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.
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!
Even today, the Ten Commandments that God gave to Israel occasionally make the news. Just last week the governor of Arkansas signed a bill requiring a monument to the Ten Commandments in his state. http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2015/04/09/arkansas-governor-signs-ten-commandments-bill/. Why are the Ten Commandments so important? How are they relevant for us today? These are good questions. Last Sunday, Pastor Kelvin Jones started a new series of messages on the Ten Commandments. He will continue this series through June with a week or two break here and there.
To help us gain familiarity with the commands we will read them each week. But to add a little extra touch, we plan to use a different version each week. Last Sunday we read them from the Geneva Bible, the Bible of the Pilgrims, likely the first Bible read in New England.
The Ten Commandments, Then and Now
The law is good if one uses it properly. (1 Tim. 1:8 NIV 2011)
The law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ. (Gal. 3:24 KJV)
Twenty-one walkers took advantage of the opportunity to participate in a great cause and get some exercise on a great day at the same time. On Sunday, April 12, at 2 PM the group started north on the rail trail. The group walked for nearly an hour. Individuals had recruited sponsors to contribute toward the cause, the United Methodist Church’s Imagine No Malaria Campaign. Eighteen walkers are shown in the picture, two more were photographers while one additional walker joined the group part way down the trail.
Easter is a big moment at Copper Hill Church. The service began differently than usual—no prelude, just the sudden announcement – whispered at first and growing louder with each repetition – “The Lord is risen; The Lord is risen indeed!” Traditional Easter hymns mixed with contemporary songs of praise followed as the congregation joined with Christians around the world to praise our Living Lord. JoAnne Jones played “Rejoice, the Lord is King” on her Celtic harp and the choir sang “Welcome Happy Morning” and “Easter Song.” On the latter song, the children helped by ringing bells. Pastor Kelvin’s message echoed the confession of the New Testament times, “Jesus is Lord.”
After the service the children delighted in the egg hunt and everyone one enjoyed fellowship time. It was a moment for good food and relaxed conversation. Part of the blessing of the resurrection of Jesus is the community of faith that we enjoy at such times.
Pastor Kelvin announced that his next sermon series which will begin next week will be on the 10 commandments. These ancient laws have been in the news as lawyers debate where to post them in this politically correct world, but their role in salvation history and their relevance to our lives has never been in question.
Five new members joining our church was the high point in our Palm Sunday service. Brandon Collins, a sixth grader was confirmed and joined with his grandparents Chris and Nancy Collins standing with him. Four adults also took on the covenant of membership; each one sponsored by a member of the church; Ken D’Annolfo, who was sponsored by his wife Carolyn; Lorraine Molloy and Shirley Prouty both sponsored by their friend Mary McCorison, and Robert Stewart, sponsored by his neighbor, Harrison Griffin.
Brandon, assisted by his brother Christopher, began the special section in the service by displaying the cross craft that they had made in confirmation class and reading the responsive liturgy about the meaning of the cross with Pastor Kelvin Jones. Then Pastor Jones called all the sponsors and new members to the front and he led the whole congregation in the liturgy for confirmation and membership. To emphasize the close relationship between membership and baptism, Pastor Kelvin sprinkled water into a bowl and reminded the congregation to “remember your baptism.”
Next our holiday choir inspired the congregation with a presentation of “What Kind of Love is This?” a contemporary anthem by Phillips, Craig and Dean, arranged and directed by JoAnne Jones. The morning message reminded us all that Jesus came into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday peacefully, on a donkey rather than a horse, as a symbol of the peace he wants to bring into all our lives. Pastor Jones said that Jesus came to bring us peace with God (Rom. 5:1, 2), peace with each other (Eph. 2:15-18) and peace in our inner selves (Phil 4:7, 9).
Next week at our new time of 9:30 AM our celebration continues with more choir music and music of the harp by JoAnne Jones as well. Pastor’s message will focus on the confession of the apostolic church, “Jesus is Lord!”