COMMUNITY CHURCH OF DURHAM HOR

LOVE & JUSTICE: FAITH IN ACTION (4/23)

Dear Friends of God,

Every Friday, this "Love & Justice" email connects you to the work and ministry of our brave partners: shelters, organizing efforts, solidarity coalitions, interfaith campaigns and hands-on food pantries. You'll see opportunities for engagement: letters you might write on particular issues, donations sought for special causes, invitations for shared ministry and witness. The range of all this speaks to our shared passion for justice and mercy. And it offers a stunning glimpse of what it means to be the church in 2020.

As people of faith, our goal is not someday to "return to normal"--as if that's what this crisis is all about. Instead, our hope is in a better, gentler and more just community of communities--in which justice and peace are a living experience for all God's creatures.

God, in your mercy, hear that prayer!

Dave Grishaw-Jones (Pastor)
Jane Gallant (Chair, Justice & Witness Ministry)
The Community Church of Durham

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SOLIDARITY WITH IMMIGRANTS & REFUGEES

IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE SUPPORT (IRSG)
SEACOAST INTERFAITH SOLIDARITY (SISC)
CCD'S HOUSING TEAM

Peggy Kieschnick, Cindy Nottage, Dale Hempen, Cheryl Hempen and Debbie Leavitt, Liaisons

1. Action and Advocacy: On Sunday afternoon, a second car rally was held in Dover with 80-100 cars circling the Strafford County Jail. 20 Community Church parishioners joined the caravan to show support for our immigrant brothers and sisters who are detained there, asking for their release during this pandemic. Word from the jail was that the detainees’ spirits were lifted when they saw the long line of cars and signs.

2. Transitional Housing: From Seacoastonline.com (4/17/20)..."The American Civil Liberties Union and four law firms filed a class action lawsuit against Immig-ration and Customs Enforcement seeking the immediate release of all ICE civil detainees from the Strafford County jail. Medical authorities say maintaining a social distance of six feet is crucial to preventing the spread of COVID-19, which the suit claims is impossible at the jail."

If/when the immigrants are released, our Community Church is gearing up to house two detainees in hotel rooms in Portsmouth for their two-week quarantine. Thanks to your support, we are well on our way to welcoming two immigrants:
• The monetary response has been generous; however, we still need more to pay for the hotel and supplies which might include clothing, a phone and/or tablet, etc. You can donate through the Breeze portal on our website. Choose “Other” and put “Immigration” in the comments section.
• Our team has filled two backpacks with supplies using funds you have donated that will help our guests through the two weeks of quarantine.
• Two families have volunteered to be considered as long-term hosts, but more would be welcome additions to the list. If you want to know more, please contact Dale or Cheryl Hempen. (dahempen@comcast.net, cahempen@comcast.net )
• Four individuals/families have volunteered to be guardians for the immigrants during their quarantine.

Another way you can participate will be by joining the meals ministry. While our immigrant neighbors are being quarantined at the Fairfield Inn in Portsmouth, we will need to provide them with daily meals. To limit the number of people traveling to the hotel daily, we are asking volunteers to provide a lunch and dinner for our guests for the 14 days they are quarantined. They will each have a small refrigerator and microwave in their rooms. We have several volunteers already who will cover the first meals but will share a sign-up as soon as we have the dates needed. Look for the Sign-up Genius page coming soon. Questions? Contact Debbie Leavitt at daleavitt77@comcast.net.

The CCD Housing Team wants to thank all of you for your support of our immigrant brothers and sisters!

3. Making the Transition Now: A young immigrant woman from El Salvador who had been held at the Strafford County Jail was granted release by a MA court and was bonded out last Thursday with funds from the IRSG-UCC. She is spending her two-week quarantine at South Church in Portsmouth. After that, she will stay with a host family for the next several months, awaiting her asylum hearing and applying for a work permit.

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THE CHURCH IN MOTION: WHAT WE CAN DO

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1. STRAFFORD COUNTY JAIL & REST HOME:
Joy Downs, Liaison

Thanks to Diana Frost, Natalie Crotty, and Sherry Palmer (not from our church) about 3 dozen masks will be delivered to the staff at the Strafford County Jail and the Riverside Rest Home this week. This will bring our total up to 200 sewn and donated masks! (An amazing gift of compassion!) However, they also want the inmates to have masks, which means they need about 100 more masks WITH TIES. The masks with elastics are simply too uncomfortable to wear all day. Anyone who is interested in helping with this sewing effort should contact Joy Downs, jrdowns22@gmail.com.

