Peace and Grace to you!

It's no news that these are stressful, unprecented times. Each of us is living in that region--pushed by new demands, pulled by strange anxieties, and suprised by variants of just about everything. I hope you'll continue to build some spiritual practice into your daily routine--some time for silence at daybreak, a deep breath before going back to work after lunch, a quite time of meditation before bed. Whatever it is that grounds you in God's mercy, and in the deep and sure experience of grace, do it. Make a point of doing it each day.

And know that there are many of us out here, working on the same challenge, experimenting with new patterns, reaching deep for God's strength.

We're one in the Spirit!

Dave Grishaw-Jones, Pastor


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Sunday, January 16


You're invited to join the circle of faith this Sunday, as we gather for worship at 10 am, in our beloved sanctuary on Main Street.

Our guest preacher this week is the Rev. Alexis Simpson, the Executive Director of the Waysmeet Center at UNH. Alexis comes to UNH as a UCC minister, and as a NH State Representative, with a lifetime of commitment to young adults, campus ministry and public life. Join us in celebrating our unique partnership with Waysmeet, and with Alexis herself!


If you'd prefer to connect online, we'll continue to offer Zoom and Facebook Live services. Simply use the links below to log on at 10 am--and join us for worship, prayer and celebration!

Sunday's Zoom Link

Facebook Live Link


Sunday School is back. Kristin Forselius and her team welcome families and children to join them just before 10 in the Sunday School wing--and parents are invited to join the congregation in the sanctuary for worship!

Morning Lauds

Our morning practice feeds the soul and connects us in community and spirit. Look for us on the Community Church Facebook Page each Wednesday morning at 8 am. This simple gathering lasts about 20 minutes, and weave us into a circle of grace and strength for the days to come.

Koinonia Small Group Registration

Our Winter/Spring program is in the works! And you're invited to join one of our small groups for discussion, spiritual growth and deepening community. We call this wonderful program: "Koinonia." It offers one and all an opportunity for Christian discernment, and a sense of vital and hopeful community in uncertain times. What does Christian hope look like in 2022? How do you related to the Christian story? What kinds of doubts and passions do you bear in your heart? SIGN UP HERE TO JOIN ONE OF THE GROUPS THAT GATHER IN FEBRUARY.



Church Events


All are welcome and invited to join us for the congregation’s Annual Meeting on Sunday, January 3O, at 11 am in the Sanctuary, following worship. We are a people of collaborative, cooperative and spirited partnership—and together we direct the vision and priorities of our lively church. Join us for this annual celebration of congregational spirit and governance! NOTE THAT due to pandemic challenges, we've pushed the date of our meeting out a week.

Gatherings for Growth & Inspiration

1.16.22 Theater


January 16 at 7 pm
Community Church of Durham

Theater For The People is a BIPOC produced, touring theater company based in New England. Through curating thought-provoking plays accompanied by dialogue spaces, we build community through the pursuit of oneness and diversity.

We are so excited to announce our first event of the year: Electric Voices! This is a night of spoken word, live music, and great discussion. On January 16 we will be honoring the words of the Noble Prize-winning Author Toni Morrison. You don’t want to miss this. The event will take place at the Community Church of Durham, UCC and starts at 7 PM! Suggested Donation $10

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In this timely conversation on Thursday evening, January 20, our own Peter Miller will share his unusual perspective on American public schools. Staffing New Hampshire’s largest union as a professional representative of education employees and their local unions, Peter brings decades of engagement and commitment to this critical issue and all that it means. Public schools have endured decades of “reform”—beginning most publicly with Ronald Reagan’s “A Nation at Risk” report, followed by years of candidates repeating the phrase “failed public schools,” and imposing punishment for those failures. More recently, attacks on public education have gone mainstream. And in 2021, NH adopted laws offering cash incentives for parents to remove their children from public schools and threatening to revoke professional teaching licenses for teaching specific ideas (like ‘critical race theory’). Vigilantes offer bounties for ‘the person that first successfully catches a public school teacher breaking this law.’ What’s at stake? How can we make a difference for the good? Join us on January 20, at 6:30 in the Sanctuary for this compelling and urgent conversation.



Car Rallies: Sundays at 1

Join CCD friends and many others from around NH on Sundays at 1:00. We're calling on ICE to release detained immigrants and to show our support for those incarcerated there. We gather in the courthouse parking lot at 1 pm.

• Form convoy at Strafford County Courthouse, 259 County Farm Rd., Dover.

