Some of you stopped by and saw us at Suffield on the Green Saturday or Sunday afternoon. It was great to meet you and chat.
This is the second year that Copper Hill Church has put together a booth in order to have a presence at Suffield on the Green. This two-day community event had more booths than ever, according to organizer Lori Sych and it was well attended too. In two days our volunteers gave away about 400 bookmarks and cards with our website address, service times, and other contact information. Our volunteers also tried to greet people with a loving smile and often they stopped for warm personal conversation as well. We offered as gifts little bracelets and/or pencils to children and teens.
It looked like we were not going to have a booth at all, since our application had been late. But at the last minute a booth spot opened up and it was offered to us. The spot turned out to be much better located than the one we had applied for. We believe God provided. Our thanks to our volunteers: Judy Holcomb and Joanne Jones for preparing materials ahead; Judy Holcomb and Ron Prevost for setting up the booth; and to JoAnne Jones, Judy Holcomb, Pastor Kelvin Jones, Harrison Griffin, Carol Griffin and Sarah Oliver for manning it. Here is one picture from each day.
At Copper Hill Church, we’re kicking off September with a new Bible Study series called “Understanding God’s Work in Your Life.” Pastor Kelvin Jones is teaching this series at two times and locations; Higley Village Clubhouse at 1:30 PM on Tuesdays and Copper Hill Church Fellowship Hall at 7PM on Wednesdays. The focus of the study is the New Testament book of Romans. Romans has been a very significant book in religious history having been instrumental in life-changing moments for spiritual giants Augustine, Martin Luther and John Wesley. But Romans is also surprisingly relevant to today’s world. It is generally considered the very best of Paul’s inspiring writings as it explains our Christian faith so well. Pastor Kelvin plans to keep the lesson schedule synchronized so that people can attend at whichever time is convenient for them that week.
The weather was good for outside games and the children made the most of it. Mr and Mrs. Mandirola had their hands full directing children in a range of ages through the over-sized clothes relay race and the sack race. Some needed lots of help and others didn’t. Then there was a ball game. How could there not be.
The party moved inside for songs with motions with Mrs. Jones and a fun skit about Noah. Pastor Jones dressed up as Noah and spoke the key words of comfort, “Don’t be afraid, God cares for you. He will take care of us!” JoAnne Jones narrated and the children manned the boat using puppets as the animal characters. The craft had rainbow streamers to remind the children of the sign of the rainbow that God gave to Noah, a sign of his continuing love and care. The attached card reminded them, “God cares about you!” Dottie Plunske and Carol Griffin helped serve supper to the children. Thanks to Lisa Griffin and the Jones for some pictures.
It’s almost time for school, so before summer vacation ends, we’re planning one more children’s event at Copper Hill UMC. The Kid’s Summer Send-Off Party is this coming Sunday afternoon 3:30PM-5:30PM at the church. Weather permitting, there will be outdoor games like last year’s party. Supper is included at no cost. There will be crafts too and a Bible story drama as well, all inside. Fun, fun, fun!
Two grills kept everyone in hotdogs and hamburgers and there was an ample supply of great salads and desserts too. But the best part was the good company at Summer Picnic 2015. There were lots of children wading in the creek and standing under the mist shower. while the adults relaxed under the pavilion. A few adults even waded in the creek themselves to beat the heat. Our thanks to Judy Holcomb for organizing the meal, to Judy Lennon for reserving the pavilion and Pastor and JoAnne for leading the singing and devotional moments after the picnic.
Here are a few pictures courtesy of Lisa Griffin and myself. I’d be glad to post more if you send them to me.
P. S. Dottie Plunske sent me some more fun Summer Picnic pictures so I have added them to the gallery.
Copper Hill Church is planning their annual summer picnic fun event for Sunday, July 19. We have reserved the pavilion at Granbrook Park in East Granby beginning at 2 PM and have planned activities for the whole family. Granbrook Park has a tennis court, ball diamond, and playground for the children. Feel free to bring lawn games too. Hamburgers, hot dogs, rolls, & condiments will be provided. If you would like to help, please bring a salad/side and a dessert for the 5 PM meal. After the meal, Pastor Kelvin will lead us in singing and a devotional. Bring some friends and enjoy a fun summer afternoon.
