Copper Hill Church, P. O. Box 422, East Granby, CT 06026 pastor@copperhillchurch.us

Copper Hill contributes more than 2K to disaster response

Anyone watching the news or following it online cannot help but be taken back by the number and magnitude of natural disasters affecting our country recently. So many homes were destroyed or damaged in hurricanes in the Carolina’s and in the Florida panhandle area. Then most recently California suffered the most devastating wildfire ever. And disaster recovery takes a while. Puerto Rico is still very slowly recovering from its disastrous hurricane of last year. In the midst of all this, Bishop Bickerton asked all the Methodist churches to take a special offering for UMCOR’s US disaster relief fund. This cause resonated with our hearts at Copper Hill Church. Pastor Kelvin preached on the inter-relationship between thanksgiving, compassion and generosity. During November we collected offerings for UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief) culminating on Compassion Sunday (Nov. 18). I am happy to report that our offerings totaled $2099. This included $1000 from the UMW (United Methodist Women) of Copper Hill, taken from the earnings of their popular fund-raisers; $785 from individual contributions and $314 from a portion of quarterly missions giving designated by the missions committee and approved by the council. We are glad to be able to help in this way.

Holiday Bazaar a fun social event too

At Copper Hill Church, Holiday Bazaar is not just a fund raiser for charitable projects, it is also a social event. Perhaps the snow outside added to the charm of gathering for a hot bowl of soup and some delicious apple crisp. The baked goods are popular sale items as well, selling out completely this year in spite of the fact that some ladies went home on Friday evening and made more for Saturday. Deb Johnson’s starched lace angels are amazing too!. There were handmade quilts for sale and so many other special finds, big and small. Personally, I grabbed a few more trees for my train village. Thank you to all who prepared items, to all who helped and all who visited and especially to Susan Madry who is our organizer for this event and Judy Holcomb who is our main cook.

Carolyn took some pictures. In addition to the two featured ones, I have included a small gallery.

Harvest Party a Success

There were so many amazing costumes as you can see for yourself at the annual children’s harvest party on Oct 28th at Copper Hill Church. With sixteen children in attendance, there was quite a variety. A couple of the older girls had made their own costumes. The dragon costume had been made by Lyle’s Grandma for Lyle’s Dad and was still in great shape for Lyle to wear. After the costume parade, judge Suzanne McCorison awarded each costume a prize. Next we headed out for the hayride. Thank-you to Clark’s next door for lending us the equipment and Harrison Griffin for driving. After we returned, children’s church leader, JoAnne Jones, led the children in a couple songs and helped them act out the Biblical story of the prodigal son which Jesus told. Then it was refreshment time. Thank you to Judy Holcomb for cooking mac-n-cheese and coordinating the goodies.

Baptism of Jake Harrison Oliver

Sunday, October 14, 2018 was a very special day for the Oliver and Griffin families at Copper Hill Church. Mark and Sarah (Griffin) Oliver brought their firstborn, Jake Harrison Oliver to be baptized. Jake joins several others in the church family who are direct descendants of the first class leader of the congregation, Aristarchus Griffin, who was appointed class leader when the church was founded in 1816. The baptism liturgy was part of the morning service as the congregation also renews their promises to support and assist the parents in teaching their child. After the service and picture taking, everyone enjoyed a reception for the occasion.

Special Sunday on Sept. 16

The Secret is out about Back to Church Sunday!

National Back to Church Sunday

Sometimes we just need an excuse to do something we been going to do for some time.   Getting back to church is one of things things for many people.   I met someone just the other day at Suffield-on-the-Green who expressed exactly this sentiment.   Just for folks like you we are creating a Back to Church Sunday on September 16 at Copper Hill.  Right now, in the beginning of the fall season, this may provide you just the nudge you've been looking for.   Service at 9:30 will be friendly, as always, with an easy mix of formal and informal--just enough formal to feel like a time of worship and prayer, and just enough informal to make one feel right at home.   Pastor Kelvin Jones will talk about the importance of friendship to our happiness.  We would love for you to worship with us.

