Prison Art Project Needs Your Help

The Prison Art Project, which provides group art lessons to inmates at NH State Prison locations, is doing a fundraiser selling original art and prints by local artists.  This popular program has been running for three years, providing opportunities for beauty and creativity in the lives of incarcerated people.  Many are already artists, but enjoy learning new skills. Others are starting art for the first time. Both instruction and art supplies are included in the lessons.

This program is run by the Prison Concerns Committee of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire. Funding for one series of lessons by a professional artist at each location is covered in the budget, but the Prison Concerns Committee is raising funds to allow a second set of lessons in each location. as well.                   

The Prison Concerns committee will be selling original artwork, donated by members of our Episcopal community. Most artists have more completed work than they have space or use for.  Would you be willing to donate an art piece to support the art in prisons ministry?

Please contact Betsy Hess, at 603 915-0091 or at to arrange your donation.  You can deliver an original art work or a print to Diocesan House in Concord before November 5,  It should be framed or matted in a way that will protect it from damage. 

Church asked to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, observed throughout October, Presiding Bishop and Primate Michael Curry has asked all Episcopalians to remember and honor the invaluable contributions of disabled lay and clergy who have served, and currently serve, within the Episcopal Church. 

The 78th General Convention in 2015 renewed and reaffirmed the Episcopal Church’s commitment to the inclusion and protection of the civil rights of all persons with disabilities through the passage of Resolution D034: Support the Civil Rights of Disabled Persons.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month presents all dioceses and congregations with the opportunity to fully implement Resolution D034 through seeking education from community deaf/hard of hearing and disability organizations on supporting full inclusion of disabled persons in all aspects of public life.

“Renewed commitment calls for renewed action,” Presiding Bishop Curry said.  “This October, let us walk together in the footsteps of Jesus Christ to transform the unjust structures of society and more fully welcome our disabled brothers and sisters living within our congregations and our communities.”

Resolution D034 marked the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a bill that proscribes discrimination against disabled persons in public accommodation, in communications, and in employment. Resolution D034 also declares the Church’s continuing and unwavering support for the ADA and advocates for total compliance with the spirit and intent of this law.  

For ideas and resources to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month contact Jayce Hafner, Episcopal Church Domestic Policy Analyst, at

NH Episcopal Sustainability Development Goals Grant Application Released

The following is a message from the Chair of the Commission on Human Dignity and Creation Care in the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire:

To all who are involved in Outreach ministries and advocacy,

On September 25, 2015, the General Assembly of the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals that grew out of the Millennium Development Goals seeking to end poverty.  Also, last summer in anticipation of the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals, the General Convention of the Episcopal Church voted to continue its budgetary commitment of 0.7% annually toward international development programs, and it encourages dioceses and congregations to do the same. 

The new Sustainability Development Goals (SDG) and the broader sustainability agenda go much further than the MDG; seeking to end poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change by 2030.  With goals that are practical, specific and measureable, the intention of the SDGs is that no one is left behind. 

Here are a few distinctions between the SDGs and MDGs that Episcopal Relief and Development has noticed:

·      There are 17 SDGs compared to 8 MDGs

·      The SDGs are universal, addressing poverty everywhere it exists.  For instance, the United States is equally accountable for poverty alleviation at home as it is abroad.

·      There is a paradigm shift in how develop is approached in the goals.  The SDGs put each country in charge of its own strategy.

·      The SDGs place a heavy emphasis on data collection and measuring outcomes.  However, it is difficult to establish uniformity in measuring outcomes in countries with differing local contexts, environments and resources.

·       Gender equity is front and center in the goals because a disproportionate number of people living in poverty or without access to power and influence are women.

The Diocesan Commission of Human Dignity and Creation Care (previously known as the Diocesan Outreach Commission) supports the SDGs and has budgeted an annual grant of about $10,000 which, when recommended by Council and then approved each year at Convention by way of the budget vote, is awarded to one or more not-for-profit organizations deemed by our SDG Committee to alleviate poverty that promote sustainable growth and development.  In past years Diocesan MDG awards have gone to a library in S. Africa, a Parish Health Clinic in Honduras, The Women’s Trust in Africa, Native American Outreach in Maine, orphanage in Mexico and more.

