in the Parish Hall during coffee hour on the 17th.  Or you can mail checks to Margaret (118 Clinton Rd., Antrim NH 03440) or to the church. (Be sure to put Teal Deal on the information line.)

And if you somehow never got around to donating, it’s not too late. We’ll be happy to add you to the list for the next couple of weeks.


Volunteers Needed for Community Supper in May

It takes many willing and skillful hands to prepare, serve and cleanup from each Community Supper. This is not a once-in-a-year or a once-in-a-while activity. It takes a sustained commitment each week, year round. In a typical week 18 different people pitch in to help before, during and after the supper. 


In the spring and summer, because of vacations and other seasonal activities, it is much more difficult to get an adequate number of people on board to make each supper happen. In addition some volunteers who have been serving for years choose to retire. The result is a need for new volunteers to step up and fill in.


I still have openings for the month of May. Please contact me at at or 603-759-0084. Also forward this message to people you know in the greater community who may be willing to help with the supper.


Help your fellow church and community members to continue the tradition of service to the community.


PUUC Search Committee News

After a second review, we are testing the Congregational Survey this week, with the objective of starting the Survey process on Sunday, May 17th.  We will be incorporating the Survey results into our Congregational Record document that will be sent out to Prospective Settled Ministers. We really need your input and be assured that your responses are all confidential.

The UUA application to hold a Beyond Categorical Thinking (BCT) Workshop at our church will be submitted this week.  We anticipate being able to get our requested November 8th date for a combined sermon and workshop.  

PUUC Search Committee


The Buddhist Meditation Group

Will be meeting at 7 pm this Thursday, May 14th.  Come join us!  Following an hour of silent meditation (both walking and sitting), there will be refreshments followed by the beginning of our discussion of Thich Nhat Hanh's book,The Miracle of Mindfulness, An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation. .  This week we will discuss Chapter 5 "One is All, All is One: The Five Aggregates".  Reading the chapters is suggested, but not necessary for the discussion.

For those who cannot come, here are two simple exercises from our new book that you might like to try: 

Deep Breathing: Lie on your back Breathe evenly and gently, focusing your attention on the movement of your stomach.  As you begin to breathe in, allow your stomach to rise in order to bring air into the lower half of your lungs.  As the upper halves of your lungs begin to fill with air, your chest begins to rise and your stomach begins to lower.  Don't tire yourself.  Continue for 10 breaths.  The exhalation will be longer than the inhalation.

Measuring your breath by your footsteps:  Walk slowly and leisurely in a garden, along a river, or on a village path.  Breathe normally.  Determine the length of your breath, the exhalation and the inhalation, by the number of your footsteps.  Continue for a few minutes.  Begin to lengthen your exhalation by one step.  Do not force a longer inhalation.  Let it be natural.  Watch your inhalation carefully to see if there is a desire to lengthen it.  Continue for 10 breaths. 

Now lengthen the exhalation by one more footstep.  Watch to see whether the inhalation also lengthens by one step or not.  Only lengthen the inhalation when you feel it will give delight.  After 20 breaths, return your breath to normal.  About five minutes later, you can begin the practice of lengthened breaths again. When you feel the least bit tired, return to normal.  After several sessions of the practice of lengthened breath, your exhalation and inhalation will grow equal in length.  Do not practice long, equal breaths for more than 10 to 20 breaths before returning to normal.

Meditation instruction is available for those who wish it.  All are welcome.  NOTE:  We meet in the stage area at the back of the Parish Hall.  The Parish Hall itself is dark, so be sure to come to the back door next to the Kitchen in order to find us!  Though punctuality is helpful, you are welcome to join regardless.   Feel free to call Nori Odoi or Rags Gilmore at 603 547-2650 if you have questions about this or any other issue.

Welcoming Tips

Try asking questions that are shared experience rather than personal questions.  For example, instead of asking, “What do you do for a living?” you might ask, “I enjoyed the children’s story in today’s service.  What did you think?”



W. Peterborough - 2 bedroom apartment $995/mo includes heat, plowing, trash. Contact Peter Harrison at 831-1207.


As we work to create light for others, we naturally light our own way.


- Mary Anne Radmacher -



Be well, be loyal to peace, justice and the social good.  Vanessa


Contact Information and Office Hours

Shayna:  Monday 2-6, Thursday 9-1; (802)579-6066



Olivia: (603) 554-2294



Vanessa:   Monday & Thursday  8 am – 4:30 pm. Tues. 8:00 am-12:00 pm;  924-6245



Char:  Mon, Wed, Thurs, Fri 2-5 pm;  924-6245


Note* Actual times are subject to change dependent on individual schedules.