Copper Hill United Methodist held a special service on July 5, 2015 to celebrate the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence of United States. the special purposes of this service were to thank God for our country and the freedoms and privileges we enjoy, to remind ourselves of the Christian beginnings of our nation, particularly in New England, and to pray for our country. Pastor Kelvin’s morning message was the first part in a series called, “The Church America Needs.” (http://learntobewise.com/KSJonessermons/a-praying-church/) He will continue the series next Sunday.
A highlight of the service was a narration Pastor Jones had prepared reminding us about the Christian beginnings of our nation.
On Sunday, May 14, 2015 after returning from the Annual Conference held at Hofstra University, Pastor Kelvin Jones showed the congregation the gray ribbon tied around his right wrist and explained its significance. He was assisted by his wife, JoAnne, who also attended the conference and by Bob Stewart, an expert in local colonial era “Indian Deeds” as they are called.
In 2012, the United Methodist General Conference — the denomination’s top legislative body — held an Act of Repentance Toward Healing Relationships with Indigenous People service. A General Conference resolution also charged the denomination’s Council of Bishops with carrying out an ongoing process to improve relations with indigenous individuals including local or regional acts of repentance.
At the 2115 session of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church in their Friday morning session, Bishop Jane Allen Middleton led an Act of Repentance Service.
The purpose of the service was to “repent the United Methodist Church’s role in cooperating with, and entering into those relationships with political forces that resulted in the killing of indigenous men, women and children.”
The most egregious among such acts directly tied to our United Methodist church was the Sand Creek Massacre. A Methodist clergyman-turned-soldier, Col. John Chivington, on Nov. 29, 1864 ordered the cavalry charge that slaughtered a peaceful village of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians. Some 650 United Methodists visited the site during a Rocky Mountain Conference annual meeting. At the site, visitors learned that Chivington ordered the attack on a village where the peaceful Chief Black Kettle flew both the U.S. flag and a truce flag. The Colorado Territory governor of the time, John Evans, also a Methodist, defended Chivington’s conduct despite a U.S. congressional panel’s finding that he had “surprised, and murdered, in cold blood … unsuspecting men, women, and children.”
Certainly the conflicts of those early American centuries were not completely one-sided. Nor were all the acts of all settlers blameworthy. For example, we learned that when the Cherokees and others were forced West on the trail of tears, there were Methodists who left and went with them in solidarity with their suffering. But, despite the complexity of the whole story, it is crucial as we seek to facilitate reconciliation with indigenous peoples today that we acknowledge the wrongs that were committed by our forefathers in the past. This is in the spirit of the Prophet Daniel’s repentance for the sins of his forefathers (Daniel 9:4-14).
At the close of the NYAC Act of Repentance service, each attender was asked to tie a gray ribbon on their neighbor’s wrist as a reminder. As we tied it we were to repeat the words, “Never Again,” indicating that we would never again allow such unjust behavior toward indigenous peoples to go unchallenged. When we removed the band, we were to ask someone for help, tell someone else its meaning, and say together once more, “Never Again,”
The key dealings for land rights in our area happened two centuries earlier than the Sand Creek tragedy. Bob Stewart has done a great deal of research on the early agreements between settlers and tribes in our area. In our service at Copper Hill he summarized some of the early history. He noted particularly that the Indigenous peoples and the English had completely different concepts regarding the land. Native peoples did not own land. It was only on loan to them. But the English insisted on getting deeds. Bob explained that sometimes the circumstances under which the deeds were obtained were grossly unfair to the Indigenous peoples.
After Bob Stewart’s presentation, Pastor Kelvin asked his wife, JoAnne, to cut the gray ribbon from his wrist and invited the entire congregation to participate in the Act of Repentance by repeating with him the words, “Never Again.”
Fancy and fun seemed to be two good words to describe the Mothers’ Day Tea at Copper Hill Church on Sat. May 9. At least one family had three generations of mom’s and daughters present. One gentleman brought his wife. There were lots of exquisite dainty tea cups, more than a dozen kinds of tea to drink as well as cold punch. The food was gourmet too including some little French petit fours for dessert. JoAnne Jones provided the musical accompaniment on both harp and piano. Attached are some pictures.
The fancy cups are out for a special event this Saturday, May 9, at Copper Hill UM Church. You can drop in anytime between 11 AM to 2 PM. The Ladies’ Mothers’ Day Tea promises to be a delightful time, with lunch music provided by JoAnne Jones on piano and Celtic harp. I even heard that a gentleman or two might sneak in for the music, or maybe for the cookies. Reservations are not required, but you can call the parsonage with questions. Come join us!