Come help us through our missions. Here are ways you can get involved — Parish Care, Family Promise, missions, Special Grants, Heifer fundraising
First Church is part of Art Grows Here!
First Church is participating in Art Grows Here, a ten day, map guided tour of outdoor art exhibits throughout the towns of Hamilton and Wenham. Please stop by and see our lovely exhibit!
The Building Project:
- Major demolition of the rear section of the building is scheduled for next week. Most of the interior preparation is complete; the electric, water, gas and sprinkler systems have been disconnected. (The Sanctuary and office areas are still protected by the sprinkler and fire alarm systems.Watch the website for updates on the progress!
- The clock on the steeple received its numbers and hands this week. Presto will be using the lift to finish painting the steeple and that project will finally be complete!
Our group has been in Kayenta for nearly a week, and it has been an amazing experience. We have been working hard every day, usually in the morning with a break at midday, and then back to work around 4pm. The hot sun and stifling heat has made the afternoon breaks a necessity, and the difficulty of the work has made the break a welcome relief for all of us. Temperatures have been in the high 90’s and single digit hundred’s, so it has been important for us to pace ourselves and watch out for one another.
We will include input and reflections from members of the team later, but I wanted to share a couple of highlights. Our friends at the Encanto Community Church in Phoenix welcomed us late Friday night as we stayed in their fellowship hall. They were gracious and got us off to a good start on Saturday morning. We arrived in Kayenta and got organized on Saturday afternoon. We were welcomed by James Nez, our host and half of the group set up camp on his property.
For the first 2 days we worked on repair and painting of 2 houses nearby They belonged to “grandmothers” Florence and Anita. “Grandmothers” are highly respected and play a key role in the Navajo culture. The home of Florence had been painted on the last trip 10 years ago, and it was nice to repaint her home and show that she was not forgotten. It was also nice to know that we were following up on work that our church had done 10 years ago. I thought of that group, and especially Lauren Swisher, as I scraped and repainted Florence’s house.
Others will share their experience, but everyone was moved by the connections we established (and re-established with our Navajo friends. The house painting was a very personal way of connecting.
The other major activity has been the water retention project. Through years of abuse and manipulation by coal mining operations and our government’s collusion the natural aquifer below the Navajo reservation has been depleted. This affects the ability of the Navajo people to water for their personal use, livestock and crops. In essence it has changed the landscape. We were able to contact a front-end loader to dig out a pond and construct a dam. We then built “trincheros” to direct the water into the pond when the heavy rains come. We followed the existing contours and “washes’ to build the trincheros. We had just finished our first day’s work when the sky darkened and a thunderstorm poured about a 1000 gallons of rainwater into the pond – it worked! As the skies darkened we all prayed for rain, and it came. The pond is now half full and filtering water back into the aquifer. James said that this project will be a model for others; he named the dam “Mission Dam” in honor of our efforts.
More to come…
Mike and the First Church Mission Team
CALENDAR OF EVENTS
- 07/31 Sunday Service will be held at Asbury Grove at 9:30 am
- Bible Study: 10am Tuesdays in the Upper Hall
- Choir Rehearsal: Thursdays 7-8:30pm in the Upper Hall Rehearsals resume in September!
- Women's Enrichment: 10 am Wednesdays in the Upper Hall (Except first Wednesday of the month) Meetings will begin again in September!
- Busy Needles - Second Friday of the month at 10am in the Upper Hall Meetings will resume in September!
- Men's Forum - First Tuesday of the month at the NEW TIME of 8am in the Upper Hall. Meetings will begin again in September!
First Church in Wenham now has a PayPal account! If you would like to make a tax deductible donation, please click on the button below.