Afterwards, we plan to enjoy coffee and refreshments out front on the lawn.  And we'll be out there hoping to meet neighbors, whether or not they have been to service.  So if you are driving by, please stop in and get some coffee and say hi!  We'd love to chat. You can tour the church sanctuary if you would like too.  You are invited!

 

Special Prayer Service

It's time for prayer!

Have you had the feeling of not wanting to watch or read the news because it is so upsetting or discouraging? Maybe you feel there's nothing that can be done. But there is! This is an event for you. Tomorrow night Copper Hill Church will sponsor a special prayer service, inviting other area churches to cooperate as well. Leaders will take turns guiding the congregation in prayer for selected topics and issues, especially for our country and for our churches. All Christians are invited to join their voices together in prayer, enjoying the fulfillment of Jesus' promise, "Where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them” (Matt 18:20 NIV).

Copper Hill Church to hold National Back to Church Sunday events

Summer fun gives way to school days

This picture from our church summer picnic is a happy reminder for all of us of the good times we enjoyed during sunny summer days.   Vacations with family, trips to the mountains, the beach, the fair or the theme park all contribute to wonderful summer memories.  But if you're like me, you welcome the fall days when the evening air is more nippy.  For children,  around Labor Day, the school year begins.   As a pastor, I've noticed that the coming of school brings changes in the schedules of many people, including many who don't have children in their immediate family.  Workplaces end summer schedules. Traffic patterns change to make way for school buses and parents delivering and picking up children.  College towns spring to life.  Travel winds down.    These fall changes have become part of the rhythm of our lives.  As the wise man of Israel said,  "For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven" (Eccl 3:1 NRSV).

Fall is a great time to get back to church too!

There is so much to do during the busy summer season that it is easy to get out of the habit of attending Sunday worship services.  We are pulled in so many directions.   But the fall schedule provides an ideal time to return to our regular habit of honoring God.   To help, Copper Hill United Methodist Church is joining in the celebration of National Back to Church Sunday on September 16.    Worship service is at 9:30 AM and there is both a children's moment and a Sunday School time for the children.  The theme of the day is , "You Belong Here!"    It reminds us, first of all, that God is seeking us, and desires to welcome us all into his presence as we open our hearts to Jesus.     It reminds us too how essential it is to take time to enrich our spirits, encourage your hearts, and find life-giving direction through God's Holy Word.     We discover when we come what the Psalm writer meant when he said,  "The Lord is near to all who call on Him, to all who call on Him in truth" (Ps 145:18 NIV).

We are also inviting all our friends and neighbors to enjoy  snacks and conversation after the service on the lawn in front of the church.    Usually, we have coffee hour inside once a month after service.  But on September 16, we are planning to have our  coffee hour outside to make it easy for neighbors and friends to stop by and say hi, whether or not they have been to service.   

Fathers’ Day/ Children’s Sunday participation high

Children take part in many ways

Copper Hill Church held an unusual service on Father's Day.   Pastor Kelvin had suggested that the day also be a children's Sunday.  The children would bring a special song and also the children and youth of our church would fill as many volunteer positions that day as possible.   It was a huge success.  Pastor Kelvin had little to do other than the pastoral prayer and the sermon.

Shannon Collins led the call to worship. Ryan Harvey gave the Invocation.   Scripture readers were Ian Griffin and Morgan Gabbidon.    Ushering were Connor and Parker Mandirola while their older brother Griffin manned the sound board and projection computer.  Music for the offering was played by Morgan and Melia Gabbidon.  Anna Griffin thought up and presented the children's sermon to the other children.  Madison Schantz and  Reagan and Ryan Luchina helped hand out the awards to the Sunday School teachers, Sheri Mandirola, Lisa Griffin and Robert Loomis for their faithful work this past year.   Shannon Collins, Parker Mandirola and Camryn Schantz assisted with the sermon, helping to display the three object lessons which pastor used to explain the parable of Jesus which was the lesson.

Music leader, JoAnne Jones, led the children in an animated song, "Rock of Ages, Jesus is the Rock."   Everything went very smoothly, everything involving the children, that is.   When Pastor Kelvin started the message his mike was not on.  People thought it might be Griffin's problem on the sound board until Pastor Kelvin confessed that he had forgotten to put batteries in his mike unit.  Everyone, including pastor, had a good laugh, the batteries were put in, Griffin was vindicated, and the message continued.  Bob Stewart videoed the service for us.

