Minister’s Report 2015
Presented March 20, 2016
Insurance settlement work completed (!!) Depositions, Arbitration
Watson Edward Phelps February 1
Aurora Daniels April 12
Alaina Piskor and Jack Carpenter Whately May 2
Carol Cole and Gary Drew Stage Road Cummington May 3
Alex Dest and Milan Lanesboro renewal of vows September
Michelle Higgins and Shane Daly Mount Graylock October 10
Kelli-Beth Levesque and Mickey Kellogg the farm, Cummington October 10
Funerals and Memorial Services
Newell Hendricks May 24
Peter Thomson May 30
Betty Caldwell October 11
Clifford Thayer October 25
Special Services and Events
Maple Communion March 1
John Westwood Benefit Community House March 1
Pizza at the Parish March 12
Pulpit Swap Windsor March 15
Pulpit Swap Plainfield November 15
Dedicate new pulpit May 7
Joint Service with Village Church at site of original Meeting House August 16
The Monday Peace demonstration on Route 9
The second Sabbath every week
Southern Berkshire Domestic Violence Workshop Huntington June 29 Also On-Going Outreach to involve local ministers
Syrian American Medical Association potluck fundraiser at Village October 4
Church and Ministry Committee annual review October 12
Therese’s Trek Benefit October 17
Auction #14 October 24
Blue Christmas (with Village and Plainfield) December 17
Candlelight Service December 20
Christmas Eve Service December 24
Always evolving; always revolving
Concerts and Readings
Rachel Laitman Concert benefit NoFrackedGasInMass March 20
Reading at North Hall Stone Walls II June 12
The Nields benefit Climate Summer July 18
Buzz Bussewitz presents Universe film July 30
Village Harmony 1 June 7
Village Harmony 2 August 9
Moonlight Davis Gospel Concert September 26
Honey and The Sting concert October 7
Joint Meeting: deacons and ministers, Village Church and WCC November 19
attended various Jung talks and seminars Western Massachusetts Jung Assn. Northampton
Mentor with Karen Johnston
Neighbor to Neighbor Program and joined board of Central Berkshire Fund
Regular meetings with support teams for a youth at home and school
Pipeline activities. Too numerous to catalog. They included:
the Windsor-WC portion of the march across the state; the NoFrackedGas group, but also the Plainfield group, Windsor group, Affinity Group, Non Violence training, the Ashfield Hilltown Community Rights organization. Pipeline neighborhood dinners at Parish House. Meetings with local politicians. Private fund raising. walking the pipeline route to look for artifacts, etc.
The passions run high and remembering the way of peace is hard at the various Kinder/Morgan Open Houses and town meetings in Cummington, Windsor, Plainfield, Ashfield and Pittsfield. I attend all these as a representative of the church as well as a resident with a vested interest in breathing. Sometimes I am involved in the organizing (the Compressor Station film in Cummington.) I testified at several FERC and DPU hearings in Greenfield and Pittsfield.
- Donald Perry and the constellation of justice issues with which he is involved. This involved fund raisers, talks by Donald in Springfield, showing his documentary, at PH, and several trips to Boston last fall. This year: fundraising for Project Operation Change, Donald’s new non-profit. A long-term goal is to have him released from parole. This involves challenging his original sentencing in 1983. These efforts are underway.
- Monthly lunches with local ministers (new): we have planned the Blue Christmas, the Joint Service on the hill and the 4-way pulpit rotation. Also I have covered for my colleagues during vacations and recuperation from surgery. They will be glad to cover for me if necessary.
- Concerts at West Cummington: Village Harmony, especially, as well as The Nields every July and newcomers such as Rachel Laitman. My involvement, when not performing, is as host. This involves everything from putting up/taking down signs to turning up the heat early to introductions/MC.
- Any poetry reading I give (Huntington, Wendell, Plainfield) is out reach for the church. Well, it might scare some folks away also.
- I do services out of church for people who are church-phobic. Baptisms, funerals, etc.
State of the Church
Six years later, the fire is finally over. It’s not the first thing we explain to newcomers, it’s not the last thing to think of before dropping off to sleep. We have met all our obligations and settled all our claims. We even have some money in the bank to care for both our beloved buildings. For me there is a sense of closure, if not understanding.
We have taken a rest, we have taken an interest in other things. Now is the time to take stock of ourselves. What is the nature of this church? In what direction does our future lie? With whom do we align? As our old reliables begin to retire, what will we rely upon? what assumptions will we challenge?
Tough times are here, tougher times may be coming. As we are tempted to pull closer together, we will also need to open wider to Others and the unknown. I can’t think of a more unlikely group than us; nor can I think of a group more likely to be able to rise to the challenge.