Weekly Email from Pastor Terry

First Congregational Church of Hanover, Massachusetts
An Open and Affirming Congregation of the United Church of Christ
from Pastor Terry


August 1, 2021

Tenth Sunday after Pentecost
John 6:24-35
Sermon: For Whom Is the Table Set?

Link to the church YouTube home page to get the most recent Sunday service

SUMMER OUTDOOR WORSHIP: We return to our custom of having summer worship in the Pine Grove. We are asking those who are not yet vaccinated to wear masks. In case of inclement weather, we will meet in Riley Hall.


August 1, 2021


You are hereby warned and notified to meet in the FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH SANCTUARY for a SPECIAL CALLED MEETING, Sunday August 8, 2021, after the 9:30 A.M. Service of Worship for the following purpose:

To act on the recommendation of the Pastoral Search Committee that [the Candidate of Choice] may be called to the position of Pastor for the First Congregational Church, U.C.C. of Hanover.

Les Hoiberg, Moderator

Irene MacAskill, Church Clerk    


Sundays at 9:30 AM: Worship in the Pine Grove by Riley Hall through August
Mondays at 7:00 PM: ZOOM Bible Study
Sunday, August 8: Candidate Sunday


I am inviting you to a farewell picnic for Andrew Talbot. On Saturday, July 31st, from 12:00pm – 02:00pm, a BBQ and light lunch will be held for Andrew outside Riley Hall to celebrate his move to Western Mass to begin a new job in August. Andrew has served on the Music Committee, the CE Committee, the Search Committee, and has taped the worship services.
Please RSVP with Kathy Talbot at (781) 447-5256 by July 30th. Bring a dish to share. Meat and a beverage will be provided. If anyone can help by bringing a grill, setting up tables and chairs, in the kitchen, or in any other way, please let me know. ~ Rev. Kathy Talbot (781)-447-5256

EXCITING NEWS!: The Pastoral Search Committee has selected its Candidate of Choice to be our next pastor. Please save the dates August 7-8 to attend the Candidating Weekend. Saturday, August 7, at Riley Hall will be an opportunity to get to know our Candidate with a special time for kids to meet and greet the Candidate from 1:30-2:00, then 2:00-4:00 for grown-ups. For those who cannot come to Riley Hall, a ZOOM session will be available from 11:00-noon.

The ZOOM link and passcode will be

Passcode: 153615

On August 8, at 9:30, Sunday morning worship will be led by our Candidate of Choice. The worship service will be immediately followed by a Church Meeting for the purpose of voting to officially call the Candidate to be our new minister.

Please plan to participate in these important events in the life of First Congregational Church of Hanover.

Baseball Sunday is a special family friendly service in nine innings complete with the wave and the 7th inning stretch. It is based on the book: Baseball as a Road to God. You are invited to wear your favorite sports gear – a hat, shirt, sox or whatever of your favorite team.
After the service there will be EXTRA INNINGS. We will have slushies and Vacation Bible School crafts and maybe some snacks. Bubbles and chalk are being ordered. In case of inclement weather, it will be in Riley Hall. In case of good weather, we will be in the pine grove.

 ASSISTANCE WITH RECORDING: Don White continues to record the Sunday services, but he needs others to do so occasionally. If you are willing to help out, talk with Don on Sunday.

John Matson is riding the PMC this year in support of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. This is his second year back riding since his cancer treatment. 100% of all rider-raised funds go directly to Dana Faber for cancer research and treatment. Donations can be made online at PMC.org - please reference his Rider ID JM0043.

Please email your celebrations and concerns to John Terry or to the church office.

Let’s Pray for:

• The family of Nancy Merrifield, Hal and Maddie Thomas’ daughter, who passed July 27
(Visiting hours will be on Friday, July 30, 2021 from 4 to 7 pm at the Sullivan Funeral Home, 551 Washington Street, Rte 53, in Hanover, MA. Funeral services will be held on Saturday, July 31 at 10 am at North River Church on 334 Old Oak Street in Pembroke. Memorial donations may be sent to the Plymouth Art Center, 11 North Street, Plymouth MA 02360.)
• Tom Spear, family friend of Adrianne Rafferty, who passed away July 23
• Judy Caless, Marianne Christensen’s mother, in rehab at Bay Path
• The family of Al Kelly, father-in-law of Amy Kelly, who passed away July 19
• Lisa Boucher's brother, recovering from surgery
• Barbara Itz's sister-in-law, recovering from a fall
• Karyn, Lynn White’s sister, in hospice for esophageal cancer
• Tina Donovan’s co-worker, Kathy Carlotti, with an aggressive motor neuron disease, and her husband Carl

Please continue praying for those with long-term needs:

  • Don White
  • Dolly Johnson’s son Steven, with cancer
  • Sally Grey, neighbor of Ruth Hall, with lung cancer Susan Alexander
  • Dave Durand, friend of Sandy and Dave Vaughn, with metastatic cancer


This week Rev. Holly MillerShank is concluding a year of service as the Interim Associate Conference Minister for the Northeast and Metropolitan Boston Associations.

Reference Song: Give Me Jesus (Spiritual)
Give me Jesus, give me Jesus.
You may have all this world,
Give me Jesus.

I’ve had an earworm for the past several weeks, not the kind that needs medical attention, the kind of short tune or phrase that keeps spontaneously surfacing. For me it’s not the whole spiritual or even a full verse but the refrain “Give me Jesus.”

It’s become a bit of a prayer mantra and I’m fairly sure that it is speaking to a much deeper need within my soul. I need Jesus. If I were to take a deeper dive into my subconscious I think this longing is part of how I am experiencing a post (or almost post) COVID world.

In Jesus, the Divine did the unthinkable of taking on human flesh in the form of a vulnerable child. In Jesus, the Divine did the equally audacious act of sacrificing that same fleshy form upon a cross. Our liturgical hinge points of Advent/Christmas and Lent/Easter focus on the bodily acts of our Savior. Our shared sacrament of communion too reminds us of the centrality of the tactile nature of Christ’s ministry.

This longing for the presence of Jesus is both a longing for the sense-driven aspects of communal worship: the reverberation of the organ, the heft of the pews, the familiar smells of altar flowers and dog-eared hymnals, the taste of the cup, the sun arching through stained glass… and a longing for Jesus himself. I’m hungry not only for the broken bread of a common loaf but hungry for the daily embodiment of Jesus in my life and in the world.

We get a lot of God talk, I get it; it’s more universal, gender expansive, it helps us bridge ecumenical and interfaith divides. I need God. But I also need Jesus. I need to know Jesus not just in an intellectual or aspirational way, I need to know Jesus in the pulsing of my veins, in the mitochondria of my cells, in the depth of my diaphragm. I need the lived experience of my faith to be shared with the one who took on human form who reminded the world that love and justice are not abstract or hypothetical but physically demonstrative.

After 18+ months of physical distancing I want to make my spiritual distancing from Jesus a whole lot less than 6 feet. I want to feel his yoke upon my shoulders, his wounds with my fingers, to smell the sea-salt on his garments. Give me Jesus-In the morning when I rise- Give me Jesus- His love eternal as the skies- Give me Jesus- as I lay to close my eyes- Give me Jesus.