2. DOVER FRIENDLY KITCHEN:
Bryn Burns & Beth Cilley, Liaisons

With the COVID-19 crisis, we are following new procedures at The Dover Friendly Kitchen. Meals are now take-out only--instead of a seated dinner. Beth Cilley and Bryn Burns will make and package up green salad and sandwiches to be handed out on April 30. We do not need volunteers for that evening, but we do need donations of cookies and hard cooked eggs! We would like to place those in individual ziploc bags. Looking for folks to make, bake or buy!!! Please reach out to Bryn, brynb07@comcast.net or Beth, cilley@comcast.net. As always, we appreciate the generosity of our beloved Church members and friends.

3. MY FRIEND'S PLACE:
Brenda Sargent & Beryl Harper, Liaisons

My Friend's Place, a family shelter in Dover, continues to be in need of the items listed below. Non-latex gloves are difficult to find; but if you have any to spare, the shelter could really use them. They are enormously grateful for the donations that they have already received.
• Tissues
• Large refills or small hand pump bottles of hand soap
• Hand sanitizer
• Non latex gloves
• Rubbing Alcohol
• Hydrogen peroxide
• Face masks
Donations can be left in the blue bin located outside the entrance at the office level of the Community Church. Donations can also be dropped at 19 Fitts Farm Drive, Durham.

4. HOMELESS SHELTER/STRAFFORD COUNTY:
Leslie Martin, Liaison

A client is moving from the shelter to an apartment and needs a used sofa or love-seat to call it "home." We will pick up and deliver the first one offered. Contact Leslie Martin at 603-292-5443.

5. CORNUCOPIA FOOD PANTRY:
Mary Jane & Hugh Tyler, Liaisons
At Waysmeet, 15 Mill Rd., Durham, 603-862-1165

Cornucopia food pantry continues to provide food boxes serving about 200 people weekly. The pantry is still operating under rigid social distancing rules. Thanks to all who have volunteered their time and treasures. Feel free to contact Mary Jane, marytyler@comcast.net, Hugh earle-tyler@comcast.net, or Chuck Goeller at Waysmeet with questions.

6. CROSSROADS HOUSE:
Carla Wilson & Jane Gallant, Liaisons

Nine Community Church families have agreed to provide ten bagged lunches each for Crossroads House shelter in Portsmouth on Wednesday, May 6! Those people who have volunteered should bring lunches to upper parking lot of CCD at 10:30 on that day, or make other arrangements with Carla Wilson or Kristin Forselius. Thank you!

7. END 68 HOURS OF HUNGER
Jon Bromley, Liaison at lorjon77@comcast.net

End 68 Hours of Hunger is determined to help fight childhood hunger by providing food to children that will help feed them over a weekend (i.e., 68 hours). More about his organization can be found on their website: https://www.end68hoursofhunger.org/about-us/. How can you get involved? Here are some options:
(1) You can make monetary donations to any community End 68 hours supports (see the website above for more details).
(2) You can donate food directly to these communities - each community publicizes on the website drop off locations and times.
(3) You can *donate food to a drop-off location at the Community Church*
and we will deliver it for you. Look for the blue plastic bin by the main office door, and drop off food there.

*If you are going to donate food, please know that they are looking for the following items: Canned Tuna & Chicken; Canned Soup; Boxed Cereal; Instant Oatmeal; Macaroni & Cheese; Nutrition Bars; Canned Pastas; Canned Vegetables; Ramen Noodles.

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GLOBAL PRAYER AND WORSHIP

WORSHIP TO #FREETHEMALL:
An On-Line Worship, Organized by the AFSC
Sunday, April 26 at 7 pm

Join a diverse community of spirit from 7 to 8:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, April 26 ,as we come together for our brothers, sisters, and kin behind the walls in the midst of this COVID-19 pandemic. This interfaith meeting for worship welcomes all--in chorus with the words of invited speakers, advocating for all those in prisons, jails and detention centers. Let our spirits reach them, our unity protect them, and our works liberate them. Register for the log-on link here.