• BRING SIGNS: Hold your sign or attach it to your car. We encourage holding up heart-shaped signs. If you make your own sign, our messages are: “End Detention Now”, “Immigrant Rights are Human Rights”, “Due Process For All” or any other message that speaks to you.

Afghan Family Arriving in the Seacoast!

Team Seacoast has been matched with a family of six arriving at Manchester Airport on Friday, January 14. You can contribute financially to their transition here: If you would like to volunteer your time, please contact Lorna Ellis (




Our Prayer List

As a beloved community, it's our joy and calling to hold our friends in loving prayer. This week, we pray:

For Jo Bernard, Katie Wheeler, Gloria Mason, Frann Bates, Bob James and Mandy Armstrong, as they continue in treatments and recovery.

For all those living with mental illness and finding a path to wholeness and hope, that they may know peace.

For the children of our church, that they may know delight and hope every day.

For all those living in nursing homes and retirement communities, that they may be safe and well.

For our many elders, living at home and finding new rhythms for engagement and meaning, that they too may be engaged and inspired.

For public health officials and political leaders, as they discern faithful and safe paths into the future for our communities and neighbors.

Our Life Together

Church Calendar and Links: We want you to know that the church's calendar is available online (through our Breeze app). And you can find almost all of the links to our Zoom gatherings and meeting there, as you hover over various events. Got questions about this, call us in the office (868-1230). See the link here!



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The Distinguished Service Award!

We're so proud to announce that the Oyster River Cooperative School District (ORCSD) has nominated our very own Kristin Forselius as the 2022 recipient of the District’s Distinguished Service Award. The Ward is given out every winter in February. Congratulations to Kristin--who models the faith, integrity and spirit of our shared faith! She'll receive the award on February 8.

Children’s Choirs!

The older group (generally grade 3 and up) is meeting on Thursday afternoons at 4:15, and the younger group is meeting at 5. We will prepare some music for the Christmas Pageant as well as for Sunday services. In order to be safe, we plan only to sing outside, with masks on, and with adequate spacing until the health situation allows us to come indoors. If your family is interested, please contact Lorna Ellis (, (603)969-7962).

Youth Group Opportunities


We provide a quiet, stress-free, safe space where 4th-8th graders can check-in weekly on how they are feeling. We focus on a weekly theme- such as giving and receiving, listening, honoring and valuing creation. We read together an inspirational, hopeful, or contemplative short piece (mostly Bible scriptures, but not exclusively); and we use guided meditation as our prayer tool. In meditation we focus on the breath, and practice in stillness, in self-love, and in God's light. Our kids are getting to know each other in new, trusting ways. They are finding some respite from the busyness of life and stress from competitions, social pressures and grades and due dates. We welcome all, including friends who may have never had a church experience or who might just be able to use this type of activity.


Mondays at 7:00 pm. Register with Kristin at



Martin Luther King, Jr. Events

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Monday, January 17: 11 am to 12 noon
Inspired by the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr., the Currier Museum of Art in Manchester will present a live program over Zoom about invisibility and related issues of love and hate. We’ll begin with a conversation about paintings by Norman Lewis and Glenn Ligon and conclude with a collaborative visual response. No art experience is necessary. We encourage adults and children to attend together. REGISTER HERE


Monday, January 17: 1:30 pm to 3 pm
All are welcome to join the 40th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Community Celebration on Zoom and on Manchester Public Television (MPTS) channel. Our Special Guest is Tj Wheeler --a jazz, blues and roots-related concert festival musician and educator. Musical sections will be offered by the Manchester High School West Jazz Band with a shared reading from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s sermon “Loving your Enemies” delivered at Dexter Avenue Baptist church (November 17, 1957). The Martin Luther King Coalition is comprised of organizations that are committed to the teachings, beliefs, and principles of the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. See the event on FACEBOOK LIVE HERE.


Monday, January 17: 7 to 8 pm
This event is hosted by NH Peace Action and highlights the struggle for equity and inclusion in the Granite State. Our special guest is Brenda Lett, who has been a leader in racial justice and reparations work for several decades. Our conversation will commemorate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Brenda’s work with the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N’COBRA), which is the premiere mass-based coalition of organizations and individuals organized for the sole purpose of obtaining reparations for African descendants in the United States. We will also discuss what racial equity looks like in a state that resisted celebrating Dr. King’s work for many years and how the Triads of Evil – Racism, Militarism and Extreme consumerism – divert resources and lives away from lasting racial and economic progress. FIND THE EVENT ONLINE HERE.



The Community Church offers an exciting range of small discussion groups, book studies and support groups. Check out our ONLINE PAGE for the latest descriptions, with times and contacts, and an invitation to community and conversation!

