Special Sundays

Farewell to Samantha … Thank you!

We’ll Miss You!   Blessings!

On September 27 we said goodbye to Samantha, our interim pastor for the last six months.  We were blessed by her wise, kind and gentle leadership among us and in turn we bless her as she moves on to the next part of her journey…

Lynda presenting Samantha with a book of blessings and remembrance

Lynda presenting Samantha with a book of blessings and remembrance

Samantha blessing

Prayers of blessing

pentecost 1Taftsville members were surprised by bright decorations on Pentecost morning. Samantha helped Courtney put up decorations on Saturday night, using the fire colors of red, orange, and yellow. On Sunday, they turned on the fans so the streamers would blow in the breeze a bit as a visual reminder of the wind and fire filling the room.

Everyone wore their fire colors as well, and the room glowed! And for the kid’s lesson we made Pentecost balloons.

pentecost 4
* Balloons to celebrate that Pentecost is the birthday of the Church.
* The balloon is red, because that is the liturgical color for Pentecost and the Holy Spirit.
* We added streamers to remember the rushing wind that filled the room.pentecost 2

* We added flames to remember the fire that settled on every believer in the room.
* And we added a dove, the more common symbol of the Spirit, to remember that this was the day the Spirit came.

Then we ended by singing the Raffi kids tune “You gotta sing when the Spirit says sing” with verses of clap, stomp and wave.

pentecost 3

cord bannerThe worship theme for January 11, 18, and 25 centered on the idea of covenant. On January 18, to symbolize the diversity that each of us represents and the unity in Christ that binds us together, we tied representative “cords” end-to-end. These were knotted into a banner which was hung on the 25th for our annual covenant and communion service. The cords at the bottom were left open-ended as a symbol of welcome.





On Sunday, November 9, we gathered to tell our story.

The Transition Team asked Randy and me to lead us in developing a congregational timeline, which we did over the course of two Sundays.  This activity involved lots of stories, laughter, sticky-notes and jogged memories.  The summation report is available in pdf format :  TCMF Timeline Report.  If you’d like to hear the stories and watch the interactions, Bob created a video which is available in the church library.  Thank you Bob!  What a wonderful congregation we have.  Blessings to you all, Carie

Screen Shot small groups

We met in small groups to share our personal stories

Screen shot getting started

Randy records everything!

Screen Shot early years closeup

Just getting started

Screen Shot group in process

Many good memories are shared

timelie 1

Completed Timeline 1960’s

timeline 2

Completed Timeline 1970s

timeline 3

Completed Timelie 1980s

timeline 4

Completed Timeline 1990s

Completed Timeline 2000-1010

Completed Timeline 2000-1010

Completed Timeline 2010-2015

Completed Timeline 2010-2015

Early Easter Sunday morning we celebrated Jesus’ resurrection by carrying our heavy wooden cross up the hill, as we have done every year for almost 30 years.

We walked in silence and took turns carrying the  cross.




We stopped 5 times to listen to Scripture and to sing together.


cross5 cross4


We paused at the top to look out over the valley and reflect on the meaning of Christ’s resurrection before singing “Lift your glad voices!”


And then we made our way back down to the church for breakfast and worship.



Choices! Choices! The array of breakfast casseroles, fresh fruit, and baked goodies was enough to satisfy a large group of diners.





The table centerpiece created by Jane and Ken reminded everyone of the meaning of Easter – an empty tomb!


We enjoyed lots of wonderful music, Scripture readings, and reflections from four eye-witnesses:  Peter, Mary Magdalene, Cleopas and Thomas.









Hear the words of Jesus:

“Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” [Matt.4:4]

“Give us this day, our daily bread.” [Matt. 6:11]

The bread of God comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” [John 6:32]

“I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” [John 6:41]

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” [John 6:51]

“I am the bread of life; the one who comes to Me will not hunger.” [John6:35]

The simple, everyday act of eating bread is something most of us do without thinking. But in our Christian context, bread means much more than a prop for peanut butter. It invites us to remember and celebrate God’s goodness and mercy in the sacrificial gift of His Son.