UNITY PRAYER FOR THE HOLY LAND:
Wednesday, April 29 at 11 am

The Abrahamic Reunion draws together—virtually—those women and men who have dedicated their lives to creating peace and understanding in their homeland. Many think there will never be peace in the Holy Land, just as many believe we will never have peace throughout the world. But communal prayer and meditation, with a focus on the common good, can create the shift in consciousness that we all seek. Join Muslim, Jewish, Druze and Christian leaders--praying in a variety of languages and traditions--as we seek peace and justice together. Join Zoom Meeting (https://zoom.us/j/421632590)

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DO JUSTICE: ORGANIZE & ADVOCATE

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CHRISTIANS REJECT FOSSIL FUEL BAIL-OUTS:
Email Representatives Now

Many Christians are deeply concerned about the Trump administration's most recent attacks on the environment -- and by the fossil-fuel companies hiring extra lobbyists to guarantee an enormous bailout in the next COVID-19 stimulus.

These policies would be irresponsible even in normal times, but they are especially reckless now. Low-income families, indigenous communities, and people of color suffer disproportionately from both climate change and COVID-19. It would be cruel and immoral to inflict even more environmental injustice upon them. Our tax money must support the vulnerable, not the profiteers and polluters who devastate their communities!

Email your members of Congress today and tell them: No deadly fossil-fuel bailouts!

EXTEND AID TO PALESTINIANS!:
A Letter to Congressional Reps
Deadline for Co-Sponsorship: April 23

As you know, even in the midst of a global pandemic, the United States government is providing humanitarian assistance to all civilians in need of aid globally, except Palestinians. See here for a recent New York Times article on COVID-19 and Palestinians. Rep. Debbie Dingell has introduced a Dear Colleague letter to US Ambassador to the UN Kelly Craft, calling for the US to restart funding to UNRWA; and we want to help get as many co-sponsors on this letter as possible to show serious political power behind the call to get funding to Palestinians. Rep. Chris Pappas is not yet a co-sponsor; so your letter or email to him and his staff is urgent and timely. Find the link here--making your communication with his office easy to do.

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HOPE & PEACE: CHURCH-WIDE ART PROJECT!

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AIMING FOR SUNDAY, MAY 10:
A project of the youth program at CCD

Collaborating with Pastor Dave, our 4th and 5th grade youth invite any and all to participate in the Hope & Peace Challenge. Create a 2D or 3D piece of art that somehow embodies what hope and peace mean to you and your family or friends. We're hoping to include many, many of your pictures in our online service Sunday, May 10. Email a picture of your creation to Kristin or Pastor Dave by Wednesday, May 6 to have it included! Let's show the world what hope, peace and justice mean to us at the Community Church. Be creative!

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WE'RE RINGING THE BELL FOR COMPASSION!

Although it can seem that we're on fringe of this pandemic, our first responders are still at the forefront; this is why you may have recently heard bells ringing from the Community Church and UNH T Hall right at 7 pm. This is our way of showing our gratitude and support, and reminding us all to stay strong in our social distancing and handwashing so that we’ll get through this difficult time. The bell at the Community Church was a mode of communication in Durham about 50 years before the invention of radio or telephone, and its peal continues to send a message of hope and solidarity to all of us.

We're especially grateful for Nat Balch and the Stewards for leading this initiative, and helping us all to say THANK YOU to the many who serve us!

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THE LOVE & JUSTICE TEAM
formed for the outbreak and this season of crisis and isolation:
Jon Bromley, Lorie Bromley, Joy Downs, Audrey Drogseth, Jane Gallant, Emma Hilary Gould, Beryl Harper, Debbie Leavitt, Cindy Nottage, Brenda Sargent, Henry Smith, Maggie Morrison and Carla Wilson

This "Love & Justice E-Letter" is a weekly communication to our church about the opportunities for service, witness and mercy in this difficult time. Through our love and kindness, we hope to be God's friends, God's hands and arms in the world. Special thanks to Audrey Drogseth and Cindy Nottage for coordinating the great information we're collecting every week!

For more about the Community Church:
(The Rev.) Dave Grishaw-Jones, Pastor
The Community Church of Durham
DavidGJ@CCDurham.org
603-868-1230 (church)
831-706-6819 (cell)

 
 
 
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