This Sunday, October 9, an announcement was made after services that the Bishoph's Committee had chosen an interim priest. The Rev. Richard Matthews will join us in January to guide us through our journey after Miriam's retirement. Rev. Matthews recently completed an interim call at St. Peter's in Londonderry. A biographical sketch of Rev. Matthews can be found on page 3 of the October 16 Signpost.
On Sunday June 19 Miriam announced her plans to retire in early January. Here are her words:
Last Saturday and Sunday I announced that I will retire effective January 8, 2017. This was not an easy decision, but I need more time to care for my mother’s needs. It has been my privilege and my pleasure to be your Vicar for sixteen years. You are very much a part of my life and I will miss all of you. I am excited about the future of St. Christopher's. New clergy leadership will walk with you as I have done but they will take you into a new future of faithful service in the name of Christ. You will have your challenges but you will also flourish. This may be a small parish but you are healthy and vital. You have excellent lay leadership in Wayne Trombly and Karen Groves who will be calling on you to step up to serve the parish during the period of transition. Miriam
The Bishop's Committee along with The Rev. Canon Hannah Anderson from the Diocese of New Hampshire will help guide the parish through celebrating Miriam's sixteen years as our Vicar and the transition period that will follow.
To all who took part in our Spring Festival and Yard Sale last Saturday we would like to express our sincere thanks and appreciation! This year we had some new and fun offerings: face painting, balloon hats, a LEGO contest, kid's games, live music, and even breakfast! We had nine entries into the LEGO contest and the kids and their families seemed to really enjoy it. It truly was a happy sight to see families sitting on the church lawn, listening to music, watching the kids (and adults) getting their faces painted or a balloon creation made just for them. We sold a lot of yard sale treasures, good food and bakery treats, cold drinks, maple syrup, veggie plants and artwork! The weather was perfect too! It took many hands to make it happen and many months of planning by the fundraising team. We heard many wonderful comments about how nice and welcoming everyone was and what a great time everyone had. Be sure to take a look at the slideshow of photos in the Gallery to see for yourself. So far the festival numbers look like this: Ten Talents activities: $1475, Yard Sale: $3414. These preliminary numbers will change as some expenses were incurred and funds are still coming in. The fundraising team will be meeting again soon to recap the event so if you have any feedback please email us. Thanks to an outstanding and committed fundraising team: Del Dooling, Laura Madison, Peggy Baker, Karen Groves, Marcia Tapley, and Terri McDermot.
With gratitude, Kathy Trombly and Dianne+Copeland
In the third episode of A Spirited Life Today, St. Christopher's Rev. Miriam Acevedo and Rev. Ed Koonz from Hampstead Congregational Church UCC speak with Rev. David Yasenka about the work of Isaiah 58 in helping homeless families.
In Episode 2 of A Spirited Life Today Rev. Acevedo and Rev. Koonz speak with Maggie Morgan, Director of Family Promise of Greater Rockingham County, a program to assist homeless families regain independence. A Spirited Life Today is a production of Hampstead Cable Television.
The Tri Town Times ran the following article about our new endeavor, the Ten Talents Challenge, written by Penny Williams.
St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church has launched a Ten Talents Challenge fundraiser.
This is a parish-wide endeavor based on the Parable of the Talents. Those interested in participating were given $10, no strings attached, to creatively increase their $10 investment. Participants are to come up with a project by offering a service, planning an event, selling something, or hosting a workshop. The culminating event is Yard Sale Festival Day May 30, when the projects, plans, and sales will be presented to others.
Many parishioners are already knee deep in planning their project. The seed money can be used to advertise the event or service, get necessary equipment, or do whatever is needed to get started.
Projects already in the works include tomatoes grown to sell and 30 pints of dark amber maple syrup to sell at the yard sale. The syrup was produced in Plaistow from trees tapped in just about every town served by St. Christopher’s.
Another parishioner is offering his services as a light handyman, and use of his trailer and manpower for dump runs. Another service offered is a writing coach to help with a family history or story writing for children. The Rev. Miriam Acevedo of St. Christopher’s will provide a house blessing, something that dates back to early Christianity.
Others are making items to be sold such as jewelry, receiving blankets, handcrafted items, and a quilt for a raffle. A photographer will have matted prints for sale, and also for sale will be model trains and vintage tools, as well as sunglasses and skin care products. Massages will be available from another parishioner, and a bake sale and a gluten-free bake sale are planned.
The church is accepting donations of clothing, toys, clothes hangers, household goods, tools, sporting goods, camping items, yard and garden items, furniture, bikes, office supplies and anything else appropriate for a yard sale for its May 30 event. To arrange for items to be picked up, contact Kathy Trombly at 867-**** or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Trombly said of the Ten Talent Challenge, “It is a fundraising effort, but with the added call to search out our own special God-given gifts and use them for the common good.”