Informal Grief Support Groups


This group meets monthly, September--May, on the 2nd Monday of each month, 4:00-5:30 pm in the Church Parlor or Virtually. This is an informal gathering, to share joys and concerns, tools for coping, and each other’s company. There is no cost. Because of COVID protocols, however, there are space limitations. For information about openings, please email Steve Hardy.


This group meets monthly September--May, on the 3rd Tuesday of each month, 5:00-6:30 pm in the Church Parlor. This is an informal gathering, to share joys and concerns, tools for coping, and each other’s company. There is no cost. Because of COVID protocols, however, there are space limitations. For information about openings, please email Steve Hardy.

Bereavement Program

Grief, Healing, and Resilience: A Structured Program of Support for Adults Who Have Lost Children/Grandchildren, Nieces/Nephews, Spouses/Partners, or Siblings, held across four meetings, 5:00pm-6:30pm on the following Mondays: 4/4, 4/11, 4/18 and 4/25. Location: Chapel, Community Church of Durham, NH

At some point, most humans suffer grief, often defined as the process by which someone experiences loss. But losing a child/grandchild, niece/nephew, spouse/partner, or a sibling is an especially devastating form of seismic trauma. While grieving is very specific—based on the individual griever, the nature of the loss, and the relationship with who has been lost—there are many common elements to the journey. These include an emotional roller coaster at times triggered by passing comments such as “Oh, you’ll get over it” or “You’ll have another child,” or “Don’t be in denial,” or “She’s in a better place.” This program of four 90-minute meetings is NOT clinical therapy, but it is designed to offer information and some tools for engaging with grief and healing. While spiritual in orientation, the program is non-sectarian and non-denominational. Discussion is most welcome, but no one need participate if not comfortable doing so. As one participant noted: “it is really hard to express one's true feelings but Steve
made it comfortable to do.”

Facilitator: Steve Hardy earned a graduate-level Grief Support Specialist Certificate from the University of Wisconsin in 2017. More important, he has personal experience in grief—shared with his wife Donna—through the loss of two sons. He retired in 2014 as Professor of Kinesiology and Affiliate Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, where he won awards for teaching excellence. This is the third time he has offered the structured program. Since 2018, he has also facilitated informal grief support groups. And he has written blogs on resilience at:

Enrollment: This program is for grieving adults who have lost a child/grandchild, niece/nephew, spouse/partner, or a sibling. BYO writing material— tablet (paper or digital), pencil, pen. There is no cost, but enrollment is limited to 20 people. For information or registration please contact Steve Hardy at: or 603-781-7194.




Here are some recent communications and letters from other parts of the church, as we keep connected around activities and commitments far and wide.

Thinking About a Friend?

Maybe you've got a friend, a colleague; and you think the Community Church might really fit your friend's passion for spirit, justice and peace. Feel free to forward this email on...don't hesitate to share the good news of vitality and compassion that we experience together every week! You might be doing your friend a wonderfully good turn!

Curious About CCD & UCC? To find out more about Community Church, visit our church website. Or, find us on Facebook. Did you know that the Community Church of Durham also has a Facebook Group where ideas, comments and announcements can be posted? Check it out and get connected! To learn more about the United Church of Christ, and our bold witness nationally, visit the UCC's inspiring website. The New Hampshire Conference is another resource for great inspiration and connection in mission. You'll find the Conference online as well!

Dave's Blog is "VALLEY RISE UP": And you're welcome to visit anytime, or better yet "follow" the blog to receive his latest posts. Dave regularly posts prayers, poetry, reflections and all of our weekly worship opportunities.


ECHO Thrift Store

ECHO is back and better than ever! Covid originally closed our doors and water damage from a burst pipe kept them closed. Walls have been painted, floors have been replaced and we invite you back to our wonderful thrift shop run by community volunteers.

Friends in Action, a non profit that provides social and recreational opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, has many participants volunteering Monday- Wednesday. To keep volunteers and shoppers safe, we are requiring masks be worn in the shop. We will have masks for you at the door if you have forgotten yours.

We need clothes! Drop off clothing of any season in the hallway near Echo anytime the church is open. ECHO is open Monday to Friday, from 10 am to 4 pm! Come in and meet our friendly volunteers Monday through Friday.

Church Office Hours

Church office hours are Monday - Thursday from 9:00 - 3:00.

If you're not presently on the regular email list, please contact Heather Curran at that she can add you as a regular recipient.

God's blessings and peace to all,

Dave Grishaw-Jones

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