Last Wednesday night Phoenix Rising UCC had it’s first gathering with members of First Congregational Church Haverhill, our parent Church, and the Advisory team. We met in the Executive Room at the Roma Restaurant; the place we saw the eagle gliding over the river a few weeks ago. One doesn’t see an eagle every day. I believed this to be a God wink and decided to have our first of many meeting there. The Folk’s at the Roma have a wonderful sense of hospitalty. New to the community, staff and patrons have welcomed Audery and I with open arms; it has become our favorite place to eat and on Friday nights Karaoke.
The Room is a private dinning room so it was the perfect place for each person to shared their excitement and talk about why they made the decision to join our journey. Good conversation abounded as we got to know each other better around our meal. We also talked about the role of the adsisory team. Toward the end of the meeting I read a letter. Here are a few exerpts:
“It is my hope that together with your support and particular passions I will be empowered to work hard in bringing together a reemerging Christian Community in Haverhill: one whose roots go back to 1642 at the Worshiping Oak and the first Christian community lead by John Ward First Congregational Churches founding father. A lot of history has taken place from then till now. Nevertheless, I feel God has led me back in time so that we can rebuild and reemerge from the first place the vision of a Haverhill Christian community began.
We have an 18 month plan that will lead to the launch of our public worship. The goal is to create a critical mass so that this church will thrive. A Critical mass refers to the number of people necessary at an event in order for the attendees to feel like there are “enough” people there.
…Building Phoenix Rising UCC is going to take a tremendous amount of effort with lots of people joining and contributing. I have a stewardship saying: “ If everyone gives a little a little becomes a lot.” Over time the compounding effort required to keep it growing will become streamline and will take different kinds of effort.
…whatever I [we] do in the next 18 months will become the DNA of this ministry. So I seek to be in the company of many so that together we discern how God is leading and gathering. I need your incites and prayers so that every day I go out, I am awake and aware as I meet people and listen to their stories and help them identify the following areas of need:
1. …a place to belong
2. …a sense of balance
3. …authentic relationships
4. …spiritual answers
5. …help through transitions
Then I can share how Phoenix Rising UCC can help fulfill their desire.
So, I am declaring that June 4, 2014 is officially the birth date of Phoenix Rising United Church of Christ Haverhill as together we became its first critical mass!
When I finished, someone said this evening feels historical. Then someone else said lets all sign this letter,our first offical church document. And so they did (See picture above)
Member of the Parent Church, the Advisory Team and Pastor Donna
From Left to right in the front row: Rev. Judy Proctor, Lina Bartow, Linda Hacker, Pastor Donna, Rev. Paul Sangree
From left to right in the back row: Audrey Spencer Collins, Rev. Paul Nickerson, Rev. Gretchen Elmondorf, Bob Clark
Friends, No matter who you are or where you are on life’s journey you will be welcome here. Are you wondering if Phoenix Rising UCC is the place for you? Are you looking for a place to belong, a sense of balance, authentic relationships, spiritual answers, help through life transitions? You are in good company. I am convinced God has been preparing the way for many to come from the north, the south, the east and the west,are you one of them?
Want to talk or know more contact me @: firstname.lastname@example.org