The yard sale will be in front of St. Christopher’s on East Road
Click here to view the new Spirited Life Today show which is broadcast on Hampstead Cable Television. Miriam and Rev. Ed Koonz from Hampstead Congregational Church UCC co-host this new program, talking this week about Easter and the signs of life here in our community.
Article in the Tri Town Times:
Tri-Town Times HAMPSTEAD -by Penny Williams
The RevMiriam Acevedo, Vicar of St. Christopher's Episcopal Church, has announced that Nicholas Pothier will be the new part-time Music Director at St. Christopher's, starting in June. Originally from Derry, Pothier graduated from Pinkerton Academy and received his Bachelor of Arts in Piano Performance Summa cum Laude from the University of New Hampshire. InMay he expects to complete a Master's Degree in Vocal Accompanying from Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, MD.
“We appreciate his ties to our local community and are excited that he brings both youthful energy and musical experience to the position," Rev. Acevedo said. Several months ago, St.Christopher's decided to look at its musical offerings with a view to seeing if parishioners sought changes to traditional church music. Surveys were taken and along the way a search was begun for a new musical director. In conducting its search, the church bulletin said St.Christopher's sought a balance of "upbeat and inspiring worship music that includes traditional hymns and contemporary influences." Pothier has prior experience as a church musician, both in New Hampshire and in Maryland, including work with choirs. His musical library ranges from classical to contemporary. He also has experience with children's theater, art camp, opera workshops, and music productions. "We are delighted he also has experience as a collaborative musician, as St. Christopher's has active parish musicians who participate in our worship services," said Rev. Acevedo. 'We look forward to his arrival and to exploring new musical directions under his leadership. We also anticipate that our local community will benefit from his musicianship. He has worked as a freelance musician and we expect he will continue to provide accompanying, teaching and music services for weddings, funerals, and functions."
St.Christopher's is at 187 East Road. Sunday services are at 8 and 10:15 a.m. For more information, visit www.saintcs.org or call 329¬4674.
Bianca Nicolosi recently interviewed Miriam for Hampstead Cable Television. Miriam talks about her journey that eventually led her to New Hamphshire and St. Christopher's Church. She also talks about the many programs that St. Christopher's offers to it's members and to the community. You can view the interview here.
A Tri Town Times article on Miriam 30th Year anniversary.
Tri Town Times - HAMPSTEAD - The Rev. Miriam Acevedo, a native New Yorker who came to Hampstead in 2000 as Rector at St. Christopher’s Episcopal Church, is celebrating her 30th year in the ministry. Her path to St. Christopher’s speaks to her many interests as Rector of the church.
“I basically had no desire to become a priest when I got out of college until one day, on a Good Friday, I visited a little church called St. Peter’s in Chelsea, the land of which used to belong to Clement Clark Moore, who wrote ‘The Night Before Christmas,’” Acevedo said. “Slowly, as I was exposed to the Episcopal Church, the bible and liturgy, I became interested in learning more. I took courses in bible, church history, the Episcopal Church, etc., but I still had not considered becoming a priest.
“In the church we often talk about ‘call,’” she said. “It’s what a person senses when they begin to turn their attention to the church or even other professions. So one day I had an experience; it’s hard to describe but it was like a presence of God that lasted a few seconds or so. That nailed it for me-I felt the call and decided to go to seminary.”
That took her to the General Theological Seminary in New York. She said it took her extra time to complete her degree because in the midst of her studies, she married and had a daughter. She graduated in May 1983 and was ordained a deacon on June 3, 1983 at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine in Manhattan.
Shortly thereafter, she and her family moved to Philadelphia, where she served as an ordained deacon at Christ Church, a parish started in the 1690s. A year later, on June 8, 1984, she was ordained a priest at Christ Church.
She’s held a variety of positions since then. “I was in an African-American mission in Philadelphia for seven years before moving to Cambridge, Mass., where I got my Doctor of Ministry degree,” she said. “While in Massachusetts I had two interim positions, a rectorship and Protestant Chaplain at Tufts University. Then she moved to New Hampshire to serve at St. Christopher’s. “I’ve been here 14 wonderful years serving with a great Christian community,” she said.
She has worked tirelessly in the St. Christopher’s community to bring the church to parish status and expanded its uses and offerings. Many community organizations use the church facility, and Acevedo has brought yoga, mothers’ classes, blessing of the animals, and Christian educational offerings to the congregation, as well as expanding outreach and community service projects. She has also provided innovative ways to celebrate church holidays.
New Hampshire Episcopal Diocese Bishop Robert Hirschfield said about Acevedo and her 30-year celebration, “The lives that God has transformed through your ministry are too many to count...I have seen the power of your pastoral care, preaching, and spiritual leadership...This diocese is truly blessed by your presence.”
Acevedo summed up her journey saying, “What have I learned in 30 years? Well, a lot about the church and about human nature but the thing is I’m still learning, and I suppose I will keep on learning for a long time to come.”