During the Lenten season this year we will be looking at several stories of “Bread” from both the Old and New Testaments. We will ponder our own hunger, and reflect on Jesus’ profound, nourishing and sufficient grace. And, perhaps, realize anew that His grace is ours to freely receive, as we confess our need and turn to Him to be filled.

The theme is embodied by the folk hymn “Take Our Bread” by Joe Wise, which we will sing each Sunday.  If you would like to read some of the Bible stories for yourself ahead of time, you can read John 6:1-13; Exodus 16:1-36; I Kings 19:1-8; Lev. 24:5-9; John 6:25-58. 

Christmas Eve, 2013

We enjoyed a beautiful service of Scripture, carols and candlelight.  Thank you Allison, Robin and Tim!



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Laura and Carie

On Sunday morning, August 11, we all were transported to Gajuri, Nepal, for worship, celebration and feasting. Laura shared with us her life and experiences over the past year of living and working in a small Nepali village in the foothills of the Himalayas. As we came together for our worship service in Taftsville, we were greeted in Nepali by Laura, wearing her beautiful sari, and instructed (with interpretation) to remove our shoes before entering the chapel.

Laura gave Taftsville a little taste of what church in rural Nepal is like—including seating men and women on separate sides and making us take off our shoes at the door!

Laura gave Taftsville a little taste of what church in rural Nepal is like—including seating men and women on separate sides and making us take off our shoes at the door!

Once inside, we were invited to sit on the floor, and separated, male and female, on either side of the aisle. Laura then treated us to a typical Sunday morning service at her church in Gajuri, filled with singing, dancing, clapping and loud amens.

Laura spent her year in Nepal living with her ‘Didi’ (sister) and extended family in a small house and learning the language as well as local customs and traditions. She worked with SALT (Serving and Learning Together), a year-long service program for young adults with the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). Her assignment was working with Shanti Nepal, a Nepali Christian organization concerned with transformation of poor and marginalized communities, primarily in public health. (Visit www.shantinepal.org.np for more information.)

Laura shared with us her personal struggles, and her victories, in the difficult process of adjusting to an entirely different culture and way of life. She had the opportunity to confront fears, and the opportunity to make a difference in others’ lives. She had the opportunity to learn the Nepali language, and the chance to teach a course of English to friends and neighbors. Her faith deepened and she has much to give and to share as she enters her new year as a graduate student in public health at Dartmouth College.

Following the worship service, Laura served a tasty Nepali meal of rice, lentils, curried meat and vegetables. Thank you, Laura, for sharing a glimpse of your year with us! We are glad to have you among us once again, and praise God for all he is doing through students like you around the world.


The weather was gorgeous for our annual camping trip to Groton Lake. It was a quieter weekend than usual (far fewer kiddos this time!), but there were still many, many rounds of Hand and Foot, great conversations—and, of course, s’mores, kayaking, duck-watching, and general relaxation.

In the photo is about half the group that gathered for our Sunday morning service. (You’ll notice that some of us opted to hike barefoot.) Richard and Ruth Ann invited us to reflect on Psalm 104 and the ways that we see God’s hand in creation.

All in all, an excellent weekend of celebrating God’s creation by both enjoying it and meditating on it.

No church service at Taftsville Chapel this Sunday, August 18, 2013. We’re going camping!

Canoe races at Groton lake

Canoe races at Groton lake


Please join us for the Saturday evening potluck fellowship and campfire (5:30 at Richard and RuthAnn’s site, bring your own hotdogs!) We’ll be singing and making s’mores!

Or come to our Sunday morning service (10:30 at Owl’s Head Pavilion, Stillwater State Park). Bonus: take an easy hike to the top of the mountain with its stone tower and amazing view, and then stay for a lazy afternoon at the lake!

For Taftsville, Lake Groton means more than just a long weekend away.  It means Community.

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