The Sustainability Development Goal (SDG) Grant application process for this year starts now and ends on November 21st.  

Please read the guidelines included and make your recommendation in writing, sending it to SDG Committee leader by November 21st.  Complete applications will be discussed at Diocesan Council on December 8th to assist the SDG Task Force in selecting the top 2017 finalist(s).  Runner up organizations will be posted on the Diocesan website to encourage individuals or parishes considering making donations or reaching out on their own.

The SDG Committee and I look forward to reviewing your suggestions for this round of SDG Grants.

Yours in Christ,

The Rev. Gail Avery+

Youth Retreat and Youth Delegates for 2016 Diocesan Convention--Register Today

Once again, youth in grades 6-12 from around the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire are invited to gather for an overnight at Grace, East Concord, with dinner, games and a "mini-retreat" reflecting the theme of this year's Diocesan Convention: "Flourishing."

If you would like to participate in the Youth at Convention Leadership Retreat, please fill out and return the registration paperwork that can be found HERE. The retreat begins at Grace Episcopal in East Concord on Friday night November 4 at 6pm and the group will attend Convention on Saturday morning November 5. The youth retreat will leave Convention at noon on Saturday to go to Diocesan House for lunch and to the YMCA for rock climbing and games (with pick up at Diocesan House between 3-4 pm). There is no cost to attend the youth retreat.

If you would like to serve as a YOUTH DELEGATE representing your church at Convention, then youmay register and participate in the youth retreat on Friday and Saturday morning, but you should ALSO register for Convention with the church delegation and plan to STAY at Convention for lunch and for the business meeting in the afternoon. You would then leave from the Grappone Center at the end of the Convention. If you register as a delegtate, then the $25 convention registration fee would apply.

The Retreat begins at 6 pm on Friday, November 4, and ends at 4 pm on Saturday, November 5. Leaders will be Drew Courtright, Director of Christian Formation at St. Andrew's, Hopkinton, and Becky Goodwin, Director of Christian Formation at All Saints', Peterborough. Contact Tina Pickering at for more information. Click HERE for more information and to register for the retreat, no later than October 28




Praise God for Music all Around Us!

The Episcopal Church of New Hampshire is celebrating the autumn season with special music events in several of its parishes.  Plan your weekends of leaf peeping surrounded by the sounds of sacred and secular music around the state.

Choral Evensong, Church of the Transfiguration, Bretton Woods

There will be a service of Choral Evensong on Saturday, October 15 at 5pm at the Church of the Transfiguration in Bretton Woods (Rte. 302).  The choir will be composed of more than two dozen singers from around the Mount Washington Valley and beyond This chapel, affiliated with Christ Episcopal Church in nearby North Conway is an oft-photographed beauty, full of stained glass windows and set in the scenic surroundings of Bretton Woods, home to The Mount Washington Hotel, a historic grand resort.   More information can be found at their website:

Grammy-Award Winning Music for St. John the Evangelist’s 150th Birthday, Dunbarton

The Church of St. John the Evangelist invites neighbors and friends to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Grammy Award winning musician Dan Zanes will present three benefit concerts on Saturday, October 15.  Saturday’s concerts at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. will feature music for families and children, with admission at $10. At 7 p.m., a concert will celebrate the music of Lead Belly, with admission at $15. Tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds will benefit community and refugee support efforts. The church is located at 270 Stark Highway in Dunbarton. More information about the anniversary and concerts at

Celtic Music in Celebrations, St. John’s, Portsmouth

St. John’s Episcopal Church will offer a series of meditative evening services based on the timeless traditions of Celtic spirituality, featuring Celtic spiritual readings, Celtic vocal and instrumental music and periods of meditation and prayer. St. John’s will offer additional Celtic Evenings on the third Sundays of October, November and December, 2016.  For more information, visit

175th Anniversary Celebrated with Music

Grace Episcopal Church in Manchester is celebrating their milestone birthday with a sacred concert and evensong vespers, starting at 3:30 pm on Sunday, November 6. The church is located at 106 Lowell Street, in Manchester, and the service, officiated by Bishop Rob Hirschfeld, and music event are open to all. For more information, contact the church at or call 603/622-9813.