Children’s Sunday 2018 at Copper Hill Church

Flower arranging event

Pre-Mother's Day flower arranging event yields beautiful bouquets

Copper Hill Fellowship hall was a busy place for flower  lovers on May 5.  For the second year, Sarah Oliver and Sheri Mandirola of Oxen Hill Farms taught a flower arranging class.   It was a multi-generational event with several children delving into flower arranging too.   Sarah patiently instructed us one flower at a time how to build our bouquet while Sheri roamed the room giving individual help as needed.    This year's class featured a technique called color blocking.  The results were spectacular.   With a little TLC, my bouquet lasted until Mother's Day.   Thank you to Sarah and Sheri for such a fun time.

Palm Sunday a Highlight

Three youth confirmed

During the winter months, Pastor Kelvin held a six session confirmation class with three students.   The sixth graders studied basic beliefs of the Christian church,  learned about the liturgies they participate in from week to week,  and discovered more about their local United Methodist Church here at Copper Hill.   Pastor Kelvin asked the three to write out questions as the class proceeded.  This prompted much live discussion as some questions were addressed immediately.    According to Pastor Kelvin, this was a time for them to "Make the faith their own."    Since the classes concluded during Lent, one of the obvious themes was the Cross of Jesus.  In this picture, the confirmands  lead a special liturgy for the congregation on Palm Sunday which focused on the cross and summarized their learning.   

Cross Craft too

Sheri Mandirola assisted with the confirmation class by supervising the Cross craft.   Each student was provided with a four layer wooden Baltic Birch cross to decorate and display as a part of their confirmation journey.   Sheri encouraged them to put cut-out pictures representing their lives on the large bottom layer which were then decoupaged.   The only thing dictated was that the tiny top cross would be painted red to symbolize the blood of Jesus shed for us on the cross.  The students chose their own colors and decor for the middle layers.  Here they are displaying the crosses on Palm Sunday before reading the Cross liturgy.   Thank you to Sheri for her time and expertise.  

The moment

Confirmation is a special time.   Each one has a sponsor or sponsors.   Griffin was sponsored by his parents, Paul and Sheri.  Kylie Smith was sponsored by her Grandma,  Mary McCorison.  And Shannon Collins was sponsored by her Grandma, Nancy Collins.   The confirmation service itself consists of  multiple parts; presentation of the candidates by the sponsors,  ritual questions and answers relating to renunciation of sin and profession of faith, congregational affirmation and support,  confirmation blessing,  confirmation gift  which was a new Bible, membership vows and reception  into membership.   I have included pictures of the confirmation blessing for each of the three, appropriately softened, I thought, to emphasize the moment.  

Adult new members too

In addition, to the three confirmands, eleven adults joined Copper Hill Church during the Palm Sunday Service; five by profession of faith and six by transfer.   Pastor Kelvin Jones had also held a six session Basic Beliefs/Membership Information class during Lent for the adults.   Joining by profession of faith were Barbara Brick, Lori DeFrances, Janice and Maurice Gabbidon, and Jacqui Luchina.   Transferring in from Trinity UMC was James Luchina; from North Canton UMC was  Suzanne McCorison.   Joining by letter of transfer from Arkport UMC in Arkport, NY were Kelly Burke and Carl Harvey.  In one of these "small world" happenings, Arkport UMC happens to be where Pastor Kelvin and JoAnne were married.   Joining by letter from Beautiful Savior Lutheran church in Michigan were Mike and Karen Ahijevych.   Ahijevych's are parents of  Copper Hill treasurer, Lisa Griffin.   All of  the new members also had sponsors.   Each new member joined in the public profession of faith and Pastor Kelvin pronounced over each the special blessing for new members.   Each received a beautiful hand-lettered membership certificate embossed with the church seal prepared by the membership secretary, Sarah Oliver.   Barbara is holding one in the center of the large group pictures.  Thank you to Sarah Oliver, Cory Schantz and JoAnne Jones for pictures.   (Blame all the photo editing on me.)