 Choral Evensong & Organ Recital, St. Paul’s School Chapel, Concord

On Sunday, November 6 at 4 pm, the Chapel of St. Peter and St. Paul at St. Paul’s School will offer performances by Nicholas White, Organist & Choirmaster and Mary Dolch, Associate Organist & Choirmaster. The musical offerings include classic chant and responses, and an original set of canticles composed by White himself. More information is available at


150th Anniversary of Dunbarton Church Celebrated with Award-Winning Music

Dunbarton, NH -- The Church of St. John the Evangelist invites neighbors and friends to celebrate its 150th anniversary. Grammy Award winning musician Dan Zanes will present three benefit concerts on Saturday, October 15.  Saturday’s concerts at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. will feature music for families and children, with admission at $10. At 7 p.m., a concert will celebrate the music of Lead Belly, with admission at $15. Tickets will be available at the door. Proceeds will benefit community and refugee support efforts. The church is located at 270 Stark Highway in Dunbarton.

The Rev. Skeates, Vicar of St. John the Evangelist, explained, “For 150 years, this church has baptized, married and buried residents of this region. St. John’s is a welcoming community that provides nourishment for the spirit and support for the challenges of daily living. We hope our presence here continues to enrich the community in the years to come.”  

The Church of St. John the Evangelist traces its early history to Thomas G. Valpey, a master at St. Paul's School, who began conducting divine services at the old Stark schoolhouse in North Dunbarton. The first site of the church itself was on a plot of land owned by Miss Mary Stark, great granddaughter of General John Stark, who financed its construction by local artisans in 1866-69 not far from the Stark Mansion. In 1890, with the help of several teams of oxen, the church was moved piece by piece to its present location on a half-acre lot donated by Mr. David Sargent.

On Sunday, October 16, a service of Holy Eucharist will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. by The Rev. Winnie Skeates, Vicar, with guest preacher The Rev. Richard Greenleaf, Sr. Chaplain of St. Paul’s School. For more information about St. John the Evangelist, visit


GUEST BLOG: Hurricane Matthew Preparedness

GUEST BLOG: Hurricane Matthew Preparedness

On behalf of the Diocesan Emergency Preparedness and Response Committee I wanted to reach out to you regarding the approach of Hurricane Matthew. It looks like it may be mostly a rain event for us with perhaps some high tides along the coast. However, the recent experience with Hurricane Irene and the resulting havoc from rain in parts of Vermont and N.H. proved that even leftover rain from a Hurricane can have huge effects.

This is a good opportunity to review your parish disaster plan, the security of important records and valuables, and your emergency communication plan in case of the loss of power and telecommunications. From a pastoral perspective, it is always good to identify those in the parish who are most vulnerable and create a plan within the parish or with local emergency responders for 'wellness checks'. If you need help with any of these, please reach out to us.

HERE is a helpful flyer from Episcopal Relief and Development on personal preparedness. And here is a link to a page on on specifics about hurricane preparedness:

--The Rev. Curtis Metzger, All Saints' Littleton, Diocesan Disaster Preparedness and Response Coordinator

New Formation Network for NH Episcopalians

Linnae Himsl Peterson has been appointed by the Bishop as Coordinator of "Formation Network NH". The goal of Formation Network NH is to develop and support clergy and lay people interested or involved in Christian Formation for any age by enabling them to (1) share what is working, (2) crowdsource ideas and resources locally and nationally, and (3) provide support and training for those involved in all forms of Christian formation. Linnae’s experience has included family, pastoral, and program-sized churches in several denominations. Her passion is finding ways to support the ministry of Christian Formation in smaller congregations.

The Formation Network has an active Facebook page where you can find ideas and inspiration, or look for wisdom on difficult situations at The Formation Network will be meeting twice a year to share successes and struggles, and to support one another. Linnae is also available to consult with your congregation or convocation about how you can enhance your Christian Formation offerings for all ages. If you would like to be added to the Formation Network NH email list: contact Linnae Himsl Peterson Coordinator Formation Network NH,

GUEST BLOG: Forward Movement's Season of Prayer for the Upcoming Election

The Rev. Scott Gunn of Forward Movement offers this blog post for a Season of Prayer, starting October 9, and leading up to the election: 

 Dear friends in Christ,

This week, I am writing with a request. I hope you will join Forward Movement and me in a season of prayer for the upcoming election.

In the United States, we are in the midst of a contentious election season. Potential voters are discerning how to vote, but observers inside and outside the country are also watching the candidates closely. Opinions are sharply divided. What kind of leaders do we need? What is the best way forward for our nation? Indeed, what are the challenges we must solve together?

I've heard people say, again and again, "I'm not sure what to do." For Christians, there is always one thing we can do, every one of us. We can pray. We can pray for wisdom, for grace, for patience, for courage, for hope. We can and must pray for those with whom we disagree. Whatever else we do, we must pray. We might use our own words, or we might like some language to give voice to our concerns and hopes. We Anglicans are blessed with riches of common prayer.

Forward Movement is calling Episcopalians and all others to join with us in A Season of Prayer: For an Election. This is a 30-day season, in which we will pray each day with a particular intention for this time in our national life. Each day includes a suggested intention and a collect. We also suggest the use of a brief litany every day. The season of prayer begins Sunday, October 9, and continues through the day after the election. We have used prayers from The Book of Common Prayer.

Join us on Forward Movement's social media channels (Facebook or Twitter) in offering or sharing each day's prayer. You also can download weekly bulletin inserts or a list of all the prayers at The resources are available in English or Spanish. Please encourage your congregation and your friends to get involved.

At a time when nearly everyone agrees that we are being consumed by fear and division, here is a chance to change the conversation. While we will certainly differ in our politics, we can surely join together in prayer. I hope you will join in this season of prayer. God knows, our country, our leaders, those who seek public office, and those who are voting need all the help we can get. Let us pray.

Yours faithfully, 

Scott Gunn, Executive Director

Episcopal Bishops Issue A Word to the Church for the World

The House of Bishops of the Episcopal Church has issued the following A Word to the Church for the World. The video is available in English and Spanish here. Bishop Hirschfeld was a co-author of the Letter and appears in this video.

A Word to the Church for the World

Greetings from Detroit, a city determined to be revived.  Greetings also from the city of Flint, where we are reminded that the gift of water has for many of our brothers and sisters become contaminated.

Here we have been exhorted to set our sights beyond ourselves and to minister to the several nations where we serve and the wider world.

We lament the stark joylessness that marks our present time.  We decry angry political rhetoric which rages while fissures widen within society along racial, economic, educational, religious, cultural and generational lines.  We refuse to look away as poverty, cruelty and war force families to become migrants enduring statelessness and demonization.  We renounce the gun violence and drug addiction that steal lives and crush souls while others succumb to fear and cynicism, abandoning any sense of neighborliness.

Yet, in all this, “we do not despair” (2 Cor. 4:8.). We remember that God in Christ entered our earthly neighborhood during a time of political volatility and economic inequality.  To this current crisis we bring our faith in Jesus.  By God’s grace, we choose to see in this moment an urgent opportunity to follow Jesus into our fractured neighborhoods, the nation and the world. 

Every member of the church has been “called for a time such as this.” (Esther 4:14) Let prophets tell the truth in love.  Let reconcilers move boldly into places of division and disagreement. Let evangelists inspire us to tell the story of Jesus in new and compelling ways.  Let leaders lead with courage and joy.

In the hope of the Resurrection let us all pray for God to work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish God’s purposes on earth.

Writing Committee
Bishop Tom Breidenthal of Southern Ohio
Bishop Mariann Budde of Washington
Bishop Diane Jardine Bruce of Los Angeles
Bishop Victor Scantlebury of Ecuador Central
Bishop Mary Gray-Reeves of El Camino Real
Bishop Alan Gates of Massachusetts
Bishop Wendell Gibbs Jr. of Michigan
Dr. Scott Bader-Saye
Bishop Prince Singh of Rochester
Bishop Robert Wright of Atlanta
Bishop Rob Hirschfield of New Hampshire

The Episcopal Church House of Bishops met September 15 to September 20 in Detroit MI (Diocese of Michigan).